Friday, April 30, 2021

Macroecon 2, Modest growth in Q1 2021, some Asian countries

As of today, four East Asian countries have reported their First Quarter 2021 GDP. Singapore and S. Korea have modest growth, China has very fast recovery bordering on being dishonest.

https://tradingeconomics.com/country-list/gdp-annual-growth-rate

The US reported yesterday its Q1 GDP, a 0.4% growth. Its Q1 to Q4 2020 GDP change were 0.3%, -9.0%, -2.8%, -2.4%, respectively. 

The Philippines will report its Q1 GDP on May 11. I think it's in the -3% to -5%. Its Q1 to Q4 2020 GDP contraction were -0.7%, -16.9%, -11.4%, -8.3%, respectively.

The PH indefinite lockdown is ugly even in the fiscal sector.  

1. Revenues keep falling, 2020 to Q1 2021, esp March.

2. Expenditures keep rising, 2020 to Q1 2021, esp March.

3. Deficit 2020 is 2x of 2019, 2021 looks going to P1 trillion + again.

4. Financing or new borrowings 2020 P2.5 trillion, nearly 3x of 2019; Q1 2021 nearly half of full year 2020 already.

5. Taxes, fees, fines, penalties, by 2022 and beyond will rise through the roof.

6. Household Consumption and private Investments heavily crippled, only govt is expanding.

Salaries, allowances, bonuses, etc in govt are given 100% despite the huge jobs and income losses in the private sector.

Source: Bureau of Treasury, DOF.

Meanwhile, many doctors said "the extended MECQ is good/welcome development". I posted this in our UPSEAA  group: 

With due respect to doctors, when their advise like "MECQ is welcome devt" becomes econ policy, the implications are bad. MECQ means closure of all restos which have no open air section. The physician economists decide which businesses can open and which ones shd go bankrupt. The physician economists say that the estimated P14.7B per week of wage and income losses are good and welcome devt so long as their sectoral advice is followed. The physician economists argued in early March 2020 "2 weeks lang" lockdown. The 2 weeks became 58 weeks and then another 2 weeks in May 2021. Which can become another 2 or 12 months.
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See also: 
The corruption in poverty, climate and virus over-spending, December 26, 2020 
High ICOR and build-build-build, January 15, 2021 
The Constitution and FDIs, February 16, 2021 
Macroecon 1, Household debt to GDP ratio, March 23, 2021.

BWorld 485, 10 reasons to lift the lockdown

* My article in BusinessWorld, April 27, 2021.

In 2020, the Philippines was the 32nd largest economy in the world, it had the worst performing economy in Asia with its GDP contracting by 9.6%, and was the fourth worst performing economy among the world’s top 50 largest economies, next to Spain with -11%, Argentina with -10%, and the UK with -9.9%. 

The prolonged lockdown by many governments around the world forced them to overstretch their spending, leading to high budget deficits (expenditures larger than revenues) in 2020. The high deficits to GDP ratios are expected to continue in 2021 and begin to taper off by 2022 and beyond, assuming there are no new large-scale lockdowns and closures of many businesses for whatever reason/s (see the table).

Many countries in the world are expected to have lower budget deficits in 2021 compared to their 2020 levels except the Philippines and a few other countries. Our -5.5% of GDP in 2020 is expected to rise to -7.4% this year. 

10 REASONS TO LIFT THE LOCKDOWN

It is possible to lift the lockdown nationwide or at least move to the least restrictive Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) starting May 1, for these reasons.

One, our economic contraction in 2020 was very deep, the deepest since the Philippines government started recording GDP data, and the deepest in Asia.

Two, the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) estimated that foregone wages of workers come to about P19.6 billion per week under the strict Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) and P14.7 billion per week under the next quarantine level Modified ECQ (MECQ). We cannot continue with this kind of jobs and income losses.

Three, indefinite business closures have soured the Philippines’ investment environment. The Philippine stock market remains the worst performing in Asia Pacific, with a year-to-date (ytd) contraction of -10.7% vs. Indonesia’s 0.6%, Thailand’s 7.2%, Singapore’s 12.3%, as of April 23.

Four, the sprouting of hundreds of community pantries nationwide, with voluntary food donations by private citizens with zero government funding for the poor means many Filipinos now are hungry and become poorer.

Five, there are existing prophylaxis (preventive) and early treatment drugs for homecare, outpatient care to avoid hospitalization. These include ivermectin which has many studies showing high efficacy and safety (see https://ivmmeta.com/), even the old hydroxychloroquine (see https://hcqmeta.com/), proxalutamide (https://c19colchicine.com/) and so on. The Concerned Doctors and Citizens of the Philippines (CDC PH) has medical protocols for prophylaxis, early treatment and late treatment for COVID-19 cases.

Six, the physical health of many people suffers with prolonged inactivity and staying at home with insufficient sunlight. See “Physical inactivity is associated with a higher risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes: a study in 48,440 adult patients,” https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2021/04/07/bjsports-2021-104080.

Seven, many people are suffering from mental health issues because of the prolonged closure of schools and offices, the inability to casually communicate and see their officemates, classmates, and friends.

Eight, many of the restrictions imposed by the government have no scientific, no medical and clinical studies saying that they work: the lockdown and closure of many businesses, mandatory use of face shields, curfews, the prohibition of people below 18 years old from entering malls and restaurants, crossing provincial boundaries and checkpoints, and so on.

Nine, the economic burden of new or higher taxes, new or higher regulatory fees, fines and penalties, will be severe on the people. Government’s outstanding debt has increased significantly, from P8.22 trillion in 2019 to P10.25 trillion in 2020, and P10.40 trillion as of February this year.

Ten, the people’s Constitutional freedom of mobility, freedom to be economically productive, continue to be restricted if not outrightly prohibited by the government via these indefinite lockdowns. The people’s freedom cannot be hostaged indefinitely by indefinite lockdowns by the state.
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See also:
BWorld 482, Rising cases, vaccine and Ivermectin, April 09, 2021 
BWorld 483, Aging power plants and economic growth, April 15, 2021 
BWorld 484, Earth Day, Greenpeace and the RE lobby, April 22, 2021.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Covid 33, CDC PH statement on lifting the lockdown

CDC PH Calls for Lifting of the Lockdowns by May 2021

April 27, 2021 

As President Rodrigo R. Duterte and his Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) once again deliberate on which type of lockdown to continue to imprison the nation under, the Concerned Doctors and Citizens of the Philippines (CDC Ph) would like to remind them that our people have already suffered enough under this wholly unscientific and poorly-crafted failure of a system for addressing the pandemic. We have not forgotten that the WHO itself appealed to world leaders to use lockdowns only as a last resort because of the poverty and destruction it wreaks upon the lives and livelihoods of the poorest of the poor. And yet all the Government has ever offered us is variations on the type of lockdown while never presenting any truly sensible options that would keep healthy Filipinos working and our economy moving.

While our nation’s decision-makers sitting in their air-conditioned offices continue to regularly draw their salaries, the situation is the polar opposite for Juan de la Cruz. After 13 months of endless lockdowns, millions of jobs are gone and thousands of businesses have closed or will be closing forever if businessmen see that there is no hope that this Government will ever find the desire to end our misery. For seven long months now, CDC Ph has been pleading with Government to consider our Focused Protection Plan which would present hope and the chance at a better future for Filipinos instead of more restrictions and the continuing paralysis of thinking which is all we have seen from our uninspired and uninspiring DOH, FDA and DILG....

Yesterday, CDC PH discussed Economic Impact of the Lockdown in the 2nd day of its two-weeks, "Flatten the Fear" program in DZRJ 810 AM Radyo Bandido, this week and next week. Hosted by Francis Abraham, there were four of us speakers yesterday -- George Barcelon (former PCCI President), Brian Masigan, Ruby Ang, and me. I showed these 3 slides in my short discussion



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See also:
Covid 30, Dr. Romeo Quijano on IVM and vaccine mania, April 11, 2021 
Covid 31, Articles arguing for lifting the PH lockdown, April 18, 2021 
Covid 32, Continuing economic damage of indefinite lockdown, April 23, 2021.

Energy 142, Earth Day, Miscellaneous energy articles

Some energy articles that I read the past few weeks,  reposting.
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The social costs of carbon fiasco
Paul Driessen  Mar 15, 2021 

It takes big energy to back up little wind and solar
David Wojick   Mar 31, 2021
http://icecap.us/index.php/go/icing-the-hype 

Climate Insanity: German Greens, Conservatives Push For 100s Of Wind Turbines In Black Forest! 
By P Gosselin on 10. April 2021
https://notrickszone.com/2021/04/10/climate-insanity-german-greens-conservatives-push-for-100s-of-wind-turbines-in-black-forest/ 

2021 German Coal Plant “Phaseout” Lasted Only 8 Days…Put Back Online To Stabilize Shaky Grid 
By P Gosselin on 13. April 2021
https://notrickszone.com/2021/04/13/2021-german-coal-plant-phaseout-lasted-only-8-days-put-back-online-to-stabilize-shaky-grid/

RE firms urged to build new power plants by 2023
Danessa Rivera - April 15, 2021 - 12:00am
https://www.philstar.com/business/2021/04/15/2091152/re-firms-urged-build-new-power-plants-2023

China’s Shale Gas Industry Is Finally Taking Off
By Tatiana Serova - Apr 17, 2021, 10:00 AM CDT
https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Chinas-Shale-Gas-Industry-Is-Finally-Taking-Off.html 

Ramon Ang says power unit sets $1 billion for ‘game changer’ battery storage facilities
ABS-CBN News   Apr 22 2021 11:42 AM
https://news.abs-cbn.com/business/04/22/21/ramon-ang-san-miguel-1-billion-battery-storage-facilities

My comment: Combined total rated capacity of 1,000 MW, wow. RSA remains a very intelligent businessman. SMC has zero wind solar biomass plants, intermittent expensive subsidy-dependent unstable unreliable non-dispatchable plants, seems that RSA does not believe those climate drama. But there is a law (RA 9513, RE law of 2008) that has coerced all distribution utilities (DUs), electric cooperatives and WESM, that by hook or by hook, they should take those intermittents. So the Ayalas, Lopezes, Leviste, Perez, etc are into those expensive RE but they have no battery. RSA comes to give them battery, which will be a huge business project.

Earth Day 2021, first celebrated April 22, 1970 or 51 years ago. US President Joe Biden hosted the "Leaders Summit on Climate", April 22-23, 2021, attended by 40 other leaders in the world "to save the planet." This photo from vox.com. There is one odd-man-out in this photo. Can you spot it?

... US Presiden Joe Biden, the only leader with no country flag in the background. 


“Earth Day” related articles 

Herding the big dogs: Biden takes risks with climate 'summit'
Clashing agendas, egos may cloud gathering
By Ben Wolfgang - The Washington Times - Monday, April 19, 2021
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2021/apr/19/joe-biden-invites-xi-jinping-vladimir-putin-climat/ 

John Kerry’s Climate Kowtow
How much will Biden trade away in exchange for empty promises?
By The Editorial Board  April 19, 2021 7:05 pm ET
https://www.wsj.com/articles/john-kerrys-climate-kowtow-11618873552 

Earth Day, Greenpeace and the renewable energy lobby 
By Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr.   April 19, 2021 | 6:41 pm
https://www.bworldonline.com/earth-day-greenpeace-and-the-renewable-energy-lobby/ 

Earth Day Connections: NASA Investigates Vegetation 
Charles Rotter  Apr 19, 2021
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/04/20/earth-day-connections-nasa-investigates-vegetation/ 

India Is Pushing For More Coal Capacity 
By Charles Kennedy - Apr 19, 2021, 1:30 PM CDT
https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/India-Is-Pushing-For-More-Coal-Capacity.html

Not an 'existential' threat: Intelligence agencies challenge Biden's climate change alarmism 
By Bill Gertz - The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 20, 2021
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2021/apr/20/avril-haines-intel-agencies-challenge-joe-biden-cl/

China, India Complicate Biden’s Climate Ambitions 
Both countries have big and growing appetites for energy and rely heavily on coal
By Sha Hua in Hong Kong and Phred Dvorak in Tokyo
Updated April 22, 2021 9:44 pm ET
https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-india-complicate-bidens-climate-ambitions-11619116604 

My comment: China is going into shale oil-gas fracking while the US under Biden cancels fracking in federal lands. China producing solar for UK and China using slave labor that UK hates. China and India building more coal plants that Biden and UK hate.

Revealed: UK solar projects using panels from firms linked to Xinjiang forced labour
Investigation finds up to 40% of UK solar farms were built using panels from leading Chinese companies
Jillian Ambrose and Jasper Jolly   Sun 25 Apr 2021 17.00 BST 
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/apr/23/revealed-uk-solar-projects-using-panels-from-firms-linked-to-xinjiang-forced-labour 

Russia jubilant as US democrats start banning fracking in California 
GWPF  April 25, 2021 
https://www.thegwpf.com/russia-jubilant-as-us-democrats-start-banning-fracking-in-california/

China doubles down on coal plants abroad despite carbon pledge at homeAFP 
AFP   /  Tue, April 27, 2021  /  06:35 pm
https://www.thejakartapost.com/life/2021/04/27/china-doubles-down-on-coal-plants-abroad-despite-carbon-pledge-at-home-.html
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See also:
Energy 139, Immediate impact of Biden policies vs fracking, killing Keystone pipeline, February 09, 2021 
Energy 140, Texas blackouts, wind turbines frozen, February 21, 2021 
Energy 141, Carbon-methane-nitrogen tax, environmental damage of RE, March 09, 2021.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Weekend Fun 76, Drunk politicians and other professionals

Many of these stories and punchlines are old, not my original stories. Some of these I tweaked, so enjoy :-)
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1. Arsonist -- a man with a burning ambition.
Drunk Arsonist – thinks he is electricity, he lights up buildings.

2. Politician – can get money from the rich and votes from the poor on the pretext of protecting one from the other.
Drunk Politician – can spot trouble, diagnose it incorrectly and apply all the wrong solutions. 

3. Mathematician --  can discuss infinity without end.
Drunk Mathematician – drinks then derives. 

4. Statistician – can show that numbers are like bikini: what they reveal is interesting but what they conceal is vital.
Drunk Statistician -- his head is on ice and feet on fire and says that on average, he is fine.

5. Physicist – can discuss gravity endlessly which put people down.
Drunk Physicist – can split an atom into proton and electron, lost the latter and reported that proton has Covid, it is positive.

6. Economist -- dangerous when he declares, "watch our invisible hand."
Drunk economist -- researching on alcohol’s law of diminishing marginal utility.
Unemployed economist -- understands the charts and graphs why he's on unemployment insurance.

7. IATF (PH) Officials -- decide what type of lockdown the Philippines will have.
Drunk IATF Officials -- differentiate lockdown types like this...


Happy weekend.
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See also:
Weekend Fun 73, Russia vaccine, ECQ, August 15, 2020 
Weekend Fun 74, CNN as the US' "Baghdad Bob", August 29, 2020
Weekend Fun 75, Lockdown, inflation, climate memes, April 02, 2021.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Covid 32, Continuing economic damage of indefinite lockdown

This morning, famous actress Angel Locsin held her own Community pantry (free food private donations), thousands came and there was a scuffle, one elderly died.
(These two photos I got from the web, none came from my camera.)

Angel Locsin sorry over birthday community pantry that turned into ruckus after an elderly died
Jan Milo Severo - April 23, 2021 - 12:37pm
https://www.philstar.com/entertainment/2021/04/23/2093271/angel-locsin-says-sorry-over-community-pantry-turned-nightmare-after-elderly-died 

"Pero nagsimula naman kami na maayos talaga. Yung aking ramp, kung saan kami nagbibigay, ay may mga markers pa po para ma-observe ang social distancing at maka-follow po ng protocols. Nagpatulong din po kami sa munisipyo, sa barangay po, may mga pumunta din pong pulis at military na tumulong di po. 'Di lang nila makontrol ang mga tao. Hindi po ito ang gusto kong mangyari. Nagsimula po kami ng maayos. Nagkataon lang talaga na gutom lang po talaga ang mga tao na kahit wala sa pila sumingit na po sila,” she said.

Community pantry has sprouted in many cities and villages nationwide. People donating food items, put them in a public place near poor neighborhoods and poor households come. "Give according to capacity, get according to needs" is the guiding philosophy. Close to the communist motto, "From each according to his capability, to each according to his needs" that is why some jerks in the PH military started "red tagging" and harassment of these purely voluntary, civil society initiatives. Lousy military "intelligence." 

Private citizens helping their fellow Filipinos because government is expert in killing jobs and business via indefinite lockdown. Government also gives aid/ayuda but it is not enough because it goes through a maze of bureaucracies from national down to city/municipal to barangay and wastes and stealing occur along the way.

Recent reports on the evils of indefinite lockdown, from March 16, 2020 ECQ to present.
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DOT wants NCR+ movement restrictions lifted
Elijah Felice Rosales - April 22, 2021 - 12:00am
https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2021/04/22/2092923/dot-wants-ncr-movement-restrictions-lifted

However, travel attractions nationwide are hurting with the absence of tourists from Metro Manila, as locals fail to match the visitor arrivals and spending of guests from the nation’s capital.

Boracay Island, for instance, received just 970 visitors from April 1 to 18, as travelers from Metro Manila had to cancel their bookings for the month. In March Boracay welcomed a total of 17,400 tourists, its highest since reopening in October of last year.

New lockdown threatening economic recovery
Beatrice M. Laforga  April 22, 2021 | 8:15 pm
https://www.bworldonline.com/new-lockdown-threatening-economic-recovery/ 

“The uncertainties (as to duration and extent) arising from the new quarantine restrictions (Enhanced Community Quarantine, ECQ, as the most stringent) imposed by the government since Holy Week as COVID cases surged to new highs can sideswipe the still-fragile recovery,” First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC) and University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) said in their April issue of The Market Call released Thursday.

P83B wages lost due to stricter lockdowns – NEDA
Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza  April 21, 2021 | 12:33 am
https://www.bworldonline.com/p83b-wages-lost-due-to-stricter-lockdowns-neda/

During a televised Cabinet meeting with President Rodrigo R. Duterte, Mr. Chua said about P19.6 billion in workers’ income is sacrificed for every week of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), while P14.7 billion is lost for every week of modified ECQ (MECQ).

“Dahil two weeks na po ’yong ating ECQ at may madadagdag pa na almost three weeks na MECQ, so total of almost 5 weeks, ang epekto po sa ating tao ay (the effect on the people is) P83.3 billion in foregone wages,” Mr. Chua said.

PHL raises P122B from euro bond sale
Beatrice M. Laforga  April 23, 2021 | 12:34 am
https://www.bworldonline.com/phl-raises-p122b-from-euro-bond-sale/ 

The Philippines took advantage of the low interest rates in the euro bond market, as it sold €650 million (P38 billion) worth of four-year global bonds, another €650 million (P47 billion) worth of 12-year notes, and €800 million worth of 20-year debt papers.

This was the country’s biggest and the first long-end euro bond sale ever. It previously issued only three-year, eight-year and nine-year papers.

Broken down, the four-year papers fetched a coupon of 0.25% or 75 basis points (bps) above the tenor’s euro mid swap, the 12-year papers were priced at 1.2% rate or mid swap +105 bps, while the 20-year notes yielded a coupon of 1.75%, 135 bps higher than the euro mid swap.

There. More borrowings to sustain more spending while revenues decline because of indefinite lockdown. 

End the lockdown.
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See also:
Covid 29, CDC PH on WHO, Salvana attack of IVM, April 09, 2021 
Covid 30, Dr. Romeo Quijano on IVM and vaccine mania, April 11, 2021 
Covid 31, Articles arguing for lifting the PH lockdown, April 18, 2021.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

BWorld 484, Earth Day, Greenpeace and the RE lobby

* My column in BusinessWorld, April 20, 2021.

Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970, 51 years ago, to raise environmental awareness among Americans, and was later adopted in many countries around the world. What later followed were a series of scary climate predictions, all of which were just false alarms. 

Below are some stories, headlines, and climate predictions which never materialized. Note that in the 1970s, people were scared of global cooling and a new ice age. This changed to fear of global warming and rising sea levels in the late 1980s, and in the 1990s the anthropogenic or man-made global warming/climate change was solidified. Among the latest climate Armageddon predictions came from US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) saying that the end of the world will be in 2031 (see Table 1).


The UN, former US Vice-President Al Gore, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and Greenpeace are among the big institutions and personalities that push climate alarm worldwide. They target global ecological central planning especially in energy, transportation, agriculture, and other sectors. 

Before, big environmental groups like WWF and Greenpeace targeted National Governments for them to bow to their global agenda of “decarbonization” or moving away from fossil fuels (coal, gas, oil) to intermittent renewables (wind, solar, biomass, small hydro). Recently they changed tactics and targeted big corporations, harassing and shaming them if they do not bow to their global agenda.

Last week, Greenpeace launched its new report, “Decarbonizing Meralco,” co-written by the Center for Renewable Energy and Technology (CREST). It is an obvious wind-solar lobby — from cover to body there are lots of wind-solar farms shown. The ideological and emotional bias of the paper is captured by its Table F: PSA Price Forecasts for 2025, where the generation cost of wind and solar in 2025 are projected to be only one-half or one-third of 2019 costs. 

Their figures are outlandish and far out. Wind and solar remain expensive and become “viable” only because of various mandates (like priority dispatch in the grid) and subsidies especially the feed-in tariff (FiT) or assured, guaranteed high price for 20 years. Intermittent wind and solar need large batteries to address their highly unstable and fluctuating output and such batteries are not cheap and add to their cost.


Aside from the high prices of wind-solar, their power generation is also very small, only 0.1% of total power generation in 2012, 2.2% of the total in 2019, and 3.8% in first quarter 2021. Table 2’s data on FiT rates come from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), data on power generation mix from the Department of Energy.

In one of my recent columns (https://www.bworldonline.com/carbon-tax-is-not-good/, March 29), Table 1 there showed that “With few exceptions, countries that have retained a high coal share to total power generation — at least 30% — have also experienced fast growth: China, India, South Korea, Turkey, Poland, and Taiwan. And countries that significantly raised their coal share… also experienced fast growth: Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines. Countries that reduced their coal share experienced slower growth — the US, Canada, Australia, Germany, the UK, Italy, and Spain.”

So the corporate harassment strategy and “decarbonization” lobby of Greenpeace is based on false climate alarm as shown in Table 1, and on false price assumptions as shown in Table 2.

Meralco and other big energy companies in the Philippines and other countries should not bow to Greenpeace’s alarmist and wind-solar lobby agenda. There is no “climate crisis/emergency” and there is no need to embrace expensive, intermittent, unstable, unpredictable, weather- and battery-dependent energy.
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See also:
BWorld 481, Carbon tax is not good, April 02, 2021 
BWorld 482, Rising cases, vaccine and Ivermectin, April 09, 2021 
BWorld 483, Aging power plants and economic growth, April 15, 2021.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Mining 61, PH lifting mining ban via EO 130

Good news in Philippine mining, President Duterte has issued Executive Order (EO) 130 last April 14. See these three stories from BWorld.

(1) Moratorium on mining projects lifted 
Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza    April 16, 2021 | 12:34 am
https://www.bworldonline.com/moratorium-on-mining-projects-lifted/ 

Executive Order (EO) No. 130, signed by Mr. Duterte on April 14, allows the government to enter into new mineral agreements and review existing mining deals for possible renegotiation.

The new EO amends the one made by then-President Benigno S. Aquino III in 2012 which prohibited the grant of new mining deals in several protected areas, while awaiting the passage of a law that would increase the government’s share in mining revenues.

Republic Act No. 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act doubled the excise tax on minerals, mineral products and quarry resources to 4%, starting 2018.

(2) Gov’t won’t back down on lifting mining ban
Revin Mikhael D. Ochave   April 19, 2021 | 8:24 pm
https://www.bworldonline.com/govt-wont-back-down-on-lifting-mining-ban/ 

“We are not paying attention to those calling for the EO to be withdrawn because the country is facing many problems. We need to find a source of funds and this is one path to recovery,” Environment Undersecretary Jonas R. Leones said in a Laging Handa briefing Monday.

Mr. Leones said there are 100 mining projects in the pipeline with the potential to generate P21 billion in revenue for the Treasury.

In 2020, the MGB estimated that the value of the metallic mining industry’s output rose 1.13% to P132.21 billion, of which nickel ore and its by-products accounted for 51.8% or P68.48 billion; gold 36% or P47.60 billion; copper 11.25% or P14.88 billion; and the combination of silver, chromite, and iron P1.26 billion.

(3) Palace expects $4B in mining investments after ban lifted 
Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza  April 19, 2021 | 12:33 am
https://www.bworldonline.com/palace-expects-4b-in-mining-investments-after-ban-lifted/

"If the projects of Sagittarius Mines, Inc., KingKing Mining Corp., and Silangan Mindanao Mining Co., Inc. “are any indication, we are looking at over $4 billion in capital expenditure... new mining projects are also expected to generate P40 billion in local taxes and P20 billion worth of social development projects. Indigenous groups are also expected to benefit with around P15 billion in royalties."

I think it's double, about $9B. Tampakan gold-copper mines (S. Cotabato) alone by SMI was originally $5.9B, King King (Davao del N) $2B and Silangan of Philex (Surigao del N) $2B. Tampakan was the single biggest FDI in the PH ever since, until LGU killed the proj upon the prodding of bright boys and girls anti-mining planet saviors mostly based in M.Manila.

Australia is a good model. Mining only 0.1% of land area yet mining output 9% of GDP. They export lots of metallic and non-metallic products.

Big legitimate money here, both corporate profit and government taxes. No need to steal. Metal prices can only go up or flatline over L-term, never go down because demand will keep rising but supply is restricted or killed by many planet saviors. Below, prices of gold, copper, silver, nickel today, way back last 5 years.

https://tradingeconomics.com/commodities
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See also: 
BWorld 261, PPP, tunnels and mining, October 28, 2018 
Mining 59, High world prices of silver, gold, copper, rhodium, iron ore, nickel, February 02, 2021
Mining 60, High metal prices -- cobalt, lithium, copper, tin,... March 18, 2021.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Covid 31, Articles arguing for lifting the PH lockdown

Not a comprehensive list but here are some materials that I could find, limited to Filipino columnists.

Lift the Lockdown

End the lockdown, no more extension
Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr.   April 22, 2020 | 7:05 pm
https://www.bworldonline.com/end-the-lockdown-no-more-extension/

Inter-Agency to Terminate Functional businesses (IATF)
Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr.  June 10, 2020 | 5:50 pm
https://www.bworldonline.com/inter-agency-to-terminate-functional-businesses-iatf/ 

Economic hardships worse than virus risks
Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr.   July 15, 2020 | 7:31 pm
https://www.bworldonline.com/economic-hardships-worse-than-virus-risks/

Gaslighting the Filipino
Jemy Gatdula August 13, 2020 | 6:13 pm
https://www.bworldonline.com/gaslighting-the-filipino/ 

Time to resume in-classroom learning
Jemy Gatdula September 10, 2020 | 5:09 pm
https://www.bworldonline.com/time-to-resume-in-classroom-learning/

Mandatory vaccination is unconstitutional
Jemy Gatdula  September 17, 2020 | 9:39 pm
https://www.bworldonline.com/mandatory-vaccination-is-unconstitutional/ 

Flatten the fear and hysteria, not the economy
Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr.  September 23, 2020 | 5:30 pm 
https://www.bworldonline.com/flatten-the-fear-and-hysteria-not-the-economy/

Flattening the rule of law
Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr.   October 7, 2020 | 6:02 pm
https://www.bworldonline.com/flattening-the-rule-of-law/ 

Of lockdown, masks, and the banality of evil
Jemy Gatdula October 8, 2020 | 5:28 pm
https://www.bworldonline.com/of-lockdown-masks-and-the-banality-of-evil/

The WHO on lockdowns: ‘It wasn’t me’
Jemy Gatdula October 15, 2020 | 6:46 pm
https://www.bworldonline.com/the-who-on-lockdowns-it-wasnt-me/ 

Property rights and lockdown lefts
Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr.   October 21, 2020 | 5:59 pm
https://www.bworldonline.com/property-rights-and-lockdown-lefts/ 

Mandatory public mask policies don’t work
Jemy Gatdula October 22, 2020 | 3:52 pm
https://www.bworldonline.com/mandatory-public-mask-policies-dont-work/

Mandatory public mask laws are unconstitutional
Jemy Gatdula October 29, 2020 | 6:29 pm
https://www.bworldonline.com/mandatory-public-mask-laws-are-unconstitutional/ 

Trade, stock markets and indefinite lockdown
Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr.    November 4, 2020 | 5:18 pm
https://www.bworldonline.com/trade-stock-markets-and-indefinite-lockdown/ 

GDP contraction, CDC PH, and medicine taxes
Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr.   November 11, 2020 | 5:34 pm 
https://www.bworldonline.com/gdp-contraction-cdc-ph-and-medicine-taxes/  

Foreign investment damage under lockdowns
Jemy Gatdula  November 12, 2020 | 6:18 pm
https://www.bworldonline.com/foreign-investment-damage-under-lockdowns/ 

‘Even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten’
Jemy Gatdula December 3, 2020 | 6:05 pm
https://www.bworldonline.com/even-in-a-pandemic-the-constitution-cannot-be-put-away-and-forgotten/

Putting ‘parens patriae’ in the dustbin
Jemy Gatdula December 10, 2020 | 6:06 pm
https://www.bworldonline.com/putting-parens-patriae-in-the-dustbin/ 

First do no harm: Toward an exit strategy from the pandemic
Yen Makabenta   February 13, 2021
https://www.manilatimes.net/2021/02/13/opinion/columnists/topanalysis/first-do-no-harm-toward-an-exit-strategy-from-the-pandemic/840263/

Mobility control, growth control, price control
Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr.   February 15, 2021 | 6:45 pm
https://www.bworldonline.com/mobility-control-growth-control-price-control/ 

How IATF has turned our pandemic plight into a catch-22 situation
Yen Makabenta   February 16, 2021
https://www.manilatimes.net/2021/02/16/opinion/columnists/topanalysis/how-iatf-has-turned-our-pandemic-plight-into-a-catch-22-situation/841440/

Global economic impact of lockdowns
Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr.    March 1, 2021 | 7:06 pm
https://www.bworldonline.com/global-economic-impact-of-lockdowns/ 

IATF Covid rules: A travesty of constitutional administration
Yen Makabenta   March 13, 2021
https://www.manilatimes.net/2021/03/13/opinion/columnists/topanalysis/iatf-covid-rules-a-travesty-of-constitutional-administration/850615/ 

Lockdown déjà vu or back to normal
Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr.   March 15, 2021 | 6:59 pm
https://www.bworldonline.com/lockdown-deja-vu-or-back-to-normal/ 

Behind Covid case surge, debatable policy decisions
Yen Makabenta  March 23, 2021
https://www.manilatimes.net/2021/03/23/opinion/columnists/topanalysis/behind-covid-case-surge-debatable-policy-decisions/854405/ 

The Philippines’ deadliest killers. And it’s not COVID
Jemy Gatdula  March 25, 2021 | 5:27 pm
https://www.bworldonline.com/the-philippines-deadliest-killers-and-its-not-covid/ 

At the mercy of local governments and Covid-19; double masking insanity
Yen Makabenta   March 27, 2021
https://www.manilatimes.net/2021/03/27/opinion/columnists/topanalysis/at-the-mercy-of-local-governments-and-covid-19-double-masking-insanity/855953/ 

Fight with Covid-19 not over; on the horizon is Covid-21
Yen Makabenta  March 30, 2021
https://www.manilatimes.net/2021/03/30/opinion/columnists/topanalysis/fight-with-covid-19-not-over-on-the-horizon-is-covid-21/857212/ 

Juggling lockdown, quarantine and tough rules vitiated PH pandemic response
Yen Makabenta   April 1, 2021
https://www.manilatimes.net/2021/04/01/opinion/columnists/topanalysis/juggling-lockdown-quarantine-and-tough-rules-vitiated-ph-pandemic-response/858288/

Time to reopen the economy (1)
Joe Zaldarriaga  April 18, 2021 02:30 AM 
https://tribune.net.ph/index.php/2021/04/18/time-to-reopen-the-economy-1/
---------------

See also:
Covid 18, Lockdowns don't work, articles from scientists and medical professionals, August 10, 2020 
Covid 24, Lockdown damages in the Philippines, February 09, 2021
Covid 28, Drs. Villa and Landrito, Ms. Cuisia, on IVM and lockdown, April 01, 2021 
Covid 29, CDC PH on WHO, Salvana attack of IVM, April 09, 2021 
Covid 30, Dr. Romeo Quijano on IVM and vaccine mania, April 11, 2021.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

BWorld 483, Aging power plants and economic growth

* My article in BusinessWorld, April 13, 2021.


At the monthly briefing by the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) last week, it was shown that while average demand from March 2020 to March 2021 increased by 3.2%, average supply decreased 7.7%, resulting in an increase in average spot electricity prices by 76.4%, P1.80/kwh higher.

The main reason was the series of plant outages, scheduled and unscheduled, in early, middle, and late March. Among the big power plants that experienced outages last March were Sta. Rita (natgas), Ilijan (natgas), GN Power Mariveles (coal), Sual (coal), Pagbilao (coal), Kalayaan (hydro), Magat (hydro), and Makban (geothermal).

One characteristic of the Philippine electricity system is that many big power plants are old, especially hydro, geothermal, and oil plants. Coal plants are generally new except Calaca and it experienced a 10 month shutdown from March 2020 to January 2021.

Also last week, the Department of Energy released the list of existing power plants as of December 2020. It is a long list, so I listed only the big ones, those above 200 MW, in Table 1. Those above 25 years old, which were commissioned in 1996 and earlier, are highlighted in red.

Most power plants using renewable energy sources are new, but they are small. As of 2020, their installed capacity in the Luzon grid are: wind, 283 MW; solar, 312 MW; biomass, 178 MW; small and mini-hydro, 84 MW. They remain marginal electricity producers in the country.

Visayas power is dominated by coal and these plants are mostly new. Geothermal plants in Leyte and Negros are mostly old.

In Mindanao, big hydro still dominates and all the plants are old, more than 30 years old, even 60+ years old like Agus 6. They frequently conked out and Mindanao has experienced frequent “Earth Hours” daily. Things changed from 2016 up to the present with the commissioning of many big coal plants and Mindanao said goodbye to frequent blackouts and experienced having a power surplus, no blackouts and cheap electricity for the first time in many decades (see Table 2).

Coal power continues to be demonized but it is actually the workhorse of the Philippines power infrastructure. In the Luzon-Visayas grids for instance, coal produced 54% of total power generated in February-March 2021, followed by natural gas at 24%, geothermal at 11%, and hydro at 6%. The combined output of biomass, solar, and wind is only 5% of the total. The data comes from IEMOP.

In 2020, the Philippines was the worst performing economy in Asia with a GDP contraction of 9.6%. It was also the third worst performing economy among the top 40 largest economies in the world. To help in fast economic recovery, cheap and stable electricity is needed. The government’s new adverse policies against coal should stop and be reversed, otherwise expensive and unstable power will endanger our aspirations of high and sustained growth.
---------------

See also:
BWorld 480, 10 trends in mortality and spending economics, March 29, 2021 
BWorld 481, Carbon tax is not good, April 02, 2021 
BWorld 482, Rising cases, vaccine and Ivermectin, April 09, 2021.

Climate 99, Cooling trend, virus alarm and climate alarm

Here is the latest global lower tropospheric temperature (LT) anomaly or variance from the 30-years average (1991-2020), drastic cooling at -0.01 C in March 2021.

YEAR MO GLOBE NHEM. SHEM. TROPIC USA48 ARCTIC AUST 
2020 07 0.31 0.31 0.31 0.28 0.44 0.26 0.26
2020 08 0.30 0.34 0.26 0.45 0.35 0.30 0.25
2020 09 0.40 0.41 0.39 0.29 0.69 0.24 0.64
2020 10 0.38 0.53 0.22 0.24 0.86 0.95 -0.01
2020 11 0.40 0.52 0.27 0.17 1.45 1.09 1.28
2020 12 0.15 0.08 0.22 -0.07 0.29 0.43 0.13
2021 01 0.12 0.34 -0.09 -0.08 0.36 0.49 -0.52
2021 02 0.20 0.32 0.08 -0.14 -0.66 0.07 -0.27
2021 03 -0.01 0.12 -0.14 -0.29 0.59 -0.79 -0.79

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2021/04/uah-global-temperature-update-for-march-2021-0-01-deg-c/

Is this because of global lockdowns, there is less CO2 emission in the world?
No. On the contrary, global CO2 concentration in the atmosphere continues to go up, global lockdowns have little or zero impact on CO2 level.

https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/

And see the big divergence between global temperature projections vs actual.


https://www.friendsofscience.org/

Now in the fight vs Covid, there are several conflicts between climate alarm and virus alarm.

1. Proposed double mask. Climate alarmism says CO2 is a bad pollutant gas (must be over-regulated over-bureaucratized over-taxed). And we humans exhale CO2. Double mask means the CO2 that people exhale is partly trapped while fresh oxygen is restricted from coming in so people re-inhale that "bad pollutant gas" that they already exhaled. See, 

German Neurologist On Face Masks: ‘Oxygen Deprivation Causes Permanent Neurological Damage’ 
BY: HENNA MILLS VIA SOTT OCTOBER 21, 2020 
https://www.technocracy.news/german-neurologist-on-face-masks-oxygen-deprivation-causes-permanent-neurological-damage/

“The reinhalation of our exhaled air will without a doubt create oxygen deficiency and a flooding of carbon dioxide. We know that the human brain is very sensitive to oxygen deprivation."

2. Huge use of masks, faceshields, hazmats, other PPEs made of plastic and non-reusable materials. Both from hospitals and households. See,

Medical waste in pandemic-hit Philippines: As much as 2 million sacks of rice 
Gaea Katreena Cabico - April 14, 2021 - 5:51pm
https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2021/04/14/2091142/medical-waste-pandemic-hit-philippines-much-2-million-sacks-rice

Climate alarm says do 3 Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle).
Virus alarm says No to 3 Rs but throw dispose. Use more masks shields, plastics, not less.

3. People mobility. Climate alarm says use more mass transportation, trains buses, avoid cars and save energy. Virus alarm says avoid high density transpo like trains buses, more cars better.

4. Outdoor activities. Climate alarm says do more outdoor work and exercises and use less energy, run on the roads not on treadmills indoors. Virus alarm says avoid outdoors, do more indoor work and exercises, stay home.
------------

See also:
Climate 96, Anthropocene line of Sir Noel de Dios, February 14, 2021 
Climate 97, Econ and infra implications of a cooling planet, February 24, 2021 
Climate 98, Australia's worst flooding for decades, March 25, 2021.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Covid 30, Dr. Romeo Quijano on IVM and vaccine mania

This beautiful paper by Dr. Quijano was posted and shared in several Viber groups in Manila today. I don't see any online link or publication so I am reposting this here. A doctor friend and former DOH UnderSecretary, Dr. Jade del Mundo, has this to say about Dr. Quijano:

Dr. Romy Quijano belongs to Class ‘74 of the UP College of Medicine, one year ahead of me. He was a faculty member of the Department of Pharmacology of the UP College of Medicine while I was with the Department of Physiology in 1977.
---------------
 

Loss of Common Sense in Covid-19: The Story of Ivermectin

 Romeo F. Quijano
Professor (Ret.), College of Medicine
University of the Philippines Manila

It is not only sense of smell that is lost in Covid-19 but also common sense. This is quite evident in the story of ivermectin. Most seriously affected by the loss of common sense are those in the government’s power structure of the country’s Covid-19 pandemic response, public health officials and “experts”, and the mainstream media. Common sense is perceiving things as they truly are and doing things as they should be. Common sense, however, is not just an instinctive decision resulting from sensual perception but also a rational conclusion as a result of logical reflection. It is the innate ability to perceive the truth behind the facade of common beliefs and managed information dished out by the ruling elite in a basically undemocratic society and servile citizens. Common beliefs or dogma can be manufactured but not common sense. Common sense is doing the right thing even in the face of common beliefs. Common sense is not the product of beliefs, tradition or submission but of careful observation, analysis and intuition. It is also not a product of attaining higher level of learning and education nor a result of climbing up the ladder of social class and structures of power. As Victor Hugo said: “Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.”

Government health officials and their “experts” say that ivermectin should not be used because there are no clinical trials that show that ivermectin is effective when used for patients with Covid-19. When confronted with the fact that there are in fact already clinical trials in several other countries that show the efficacy of ivermectin for Covid-19 prophylaxis and treatment, they modify their argument and say, yes there are, but they are insufficient, more clinical trials are needed. They also mislead people by saying that ivermectin is used only in animals. When confronted with the fact that ivermectin was first used for parasitic infections in humans, they say, yes, but the available ivermectin in the country is only for animals and therefore dangerous to use in humans. When confronted with the fact that ivermectin formulations have been registered previously and is listed in the national formulary of essential drugs, and has long history of safety as attested to by international bodies, they say, yes, but ivermectin is no longer registered for human use and there are serious adverse that can happen if used in humans. When informed that some doctors are already prescribing ivermectin to asymptomatic and mild to moderate cases of Covid-19, based on their own analysis of available studies and experience that the drug is safe and effective, they say, these doctors are violating the law. When informed further that the doctors prescribing ivermectin can save lives and is urgently needed by their patients since these patients are refused admission by hospitals and are told that they come only when symptoms become severe, they say, well, these doctors can apply for “compassionate use” and the ivermectin manufacturer or supplier can apply for “emergency use authorization”. When asked why can’t the government itself be proactive, be “compassionate” and make ivermectin available in this Covid-19 emergency situation where countless people are dying and ivermectin offers hope for desperate people, they hem and haw and avoid the question, repeating what they already said and invoking rules and regulations to be followed. They admonish people to have a little bit more patience since vaccines are already being rolled out, repeating the mantra that vaccines are the be-all and end-all that would solve the Covid-19 crisis. 

Now, let’s go into a little bit more details and try to make sense out of this story. The health officials say there are insufficient clinical trials and together with various local medical societies, they issue a joint statement saying “We do not recommend the use of Ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19. It has not been proven to significantly reduce mortality or improve other clinical outcomes.” citing a “systematic review of 6 randomized controlled trials (RCT’s) of good methodological quality” (1) without revealing that they receive quite a substantial amount of largesse from Big Pharma.  They completely ignore the fact that an independent group called Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC) analysed a much more extensive list of clinical trials (50 studies, 26 were randomised controlled trials). Of the 50 studies, 98% report positive effects and 76% show lower mortality. Of the 26 RCT’s, 96% report positive effects, with an estimated 66% improvement. FLCCC is a group of highly published, critical care physician-scholars and allied physicians from around the world.(2) This was corroborated by another independent review of 11 RCT’s whose results show 62% reduction of mortality.(3)

They say that ivermectin is used only for animals and it is dangerous to use ivermectin for humans.

They seem to be ignorant of the fact that after about 3 decades of use in humans, ivermectin continues to provide a high margin of safety for a growing number of indications. Numerous studies report low rates of adverse events as an oral treatment for parasites. Even WHO have recommended have recommended mass administration of ivermectin for filariasis, saying it is safe and effective.(4) In fact, about 3.7 billion doses of ivermectin have been distributed in mass drug administration campaigns globally over the past 30 years.(5) In DR Congo, between the years 2003 and 2017, the total average population treated was around 15,552,588 with 55 deaths associated with ivermectin treatment.(6) Compare this to 4,095 deaths due to paracetamol in England and Wales during the same period.(7)

And why can’t the government itself  be proactive and make ivermectin immediately available in this Covid-19 emergency situation where countless people are dying and ivermectin offers hope for desperate people? Well, they say there are laws and rules and regulations that need to be followed, seemingly oblivious to the fact that the government has already declared a state of emergency and the legal impediments can easily be overcome, as the centuries old legal maxim states that the welfare of the people shall be the supreme law, especially under a national state of emergency. They admonish people to have a little bit more patience since vaccines are already being rolled out, without revealing that the safety and efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccines have been questioned by many credible independent scientists and are fraught with serious adverse effects including deaths. They turn a blind eye to the fact that 50,861 adverse events following COVID vaccines, including 2,249 deaths and 7,726 serious injuries between Dec. 14, 2020 and March 26, 2021 have been reported officially in the vaccine adverse events reporting system (VAERS) of the US.(8)

In their futile attempts to justify their irrational and anti-people behaviour, government health officials and their “experts” seem to forget that common sense is more important than technocratic directives, clinical trials, bureaucratic procedures, laws, rules and regulations. The Covid-19 spectre, vaccine mania, deceptive remedial schemes and brutal, anti-people pandemic responses  created by militarism and big money have shoved by the wayside pro-people, more sensible and a wider range of prevention and treatment strategies to address the pandemic. For people with independent minds and awakened consciousness, it is a mere matter of common sense to recognize that most governments, international bodies, academic and science institutions, mainstream medical doctors and mainstream media are under the effective control of Big Pharma and the global moneyed elite.

References:

1. Statement on the Use of Ivermectin As Treatment for COVID-19 
     https://www.psmid.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Ivermectin-1.pdf

2. Ivermectin_FLCCC database 
     https://c19ivermectin.com/

3. Ivermectin for Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19 Infection: a SystematicReview and Meta-analysis 
       https://assets.researchsquare.com/files/rs-317485/v1/611bf808-b0eb-4a9a-b877-6d6cc8f79d54.pdf

4. Monitoring-Assessment-Mass Administration Ivermectin_Albendazole_Filariasis-WHO 

5. Ivermectin-Associated With Lower Mortality-Hospitalized Patients-Covid-19        https://journal.chestnet.org/action/showPdf?pii=S0012-3692%2820%2934898-4

6. Severe adverse effects following community-based ivermectin treatment-DR Congo        https://bmcpharmacoltoxicol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40360-019-0327-5

7. Death from drug poisoning by paracetamol in England and Wales 1993-2019        https://www.statista.com/statistics/471227/death-by-paracetamol-drug-poisoning-in-england-and- wales/

8. CDC Data Show COVID Vaccine Injuries Reported to VAERS Surpasses 50,000       https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/covid-vaccine-injuries-vaers-cdc/
---------------

See also:
Covid 27, Dr. Rafael Castillo on vaccine, Ivermectin, and lifting the lockdown, March 24, 2021 
Covid 28, Drs. Villa and Landrito, Ms. Cuisia, on IVM and lockdown, April 01, 2021 
Covid 29, CDC PH on WHO, Salvana attack of IVM, April 09, 2021.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Tax Cut 34, Bidenomics and reversal of Trump tax cut

US President Joe Biden's $2 trillion tax hikes plan will reverse many tax cut made by former President Trump. Among these tax hikes under Bidenomics are the following: 

1. Corporate income tax (CIT) rise from 21% to 28%.
Plus ave state taxes 4%, US CIT at 32%, higher than communist China 30%.

2. Create a new global minimum tax 21%.

3. Double the capital gains tax to 39.6%.

4. Raise indiv income tax back to 39.6%,...

Ten Things You Need to Know About Biden's $2T Tax Hike
by Alex Hendrie and John Kartch on Tuesday, March 30th, 2021, 6:14 PM
https://www.atr.org/ten-things-you-need-know-about-bidens-2t-tax-hike

Biden's true tax priorities
Hans Nichols   Mar 30, 2021
https://www.axios.com/biden-tax-plan-increases-b8905001-1ef2-45c8-8165-87ac89d1c2fe.html

CBO Study: Benefits of Biden’s $2 Trillion Infrastructure Plan Won’t Outweigh $2 Trillion Tax Hike
Scott A. Hodge   March 31, 2021
https://taxfoundation.org/biden-infrastructure-spending-tax-hike/

President Biden unveils his $2 trillion infrastructure plan – here are the details
Jacob Pramuk   WED, MAR 31 20215:00 AM EDT UPDATED THU, APR 1 20217:16 AM EDT
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/31/biden-infrastructure-plan-includes-corporate-tax-hike-transportation-spending.html

Architect Of Reagan Revolution Blasts “Bidenomics”
by Gregory Bresiger  April 07, 2021
https://insidesources.com/architect-of-reagan-revolution-blasts-bidenomics/

“Raising taxes will especially hurt the poor and minorities who need jobs,” said Laffer, adding, “It is more than bad policy; it is cruel.” 

PRESIDENT BIDEN’S $2.7 TRILLION AMERICAN JOBS PLAN: BUDGETARY AND MACROECONOMIC EFFECTS 
by Alex Arnon, Marcos Dinerstein, Jon Huntley, and John Ricco under the direction of Richard Prisinzano and Efraim Berkovich    April 7, 2021 
https://budgetmodel.wharton.upenn.edu/issues/2021/4/7/president-biden-american-jobs-plan-effects

The Richest New Yorkers Could Be Hit With a Top Tax Rate of Over 50%

Governor Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers are targeting wealthy residents just as some of them consider relocating permanently to low-tax locations.

By Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou  April 7, 2021, Updated on April 8, 2021, 1:36 AM GMT+8 
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-04-07/richest-new-york-residents-face-top-tax-rate-of-over-50-in-cuomo-s-budget-plan?sref=6uww027M

With New York City residents also paying city taxes, the combined top rate for the highest earners would be between 13.5% and 14.8%, surpassing the 13.3% rate in California, currently the highest in the nation, according to the Tax Foundation.

Overall, experts say the increases, along with federal levies, would mean that the richest New Yorkers would be hit with a combined marginal rate of 51.8% — higher than levels in some European countries.
-------------

See also:
Tax Cut 31, Talk at Deloitte TRAIN forum, January 2018, February 11, 2018 
Tax Cut 32, Rene Azurin on zero income tax, May 31, 2018 
Tax Cut 33, WTA meeting and Asia tax competition, March 14, 2021.

Friday, April 09, 2021

BWorld 482, Rising cases, vaccine and Ivermectin

* My column in BusinessWorld, April 6, 2021.

"Our FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and DoH (Department of Health) are very strict about recommendations and demand for clinical trials on Ivermectin, fine. But where are the clinical trials on the safety and efficacy studies on mandatory face shields? Why give special treatment to new vaccines that still have no long-term safety studies and only a single placebo randomized controlled trial per vaccine, a consideration not given to the 24-RCT supported efficacy, very affordable and safe Ivermectin?”

— Dr. Benigno “Iggy” Agbayani, Jr.,
President, CDC PH 

The Philippines has experienced a surge in COVID-19 cases starting March 12, with 4,000+ cases per day. The peak so far was 12,556 cases on April 3.

I checked some reports on countries that are using vaccines from China. Brazil, Chile and Turkey started inoculation in mid-January 2021 using Sinovac. Also Ukraine (Global Times, Jan. 12, 2021). Serbia and Hungary have also been using Sinovac since early March (LA Times, March 2, 2021). Countries that use the Sinopharm vaccine are Peru and Cambodia (Washington Post, Feb. 2, 2021), Pakistan (Al Jazeera, March 18, 2021), and Iraq (Reuters, March 2, 2021).

When I checked these countries’ recent COVID-19 cases, a pattern emerged — many countries that use Sinovac and/or Sinopharm have experienced a spike or surge in cases around mid-March to present (see Figure 1). Some countries that use Sinovac or Sinopharm did not experience this trend but they are a few, like Indonesia. Still, the pattern is troubling and governments should pause and not rush mass vaccination.

Recently, doctors affiliated with the Concerned Doctors and Citizens of the Philippines (CDC PH) have been resource persons in many fora and government public hearings.

On March 30, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Muntinlupa City chapter under the leadership of its president, Elvie Sanchez-Quiazon, organized a big forum, “How to end the pandemic: range of perspectives.” Speakers were Senator Bong Go, Congressperson Ruffy Biazon, and four physicians — health consultant Dr. Tony Leachon, CDC PH President Dr. Iggy Agbayani, Dr. Allan Landrito who is the author of the book Freedom from COVID-19 Now! Prevention and Cure at Hand, and Dr. Homer Lim, President of the International Anti-Aging and Integrative Medicine Society. The forum moderator was TV personality Luchi Cruz-Valdes, head of TV5 News and Information.

Dr. Leachon talked about the usual pillars to control a spike in infection — test, isolate, trace, quarantine; the usual barriers — lockdown, mandatory masks, face shields, frequent hand washing, etc. He did not offer prophylaxis except the vaccines that will be available to many people many months from now, nor early treatment using old and multi-decades proven drugs.

Dr. Agbayani talked about the safety of ivermectin (IVM), as river blindness and malarial studies demonstrated its safety. Then he discussed IVM efficacy — at least 24 published randomized control trials (RCTs), 36 observational control trials (OCTs), one published and four pre-print meta-analysis — all supporting or showing benefits of using IVM against COVID-19. But despite these, IVM is not readily available mainly due to politics like unusual strictness even in drug compounding.

Dr. Landrito talked about the important characteristics of IVM — it is anti-parasitic, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer; and the important properties of IVM — it inhibits the replication of many viruses, it reduces viral load and fights organ damage, it prevents transmission of COVID-19, it hastens recovery and decreases hospitalization and mortality.

Dr. Lim talked about early treatment protocols for the mildly symptomatic like hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) plus azithromycin or doxycycline, or IVM plus azithromycin or doxycycline. Plus high doses of vitamins C and D, zinc, quercetin, and virgin coconut oil. He also discussed the basic findings of IVM Meta (https://ivmmeta.com/).

The CDC PH doctors also attended the public hearings conducted by the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) led by Director General Jeremiah Belgica on the mornings of March 30 and 31. FDA Director Eric Domingo was there. Then the House of Representatives hearing, also on March 30, from afternoon till evening, Health Secretary Duque was there.

A recent paper, “Global trends in clinical studies of ivermectin in COVID-19” written by Dr. Morimasa Yagisawa, Dr. Patrick J. Foster, Dr. Hideaki Hanaki, and Dr. Satoshi Ōmura, was published by The Japanese Journal of Antibiotics in March.

An important summary of the studies reviewed is presented below. The p-values show significance of the studies. P values of less than 0.05 (≤ 0.05) are statistically significant, indicating strong evidence against the null hypothesis that there is no relationship between two variables being studied, that there is less than 5% probability the null is correct. Thus, the alternative hypothesis that the independent variable does affect the dependent variable, is correct. The results affirm that using IVM against COVID-19 does lead to a shorter hospital stay or no hospitalization, viral elimination is higher, mortality is lower, and symptoms are reduced (see Figure 2).

The indefinite lockdown policy is 13 months of failure in the Philippines yet it is still done. Government has never tried focused protection for the vulnerable and early treatment for symptomatic people at home. Sick people need to get so ill that they need hospitalization before treatment can be given. This is a dangerous government policy.
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See also:
BWorld 479, Lockdown déjà vu or back to normal, March 22, 2021 
BWorld 480, 10 trends in mortality and spending economics, March 29, 2021 
BWorld 481, Carbon tax is not good, April 02, 2021.