The latest Global Risk Report of the Geneva-based World Economic Forum sees climate risks and economic stagnation as the top global concerns as the world enters the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
WEF refers to “global risk” as the possibility of the occurrence of an event or condition that may cause significant negative impact for several countries or industries.
For the Philippines, the WEF specifically identified prolonged economic stagnation as the top risk in the next two years. This pertains to near-zero or slow economic growth lasting for many years.
“Risks to economic growth are considerable, including risks from a potential resurgence of COVID-19 as new variants emerge,” the WEF said. It added global economic recovery will be volatile and uneven over the next three years.
Experts have earlier warned of the possibility of economic scarring in the country as many businesses have closed since the pandemic, resulting in job and income losses. Cases of health insecurities, especially among the poor, and the disruption of education are also factors that would likely affect productivity and human capital.
Additionally, extreme weather events pose another risk for the Philippines. This includes loss of human life, damage to ecosystems, destruction of property and financial loss.
“Densely populated countries that are highly dependent on agriculture – such as India, Nigeria, Pakistan and the Philippines – are especially vulnerable to climate insecurity,” the WEF noted.
Other risks identified for our country are digital inequality; employment and livelihood crises; and failure of public infrastructure.
With so many risks and challenges to be managed in the next three years, the country will need the best, most qualified and most competent people in charge. Let us keep these concerns on top of mind as we weigh the qualifications, competencies, vision and ability to execute of the candidates who are currently wooing our votes for the upcoming elections. Our nation cannot afford to be scammed once more and it is up to our voters to make sure that doesn’t happen again.*