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Poverty-alleviation was the central theme of this year’s 7th Young Economists’ Convention (YEC), held last January 31 to February 1, 2008. YEC is held yearly and has been supported by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung since its fourth year in cooperation with the De La Salle University Angelo King Institute (DLSU-AKI) under the leadership of Executive Director Dr. Ponciano Intal.
The Philippines continues to have one of the worst records in poverty alleviation in East Asia during the past two decades, and still remains as one of the countries in the region with the highest poverty incidences, making poverty alleviation a relevant concern for all for years to come.
This year’s convention, entitled’ “Pathways out of Poverty”, brought together undergraduate students of economics from all over the country to discuss and debate important policy issues and areas that have significant bearing on the country’s poverty alleviation performance, such as investment climate, the agricultural sector, the emerging biofuel industry, and the country’s regulatory climate.
Keynote speaker of the convention was Undersecretary Thomas G. Aquino from the Department of Trade and Industry. Several speakers also presented during 3 plenary sessions on various topics: Investment Climate and Poverty Alleviation, The Role of Agriculture and Biofuels in Reducing Poverty, and Regulatory Capture and Reform, and included speakers Mr. Edgardo Lacson, Executive Vice-President of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. John Forbes, Senior Adviser at the American Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Ceferino Follosco from the National Academy of Science and Technology, Mr. Frederick Po from Green Eight Industries, Dr. Ramon Clarete from the UP School of Economics and Mr. Enrico Basilio from the University of Asia and the Pacific, and Dr. Rafaelita Aldaba from the Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
The convention also gave opportunities to student teams from the Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro, the University of the East from Metro Manila, St. Louis University from Baguio, and the University of San Carlos in Cebu to present various concept papers on local governance, microfinancing, and the development of the renewable energy industry towards reducing poverty in the country.