Sonny Africa

Sonny Africa is the executive director of IBON Foundation.

Maharlika Fund: Dubious, pretentious and self-serving

December 2, 2022

Something’s wrong. We asked for a wealth tax which would have been paid by a few and could have helped the many. Instead, we’re getting a wealth fund which is paid for by the many and will enrich a few.

Marcos Jr’s first 100 days: The truth is out

October 8, 2022

The first 100 days are arguably the most crucial moment to make a break from the past – not just from the past administration but from poverty, inequality and underdevelopment. The Marcos Jr administration failed to do anything with this moment and, if anything, confirmed that it is unable to even imagine any real fundamental change.

PH Peso: Catch Me I’m Falling

October 6, 2022

The Philippine peso has been hitting record low after record low. This will be among the main drivers of accelerating domestic inflation which will burden Filipinos with rising prices of basic needs on top of their floundering incomes and earnings.

Upper middle-income status: A smokescreen for underdevelopment

September 30, 2022

Does getting an upper middle-income designation really mean the Philippines and its people are achieving genuine development? Or is it just another label being hyped by the Marcos Jr administration to project economic success while hiding a troubled economy and the millions of Filipinos being left behind?

Discerning Bongbonomics from the Inaugural Address

July 4, 2022

Imagine if the inaugural address had mentioned – big fiscal stimulus from more ayuda and support to MSMEs to spur aggregate demand, prioritizing social spending over infrastructure and debt service in the 2023 budget, expanding fiscal space with a billionaire wealth tax, higher wages, arresting environmental destruction by corporations, financial regulation, public ownership, protecting and supporting domestic agriculture, and a comprehensive plan for national industrialization.

No Mavericks Among Economic Top Guns

June 15, 2022

The next administration’s economic agenda will be fully presented at the state of the nation address in July. There are hardly any specifics yet. Still, the tidbits already emerging can be interpreted against the incoming economic team members’ individual track record and especially in the context of the long arc of neoliberal thinking that has defined Philippine policymaking over the last half century.

PH isn’t Sri Lanka… yet

May 25, 2022

The Philippines isn’t going the way of Sri Lanka yet in defaulting on its foreign debt payments anytime soon. Which is not to say that there are no lessons to be learned from the first canary to die in the coal mine of growing global debt distress.

Universal Basic Income: To UBI or not to UBI

February 12, 2022

Free or affordable social services, decent jobs and incomes, affordable transport and utilities, and comfortable homes are much better indicators of beating poverty than programmed UBI cash transfers

Duterte giving public utilities to foreign capital

February 3, 2022

Congress recently ratified the bicameral version of the bill amending the Public Service Act and opening up domestic sectors to 100% ownership by foreign capital. This includes telecommunications, shipping, airports, airlines, railways, subways, expressways and tollways. Passing this proposed law will be one-step-forwards-two-steps-backwards for the country.