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Caution on Federalism

The shift to a federal form of government will surely be among the contentious issues taken up by President Duterte in his state of the nation address today.

How competitive is the Philippine economy today?

In overall competitiveness, the Philippines is only better than Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar today. We have been overtaken by Vietnam and Indonesia in most competitive indicators in the last two years. This is not to say that the Philippines did not improve. We did, especially between the years 2010 to 2015. In the last two years, however, the rest of the region accelerated their reforms while the Philippines remained static given the disruption of the national elections and the period of adjustment of the new administration.

How competitive is the Philippine economy today?

In this time of uncertainty resulting from the unnecessary provocation of our Christian community, political killings, and rumors of martial law, its important that we put perspective on things by taking into consideration the true state of the economy.

Economic diplomacy is as important as OFW diplomacy

“Make the Philippine embassy in Spain the most productive in Europe, if not the world” -- this is Ambassador Philippe Lhuillier’s marching orders to his team of consuls.

Joint exploration with China in the West Philippine Sea

What is ours, is ours. This includes the trove of resources in the West Philippine Sea.

Political Appointments Always Lead to Disaster

The dark cloud that hovered over the tourism industry has blown away, thanks to the termination of Wanda Teo and the resignation of Cesar Montano of the Department of Tourism (DoT) and Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), respectively.

Salamat, Ambassador Luis Calvo

MADRID -- This city never fails to take my breath away, not only for its old-word grandeur, but also for the history we share....

War in the West Philippine Sea

Last year, former White House chief strategist, Steve Bannon, went on record with this statement: “The United States is certain to go to war...

Ruminations on US-Philippine relations

Last week, I attended a forum on the state of Philippine-American relations with American Ambassador H.E. Sung Y. Kim addressing the crowd. Sponsored by the...

Increasing potential growth is vital to sustain Philippine momentum

One thing I appreciate about being a member of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce is having access to inside information otherwise inaccessible to the...

Understanding the two proposals to rehabilitate NAIA

How serious is NAIA’s congestion problem? Consider this: The country’s principal gateway processed 42 million passengers last year, 11 million more than it was built...

Government messaging needs improvement

How can I describe government’s style of messaging? Certain adjectives come to mind -- pompous, high-handed, defensive, antagonistic, divisive, confusing. This is true not only...

Fixing Boracay

The environmental problems that beset the crown jewel of Philippine tourism is complex and multi-tiered. A recent audit done by the Department of Environment...

NAIA rehabilitation by Megawide-GMR

NAIA... Clark... Bulacan... Sangley... Twenty months into the Duterte administration and government has yet to decide where the country’s principal gateway will be. The...

Relief for Metro Manila’s traffic

On a normal day, commuting 12 kilometers from Quezon City to Makati City could take two hours. If you are in Makati City and...

A bad joke

Jaws dropped when President Duterte said that China should turn the Philippines into a Chinese province. These words were said during the President’s speech...

The conversation has started for Metro Manila’s rejuvenation

Metro Manila is a city of extreme contradictions. Existing side by side are communities overcome by poverty and squalor and an elite whose members live...

Soft power: Our defense in the Chinese century

Back in 2010, Goldman Sachs predicted that China’s economy will surpass that of the United States by the year 2030. It could happen sooner...

NAIA gets its act together

For much of the decade, traveling through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has always been an emotionally exhausting experience for my peers and...

Raising the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

What do the world’s seven largest economies (G7 nations) and emerging powerhouses like China, India, and Brazil have in common? All have entrepreneur-driven societies. At...

Understanding Charter Change

Last week, Congress attempted to bamboozle its way to get the ball rolling on charter change by proposing to convene both the House of...

The missing link in our tourism strategy

About this time last year, members of Skål International, the world’s foremost organization of tourism professionals, had a meeting with the newly installed Chief...

The booming restaurant business

In my life outside economics, I am an entrepreneur -- a restaurateur to be exact. I have been involved in the restaurant business for...

MRT-3: Where did it all go wrong?

A lethal cocktail of bad engineering choices, politically driven decisions, and mismanagement made MRT-3 the mass-moving hazard it is today. The series of errors started...

Good news from the manufacturing sector

Political noise may weigh heavy on business confidence but for so long as the manufacturing sector grows at a good pace, we can all...

Spain is the new player in Build! Build! Build!

Despite President Duterte’s many tirades against the European Union, Spanish companies continue to look at the Philippines as a bastion of opportunity. Last week, 33...

The long-awaited PUV Modernization Program

As citizens and stakeholders of our public transport system, its about time we confront government with these questions: Why are busy thoroughfares like EDSA and...

Canada: The Philippines’ old childhood friend

This week, 21 world leaders descended upon our shores to attend the 31st ASEAN Summit and 12th East Asia Summit. Each leader represents nations...

The EU’s role amid America’s insularism and China’s rise

Late last month, Manila was host to famed economist and global policy maker, Professor Ramon Tamames. For those unfamiliar with Prof. Tamames, the Spanish professor...

Has our One China policy worked to our benefit?

In 1975, the Philippines adopted a diplomatic statute called the “One China Policy” to govern its relations with China and Taiwan. At the heart...

The Quintessential lifestyle

Thanks to the economic reforms established by the Aquino administration, the Philippines has metamorphosed from the region’s underperformer to its new economic tiger. From...

PAL’s solution to NAIA’s congestion

Last May, Philippine Airlines formally presented an unsolicited proposal to the Department of Transportation (DoTr) to expand Terminal 2 of the Ninoy International Airport...

The Philippines and The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

Immediately after taking his seat in the White House, President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum to formally withdraw US participation from the Trans-Pacific...

Investors’ Shifting Sentiments

When you are inside looking in, situations tend to be muted or amplified, depending on which side you are on. I was never entirely...