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Tag: Bienvenido S. Oplas Jr.

The sharing economy index

The “sharing economy” involves strangers sharing several services among themselves without being forced or mandated by a government to do so. They do so voluntarily, allowing suppliers to earn income for services they are willing to provide to consumers who are willing to avail of them at a price both have agreed upon.

Inflation worldwide is declining, no special credit to Dutertenomics

“Money cannot call forth goods, but goods can call forth money…” -- David Ricardo,
on the “mere increase of money” (1809)

Assessing two years of Duterte energy policies

For the past two years, the Duterte administration has produced a mix of bad and good policies from the perspective of market-oriented reforms envisioned in the EPIRA law of 2001.

SONA 2018: Dutertenomics performance is fair to poor

After two years in power, the Duterte administration, its economic team, and its policies can be considered as fair to the poor. Here are five reasons why I say this.

Federalism, Cha-cha, and more government

“The aim, therefore, of patriots was to set limits to the power which the ruler should be suffered to exercise over the community; and this limitation was what they meant by liberty.” -- John Stuart Mill,
“On Liberty” (1859)

Effects of fare control

Government has the tendency to throw its weight around, especially affecting people and private enterprises that it regulates. If players are deemed “friends” or crony of the administration in power, they enjoy kid-glove treatment, allowing them to get off lightly in terms of penalties and fines. Otherwise, if the players are outside the circle, they get hefty fines or threatened with closure.

Lessons from the Energy Policy Development Program

Next week, the Energy Policy Development Program (EPDP), a USAID-funded project implemented by the UP Economics Foundation, will have its last lecture and the launch of a book that incorporates conferences, lectures, and seminars the program has sponsored over the last four years.

US-China ‘trade war’ and Philippine federalism

Among the big topics that dominated last week’s global and national reports are (a) US-China ‘trade war’ which technically means equalized high tariff (EHT), and the hard push for Charter change towards federalism by the Duterte-appointed Constitutional Commission (ConCom).

Inflation, taxation, and protectionism

Fans, allies, and supporters of Dutertenomics continue to cite high world oil prices as the reason for the Philippines’ rising inflation rates.

The EPIRA is working

The Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001 or RA 9136 was among the most important pro-market reforms in the Philippines. Before that law, the government-owned National Power Corporation (NPC) was the single-biggest debtor agency and the single-biggest deficit generator, fiscally bleeding the taxpayers while providing unreliable power supply.

Anti-reason of Duterte’s anti-tambay order

“I have no reason to suppose that he, who would take away my Liberty, would not when he had me in his Power, take away everything else.” -- John Locke (1632-1704, British philosopher)

China mercantilism in the Belt and Road Initiative and the US...

There seems to be a predominant sentiment to demonize the United States.

Ease of setting up and closing down business operations

Last June 6, I attended the “Seminar on Protecting your Trademarks and Inventions Overseas” jointly organized by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), held at the PCCI building in McKinley Hill, Taguig City.

Trade imbalances, protectionism, and rhetoric

In a free trade, an effectual combination cannot be established but by the unanimous consent of every single trader, and it cannot last longer than every single trader continues of the same mind. -- Adam Smith, The Wealth Of Nations (1776), Book IV Chapter VIII.

The US-North Korea summit and the global economy

The summit meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong-Un (KJU) this coming June 12, 2018 in Singapore is marked with several paradoxes.

Tobacco taxation, smuggling and plain packaging

“To cease smoking is the easiest thing I ever did, I ought to know because I’ve done it a thousand times.” -- Mark Twain

Dutertenomics needs more honesty in explaining the real causes of high...

Two columns in BusinessWorld on May 28 jointly defended Dutertenomics’ Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN). These are “Eight former Finance secretaries support TRAIN 2” by Romy Bernardo of FEF and “Coolly explaining inflation” by Men Sta. Ana of AER.

Positive and negative disruptions in the electricity market

Last week, May 22, a BusinessWorld report said “DoE forecast for peak power demand exceeded on May 17” referring to 10,688 MW peak demand...

Urban mobility index and the transport disruption

As incomes rise around the world, they tend to stay within cities, urban hubs, and rural areas on the cusp of urbanization. Congestion follows...

Disruption in global economic power

The past three decades showed major disruptions in global politics and economics. These include the fall of European socialism with the collapse of the...

Disruption, inflation, and taxation

“Disruptors tend to be successful in three ways: (1) They dramatically lower historic prices through new cost structures…” -- Accenture, “Disruption need not be an...

Commodities competition and the mining debate

Commodities competition as defined in this piece refers to companies that are producing certain commodities and are competing for investors. Thus, energy companies are...

Intellectual property, innovation, and prosperity

The BusinessWorld Economic Forum 2018 is fast approaching this coming May 18 and it has a timely theme, “Disruptor or Disrupted? The Philippines at...

Electricity competition, EPIRA, and WESM

Last Monday, I discussed business competition in general and the role of the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC). The theme will be continued in this piece...

Is the PCC a facilitator or a hindrance to business competition?

Even before the various competition bills in Congress ultimately became the Philippine Competition Act (PCA) of 2015 or RA 10667, I have been asking...

Consumer choice in electricity supply and prices

In several statistics comparing electricity prices in Asia, the Philippines often ranks as the third most expensive in Asia next to Japan, Singapore, or...

Fare control and surge cap are wrong

“The consumers force all those engaged in production to comply with their orders.... It makes competition work. He who best serves the consumers profits...

Intellectual property rights in East Asia

The degree of wealth and economic size of East Asian economies generally correlate with their degree of private property rights protection, both physical and...

Energy mix and wishful thinking

“You must be ready to give up even the most attractive ideas when experiment shows them to be wrong.” -- Alessandro Volta (1745-1827, Italian...

Mining attractiveness index and the Philippines

There are two similarities between the mining industry and Boracay. The first is that both have small contributions to GDP, and the second is that...

Expanded environmental rights and anti-coal drama

“Matter is energy ... Energy is light ... We are all light beings.” -- Albert Einstein Several recent events in the Philippines energy sector which when...

The Habito carbon tax distortion

Very often, the purpose of government is to make cheap things become more expensive. It does this via high and multiple taxes, regulatory fees,...