The Philippines’ Urbanization, Technological Development, and Poverty

Topic: Economics
Words: 1412 Pages: 5


Global problems affect various aspects of society: interethnic and interstate relations, world economy, and politics. These obstacles are becoming a test for the world community. Difficulties in matters of war and peace, ecology, terrorism call the state of security into question. Every subject of discussion between States is relevant and caused by poverty. This phenomenon is especially characteristic of third world countries, which are developing unevenly, where a patriarchal society prevails and uses forced labor. The Philippines illustrate how, with a high level of urbanization and technological development, they maintain a high level of poverty and social inequality. This work analyzes the dynamics of the development of the Philippines and talks about prospects.


Poverty is not just a lack of income and resources to ensure a sustainable livelihood. It manifests itself in hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other essential services, in social discrimination and exclusion. In 2015, more than 736 million people lived below the poverty line. More than 10% of the world’s population lives in extreme poverty and has virtually no access to health, education, and sanitation services (San Juan et al., 2019). For every 100 men aged 25 to 34 living in poverty, there are 122 women of the same age category.

The results of previous scholarly works confirm the problem of such a phenomenon as poverty: firstly, the study of this phenomenon requires an integrated approach and comprehensive study. It is due to the interconnection of global problems with various aspects of human society, for example, urbanization and technological development. It means that each country is interested in considering these problems and participating in their solution. High levels of poverty, especially in developing countries, pose a severe threat to national and global sustainable development.

The Philippines, with a population of 103.8 million, is one of the most populous countries in Southeast Asia. According to the World Bank, a high proportion of poverty accompanies this: about a quarter of the population (25.2%) were considered poor in 2018 (Cudia et al., 2019, p. 123). About 24 million Filipinos are below the national poverty line and are forced to live on less than €1.65 per day (Cudia et al., 2019, p. 124). Additionally, it is noted that most of the population does not have enough income to live in suitable conditions and buy something beyond basic things.


Poverty is characterized by different parameters and manifests itself in different forms, but most of all, it is a lack of interest in life. The social sphere manifests itself in a sharp differentiation of income by country and population groups, especially between the city and the countryside (Bahrini and Qaffas, 2019, p. 21). Today, three-quarters of the world’s poorest inhabitants live in rural areas, but urbanization fundamentally changes the scope and nature of poverty. In 1950, the number of urban residents accounted for a third of the world’s population in the 2000s – half, and by the middle of the XXI century, according to forecasts, it will reach two-thirds. In 2005, 30% of the world’s citizens – 1 billion (Saleem et al., 2021, p. 550). People lived in slums, the highest proportion of slum dwellers in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where in many cities exceeds 70% of residents (Saleem et al., 2021, p. 553). If the current rates of urban population growth and the nature of income distribution continue, then by the mid-20s, the number of slum dwellers will reach 2 billion.

Poverty is diverse; it changes in time and space; human needs are assessed differently in different countries and historical periods. For the least developed countries, poverty is a shortage or lack of vital resources. Urbanization is closely related to the problem of poverty and the presence of social inequality (Chen et al., 2019, p. 7). Inequality implies that the resources available in short supply are distributed unevenly among people. A country like the Philippines is one of the most urbanized countries in the Southeast Asia region, where 2/3 of the population lives in cities (Baloloy et al., 2020, p. 189). This indicator puts pressure on the natural resources available in the region (for example, freshwater).

This fact hurts the entire ecosystem of the Philippines and may, in the future, lead to a catastrophe. Such a phenomenon as urbanization is a challenge for many states because more and more people move to urban agglomerations every year (Oliveros et al., 2019). In many countries, urban centers are formed around profitable industries. This phenomenon forms an uneven distribution of material resources between cities and rural areas residents.

The Philippines is no exception because many large cities are highly developed, which contributes to the country’s economic growth. High economic indicators have their price; for example, the capital of the state of Manila is one of the most polluted cities in the world. Developed transport infrastructure worsens air quality, which leads to the emergence of dangerous diseases in citizens (Ho et al., 2021). In addition to a high proportion of the urban population, the Philippines is one of the most densely populated countries (a large number of people on a small amount of land). This factor leads to an imbalance between the number of citizens and natural resources. With the observance of such simple things as garbage recycling and public transport instead of personal use, the situation can save.

Technological Development

In the field of technological development is significantly lower average labor productivity. High technologies are designed to help people reduce inequality between poor and rich countries. The way developed countries exploit the labor of the population of underdeveloped States leaves much to be desired. Rich countries open factories and enterprises in developing countries, pay people pennies and harm the environment; it is especially difficult for South Asia and Africa (Bahrini. and Qaffas, 2019, p. 21). It is essential to understand that the technologies themselves harm third-world countries, but the authorities have allowed rich countries to open their production facilities in the last 15-20 years.

When most people think of the Philippines, endless expanses of tropical beaches and military installations from the Second World War come to mind. However, the Southeast Asian country has been making every effort to reinvent itself in the last few years, and this work has borne fruit. The Philippines is rapidly gaining prominence as a leading source of technology startups and talent. Bonifacio Global City is located at the center of the country’s tech scene, in a vibrant and thoroughly modern financial district teeming with luxury forks, shopping malls, and skyscrapers (Montes and Cruz, 2020, p. 25). The story was very different fifteen years ago when it was a military base still filled with barracks built during World War II. After an aggressive program aimed at the privatization and transformation of Fort Bonifacio, the city now looks like any other major financial center in the world.

The Philippines currently holds the second largest growing economic position in the world. Thanks to the vast business process outsourcing industry, which employs more than a million workers, a robust high-tech industry has developed in the Philippines (Barroga et. al., 2019, p. 827). Some of the industry’s fastest-growing sectors are those that use advanced skills such as data analysis and mobile app development. Innovation is booming in the Philippines, and the tropical atmosphere in the country is tempting for those looking for opportunities for the perfect combination of flexibility, talent, and resources. Investors also quickly realized the potential of entering new markets due to the strategic position of the Philippines. The Philippines, being the gateway to the larger Southeast Asian market, successfully occupies two worlds existing in an utterly western market while maintaining a common ethnicity with many of its neighbors. It allows the country to serve as a reliable testing environment for various products and services.


Urbanization and technological development have a significant impact on people’s lives in the Philippines. On the one hand, fast-growing cities, high innovative development, economic and labor growth. On the other hand, the increase in financial inequality between urban and rural residents and the rapid consumption of natural resources. Every positive aspect of the development of the Philippines has its negative perspective. Skillful leadership and high-quality investments in the state will develop what has been started and reduce poverty competently. There are many ways to develop internal infrastructure and eliminate social inequality. Reforms in the field of taxation, ecology, and the transport system can create a foundation for the uniform development of society.

Reference List

Bahrini, R. and Qaffas, A. A. (2019) ‘Impact of information and communication technology on economic growth: evidence from developing countries,’ Economies, 7(1), pp. 21–22.

Baloloy, A. et al. (2020) ‘Modelling and simulation of potential future urbanization scenarios and its effect on the microclimate of lower session road,’ ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, 4(1), pp. 187–194.

Barroga, K. D. et al. (2019) ‘Determinants of the extent of technological innovation adoption among micro, small, and medium food processing enterprises in Davao region, Philippines,’ Philippine Journal of Science, 148(4), pp. 825–839.

Chen, M. et al. (2019) ‘Urbanization patterns and poverty reduction: a new perspective to explore the countries along the belt and road,’ Habitat International, 84(1), pp. 1–14.

Cudia, C. P., Rivera, J. P. R. and Tullao, T. S. (2019) ‘Alleviating poverty in the Philippines through entrepreneurship,’ DLSU Business & Economics Review, 28(3), pp. 121–130.

Ho, C. M. et al. (2021) ‘Urbanization and the consumption of Fossil energy sources in the emerging Southeast Asian Countries,’ Environment and Urbanization ASIA, 12(1), pp. 90-103.

Montes, M. F. and Cruz, J. (2020) ‘The political economy of foreign investment and industrial development: the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand in comparative perspective,’ Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy, 25(1), pp. 16–39.

Oliveros, J. M., Vallar, E. A. and Galvez, M. C. D. (2019) ‘Investigating the effect of urbanization on weather using the weather research and forecasting (WRF) model: a case of Metro Manila,’ Philippines, Environments, 6(2), pp. 10–11.

Saleem, H., Farooq, F. and Aurmaghan, M. (2021) ‘How do poverty and income inequality affect economic growth in developing countries,’ Applied Management and Social Sciences, 4(2), pp. 547–558.

San Juan, D. M. M. and Agustin, P. J. C. (2019) ‘Poverty, inequality, and development in the Philippines: official statistics and selected life stories,’ European Journal of Sustainable Development, 8(1), pp. 290–291.

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