In a recently concluded forum jointly organized by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), economist and PIDS president Dr. Josef Yap suggested that the lack of `social cohesion` exacerbates the country`s lackluster socio-economic conditions. With ADB`s downward revision of the Philippine economic outlook, Yap said that cultivating `teamwork` among the people may lead the country out of its development maze.

ADB forecasts a revised Philippine economic growth for 2011 to be 4.7 percent, from its original 5.0 percent forecast, and 5.1 percent for 2012, from 5.3 percent. Despite higher consumption and stronger private investment, the country`s economy, according to ADB, will not grow as expected since exports significantly fell with the continued economic uncertainty in major industrial countries. ADB Senior Economist Norio Usui attributes the downward revision partly to weak government spending. Nareej Jain, ADB`s Philippine country director, on the other hand, remains optimistic about the country`s economic outlook, saying that a 4.7 percent growth should not be underrated because it is still a positive indication. He noted, however, that the country needs to improve its performance, especially in social services delivery and reduction of poverty, to achieve its development goals.

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