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A culture of poverty?

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While doing field research in the country’s poorest areas, my team came across a community where some residents, when asked why there were so many poor people in their area, matter-of-factly said it’s because many of their neighbors are lazy. We also interviewed the project staff of a national government poverty reduction program; when asked why there were so many poor people in their province, their response was, again, because many of them are lazy. Regional heads of national government agencies that we gathered in a focus group discussion chorused that the reason there are many poor people in their region is that most of them are—you guessed it—lazy.

Posted: November 25th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Low-hanging fruit

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Nearly five years ago (in January 2010), import tariffs on more than 99 percent of all the products we trade with our Asean neighbors went down to zero, in accordance with the Asean Free Trade Agreement.

Posted: November 18th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Wanted: an ‘Asean Agricultural Community’

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For the Southeast Asian economies, the agricultural and rural sector remains prominent in the overall development agenda.

Posted: November 11th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Why I wouldn’t rebid Calax

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“Panay Power Point” was, for a while, the tongue-in-cheek definition given by critics for the government’s PPP program. The appellation appeared to embody the business sector’s impatience with slow movement in the public-private partnership infrastructure program, which had found prominence in President Benigno Aquino III’s very first State of the Nation Address. Indeed, halfway through the President’s term (i.e., in mid-2013), only two relatively minor projects among the initial list of 10 were under construction. Without downplaying their importance, the Daang Hari-SLEx Link Road and the School Infrastructure Project actually represent a tiny portion of the first round of identified PPP projects, at least in terms of costs. Clearly, the various other PPP projects need to be promptly bid out, built and put into service at the soonest possible time. The needs are urgent, and suffering Filipinos have waited long enough.

Posted: November 4th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Regulatory overreach

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The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is under fire from irate netizens following last week’s sting operation that led to the apprehension of a private car owner hiring out rides under the Uber network.

Posted: October 28th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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