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By: Fernando T. Aldaba, PhD
In its recent release of hunger statistics for the second quarter of 2014, Social Weather Stations found that an estimated 3.6 million families, or 16.3 percent, experienced involuntary hunger at least once in the past three months, while 3 million families (13.5 percent of the total) experienced moderate hunger and 609,000 families (2.8 percent)


By: Cielito F. Habito, PhD
“CSW” was an acronym all too familiar to those of us who worked in the Cabinet of President Fidel V. Ramos in the 1990s. We would see it in red letters written in his own hand with his trademark red Flair pen, on the margins of documents he would send back to his officials to signify the need for more work on the matter at hand. “Completed Staff Work”


By: Cielito F. Habito, PhD
“It is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong,” wrote 18th-century British philosopher Jeremy Bentham. With further elaboration by John Stuart Mill, Bentham’s principle later turned into the goal of seeking the greatest total happiness (greatest good), period. That became known as Utilitarianism, a theory in


By: Leonardo A. Lanzona, Jr., PhD
One of the key events affecting the Philippines today is the formation of the Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Economic Community (AEC) by 2015. The goal of the AEC is regional economic integration, which envisages the following key characteristics: 1) a single market and production base; 2) a highly competitive economic region; 3)


By: Cielito F. Habito, PhD
As the Fair Competition Act gains ground in the 16th Congress, forces that have traditionally been resisting this game-changing economic measure for well over two decades appear to be training their guns on it again, in and out of Congress. Arguments being raised against it appear to be either based on a flawed grasp of what the proposed law seeks to do


By: Fernando T. Aldaba, PhD

According to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) reached an all time high of US$ 25.35 billion in 2013.  As of July 2014, these were already tallied at around US$ 15 billion and could reach US$27 billion at yearend.  Many economists agree that these large transfers which already surpassed Official Development


By: Cielito F. Habito, PhD
You’re probably familiar with the 80-20 rule, which says that 80 percent of outcomes can be attributed to (the top) 20 percent of the players. In the Philippine enterprise sector, the interesting numbers are not 80-20 but 68-0.4. That is, 68 percent of our economy’s total output can be attributed just to the largest 0.4 percent of Philippine enterprises


By: Alvin P. Ang, PhD

Recent headlines of rising criminality and the involvement of the police bring forth the question of how the Philippines has actually improved its institutions? Has this coincided with the improvements in the economy? Up to what extent has the reform agenda permeated basic public security?  These are critical questions that need to be clarified to cement the


By: Cielito F. Habito, PhD
In 2000-2011, we attracted an average of $1.1 billion in net foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows per year, a pittance against Singapore’s $14.8 billion, Thailand’s $4.5 billion, Vietnam’s $3.9 billion, and Indonesia’s $2.3 billion. But last year, our net FDI inflows already amounted to $3.9 billion, nearly four times the earlier average annual


By: Leonardo A. Lanzona, Jr., PhD
Recent data from the government indicate that about 1.7 million jobs were created between April 2013 and April 2014.  This is more than twice the average of the past four years. Since last year, the number of jobs has increased by 4.5 percent.  As a result, the unemployment rate has dropped significantly from 7.6 percent a year ago to 7 percent