If You’re Looking to Make Sense Of the Country’s Economic Progress, Read This Book

Noted commentators come together to write about observations and recommendations about the Philippine economy.

Many people have commented about the exhilarating pace of economic development the country is enjoying in recent months and years, but it takes true economists and financial experts to help make sense of it all.

This is exactly what five established economic commentators set out to do in a new book entitled Momentum: Economic Reforms for Sustaining Growth, launched recently at the Fairmont Hotel in Makati City.

Book editor and former editor-in-chief of Summit titles Forbes Philippines and Entrepreneur Philippines Roel Landingin summed it up best: “In this collection of newspaper columns published from 2008 to 2019, five of the country’s leading economic commentators—Romeo Bernardo, Calixto Chikiamco, Emmanuel de Dios, Raul Fabella and the late Cayetano Paderanga—put forward observations and recommendations on some of the most intractable problems facing economic progress in the Philippines. But the essays do not always dwell on economic analysis and prescription: they also delve into broader themes ranging from motorcycle riding, US China rivalry; Mark Twain, basketball and working in government among others.”


In his column in Businessworld, Bernardo quoted his co-author Chikiamco, who is the president of the Foundation for Economic Freedom, on how they came up with the title.

“Truth to tell, we kicked around a few ideas. Prof. De Dios suggested ‘Wokenomics,’ derived from the current urban slang, ‘Woke,’ which means to be awake and always conscious of perceived injustices. However, after a few discussions and several late night dinners, we settled on the more prosaic but more apropos ‘Momentum,’ with the subtitle ‘Economic Reforms for Sustaining Growth.’

“The word is appropriately ‘Momentum’ because the Philippines has broken from its boom and bust cycle in the past,” he added “It’s cruising along at five to seven percent GDP growth, which is among the fastest in the region, and no doubt due to reforms in the past. The big question now is: how to sustain and even accelerate economic growth?” 

Some noted personalities from the public and private sector attended the book launch, including former President Fidel Ramos, former Prime Minister Cesar Virata, Central Bank Governor Ben Diokno, Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban, Monetary Board Member Philip Medalla, Representative and Professor Stella Quimbo, Competition Commission Chair Arsenio Balisacan, Senator Serge Osmeña, former Secretaries Gerry Sicat, Roberto de a Ocampo, Gary Teves, Romulo Neri, Popo Lotilla and General Joe Almonte; and business leaders and executives such as Endika and Montxu Aboitiz of AEV, Oscar Reyes of the MVP group, MAP President Riza Mantaring, ECOP President Serge Ortiz Luis, SHEDA Chair Jeff Ng, Bulletin Chair Basilio Yap, BusinessWorld Editor-in-Chief Roby Alampay, Harvard Alumni Association President Anthony Abad, who was also the emcee, and many others.

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For inquiries about Momentum, phone 3453-2375 or email [email protected]

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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