Material Flow Accounts and Driving Factors of Economic Growth in the Philippines

This study looks into material flow trends in the Philippines from 1985 to 2010 by utilizing the methodology of economy-wide material flow analysis. Using domestic data sources, this study presents disaggregated annual material flow trends in terms of four major material categories, namely: biomass; fossil energy carriers; ores and industrial minerals; and construction minerals. The results describe in detail the growth of material flows in a high-density country at the onset of its development and reveal the shift of material consumption from dominance of renewable materials in 1985 to nonrenewable materials in 2010. IPAT analysis shows that the increase in material consumption was driven by population growth from 1985 to 1998 and by growth in affluence from 1999 to 2010. However, high inequalities amidst the growing economy suggest that a small group of wealthy people have influenced the acceleration of material consumption in the Philippines. The results of this research are intended to provide a thorough analysis of the processes occurring in Philippine economic growth in order to assist in tackling implications for the important issue of sustainable resource management.

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