Climate Change on the Hot Seat

berse 1The COMELEC has made the right call in recognizing climate change as a legitimate election issue. Alongside corruption, healthcare and education, climate change adaptation and disaster preparedness are set to be tackled in the Visayas leg of the presidential debate to be held in UP Cebu on March 20.

The country is no stranger to climate-related disasters. In the past 24 years (1990-2014), four-fifths of the disasters that hit us were storms and floods. Storms alone accounted for almost 80 percent of both our disaster mortality and economic losses.

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UP: Education is indispensable for economic development

CIDS Summary V.2 final
Education is indispensable for economic development. While this is widely acknowledged, studies have also shown the importance of research and development (R&D) in achieving growth in this age of globalization driven by scientific and technological advancement. Hence, the country’s human or knowledge capital can now be considered as the key for technological innovation to achieve and sustain inclusive growth that reduces inequality and poverty.

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Local government and the national elections

A shelf full of spools of colorful thread in a garments factory in Taytay, Rizal. Taytay received last year one of the Gawad Galing Pook, an award for excellent local government units, for institutionalizing its local garments industry. Photo from

For many Filipinos, the only concrete experience of government is local government.

And properly so. The local government units―provinces, cities or municipalities, and barangays―are mandated to be at the forefront of providing basic services to people, from health to agriculture to education to social welfare.

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Inequality, debt and tax injustice

Talk Inequality2B 800x433A slum in Baseco, Tondo in Manila, with high rises in the background. EDWIN BACASMAS (Philippine Daily Inquirer photo)

One of the most cynical projections on how the Philippine economy will fare in 2016 was made by a Bank of the Philippines economist who predicted that the country would grow by 6.2 percent “on the back of election spending,” particularly in the first half of the year.

This view was echoed by the Department of Finance, analysts at Standard Chartered Bank, Sun Life of Canada Philippines and business leaders with the added calculation that election spending will add 1 percent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

What is dumbfounding about this shared prediction by mainstream economists and business persons is that what to common sense passes as a cruel joke is being touted as a scientific and serious analyses that Filipinos should be proud of.

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Manny Pacquiao is the Anita Bryant of the Philippines

Pacquiao with Binay and HonasanCandidate for the Senate Manny Pacquiao (right) with candidate for president Jejomar Binay (left) and candidate for Vice President Gregorio Honasan. Photo from

Fired for her religious convictions, Anita Jane Bryant, famous U.S. endorser and singer, led the “Save Our Children” campaign in the late 1970s. The campaign wanted to repeal laws meant to protect LGBT rights in different American states. Backed up by different religious groups and several conservative politicians, Bryant’s campaign had some success in states like Florida. Her activism had some backlash. Bryant’s endorsement of Florida Orange Juice was reportedly cancelled because LGBT organizations started boycotting the brand.

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