It may be unnoticeable for some, grueling for another- but hey! we’re almost half-way through 2016!
While it is undeniable that 2016 started off a little rowdy than normal for Filipinos (with all the issues and controversies brought by the National Elections) it’s not just all hot water in the Philippines.
Here are five things that can make us proud living in the Philippines this 2016.
1. Q1 GDP growth highest since 2013, PH fastest growing economy in Asia
The first quarter of 2016 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of the country was at a 6.9 percent high compared to the expected 6.6 percent and last year’s Q1 GDP of 5.0 percent. GDP is the broadest quantitative measure of a country’s economic activity.
The latest numbers makes the country the fastest growing economy in the region. This means that Philippines is increasing the amount of production and that the citizens have a higher income and spending more.
2. Biggest Solar Plant in SEA
The biggest solar farm in the Philippines opened on March 3 in Cadiz City in Negros Occidental. The solar farm is considered the seven largest in the world, and the biggest in Southeast Asia.
Why is this good news? The 132.5 megawatt solar farm can address the shortage of electricity in the province and can produce cheaper renewable-energy.
Not only will it provide 2.9 million jobs, it will also increase the annual revenue of the city by 1000 million. Most importantly, it shows the country’s ability to develop world-class renewable energy projects and establishes the Philippines’ foothold as frontrunner in renewable energy
3. K-12 Program
While the reactions regarding this daring move of DepEd are vastly mixed, it’s still progress that we can be proud of. This year,
DepEd will implement the final phase of their K-12 program which will start the Senior High School level. It will put the country out of the list of countries with a 10-year pre-university cycle and will allow the country to align our education programs with the rest of the Southeast Asian countries for ASEAN integration. Plus new schools are up!
4. First Cherry Blossom park in the Philippines
In years to come, Filipinos might not have to go to Japan just to see the famous Sakura tress!
In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the bond between Kochi prefecture in Japan and Benguet province, around 30 cherry blossom or ‘sakura’ seedlings were planted at a mountaintop in Atok, Benguet, with its weather being perfectly suitable for the cherry blossom seedlings to grow.
5. First transgender woman in Congress
Geraldine Roman won in the recent election as the first district representative of Bataan. She is the first transgender to have been elected in the House of Representatives. Roman received 62.1 percent of the votes against Danilo Malana who received 37.9 percent.
This light may lead the country to a more united one. We hope that Roman will be able to propose bills that will protect and give equal rights and opportunities for the LGBTQ+ community in the Philippines. (Kathleen Vicho)