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Bangsamoro: The quest for inclusive growth

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With the Bangsamoro Peace Framework Agreement between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the government having been signed, a Transition Commission will be drafting the bill for Congress. The 40-year war hopefully will end and could mean recouping many lost opportunities in Mindanao

Posted: April 7th, 2014 in Columnists,Inquirer Columns | Read More »

Agri-food exports: Why Thailand is a model of diversification

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Nearly three decades ago (1985), I wrote an article in the Agribusiness Papers of the then Centre for Research and Communication (now University of Asia and the Pacific) entitled “Thailand: A Model of Agricultural Diversification.”

Posted: January 26th, 2014 in Columnists,Inquirer Columns,Inquirer Features | Read More »

Tales of two historic towns damaged by Typhoon Yolanda

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As the country rises from the ravages of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), two historic towns out of many have been ravaged: Guiuan, Eastern Samar; and Panay, Capiz.  These towns are separated by land and sea: one in the east and one in the west.  I visited both and established good relations with the local governments in [...]

Posted: December 29th, 2013 in Inquirer Columns | Read More »

Job creation is not a walk in the park

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The economy is growing but jobs are not increasing. Jobless growth is widespread in many countries. It is a worry in the European Union and the United States, and a deepening concern of President Aquino. In the past, economic growth is highly correlated with job creation. This is no longer the case. This lack of correlation runs counter to inclusive growth.

Posted: November 25th, 2013 in Columnists,Inquirer Columns | Read More »

The dramatic transformation of rural Malaysia

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Inclusive growth is what the Philippines needs. Most of the poor who are left behind in economic growth are in the countryside. They are the coconut farmers, small fishers, upland dwellers and landless farm workers.

Posted: October 20th, 2013 in Columnists,Inquirer Columns | Read More »

Does the law serve development?

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National laws must support, rather than frustrate, national development. The laws shall act as catalysts for inclusive, rather than exclusive, economic growth so that “those who have less in life shall have more in law. ”

Posted: June 30th, 2013 in Columnists,Inquirer Columns | Read More »

The Achilles’ heel in Philippine agri-manufacturing

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Ask THE media and people in the street about manufacturing, and many will tell you, it is about cars, chemicals, clothing, electronics, steel and machines. Very few know that agri-food manufacturing is a strategic part of it.

Posted: June 3rd, 2013 in Columnists,Inquirer Columns | Read More »

Philippine agri-food trade: Smuggling or under-reporting?

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Farmers’ groups have long complained about smuggling that has been very detrimental to their livelihood. Quick actions are imperative.

Posted: May 13th, 2013 in Columnists,Inquirer Columns | Read More »

The oil palm industry: A road to poverty reduction

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There is a potential controversy surrounding oil palm that could discourage domestic and foreign investments. If not nipped in the bud, it will have an impact on poverty reduction, particularly in Mindanao.

Posted: February 18th, 2013 in Columnists,Inquirer Columns | Read More »

The business of tree crops

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Fly over Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam and one will not fail noticing the wide expanse of tree crops. That can also be said for the Philippines, but with a big difference (which will be discussed later).

Posted: February 11th, 2013 in Columnists,Inquirer Columns | Read More »

A compelling business case of rural development

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There is a strategic link between poverty reduction and markets. Market size and growth are important to business as they affect profits and investment scale.

Posted: January 21st, 2013 in Columnists,Inquirer Columns | Read More »

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