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3/21/17

By: Cielito F. Habito, PhD
 
Price increases have sped up again in the last two months. The latest report, giving the inflation rate for February, put the rate at 3.3 percent on an annualized basis. This is significantly higher than the 0.9 percent posted in the same month last year, and higher than the previous month’s 2.7 percent. Is it high enough for us to begin worrying?

3/17/17

By: Jerik Cruz
 
This few would question: the state of Metro Manila is now a national catastrophe. Only the annual costs of carmaggedon (P1,095, based on National Economic and Development Authority P3 billion-a-day estimates,) already surpass our yearly losses from natural disasters (P206 billion) more than five times over.
 
Yet, our traffic ordeals are just the most

3/17/17

By: Cielito F. Habito, PhD
 
All of us have evaded taxes. Some do it big time, others in ways that would hardly make a dent, at least individually. Some do it directly and knowingly, while most of us probably do it more indirectly and perhaps unknowingly.
 
I have always told my economics students that one does not have the moral authority to fault the government for

3/14/17

By: Cielito F. Habito, PhD
 
Does the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or Asean make a difference in the lives of Filipinos, and of citizens in the other nine member-states? Will our chairing and hosting of this 10-nation grouping this year, on its 50th founding anniversary, be of any real consequence to us? Or is it merely a frivolous exercise costing us valuable taxpayer

3/10/17

By: Ser Percival K. Pena-Reyes, M.A. and Justin Jerome G. Valle
 
On February 9 the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) hosted a seminar, entitled “Global Uncertainty: Regional Headwinds and the Philippine Economic Promise” given by Dr. Dan Steinbock, who noted that, with global economic integration at a standstill, the world economy is coping with diminished growth

3/10/17

By: Cielito F. Habito, PhD
 
Filipinos are actually law-abiding citizens in other countries or areas,” a reader once wrote me, in reaction to a piece I wrote on Metro Manila’s chaotic road traffic. “In Puerto Princesa, Clark and Subic, everyone follows the law. If we go outside the country, we observe that OFWs follow the law. But when they come back, they follow the old law—(law)

3/07/17

By: Cielito F. Habito, PhD
 
Annie is a fortysomething mother with a free spirit. Separated from her husband of 24 years, her two grown children have chosen to seek their own independent lives. She is a horticulturist by training, a landscape designer by profession, but a social worker by her chosen vocation. A frail woman with an adept brain and a kind and patient heart, she is

3/03/17

By: Joselito T. Sescon, M.D.E.
 
Technological anxiety has been with us since the first modern industries appeared. The angst toward new technologies is mainly about the fear of widespread substitution and displacement of human labor by machines. Historical experiences in early industrialization have shown that new technologies used in production initially had disruptive effects to

3/03/17

By: Cielito F. Habito, PhD
 
I ended my last column on a seemingly pessimistic note with the rhetorical question “Is there hope for the Philippines?” I did not mean to imply, much less conclude, that there isn’t. Indeed, if there’s one thing that we Filipinos can collectively take pride in, it is our people’s undying hope, even in the face of misfortunes, that things will get

2/28/17

By: Cielito F. Habito, PhD
 
“What is happening to our country?” “Is there hope for the Philippines?”
 
I am again hearing these questions crop up increasingly in casual conversations. The first was famously attributed to the late former vice president Emmanuel Pelaez when he survived an ambush in July 1982—a period marked by spreading dissent against the excesses of

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