MILWIDA M. GUEVARA
FROM BOTH SIDES NOW: You are never too old for children's books
March 10, 2021
Our local chief executives must feel harassed or embarrassed when I call them to take the stage and read a children's story book in front of a large audience. They may have felt that story books are for children. But since I give them no other option, they dutifully comply. Mayor Rex read I love You Night and Day by Smriti Prasadam-Halls like he was reading an Executive Order. But he stopped when the teachers chorused and reminded him to read the story "with feelings". It must have been difficult for a Mayor who thinks Valentine's day was created by Hallmark and other firms to boost their sales. He may not be aware of it, but reading children’s books makes us confront good and wonderful feelings. Every leader can benefit from remembering and re-living what is true, pure and good.
Read more: https://mb.com.ph/2021/03/10/you-are-never-too-old-for-childrens-books/
CIELITO F. HABITO
NO FREE LUNCH: Great man, great ideas
March 09, 2021
Painting a sobering picture of the sad state of Philippine agriculture today, Dr. Emil Quinto Javier went on to hold UPLB responsible for the sorry state of this sector that has been host to most of the Filipino poor. My immediate mental reaction was to dispute liability on the part of UPLB, believing that UPLB had in fact not been listened to enough by the politicians and some less-than-honest officials who have managed our farm and fisheries sector over decades of lackluster performance. I had come to my own conclusion long ago that the problem with our agriculture lies not in lack of capability to make it thrive through using the right knowledge and practice, but rather, in various persons and institutions who have pushed the sector in wrong directions. How else could we have ended up trailing far behind our neighbors whose pioneer agricultural scientists trained and studied with us at UPLB?
Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/138334/great-man-great-ideas
FROM BOTH SIDES NOW: Management by Committees and Task Forces
March 03, 2021
There are standing jokes about the creation of committees and task forces to solve a problem. I can recall three:
"If you want to kill an idea, create a committee to work on it." By Charles Kettering
"I hate being placed in committees. They are always having meetings at which half are absent and the rest late." By Oliver Wendell Holmes
"If Moses had operated through committees, the Israelites would not have got across the Red Sea." By William Booth
Read more: https://mb.com.ph/2021/03/03/management-by-committees-and-task-forces/
NO FREE LUNCH: An agenda for agri co-ops
March 02, 2021
Why has our record on farmer cooperatives been so spotty over the years, while countries around us that we mentored on agricultural co-ops made them such an important force for achieving agricultural dynamism? If we were their former mentors, we must have been good at it once.
Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/138132/an-agenda-for-agri-co-ops
FROM BOTH SIDES NOW: Coping with COVID-19
February 24, 2021
It was the first time in eleven months that I wore a formal Filipina dress for the TOYM function. It took me time to find a "tapis" that matched my "patadyong" (Filipina skirt). I couldn’t even remember if I had matching shoes to wear, and was totally surprised to find a pair. All my wristwatches were not working and have run out of batteries. I felt a tinge of sadness when I saw a stack of my pashminas. I had a collection of all colors which I used in my trips to the countryside. I could barely remember the last one we took before that fateful day in March. One of these days, I should dispose many of my dresses and live with less.
Read more: https://mb.com.ph/2021/02/24/coping-with-covid-19-2/
NO FREE LUNCH: Do 4Ps recipients get lazy?
February 23, 2021
The latest of three evaluations done on our 4Ps since it began is summed up in two Philippine Institute for Development Studies papers by Aniceto Orbeta, Kris Ann Melad, and Nina Victoria Araos. Beneficiaries disputed the characterization that they have become dependent on the cash grants. Aware that the grants are meant mainly for the education and health expenses of their children, "they posit that the grant amount is not enough… as their sole source of income and they still need to work to fulfill all the needs of their household." With a monthly grant of P500 for health and nutrition and P300 per schoo-aged child, it's inconceivable-and indeed an insult-to expect beneficiary parents to see this as enough to lead them to stop working.
Banerjee et al. also asserted that no evidence exists that CCTs induce more spending on "temptation goods" like alcohol and tobacco. They conclude: "The available evidence implies that cash transfer programs do not induce the 'bad' behaviors often attributed to the poor…"
My take? I think the poor deserve more respect than what they seem to be getting from the rest of us.
Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/137961/do-4ps-recipients-get-lazy
LUISITO G. MONTALBO
Two tracks of the Bangsamoro peace process
February 20, 2021
It is important to clarify the connection between the two tracks to ensure that the extension, if approved, will be for the right reason-that is, to complete the Political Track.
The Bangsamoro peace process requires the completion of the two tracks, signifying that both the Philippine government and the MILF have stayed true to their commitments to each other and to the country for a final political settlement to the decades-long armed struggle in Muslim Mindanao.
Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/137883/two-tracks-of-the-bangsamoro-peace-process
FROM BOTH SIDES NOW: Happy birthday Senator JPE
February 17, 2021
The then Senate President Edgardo Angara invited me to head the newly created Senate Tax and Research Office. But there was a big problem. The Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile did not want me. "She comes from the Department of Finance and has a lot of baggage." And so I lost the position and stayed with the Department of Finance. But the problem remained. How could I establish rapport with the Senator?
Read more: https://mb.com.ph/2021/02/17/happy-birthday-senator-jpe/
EDILBERTO C. DE JESUS
[OPINION] Public opinion polls: Trust and approval
February 16, 2021
Where do respondents get their information? What and who influences their views? How do they form their opinions? These questions are not new. But the environment in which we must now try to answer them has radically changed. We now live in an age of Facebook and social media, automated algorithms and troll armies and disinformation campaigns, a world where it has become common for partisan groups to offer not just alternative views but alternative facts.
Read more: https://www.rappler.com/voices/thought-leaders/opinion-public-polls-trust-approval
NO FREE LUNCH: Technology: Friend or foe?
Artificial intelligence, big data, and data analytics now make possible products like IBM's Watson, described as being able to diagnose cancer better than the best doctors, and provide legal advice faster and better than the best lawyers can. Even the fictional Tricorder in the 1960s futuristic TV series "Star Trek," a handheld device that could diagnose and prescribe cures for various ailments, is now close to a reality, after a technology company mounted a global competition to develop such gadget. With the onset of the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution (aka Industry 4.0), it has been estimated that about one-fifth (likely an underestimate) of all jobs today, spanning blue and white collar jobs alike, would be lost to the rapid advance of technology. COVID-19 may have been a major disruption to all of us, but Industry 4.0 could well be a more serious long-term disruption that calls for serious planning now.
Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/137772/technology-friend-or-foe