Social Investment Landscape
In recent years, the Philippines has been among the fastest growing economies in the world, with an average annual growth of 6.3% between 2010-2016, up from 4.5% between 2000-2009. Domestic demand and increased infrastructure spending are expected to enable the Philippines to remain a top performer in 2019, with a projected GDP growth of 6.7%. This growth momentum will likely propel the country from lower-middle-income status to upper-middle-income in the medium term.
Nonetheless, the Philippines’ impressive growth has not translated to improved economic mobility. The 40 richest families account for about 76% of the economy while the country’s poverty headcount ratio, defined as the percentage of the population living below the national poverty line, has only declined slightly from 27% in 2006 to 22% in 2016. Disparities between affluent and poor households remain stark in key health indicators including maternal and child mortality and nutrition levels among children.
The Philippines’ social economy is transitioning to the growth stage, driven by collaborative philanthropy and creative approaches to social funding such as pooled corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds. The country has the second largest impact investing market in Southeast Asia in terms of the amount of capital deployed between 2007-2017. Since 2013, the Philippines has committed to taking nationwide actions to promote environmental, social and governance (ESG) compliance among banks. Moreover, the launch of the country’s first green bond in 2017 might provide the impetus to jumpstart the nascent sustainable finance space.
Philippines's Fact File
Philippines's 2018 Fact File
USD 875 billion
Per capita GDP (PPP)
54 47 in 2016
World Giving Index Rank
Number of Millionaires
Global Competitiveness Index
- An upper-middle-income status,
- Rural poverty rate of 20%,
- High level of human development,
- Unemployment rate of 3% to 5%,
- Greater trust in the government and the society,
- Greater resilience and drive for innovation.
Source: sdgindex.org (2018)
Note: The “traffic light” colour scheme (green,yellow, orange, red) illustrates how far a market is from achieving a particular goal
Government Initiatives to Address Development Gaps
- 26% of the total workforce were employed in agriculture but the sector contributed less than 10% of GDP in 2017.
- The Philippines’ crop production index steadily declined from 119 in 2012 to 110 in 2017, impacting the country’s food security.
- The Philippine Development Plan seeks to substantially increase the gross value add of agriculture, fisheries and forestry from the baseline value of 1% to 2.5%-3.5% between 2017-2022. Strategies supporting this target include improving agricultural productivity and the capacity of agricultural enterprises.
- The 2018 World Risk Index ranked the Philippines the third most vulnerable country in the world with a high risk of tropical cyclones.
- Climate change will cause crop yields to decrease by 25% according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
- The National Climate Change Action Plan 2011-2028 outlines 7 key priorities: food security, water sufficiency, environmental and ecological stability, human security, climate-friendly industries and services, sustainable energy and knowledge and capacity development. The Philippines has committed to reducing carbon emissions by 70% by 2030.
Education and employability
Presence, size, and maturity of SEs
- The Philippines slipped from 49th place in 2016 to 50th in 2017 in the World Economic Forum’s Human Capital ranking due to challenges in skills application and accumulation through work.
- The Philippine government focuses on improving access and quality of the “K to 12” programme, which covers kindergarten and 12 years of basic education. It is also working to ensure that higher and technical education keeps up with the changing employment landscape.