Bernardo M. Villegas
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Antigua Forum

            A week before world leaders met in the last days of January in Davos, Switzerland, I was in the beautiful and historical city of Antigua in Guatemala, meeting a much smaller group of influential thinkers and policy makers from different parts of the world. Last January 19 to 21, the Antigua Forum was held for the first time, convoking some 30 individuals interested in maximizing the freedom of individual economic initiative in all important sectors of economic life. Experiences from about 20 countries coming from all the continents of the world were shared in the most active and participative manner about the freedom of enterprise in such areas as education, health, finance, telecom, ports, pensions, property titles, labor, family policies, crime legislation, autonomous development zones, domestic and international trade. There were Deputy Prime Ministers, past and present; top officials of nongovernmental organizations involved in microcredit and other services addressed to the poorest of the poor; heads of think tanks; university professors; members of parliament; ministers of finance, the economy, defense, justice, and infrastructure; and a Nobel laureate in economics, Dr. Vernon Smith, who is a pioneer in experimental economics.

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       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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Inside Business: Critique on RH Bill

ANC Interview by Coco Alcuaz regarding the RH bill and the Philippine economy.