June 11, 2012
Why it pays to stay optimistic
In keeping with June as the month to celebrate Philippine Independence, let us take a more positive look at our country in terms of its present economic situation. I'd like to share what my husband, Francisco J. Colayco has written for this month's articles in various media. I think this is important for us, women, to think about.
There was an article of April 25, 2012 by Mr. David Pilling of the Financial Times plus the commitment of PNoy during the May 4, 2012 Opening Ceremonies of the 45th Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB Board of Governors). Both give us a positive slant on what is happening to our country, unlike what we have been hearing in the past.
Mr. Pilling says: "How much money does the Philippines, that perennial economic laggard, owe the International Monetary Fund? The answer is nothing. After years of being in hock, Manila is now an IMF creditor... the Philippines may at last be getting its act together. These are early days. But there are definite signs that the country—with its young population of nearly 100 millions people, the world's 12th largest—as turned a corner... government has sent out a strong message that it will not tolerate corruption... It has established public-private partnerships to build the roads, railways and power stations that have failed to keep pace with an exploding population. Progress has been slow, but the legal regime is considered solid. Many economists are predicting a private investment boom, predicated on favorable demographics—half of Filipinos are under 25—and the healthiest banking system in south-east Asia...
PNoy reaffirms Mr. Pilling's observations. "...As can be seen from our experience, weeding out corruption allows for a more fertile economic landscape: one that not only brings investors in, but also allows the real work of governance to impact the greatest number of our people... Now that the targeting system for our social welfare programs has been insulated from political considerations, we are confident that the more than three million households in our conditional cash transfer program are actually the neediest families, and not merely the best-connected; now we know that we are actually sponsoring 5.2 million of our poorest families through our Philhealth program—our national health insurance program..."
"...we have allocated unprecedented sums to alleviate extreme poverty, and are concentrating on providing more opportunities for employment. We have identified three sectors that will have the most impact on inclusive growth: Agriculture has experienced a 51.3 per cent increase in its budget this year, for example. We are also going all-out in our "It's more fun in the Philippines' tourism campaign, along with a more liberalized air policy to increase access to the country's secondary gateways. And, aside from the aforementioned strides in infrastructure development, we are also set to roll out 10 Public-Private Partnership projects this year, which will include schools and extensions to our train systems..."
"Good governance does encourage inclusive growth; being steadfast in our principles, leading by example, and sending a clear signal that corruption will not be tolerated gives us a certain measure of confidence...Gone are the days when the funds you (ADB assistance loans) funnel to our country will end up like water leaking through a broken pail. You will continue to see results; you will continue to see a Philippines that is finally living up to its potential. We are prepared to follow through on our commitments, and you are by all means welcome to see if we're living up to our word..."
Based on the foregoing information that are corroborated by many in the business community, I agree with my husband to bet on the Philippines versus other countries as the choice for our investments. If you have not yet started saving and investing your savings, you might be "left behind" in taking advantage of the growth prospects.
Of course, there are no guarantees but a positive outlook will always be more reassuring than a negative outlook. Remember to always:
• Understand your personal financial situation and plan and understand the risks and limits of your investments.
• Spread your risks.
• Set aside at least 10 to 20 per cent of your income into invested savings following the rule: Income minus Savings equals Expenses.
• It is still better to stay with the professional fund managers rather than do individual investing unless you have the time to really analyze and follow the market. Well-managed mutual funds and KsKCoop are good options. You can also join Colayco Foundation's financial literacy seminars.
Mary Anne B. Colayco is a happy wife, fulfilled mother of three beautiful ladies, helpful mother-in-law of two handsome gentlemen, doting grandmother of two adorable girls and the diligent President of Colayco Foundation for Education (CFE). For over 40 years, Mabsi, short for MAB-C, was in executive-level finance-related positions, as well as general management positions in Ayala Corporation subsidiaries (then, Pure Foods and Globe Telecom among others) and also served as a Commissioner of the Energy Regulatory Commission.
She joins her husband, author-entrepreneur Francisco J. Colayco in their common advocacy of teaching financial literacy to income-earning Filipinos. Herword.com draws from Mabsis wealth of life experiences in giving advice on personal money management.
If you have any questions about personal finance, e-mail email@example.com.