Payola, Efficiency and Electricity Industry Reform

The legislation to privatize the National Power Corporation (Napocor)
along with the more sensational pay-by other earth-shaking news:
full-blown war in Mindanao, the kidnapping of Filipinos and foreigners,
the spate of urban bombings, etc. All these events have undermined
confidence in the Philippine economy. The Napocor controversy remains a
critical issue; a derailing of the electricity industry reform will be
interpreted as another blow to business confidence. In this light, the
Senate deliberation is very crucial.

Rebuilding Society, Rebuilding the Economy

The tasks facing the post-Estrada Administration are awesome. It will
be presiding over a devastated economy – deserted stock market,
debased currency, weakened domestic sector, cash-short treasury and a public sector debt almost equal to the gross domestic product. To get the economy going, it has to fast track the repair and renovation of collapsing infrastructures while building new ones. But more importantly, it has to create jobs for over three million unemployed and in the long term, decent and regular jobs for over seven million underemployed.

Cronyism Wins Over Reforms in Espiritu’s Exit

Finance Secretary Edgardo Espiritu’s decision to resign from his plum
cabinet post is a just position and a courageous action. When so-called
peers undermine his authority and when the President condones cabal
schemes to oust him, the honorable option then is to resign. The
conspiracy to remove Espiritu is a repeat of the tragedy that befell
Karina David, something that is becoming a regular occurrence in the
Estrada Cabinet.

Why We Are Joining the August 20 Rally

Action for Economic Reforms, a nongovernmental policy advocacy group, will join the August 20 rally. Some influential people-ironically, from those expected to support the rally-have expressed some reservation about joining the August 20 demonstration. Their complaint is that the rally lacks focus because it raises several issues rather than only one major issue. We beg to disagree.

Heed the Economic Reformers

We have to stress that increasing interest rates at this time when the economy remains fragile will only dampen the momentum towards full recovery. An increase in interest rate is very untimely. Investments have yet to pick up even as inflation is declining. Similarly, an abandonment of the low interest-rate policy will cancel out the hard-earned gains resulting from the DOF drive to bring down interest rates.

Regulating Short-Term Capital Flows

This July marks the second year "anniversary" of the Thai baht devaluation – the one that started the Asian currency crisis. In its aftermath, quite a number of realizations are now evident. This paper seeks to present further analyses and lessons as well as pose some policy proposals.