Thursday, August 05, 2021

Agri Econ 35, High prices of poultry, beef, hogs, palm oil, canola, oat

Global food inflation continues especially for these six commodities. First 3 charts are poultry, beef and lean hogs, last 10 years until today.

Then palm oil, canola (cooking oils) and oat, also last 10 years until today.

Not good to have this trend. Food prices should be stable or moderately rising, not steeply rising. High energy prices especially oil -- for tractors, harvesters, threshers, trucking, shipping, etc -- should be among the contributing factors. That is why energy prices should be stable too via continued supply expansion as demand expands.

See also:
Agri Econ 32, High global prices of corn, soybeans and wheat, January 27, 2021 
Agri Econ 33, High poultry, beef, corn prices, March 03, 2021 
Agri Econ 34, High corn demand to feed animals and cars, May 04, 2021.

Sunday, August 01, 2021

Covid 49, More vax injuries, forced vaccination in Manila

More news reports and stories of vaccine injuries below. Then a first hand story from a friend how one of his employees was forcibly inoculated by a Barangay personnel otherwise the staff cannot go to work.

(1) 40-50 Percent of Israelis Infected With New Covid Strain Were Vaxxed, Official Says 
by Ilya Tsukanov  18:32 GMT 26.06.2021 (updated 19:02 GMT 26.06.2021) 

(2) Vaccinated people are dying from the Delta variant, but in small numbers and almost all are over 50, UK data shows 
Marianne Guenot  June 28, 2021 

The UK has recorded a total of 117 deaths in people with the Delta coronavirus variant. 
Fifty were among people who'd taken two doses of vaccines — a reminder that the shots are imperfect. 
No fully vaccinated people under 50 died, and the overall death rate was 0.13%.

(3) “Vaccine failure”? Not really. 
Published: July 15, 2021 (upd.) 

But why are covid vaccines so poor at preventing infections? Most likely because they are really poor at achieving mucosal immunity (IgA), as opposed to serological immunity (IgG, i.e. antibodies in the blood). In fact, natural infection appears to achieve better mucosal protection than vaccination does. Because of this, “vaccination passes” make no medical sense; their only purpose could be political.

(4) Indonesia reports record number of doctor deaths from COVID-19 in July 
Reporting by Nilufar Rizki; Writing by Fathin Ungku; Editing by Pravin Char
July 18, 2021  8:10 PM PST

A total of 114 doctors died during July 1-17, the highest number reported for any period of similar length and more than 20% of the 545 total doctor deaths from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.... Doctors deaths have increased in Indonesia, the world's fourth most-populous nation, despite a 95% vaccination rate among health workers.

(5) Eric Clapton Says He Won’t Play at Shows Where COVID-19 Vaccination Proof Is Required 
BY ISABEL VAN BRUGEN July 22, 2021 Updated: July 22, 2021

Got AZ, first jab "and straight away had severe reactions which lasted ten days", second jab "the reactions were disastrous, my hands and feet were either frozen, numb, or burning, and pretty much useless for two weeks, I feared I would never play again."

(6) State confirms nearly 5,200 get COVID – after vaccine: 80 dead 
Report claims such cases 'rare but are possible'
Bob Unruh   Published July 23, 2021 at 7:21pm 

"Officials in Massachusetts have confirmed that nearly 5,200 people have come down with COVID after being vaccinated – and so far 80 of those victims are dead.

NBC Boston reported the state Department of Public Health reported on the case numbers as the Delta variant makes inroads into the state.

The broadcaster said those "breakthrough" cases, "where fully vaccinated individuals test positive for coronavirus" have been "rare" so far."

(7) The latest on covid vaccine adverse events 
Published: June 16, 2021   Updated: July 28, 2021

In the UK alone, more than 400 cases of post-vaccination Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) have already been reported. On July 12, the US FDA confirmed an increased risk of GBS, especially after the J&J vaccine. SPR estimates that there may already be a few thousand cases of post-vaccination GBS in the US.

(8) Don’t Get Jabbed: Powerful Video on “Killer Vaccine” that Needs to be Watched by Everyone
By Dr. Gary G. Kohls, Global Research, July 29, 2021

Almost 20,000 Covid vaccine deaths have been recorded in the European Union (July 17, 2021). In the, US the number of registered vaccine related deaths is of the order of 12,000 (July 9, 2021).

And those official numbers vastly underestimate the devastating impacts of the mRNA vaccine. Most of the vaccine deaths and injuries are not registered or recorded by the health authorities.

(9) Covid Vaccines: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly 
Published: July 23, 2021    Updated: July 30, 2021 

The latest data from Israel, which has used primarily the Pfizer mRNA vaccine, indicates that vaccine effectiveness against Delta coronavirus infection and symptomatic (“mild”) disease has dropped from about 95% to about 40%, whereas effectiveness against hospitalization and severe disease (i.e. low blood oxygen levels) remains at 80% to 90% (see chart above).

Importantly, in people who got vaccinated already in January 2021 (primarily the elderly), protection against infection and mild disease may already have dropped to near 0% (see chart above)

(10) CDC study shows 74% of people infected in Massachusetts Covid outbreak were fully vaccinated 
Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

74 Percent of COVID-19 Cases From Massachusetts Outbreak Occurred in Fully Vaccinated People: Study 
BY ZACHARY STIEBER July 30, 2021 Updated: July 30, 2021

Outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 Infections, Including COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Infections, Associated with Large Public Gatherings — Barnstable County, Massachusetts, July 2021 
Early Release / July 30, 2021 / 70

In July 2021, following multiple large public events in a Barnstable County, Massachusetts, town, 469 COVID-19 cases were identified among Massachusetts residents who had traveled to the town during July 3–17; 346 (74%) occurred in fully vaccinated persons. 

Related reports: 

MUTANT CHAOS ‘Vaccine dodging’ Lambda variant that’s hit UK could be deadlier and more infectious than Delta, doctors warn 
Adrian Zorzut  Jul 5 2021, 6:20 ET  Updated: Jul 5 2021, 7:03 ET

Pfizer, BioNTech to seek authorization for COVID booster shot as Delta variant spreads 
Michael ErmanJulie Steenhuysen  July 9, 2021  8:55 PM PST 

'Hands off my natural immunity': French protest against COVID health pass 
Emilie DelwardeClotaire Achi   July 22, 2021  3:50 AM PST

Protesters Rage Across Europe As Lockdown, Vaccination Mandates Begin 
Tyler Durden   SATURDAY, JUL 24, 2021 - 07:14 PM

CNN: Segregate Unvaccinated, Make Them Pay For Tests Every Day
Steve Watson   23 July, 2021

JFK — Accept Our Diverse World as It Is
by Patrick J. Buchanan  July 23, 2021 

Incidence of forced vaccination

My friend Ron Convento who owns a resto in Makati posted yesterday July 31 this. He gave me permission to share and quote him:

“My restaurant employees also told me when they came to work this morning that they were blocked by their barangay check points in Manila. They were told they can't go out if they were not vaxxed.

One of them was even pulled to an already open vaxx center and just gave him a shot and he was unable to resist.

I told them they have the right to choose and not just be forced to be jabbed.  I also gave them a copy of the Inquirer article where DOH instructed that no distinction between vaxxed and unvaxxed should be done.”

In a previous post last July 30, Ron also shared,

“A respectable person from Cebu who knows a lot of people from a town in Bukidnon mentioned to me that in said place, there were no covid deaths for over a year.  After Astra Zeneca was rolled out there in May/June, one of the first who took the jab was their Vice Mayor.  After a few days he got an adverse side effect and was immediately confined in the ICU of a hospital there. 

More shocking is that within 26 days after the Astra Zeneca rollout, 52 people who got jabbed there died.  No news or report of that came out.”

The DOH and LGUs are going gung ho on vax pushing.

DOH endorses house-to-house Covid-19 vaccination
By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora  July 31, 2021, 5:41 pm

In a Laging Handa briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said local government units (LGUs) may proceed on these house-to-house visits if they have the resources.

"Unang-una, masisiguro natin na hindi magkukumpul-kumpol ang mga tao. Kung mayroon mang iikot hindi na kailangang pumunta pa ang mga kababayan natin sa isang lugar para doon mag-antay mabakunahan. Pangalawa, mas maganda kasi masusuyod natin ang bahay-bahay (Firstly, we can ensure that there won't be crowding, the public could just wait from their homes to get vaccinated. Secondly, they can identify those who were not yet able to get their shots," she said.

Finally sharing my two doctor-friends' brief observations:

(1) strange that the concept of prevention through boosting natural immunity is almost never talked about. That's because of our pharma-centered education. Also, everyone's hoping for a quick fix.  

(2) we must dissociate ourselves from the culture of Medicine in the Philippines and formal or western influenced Medicine itself. One major flaw is the belief that Medicine can have a dogmatic truth deviced by a consensus of experts. The other is the over reliance on the still very imperfect  and highly sponsor dependent evidence based medicine. Our culture may also be to blame though something not unique to Filipinos of giving in too often to seniority or high position as basis for Scientific authority or truth. Finaly the lack of true humility or libertarian attitude to be open minded enough to even encourage questioning and skepticism including those from non doctors.

Vax dictatorship from national down to barangay levels. Choice is an allergy, a strange term for them. And many vax pushers and fanatics among the civilians clap this dictatorship. 

See also:
Covid 46, Dr. Romy Quijano on vaccine and IVM (part 2), July 25, 2021 
Covid 47, Dra. Marivic Villa on IVM and Dr Salvana, July 29, 2021 
Covid 48, Interview at Aksyon Radyo Iloilo and Radyo Bacolod, July 31, 2021

Saturday, July 31, 2021

BWorld 499, SONA on business over the last five years

* My article in BusinessWorld last July 26.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (PRRD) will deliver his sixth and last State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2021 hours after I submit this paper to my editor today. So, I can only write and assess his SONA speeches for the last five years, each speech ranging from 10 to 20 pages long.

I focus on some of his pronouncements that help encourage or discourage investments. SONA 2016 was generally constructive, with no attacks on business. But in SONA 2017 to 2020, he inserted implicit and explicit threats to some businesses, as well as an admission of helplessness in fighting corruption.

1. SONA 2016: “We shall also enhance local business environment by addressing bottlenecks in business registration and processing, streamlining investment application process and integration the services of various government offices.”

2. SONA 2017: “we shall put a stop to the extraction and exportation of our mineral resources to foreign nations for processing abroad and importing them back to the Philippines… So, I will increase the taxes… compensate or make up for the damage or at least the income restored. Otherwise, I’ll have to stop mining.”

3. SONA 2018: “Our campaign against Endo has resulted in the regularization of more than 300,000 workers as of early this month… To the mining industry… change [your] management radically because this time you will have restrictive policies. The prohibition of open pit mining is one.”

4. SONA 2019: “When will corruption end? Kailan ba talaga ‘to? Hanggang kailan? (Until when, really? Until when?) Well, I don’t know. I’ve been in — with government for almost 35 years now. I am not singling out myself. It’s the entire gamut of our system.”

5. SONA 2020: “I might just as well close all of you (telcos) and we revert back to the line telephone at kukunin ko ‘yan, expropriate ko sa gobyerno… (I will get them, I will have government expropriate them) How can you now craft a new (water) contract? Because I would insist that you pay the billions and billions that you collected.”

To measure how the Philippines attracts foreign direct investment (FDI) relative to other countries, I will use the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) World Investment Report (WIR) 2021, released last month. I also use FDI inward stock, not annual inflows, because the inward stock reflects the net of inflows less outflows in investments.

Among emerging and developed economies in Asia, the Philippines remains to have the smallest FDI stock. Especially in 2010, the last year of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s administration, the Philippines’ FDI stock of $26 billion was less than half of Taiwan’s and one-fourth of Malaysia’s.

But in 2016, the last year of former President Benigno Aquino III’s administration, the Philippines’ FDI stock has surged to $64.5 billion and nearly reached Taiwan’s level and was more than one-half of Malaysia’s.

In 2019, three years into the PRRD administration, the momentum of FDI confidence was retained but we have not overtaken Taiwan. Global mobility restrictions in 2020 only slowed down but did not stop expansion of FDI stock worldwide (see Figure 1).

In SONA 2020, PRRD discussed lengthily the impact of COVID-19 and global mobility restrictions. His administration responded with stricter lockdown policies than many countries and he expanded public spending and borrowings.

I compared government debt as a percentage of GDP (or Public debt/GDP) in the ASEAN except Brunei. The following trends emerged in changes in percentage points:

• From 2011 to 2016, the Philippines had the biggest drop or decline at -8.4%.

• From 2016 to 2019, the Philippines had the second biggest drop at -2.5%, second to Vietnam’s -4.2%.

• But from 2019 to 2020, the Philippines had the biggest increase at +13.9%.

Meaning that in the ASEAN, the PRRD administration has fiscally over-reacted and over-borrowed and our Public debt/GDP in 2020 of 53.5% has returned to almost the 2009 level of 54.8% (see Figure 2). 

There are three bad omens and threats for Philippine businesses and taxpayers:

One, the numerator — government debt — jumping significantly shows a new age of high fiscal irresponsibility. Unlimited borrowing to continue and let the next administrations worry how to deal with them.

Two, the denominator — the Philippines’ GDP level — was severely smacked down in 2020 by the very restrictive lockdown policies. The GDP contraction of -9.6% in 2020 was the worst for the Philippines since post-World War II, was the deepest in East Asia, and was among the worst in the whole world.

Three, taxpayers will be slammed with new taxes, or higher tax rates, plus higher regulatory fees, fines and penalties, to pay the huge debt obligations, principal plus interest. This will likely start in 2022 after the elections.

There are two ways to mitigate these three threats. One is to relax the lockdown — let Philippine entrepreneurs and workers do more business, then government can collect more tax revenues without resorting to higher borrowings. And, two, resume large-scale privatization of some government corporations and assets, plus downsize some government agencies in manpower and subsidies.

More economic freedom and not more restrictive lockdowns, more privatization and not more taxation, will provide win-win pathways to economic recovery while dealing with the virus.

See also:
BWorld 495, High growth under PNoy Aquino and tax cuts under Duterte, July 12, 2021 
BWorld 496, Energy and economic development, July 25, 2021 
BWorld 497, More vaccination, more cases, why? July 28, 2021.

Covid 48, Interview at Aksyon Radyo Iloilo and Radyo Bacolod

This morning, I was interviewed live in radio, twice. First was Aksyon Radyo Iloilo hosted by Aksyon Junjun Jr. Then Aksyon Radyo Bacolod hosted by Art Tayhopon. Topic was "Collateral damages of the lockdown in Iloilo-Bacolod", purely in Ilongo language. They wanted to know some economic numbers re impact in the region (Region 6, Western Visayas) and what can be done.

Sharing here some numbers and my arguments.

1. Economic impact of lockdown, national:

* GDP contraction 2020 of -9.6% was the worst PH record since post-WW2, worst in East Asia, 4th worst in the world's top 50 largest economies.

* Same virus that started in China, present in the PH, Malaysia, Vietnam, Germany, France, USA, etc yet has severe impact in the PH. It's not the virus per se but response to the virus, lockdown policies, that differentiated the PH from many other countries.

* GDP levels (constant 2018 prices):
2017 P17.18 Trillion
2018 P18.26 T
2019 P19.38 T
2020 P17.53 T. (source: PH Statistics Authority, PSA)
Or 2020 level was equivalent to 2017's, we lost three years of economic gains.

2. Economic impact, regional:

* Gross regional domestic product (GRDP), Region 6 (constant 2018 prices):
2017 P820.77 Billion
2018 P860.11 B
2019 P913.91 B
2020 P825.44 B.
Similar to the national, regional economic output was equivalent to 2017 level.

Region 6 hosts some of the most beautiful, most famous tourism destinations in the country. Boracay in Aklan, churches plazas in Iloilo, Guimaras resorts, mountain resorts and wide sugar plantations in Negros Occidental, etc.

* Accommodation, hotels, food services, Region 6:
2010 P 9.72 Billion
2018 P18.67 B
2019 P24.37 B
2020 P 9.90 B. Or sectoral output in 2020 was equivalent to 2010 level.

* Accommodation, hotels, etc., Region 6 has the highest improvement in the country in 2019 at 40% growth. But in 2020 has second biggest contraction at -57%.

3. Lockdown policies

* IATF should respect LGUs autonomy. The legal basis of IATF is under Bayanihan 1 law, enacted in March 25, 2020, and expired after about six months. Bayanihan 2 law may have extended its existence. But the LGUs, provinces, cities and municipalities have been empowered by the Local Govt Code (LGC) of 1991 to administer their localities. IATF imposes central planning, lockdown policies from Aparri to Tawi tawi.

* Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia insisted on her LGU power in balancing local economy and local healthcare. When cases deaths were low in Cebu compared with Metro Manila and nearby Luzon provinces, she ruled that arriving plane passengers from M.Manila need not present swab test results, which costs additional money for the people, plus time consumption of tests, getting the results. But IATF twisted the Cebu Governor's arms on this, insisted that LGUs should have uniform policies that conform with IATF national policies.

* The provincial Governors of Iloilo, Negros Occ., other provinces; the City Mayors of Bacolod, Iloilo, etc. should have the final say on degree or level of lockdown policies. If cases in their areas are falling, they can relax the lockdown to allow more economic activities and people mobility.

* The Concerned Doctors and Citizens of the Philippines (CDC PH) composed of many doctors and private citizens and professionals, is the primary organization arguing for lifting the lockdown via focused protection of the vulnerables (elderly, with comorbidities) and allow the people greater economic freedom.

Thank you, Junjun and Art, your staff, Aksyon Radyo Bacolod and Iloilo, for the opportunity to discuss these concerns and numbers with your listeners.

Lipay man ko maka diskurso sini nga mga butang sa aton mga ka probinsya kag rehiyon. Katulad nyo, palangga ko man aton rehiyon, especially gid sa Negros Occ kay dira ko natawo, nagdako, asta mag high school.

See also:
Covid 45, More stories on safety or non-safety of Covid vaccines, July 11, 2021 
Covid 46, Dr. Romy Quijano on vaccine and IVM (part 2), July 25, 2021 
Covid 47, Dra. Marivic Villa on IVM and Dr Salvana, July 29, 2021.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Energy 150, Funny California oil importation policy

This is a funny situation, showing the irrationality of double talk by climate alarmism, hahaha. See these reports:

(1) California oil regulators deny new fracking permits 
By ASSOCIATED PRESS | PUBLISHED: July 12, 2021 at 5:33 a.m. | UPDATED: July 12, 2021 at 5:36 a.m.

SACRAMENTO — California denied 21 oil drilling permits this week in the latest move toward ending fracking in a state that makes millions from the petroleum industry but is seeing widespread drought and more dangerous fire seasons linked to climate change.

State Oil and Gas Supervisor Uduak-Joe Ntuk sent letters Thursday to Aera Energy denying permits to drill using hydraulic fracturing in two Kern County oil fields to “protect “public health and safety and environmental quality, including (the) reduction and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.”

Aera Energy, a joint venture Shell and ExxonMobil, called the permit denials “disappointing though not surprising.”

“This is the latest decision attacking the oil and gas industry that is based solely on politics rather than sound data or science,” Aera spokeswoman Cindy Pollard said Friday, adding that the company was evaluating its legal options.

BY William Allison Jul. 14, 2021

Citing the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, California officials denied 21 fracking permits this week. What they didn’t mention was that the permit denials are more likely to benefit foreign oil producers than the environment.

State Oil and Gas Supervisor Uduak-Joe Ntuk cited climate change as the reason to deny the permits, as California aims to ban fracking altogether by 2024 and stop all oil development by 2045. But not issuing permits to develop domestic energy won’t prevent Californians from using gasoline and other petroleum productions – it’s just ensuring that more of the energy they use will be produced overseas and arrive by tanker.

In fact, for the past 25 years the amount of oil supplied to California’s refineries has essentially held steady at around 660 million barrels per year, but the source of the supply has changed drastically. In 1995, nearly all of that oil came from within California’s borders and Alaska. Today, the majority of the oil comes from foreign imports as data from the state’s Energy Commission shows: 

(3) California Importing More Foreign Oil… Because Climate Change! 
Guest “Too fracking funny!” by David Middleton  July 29, 2021

Well Joe… What is the “logic in increasing foreign production rather than focusing on American jobs and American energy security“?

Meanwhile, high US oil production under Trump has its own momentum, but potential increase is restricted by the Biden administration. See these reports:

(1) U.S. crude oil exports reached record levels in 2020 and remain high in 2021 
JULY 20, 2021  

Despite volatility in global oil markets, U.S. crude oil exports reached a record high in 2020. So far this year (as of July 9, 2021), U.S. crude oil exports have averaged 3.00 million barrels per day (b/d). The most recent four-week rolling average of U.S. crude oil exports reached 3.51 million b/d, according to our Weekly Petroleum Status Report.

(2) The Insult of Favoring OPEC's Leaders Over America's Energy Workers 
By Scott A. Angelle July 26, 2021

As demand for oil continues to grow, gasoline prices are climbing across the country. Yet, the Biden Administration has asked OPEC – not domestic producers and USA energy workers – for help to supply the U.S. with more oil. Enticing countries with lower environmental standards is actually detrimental to the Administration’s stated policy goal of combating global climate change by reducing fossil fuel usage.

(3) Senators Accuse Interior Dept Of Deliberately Delaying Restart Of Oil Leasing 
By Charles Kennedy - Jul 28, 2021, 9:30 AM CDT

Republican Senators have accused Interior Secretary Deb Haaland of defying a ruling by a federal judge to restart oil leases, issued in response to a temporary suspension—a pause, as it was termed—of these leases by President Biden earlier this year.

(4) Russia Was World’s Second-Largest Oil Producer In H1 2021
By Irina Slav - Jul 28, 2021, 10:30 AM CDT

The country produced an average of 10.18 million barrels daily between January and May, TASS reported, citing Rosstat data. This compared with 11.18 million bpd for the United States. Saudi Arabia remained third, producing consistently below 9 million barrels daily over March, April, and May.

Russia was one of the big winners from the latest OPEC+ deal adjustments, which allowed it to increase its oil production quite substantially without returning to pre-deal levels, however. Those were over 11 million bpd, last produced in late 2018, but since then, Russian oil companies have been restricted by the OPEC+ deal.

This is US weekly crude oil production.

Somehow good news...

 US LNG Exports Hit New Record High! 

Guest “And the year is only half over!” by David Middleton  July 27, 2021 

Covid 47, Dra. Marivic Villa on IVM and Dr Salvana

Dr. Marivic Villa, a Filipina physician based in Florida is a pulmonary and critical care doctor in the largest senior citizen community in Florida, if not the US. Last week, around July 24, she posted a comment at  Dr. Edsel Salvana's fb wall when the latter attacked again Ivermectin as early treatment vs Covid. Dr Salvana is known for intolerance to people and ideas who don't agree with his narratives, also his sponsored products like Remdesivir and vaccines. Either he deletes contrary substantial comments, or he outrightly blocks the commenter. Last week, he blocked Doc Marivic. 

This is Dr. Salvana's fb post as shared by a friend,

I cannot access that post because he also blocked me last October, weird because we don't personally know each other, never exchanged or debated before even once, and I did not criticize or attack him, I just posted an article that questioned Remdesivir, in his fb post where he was pushing the drug. See my story here,

Below is Doc Marivic's post that earned the ire of Dr Salvana:

This study is a piece of ”C...” My experience here in the US is very much contrary.  I've treated so many patients in a very high-risk community, all retirees 65 y/o and above, with comorbidities. No hospitalization, No deaths since September 2020. These people who did the study, I suspect, have been paid and maneuvered to make the study go a certain way.

Dr. Edsel, you are NOT helping the Filipino people at all.

If you think the vaccine is going to save you... It's delusional!!!

Here in the US, we are already talking about the booster, the 3rd shot to cover mutations!!! And the Philippines is what??? Only 4.4% were fully vaccinated, and 9.6% one dose. Are you kidding or what? And You are encouraging these Filipinos not to use IVM, which at this point, is the only viable option for them.

This is crazy!!! Insanity!!!

You don't have any resources to keep up with vaccines. These big pharmas are ”sucking you dry...BONE DRY!!!. Can you afford booster every 6 months? You know very well how MUTABLE this virus is. That's why up to now, there's no effective vaccine developed for coronaviruses. There's even a possibility that these vaccines are driving the mutation faster.

And these vaccines are debilitating and killing people, too; I treat complications every day. From long hauler type presentation, pulmonary and neurologic conditions, TIA Blood clots, low platelet count, cardiac issues, and recently I encountered blood hemolysis.

And the tragedy is you people are BLIND!!! (intentionally)

The Philippine economy is in a ROT

And you are a massive factor in this.

Perpetuating the ”DO NOTHING GUIDELINES,” continue to use drugs like Remdesivir (that's not only practically useless but very toxic!) Addiction to LOCKDOWNS doesn't do anything but make Filipinos poorer and sicker (all depressed and fearful).

With these vaccines, You are also encouraging some unscrupulous politicians and healthcare authorities to be more corrupt and, in the end, hideous!!! I hope 🙏 you are not one of them because you will be remembered!!! for that.

For the Filipinos reading this comment, I urge you to read the meta-analysis done by #DrPaulMarik, #DrPierreKory, #DrJosephVaron of #FLCCCAlliance, #DrTesLawrie #BIRD published in the American Journal of Therapeutics, and #DrAndrewHill et Al (Oxford Academic Journal and consultants to WHO).
#DrMcCullough #APPS

Compare the qualifications of these people to the ones who did this study- no comparisons at all.

You people have to listen to the doctors worldwide who have the most and the best experiences using IVERMECTIN. They are the real doctors, the real people who truly care and genuinely want to save humanity from this ugly disease.

Lastly, just to let you know, even from a distance, I have helped and saved the lives of so many Filipinos because of IVERMECTIN.

Doc Marivic is somehow a regular guest in some virtual fora here in the Philippines, people love her frankness and medical experiences dealing with Covid patients.

She was a guest for instance in Doc Vince Vicente's show last July 17,

The other guest there was Doc Octaviano.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

BWorld 497, More vaccination, more cases, why?

* My column in BusinessWorld last July 20.

Among the perplexing trends recently in the fight against COVID-19 is that as countries’ vaccination rates (at least one dose given) increase, the number of COVID-19 cases also increase.

I checked the data from Worldometers, here are some countries with rising COVID cases until around July 17:

1.) Slight uptick — the US, Austria, France, Italy, Turkey, Israel, Lebanon;

2.) Medium uptick — Iran, Mexico, Colombia, Japan, Pakistan, South Africa, Portugal, Greece, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Panama, Kuwait;

3.) High uptick — South Africa, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia.

But these countries in Figure 1 really have steep increases in cases — the UK, Spain, Netherlands, Cyprus — and they have high vaccination rates of at least 56% of their total population. Also six ASEAN countries.

Vaccination rates, as of July 17: Netherlands 67.7%, Cambodia 34.5%, South Korea 31.5%, Malaysia 29.6%, Kazakhstan 25.8%, Russia 21.8%, Thailand 15.4%, Indonesia 15.1%, and Vietnam 4.1%.

As of July 15: the UK 68.0%, Spain 62.1%, Cyprus 55.8%, the Philippines 9.2%; Bangladesh 3.5% (July 13), Myanmar 3.4% (June 5). Source:


There are many possibilities and for me the main reason is that the people’s natural immunity (especially the young and healthy) against mutating viruses and bacteria has been compromised by first, indefinite lockdown and stay home orders, and, second, by supposedly vaccine immunity.

Indefinite stay at home and mobility restrictions disallow people from getting more sunlight, more outdoor exercise. And all those vaccines, invented only in 2020 or in just few months with no long-term studies, no studies over many years if not decades on real safety and efficacy, may be spiking the virus to further mutate while the people’s innate immunity is being compromised.

In the US for instance, Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed a total of 463,457 reports of adverse events from all age groups following COVID-19 vaccines, including 10,991 deaths and 48,385 serious injuries between Dec. 14, 2020 and July 9, 2021 (

Viruses and bacteria naturally mutate, humans also naturally mutate to the changing environment, from microscopic organisms to natural climate change, warming-cooling cycle for centuries and millennia.

Humanity — Asians and Filipinos in particular — has experienced many virulent viruses in recent past, like the Asian flu (1957-58), Hong Kong flu (1968-69), AIDS (1980s to present), SARS 1 (2003-2004), H1N1 (2009-2010), MERS (2013-2014). Yet the human population keeps expanding and life expectancy keeps increasing.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) population census 2020 (released on July 7) show that the country’s population continues to expand by 16-17 million people per decade, or about 1.65 million per year, net of death and migration. Death statistics 2020 (released on June 18) show less deaths, from an average of 1,700 deaths per day in 2019 to 1,680 per day in 2020 (see Figure 2).

Three points to derive from the above data and numbers.

One, since many countries experience further spikes in COVID-19 cases as their vaccination rates keep rising, expanding vaccination to the young and healthy, especially those below 20 years old, should be reconsidered if not temporarily halted pending results of medium- to long-term studies on safety and efficacy. And plans by many governments to have mandatory vaccination, explicit (via legislation) and implicit (via discrimination) should be dropped.

Two, the Philippines has a big and young population with a huge productive capacity but which is restrained by the indefinite lockdown and mobility restrictions. The lockdown should end and allow the people more economic freedom to be productive.

Three, the decrease in deaths in the Philippines in 2020 was mainly due to reduced fatalities in road accidents and crimes. But this is not justification for continued lockdown because the economic damage has been severe. Economic freedom, people having regular jobs and stable incomes, is still the best way to improve their health, natural immunity, and economic wellbeing.

See also:
BWorld 494, The economic and energy legacy of PNoy Aquino, June 30, 2021 
BWorld 495, High growth under PNoy Aquino and tax cuts under Duterte, July 12, 2021 
BWorld 496, Energy and economic development, July 25, 2021.

Macroecon 11, PH budget 2022 initial numbers

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released the Budget priorities framework for 2022. No National Expenditure Program (NEP) yet submitted to Congress. 

The appropriations are: P4.1T in 2020, P4.5T in 2021, and proposed P5.0T in 2022. Disbursements/spending are actually understated bec they don't include spending by LGUs from local revenues on top of their IRA share.

Source: DBM, FY 2022 Budget Priorities Framework

The macroeconomic assumptions in making the budget proposal, the first 3 of these 6 assumptions look unrealistic and too optimistic, for 2021:

1. GDP, 6-7%; but we still have contraction in Q1, -4.2%.

2. Inflation, 2-4%; but we already have 4.4% Jan-June.

3. Dubai oil, $50-70/barrel; but Jan-July about $65 already.

When growth is lower, inflation and oil prices are higher, than the macroecon assumptions, very likely the revenue targets will not be met and the deficit, borrowings will be higher.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

BWorld 496, Energy and economic development

* My article in BusinessWorld last July 13.

After the yellow-red alerts and blackout in the Luzon grid in late May to early June caused by many big but old and ageing power plants going on extended maintenance shutdowns and derating, this month the issue has shifted back to amending the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001 and kill-coal narratives. See these two reports in BusinessWorld: “House bill seeks to allow gov’t to own power plants, halt hydro privatization” (July 5); and, “Climate advocate calls for ban of coal-fired plants to extend to pending projects” (July 11).

The first report is about amending the EPIRA law which mandated the government to get out of the power generation business, including the big hydro plants in Mindanao, and encourage more private power generation competition. That House Bill will amend the EPIRA for the worse, not for the better.

The second report is about the endless lobby by environmental groups to kill coal power in the Philippines, not just for new projects but even for existing ones, and push more renewables especially wind and solar.

To understand the impracticality of this lobby, see the global power generation picture from the BP Statistical Review of World Energy (SRWE) 2021 that was released last week. I chose the big power and electricity generation countries in the world plus the ASEAN-5, then I computed the percentage share of coal power and wind plus solar. 

The numbers above show the following.

1. Electricity generation. Four of the five countries with more than 1,000 TWH generation are in the world’s top six largest economies or gross domestic product (GDP) size — the USA, China, India, and Japan. Further proof that energy is development, big electricity output is big GDP output.

2. Coal generation. Many Asian countries have coal output at at least 36% of total electricity generation in 2020. These are also the countries with high average GDP growth from 2010-2019: China 7.7%, India 7.0%, Vietnam 6.5%, the Philippines 6.4%, Indonesia 5.4%, Malaysia 5.3%, Taiwan 3.6%, and South Korea 3.3%.

The Philippines’ 58.2 TWH coal generation in 2020 is actually small, only half of Vietnam and Taiwan’s, a third of Indonesia’s, nearly a fourth of South Korea and Japan’s, 1/14 of the US’, and 1/85 of China’s coal generated power. And yet many environmentalists bully the Philippines while they cannot do the same to China, India, and Russia.

3. Wind plus solar generation. European countries are leading in “decarbonization” and have high solar plus wind share to total electricity generation of at least 10%. They are also the countries with slow GDP growth. Average growth 2010-2019: Germany 1.9%, the UK 1.8%, France 1.4%, Spain 1.1%, and Italy 0.3%.

For the first half of 2021, the power generation mix in the Luzon-Visayas grids reflect a similar mix as 2020. During a media briefing last week by the Independent Electricity and Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP), the reported average generation mix from April-June 2021 were as follows: coal 55.7%, natural gas 23.6%, geothermal 10.5%, hydro (big and run of river) 4.1%, oil-based 2.5%, solar 1.8%, biomass 1%, wind 0.9%.

Solar, wind, biomass, and run of river hydro are given subsidies via feed-in tariff (FiT), fixed and guaranteed price for 20 years under the Renewable Energy (RE) law of 2008 (RA 9513). So, after 13 years, solar, wind, biomass can produce only 3.7% of total electricity generation.

IEMOP also reported high demand forecast accuracy of the Enhanced WESM Design and Operations (EWDO) with five-minutes interval, day before forecast for peak demand is high 99.2% in Luzon grid and 99.0% in Visayas grid.

The Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC), the governing board of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), is monitoring compliance by market participants to EWDO.

The good thing in the Philippines electricity market is that there is bigger role for private sector competition in power generation and retail distribution. Market operations are now in the hands of the private sector too. The only thorns are a private monopoly in transmission (granted a Congressional franchise) and the endless lobby to amend EPIRA and some power plants to remain in government hands and hence, non-competitive.

The Philippines should prioritize higher growth and more job creation for its people via cheap and stable energy, not the environmental lobby to kill fossil fuels and thus court frequent blackouts by relying on unstable, unreliable, non-dispatchable wind and solar.

Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr. is the Director for Communication and Corporate Affairs, Alas Oplas & Co. CPAs

See also: 
BWorld 493, 10 trends in lockdowns, COVID deaths, and vaccinations, June 26, 2021 
BWorld 494, The economic and energy legacy of PNoy Aquino, June 30, 2021 
BWorld 495, High growth under PNoy Aquino and tax cuts under Duterte, July 12, 2021.

Covid 46, Dr. Romy Quijano on vaccine and IVM (part 2)

Retired faculty member of UP College of Medicine Dr Romeo "Romy" Quijano wrote a 3-parts papers about the vaccine. Reposting portions of them here.  

(1) Herd Immunity and Vaccines (FAQ Part 1) 
Romeo F. Quijano MD  June 21, 2021 

… The goal of achieving “herd immunity” through vaccination is practically unattainable mainly because it relies on numerous flawed assumptions such as: homogenous, well-mixing population that is behaving basically in a similar manner, random vaccination with almost perfect efficacy, and uniformity in the population. In reality, many different factors shape patterns of risk and susceptibility to disease, including, among others, age and sex, ethnicity and life circumstances, including stress, lifestyle and naturally resilient immune system. Other problems that make “herd immunity” an unachievable goal through vaccination include: secondary vaccine failure (waning vaccine induced immunity), virus mutation (likely triggered by the vaccine), viral shedding, importation of illness and unexplained recurrent outbreaks.(2)

The human body develops immunity and defends most efficiently against a particular infectious agent as a result of natural graded exposure and re-exposure to the potential pathogen together with natural support factors such as proper nutrition, equitable and just socio-economic condition, adequate and sound health care delivery system, healthy environment, a healthy lifestyle and other health promoting factors. Most microbes, including presumed pathogens, in fact, exist in a beneficial relationship with humans such that they actually strengthen the immune system of their host. Most healthy people carry circulating potential pathogens as commensals. Most of the time, these potential pathogens are being circulated in complete harmony with humans, and nothing problematic happens, other than the body takes note of them and defends against them utilizing innate and natural adaptive immunity. The host usually has no idea that all these human-microbes interactions are happening. When an outbreak of infectious disease do occur, the most rational thing to do is to identify and characterize the pathogen accurately as soon as possible, correctly identify the infected and susceptible individuals or population groups most affected, and institute immediate, rational and comprehensive control measures using a people oriented and human rights based wholistic approach. A narrow, technology and “expert” driven top-down, authoritarian approach focused on a mass vaccination campaign to achieve “herd immunity” imposes unnecessary sufferings and exposes the people, especially the vulnerable population groups (e.g. the elderly and the very young) to significant risks of vaccine-induced adverse effects and makes them more vulnerable to several diseases that were not a threat to them previously.

(2) Lower safety standards and the truth about COVID-19 vaccine ‘efficacy’ (FAQ Part 2)
Romeo F. Quijano MD  July 10, 2021

New drugs, including vaccines (vaccines are also drugs) are normally required to undergo several standard preclinical and clinical studies before being allowed for public use. Preclinical studies are done “in vitro” (ouside the living animal, e.g. in a petri dish) or “in vivo” (in a whole, living animal, e.g. a rat). Clinical studies are those done on actual human subjects. USFDA regulations for preclinical toxicology studies of vaccines require the components (e.g., antigens and adjuvants) to be tested for any adverse effects. These studies should follow good laboratory practice (GLP) guidelines as described in the Code of Federal Regulation. In general, there are five types of toxicology study: 1.Single and/or repeat dose,  2.Reproductive and developmental, 3.Mutagenicity, 4. Carcinogenicity, and 5.Safety pharmacology.(1) However, unlike drugs, vaccines have been allowed to be marketed by regulatory authorities even when most of the vaccine safety studies (e.g., reproductive and developmental, mutagenicity and carcinogenicity), have not been done. Safety pharmacology studies are also inadequate for most vaccines and there are no long-term safety studies done on vaccines. The vaccine studies themselves have often deviated from accepted scientific methods of enquiry, especially regarding use of placebos. Instead of using true placebos (ex. saline solutions or sugar water) or substances that have no significant biological effects,  the researchers usually use another vaccine  or  the vaccine carrier fluid as the control “placebo,” which obscures the results of the study. Additionally, there are hardly any independent study done on vaccines and most of the studies on vaccine safety that get published are designed and funded by the pharmaceutical industry.(2)

… No, the purported benefits of a Covid-19 vaccine do not outweigh the risks in the immunocompromised. There is no evidence, scientific or empirical, to support the recommendation that the immunocompromised should be vaccinated. Even mainstream medicine admits that “current data on COVID19 vaccine efficacy and safety in the ICH (immunocompromised host) is sparse.” In fact, there is practically no data to support the recommendation that the immunocompromised should be vaccinated against Covid-19 since immunocompromised people were not included in the original clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccines. Historically, vaccination is commonly regarded as much less effective, hazardous and often contraindicated for individuals who are immunocompromised, especially those under immunosuppressive drugs ( ex. transplant patients, cancer, etc), the elderly with co-morbidities, or any other condition that weakens the immune system significantly (even those with an active infection like ordinary cough and colds virus). The usual rational management of immunocompromised individuals is not vaccination but prevention from being exposed to potentially infected persons (e.g. isolation, if necessary), ensuring that their immunocompromised status is adequately treated and managed, and supportive management (appropriate nutrition, supplements, psychological support, etc) to strengthen whatever resilience is left of their innate and natural adaptive immunity is adequately in place. However, increasingly over the years, as more and more vaccines are peddled by Big Pharma, mainstream medicine included many immunocompromised patient categories in their recommendations for vaccination on the dubious assumption that the potential benefits still outweigh the potential risks even though evidence is lacking  to show efficacy and safety. They now even insist that the immunocompromised (especially the elderly) be vaccinated against Covid-19 despite admitting that there is lack of evidence to show safety and efficacy of vaccines for the immunocompromised.

(3) Why social movements should oppose mandatory vaccination (FAQ Part 3)
Romeo F. Quijano MD  July 10, 2021 

“Most of the evil in this world is done by people with good intentions.” – T.S. Eliot

“Well-meaning people are sometimes the most dangerous.” – Angela N. Blount

The control of Big Pharma and the global elite over science and medicine has become much stronger in contemporary times. Practically all scientific studies on vaccines and pharmaceuticals are  done by the manufacturers themselves and governments accept these almost without any question. Almost all medical associations and patient advocacy groups are heavily dependent on pharmaceutical company sponsorships or grants for their operations and programs. There is hardly any medical scientific publication that is not influenced or controlled by Big Pharma and most members of the medical and scientific community rely mainly on highly biased information produced by Big Pharma and are made to believe that it is science. Practically all mainstream media are owned or controlled by the global elite who also own or have close ties with pharmaceutical companies. Most medical “experts” tapped to advise governments in the formulation of policies on vaccines and pharmaceuticals have financial ties with Big Pharma. Even international institutions like the WHO has become beholden to global elite “philanthropic” organizations with vested interests in pharmaceutical companies, with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as the WHO’s second biggest funder. Pharmaceutical product advertising has become almost like any consumer advertising that has gone out of control in misleading the people. Worse, historically, big pharmaceutical companies have engaged repeatedly in unethical and criminal behaviour, often times with the complicity of medical professionals, and almost always, they get away with it (6,7).

See also: 
Covid 30, Dr. Romeo Quijano on IVM and vaccine mania, April 11, 2021. 
Covid 43, Cebu Gov. GarciCoa, mandatory vax, and new variants, June 24, 2021  
Covid 44, Rising vax, rising cases, the Delta variant, June 27, 2021 
Covid 45, More stories on safety or non-safety of Covid vaccines, July 11, 2021.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Energy 149, Why coal prices are at all-time high

Coal prices have reached new all-time high of $150.8/ton today. Its previous high prices were:

Sept. 3, 2018, $114.4/ton
Oct. 3, 2016, $108.6/ton
Feb. 1, 2011, $131/ton.

Why? Supply-demand imbalance, of course. But where are the demand spikes and supply restrictions? 

Demand spike in many Asian countries especially China, building more coal power plants.
Supply restrictions in the US because of Biden's "save the planet" agenda. See the rise in prices started in late November 2020 at around $65/ton when it was becoming apparent that he would occupy the White House. The uptick in price is also very steep compared with previous price rise in previous years.

Coal Prices Rise To $150/Tonne, Highest Level In 10 Years 
On Jul 18, 2021

Coal futures surged to almost $150 a tonne in July, the highest level in a decade as a heat wave in Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Guangdong, China’s biggest industrial provinces has pushed the electricity consumption to unprecedented levels.

I also checked these news reports, related stories on climate money.

Asian coal plant drive threatens climate goals: report 
AFP  30/06/2021 - 05:04

"China, India, Indonesia, Japan and Vietnam are planning to build more than 600 coal plants, think-tank Carbon Tracker said.

The stations will be able to generate a total of 300 gigawatts of energy -- equivalent to around the entire electricity generating capacity of Japan."

Indonesia sets coal benchmark price at highest in a decade on Chinese demand 
July 5, 2021  6:28 PM PST

Coal Output in U.S. Seen Rising Most Since 1990 on Global Demand
By Will Wade  July 8, 2021, 1:15 PM EDT

Here Come the Climate Protectionists
By The Editorial Board  July 11, 2021 6:22 pm ET

"Western politicians have failed to persuade their own voters to commit economic suicide by banning fossil fuels, and forget about China, Russia or India. The climate lobby’s fallback, which is starting to emerge, is to punish the foreigners and their own consumers with climate tariffs."

India wants rich countries to pay more for green energy shift
Bloomberg  July 12, 2021

“We have our own developmental imperatives,” Gupta said. “If you want that I don’t emit carbon, then provide finance. It will be much more than $100 billion per year for developing nations."

Trade Review: No peak in sight for met coal prices as supply continues to tighten 
Jeffery Lu Jessie Li   14 Jul 2021 | 02:37 UTC

China’s Heat Wave Is Pushing Coal Prices Toward Record Level 
By Alfred Cang and Krystal Chia  July 16, 2021, 5:00 AM Updated on July 16, 2021, 2:10 PM GMT+8

Meanwhile, House Bill (HB) 1981 was filed in Congress by former Senator, now Congresswoman Loren Legarda, the PH Ecosystem and Natural Capital Accounting System (PENCAS bill).

Shrewd and bureaucracy-expanding bill. It will create a new Commission, create new units in existing Departments and Bureaus, complicate and emasculate the existing national accounting system (GDP computation). Very good in raising further public spending, expand the bureaucracy, while producing more difficult, more costly business permitting.

Very likely targets are the mining, oil gas coal exploration and development. And very likely, that bill won't consider forested land cleared for solar wind power be counted as damage to the natural environment. Her son, Mr. Leandro Leviste, owner of Solar Philippines, is in the business of clearing lands, even murdering thousands or millions of trees to put up wide solar PVs.

See this rape of a forest land in Calatagan, Batangas, Solar Philippines project.   

See also:
Energy 146, On energy storage, solar-wind subsidies, net zero, June 16, 2021 
Energy 147, Palawan oil plants, Cebu and Iloilo coal plants, June 18, 2021 
Energy 148, High oil, gas and coal prices, June 26, 2021.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Macroecon 10, Inflation rates June 2021 of the US, PH

US inflation rate in June 2021 is now "classmate" with Tunisia, Mozambique, Hungary, Sri Lanka. Its fellow industrial countries like UK, S. Korea, Germany, France, have inflation rates only 1/2 to 1/3 of the US. Bravo Biden.

Meanwhile, PH inflation has mellowed in June 2021 to 4.1%, but still high compared to 2020 and many previous years.

See also:
Macroecon 7, On US inflation rate 5%, Central Banks and climate, PH losing 3 years due to strict lockdowns, June 16, 2021 
Macroecon 8, Rising inflation rates, prices of industrial and agri commodities, June 18, 2021 
Macroecon 9, Why we should return to the office, June 30, 2021.

Monday, July 12, 2021

BWorld 495, High growth under PNoy Aquino and tax cuts under Duterte

* My column in BusinessWorld last July 6.

This is a follow up to last week’s piece, “The economic and energy legacy of PNoy Aquino” (June 28). Also good opinion pieces on the late President Benigno “PNoy” Aquino’s administration here in BusinessWorld are “PNoy and inclusion” (June 27) by Dr. Raul Fabella, and “PNoy’s unsung contribution: Rapid industrialization” (July 4) by Andrew Masigan.

A friend and Cabinet Secretary asked if 2020 can be separated in assessing Philippines economic performance. So here I disaggregated the averages from six years to three years under former Presidents Gloria Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III, and current President Rodrigo Duterte.

For comparison and additional context, I included data (as of 2020) on the Philippines’ four neighbors with big populations: Indonesia, which has a population of 270.2 million, Vietnam with 97.4 million, Thailand with 69.8 million, and Myanmar with 53.2 million. The population of the Philippines is 108.8 million.

I used four sources in constructing Table 1: the IMF, World Economic Outlook (WEO) database April 2021 for GDP growth; ADB, Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2020 for unemployment rate and labor force participation rate until 2019; Trading Economics for labor data 2020; and the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) for the Philippines labor force survey October 2020.

The numbers in Table 1 show the following:

1. GDP growth: The 6.6% growth in 2014-2016 — PNoy’s last three years — would be the highest economic achievement for the past four decades or more in the Philippines. The 6.4% in 2017-2019 (the Duterte administration) was also high, but growth momentum has been reversed. The -9.6% contraction in 2020 was the worst since post WWII records.

Myanmar is the most dynamic economy in the ASEAN and perhaps in the world today. It was growing 12% to 15% a year from 2000 to 2007, and managed to grow 3.2% in 2020.

2. Unemployment rate: PNoy significantly reduced joblessness, from 7.4% of the labor force in 2010 to 5.4% in 2016. President Duterte has continued the unemployment decline to 5.1% in 2019, but this quickly jumped to 8.7% in October 2020 due to indefinite lockdowns and many business and school closures.

3. Labor force participation rate (LFPR): This is an indicator of job optimism or pessimism. If many people, the younger ones especially, think that there are no jobs available anyway, they stop looking for a job and pursue additional studies and are not counted as unemployed. LFPR declines as an indicator of job pessimism, and this is evident under the Duterte administration starting 2017. For the first time since the 1990s and perhaps the 1970s and ’80s, the LFPR is below 62%. Then it further worsened to 59% in 2020.

Filipinos and Philippine-based businesses have much to thank in the administration of PNoy Aquino.

The Duterte administration, however, should be credited for one important achievement — reducing the Philippines’ high corporate income tax (CIT) as a response to continuing tax competition in the ASEAN.

The Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act of 2021 (RA 11534) has reduced the CIT, retroactive to July 2020, to 25% for big corporations and 20% for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with net taxable income of P5 million or lower, and total assets of P100 million or lower excluding land.

Until the first half of 2020, the Philippines had the highest CIT at 30% while Singapore had the lowest with only 17%, followed by Brunei with 18.5%. Five neighbors have 20% CIT — Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. Malaysia and Myanmar have 24% and 25%, respectively (see Table 2).

Recently, Finance Ministers and Treasury Secretaries in the US and Europe have pushed for a global minimum tax (GMT) of 15%, tax harmonization, and killing tax competition worldwide. Their plan is to impose the GMT on companies where they do most business, not on where they are based or headquartered.

Global tax competition is dynamic. See these countries and economies with low CIT or even zero CIT:

• Zero CIT: Bahamas, Bahrain, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Isle of Man, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Vanuatu.

• 3-9% CIT: Micronesia 3%, Barbados 5.5%, Uzbekistan 7.5%, and Hungary and Montenegro 9%.

• 10% flat CIT: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Macedonia, Paraguay, and Qatar.

• 12-12.5% CIT: Macau, Moldova, Cyprus, Ireland, and Liechtenstein.

Small countries have few natural resources and small land area, or they may have big resources like oil and gas but they lack highly technical people to develop and extract those resources, they attract businesses and professionals via low or zero CIT. Qatar, Bahrain, and the UAE are doing this.

The move to a GMT of 15% is not good. We should see more tax competition, not tax harmonization and higher taxes.

Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr. is the Director for Communication and Corporate Affairs, Alas Oplas & Co. CPAs.

See also: 
BWorld 492, Ten indicators of blackout economics, June 18, 2021 
BWorld 493, 10 trends in lockdowns, COVID deaths, and vaccinations, June 26, 2021 
BWorld 494, The economic and energy legacy of PNoy Aquino, June 30, 2021.