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UN expert: Pandemic’s worst impacts on poverty yet to come

GENEVA — The United Nations independent expert on poverty is warning that the worst impacts from the coronavirus pandemic on poverty are yet to come, and that measures taken by governments to protect people so far have been insufficient. “The social safety nets put into place are full of holes,” said Olivier De Schutter, a […] The post UN expert: Pandemic’s worst impacts on poverty yet to come appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource: inquirer inquirerSep 11th, 2020

Latin America to bear worst impact from coronavirus: World Bank

Latin America and the Caribbean will suffer the worst economic and health impact from the coronavirus, the World Bank said Friday, forecasting a nearly 8.0 percent drop in regional GDP. “Our region is suffering the worst economic and health impacts of Covid-19 of anywhere in the world,” according to Carlos Felipe Jaramillo, the Bank’s regional vice president. He said the findings in the report “calls for clarity on how to combat the pandemic and put the economies back on track for a swift recovery.”  In its report, “The Cost of Staying Healthy” the Bank addresses the impact of the pandemic in a region with with high Covid-19 mortality and infection rates such as Brazil, Mexico and Peru. “The number of deaths per million people is as high as in advanced economies, if not more, but the resources available to counter the shock are much more constrained,” it said.  The bank forecasts a recovery with growth of 4.0 percent in 2021. The report forecasts a region-wide 7.9 percent drop in GDP, a slightly more negative outlook for 2020 than its last assessment in June of a likely 7.2 percent contraction. Crisis-wracked Venezuela — in acute recession for several years and with a government that at least 50 countries refuse to recognize — is not taken into account in the figures. The Covid-related economic crisis follows “several years of disappointing economic growth and limited progress on social indicators, and right after a wave of social unrest,” the report said. “The social damage is immense” the institution warned, adding that unemployment rates had soared across the region, “sometimes substantially.”  Surveys conducted in 13 countries in the region showed that the share of households suffering a decline in income is higher than the share experiencing job losses, it said. The findings suggest that “the impact of the crisis is not only severe but also potentially long-lasting.”.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020

Africa needs $1.2 tn of financing to beat Covid-19 hit: IMF

African countries will need $1.2 trillion through 2023 to repair the economic damage inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said Friday. About $345 billion in financing has not yet been pledged, Georgieva said in a speech, while commitments from official lenders and international institutions cover less than a quarter of the projected need. “All of us — countries and institutions — must do more to support Africa to cope with the next phase, which is building a recovery from this crisis,” Georgieva said. The Washington-based crisis lender estimates Africa will see its GDP contract 2.5 percent in 2020, one of the worst downturns the continent has ever seen. And while recovery will begin next year, pre-crisis levels of growth won’t be reached until 2022. With private sector financing limited, the IMF projects a funding gap of $44 billion for this year alone, and 43 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty on the continent, wiping out five years of progress in poverty reduction. The IMF has significantly increased its financial assistance to the continent, providing about $26 billion to more than 40 countries this year, while the World Bank has provided around $21.9 billion in loans. African countries have more than a million cases of Covid-19 with 23,000 deaths, the IMF said......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020

Opportunity to reform market economy

The crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic provides a singular opportunity to significantly reform the so-called free market economy that has been embraced by countries of different political shades and persuasions, from socialist China to capitalist America.  Although it cannot be denied that the experiment with market-oriented economic policies by China has resulted in the liberation from dehumanizing poverty of hundreds of millions of people over the last 20  to 30 years, there continues to be scandalous disparity of income and wealth among those who have benefited from these reforms and those who have been left behind.  The massive unemployment that has been caused by the lockdowns of  economies all over the world has worsened the inequity in the distribution of income even in the most developed countries of Europe and elsewhere. The human sufferings that we are witnessing during the worst global economic crisis in 150 year  should bring world leaders to finally come to their senses and listen to what Pope Francis has been saying about   the limitations of the free market economy in respecting the dignity of each human person and in pursuing the common good of society. In The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis clearly states that “the dignity of each human person and the pursuit of the common good are concerns which ought to shape all economic policies. At times, however, they seem to be a mere addendum imported from without in order to fill out a political discourse lacking in perspectives or plans for true and integral development.”  The Holy Father points out that  growth in social justice “requires more than economic growth, while presupposing such growth.”  it requires decisions, programs, mechanisms, and processes especially geared to a better distribution of income, the creation of sources of employment, and an integral promotion of the poor which goes beyond a simple welfare mentality.”  In the publication “This Economy Kills,” authors Andrea Tornielli and Giacomo Galeazzi, inspired by the teachings of Pope Francis, enumerate the types of leaders who are needed for authentic human development in both developed and emerging markets.  According to them, we need “men and women who look to the future, who are committed to pursue the common  good and whose goal is not just the next election campaign.  It requires men and women who not only look at the spread and stock market indices as indicators of the health of a country but inquire whether the younger generations have a job, a future, and hope; whether children have kindergartens and schools that can educate them by introducing them to reality; whether couples have the opportunity to buy a house; whether there are effective welfare programs available for the elderly; and whether those who still bet on the future by putting children into the world are justly taxed, rather than penalized.  It requires men and women who are engaged in politics and work in institutions without corrupting themselves or letting others corrupt them, even managing perhaps to revive a minimum of esteem (which has never been so in decline) for that ‘highest form of charity’—that is, politics—in as much as it is exclusively committed to the common good and to the real lives of people, with special attention   and dedication to those in difficulty, those left behind, those  who are excluded and should be included.” We have in the above quote a program that should permeate the so-called new normal post-pandemic.  What I have read so far about prognostications concerning the “new normal” are mostly about means, not ends. There is a lot of talk about the digital transformation that all economic sectors shall have undergone as a response to the changes in consumer lifestyle and business practices brought about by COVID-19. It asserted that digitalization will be a universal practice. Online purchases of practically all types of consumer goods and services; modes of payments; delivery of formal education and all types  of skills training; banking practices; religious services; sports events; forms of entertainment; etc.  These transformations, however,  could occur without addressing the fundamental problem of great disparities in the distribution of income and wealth and may even exacerbate the problem of the poor if, for example, their children are further left behind because they lack the resources to participate in online learning.  Although the means are also important, there should be greater emphasis in the transformation of the ends or objectives of the economic system.  Our leaders should ask themselves how to make the structural changes necessary to reduce mass poverty (which has worsened during the many lockdowns made necessary by the pandemic).  In more concrete terms, the economic system should be geared to providing more nutritious food to the poorest of the poor; better quality education and health care to the bottom 20 percent of the population; free health services to those who cannot afford them;  socialized housing for the homeless; and well paying jobs for the unemployed and underemployed. The new normal should give the highest priority to providing the small farmers with what they need to eke out a decent living by providing them with the necessary infrastructures such as farm-to-market roads, irrigation systems, post-harvest facilities, access to credit and other farm support services that have long been denied the Filipino farmers.  I have always maintained that the first cause of dehumanizing poverty in the Philippines is the long-term neglect of rural and agricultural development.  It is not a coincidence that 75 percent of those who fall below the poverty line are in the rural areas. Many of them are the beneficiaries of agrarian reform who, after being provided with one or two hectares of land, were completely abandoned to their own resources.  They are the landless farm workers, the “kaingeros” (slush-and-burn farmers), and the subsistence fisherfolk. Hopefully, the shortage of food during  the pandemic has made it crystal clear that food security should be on top of our economic objectives.  Food security now and in the future can be made possible only by a significant increase in the productivity with which we use our agricultural resources.  To be continued For comments, my email address is bernardo.villegas@uap.asia.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 3rd, 2020

‘New dynamic’ needed to negate pandemic impact

The dramatic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have laid bare “weaknesses in our systems and societies,” a top official told the United Nations (UN) key international forum on sustainable development, warning that “a new dynamic” is needed to overcome the negative shocks. “The COVID-19 pandemic, while primarily a health crisis, also quickly became the worst […] The post ‘New dynamic’ needed to negate pandemic impact appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 10th, 2020

World Bank: Pandemic ‘perfect storm’ for South Asia

NEW DELHI: South Asia is on course for its worst economic performance in 40 years, with decades of progress in the battle against poverty at risk, because of the coronavirus, the World Bank said on Sunday. India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other smaller nations, which have 1.8 billion people and some of the planet’s most […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsApr 13th, 2020

Emerging Asia GDP to remain below pre-pandemic level

Economic output in emerging Asia hit worst by COVID-19 like the Philippines is expected to remain up to 15 percent below pre-pandemic level in the near term, according to the macroeconomy research firm Capital Economics......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 25th, 2020

Coconut farmers are poorest agri people

Coconut farmers are now the poorest people in the agriculture sector, much poorer than when they were 30 years ago.  This was the assessment of Danny Carranza, a coconut farmer and member the Kilusan Para sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo at Katarungang Panlipunan (Katarungan). (MB FILE, Keith Bacongco) Carranza blamed the coconut farmers’ poverty on the low copra prices, inability to intercrop and modernize, and now the COVID-19 pandemic, which isolates some of them who are living in far-flung areas.                “If you’re going to compare, we are much poorer now than we were back in 1990,” said Carranza. Carranza said the “crisis in coconut” that started in the 1990s was never resolved, but even worsened especially when farmers failed to diversify and intercrop before copra prices, dictated by world prices, crashed in 2019 and in the previous years.              “The price of copra is improving, reaching P16/kg from P8/kg last year, but that is still not enough,” Carranza said, adding that farmers’ income from a hectare of coconut plantation does not reach P10,000 anymore.            At present, about 95 percent of the 3.5 million hectares of coconut farms in the Philippines are meant to produce copra, which is the material for coconut oil manufacturing.  But with the collapse of the prices of coconut oil in the world market over the last two years, prices of copra have also dropped plunging farmers into deeper poverty. According to the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), prices of copra at farmgate as of October 15 stood at P21.86/kg, which is higher compared to P14.55/kg price level during the same day last year.           But Carranza said that it normally takes three to four years for coconut farmers to recover when a typhoon hits their plantation because coconut trees don’t recover fast. Several typhoons have devastated coconut trees lately.  “Farmers’ income is dictated by world prices, they don’t have enough funds to modernize their industry, and the government has failed to support them in the diversification of their coconut plantations,” Carranza said.  “Then things got worse because of climate change. And then, because of lockdown, a lot of farmers who live in far-flung areas were isolated and couldn’t deliver their produce,” he added.   In 2018, farmers working in coconut farms only received a daily nominal wage rate of P264, based on Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data.   To alleviate the current situation of coconut farmers, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has announced that it will soon distribute a P5,000 worth of assistance to coconut farmers, which will be withdrawn from the agency’s P24-billion stimulus package granted under ‘Bayanihan 2’. The problem, according to Carranza, is that the assistance may only benefit farmers who own 1 hectare of coconut plantations or less. The PCA is also setting aside a portion of its budget to finance on-farm and off-farm livelihood projects for coconut farmers such as intercropping and livestock. Meanwhile, Pambansang Kilusan ng Magbubukid sa Pilipinas (PKMP) Chairman Eduardo Mora said the legal team of Senator Bong Go pledged to help coconut farmers push for provisions that they want to be included in the Coco Levy Act, the proposed law that will pave the way for the release of the P100-billion coco levy fund.           “It was the office of Senator Bong Go that informed us that the senate version of Coco Levy Act was already passed in third and final reading. But his legal team also assured to help us in the congress version of the law, in bicameral, and in the drafting of the IRR [implementing rules and regulation] of the law,” Mora told Business Bulletin.         Mora’s group, which represents more than a hundred thousand coconut farmers in the country, has been calling for increased farmers’ representation in the planned coconut trust fund management committee.         Coconut farmers also don’t want the funds to be handled by PCA, Mora said.         Business Bulletin already sought for Agriculture Secretary William Dar’s reaction regarding the farmers’ opposition of the Coco Levy Act, but he hasn’t responded yet. .....»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 24th, 2020

World Roundup: India to roll out quick and cheap paper testing

New Delhi----A fast and cheap paper-based coronavirus test will soon be available across India, with scientists hopeful it will help turn the tide on the pandemic in one of the world's worst-hit nations......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2020

India to roll out quick and cheap coronavirus paper test

A fast and cheap paper-based coronavirus test will soon be available across India, with scientists hopeful it will help turn the tide on the pandemic in one of the world's worst-hit nations......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 21st, 2020

Opinion: Stronger global poverty reduction efforts needed amid pandemic

A health worker collects swab samples of a boy for COVID-19 testing inside Dharavi slum in Mumbai, India, June 6, 2020. (Str/Xinhua)The unprecedented pandemic should never be an e.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

Being a poor kid taught me empathy

Mayor Isko Moreno BATANG MAYNILA In a recent interview, I was asked by a reporter if I am amenable to the idea of placing the beggars under arrest.  These are the homeless people who end up in the streets begging for alms due to lack of income. Flatly, I rejected the idea. It is just not my cup of tea. Having been in that rock-bottom situation before, I cannot say that being poor is a sin or a fault in any way.  It is the kind of situation in which no one would ever, ever  want to be. I do not question the wisdom of national authorities who broached the idea of having the beggars arrested, for fear that they may be spreading COVID-19, since they do not observe any safety protocols particularly wearing of face masks. Maybe those from the national government have a different perspective about this issue but to me, sending the homeless people to jail is another thing, not only because I was also homeless at one point in my life but as I’ve said, it just isn’t my cup of tea. I would rather get these homeless people off the streets and care for them in our very own facilities designated for the purpose. In fact, for almost eight months now, we in the city government of Manila, through our social welfare department headed by Re Fugoso, had been taking care of hundreds upon hundreds of homeless people who ended up living in the streets and begging for alms, due to the pandemic. Since the quarantine and lockdowns began in March, we gathered these homeless, unwanted individuals and have been taking care of them since. We have three facilities for them. Modesty aside, we do not only feed these streetdwellers three square meals a day. We also provide them with clothes, toiletries, various forms of entertainment — like regular movie showing and zumba sessions— and even extras, since most donations of clothes and food that that land in our office from time to time are automatically sent to them. We also ensure their health and safety, by making them undergo regular medical tests. Our medical teams go to them and conduct the checking. While their life in our city-run facilities may not be luxurious, it is comfortable enough and definitely, a lot better than living in the streets. In fact, I suspect that a lot of homeless troop to Manila probably upon learning that the city provides the basic needs of those gathered. Those who would want to go to their native hometowns are being assisted by social welfare chief Re Fugoso herself, as in fact, 200 such families have already been sent to their respective provinces about a week ago. Back to the issue and let me be clear. There is no question that we in the city government are all for instilling discipline among everyone in the city, including the homeless. No exception. However, I firmly believe that when you are at the helm of governance, you have to strike a balance between putting discipline and certainty in place on one hand, and then compassion and humanity on the other. Addressing the poor is never easy. Actions need to be taken but there is a need to learn to stretch your patience to the maximum. I remember clearly what former President Ramon Magsaysay once said: “Those who have less in life should have more in law.” This creed of one of the greatest Presidents who ever lived, is what endeared him to the masses and had been my guiding rule since I entered politics. Simply put, this means that the  ordinary citizens or those in the lower rung of society, specially the poor, should get the necessary attention from government which they need more than those who are well off. Maybe having grown up knowing precisely what poverty means and actually feels like, also instilled in me the value of empathy. *** Gaya ng paulit-ulit  kong sinasabi, kailangan ko ang tulong ninyong lahat. Walang magmamalasakit sa Maynila kundi tayo ding mga Batang Maynila. Manila, God first! *** For updates on latest developments in the city of Manila, please visit my Facebook account — “Isko Moreno Domagoso”.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

Opinion: Stronger global poverty reduction efforts needed amid pandemic

A health worker collects swab samples of a boy for COVID-19 testing inside Dharavi slum in Mumbai, India, June 6, 2020. (Str/Xinhua)The unprecedented pandemic should never be an e.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsOct 17th, 2020

Expert Eyes 2022 For Pre-Pandemic GDP Growth

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the Philippines still needs more time to reach its pre-pandemic level. According to an expert, 2022 is the nearest timeline for the country to reach its Prepandemic level and for the general economy to pick up the pace. World Bank Senior Economist for East Asia and the Pacific Ergys […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 13th, 2020

Covid-19 reinfection casts doubt on virus immunity: study

Covid-19 patients may experience more severe symptoms the second time they are infected, according to research released Tuesday confirming it is possible to catch the potentially deadly disease more than once. A study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal charts the first confirmed case of Covid-19 reinfection in the United States — the country worst hit by the pandemic — and indicates that exposure to the virus may not guarantee future immunity. The patient, a 25-year-old Nevada man, was infected with two distinct variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, within a 48-day time frame. The second infection was more severe than the first, resulting in the patient being hospitalised with oxygen support. The paper noted four other cases of reinfection confirmed globally, with one patient each in Belgium, the Netherlands, Hong Kong and Ecuador. Experts said the prospect of reinfection could have a profound impact on how the world battles through the pandemic. In particular, it could influence the hunt for a vaccine — the currently Holy Grail of pharmaceutical research. “The possibility of reinfections could have significant implications for our understanding of Covid-19 immunity, especially in the absence of an effective vaccine,” said Mark Pandori, for the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory and lead study author. “We need more research to understand how long immunity may last for people exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and why some of these second infections, while rare, are presenting as more severe.” Waning immunity?Vaccines work by triggering the body’s natural immune response to a certain pathogen, arming it with antibodies it to fight off future waves of infection. But it is not at all clear how long Covid-19 antibodies last. For some diseases, such as measles, infection confers lifelong immunity. For other pathogens, immunity may be fleeting at best. The authors said the US patient could have been exposed to a very high dose of the virus the second time around, triggering a more acute reaction. Alternatively, it may have been a more virulent strain of the virus. Another hypothesis is a mechanism known as antibody dependent enhancement — that is, when antibodies actually make subsequent infections worse, such as with dengue fever. The researchers pointed out that reinfection of any kind remains rare, with only a handful of confirmed cases out of tens of millions of Covid-19 infections globally. However, since many cases are asymptomatic and therefore unlikely to have tested positive initially, it may be impossible to know if a given Covid-19 case is the first or second infection. In a linked comment to The Lancet paper, Akiko Iwasaka, a professor of Immunobiology and Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale University, said the findings could impact public health measures. “As more cases of reinfection surface, the scientific community will have the opportunity to understand better the correlates of protection and how frequently natural infections with SARS-CoV-2 induce that level of immunity,” she said. “This information is key to understanding which vaccines are capable of crossing that threshold to confer individual and herd immunity,” added Iwasaka, who was not involved in the study......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 13th, 2020

Travel Agency Group Sees PH Tourism Recovery in Early 2021

Aside from the business industry, tourism was also the one of the worst industries that have been greatly affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, not just in the Philippines but through the entire globe. Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, Local Government Units (LGUs) are now slowly giving priority to their respective […].....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 12th, 2020

Italy ‘second wave’ fears grow as virus cases top 5,000

Italy was grappling Friday with fears of a second coronavirus wave similar to the ones seen in Britain, France and Spain, as it registered over 5,000 new infections in 24 hours. “We’re under extreme pressure,” the World Health Organization’s Italian government adviser Walter Ricciardi said, warning that spaces in Covid-19 hospitals were running out in the worst-hit regions. Italy registered 5,372 new cases Friday, the health ministry said, nearly 1,000 more than on Thursday. The country has not seen such high numbers of recorded new infections since mid-April. New infections are still well behind Britain, France and Spain, which are registering between 12,000 and 19,000 cases in 24 hours. But Ricciardi said the rise in cases could reach those levels in Italy just as winter begins and common influenza strikes. “When the flu comes, we risk having 16 thousand cases in a day,” he said in an interview with broadcaster Sky TG24. “I am very worried… (about) sub-intensive units because there are infectious patients who need to be treated in a certain way and beds are already running out. And that’s before the flu hits,” he said. The government moved to tackle the sharp rise in case numbers earlier this week, making wearing face masks compulsory in outdoor spaces across the country, on top of all indoor spaces apart from homes. – ‘Dramatic decisions’ – Lazio, the region which houses capital Rome, has been performing particularly badly, along with Campania in the south and Lombardy in the north, where the pandemic broke out in Italy back in February. According to official figures, more than 36,000 people have died of the virus in Italy, where a nationwide lockdown — the first in any European country — lasted over two months. Drained by years of budget cuts, southern Italy’s overstretched health care system escaped the brunt of the virus after movement between regions was banned, preventing cases from travelling down the country. But there are fears it would not escape a second wave. The Italian Association of Hospital Anaesthesiologists said Friday that hospitals in the south, where infrastructure is weaker, were not ready for an escalating crisis, despite efforts made to boost beds and staff numbers. Campania’s regional president Vincenzo De Luca said on Facebook he thought “we’ve reached the point where dramatic decisions need to be taken”. He said he could not rule out a new lockdown of the region. Regional Affairs Minister Francesco Boccia said Friday that if the upward trend continued, movement of people between regions may be temporarily banned. “A rise in the number of contagions was predictable. Intensive care units have been reinforced,” he said. “However, I cannot rule out limits on movements. Nothing can be ruled out at the moment,” he told Radio Capitale......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020

Christmas 2020 for workers and farmers

HOTSPOT Tonyo Cruz Two things workers are looking forward to at the end of each year are the 13th month pay and the Christmas bonus. And it seems about two million workers may not get any 13th month pay at all, if the Duterte government would have its way. The reason? Because of the pandemic. In reaction, Kilusang Mayo Uno chairperson Elmer Labog  issued his shortest statement yet this year, unable to hide labor’s frustration: “It is the government’s responsibility to bail out MSMEs in times of emergencies.” Indeed, it is the state’s obligation to support and prop up micro, small and medium-scale enterprises especially now in the time of pandemic. By saying MSMEs could dispense with the 13th month pay, the government is practically passing on its responsibility to MSMEs. Workers continue to give their share through the cheap, underpaid and overstressed labor power that makes sure MSMEs continue to function and perform their role as main engines of the economy. The government must do its job: Bail out the MSMEs. It is quite surprising that the Duterte government seems disinterested in bailing out MSMEs, considering the avalanche of news about the borrowings here and there. According to Sonny Africa, executive director of the think-tank Ibon Foundation, the borrowings has reached a historic high: “It took 118 years for the country’s debt to reach P6.1-trillion in 2016. President Duterte is taking just six years to more than than double that to P13.7-trillion in 2022.” Again, the reason for the borrowing has been “because of the pandemic.” Regardless of where the money goes, and whether or not MSMEs and workers received only a drop from it, they would pay the entire debt through more and higher taxes for years to come. Workers are not asking for something they have not earned through hard work. They earned that 13th month pay. It is not an optional thing. It is part of the law. The pandemic should oblige the state to bail out our MSMEs to enable them to fully function, and to give the workers’ their due under the law. Workers have given and lost a lot because of the pandemic. Workers have not asked for free rides to work, but the government fails to provide adequate and safe mass transport. Workers have asked for free mass testing in their companies and communities, but the government has other ideas. Workers and their families would have fared better with unemployment benefits amid the dismal pandemic response of government, but it seems the same government wishes to push them instead to pawnshops and loan sharks. We haven’t even factored in the laid-off, underemployed and unemployed workers, as well as the undetermined number of overseas Filipino healthcare workers stranded in the country since April. They all don’t wish to be “patay-gutom” and “pala-asa”.  They don’t wish to stay unemployed and be dependent on aid. They are ready to work and earn their keep. But since the president made policy decisions affecting their ability to obtain work, it is the government’s obligation to bail them out as well. The situation of our nation’s farmers is no different. For instance, rice farmers continue to produce our national staple. The pandemic made even worse the effects on them of the combined power of policies such as rice tarrification, the stranglehold of Big Landlords, the vast influence of rice cartels, and the continued operation of illegal rice importers. Price monitoring by Bantay Bigas and the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas reveals the outrageously low palay prices nationwide, which means ruin to our nation’s rice farmers: Negros Occidental and Bicol region P10; Capiz P10-P11; Caraga P11; Tarlac P11-12; Ilocos Sur and Nueva Ecija P11-13; Camarines Sur P11.50-14; Bulacan and Mindoro P12; Isabela P12-P13.50; Pangasinan P12-P12.30; Antique P12.50; Agusan del Sur P13; Davao de Oro P13.14; Davao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and South Cotabato P13.50; North Cotabato P14; and Lanao del Norte P15. If you look at it, plantitos and plantitas today pay 20 to 50 times more for ornamental plants, compared to the prices traders and the NFA offer to our farmers. According to Bantay Bigas and KMP, the government procures way less than 20 percent of the produce of rice farmers.  And then we hear that the NFA would rather import rice from other countries, at pandemic-affected prices at that. Without any state intervention, by way of NFA buying rice farmers’ produce at P20 per kilo, and providing loans to farmers, there could be worse rural poverty in the coming months and years. Between our workers and farmers, their families have been made to sacrifice a lot since March, with prices of basic goods spiking, with new and higher expenses arising from online classes for the children. There cannot be no aid for them.  Neither should workers and farmers shoulder the burden of the failure or refusal of government to provide funding for bailouts sorely needed by MSMEs, and be forced to accept new national debts to pay for policies such as rice tarrification and importation. The government knows the scale of the problem. The Department of Labor and Employment says 13,127 companies have either laid off workers or permanently closed. The response cannot be “pass the burden to workers”. The answer should be: “the state must do everything to rescue the companies and the workers.” OFWs across the world should be familiar with bailouts and economic protections because of the pandemic. Many countries that host OFWs enacted huge bailouts and stimulus to their economies, partly so that migrant labor could continue to be employed. They enjoy health insurance, and special COVID19 coverage. Governments handed out checks to both citizens and companies. Is it too much to ask that the same be done in our own country? Or do Filipinos have to go abroad to experience such social and economic protections?.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020

Knocking on Goliath’s Doors

Most people love a David vs. Goliath story, cheering when the underdog comes out on top, defying all odds and expectations. In all probability, part of the attraction comes from how seldom it happens. In the consumer goods corporate arena, for example, what we’ll read about more often is how some creative, forward-looking, independent enterprise is gobbled up by a multinational, or big player. So here’s something that’s different, a David calling on the Goliaths to partner with ‘him,’ to forge something collaborative, rather than adversarial or acquisitive. Founders of the Australian-based social enterprise, Thankyou, Daniel and Justine Flynn Thankyou is an Australian social enterprise founded in 2008 by a group of university students. Offering consumer products – personal care and baby product ranges – in Australia and New Zealand, their mission vision and business model is to make and distribute the Thankyou products to help end extreme poverty. As Daniel Flynn, Thankyou co-founder with his wife Justine and Jarryd Burns, reminds us, ‘With $63 trillion spent on consumer goods each year while 736 million people are stuck in extreme poverty (based on WB, OECD data), we believe that business as usual is broken. But we also believe that we, together with people and a partnership with one of the two biggest companies in the world, can change this by funneling the dollars spent on consumer goods into helping extreme poverty.” To achieve this, and drum up attention to their ‘call’ to P&G and Unilever to make and distribute Thankyou products globally; Thankyou has embarked on a global Social Media campaign, No Small Plan. The ‘plan’ is to muster enough global viral support that one of these giants will take notice, and team up with Thankyou. It’s the collective impact of voices around the world that Thankyou is asking for. To show our support, Thankyou is asking us to:– Post a photo or share the campaign social title with the caption ‘I’m in, are you?’ – Tag @proctergamble and @unilever. – Hashtag #thankyoutotheworld. – Share Thankyou’s video to help spread this even further.And you might have begun seeing these ‘I’m in, are you?’ IG posts, wondering what they were all about. A Thankyou-funded water supply & sanitation project in Asia. Thankyou will then set virtual meetings with both consumer goods giants – this to happen at the end of the social campaign. And on November 5th, Thankyou will announce which multinational will be their partner, on one of the largest and most iconic digital billboards of the world, New York City’s Time Square.  It’s a daring gambit by this company that is as much social movement and engaged community, as it is distributor of consumer goods. To date, Thankyou has raised over A$17 million for their impact partners serving the world’s poorest populations. They’ve helped over 857,000 people in over 20 countries, from Asia to Africa; addressing water, health, sanitation, economic development programs, maternal and child health programs in low-income communities. Tackling extreme poverty, the supported programs and impact partners help alleviate the problems of people living on less than $1.90/day. Thankyou doing something for Education in Africa. To date, the verdict is still out on to what extent this COVID pandemic will affect the global economy. Needless to say, we can be certain that the gap between the rich and the poor will only widen, inequalities heightened. Thankyou offers a new business model, where it’s not just the CSR programs that reach out to ameliorate social ills; but that the business model itself gets a much-needed makeover. Make your voice heard if you share in Thankyou’s vision of tomorrow......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020

SOJOURNER’S VIEW: KULIT KULTURA: A Sculpture Exhibition of Mindanawon Artists

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 9 October) – Among the worst-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic’s disastrous presence in the planet in terms of having been sidelined and disadvantaged are the artists. These are especially those who rely on bringing crowds together in one venue, e.g. visual artists, musicians, singers and songwriters, filmmakers and actors/actresses. As lockdowns were […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020

Women, rights NGOs welcome Bachelet’s report on the Philippines, call for an independent investigation on PH rights situation

The three organisations welcomed the report of High Commissioner Bachelet and sought the attention of the HRC “to the worsening human rights situation in the Philippines amid the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”.....»»

Category: newsSource:  samarnewsRelated NewsOct 7th, 2020