EDILBERTO C. DE JESUS
Launching the ARK
May 09, 2020
Business leaders have stepped up in their individual and corporate capacity in the campaign against COVID-19. They responded quickly to cushion the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) impact on their employees, including contractuals compensated on a no-work-no-pay basis, suppliers, and customers. Acutely sensitive to business and economic signals, they recognized the resumption of "normal" life as urgent and began dealing more directly with the pandemic.
Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/129634/launching-the-ark
CIELITO F. HABITO
Shaping the new normal
May 08, 2020
"New normal" is a phrase we're constantly hearing these days, it's beginning to sound like a cliche.
But it reflects how everyone is expecting lasting changes in various facets of our daily lives in the aftermath of the worldwide contagion-induced lockdown none of us has seen happen before.
Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/129607/shaping-the-new-normal
Worst time for red tape
May 05, 2020
My daughter told me that her American in-laws received their government's COVID-19 cash assistance in their US bank accounts without doing anything. Her husband, who has been working and living here with her, received a check mailed to his permanent US address, as he did not register a bank account with the US Social Security System. The Philippines is not America, of course, but suffering Filipinos who are made to go through various hurdles to apply for (with no guarantee of receiving) whatever cash assistance government will give them, would be even more agitated to know this.
Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/129505/worst-time-for-red-tape
CESAR V. PURISIMA
A promise to keep dreaming better
May 02, 2020
Former secretary of tourism Ramon "Mon" Jimenez Jr. was a titan of the Philippine advertising industry, a highly esteemed and successful Cabinet secretary, and a great friend and colleague to many. Above all, he was a loving and faithful husband to Abby whom he now joins in heaven, and a doting father to his daughters Nina and Sassa, as well as to his dogs.
I first met Mon at Better Dog, a behavioral school for dogs. Mon was an absolute joy to be around; he had a way with people (and dogs) that showed how a heart could be filled with so much love for others.
Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/129417/a-promise-to-keep-dreaming-better
Is ECQ worth it?
May 01, 2020
Patience is beginning to wear thin, I'm sure, for most of us in areas where enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is further extended to May 15.
As the economic costs of ECQ promise to add up to astronomical levels on an economy-wide basis as days and weeks pass, one might ask if the benefits of the virtual lockdown have justified the costs.
Intrigued by this question, Dr. Antong Victorio, a long-time economist friend from Davao who established his professional career in the New Zealand academe, recently reached out to me. What benefits does the ECQ bring?
Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/129394/is-ecq-worth-it
[ANALYSIS] Going back to school - and the challenges ahead
After the premature end of school year 2019-20, schools wanted a June start for the incoming school year. UP's Institute of Resilience recommended December 2020. The Commission on Higher Education decided it would be September for face-to-face classes and August for those with "flexible" systems.
The decision, focused on health risks, has serious financial consequences. COCOPEA (Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations), representing about 2,500 institutions, estimates revenue losses at P55 billion by August and P142 billion by December. These are staggering figures, considering that a survey of the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities (PACU) reporting that only about 20% of its members can meet their payroll costs beyond mid-May probably reflects the state of the sector.
Read more: https://www.rappler.com/thought-leaders/259511-analysis-going-back-to-school-challenges-coronavirus
PH education and the new normal
April 28, 2020
If last year's enrollment figures are to be a basis, the Philippine education system will be expecting around 27 million students to enroll in the Basic Education System in the coming school year. With the early closure of the school year in March, the enhanced community quarantine in effect, and the still unclear future that the COVID-19 pandemic will bring, the Department of Education (DepEd) and our millions of learners are facing enormous challenges.
Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/129286/ph-education-and-the-new-normal
Giveaway oil, giveaway loans?
Something strange happened last week. For the first time in history, crude oil actually traded at nearly -$40 per barrel. Yes, negative $40! That means that oil sellers actually paid someone to take a barrel (about 42 gallons, or 159 liters) of crude oil off their hands. And did you know that some central banks had already adopted a negative interest rate policy, meaning, you'd have to pay your bank to hold your deposits, rather than earn interest from the money you effectively lent them? With the world seeing negative oil prices and negative interest rates, we must be in rather unusual times - and indeed we are.
Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/129296/giveaway-oil-giveaway-loans
LUV after COVID-19
April 24, 2020
Can the Philippine economy rebound quickly after we get over the COVID-19 pandemic, and achieve a V-shaped recovery (meaning, a quick bounce back to where we were before, or better)? Or will the scenario moving forward look more like a U curve, dwelling at or near the bottom for a while before economic activity picks up again? Or could it even look like an L, dwelling at or near the bottom indefinitely, implying no significant recovery and restoration in the foreseeable future?
Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/129181/luv-after-covid-19
ECQ vs economy
April 21, 2020
It has been said that containment policies like the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) now on its sixth week "flatten the medical curve, but steepen the recession curve." The implication is that there is a direct tradeoff between safeguarding public health and saving lives on one hand, and maintaining economic stability and protecting people's economic well-being on the other. That is, the more we try to save lives from the pandemic, the deeper we are driving the economy down to ruin - and some argue that the cost to human lives could be worse.Economies have indeed been brought to a virtual standstill as most economic activities have been suspended, except for essential goods and services, and people are confined to their homes, allowed only a minimum of movement. The International Monetary Fund swung from an upbeat global economic growth forecast of 3.3 percent in January, down to a dramatically scaled down 0.6 percent, and now to a rather grim -3 percent - all in a matter of weeks, and with a caveat that this may still be too optimistic.
Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/129080/ecq-vs-economy