THE Philippines has a big potential to become one of the Top 20 economies of the world, according to renowned architect and urban planner Felino Palafox Jr.
Speaking before the Asia CEO Forum at Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati City on Wednesday,
Palafox said if the government could only effectively address the challenges of today, there is a big chance the country would be included in the world’s Top 20 economies.
Among these challenges, Palafox said, are mapping a culture of integrity, and addressing the lack of infrastructure, corruption, criminality, climate change and poverty.
“I hope, if we will address all these challenges, we should be in the Top 20 economies of the world,” he told the forum participants from the business and industry sector.
In justifying his claim, Palafox cited a study by US-based consulting firm A.T. Kearney Inc. ranking Manila second in ‘emerging cities of the future,’ only lagging behind Jakarta in Indonesia.
The study also said that Manila is likely to progress in the next two decades because “it is bolstered by a relatively sharp increase in human capital indicators, with an especially notable improvement in healthcare quality and availability.”
“We have always been there, we have [the]potential, but we have missed opportunities that we need to address,” he added.
He also cited some other indicators that the country has the potential of making it to the top economies such as population growth, marine diversity, and the growing Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) industry.
“In terms of population we are number 12. In marine diversity and sailors we are number one in the world. We are number two in BPOs, and we even have the third longest coastline in the world,” he added.
Palafox said for a city or country to be successful, it should have visionary leadership, strong political will, good planning, good design and good governance.
What makes the country ‘ugly,’ he added, is the lack of good planning and design.
“We don’t give much importance to good planning and good architecture that contribute to the ‘uglification’ of our cities,” he said.