THE PHILIPPINES

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

'Informal' Economy May Equal Half of GNP: The "informal" sector of the economy, which includes such unconventional jobs as prostitution and smuggling, accounts for up to 50% of the country's gross national product, an economist said. Ramon Quesada of the conservative think tank Center for Research and Communication said his research indicates that 10 million Filipinos in the informal sector are responsible for $18.52 billion in GNP. "If taxes were collected for this sector, the government would get 60 billion pesos ($2.22 billion)," he said. He said the sector includes slum dwellers, domestics, small farmers, persons who hire out their vehicles, vendors, small fishermen, livestock growers and construction workers.

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