“The title of this book is unapologetically ambitious. Yes, I am strongly convinced that those who are in their 20s and early 30s today (the so- called ‘millennials’ and ‘centennials’) will live to see the Philippines become a First World country.”
… The decade spanning 2040 to 2050—the Philippines will attain an annual per capita income of more than US$12,000 in today’s prices which will bring its economy to the high- income level from the upper-middle income status in which we will find ourselves in 2024. More importantly, because of enlightened economic policies, I expect our future leaders… will implement, this level of per capita income will make it possible for all Filipinos to enjoy “a strongly rooted, comfortable and secure life,” as stated in the vision statement of NEDA in its ‘Ambisyon 2040’ declaration.
Ever since 1986… we always had the best and the brightest running our various government economic agencies… Slowly but surely, these honest and competent technocrats were building stronger institutions and crafting and implementing more enlightened policies so that by the second decade of the present century, our GDP consistently grew at 6 to 7% annually, a rate that can be sustained over the next 20 years… One can expect a continuation of the yearly GDP growth rate of at least 6 to 7 %. There is an upside if the next Administration can manage to significantly improve governance and minimize corruption. The growth rate can even accelerate to 8 to 10 %.
… The greatest asset and source of resilience of the Philippine economy is its young and growing population, providing a huge domestic market for all types of investors, as well as the human resources needed by the world in the form of our Overseas Filipino Workers and in the BPO-IT sector… The entire field of agribusiness—from farming to post harvest, cold storage, supply chain and logistics, food processing and retailing—has attracted the younger generation as a choice of career or entrepreneurial venture. Domestic tourism also proved to be more resilient than its foreign counterpart which is expected to recover only in 2023 or even later.
After the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis… we are now ready to formulate a strategic plan for the Philippines to achieve First World Status in the next 20 years or so. In keeping with the basic assumption that the ultimate resource of any economy is the human resource, I devote much space to how to improve the quality of education and the need for the constant upskilling, re-skilling and retooling of the existing workers. I especially address the millennials and centennials that the way that they can ‘robot-proof’ themselves is to assign the highest priority to ways and means—formal, informal or non-formal— to sharpen their critical thinking skills, their ability to communicate and their knowing how to relate one human discipline to one another.
In his newest book, entitled, “The Philippine Economy Towards First World Status,” Dr. Bernardo M. Villegas provides a thorough discussion on why the country is geared towards becoming a first world country between the years 2040 to 2050.

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