Home Tags Introspective
“Lo! unto us a child is born!” Not just any child but a child of a carpenter who would follow in his father’s footsteps (Mark 6:3). Carpentry creates value as it transforms plain wood into a beautiful cabinet. Honest hard work is carpentry’s signature. It is the exact opposite of plunder.
I am pleased to share with readers the executive summary of our quarterly economic outlook report for GlobalSource Partners (globalsourcepartners.com) written by Marie Christine Tang and me last Nov. 22, 2018. The second part of this column is a statement of the Foundation for Economic Freedom supporting TRAIN 3, on property valuation for taxation purposes issued Nov. 30, 2018.
My former college economics professor, Dr. Bernie “Dr. Boom” Villegas, was once quoted chanting the mantra of “agriculture, agriculture, agriculture” when asked about the development direction of the country. Indeed, while the political Left were enamored with “nationalist industrialization,” and rent-seekers with “import-substituting industrialization,” Bernie was an outlier. After all, agriculture was unsexy, while industrialization, with its image of mighty steel mills and factory sinews, represented progress and modernization.
The government’s third telco project managed by the DICT seems on the verge of naming the lucky winner of the third player race based on the highest committed level of service (HCLoS) involving price and internet speed. The winner will operate within a narrow corridor of performance: it has to offer faster internet service at the same or at a lower price than currently on offer. The winner shall have posted a performance bond of P14 billion which will be forfeited if its performance falls below committed levels. It will then have to spend P40 billion in the first year and P240 billion in the succeeding five years. Among the committed indicators is the allocation of the capital spending: 40% for operating expenditure, 20% for broadband and 40% for national coverage. By Nov. 7 at 10 a.m., we will know the lucky winner. Or will the prize be a “winner’s curse”?
One could not have thought of a better title for the latest book of UP Economics Professor, former Dean and National Scientist Raul Fabella, a deceptively slim volume (120 pages) but a real heavyweight. It has amazing sweep and depth on what ails our economy, and provides possible solutions, cogently pulling together literature and research on what has worked here and elsewhere.
In my last column, “The Structural Weaknesses of the Philippine Economy,” I said that the recent economic data show the structural weaknesses of the Philippine economy: low agricultural productivity, weak export growth, and undiversified export base, with much export concentrated in low value-added electronics sector.
The House of Representatives has passed its version of the rice tariffication law. Apparently, they did that to make good (finally after 23 years) the country’s obligation under the WTO’s agreement of agriculture to convert a quantity restriction or QR on rice imports into ordinary tariff protection.
Most of the time, when passions are high it is because conflicting greeds are involved. Some rare times, when passions are high it is because conflicting principles are involved. Among the promontories of contention in the proposed TRAIN 2 or its TRABAHO version is the shift from gross income taxation and other “forever incentives” to net income taxation (e.g., CIT) and time-bound incentives for PEZA locators. Since the government is switching policy lanes, this question is a propos: “Is the old system broke?” By “broke” it means wasteful.
Recent economic data show the structural weaknesses of the Philippine economy. In August, inflation accelerated to 6.4% pa from 5.7% pa in July, the...
IN his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) in July, President Rodrigo Durterte urged Congress to work on his proposal to change the Constitution to enable the Philippines to shift from the current presidential to a federal form of government. Curiously as we observed in our brief, he did it less forcefully then what many had expected considering that federalism, along with the drug war and anti-corruption drive, had been an oft-repeated subject of his lengthy monologues. Today, a month after that speech, the drive for federalism seems to be waning.
THE one bright spot for the Philippines in the second half of the 21st century is its growth. The average growth rate of GDP in the last six years was 6.5%, which exceeded the 4.8% average growth under the Arroyo administration and thus was considered the “new normal.
In the 2018 SONA, President Duterte affirmed his unequivocal ownership of TRAIN 1 and 2. What welcome news for TRAIN advocates who felt orphaned when, previously, the President hinted that he will leave the tweaking of TRAIN 1 (in view of inflation) to the ‘wisdom’ of Congress! A successful flagship economic program will ensure Duterte a bright legacy; a mangled one will sink that legacy no matter the political projects. Even so, TRAIN 2 still has ways to go.
The inflation rate reached 5.2% in June 2018 following 4.6% the month before. The June level is the highest in five years and breached the price target ceiling. Critics are lashing about to find fault. Demonizing TRAIN 1 is everywhere in the media and talks of rejiggering the act is afoot. Sadly, President Duterte revealed that he would leave the fate of his regime’s cornerstone economic program to a Congress that is facing midterm elections! That seems to leave his economic team in a lurch. Meanwhile, the detractors have extended the compass of their blame game to the BSP.
I am pleased to share with you the political section of our latest quarterly report, (“Of Deficits and Rising Risks,” May 20, 2018) for GlobalSource Partners, a New York-based network of independent analysts (globalsourcepartners.com). Our subscribers are principally global asset managers and banks who are mostly focused on the more quantitative economic sections of our reports. Christine Tang and I are their Philippine Advisors.
It’s that time of year again and net gladiators are jousting on the red clay of the French Open (non-tennis buffs may skip this opener). One match in the round of sixteen kept me glued.
The NFA reverts back to the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture. Through the years, administrative control of the NFA has shifted between the...
Otto von Bismarck once said that “laws are like sausages. Better not to see them being made.” No one would agree more than observers...
Since Thomas Piketty came out with his book, Capital in the Twentieth Century (2013), it has become fashionable to blame globalization, open trade regimes,...
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