The recent announcement by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) that inflation could average 2.8 to 3.6 percent in February is concerning news for Filipino consumers, especially for minimum wage earners who are already grappling with the rising cost of living. The increase in prices, particularly in essential food items such as rice, meat, and fish, will further strain the budgets of those who are already struggling to make ends meet. (Read the BusinessMirror story: “Costlier food items to fuel February inflation,” March 1, 2024).
IN today’s rapidly evolving economy, it is no surprise that soft skills are highly valued by employers across the Asia Pacific region. According to the latest research conducted by LinkedIn, communication skills, in particular, remain in high demand among APAC countries. The data, obtained from various APAC markets including the Philippines, Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, and Singapore, highlights the increasing importance of human skills in the workplace. (Read the BusinessMirror story: “Demand for human skills still strong in Asia Pacific,” February 28, 2024).
The recent decision by the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) of Malay in Aklan province to adopt the proposed Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program of PetroWind Energy Inc. has raised concerns among locals and businesses. The expansion of PetroWind’s wind-farm project, which could potentially affect Boracay Island’s main water source, has sparked a heated debate over the long-term sustainability of the island’s ecosystem (Read the BusinessMirror story: “Malay approves controversial wind project’s CSR plan affecting river,” February 26, 2024).
Climate change and food insecurity are intertwined challenges that have far-reaching implications for global peace and security. The consequences of climate change, such as rising temperatures, extreme weather events, and changing rainfall patterns, directly impact food production systems, leading to decreased agricultural yields, disrupted supply chains, and increased food prices. These effects are particularly devastating in vulnerable regions where communities heavily rely on agriculture for their livelihoods and sustenance.
The recent revelations by American analysts from a Washington-based think tank regarding China’s alleged destruction of coral reefs in the South China Sea (SCS) are deeply concerning. According to satellite data and accounts from fishermen and the Philippine Coast Guard, China has reportedly destroyed around 243 square kilometers of coral reefs, equivalent to the size of Manila, Valenzuela, and Quezon cities combined. This extensive damage not only poses a threat to the marine ecosystem but also affects the seafood diet of people in Southeast Asia. (Read the BusinessMirror story: “US think tank says China destroyed, damaged 243 square kilometers of coral reefs in SCS,” February 24, 2024).
The Philippines has long been recognized for its robust remittance inflows, with data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) highlighting a steady growth in cash remittances sent by our OFWs. In 2023, these remittances reached $33.5 billion, marking a 2.9-percent increase from the previous year. While this is undoubtedly a positive trend, Jeremaiah M. Opiniano, executive director of the Institute for Migration and Development Issues (IMDI), says that it is time for the Philippines to pursue structural reforms that would allow the nation to chart a new employment path for its citizens. (Read the BusinessMirror story: “Remittances hit $33.5 billion; new strategy pushed,” February 16, 2024).
Tax evasion is a significant issue in many countries, including the Philippines. It refers to the illegal practice of intentionally avoiding paying taxes owed to the government by underreporting income, inflating deductions, or engaging in fraudulent transactions. This not only deprives the government of much-needed revenue but also undermines the integrity of the tax system and creates an uneven playing field for honest taxpayers.
The discussion surrounding Charter change has been ongoing for years, with proponents arguing that amending the 1987 Constitution’s economic provisions is necessary to attract more foreign investments. However, a recent Senate hearing highlighted the voices of three key resource persons who disagreed with this perspective.
The bidding competition for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) rehabilitation has veered into a contentious phase. The consortium, SMC SAP and Co., comprising San Miguel Corp., RMM Asian Logistics, RLW Aviation Development, and the Incheon International Airport Corporation, presented a bold proposal that entails an 82 percent revenue share for the government. This move has sparked significant controversy among its critics.
Nearly a decade ago, the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) of the Department of Science and Technology unveiled “Pinggang Pinoy.” It was a visual guide meant to encourage Filipino families to adopt healthy eating habits. Pinggang Pinoy uses a familiar plate model, which shows the right food group proportions on a per-meal basis.
The call to separate Mindanao from the rest of the Philippines is not a new issue. It has been a topic of debate and discussion for many years, fueled by various factors such as historical grievances, cultural differences, and economic disparities. However, President Marcos’s recent statement brings the issue to the forefront once again, emphasizing the need to preserve national unity and protect the country’s integrity.
The recent release of labor data by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has sparked debates among economists and policymakers regarding the true state of the country’s labor market. While the record-low unemployment rate in December 2023 may seem like a positive sign, it is essential to delve deeper into the numbers to gain a comprehensive understanding of how well or badly the economy is faring.
Child safety and protection in the digital age is a complex and multifaceted issue that requires a comprehensive approach. The recent hearing by the US Senate Judiciary Committee was an important step in shedding light on the failures of social media platforms in safeguarding children online. It brought to the forefront the urgent need for action and accountability.
IN the next three decades, the country’s population will cross the 130 million-mark. (See, “Filipino population may breach 130-M mark in next three decades—PSA data,” in the BusinessMirror, January 31, 2024). Per the 2020 census conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the number of Filipinos has reached more than 109 million. By next year, this is expected to expand to 114 million.