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The BRICS and the Philippines

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BRICS, as is well known, was a name coined by Goldman Sachs analyst Jim O’Neill years ago to refer to promising emerging markets for finance capital that would extend the boom of the global economy in the first decade of the 21st century. But one can say that even if O’Neill had not invented the name, the BRICS would have emerged as a conscious formation of big, rapidly developing countries with an ambivalent relationship to the traditional center economies of Europe and the United States.

Posted: September 13th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Viewpoints | Read More »

Sign up for people’s bill against pork

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What pork?—a Malacañang mouthpiece asked reporters on the eve of a massive protest rally against the pork barrel. It is like a pickpocket caught with his hand in somebody else’s pocket, asking “Who, me?” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, creator of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, said he could “categorically” declare that the pork barrel no longer existed in the proposed budget for next year. False. It is still there—and much bigger.

Posted: August 27th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Agrarian reform: Powerful law, ineffectual bureaucracy

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When the original CARP program that was passed under President Corazon Aquino was in danger of unraveling, the peasant movement came together and pushed the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms, or CARPER, through Congress in 2009.

Posted: June 10th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Viewpoints | Read More »

A new social class?

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Let’s juxtapose these recent stories and ask if they’re all connected: the dire straits of the survivors of the earthquake and typhoon disasters; the scandalous exploitation of overseas Filipino workers by embassy officials in the Gulf states that Lila Shahani and Walden Bello have been pursuing; the violent eviction of informal settlers at North Edsa; “Binay-gate” at Dasmariñas Village; and the Vhong and Deniece show at Bonifacio Global City. What links all of them?

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

Missing in Action: President Aquino and the Meralco rate hike scandal

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The stunning Meralco power rate hike of P4.15 per kilowatt hour—the highest single increase in that utility’s history—has aroused such anger among the consuming public that it is puzzling that it has not brought the wrath of the president down on the power monopoly. Mr. Aquino is quick to scold businesses that evade taxes, as he showed last March when he shamed many magnates attending a speech he delivered at the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce. Why not pour the same presidential vitriol on a shameless price gouger?

Posted: December 21st, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Viewpoints | Read More »

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