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Pitching in for inclusive growth

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I’m often asked what needs to be done for our country to achieve inclusive growth, or economic growth with widest participation and whose attendant benefits are felt by all. We all know our economy has lately been growing faster than most in the region, but having that growth come from a broader base and uplift the lives of the least endowed among us remains elusive.

Posted: September 2nd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Pass the competition law now!

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“Our Constitution mandates government to ensure that the market is fair for all—no monopolies, no cartels that kill competition,” declared President Aquino in his first State of the Nation Address (Sona) on July 26, 2010. “We need an Antitrust Law that will give life to these principles, and give small- and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) the chance to participate in the growth of our economy.” Thus did the President articulate the government’s policy on competition. In his fifth Sona last July 28, he reiterated: “We are forging a system of fairness… where true competition leads to opportunity and widespread progress.”

Posted: August 26th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

More railways in our future

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“A successful city is one where people prefer to take public transport,” fellow Inquirer columnist Peter Wallace wrote me in reaction to my “Traffic dilemmas” article last week. I ended that piece arguing that to ease city traffic, there is no substitute to actual reduction in inefficient automobile usage in city streets. But we first need to do a good job at providing an efficient and comfortable mass transit system to effectively lure motorists out of their cars.

Posted: August 19th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Traffic dilemmas

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The issue of traffic congestion in Metro Manila’s streets has again assumed prominence in recent weeks, with seemingly contradictory moves from government and similarly contradictory sentiments coming from various sectors. Consider the following:

Posted: August 12th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Repos 101: BSP’s balancing act

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The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) finally raised key policy interest rates last week, mainly to forestall accelerating price hikes in the coming months. The annual inflation rate has averaged 4.2 percent so far this year, the fastest since 2011. This means that for every P100 worth of goods and services we bought last year, we now have to pay P104.20. This is actually much slower than the inflation rates we saw in the past decade and most of the 1990s, when it averaged 7.8 percent. Still, recent trends have pushed the BSP to make a move, after holding steady on these interest rates for nearly two years now. Analysts and observers keenly watch these rates as they provide an important signal of government policy that could have far-reaching impacts on the performance of the economy.

Posted: August 5th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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