Despite the financial troubles that gripped Western economies and the natural calamities like typhoons that rocked the region, the Philippines and its economy has remained resilient.

The possible reason behind such resilience is how strong and stable the country’s banking system serves as a solid ground for the Philippine economic landscape.

Not only the Philippines but other Asia-Pacific nations report having a better ‘climate’ in terms of economy than their Western counterparts, with more positive results in providing products and services.

The key growth drivers for the Philippines this year were trade, business process outsourcing (BPO), construction, mining and quarrying, and private and government services. Also, remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) help the Philippine economy’s growth.

“Remittances are staying strong. Government consumption and public construction will continue to benefit from the national government’s spending. We believe the government growth forecast for 2009 to be entirely feasible.”

— Bert Hofman, Country Director, World Bank

Banks in the Philippines remain solid in their assets yet there are still motions to improve performance. Like in Cebu, the Cebu Bankers Club (CBC) builds up a monitoring program to easily spot delinquent borrowers through the Automatic Credit Information System (ACIS).

The enhanced ACIS system will acquire current “black lists” from each bank member to be distributed for information, in order to protect the entire banking business sector from delinquent borrowers.

Also Philippine firms, like their Asian counterparts, are focused on dealing with the concerns and consequences of climate change with assistance from the government leading to positively profitable results. According to a financial metric pioneered by British banking giant HSBC, firms in Asian countries, excluding Japan, outperformed their US-based counterparts by 33 percent since 2004.

These Asian firms that are active with efforts concerned with climate change  outperformed global equities by 64 percent average since the inception of the index, buoyed by large and direct government investments in clean energy and manufacturing capacity.

“Many western countries have relied on [corporations] acting to tackle climate change, but in Asia we’ve seen governments actually taking the lead—46 percent of global climate change stimuli spending is concentrated in Asia ex-Japan, according to our index framework.

Many clients are looking at this closely, and are becoming increasingly interested in gaining exposure to climate-related investment opportunities focused on specific countries and regions.”

— Vijay Sumon, HSBC specialist, HSBC Climate Change Benchmark Index.

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  1. Dagooc, Ehda. “RP banking system solid, stable despite weak 2009.” 28 December 2009. The Philippine Star. Accessed 28 December 2009. Link Here.
  2. Lopez, Edu. “Resilient RP economy avoids recession in ’09” 27 December 2009. The Manila Bulletin. Accessed 27 December 2009. Link Here.
  3. Lucas, Daxim. “Asia outdoes US in ‘climate economy.” 25 December 2009. The Philippine Daily Inquirer. Accessed 26 December 2009. Link Here.


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