Category: Features

Strengthen Filipino, Panitikan, and Constitution instruction in basic and tertiary education

June 24, 2019

The Supreme Court’s (SC) upholding of the removal of Filipino, Panitikan (literature), and Constitution as core subjects of the college curriculum is the latest assault of neoliberal standards on the Philippine education system. Alongside the K to 12 curriculum at primary and secondary levels, the fundamentals of nationalism, patriotism and constitutionalism are being replaced by […]

2019 midterm elections results: Harsher policies ahead

May 26, 2019

Administration-backed bets dominated the 2019 midterm elections especially in the Senate. The Duterte administration will certainly fast track its priority neoliberal policies as soon as the 18th Congress opens. It already used its super-majority in the 17th Congress to pass socioeconomic measures aggravating the country’s jobs crisis, poverty, and underdevelopment. More and harsher ones loom […]

WANTED: An Independent Senate

May 11, 2019

By Jose Lorenzo Lim Midterm elections have always been crucial for any incumbent, as results will either affirm or reject the programs and policies so far of the ruling party. The 2019 midterm elections, however, appears to be different, as it happens at the heels of the Duterte administration’s implementation of harshest neoliberal economic policies […]

What the Rice Tariffication Law violates

April 10, 2019

By Rosario Bella Guzman The declared policy of the newly signed Republic Act (RA) 11203 or Rice Tariffication Law, now with issued implementing rules and regulations, is apparently to ensure food security. Ironically, it is the very same principle that the law puts at risk. Food security is a precondition for economic development. A hungry […]

Beyond water interruptions: Expensive water and connection woes burden consumers

March 21, 2019

By the Samahan at Ugnayan ng mga Konsyumer para sa Ikauunlad ng Bayan (SUKI)  The ongoing water shortage is just the latest among water problems that consumers have been struggling with for decades. Despite privatization and its promises, poor consumers across the metropolis still suffer expensive water, erratic connections, and inadequate services. The government and […]

Cheaper rice for now, but at what cost?

February 22, 2019

by Sonny Africa The government’s economic managers claim that the new Rice Tariffication Act which takes effect on March 5, 2019 will ensure the availability of cheaper rice for Filipino consumers. They also claim that the law will make Filipino rice farmers more competitive and profitable. Yet while rice from abroad could become cheaper for […]

Three things beyond rice tariffication

February 19, 2019

President Duterte has signed the Rice Tariffication Bill into law, which promises to reform Philippine agriculture. But until the government genuinely completes land reform and gives sufficient and substantial support to agriculture, the country’s staple and Filipino farmers remain at risk. The law removes quantitative restrictions or limits to rice importation. Any amount of rice […]

Global Trouble, Local Bubble

January 26, 2019

by Sonny Africa The Philippine economy is slowing amid a global economy in a new period of uncertainty, unpredictability and volatility. The country’s economic policymaking however remains stuck in an imaginary world of efficient free markets, beneficial globalization and humane capitalism. A clearer view of where the world is today compels new economics more than […]

2018 Yearender: Are You High? The Economy Isn’t

December 31, 2018

by Sonny Africa Executive Director, IBON Foundation The Duterte administration’s economic managers made some odd statements as the year wound up. Economic planning secretary Ernesto Pernia said “the Philippine economy became stronger and even more resilient than ever”. Finance secretary Carlos Dominguez III insisted on “the soundness of the Duterte administration’s economic development strategy”. Bangko […]