Here’s another hint at what has kept the Philippines poor. We are more like Jamaica than Barbados, which is to say we openly embrace “nationalism”, “democracy”, and “social justice”, but something makes it all fall apart along the way. Economists call that something Okun’s Leaky Bucket. The idea is that if something good has to be done, the do-gooder takes a cut, legally or otherwise.
If we are serious about eliminating poverty, we should embrace the good old-fashioned work ethic (a la Barbados), which is very likely correlated with the existence of institutions that promote productivity, the one sure ingredient of the wealth of nations.
But see my earlier post on why we are poor.