Editorial & Opinion

Risk and the dengue vaccine

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Department of Health officials went on television just recently to announce the suspension of the government’s antidengue vaccination program. This move was prompted by the admission of Sanofi Pasteur, the pharmaceutical company behind the vaccine, that the administration of “Dengvaxia” could lead to more severe symptoms for people who have not been previously infected.

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Whose responsibility are the Rohingya?

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The latest development on this issue is that Myanmar and Bangladesh - the two countries most directly implicated in the Rohingya problem - have agreed to repatriate the more than 600,000 Rohingya refugees who have fled to Bangladesh to escape atrocities by Burmese security forces. The plan calls for their formal registration, preparatory to their restoration to their villages and homes in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

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A vision for Philippine industry

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Industry, the bulk of which is manufacturing, has lately outperformed services and agriculture in overall output and employment growth. Manufacturing itself has grown faster than the overall economy since 2010, averaging nearly 8 percent growth annually against the economy’s 6-7 percent. This brings more inclusive growth for the Philippine economy, for at least two reasons. First, manufacturing provides more stable jobs than in much (possibly most) of the services sector, which for more than two decades has led the economy’s growth, and largely includes informal jobs like trading/vending, transport (driving of pedicabs, tricycles and jeepneys), and personal or household domestic services. Second, manufacturing jobs demand less education and training than those in the fast-growing formal service sector industries like business process outsourcing, finance and real estate. Thus, it offers relief for the less educated and poorer segment of jobless Filipinos, who still number well over 2 million.

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Telco shakeup

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Finally, the political will to address a major national economic problem - slow internet and poor telecommunications service. President Duterte has offered China a slot to become the third major telco player in the country, a move aimed at breaking the much criticized duopoly of Globe Telecom and PLDT Inc.

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Waiting in hope, peace, joy and love - not in fear and anxiety

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Tiene usted la eternidad para descansar (You have eternity in which to rest) is a line attributed to Fr. Pedro Arrupe S.J. the former Superior General of the Society of Jesus. Almost 20 ago, I made a small poster of this and placed it beside the photo of Fr. Arrupe praying.

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What needs to be done

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It’s a fair, if irrelevant, question: How will the filing of plunder charges against key Aquino administration officials involved in the systematic destruction of the MRT-3 improve the efficiency and reliability of the distressed commuter train line?

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Pulling together to fight HIV/AIDS

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World AIDS Day (Dec. 1) came and went with worrisome news for the country. The latest figures from the Department of Health’s HIV/AIDS and ART Registry of the Philippines are alarming: From July to August alone, the DOH recorded 1,962 new cases of HIV/AIDS; as many as 31 new cases have been reported every day this year  -  a meteoric rise compared to 2008 when only one case was reported daily. The vast majority of the new cases are male -  a staggering 95 percent - and certain details are heartbreaking: 18 pregnant women were diagnosed positive in that same period.

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Migration and rural development

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Throughout history, one of the most effective strategies for people to look for a better future has been to move, in most cases leaving impoverished rural areas in search of more productive opportunities elsewhere.

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Trump’s loss, China’s gain?

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Is superpower America losing its grip on Asia?

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US Republicans and gun violence

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After the mass shooting at a concert in Las Vegas, Nevada, the other week, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters: “It’s particularly inappropriate to politicize an event like this. It just happened within the last day and a half.”

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