ACKNOWLEDGING the increasing inequality gap in recent years, the University of San Carlos School of Business and Economics (USC-SBE) reminds business students not only to create and manage wealth, but also learn to distribute it.
In a press conference for the third SBE International Conference on Business and Economy, conference chair Melanie de Ocampo reiterated that businesses should not just benefit the few, but play an important role in transforming society for the better.
Ironically, businesses, she said, have created a huge inequality gap, primarily focused on creating and managing wealth, but disregarding the value of distributing and sharing it.
“In the Philippines, it’s a lopsided growth. The 50 richest people in the Philippines, if you combine their wealth, (is) 26 percent of the entire Philippine economy,” de Ocampo said.
In her speech, de Ocampo, quoting Oxfam, an international organization working to eradicate poverty, said seven out of 10 people live in a country that has seen a rise in inequality in the last 30 years. Between 1988 and 2011, the incomes of the poorest 10 percent increased by just $65 per person, while the incomes of the richest one percent grew by $11,800 per person – 182 times as much.
“Though many scholars agree that economic growth is important for poverty reduction, even our (Philippines) stellar economic growth has still not translated into reduction of poverty and high levels of inequality,” said de Ocampo.
“This in large part is due to issues relating to distribution. Inequalities in income, as well as inequities in labor and education have stubbornly provided strong barriers preventing many to participate in the growth process,” she added.
Challoner Matero, dean of the USC SBE, underscored the need for a dialogue among business people, future entrepreneurs, and those in the academe to inculcate the value of wealth distribution in business early on.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 18, 2017.
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