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WHO: Trans fat kills; 5 billion people at risk

Groundbreaking advances in longevity research are giving us the opportunity to add several healthy decades to our lives. On the other hand, some of the food choices we make can snatch precious years away from us. For example, a diet laden with trans fats increases the risk of heart disease, the world’s leading killer of adults.

Will the profiteers ever be prosecuted?

Many of the country’s policymakers have attributed the recent spike in the prices of basic and prime commodities, such as onion, to hoarding and profiteering. Some of them even blamed the greedy cartels that held on to their stocks so they can rake in profits once the regime of high prices rolls around. Despite the apparent certainty that it was the hoarders and profiteers who were responsible for the skyrocketing prices, nobody has been apprehended, punished or even identified.

Restoring public trust in government

Corruption is as old as human history. The First Dynasty (3100–2700 BC) of ancient Egypt noted corruption in its judiciary. In 171 BC, the first bribes were recorded in Rome. This was due to the state nearly being bankrupt after the Punic Wars, and wealthy citizens realized they could gain influence if they loaned the government money.

Be careful of taking too much credit

There are many elements that are part of a nation’s economy and many ways to measure them. None of them exist independently, nor individually create an accurate picture of the health, resilience in periods of domestic and external stresses, and benefits to citizens and participants.

Bird flu cracks egg sector, spikes prices

There are warning signs of an impending egg shortage in Metro Manila. Some supermarket shelves are bare of eggs, and prices in public markets have gone up. An avian flu outbreak and increasing costs of feed reportedly contributed to an egg supply shortage and high prices in some parts of the country, particularly in urban areas.

Political will to help poor Pinoys needed

For more than five decades now, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has been bringing together leaders from governments, businesses and civil society every year to debate ideas, share best practices and collaborate on solutions to the world’s pressing problems. Cancelled at the height of the pandemic, the meeting resumes this year in Davos, Switzerland from January 16 to 20 on the theme, “Cooperation in a Fragmented World.” About 600 CEOs and more than 50 heads of state, including President Marcos, are expected to attend.

Solving the problem of food waste in PHL

A typical Filipino household throws away 43 grams of rice daily, according to a 2015 survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) of the Department of Science and Technology. There are nearly 23 million Filipino households, which means that total rice wasted could be around one million kilograms daily or about 1,000 metric tons. According to the BusinessMirror’s estimates, the volume of rice wasted by households every year is enough to significantly reduce the country’s rice imports.

Libreng Sakay: Encore!

Luxembourg was the first country in the world to scrap fares on all public transport in 2020. In October 2022, Malta became the second country in the world to make public transportation free. As of last year, more than 50 cities and towns in Europe have introduced free public transport, citing climate ambitions and social equality as their primary motivators.

Technology: Servant and master

Undoubtedly, the greatest technology achievement in recorded history occurred sometime around 6,489 years ago in Lower Mesopotamia when a Sumerian engineer inserted a rotating axle into solid discs of wood and created “The Wheel.” History does not record the date when the first wheel fell off its axle.

Philippines can avoid headwinds weighing on global growth

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva warned on New Year’s Day that 2023 will be a difficult year for global economic development. “For the global economy, 2023 will be a tough year, tougher than the year we leave behind. We expect one-third of the world economy to be in recession,” Georgieva told CBS’s “Face the Nation” in an interview aired on January 1. The warning came amid the Ukraine war, soaring prices, and higher interest rates that have affected rich and poor countries alike.

A war on drugs that people will support

Former president Rodrigo Duterte launched his war on drugs with a promise to end the country’s drug scourge in three to six months. Six years later, Duterte admitted that he underestimated the magnitude and the complexity of the illegal drugs problem. He lamented that government officials and law enforcers themselves were involved in the drug trade.

Making food more affordable in PHL

Philippine industry leaders have appealed to the president in July 2022 to focus on the agriculture value chain by reducing the number of middlemen to ensure the affordability of food prices (See, “Agri leaders: Cut middlemen layers to lower food prices,” in the BusinessMirror, July 11, 2022). They noted that the presence of these middlemen prevents many Filipinos from having access to nutritious food. The industry leaders made the comment following the release of the findings of the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) 2022, which indicated that over 75 million Filipinos were unable to purchase nutritious food as of 2020.

Let’s protect PHL’s pleasant global image

The Philippines welcomed 2023 with an incident at the country’s premier gateway that crippled international and domestic flights. Described as “absolute nightmare”, the New Year fiasco at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) disrupted 285 flights and altered the travel plans of some 65,000 passengers. The cause: An allegedly preventable air traffic system foul-up.

Giving learners a chance to win in the global stage

The Covid-19 pandemic taught us that digital is going to have an even bigger place in our lives in the future. As the lockdowns required people to stay at home, online learning has emerged as the closest substitute for traditional classroom learning. The online experiment in the country, however, highlighted not only the economic divide between high and low income households (poor families lack mobile devices for online learning), but also exposed the country’s digital divide, especially in rural areas that have no Internet connection.

10 crises the world can’t ignore in 2023

The International Rescue Committee is a global humanitarian aid, relief, and development non-governmental organization that responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. In 2021 the IRC and its partners reached over 31.5 million people in countries affected by crisis.

SIM registration hitches: In defense of the telcos

Glitches and server issues affected thousands of mobile subscribers who wanted to register their SIM cards on the first day of implementation of the SIM Card Registration law on Tuesday. Mobile phone users reported that the registration sites of their telcos either crashed or can’t be accessed.

Reducing PHL’s trade deficit with Brazil

Brazil in recent years has become one of the top suppliers of various meat products, such as pork and chicken, to Asian countries, including the Philippines. In August, the Brazilian Animal Protein Association (Associação Brasileira de Proteína Animal or ABPA) announced its projection that Brazil will ship a record volume of meat products to the Philippines this year (See, “Brazil to export record level of chicken meat, pork to PHL,” in the BusinessMirror, August 10, 2022). Because of the country’s need to beef up our pork supply, Philippine pork imports from Brazil more than tripled in the January to June period, according to ABPA data.

PHL crewing sector in jeopardy in EU?

Shipping is the lifeblood of the global economy. The world’s shipping industry is responsible for the transport of about 90 percent of global trade. There are over 50,000 merchant ships registered in over 150 countries and manned by nearly two million seafarers.

Territorial grab claims ‘made out of thin air’

China uses the “nine-dash line” to justify its sweeping claims of sovereignty over the South China Sea, which encompasses 90 percent of the three million square kilometers sea. A major issue is that the nature of the claim is deliberately ambiguous. It is based on a 1947 map showing vague markings that have since become known as the “nine-dash line.”

MIF can help PHL farm sector grow

For many years, the Philippine agriculture sector had to contend with the seeming disinterest of policymakers in putting more money into initiatives that are designed to boost farm productivity. While policymakers agree that modernizing the local farm sector is the way to go to expand the access of consumers to affordable food, investments that would have significantly increased the country’s food supply have been few and far between. Because of this, the share of the agriculture sector to the country’s gross domestic product—or the sum of goods and services produced within a country’s borders—has dwindled to just 10 percent, from 20 percent a decade ago.

UN involves women in pursuit of peace

The armed conflict in Mindanao started six decades ago when the Moro National Liberation Front started to advocate for a “Moro homeland.” The government deployed the military to stop the separatist group, resulting in armed confrontations and displacement of the civilian population—Muslims as well as Christians. In the 1970s, the government initiated peace talks and managed to obtain a peace agreement with the MNLF.

Will same-sex marriage be legalized in PHL?

Various types of same-sex marriages have existed thousands of years ago. From Wikipedia: Same-sex unions were known in Ancient Greece and Rome, ancient Mesopotamia, in some regions of China, such as Fujian province, and at certain times in ancient European history.

Institutionalizing WFH policy in the country

The Philippines is considered a powerhouse in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry. Filipino call center agents are among the best when it comes to work ethics and professionalism. With hundreds of established companies in the country, the BPO industry is seen posting annual growth rates of 7 percent to 9 percent in the short term. This makes it one of the fastest-growing industries in the Philippines.

PHL can become food self-sufficient

More expensive food was cited as the top culprit behind the acceleration in inflation in November (See, “Inflation-easing plan lacking; it’s 8% in November,” in the BusinessMirror, December 7, 2022). The inflation rate last month was the highest since November 2008, during the global financial crisis when commodity prices jumped by more than 9 percent. The uptick in inflation, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), was due to the increases in the prices of vegetables, tubers as well as flour-based products and rice.

Connecting Naia to Metro Manila

A trending tweet by GMA News anchor Atom Araullo on December 9 highlighted anew the sorry state of the country’s public transport system, particularly the difficulty of getting a ride at the country’s gateway—the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).

House leaders heard the public outcry

The ability to listen—and listen well—is a critically important attribute for a leader to have. As US President Woodrow Wilson once said, “The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.” It’s part of the job of politicians, especially lawmakers, to listen to their constituents. That’s because leadership is a two-way street. In the best of worlds, a leader and her constituents work together to get things done.

Making the Maharlika Wealth Fund fly

A proposed legislation that has the charm of an earthquake is reportedly being railroaded at the House of Representatives. HB 6398 proposes to sequester pension funds under the Government Service Insurance System and Social Security System, as well as funds of state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), as seed capital for the envisioned Maharlika Wealth Fund (MWF).

Helping small fishers to get out of poverty

For the longest time, farmers and fishermen consistently recorded the highest poverty incidences among the basic sectors in the Philippines. Despite the increase in the budget of agriculture in recent years, the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that farmers and fishermen remained the poorest basic sectors (See, “PSA: Farmers, fishermen remain poorest in PHL,” in the BusinessMirror, July 2, 2017). Poverty incidences among farmers and fishers were at 31.6 percent and 26.2 percent, respectively, higher than the average poverty incidence of 16.2 percent recorded in 2018.

‘Maharlika Investment Fund’: Good idea or not?

A sovereign wealth fund (SWF) is an investment fund, a state-owned pool of money, with funding coming from surplus reserves from state-owned enterprises, reserves from budgeting excesses, foreign currency operations, and money from privatizations that is invested in various financial assets.

Sexual violence as weapon of war

Sexual violence in conflict is an appalling aspect of war. It is an abuse of human rights and is happening across current crises—in Afghanistan, Iran, Myanmar, the Sahel region and Ukraine. To strengthen the global response against sexual violence, the UK government recently hosted the International Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI) Conference, with more than 50 countries participating.

Biotechnology’s impact on PHL’s food security

Singapore, a city-state in Southeast Asia, imports virtually all of its food requirements. Because it does not have large tracts of land where it can grow crops and other food items, it has relied on other countries to feed its population. The Singapore Food Agency noted that its local farms produced only a fraction of the city-state’s food requirements in 2018—13 percent of all vegetables, 9 percent of all the fish and 24 percent of all the eggs.

Giving every Filipino a chance to succeed

The problem of poverty and inequality in the Philippines remains a big challenge. That’s because economic growth in recent years did not translate into poverty reduction, making the economic situation in the country one of the most unequal in the world. The World Bank said this inequality is expected to worsen due to the lingering effects of the pandemic.

Defending PHL’s territorial integrity

AT a special summit held virtually on November 22, 2021 between leaders of China and Asean to commemorate 30 years of dialogue relations, Chinese President Xi Jinping assured Southeast Asian leaders that China does not seek hegemony and will not bully its smaller neighbors.

PHL farm sector wary of fertilizer shortage

Efforts of countries like the Philippines to increase agricultural production and improve food security depend largely on their access to vital inputs, such as fertilizer. As the Philippines does not produce its own chemical fertilizers and the shift to organic farming is moving at a snail’s pace, the country has continued to rely on imported fertilizers. Our annual purchases of imported fertilizers have exceeded 2 million metric tons (MMT), based on a report published by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Historic win for poor countries at COP27

The United Nations climate summit in Egypt concluded on Sunday with a landmark deal on compensation for vulnerable countries affected by global warming. Climate negotiators approved a historic agreement that would create a loss and damage fund to compensate poor nations that are victims of extreme weather worsened by rich countries’ carbon pollution. This is a big win for poor countries most affected by the impacts of extreme weather that have long called for global efforts to address loss and damage.

The ‘fake news’ providers

WE call it “fake news” but more accurately it is “disinformation.” Information by definition is factual, true. There is “false information,” lies, deliberately spread to deceive people. Then there is “misinformation,” which is supposedly not deliberate. In other words, someone said or wrote something that was a lie, inaccurate, or a misrepresentation but they did not know it was “disinformation.”

Climate change threatens
PHL’s economic growth

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha opened the CEO Summit in Bangkok on Thursday saying the world is currently facing unprecedented environmental challenges. Sustainability, he said, would be the most important agenda for the APEC leaders summit. “We must ensure that we leave no one behind on the path of development and growth. No country can achieve its objectives alone. We inhabit the same earth,” he said.

The eighth billion person in the world is a Filipino

IT took all of human history until 1804 for the world population to grow to one billion. More than a century later, in 1927, we crossed two billion. In 1960, there were three billion people living on the planet. The fourth billion person was born in 1974. In 1987, 13 years later, global population hit five billion. After 12 years, we reached the six-billion mark in 1999. On October 31, 2011, the world population reached seven billion people.

Taking care of our future labor force

A fifth of young Filipinos possibly went to sleep hungry last night. According to the results of the 2021 Expanded National Nutrition Survey (ENNS), stunting and wasting affected nearly a fifth of young Filipinos (See, “Survey: Young Filipinos suffer food insecurity,” in the BusinessMirror, November 15, 2022). These are children who experienced food insecurity, which the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) defined as the lack of regular access to enough safe and nutritious food for normal growth and development and an active and healthy life.

A PDL will do anything to get his freedom back

London is known as the birthplace of modern imprisonment. Jeremy Bentham, an English philosopher, jurist, and social reformer was against death penalty, so he created a concept for a prison that would be used to hold prisoners as a form of punishment. By the 19th century, prisons were being built for the sole purpose of housing inmates. The purpose was to deter people from committing crimes. People who were0 found guilty of various crimes would be sent to these penitentiaries and stripped of their personal freedoms. Inmates were often forced to do hard labor while they were incarcerated and to live in very harsh conditions.

Will Aparri disappear under a rising sea?

Tuvalu is an island nation located halfway between Australia and Hawaii. It is one of the smallest countries in the world, with a land area of 26 square kilometers and a population of 11,925 in 2021. With its limited resource base, it is extremely vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change. Worse, it is facing the highest risks associated with the climate crisis due to rising sea levels. Scientists say that as sea level rises, sand and gravel erode away into the seabed as the shoreline recedes; accordingly, a country like Tuvalu will eventually disappear under a rising sea.

Ancestral lands shield us from climate hazard

Economic inequality is the unequal distribution of income and opportunity between different groups in society. In the Philippines, our indigenous people (IP) have been unjustifiably trapped in the web of economic injustice for the longest time. Despite their territories having an estimated forest ecosystem value of P1.1 trillion annually, three in every four indigenous persons remain among the poorest 40 percent of Filipinos, according to the Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center (LRC).

Rural areas need cold chain facilities

Fishers in provinces like Catanduanes would have to travel to other areas just to find sources of ice, which they need to preserve their catch. According to a business leader in the province, Catanduanes does not have an ice plant. Investors are wary of spending their money on the construction of factories that will produce and provide something as basic as ice because of the perennial power outages.

How COP27 can help reverse climate chaos

Representatives from around the world gathered on Sunday in the Egyptian seaside resort of Sharm el-Sheikh for the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference, more commonly referred to as Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change or COP27. Egypt said over 120 world leaders confirmed attendance to the November 6 to 18 summit, which takes place under the presidency of Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry.

Politicians’ disaster management

Back in 2011, celebrity economist and Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman said a possible solution to dismal US economic growth could happen “if we discovered that space aliens were planning to attack, and we needed a massive build-up to counter the space alien threat, and inflation and budget deficits took secondary place to that, this slump would be over in 18 months.”

Itaewon crowd crush gives valuable lesson

The Halloween crowd crush in the Itaewon neighborhood of Seoul, South Korea on October 29, 2022 that killed 156 people and injured 172 others is an unfortunate incident that could have been prevented, according to crowd experts. The disaster happened as more than 100,000 people were packed at a narrow alley that connects Exit 1 of Itaewon Station with the World Food Street—a street dotted with clubs and bars. As Korean authorities look into how the tragedy unfolded, some say the incident could have been avoided, or at least partly controlled.

Providing health care for mother and child

Maternal health refers to the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period. The World Health Organization said each stage should be a positive experience, ensuring women and their babies reach their full potential for health and well-being. Global data showed that approximately 295,000 women died from complications of pregnancy and childbirth in 2017, and nearly 2 million babies are stillborn every year. WHO said these numbers are a stark reminder of the major threats to their survival that too many women and newborns continue to face.

Unlimited rice and diabetes

Filipinos eat rice every day not only because it complements many of their dishes but because it is a cheap source of carbohydrate and protein. The recent spike in the price of meat products like pork has made it more difficult for consumers to diversify their diet. For the price of a kilo of pork, which averaged P370 a kilo in Metro Manila, Pinoys can buy nearly nine kilos of regular milled local commercial rice.

Jobs of the future

The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production in the textile industry. The second industrial revolution gave us the assembly line, high volume industrial production and mass consumption. The third industrial revolution used electronics and information technology to automate production.

Greying with dignity

People all over the world are living longer. Today, most people can expect to live into their 70s and beyond. The World Health Organization said by 2030, one in six people in the world will be aged 60 years or over. In the Philippines, the inevitable tide of rapidly aging population is seen posing two critical challenges for the government: maintaining economic growth and providing adequate and sustainable pension system for elderly Filipinos.

Milking the dairy sector’s potential

Filipino farmers have been raising cows for decades and numerous studies that focus on improving the productivity of the dairy sector have been undertaken in the past. And yet the Philippines continues to import nearly all of its milk requirements, based on government data and the United States Department of Agriculture-Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS) in Manila. Local dairy producers could supply only one percent of the annual milk requirement of the Philippines, (See, “Report: PHL will continue to rely on milk imports,” in the BusinessMirror, October 20, 2022).

Showing teachers they are treasured

Education is the foundation of all things that an individual can accomplish in life. That’s why teachers are arguably the most important members of society. In the Philippines, aside from performing the noble task of teaching the youth, educators are also called to man the polling precincts every election day. Part of their tasks is to ensure free, honest, and clean elections.

PHL’s prime asset

Regular physical activity promotes both mental and physical health in people of all ages. Yet, today, majority of young people in the world are physically inactive, putting them at risk for diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. The first World Health Organization global status report on physical activity, published on October 19, 2022, said more than 80 percent of adolescents and 27 percent of adults do not meet the World Health Organization’s recommended levels of physical activity.

Is China preparing to invade Taiwan?

The global economy is expected to grow by only 3.1 percent this year, down from an earlier projection of 4 percent, because of the effects of the Russia-Ukraine war, according to the UN’s latest World Economic Situation and Prospects report.

The key to PHL’s food security

Out of the 113 countries included by the Economist Impact and Corteva Agri Science in the 2022 edition of the Global Food Security Index (GFSI), the Philippines ranked 81st in terms of agricultural research and development. The country remained at the “very weak” score bracket due to the government’s declining budget for R&D. The report noted that the Philippines’s public spending on R&D has steadily declined since the beginning of the reporting period and that access to agricultural technology, education and resources is low (See, “PHL trails Asian peers in Global Food Security Index,” in the BusinessMirror, September 22, 2022).

Helping farmers amid high input costs

Countries that rely on imported fuel and food like the Philippines have been using a number of mechanisms to keep inflation in check. The Philippine government has decided to make use of tariffs to prevent domestic food prices from soaring. Last year, the Duterte administration issued two executive orders—EO 134 and 135—that reduced the tariffs on pork and rice.

Sierra Madre: Our protective shield

One of the most visible consequences of global warming is an increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events. The Philippines recently suffered the wrath of Supertyphoon Karding, by far the strongest storm that hit the country this year. The super typhoon killed a dozen people, affected 245,063 families, and destroyed about P3 billion worth of crops.

Let’s get rid of all the rotten apples

Amid the recent spate of kidnappings and other illegal activities involving Chinese nationals working in the online gaming industry, various quarters urged authorities to close down all Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations. Reports quoted a Department of Justice official saying the government is set to stop the operations of 175 offshore gambling firms and deport about 40,000 Chinese workers. The POGOs targeted for closure had licenses that either expired or were revoked for violations like non-payment of government fees. 

Ban commercial fishing in municipal waters

IN 2021, the country’s total fisheries production was recorded at 4.25 million metric tons, from 4.40 million metric tons a year ago, representing an annual decrease of 3.4 percent. This was brought about by the decreases in production from commercial and marine municipal fisheries and aquaculture, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority. PSA data also showed that fish catch from 2010 to 2021 has continuously declined at 49,449 MT yearly, or more than 494,490 MT over the 10-year period, manifesting that stocks have breached their productive capacity due to overfishing

Keeping livestock diseases at bay

After years of battling foot-and-mouth disease, the Philippines’s efforts to stamp out the highly contagious viral disease was recognized in May 2015 by the World Organisation for Animal Health or OIE. The Philippines was declared FMD-free country not practicing vaccination. Despite the influx of meat imports, the country was able to maintain its FMD-free status for the last seven years.

Can PHL escape global recession?

The World Bank has raised the specter of a global recession as central banks around the world have been raising interest rates this year with a degree of synchronicity not seen over the past five decades—a trend that is likely to continue well into next year.

‘PHL can enrich the work of the UN Security Council’

FIFTY nations gathered in San Francisco, California in April 1945 and created the United Nations. The Philippines is one of the UN’s original members. A wise man said the signing of the UN Charter in 1945 was an unprecedented development in the history of humankind. For the first time, the world’s most powerful sovereign nation states came together to create an autonomous organization designed to, in the Charter’s words, “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war [and] reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights.”

Great merchant of PHL investment opportunities

“I cannot see the Philippines in the future without having the United States as a partner.” With this statement at the New York Stock Exchange, President Marcos signaled his desire to strengthen the longstanding alliance between the Philippines and the US. Playing his role as merchant of Philippine investment opportunities, the Chief Executive explained how his administration is ramping up efforts to open the economy and accelerate post-pandemic recovery.

Helping farmers cut postharvest losses

City residents who go to the provinces for rest and relaxation have surely seen unmilled rice grains that are spread along road pavements. This practice is common during harvest season, when farmers sun dry unmilled rice before selling it to traders or to the National Food Authority. Planters resort to sun drying because of its low cost compared to mechanical drying, according to the International Rice Research Institute (Irri).

Kick the POGOs out

A person’s reputation determines his social standing in his community. And a good reputation does not happen overnight. It is developed over time, requiring consistency of efforts and actions, and avoiding things that can ruin a favorable character in the eyes of the public.

The growing misery of underemployment

The Philippines posted a gross domestic product growth of 7.4 percent in the second quarter of 2022, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority. The encouraging news is that all the major economic sectors posted positive growth during the period. And we are on course to achieve the GDP growth target of 6.9 percent this year.

PHL relying on rice imports is unwise

Two recent developments have the potential to crimp shipments of rice, the staple food of many Asian countries, including the Philippines. Last month, Reuters reported that Thailand and Vietnam—two of the major sources of rice for the Philippines —have agreed to cooperate in raising the price of rice in the global market. Citing a Thai agricultural official, the report indicated that the move of the two countries, which account for more than a quarter of global rice exports, is aimed at increasing their farmers’ incomes.

Helping a P320-B sector that employs millions

The Covid-19 pandemic and the required physical distancing measures imposed by governments around the world forced companies to adopt work-from-home arrangements. As the pandemic abates, the WFH trend appears to be here to stay. A recent survey on “Work from Home: Effect on Employee’s Productivity,” conducted by staffing firm Genius Consultants Limited, shows that over 88 percent of the respondents strongly believe WFH is the future of the corporate sector, and will be adopted by more companies.

PBBM’s dreams for PHL agriculture

The Philippines is the second largest producer of coconut products in the world, next to Indonesia. In 2019, the coconut sector contributed more than $1 billion in export revenues. As the top exporter of coconut oil in the world, the Philippines cornered 52 percent of the global market in 2020. 

Millions of people go to bed hungry

Hunger is a “scandal” whose crime “violates basic human rights,” according to Pope Francis. In a recent United Nations meeting in Rome, the Pope argued that the world holds enough food for all yet sees prevalent hunger. Pope Francis specifically urged “bold local and international policies,” adding “it is everyone’s duty to root out this injustice through concrete actions and good practices.”

Food security? PSA numbers say it all

Official government data have been warning citizens and policymakers for more than a decade about the scarcity of agricultural products in the country. These reports about the availability of agricultural products in the market, which are accessible on the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) website, have long been warning us about our dependence on imported food items. The country has been importing agricultural products for years to plug the shortfall as clearly shown by official government data, but nothing was ever done to solve the problem.