Tag Archives: Mark Canlas


Ten Things You Did Not Know About The UPCAT And Getting Into UP

The UPCAT is the most popular college entrance exam in the country, attracting over 70,000 applicants every year from all over the Philippines. For those who are dreaming of getting into the prestigious universities that are part of the University of the Philippines college system, here are a few things you might want to know.

(Want to win free UPCAT review sessions from Excel Reviews? Scroll down to the bottom of this post to find out how.)

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Our Economic Growth is Not a Bubble, and How Bubble-Panic Makes Things Worse

This is a reaction to Jesse Colombo’s Forbes article “Here’s Why the Philippines’ Economic Miracle Is Really A Bubble In Disguise” published here.

First things first, to make things clear, our recent economic growth is not a bubble. However, let me nuance this judgment – it is only good for a year. If the economy goes on a different trajectory (say, inflation spikes to double digits or real estate loans double in a year), or goes on with worrying bits of the current trajectory (say, liquidity continues growing at 30% annually), then the judgment will not hold.

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Barangay Kapitolyo

How To Make The Philippine Agrarian Reform Program Work

The Philippine economy is comprised of only three major sectors – agriculture, industry and services. Agriculture accounts for a mere 14% of the economy and, in the past 30 years, registered the slowest growth rate. This is a shame since it accounts for a third of the jobs in the economy; thus, the sector is home to the largest number of poor Filipinos because its workers are paid the least.

The failure of agrarian reform deserves much of the blame for the sector’s lack of performance. I would even say that the Philippine agrarian reform program’s inability to properly define the property rights of agricultural land (setting the right limit to land owned, ensuring that the farmer can use the land to access farming implements through loans, etc.) is the main reason why agriculture remains in its languishing state. To quote a study by Professor Alberto Vargas of the University of Wisconsin in 2003, “the Philippines has one of the worst land tenure problems in the developing world” which has led to land conflicts that induced the creation of the Hukbalahap and the New People’s Army as means of redress.

In a world with an ever increasing demand for food, agriculture and its downstream industry, agro-processing, are one of the most viable sources of growth. How then can we make agrarian reform work?

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