The Philippines is slowly emerging from the social ruins caused by decades of economic mismanagement and political dictatorship. The government can now afford to consider national goals besides mere survival. The concept of human development has been advanced precisely to address this. Historically, the Philippines has had a head start in public education and health. Therefore, when compared with other countries, it performs relatively well on literacy, educational attainment and longevity. However, the report argues that, more recently, the country has simply been living off its historical capital and reputation. Pressed by budgetary limits and the need to serve a rapidly growing population, the quality and provision of public education, health care and nutrition has declined. The report suggests that to overcome this it is important to resume growth in income. However, this growth must be of a different kind, one whose benefits are more equitably distributed across various sectors and regions of the country.