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CSW, coordination and coherence

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“CSW” was an acronym all too familiar to those of us who worked in the Cabinet of President Fidel V. Ramos in the 1990s.

Posted: October 21st, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Fighting bad policies

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“It is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong,” wrote 18th-century British philosopher Jeremy Bentham. With further elaboration by John Stuart Mill, Bentham’s principle later turned into the goal of seeking the greatest total happiness (greatest good), period. That became known as Utilitarianism, a theory in normative ethics holding that the measure of correct action is the maximization of utility or total benefit. Many of us would be uncomfortable defining that as a societal goal, implying that maximized economic growth is the end-all of economic policy. To be truer to Bentham’s original wording, that aim is now widely qualified to consider, just as importantly, the incidence and distribution of that growth, captured in the now commonly used phrase “inclusive growth.”

Posted: October 14th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Competition law: what it is not

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As the Fair Competition Act gains ground in the 16th Congress, forces that have traditionally been resisting this game-changing economic measure for well over two decades appear to be training their guns on it again, in and out of Congress. Arguments being raised against it

Posted: October 7th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Small business and Asean integration

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You’re probably familiar with the 80-20 rule, which says that 80 percent of outcomes can be attributed to (the top) 20 percent of the players.

Posted: September 30th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Outdated restrictions

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In 2000-2011, we attracted an average of $1.1 billion in net foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows per year, a pittance against Singapore’s $14.8 billion, Thailand’s $4.5 billion, Vietnam’s $3.9 billion, and Indonesia’s $2.3 billion. But last year, our net FDI inflows already amounted to $3.9 billion, nearly four times the earlier average annual figure. Impressive? Not quite, once you consider that our neighbors have already pulled away even farther. Last year, Indonesia attracted $18.4 billion; Vietnam got $8.9 billion, Thailand $13 billion, and Singapore $61 billion. In short, given our neighbors’ figures, and considering our faster economic growth, we should have drawn in even more FDI than we did. So why didn’t we?

Posted: September 23rd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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