Featured Columns


By: Edilberto C. de Jesus 13 January 2018 – The body politic has long been ailing. While recent years have brought some relief, its tolerance for pain has weakened, its anguish sharpened by the evidence of other polities enjoying better health and the claims of current political doctors that they have the single, surefire remedy—federalism—to end […]


By: Edilberto C. de Jesus 06 January 2018 – This was the rejoinder of a 2016 UP School of Economics forum to the claim that federalism was the only solution to the country’s problems. Responding to the question, social science professors produced the “Debate on Federal Philippines: A Citizen’s Handbook” to identify the issues to consider […]


12 August 2017 – At the latest Dutertenomics Forum organized jointly by the British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines and the Presidential Communications Office, and supported by the Makati Business Club and the Management Association of the Philippines, I was impressed by the dynamic president and CEO of the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA), Vince Dizon. In answering a question from the floor about the difference between the current administration and previous administrations in the ability to deliver much needed infrastructure projects, he focused on three words: unity, decision and action.


5 August 2017 – We have been reading and hearing a lot about the Duterte administration’s “build, build, build” infrastructure program. The vision is to give the nation a golden age of infrastructure development that will not only address perennial and worsening traffic congestion, but, more importantly, build a much better transportation and logistics system across the archipelago that will spur more jobs, more trade and more investments. This reminds me of former finance secretary Roberto de Ocampo’s call at one of his Arangkada Forum presentations during the previous administration, when he said that the problem is simply “infrastructure, infrastructure, and infrastructure.”


17 June 2017 – The Philippines is currently refocusing its energies towards deeper regional integration, partly due to recent geopolitical changes. This shift in policy has already resulted in ODA worth over $19 billion from China and Japan alone. Also FDI grew by over 40% in 2016 – China even just recently pledged another investment of $1.7bn, much of which will be used to invest in infrastructure. In fact, by 2020, 7.1% of GDP is expected to be allocated for related projects. How does this contribute to the competitiveness of Philippine export goods on a regional level and what role do PPPs play in this context? What will be the benefits in terms of the ease of doing business for risk-adverse countries such as Japan that might shy away from thick red tape and unclear policies?