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EDILBERTO C. DE JESUS

Business Matters: Crisis response

February 15, 2020

On Dec. 31, 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) noted in China a new, SARS-like virus, later labeled COVID-19. By the week of Jan. 20, 2020, Philippine media began covering the contagion that had already spread from Hubei beyond China's borders. Netizens called for quick action, including a ban on tourists from China, arriving since January at around 4,800 a day and promising to exceed the 1.6 million visitors in 2019. The WHO warning on Jan. 26 of a high-risk global epidemic reinforced public alarm.

Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/127382/crisis-response#ixzz6JpC9PSXA


CIELITO F. HABITO

No Free Lunch: The wisdom in GNH

February 14, 2020

Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross National Product," declared King Jigme Singye Wangchuck of Bhutan in 1972, when he first coined the phrase. The ultimate purpose of government, he proclaimed, is to promote the people's happiness, which must take precedence over economic prosperity. He and the people of Bhutan believed in a proper balance between materialism and spirituality, and in their culture, inner spiritual development counts as much as external material development. The problem with GNP is that it is focused entirely on the latter, thus is highly inadequate as a policy goal. Some 15 years ago, I was privileged to be with a small group granted an audience with then King Jigme Singye in picturesque Thimphu, capital of the Royal Kingdom of Bhutan, a tiny country nestled high in the Himalayas between China's Tibet province and India. The meeting unexpectedly got rather extended and was very rich and substantive, with us hearing firsthand about this novel concept of GNH from the very mouth of its original proponent. The economists among us acknowledged that most socioeconomic indicators merely measure means, and not ends. GNP and GDP do not and should not be taken as indicators of well-being, as these merely measure the level of economic production of goods and services and the associated income generated. But increased income does not directly imply increased happiness or improved well-being.

Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/127348/the-wisdom-in-gnh#ixzz6JpJprHmQ


CIELITO F. HABITO

No Free Lunch: Sustaining steam

February 11, 2020

As we look to the year ahead, our main challenge on the economic front is to regain the momentum our economy had begun to build after 2012, a momentum that appears to have slowly dissipated in the last three years. We've seen this shift in momentum in terms of my usual PiTiK test of presyo, trabaho and kita-price stability, job generation, and incomes.

Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/127292/sustaining-steam#ixzz6JpJbyJi5


SAMIRA GUTOC

A Girl from Marawi: 4Ps, People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace

February 09, 2020

Racial discrimination should be fought against. This is the advocacy of Muslim communities who have suffered more intense profiling post 9-11. Now sadly it is the Chinese who are suffering the brunt with the NCov scare.

Read more: https://thephilbiznews.com/2020/02/09/a-girl-from-marawi-4ps-people-planet-prosperity-peace/


CIELITO F. HABITO

No Free Lunch: The bigger virus damage

February 07, 2020

From what we're seeing, the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) could well hit the global economy far more severely than global public health itself. As of this writing, deaths directly attributed to the disease have been tallied at 493, all but two of them in China (the Philippines and Hong Kong have one each), out of 24,643 confirmed cases now in 28 countries. But less than 1 percent (243) of these are outside of China. Based on these numbers, the mortality rate is 2 percent. Critical cases number 3,223 (13 percent), while 1,039 (4.2 percent) have so far recovered.

Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/127210/the-bigger-virus-damage#ixzz6JpJRUa3I


CIELITO F. HABITO

No Free Lunch: Cloudy crystal balls

February 04, 2020

With the January 2020 update of its World Economic Outlook, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) officially downgraded its original global economic growth forecast for 2019 for the sixth time in as many quarters. From its original bullish forecast of 3.9 percent for 2019 global GDP growth issued in early 2018, IMF had lowered this to 3.7 percent by October 2018, to 3.5 percent by the start of last year, further down to 3.3 percent in April, 3.2 percent by July and 3.0 percent by October. Now they say it will be only 2.9 percent, a full percentage point below their original forecast - and the jury is still out. It won't be until April when the actual final figure based on complete 2019 data will come out. If it's any indication, the final growth figure for 2018 released in April 2019 ended up still lower than their last revised projection in January 2019.

Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/127125/cloudy-crystal-balls#ixzz6JpJEP8aZ


EDILBERTO C. DE JESUS

Business Matters: Wasting opportunities

February 01, 2020

Media reports and independent research, using government and police records, had earlier flagged many of the key issues raised in Vice President Leni Robredo's Icad (Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs) Report on the Drug War. They bear repeating. Still unsettled after three years, they explain why a task initially promised for completion in six months cannot be delivered, as President Duterte has admitted, even after six years.

Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/127066/wasting-opportunities#ixzz6JpBXpRFF


SAMIRA GUTOC

A Girl from Marawi: Anti-coronavirus effort in Mindanao

February 01, 2020

Public exposure is a way of life for me and so extra precautionary measures are necessary for this time of coronavirus threat. Airports and terminals among others must have more information education and communication (IEC) mechanisms ie billboards, infomercials.

Read more: https://thephilbiznews.com/2020/02/02/a-girl-from-marawi-anti-coronavirus-effort-in-mindanao/


CIELITO F. HABITO

No Free Lunch: Marcoeconomic Policy 101

January 31, 2020

Should government keep its hands off the economy and leave economic players and the markets alone, as conservatives (notably Republicans in the United States) tend to uphold? This traditional laissez-faire philosophy, from that French phrase that means "leave alone," argues that economies and businesses function best with no government intervention.

Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/127044/macroeconomic-policy-101#ixzz6JpIdIEck


RONALD U. MENDOZA AND TRISTAN CANARE

Herd Behavior and Approval Bubbles: A Closer Look at Duterte's Popularity

January 29, 2020

According to data released in January 2020, the Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte received a record-high satisfaction rating in the fourth quarter of 2019 - an "excellent" net satisfaction rating of +7, much higher than his +65 rating in September 2019, and eclipsing his previous high of +68 recorded in the second quarter of 2019. The survey results immediately generated much punditry on what this means for government policy - divisive and controversial as some of these policies may be. And yet, based on our empirical examination of potential drivers of net presidential satisfaction, we found very little correlation between economic policy outcomes and presidential approval, despite economic outcomes like inflation and wages topping the concerns of citizens consistently across different surveys.

Read more: https://thediplomat.com/2020/01/herd-behavior-and-approval-bubbles-a-closer-look-at-dutertes-popular