Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Inequality, philanthropy and social entrepreneurship | Inquirer Opinion

Inequality, philanthropy and social entrepreneurship | Inquirer Opinion: ur country is among the most unequal in wealth and income distribution in Asia, such that it is often associated with its more distant cousins in Latin America. World Bank data on Gini index—which goes from 0 (perfect equality) to 100 (perfect inequality)—indicate that the Philippines’ index is 43, compared with Thailand’s 40 (as of 2009), Indonesia’s 34 (2005), and Vietnam’s 36 (2008).

Comes now the front-page news (Inquirer, 3/4/13) reporting Cielito Habito’s observation that the rise in aggregate wealth of the Philippines’ 40 richest families in 2010-2011 was equivalent to 76.5 percent of the increase in the economy’s GDP during the same period. The corresponding figures were 33.7 percent in Thailand, 5.6 percent in Malaysia, and 2.8 percent in Japan. This does not mean that more than three-quarters of the Philippines’ GDP goes to the 40 families as wealth is a stock while annual GDP is a flow. The ratios merely poignantly highlight how serious social inequality is in our country.

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