Benedict is an agricultural economist, academician and writer. He has gained experience and expertise in various fields of economics, business, political science and public relations after through professional ventures in the academe, and in the public and private sectors. He has authored or co-authored key publications on topics ranging from agriculture and food security to global affairs and politics. 

 
Millennial Talk is about the insights coming from the younger generation.

The Rice Tariffication Law initially worked as planned. From a high of five percent or more, the inflation rate now averages to between to two to three percent, primarily due to the prices and supply of food, especially rice, being stabilized. The new law also gave consumers enhanced access to relatively affordable retail prices of rice.

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The Cayetano-Velasco feud clearly shows a house divided, a fragile super majority that President Duterte's political party and coalition at the House of Representatives.

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"Christmas in Our Hearts," like most Christmas carols, does not convey any political meaning. It is a feel-good song that embodies the spirit of Christmas, a reason for people to celebrate and enjoy the holidays. 

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In our own little ways, we can make this coming December much better for ourselves, our loved ones and our communities.

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COVID-19 is a preventable disease that can be defeated by us being responsible for ourselves, our loved ones and other people, and having a sense of regard for the well-being of the community and our country.

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To put it bluntly, democracy and freedom are helping the Philippines fail in its fight against COVID-19. Like the Americans, most Filipinos are not willing to give up their individual rights and privileges for the common good. 

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With the government in need of money, maybe a "junk food tax" measure is a better source of revenue compared to imposing taxes on items such as telecommunications-related products or services and barter trade. However, the imposition of such tax measures should result to increased access to food and beverage that meet nutritional standards for Filipinos instead of causing food insecurity to a large number of people, especially the poor.

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Fighting COVID-19 and fighting for national survival is a shared responsibility of both the government and Filipino citizens, and I hope it is not too late for everyone to realize that and do something about it.

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President Duterte himself said many times that he is going to and will protect the rights of the Filipino people as provided for by the laws of the land. It only goes to show that claims that press freedom and democracy in the Philippines are being threatened under the Duterte administration are nothing but an innuendo.

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Our survival as a nation and as a people is still at stake. The shift to GCQ from ECQ or MECQ is not the "new normal." We will only achieve the goal of finally being under such state if we will together, cooperate with our leaders, follow the rules, and think of how our actions affect not only our loved ones but also other people and the community.

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As some would say, there is always a silver lining to things. The COVID-19 situation helped me to prove the importance of securing domestic food sources, keeping domestic food production, and prioritizing agriculture and rural development.

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The COVID-19 situation brought the good and the bad out of Filipinos. Despite the situation not being easy, it seems that most Filipinos are still able to weather the storm, although many, especially displaced workers from small businesses, senior citizens and the real "poorest of the poor", need assistance that they can get not only from the government but even from their countrymen who happen to have extra at this time.

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