CIELITO F. HABITO
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
EDILBERTO C. DE JESUS
[OPINION] The Midnight Show
April 18, 2020
After so many appearances, I have to ask: What is the purpose of the Midnight Show? What is it achieving? It is not a press conference, as the first one was originally billed; no independent media were present. Some analysts suggest that the program enables Executive compliance with the Bayanihan Act requirement for a weekly report on the exercise of emergency powers and its results. I wonder if the show meets the accountability reporting requirements of the law.
Read more: https://www.rappler.com/thought-leaders/258356-the-midnight-show-duterte
CIELITO F. HABITO
No Free Lunch: Winning without lockdown
April 17, 2020
South Korea took rapid, intrusive measures against COVID-19 and they worked," bannered British newspaper The Guardian last March 20.
In late February, South Korea was tagged the new epicenter for the coronavirus pandemic, with the number of daily new cases doubling in less than two days at a time when China's numbers had already been easing, and lockdowns there being relaxed. Yet within three weeks, the Koreans had the virus convincingly under control. The Ministry of Economy and Finance (MOEF), in a paper describing the Korean COVID-19 approach, declared: "So far, Korea is the only country with a population of over 50 million that has slowed the spread of the virus, and flattened the curve of new infections without shutting down the country nor the city at the epicenter of the outbreak..."
Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/128972/winning-without-lockdown#ixzz6JpOCtIyZ
No Free Lunch: Underused weapon
April 14, 2020
In interviews I've seen of officials from South Korea and Singapore on their handling of the COVID-19 crisis, I've been struck at the emphasis they gave to digital tools and apps as critical to how they managed the spread of the pandemic in their own countries. But from what I'm seeing, it looks like information and communication technology (ICT) and data science have been buried deep in the box of technology tools our government has so far deployed in the fight against COVID-19. Pharmacology and epidemiology are of course necessarily prominent, but as a potent weapon against the pandemic, ICT seems to have been relegated to the background.
Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/128875/underused-weapon#ixzz6JpO3NsZJ
[ANALYSIS] People's health or economy? It's a false choice
Protecting lives protects the economy. That said, the issue of saving the economy remains. Here are some recommendations.
Key Philippine government officials and business leaders decided on the side of prudence in declining to risk the premature lifting of the COVID-19 lockdown. They thus rejected the false choice pushed by some of their counterparts in the United States: save the lives of the people or the life of the economy.
Read more: https://www.rappler.com/thought-leaders/257699-analysis-people-health-or-economy-false-choice
[OPINION] Acting local against COVID-19
April 09, 2020
With a government that is not exceptionally wise, just, and benevolent, one nationally mandated decision can cause damage to all
Covid-19 casts a fresh light on the merits of unitary and federal governance systems.
In the federalized United States, party affiliations tend to shape the orientation towards national or state power. Republicans prefer to limit federal powers over the states and intrusion into their affairs. Although now controlling the most populous and wealthiest states, like California and New York, Democrats see a greater need for Big Government.
Read more: https://www.rappler.com/thought-leaders/257377-opinion-acting-local-against-covid-19
No Free Lunch: Who can work from home?
April 07, 2020
The enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) that has been in place in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon has forced people, except those in essential industries, either to work from home, if that's possible for what they do, or to stop work altogether. Those who can work from home are more fortunate, as their incomes would have only been partially curtailed at most. But those for whom the feasibility of working from home is nil, very difficult, or only minimally productive have lost the ability to earn most or all of their usual incomes. They are the ones to whom government must target social amelioration assistance.
Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/128687/who-can-work-from-home#ixzz6JpNu5wTI
No Free Lunch: Worst-hit
April 03, 2020
Dante, our plumber, and Dondon, our carpenter, who have been doing work for our household over the years, approached me separately last week, both on a desperate plea for help after weeks of idleness and absence of income due to the Luzon lockdown. They may not be the last to do so. I know there are great numbers of others like them now being pushed to the edge of desperation, for whom assistance from local governments on food and basic needs has been woefully inadequate, or even entirely absent. We're already seeing on TV news of local rallies by hungry residents turning violent. It seems that the specter of social unrest is becoming more real with each passing day. There are those who believe that these could be staged or instigated by "fear-mongers" out to embarrass the government, or for whatever other ulterior motive. Others suspect it could be the work of government operatives out to set the stage for imposition of much-dreaded martial rule. In this age of alternative truths and fake news, and especially under current circumstances, suspicions and conspiracy theories run high, and for the ordinary citizen, it's next to impossible to know what and who to believe anymore.
Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/128578/worst-hit#ixzz6JpNgvv2O
No Free Lunch: A new normal
March 31, 2020
Much like the aftermath of the so-called 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City in 2001, the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to lead to fundamental changes around the globe. Air travel changed worldwide after 9/11, and it seems everyone has already adapted to rigid airport security screenings as a fact of life.
Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/128473/a-new-normal#ixzz6JpNW5qcz