Bernardo M. Villegas
 
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Ultranationalistic Mentality

           President Benigno Aquino III does not agree with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte that amending the overly restrictive economic provisions in the Philippine Constitution should be a priority in order to improve the very notorious investment climate of the Philippines.  We have so many black marks against us:  one of the worst airports in the world; the least globally competitive in East Asia, with the exception of Cambodia; the second highest electricity rates in Asia; the lowest ranking in the ease of doing business index of the World Bank.  The President has been advised by his Cabinet Secretaries, however, that these restrictive provisions in the Constitution do not matter because, according to them, there are already laws on foreign investments that have opened the Philippines to ninety percent of possible foreign investments.  It is not worth introducing acrimonious debates on the Constitution that may just destabilize the economic environment in an already uncertain global climate.   

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POSITIVE DIMENSIONS OF POPULATION GROWTH

       The historical trends, empirical findings, and policy updates are discussed in detail in the essays compiled in this book. The most convincing argument that supports the thesis of the book, i.e. that population growth is a poitive factor in attaining sustainable human development, is found in the foreword to the book, which is adopted from an article written by Mr. Roberto de Ocampo, former Finance Secretary of the Philippines and multi-awarded finance official in Asia. Thanks to the continuing growth of the Philippines population, Filipinos are in more than 100 countries all over the world, contributing much-needed foreign echange and purchasing power to the Philippine economy and fostering the human and spiritual development of the most diverse of peoples and cultures on this planet.

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Antigua Forum Interviews 2012

 An interview with Dr. Villegas about the PH economy in Antigua Forum, Universidad Francisco Marroquín, last January 2012. See Link: