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Mindanao’s promise

The government’s agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front has raised hopes that enduring peace will finally be attained in Mindanao. And beyond this is the tremendous economic impact that the agreement can bring the country.

Posted: April 1st, 2014 in Editor's Pick,Editorial | Read More »

Let’s ‘Arangkada’

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For the third consecutive year, I was honored by an invitation from the Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines to be a principal speaker at its annual Forum.

Posted: March 22nd, 2014 in Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Now is the time

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Our updated unemployment and underemployment statistics released last week, while not markedly different from recent periods, produced quite a stir. I think this is because the figures came on the heels of the report on our very impressive 7.2 percent GDP growth for all of 2013, the second highest in Asia. With a combined unemployment and underemployment rate of 26.4 percent for 2013 based on official government figures, the question that should be uppermost in the minds of our national leaders is: What more do we need to do to create the jobs that will address this critical problem?

Posted: February 22nd, 2014 in 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 »

NATO

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“Yet impressive GDP growth was largely driven by debt-fueled private consumption and property investment, which included awarding big contracts to fast-growing and highly leveraged construction firms.

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

Counting our blessings

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Ten years ago, the Philippine economy was growing at just above 4 percent. Prices were rising at around 3 percent per year. More than one out of every 10 workers (11 percent) was unemployed. Twenty percent of Filipino families were poor. The exchange rate was P55.6 to the dollar. The government’s tax revenues made up 12.1 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Posted: December 30th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Small is beautiful

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I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: SMEs (small and medium enterprises) are the way to inclusive growth and development. The single most important strategy we could embark on to create ample jobs and foster broad-based growth is to widen and deepen the role of SMEs in our economy. In a country where workers are plentiful and capital is limited, it stands to reason that we generate more jobs where it’s cheaper to create one, and that is in the SME sector. It is the best antidote for “jobless growth.” Consider this: Our economy grew by more than 7 percent over the past year, yet jobs only grew by 1.6 percent; total production and incomes grew nearly five times faster than jobs did. This is a sure-fire formula for further widening income gaps. The only way this can change is for us to find a way to get more GDP growth out of SMEs, and not rely primarily on large industrial or service enterprises to propel that growth.

Posted: December 2nd, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The heartless concern for GDP

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To meaningfully tally the economic devastation caused by Supertyphoon “Yolanda,” one should count the numbers of people, not the money value of production, affected. As of Nov. 21, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported 4,011 persons dead, 18,567 injured, and 1,602 missing.

Posted: November 23rd, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

What happened?

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My sympathies to the family of Quasi Romualdez, a wonderful gentleman we’ll miss greatly.

Posted: October 24th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Creating more and better jobs

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Illustration by Steph Bravo

Why is the Philippine economy not producing enough good jobs despite higher gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates in the last decade? Is there a silver bullet that can solve the jobs challenge?

Posted: September 28th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Talk of the Town | Read More »

Inclusive happiness

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Without a doubt, the most effective national tagline we have crafted to date is “It’s more fun in the Philippines,” which, as Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez puts it, captures the essence of the Filipino character.

Posted: September 20th, 2013 in Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Was the GDP growth inclusive?

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Last Thursday, in its release of the national accounts for the second quarter of 2013, the National Statistical Coordination Board was pleased to announce that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) had grown by over 7 percent per annum for the fourth consecutive quarter.

Posted: September 6th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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