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DOLE thumbs down proposal to cut SME’s minimum wage

September 14, 2014

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has rejected a proposal to allow small and medium enterprises nationwide to pay workers less than the prescribed minimum wage rates. Read the rest of this entry »

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UN trade body criticises free trade

September 10, 2014

The UN’s trade body has joined a chorus of criticism of globalisation, warning that developing countries reap little value from taking part in global supply chains and that the costs of joining free-trade agreements may outweigh the gains. Read the rest of this entry »

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Costly mistakes in our nation-building

August 27, 2014

Big mistakes in nation-building arise out of unwise decisions. Small mistakes that serially get repeated are big mistakes.

I have often dealt with such mistakes in my discussions of policy reforms. Today I will be blunt and talk of them as bad decisions. They cost our nation a great deal of distress and pain. They deter and alter for the worse our march toward economic and social progress. Read the rest of this entry »

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Indonesia’s new president

August 27, 2014

Indonesia’s constitutional court has cleared the way for the country’s newly elected president to take office. Foreign and local media accounts of who Joko Widodo is will make many of us president-envy. I am writing about him today because I think we ought to know how the new leader of a regional competitor works. Read the rest of this entry »

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Who’s responsible?

July 13, 2014

THANK GMA: Talking of DAP as a stimulus for development, there are many analyses saying that the country’s remarkable growth is not so much the fruits of Aquino’s governance as a result of the adroit economic management by the previous Arroyo administration. Read the rest of this entry »

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Close the loop

June 29, 2014

Famous American comedienne Lily Tomlin says: “Ninety-eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hard-working, honest Americans. It’s the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then, we elected them.” Read the rest of this entry »

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June 21, 2014

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The grim reality behind the Philippines’ economic growth

May 20, 2014

The country is being heralded as the new Asian success story, but only an elite few reap the rewards.

In a neighborhood of so-called “Asian tigers,” the Philippines has quietly emerged as the region’s newest economic darling. At 6.6 percent, the Filipino economy’s current GDP growth rate is the second highest in Asia, behind only China’s. That growth is projected to continue over the next few years, in part because Filipinos are in a “sweet spot” demographically: the Philippines has the youngest population in East Asia, which translates into lower costs to support a younger workforce and less economic drag from retirees. Last month, Fitch Ratings (one of the world’s three major credit rating firms) upgraded the Philippines to a “BBB-” with a stable outlook — the first time the Philippines has ever received investment-grade status and a huge vote of confidence in the Filipino economy. And last year, the World Economic Forum moved the Philippines up ten points to the top half of its global competitiveness ranking for the first time in its history. These economic improvements are in part due to President Benigno Aquino, whose steps to increase transparency and address corruption sparked renewed international confidence in the Filipino economy even during the global slowdown. Read the rest of this entry »

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Anti-China activists torch factories in Vietnam

May 15, 2014

HANOI — Anti-China demonstrators set more than a dozen factories on fire in Vietnam, state media said yesterday, in an escalating backlash against Beijing’s deployment of an oil rig in contested waters. Read the rest of this entry »

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The power of dignity in the workplace

April 28, 2014

Imagine that you’ve been working in your job for a while. You enjoy your work, know how to do it well, and take pride in the results you produce. And then one day things change. Perhaps a new boss is hired from the outside, who doesn’t talk to you or your colleagues in sufficient depth to understand what works well and what challenges you face. When you offer suggestions about how to improve performance, she ignores them. New policies and procedures are introduced — perhaps ones the boss applied in a different context or read about in a business school case. But they subvert the control and autonomy you have enjoyed in the past. They weaken opportunities for you to apply your expertise and rob you of the investment you’ve made in your work. Your ability to produce value for the organization is diminished — and so is your morale. Read the rest of this entry »