Put a ‘human face’ on the economy, APEC leaders urged

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MANILA, Nov. 17, 2015— A Philippine cardinal called on leaders of Asia-Pacific nations meeting in Manila this week to push for an economy guided not only by market forces but also by human values.

Cardinal Orlando Quaevedo of the Cotabato diocese said global leaders must never lose sight of ordinary and poor people as they make economic policies and market dynamics.

Citing a pastoral exhortation of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines in July 1998, the cardinal said the current global economy should have a human face.

“And the human face speaks about the development of the poor people,” Quevedo said over Radio Veritas.

He said the current economic philosophy does not strictly follow the “trickle down theory” because it only befits the big businesses, while the poor and the marginalized are the last to be attended to.

“A long time, the benefits will go down to the poor. And we think that should be turned around,” explained the prelate.

World leaders started arriving in Manila on Tuesday, Nov. 17 for the the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.

Among them are Presidents Barack Obama of the US, Xi Jinping of China, Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Quevedo called on APEC leaders to also help address hunger and poverty, saying economic growth should benefit the poor.

“We should not be avidly following a trickle-down economy system but something that is bottom–up … so that the poor people can feel and enjoy the benefits of economic development,” he added. (Roy Lagarde / CBCPNews)

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