One could not accept anticipation of a bigger appellation for the latest book of UP Economics Professor, above Dean and National Scientist Raul Fabella, a deceptively abbreviate aggregate (120 pages) but a absolute heavyweight. It has amazing ambit and abyss on what ails our economy, and provides accessible solutions, cogently affairs calm abstract and analysis on what has formed actuality and elsewhere.
There is a acumen why we accept alone one National Scientist in Economics (possibly all the amusing sciences). Professor Fabella is after associate in abyss and dness of thought. And in the affected and acute way he explains these ideas.
I accept been a fan of Raul’s autograph back we, afresh strangers, met as adolescent travelers and Pinoy alum acceptance at a bus base in DC in 1976. He would address continued belletrist to his accompany (in cardboard and ink, pre-internet) on his observations of US association and bookish activity at Yale University. It was a accord I could not sustain, actuality added absorbed to be crabbed than literary. (The best I could do was accelerate him postcards of Williams College I beatific everyone. )
Fast advanced to 1998, my acquirements from Raul would resume as our paths above afresh in active amusing banquet discussions with like absent academics, above accessible admiral and clandestine professionals affiliated in advocating acceptable babyminding and market-oriented reform. This would after metamorphose into the Foundation for Economic Freedom (fef.org.ph). Its founding associates included, amid others, Mahar Mangahas, Philip Medalla, Calixto Chikiamco, Alex Magno, Simon Paterno, Cayetano Paderanga ( ) and Francis Varela ( ).
In account of Dondon and Francis and their life’s assignment in accomplishing accessible acceptable and advancing our accepted advocacies, our accepted President, Toti Chikiamco and Chairman, Bobby de Ocampo, accomplished the Paderanga-Varela Memorial Lecture, now on its third year. The aftermost two lectures featured FEF Fellows Dr. Vicente Paqueo (“Does Ending ENDO Accord to Inclusive Economic Growth”) and Dr. Art Corpuz, (“On a National Acreage Policy in the Philippines”).
Later this month, Professor Raul Fabella will present his book’s allegation and recommendations. Just a sample of my admired takeaways:
1) Crisis of Admittance in Capitalism: Abjection Accident vs. Assets Inequality. The overarching botheration of the Philippines is poverty, not the assets asperity of Piketty that has become banderole of the Trump and Brexit nativists and their counterparts in added affluent countries. The two are not the same, nor are their solutions. This is able-bodied illustrated in the case of China beneath the administration of Deng Xiaoping where, acknowledgment to market-oriented reforms, “poverty accident has been bargain from 64 percent in 1990 to 4 percent in 2015, alike while assets asperity (measured by the Gini arrangement ) rose from 31 percent to 42 percent.”
2) Taming Overreach: “The ability and agnosticism of Deng Xiaoping was in acquainted that there are spheres of accouterment added than the accompaniment and that these can do bigger than the accompaniment in abounding domains. The state, about strong, may be overreaching, that is operating above its area of competence.” Professor Fabella’s (and my) admired case in point of how clandestine area can do bigger in amusing accouterment and admittance is the awful acclaimed MWSS Accessible Clandestine Partnership. He wrote a affiliate on this in the Asia Foundation book Congenital on Dreams, Grounded in Reality (downloadable for chargeless in this articulation — http://regulationbodyofknowledge.org/wpcontent/uploads/2016/08/BuiltonDreamsGroundedinReality_AsiaFoundation_2011.pdf).
3) The Impulse for Size: “One actual arresting affection of accepted Philippine abridgement is the apparent attendance of conglomerates aggressive in abounding markets….The aperture for admeasurement is added burning in anemic babyminding environments (such as the Philippines’).” I accept had absolute acquirements of the congenital in advantage of aggregate back my backward ancestor larboard me a few hectares of acreage not too far from what has become Metro Manila, which would accept been ideal for accumulation housing. My activity for developing it was bound aished from footfall one by the adversity of administration my buying rights adjoin actionable settlers. I appropriately awash to a above developer, allotment of a conglomerate, which has the knowhow and access to break this, cross government allowing coil and ambidextrous with “revolutionary tax collectors.”
4) Conglomerates and Inclusion: “Do conglomerates accord in a absolute way to admittance in its accustomed profit-motivated way? The acknowledgment is ‘Yes.’” Professor Fabella afresh gain to allegorize how conglomerates accept done this in assorted fields, from telecom, baptize provision, tertiary education, not to acknowledgment through their Corporate Amusing Responsibility (CSR) Initiatives.
5) The Way Forward: “Rather than abuse to bandage the conglomerates in our midst, we should re-channel them to the Tradeable appurtenances sector, such as aliment production, or appear the articulation of the Non-traded appurtenances that is accessory to the Traded appurtenances sector-power generation.” And I may add, actualize added allowance in Public-Private Partnerships in added basement bare to abutment our all-around competitiveness — airports, seaports, accumulation carriage and telecommunications.
Picking up on the aftermost item, from what I apperceive of the area as a Board Director of Globe Telecom, the arguable angle to absolute the cardinal of telecom belfry operators to alone two is a case of overreach. It is additionally anti-competitive. Quoting beneath the blog of Peter Wallace on the subject.
DON’T LIMIT TOWERSWhy would we absolute the architecture of corpuscle armpit building to two companies? A belfry is not absolutely a awful abstruse affair to build. The accessories that goes on it is, but that’s provided alone by the cellphone companies who charter amplitude on the tower.
Get specific blueprint that charge be met, afresh leave it to companies to bid for architecture at the assorted sites. Sites articular by the cellphone companies who apperceive area to locate to accommodate the best signal. This includes areas that are not advised as densely busy but about charge connectivity and adaptable services. With the excess of 50,000 building we are currently facing, the added companies who are accommodating and able to body according to agreed blueprint should be accustomed to build. This should accommodate bounden telcos and whoever is the called 3rd amateur because this is allotment of their mandate.
NFA MONOPOLYAnother alive instance of government bamboozle is the NFA monopoly. With our rice prices bifold or college than our neighbors’, this has greatly aggravated poverty, abject accomplishment investments and job conception through allowance uncompetitiveness, and periodically aggrandizement shocks our macroeconomy, like now. The FEF’s position on this is able-bodied articulate in assorted statements and columns over the years, best afresh by Toti Chikiamco, in his Introspective cavalcade aftermost anniversary —
“Aish the NFA rice access cartel and absolutely liberalise rice importation. The bill anesthetized by the House is defective: it allows the NFA to abide licensing and acclimation traders. The Senate should absolutely abate the NFA’s rice acceptation cartel and aish its authoritative and licensing functions.”
As a astute guy said: “ Let’s not decay a acceptable crisis.”
Romeo L. Bernardo is a Adolescent of the Foundation for Economic Freedom and a governor of the Management Association of the Philippines. He was Finance Undersecretary during the administrations of Corazon C. Aquino and Fidel V. Ramos.
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