Cayetano Paderanga

Caveat

Employment might have risen, but I wouldn’t pop the champagne just yet if I were the administration.

The government was celebrating the release of third quarter employment figures after the disappointing GDP figures for the same period broke its pledge for a second semester rebound. The fact is, although more people were indeed working, they were on average working less hours.

The proportion of people working less than forty hours a week rose both as a proportion of the work force and in aggregate. It rose from 12.8 million in October 2010 (or 35% of employed people) to 14.3 million last October (or 37% of the same).

As a result, output per worker fell. It fell by 2.4%. We derive this by subtracting the GDP growth rate of 3.2% with the employment growth rate of 5.6% or by simply dividing the total GDP by the total employed persons (the government websites don’t provide statistics on total hours worked, so we can’t work out whether output per hour worked—a more accurate measure of labour productivity—fell).

Some would say that productivity is an even more significant indicator of economic health than GDP because it compares both the outputs of an economy (GDP) with its inputs (workers). The breakdown by sector shows that the decline in productivity (as measured by the statistics office as Gross Value Add over number of employees) was largest for industry which suffered a 4.2% decline, followed by agriculture which suffered a 3.1% decline, and lastly came the services sector which registered a fall of 1.1%.

The government through Sec Paderanga claimed credit for the growth in employment saying that its policies were responsible for generating more new jobs in the economy. One has to qualify the positive news by saying that these jobs were mostly part-time in nature. As a result, there may be more people working, but on average they worked for less hours, adding less value to the economy.

Purisima richest, Luistro poorest in Cabinet

Purisima richest, Luistro poorest in Cabinet
By Christina Mendez
The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Finance Secretary Cesar Purisma is the Aquino administration’s richest Cabinet member with a net worth of over P252 million while Education Secretary Armin Luistro is the least moneyed with only over P89,000.

The figures were based on the Statements of Assets and Liabilities and Net worth (SALN) submitted by the two officials and 16 other Cabinet members to the Commission on Appointments. Luistro declared his annual gross salary at P989,496.

Purisima, one of the campaign contributors of President Aquino, listed business interests – in partnership with his wife Maria Corazon – in at least four corporations.

The Finance secretary owns Filhouse Gem Inc., which he acquired on Feb. 24, 1997.

Purisima’s wife listed 20 to 23.53 percent share in MHC Commercial Corp., Zurcaled Realty and Development, and Archimedes Realty and Development Corp.

Purisima’s real properties include a condominium in Wack Wack Tower in Mandaluyong City; a unit in Villa Milagrosa Townhouse in San Pedro, Laguna; a house and lot in Ayala Alabang which he co-owned with his father and two sisters, and a condominium in Pinecrest, Tagaytay.

The second richest in the Aquino Cabinet is Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo whose net worth for this year is more than P151 million. He listed his wife, Rowena, as being a shareholder in Rights Security.

Following Domingo was Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras with a net worth of over P129 million.

Almendras reported owning a BMW 520-I worth P3.7 million, which he acquired in 2005 in addition to three other cars.

In his SALN, Almendras also listed P3.58 million in club shares and P9.264 million in various shares of stocks, and bank deposits/placement/foreign current placements amounting to P57.825 million.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, former congressman of the second district of Quezon, has a total net worth of more than P87 million comprising 10 real properties, a number of vehicles and some investments.

Alcala has a real estate mortgage worth P11,447 million, three car loans with various banks as well as personal loan.

Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson listed net worth of more than P84 million.

Health Secretary Enrique Ona, former executive director of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, reported total net worth of over P77 million.

Ona included in his assets P74.441 million in stocks and investments, P2.596 million in motor vehicles, P1.317 million in cash and jewelry, and P500,000 in medical instruments.

Ona’s liabilities included P5.2 million in personal loans and income tax payables.

Science Secretary Mario Montejo reported more than P53 million net worth.

Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim listed close to P47 million net worth.

Lim reported being a shareholder in the Aldaba-Lim Foundation; Phil. Playhouse Inc; The Ancient Pergamom Holdings Inc., among other firms.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin has a net worth of over P23 million listing among others investments in Tagaytay Highlands, Malarayat Golf and Country Club, and Great Cakes Inc, and a number of real estate properties.

Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. listed his net worth at P16.081 million with no liability.

Ochoa included in his assets a condominium unit in Quezon City, a house and lot in Ferndale Homes also in Quezon City and a lot in Pulilan, Bulacan.

National Security Adviser Cesar Garcia reported P15.6 million in net worth.

Agrarian Reform Virgilio de los Reyes has a net worth of P15.042 million. De los Reyes listed several real properties in Lian and Balayan, Batangas; Obando in Bulacan, and Malabon totaling P8.786 million.

Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo’s net worth totaled P5.7 million while Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has P3.2 million.

Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman has a total net worth of P2.125 million. Environment Secretary Ramon Jesus Paje’s SALN showed his net worth at P3.2 million, but he did not submit SALN documents to the CA because his name was not submitted for confirmation by the Palace. The CA received no SALN from Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo and Socioeconomic Secretary Cayetano Paderanga.

So far, the CA has only started the confirmation hearings on Luistro and Almendras. The CA has set a confirmation hearing for Lim on Dec. 8. – Aurea Calica

CABINET ASSETS

1. CESAR PURISIMA (finance) P252 M

2. GREGORY DOMINGO (trade) P151 M

3. JOSE ALMENDRAS (energy) P 129 M

4. PROCESO ALCALA (agriculture) P87 M

5. ROGELIO SINGSON (public works) P84.4 M

6. ENRIQUE ONA (health) P77.5 M

7. MARIO MONTEJO (science) P53.1 M

8. ALBERTO LIM (tourism) P46.9 M

9. VOLTAIRE GAZMIN (defense) P23.1 M

10. HERMINIO COLOMA (communications) P14.7

11. PAQUITO OCHOA (executive secretary) P16 M

12. CESAR GARCIA (national security) P15.6 M

13. VIRGILIO DELOS REYES (agrarian reform) P15 M

14. ALBERTO ROMULO (foreign affairs) P5.7 M

15. LEILA DE LIMA (justice) P3.29 M

16. RAMON PAJE (environment) P3.25 M

17. CORAZON SOLIMAN (social welfare) P2.1 M

18. ROSALINDA BALDOZ (labor) P1.7 M

19. ARMIN LUISTRO (education) P89,000

Infrastructure woes hinder MDGs

Infrastructure woes hinder MDGs
Written by Cai U. Ordinario
Business Mirror

DESPITE the country’s efforts to increase social spending through programs like the conditional cash-transfer (CCT) program to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) believes that addressing infrastructure constraints will still hold the key in achieving the goals by 2015.

In a statement, ADB president Haruhiko Kuroda said developing countries like the Philippines must address basic infrastructure constraints to achieve the MDGs in five years.

Kuroda said many areas in developing countries still do not have electricity, all-weather roads and other basic infrastructure. These limit access to health care and discourage children from completing their education.

He said the region is lagging in the targets for basic sanitation, infant mortality, maternal health, hunger and environmental improvements, and reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.

“Less developed countries, or those suffering from conflicts or disaster, will need more regional help to make progress, and the Asia and Pacific region must step up cross-border cooperation in trade, investment, knowledge and technology, to help bridge gaps in resources and capacities,” the ADB added.

Addressing these concerns is National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Director General
Dr. Cayetano Paderanga, who delivered the Philippines’ statement during the High-Level Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals in New York City.

Paderanga, who is also the Socioeconomic Planning secretary, said while the Philippines made considerable strides in meeting some of the MDGs, like cutting child mortality, and malaria and tuberculosis incidence; increasing access to sanitation and safe and potable water; and providing equal education for girls, there is still a lot to be done.

The Neda chief said the measures that will be implemented by the national government to help achieve the MDGs will be included in the Medium-Term Development Plan for 2010-2016.

He said the MTDP will make sure this growth is inclusive and can help protect the vulnerable by ensuring access of every Filipino to quality health, education and employment opportunities.

These, Paderanga said, will be done through an appropriate mix of physical and social infrastructures, and by strengthening social safety nets, like CCTs and universal health care.

“Despite the gains attained in the last decade, we need to push ourselves more to meet the MDGs, particularly where we lag behind. Moreover, the Philippine scenario is characterized by wide disparities. Our latest progress report also shows that climate change poses a threat to the achievement of our targets. The population above the poverty threshold is declining as a result of low capacities to cope with the effects of shocks leading to more ‘transient poor,’” Paderanga said in a statement.

He urged development partners to also keep their promise of sharing a portion of their gross national income (GNI) to developing countries for MDG achievement. The United Nations official development assistance target is set at 0.7 percent of GNI.

“Excellencies, as we enter the last stretch, the Philippine government is exerting all means to deliver on its promise to realize its MDGs, not just as an international commitment but because our people demand it. Let us remember that each and every one of our citizens deserves a life of quality, meaning and dignity,” Paderanga said.

For its part, the Manila-based ADB said it is targeting increased support for basic infrastructure, such as roads, power and sanitation, which are crucial for meeting MDGs.

It also intends to scale up assistance for education, and for environmental improvements, including the use of clean energy, where ADB investments have grown to more than $1 billion a year, and which are targeted to double to $2 billion by 2013.

Kuroda added that countries in the Asia and the Pacific region, which is home to three-fifths of humanity and two-thirds of the world’s poor, represent the world’s best hope for achieving the MDGs by 2015.

“With more than 500 million people having overcome poverty since 1990, the target for reducing extreme income poverty is in sight. The region is also likely to achieve near universal primary school enrollment by 2015, attain gender parity in education, meet the target on access to safe drinking water, and halt the spread of deadly diseases such as TB and HIV,” Kuroda said.

The country’s fourth progress report on the MDGs showed it had a low probability of achieving indicators—such as increase elementary education net enrollment rate, elementary education cohort survival rate, elementary education completion rate, reduce by three quarters maternal mortality, universal access to reproductive health, halt HIV prevalence among 15 year olds, and provide comprehensive correct knowledge about HIV/AIDS to 15 to 24 year olds.

The report also showed the country had a medium probability of achieving the indicators on halving the proportion of population below the poverty threshold or P15,057 per year per person, halving the prevalence of underweight children under five years old, halving the proportion of households with per capita intake below 100 percent dietary energy requirement, universal access for the proportion of the population with advanced HIV infection to antiretroviral drugs, and halve the proportion of the population with access to safe water.

The indicators also showed the Philippines had a high probability of achieving of halving the proportion of population below the food threshold or P10,025 per year per person, all the indicators of Goal 3 which pertained to gender equality and women empowerment, indicators under Goal 4 of reducing child mortality, the malaria morbidity rate, the malaria mortality rate, the tuberculosis case-detection rate, tuberculosis-cure rate, and the proportion of the population with access to sanitary toilet facilities.

The MDGs are a set of eight goals, 22 quantitative targets and more than 60 specific indicators meant to serve as a focus for international and national development policy.

The first seven goals are concerned with outcomes, identifying the progress toward certain standards of human welfare and development that should be achieved globally and nationally by 2015. The eighth goal is concerned with “global partnership for development” to support the realization of all the goals.