Aquino: Philippines ‘Sick Man of Asia’ no more

President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday said consistent economic growth over the years has moved the Philippines' development forward so that its label “Sick Man of Asia” is now just a “distant memory”.

Aquino, speaking at Euromoney Philippines Investment Forum 2014, said the recent investment grade status and increasing economic and financial rankings proved that the world economy is recognizing the full potential of the Philippines as an emerging country.

[caption id="attachment_97606" align="alignleft" width="300"] President Aquino speaking at the 3rd Euromoney Philippine Investment Forum. (Photo of PTV)[/caption]

He specifically mentioned a 2013 survey by the Japan External Trade Organization which showed the Philippines as the second most profitable among ASEAN-5 countries, next to Thailand. He said this report is “impressive” considering that the country is at “dead last” in 2010.

In the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Rankings, the Philippines is now at 59th place, or 26 spots higher since he step into office in 2010, he said. The country has also recorded a marked improvement in the World Bank and International Finance Corporation’s Ease of Doing Business Report after it moved thirty places in a single year, he added.

“These developments are unimpeachable proof: The large-scale turnaround of the Philippine economy is gaining even greater momentum. The days when we were called the Sick Man of Asia are becoming a distant memory,” he said in the televised forum, noting that Philippines is now referred to as “Asia’s Bright Spot,” or the “New Asian Tiger.”

But aside from the increasing confidence of investors in the country’s economy, Aquino noted the increasing morale of Filipinos in his government. He flaunted that his administration is doing its job more than what it promised, thus resulting in Filipino’s trust on his government.

“Not long ago, our people had very low expectations of their country, their government, and even themselves. Over the past three and a half years, however, we have shown them what it feels like to have a government that actually works for them—a government that does not break past promises, and in fact, underpromises, and over-delivers,” he said.

[caption id="attachment_61338" align="alignleft" width="300"] This file photo shows President Aquino before he flew to Japan in December 2013 for the ASEAN-Japan summit. (Photo from Aquino's official Facebook page)[/caption]

He set the Department of Education as an example, which he said promised to address the 66,800 classroom shortages at the end of 2013, and was fulfilled and even exceeded their expectations.

“It goes without saying that this has had a tremendously positive effect on our national psyche: The Filipino has recovered his pride, and has become even more determined to exhibit his full potential to the entire world,” he added. (Ron B. Lopez)