Oil Exchange: A “Cure” Worse than the “Illness”?

The price of petroleum products has risen sharply two years into the
Estrada administration. The price of petroleum products for motor
vehicles has increased by around 50 percent. Fuel oil, an important
source of power generation, has increased by more than 100 percent. LPG, a principal household commodity, has increased by 90 percent. And there is no end in sight. Just this week the new industry entrants have started raising their prices by around P1 per liter. The big firms are expected to follow suit next week by at least at much. These oil price hikes have enraged the public; transport groups held strikes. Going by media polls, the strikes enjoyed public support.

The Leaseback Mode of Agrarian Reform: Strengths, Weaknesses and Options

This policy paper is an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the leaseback agreement (LBA) as an agrarian reform (AR) modality based on a comparative study of the LBA experiences of worker-beneficiaries of Dole Philippines (DOLEFIL) in South Cotobato and Filipinas Palmoil Plantations, Inc. (FPPI), the Filipino-Malaysian corporation which has taken over the operations […]

Drawing Lessons To Put In Place Poverty-Sensitive Responses To Macro Shocks

Undoubtedly, a macroeconomic shock–resulting in an economic slowdown or worse, a recession–aggravates poverty which could lead to irreversible effects on capabilities of the poor. Based on lessons drawn from past crises, this paper attempts to develop a guide for policy-making that is sensitive and responsive to the welfare and interests of the poor. It describes […]

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.