Ranks Batanes with Thailand, Malaysia
(from the Batanes Chronicle)
Kevin' Macgrath, the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development
Program (UNDP), in his keynote speech during the Human Resources achievers
awards, cited the outstanding performance of Batanes, the smallest province
in the country and most likely the poorest in terms of gross domestic
product, in achieving high marks in the different indices of human development.
In comparative terms, according to MacGrath, the standards obtained by
our most isolated province is at level of two industrializing countries
in the ASEAN, namely Thailand and Malaysia, who both belong to the high
HDI bracket. The Philippines as a whole ranks in the medium of HDI category
in the country of South Africa, while Western Mindanao registered a low
HDI ranking in the company of Zambia and Bangladesh, added by MacGrath.
Citing the 1996 Human Development Report, MacGrath emphasized that it
has become more and more clear that rapid economic growth does not automatically
lead to the eradication of poverty. In fact, added MacGrath, there is
evidence to suggest that fast-paced economic growth may even aggravate
the problem of human underdevelopment.
Again pointing to the exemplary case of Batanes, even with development
programs focused on the substantial investments for survival, I am possible,
he said, to attain sustained and substantial gains in human development.
MacGrath, however failed to explain how a small and remote group of islands
that is Batanes, performed so well in the different indices of human development.