Member's Corner


RONALD U. MENDOZA, KENNETH HARTIGAN-GO AND MADELAIN ONG

Emergency Financing to Prevent the Collapse of the Healthcare Sector due to COVID-19: Is there a Case for a Health Sector Bailout?

March 27, 2020

This note briefly reviews the emerging evidence as well as develops the case for a possible health sector bailout that: a) benefits public and private hospitals already badly hit by the COVID-19 health crisis; and b) supports private hospitals "repurposed" to join the frontlines against COVID-19. The general argument is akin to a financial sector bailout for private banks during a financial crisis-these institutions cannot be allowed to fail given their broad positive externalities supporting the economy and society. A similar argument is possible for bailing out private hospitals to support their continued operations and provide access to universal healthcare as a national public good.

Read more: https://poseidon01.ssrn.com/delivery.php?ID=17808500400212502601406911510901002406008206702006805009


CIELITO F. HABITO

No Free Lunch: Focused fiscal fix

March 24, 2020

Governments are now pursuing economic stimulus packages to meet the COVID-19 threat, as if preserving economic growth is paramount. But there's hardly any economic activity to stimulate under circumstances where "enhanced community quarantine" (a virtual lockdown) and suspension of nonessential activities are in place to prevent total catastrophe. The patient is sick, and the prior concern is survival and recovery, not growth. We in the Ateneo economics faculty have released a statement urging government to set aside its growth targets, and firms to do the same with this year's profit targets. It's not economic stimulus but an emergency fiscal response we need-a focused fiscal fix, I'd call it-to arrest the clear and present danger of twin disasters looming before us: a breakdown in public health, and breakdown of the social order.

Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/128287/focused-fiscal-fix#ixzz6JpNDNLrb


MANUEL M. DAYRIT AND RONALD U. MENDOZA

COVID-19: Countering the Economic Contagion

March 24, 2020

At the rate it is spreading across the world, COVID-19 has become a global nightmare. Since China informed the World Health Organization (WHO) of a cluster of 41 patients with mysterious pneumonia on December 31, 2019, the world has seen COVID-19 cases balloon to 334,981 across 189 countries and territories, with 14,652 deaths, at the time of writing. In the Philippines, from the first case confirmed on January 30, 2020 (a 38-year-old Chinese national), COVID-19 cases have since shot up to 462 confirmed cases, with 33 deaths. Based on big data analysis, there is evidence of undertesting and under-reporting in the Philippines, raising concerns that undetected cases could number in the thousands. COVID-19 produces two waves of contagion. The first is a disease-based contagion that can swamp domestic healthcare and social protection systems, as well as cripple workers and factories through adverse health outcomes. The second type of contagion refers to the "chilling effect" of COVID-19 on both the economic demand and supply sides of a growing number of countries, notably those in "factory Asia." Adequate and coherent policy responses on both fronts will be necessary to prevent this health crisis from turning into an even bigger economic crisis.

Read more: https://thediplomat.com/2020/03/covid-19-countering-the-economic-contagion/


EDILBERTO C. DE JESUS

[OPINION] Conflicting instincts during the coronavirus

March 21, 2020

One expert dismisses travel bans as 'a complete and utter waste of time,' while another says that 'restricting movement does not help' Crafty and cruel, the coronavirus attacks people by exploiting intuitive human responses. How natural it is to visit loved ones who are sick and to greet them with a kiss, a hug, a touch. But contact spreads contamination; people must suppress this instinct to show love and concern through expected physical signs.

Read more: https://www.rappler.com/thought-leaders/255270-opinion-conflicting-instincts-coronavirus


CIELITO F. HABITO

No Free Lunch: A fragile world economy

March 20, 2020

Stock markets are plummeting, and the world economy is fast heading toward recession (translation: sustained decline in production and incomes). Is the fast-spreading COVID-19 mainly to blame? Pundits are saying no. Even before COVID-19 emerged, analysts already warned that the global economy and financial system were headed for another crisis similar to what we all saw in 2008. According to this view, COVID-19 has merely hastened it. One might ask: So what does it matter, when what's important is that economies are in a downspin and we need to find solutions fast? The answer, of course, is that we can only come up with the right solutions if we clearly understand the fundamental causes of our current economic troubles and these could lie well beyond the coronavirus we're all dreading now.

Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/128188/a-fragile-world-economy#ixzz6JpN2sFlH


RONALD U. MENDOZA AND MANUEL DAYRIT

Social Cohesion vs COVID-19

March 18, 2020

The control of particularly virulent communicable diseases such as COVID-19 can be considered a global public good. Its benefits are non-rival and non-excludable. Stopping or at least slowing the spread of COVID-19 could better protect the health and lives of literally billions of people across the world who could be vulnerable to infection. More effective control could also prevent severe social and economic disruption. Controlling the spread of communicable diseases within and across borders requires strong social cohesion, or a unity of purpose around this collective action challenge. This article elaborates on some of the main elements of counter-COVID-19 responses, drawing on emerging international good practice. While a full evaluation of policy effectiveness is still forthcoming, it is critical to review and synthesize the emerging lessons even this early. In reviewing the emerging evidence and good practice, this paper also emphasizes areas for policymakers to consider in their evolving crisis response.

Read more: https://poseidon01.ssrn.com/delivery.php?ID=16612108410108409601207511006401103103702003405201005002


CIELITO F. HABITO

No Free Lunch: Irrigation: We can do better

March 17, 2020

Did you know that funding for irrigation multiplied by more than five times between 2008 and 2018 (from P8 billion to P41.7 billion)? For 2018 alone, such appropriation accounted for over 40 percent of the total allocation for the agriculture sector, noted Drs. Arlene Inocencio and Roehlano Briones in a recent Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) Policy Note.

Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/128084/irrigation-we-can-do-better#ixzz6JpMnpFHf


SAMIRA GUTOC

Irrigation: We can do betterA Girl from Marawi: The Sisterhood of Health and Ecology

March 17, 2020

In these confusing times with calamity and emergency one after the other, I would like to raise the value of continuing research and information. Our current environment of "self-quarantine" should not delimit us from reading up on the state of our eco-system and resources.

Read more: https://thephilbiznews.com/2020/03/17/a-girl-from-marawi-the-sisterhood-of-health-and-ecology/


EDILBERTO C. DE JESUS

Business Matters: Public well-being for public security

March 14, 2020

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic, as it was sweeping across 100 countries in six continents, infecting more than 120,000 and killing over 4,300 people. With commendable speed, President Duterte, surrounded by Cabinet, civilian, and police/military officials, announced over television on March 12 the intent of an executive order to deal with COVID-19. Although unnecessarily detouring to praise Xi Jinping, implicitly shading other world leaders, Mr. Duterte pitched some important messages. He stressed the seriousness of the pandemic but cautioned against panic and urged the public to look at the government and the military as dedicated to its safety. He appeared more in command, compared to an earlier press conference and the alarming incoherence of a rambling discourse on the bubonic plague, the Spanish flu, and the Spanish Inquisition's attack on witches.

Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/128006/public-well-being-for-public-security#ixzz6JpCdhEah


CIELITO F. HABITO

No Free Lunch: More basic than cell phones

March 13, 2020

Nearly nine in every 10 Filipino families (87 percent) own a cellular phone, and yet only three in every four (74 percent) have their own sanitary toilet, Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data tell us. Among the poorest 30 percent of families alone, barely over half have their own sanitary toilet, even as nearly eight in every 10 own a cell phone. At this time when a public health emergency seriously threatens lives and livelihoods, we ought to be going back to the basics and worry about our people's access to basic sanitation.

Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/127989/more-basic-than-cell-phones#ixzz6JpMYD6AP