Features

What Build Build Build has delivered

July 25, 2021

Nearing the end of the Duterte administration’s term, we don’t seem to be anywhere near the fulfilment of its big infrastructure dream. Build Build Build is supposed to be the centerpiece of what could be a Duterte legacy, but the program’s performance is far from defining a grand exit for the administration.

The ill logic of rice liberalization

June 25, 2021

The economic managers have been using runaway inflation to justify liberalizing rice importation. But government’s obsession with imports liberalization has only worsened the jobs crisis, loss of livelihoods, and farmers’ bankruptcy.

Duterterioration of the Philippine economy

June 3, 2021

Under the Duterte administration,the Philippine economy was already weak before the pandemic and made worse by inept COVID-19 response.

The TRIPS waiver on Covid-19 pharmaceuticals and the Big Pharma

June 2, 2021

There is a raging debate about whether or not the WTO should temporarily waive some intellectual property rights of Covid-19 pharmaceuticals. Developed countries oppose the proposal, but recently the US has announced its limited support, while the EU continues to wrangle over its necessity. For proponents, the waiver would speed up and scale up vaccine production and contribute to a faster vaccination process in poorer countries.

The Filipino elderly are left behind

May 13, 2021

For a nation that supposedly keeps strong traditions of filial piety, it should be a source of shame that many of its elderly are living in poverty and now disproportionately at risk of dying from the coronavirus.

EO 130: Much fuss about paltry gains

April 26, 2021

The Duterte government with its EO 130 continues to argue for the reckless exploitation of the country’s vast mineral wealth for other countries’ corporate gains and industrial benefits. This makes the projected gains from large-scale mining even paltrier than they already are. We are giving up the non-renewable resource, the Philippines’ huge potential to industrialize, for nothing.

Mass vaccination PH: Throwing away our shots (Part Two)

April 15, 2021

The Philippines is not expected to be ahead of the vaccine race being a poor, non-industrial and import-dependent country. But despite our underdevelopment, we still deserve better and more efficient government handling of our predicament.

Mass vaccination PH: Throwing away our shots (Part One)

April 15, 2021

A number of Asian countries are seeing an increase in COVID with surges particularly large in South Asia and, in Southeast Asia, the Philippines. The Duterte administration has been telling us since last year that the arrival of vaccines is its ultimate solution but, dismally, these are coming in trickles.

To reap what was not sown?

April 4, 2021

This is a crucial time to rethink our entire strategy for reaping the demographic dividend. While things are bleak from where things stand at present, the experience of our neighbors tells us that a demographic dividend is possible given the right set of policy choices.