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Is the Philippine economy ‘backward’?

We are not a “backward” economy. It’s just that economies capable of producing sophisticated manufactures necessarily require economies that must specialize in raw material or labor exports. That’s global capitalism for you.  Ours is a developed capitalist economy to the extent that the capitalist economic system that grips the world today is already fully mature,...

World Economic Forum

Will World Economic Forum folks believe Bongbong?

Before leaving for the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said he will “highlight the significant economic gains we have achieved in the last part of the year.” He is the only leader eager to attend from Southeast Asia.  The WEF was set up in 1971 as a global multistakeholder...


In 2022, crisis in incomes and jobs pummeled labor sector

Despite the economy’s recovery from the recession induced by the pandemic, workers faced a worsening crisis in incomes and jobs in 2022. Thus, while businesses were slowly recuperating, formal and informal workers continued bleeding from wage and income erosion, job losses, and a fall in employment quality. Inflation climbed steadily for the whole year, from...


Tax the rich: 9 reasons for a wealth tax

Rising inequality has been an inescapable phenomenon of global economic development over the past 200 years. Per the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, growing inequality affects 70% of the global population and threatens “long-term social and economic development, [harming] poverty reduction and [destroying] people’s sense of fulfillment and self-worth,” all of which “can breed crime,...


Martial law and the urgency of remembering

In the morning of Sept. 23, 1972 (Philippines), Edel shook me awake, his face looming above mine and his voice murmuring my name while I got my bearings. The radio’s dead, he said finally. I lurched out of bed, confirming in his eyes what we sensed the night before, when a colleague abruptly left a...


The dubious legacy of the Marcos debt

As the nation marks the 50th year of the declaration of martial law on Sept. 21, 1972, it is relevant to recall how that chapter in Philippine history has affected the country and its people.  Three months after the ouster of the Marcos regime in February 1986, a group of 16 economists from the University...


Impunity may become institutionalized gov’t policy

In seeking to quash the inquiry of the International Criminal Court (ICC) into the Philippines’ “war on drugs,” President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. may be institutionalizing impunity for the systematic mass violence under his predecessor.  “Impunity” occurs if perpetrators of human rights violations and other crimes are able to avoid any procedure that can lead to...


Why agree to compromise on award-winning pork barrel series?

Late in 2014, GMA/dzBB broadcaster Melo del Prado filed a libel case against five Philippine Daily Inquirer journalists—myself as then managing editor, then news editor Artemio T. Engracia Jr., then associate editor Abel S. Ulanday, and then reporters Nancy C. Carvajal and Christine O. Avendaño. In his lawsuit, Del Prado tagged three “libelous” Inquirer stories...