WHAT is the plan of the country in reopening the economy? Is it tourism? Or maintain the perennial drivers: OFW and BPO? Do we remain a service economy, a creative economy or do we decide to provide first for the 110 million Filipinos with life sustenance before we even dream of being an industrial nation.
It’s not yet business as usual for many companies struggling to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Toxic cancel culture further strains the ability of businesses to recover if they fall prey to misplaced political passions fuelled by cunning political operators.
The Presidential Communication Team, composed by the attached agencies of Office of the Press Secretary, has a crucial role in cascading the vital information to different government agencies from national to local level. Its communication apparatus is weakened by the advocacy of prioritizing vloggers than mainstream. Thus, the government network must fulfill its primal duty for the people: to deliver information and provide updates, especially during calamities as trust and accountability are valuable assets in communication.
IN a landscape of toxicity and mistrust, how do you begin to govern? First is putting together a team of professionals whose sole purpose in recruitment is to be of assistance to the leader, to provide systems and approaches to solve problems, to work as a team so the leader can attend to the macro needs while the details are ironed out.
THERE are several loose ends in the sudden decision of the Senate blue ribbon committee to end its inquiry into the sugar importation mess. Its committee report — released last September 8, with 14 of the 17 members signing the report and a dissenting vote from Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel 3rd — recommended the filing of anti-graft, anti-agricultural smuggling charges and a count of usurpation, against the four individuals who signed the questionable SRO 4. The sudden reversal of what appeared to be a mess left some critical loose ends: delegated authority issued by the executive secretary last July 15, 2022, the demurrage, the status of Agriculture undersecretary/chief of staff Leocadio Sebastian.
THE country's 17th president delivered a good inaugural, a SONA that focused more on economics, put together an eight-point social agenda, and presented a budget message to the House of Representatives when the executive branch submitted its National Expenditure Program (NEP).
"Since the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) was passed into law, achieving peace has been the ultimate goal of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro. This forged bureaucratic institution, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAP), known now as Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (Opapru), oversees the peace process and development in the Bangsamoro region. The Bangsamoro people aspire to return to their state of desired quality of life, participating economically and politically. Working together to achieve peace is fundamental to attain economic and political rights for an inclusive and developing Bangsamoro region."
Pre-pandemic, the country's state of education was already beset with a multitude of issues and concerns such as overcrowded classrooms, unattractive compensation packages for educators and poor public education infrastructure quality. As a further indication of the state of our education, the Philippines ranked lowest out of 79 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) Program for International Student Assessment in 2018.
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only claimed the lives of so many Filipinos but also taken away work and earning opportunities for many willing and able workers due to forced closures brought about by periodic lockdowns. In August 2021, the unemployment rate rose to 8.1% or equivalent to about 3.9 million jobless Filipinos as the country went back to implementing harsh lockdowns due to the rapid transmission of the Delta variant.