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Unity on the RH Law

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It is more correct to call the Filipino people united than to call them divided on the issue of wanting a government program to provide services on reproductive health (RH) for all. For the longest time, the great majority of the people have favored it, and only a small minority opposed it. Yet those opposed were able to thwart passage of the RH bill for 14 years, and after that to get the Supreme Court to restrain implementation of the law by another year.

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

More from the ‘Yolanda’ survey

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Social Weather Stations has just completed a 46-page monograph, “Survey on the Impact of Typhoon Yolanda on Filipino Households,” that includes many more details than its initial two reports, “13% of Filipino families were Yolanda victims; their net satisfaction rating for PNoy is +54” (1/22/2014) and “’Excellent’ net ratings for foreign countries and private orgs on Yolanda relief efforts; ‘very good’ for local and national government” (1/28/2014), and my column “Poverty, hunger and Yolanda” (Opinion, 1/25/2014).

Posted: April 5th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

A fly-high moment!

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AS PRESIDENT Aquino, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Moro Islamic Liberation Front chair Murad Ebrahim, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles and other dignitaries left the Kalayaan Gardens after the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, the Malacañang band played an unusual recessional, the song that goes

Posted: March 29th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The maldistribution of rice

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Though I rarely mention being a one-time rice economist, I put it in my biodata this week for a seminar at the International Rice Research Institute (Irri), on “The most rapid survey-based tracking of hunger and poverty in the world.” The title is an assertion I have made about the SWS surveys many times, here and abroad, that has never been challenged.

Posted: March 22nd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

FOI for government statistics

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I look forward to a Freedom of Information Act that will, in particular, increase public access to the raw data gathered in the government’s censuses and surveys, which underlie its published summary statistics, and, indeed, could be used to produce many other statistics of value that the government does not publish.

Posted: March 15th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

New numbers on happiness

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Last week, Social Weather Stations released its December 2013 survey findings that 86 percent of Filipino adults nationwide were happy with life in general, and 83 percent of them were satisfied with their lives.

Posted: March 8th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

What non-NCR managers say about corruption

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This week, SWS had gigs in Cagayan de Oro City (CDO) and Davao City, as part of the roadshow of the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) for regional competitiveness, by sharing the SWS Survey of Enterprises on Corruption directly with people from government, business and academia in seven sample areas. Earlier gigs were in the cities of Makati (for the National Capital Region or NCR) and Tagaytay (for Cavite-Laguna-Batangas or CLB). The CDO presentation showed data combined with Iligan City (abbreviated CDO-I). The roadshow goes next to the cities of Cebu, Iloilo and Angeles.

Posted: March 1st, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

‘Unless otherwise provided by law’

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Last Wednesday I was at a hearing of the House committee on constitutional amendments, which had asked for data on “the quality of life of the Filipinos vis-à-vis the posted economic growth of the Philippines.” There I presented the SWS surveys that show that Philippine poverty, hunger and joblessness have been disappointingly flat in the past decade, despite rapid economic growth. I pointed out that joblessness of well above 20 percent is not new, but has been around since 2005, and also that “Yolanda” victims are no more jobless than nonvictims.

Posted: February 22nd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Jobless, but ‘employed’

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Last Tuesday, the Inquirer’s subhead, “SWS: Unemployment rate rose to 27.5% in Q4,” was critically imprecise, because the SWS statistic Joblessness is defined differently from the official statistic Unemployment. To emphasize the difference here, I write the former with a capital J, and the latter with a capital U. Unlike the ordinary mass media, SWS is careful not to interchange its term Joblessness with the official term Unemployment.

Posted: February 14th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Pro real-wage growth

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The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is very often called the economic pie available to the people. When divided by the population, it becomes the so-called per capita GDP, which would be available if shared equally—an assumption which is only arithmetical, and not factual—among Filipinos.

Posted: February 7th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Survey facts of 2013

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The 2014 SWS Survey Review, presented last Tuesday at the Asian Institute of Management, was about facts. The surveys were genuine, and scientifically representative of the actual quality of life and the true opinions of the Filipino people. The raw data of all SWS surveys are permanently archived so that researchers may recompute the findings and extend the analysis.

Posted: January 31st, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Poverty, hunger and ‘Yolanda’

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Super Typhoon “Yolanda” was so devastating that it raised Self-rated Poverty by three points, Self-rated Food Poverty also by three points, and Hunger by almost one point, according to the Social Weather Survey of Dec. 11-16, 2013. Incidentally, it also raised President’s Aquino’s net satisfaction rating by one point.

Posted: January 24th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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