Tag Archives: population

Younger population fuels property boom

October 04 2012

Property consultancy firm Jones Lang LaSalle Leechiu said there is lot of promise from the younger set to fuel the development of the property sector.

“Several studies conducted by economic think tanks and investment banks have recognised the growing population of the Philippines as an economic asset now and in the near future. A growing population means a growing workforce and a larger consumer base that could propel future economic growth for the country,” said Jan-lo de los Reyes, Jones Lang LaSalle senior research analyst.

“As of May 2010, the Philippine population stood at 92.1 million, with a median age of 23.4 years old – considered to be within the most economically active age cohorts of 21 to 35 years. The majority of the workforce in the offshoring and outshoring (O&O) industry – one of the strongest contributors to the economic growth in the Philippines – belong to this age group,” De los Reyes said.

De los Reyes noted that the attractive compensation packages offered by O&O firms for its workforce have attracted a “considerable proportion” of the working population, “effectively raising the disposable incomes of many O&O workers.”

“This has consequentially supported their demand for a wider range of goods and services, including real estate,” De los Reyes said.

De los Reyes said this “heightened” consumer appetite also results to “a greater demand for retail goods, encouraging retailers to take up more spaces, improving the occupancy level in retail establishments.”

“While the growth in the O&O industry is not the only factor behind the surge in consumer demand, it is a sizeable market that has some retail establishments adjusting their operating hours to cater to the working hours of this industry. There has also been a recent emergence of retail offerings on the ground floors of office and residential developments, particularly in the established commercial business districts of Makati and Ortigas as well as in the emerging urban district of Bonifacio Global City where there is a large agglomeration of the O&O companies,” said de los Reyes.

The property analyst however added that the impact of the population demographics is more visible in the residential property sector, “especially in the mid-end residential condominium market.”

“Higher disposable income in the O&O workforce has made it now one of the key target markets for property developers. These workers are mostly single who prefer studio-type units. Equally they have the potential to become upgraders in the near future as their disposable incomes rise or when they form new households through marriages” he said.

“Although renters make up most of this demographic, some are buying condominium units – either as end-users or investors – supporting the demand in the residential market,” Delos Reyes added.

De los Reyes, however, said “the country’s young and growing population is not enough to ensure the growth of the local property sector.”

“Equally, strong government support is needed to further improve the human capital as well as sustain and enhance the country’s economic conditions,” he added.

“Nevertheless, we cannot deny the economic benefits of the country’s young and growing demographics on the Philippine economy and the property market,” De los Reyes also said.

Socio-economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan recently said that there is a skills-labor mismatch in the Philippines that worsens the level of underemployment in the Philippines, which is also “the single most important challenge” the country faces.

“The big challenge is to generate quality jobs, where our members of the labor force can work not only in decent jobs, but can work eight hours a day, and they need more revenue-generating sources of employment,” Balisacan said.

“Our population is growing rapidly, so the economy has to create jobs at a faster rate than that of our labor force,” he added.

Global warming may thwart food production

Sun.star Davao
Henrylito D. Tacio
November 08, 2010

November 08, 2010″THE global warming is very simple,” said Dr. Robert Watson, chair of the Nobel-winning United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). “We are increasing emissions of greenhouse gases and thus their concentrations in the atmosphere are going up.”

Greenhouse gases produce the greenhouse effect, which traps heat near the earth’s surface, maintaining a relative constant temperature.

However, many human activities increase the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. As concentrations increase, the temperature of the earth also rises.

“Climate change means much more than higher global temperatures,” pointed out Heherson T. Alvarez, who convened the Asia-Pacific Leaders Conference on Climate Change in Manila when he was still with the Senate. “Global warming could result in a wide range of catastrophic consequences.”

Rising temperatures is expected to spur changes in rainfall patterns.

“Weather patterns (in the Philippines) may change with projections of higher rainfall and drier summers,” said Dr. Rodel D. Lasco. “These could adversely affect millions of hectares of farm lands. In the rainy season, there will be more frequent floods and in dry season, there will be less water available for irrigation. Overall, it threatens food security of our country.”

“Global warming is more disastrous to the agricultural industry of the Philippines and its neighboring Asian countries than in other parts of the world,” noted Dr. David Street of the US Argonne National Laboratory.

The Laguna-based International Rice Research Institute (Irri) said global warming can reduce rice yields. Rice is the principal food for over 60 percent of mankind. It is particularly important to Asia where over half of the world’s population lives.

An Irri study showed that rice plants could benefit from higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but an increase in temperature up to four degrees Celsius would “nullify any yield increase.”

Water resources are especially vulnerable to climate change. “In a warmer world, we will need more water to drink and to irrigate crops,” said the London-based Panos Institute.

“Water for agriculture is critical for food security,” pointed out Dr. Mark W. Rosegrant, a senior research fellow at the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

“The link between water and food is strong,” said Dr Lester R. Brown, president of Earth Policy Institute, also based in Washington, D.C. “We drink, in one form or another, nearly 4 liters of water per day. But the food we consume each day requires at least 2,000 liters to produce, 500 times as much.”

This explains why 70 percent of all water use is for irrigation. An estimated 40 percent of agricultural products and 60 percent of the world’s grain are grown on irrigated land.

“Agriculture is by far the biggest consumer of water worldwide,” Irri said. For instance, to raise a ton of rice, you need a thousand gallons of water.

But there could be less water to go round, as underground water reserves in coastal areas are flooded by sea water, as sea levels rise and as evaporation losses from reservoirs and rivers and flooded fields grow.

Rising sea levels are seen by many scientists as the most serious likely consequence of global warming. In a series of journals, Science reported that global warming could trigger the death of coral reefs, with coral bleaching being the clearest sign.

“When subjected to extreme stress (like high temperature of surface water),” explained Worldwatch Institute’s John C. Ryan. “Corals jettison the colorful algae they live in symbiosis with, exposing the white skeleton of dead coral beneath a single layer of clear living tissue. If the stress persists, the coral dies.”

The Philippines has about 27,000 square kilometers of coral reefs, said Dr. Angel C. Alcala, former environment secretary. As fishing grounds, they are thought to be 10 to 100 times as productive per unit area as the open sea. An estimated 10-15 per cent of the total fisheries come from coral reefs.

“Coral reef fish yields range from 20 to 25 metric tons per square kilometer per year for healthy reefs,” said Alcala.

About 80-90 per cent of the incomes of small island communities come from fisheries. “The fishing communities who depend on the coral for their catch will be affected,” said Abigail Jabines, climate and energy campaigner for the Southeast Asia section of Greenpeace.

Unknowingly, agriculture is also a contributor to the global warming problem. Methane is a gas created naturally as a waste product of anaerobic bacteria (living with little or no oxygen). These bacteria produce methane gas in waterlogged soils and wetlands, but also in human-produced environment such as rice paddies.

“An estimated 19 percent of the world’s methane production comes from rice paddies,” said Dr. Alan Teramura, botany professor at the University of Maryland in the United States. “As population increase in rice-growing areas, more rice, and more methane – are produced.”

Scientists claimed that one molecule of methane from decaying rice paddies is about 10,000 times more efficient in heating up our planet than one molecule of carbon dioxide emitted by a gasoline engine.

Aside from rice paddies, cuddling animals like cattle also contribute 14 percent while animal waste is source of five percent of the global methane production.

Irri said concentration of methane in the atmosphere has more than doubled during the past 200 years.

As early as 1986, Swedish Nobel Prize laureate Svante Arrhenius sounded the warning of global warming. But he was totally ignored; nobody listened. Today, his alarm has become a global concern.