Dr. Peter Phillips
Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips is warning the government to prepare for the possible effects of a global recession.
Dr. Phillips said the slowing down in critical sectors of the world economy could have implications for the demand for Jamaica's bauxite and alumina.
In a news release this week, the Mining Ministry said urgent high level talks are taking place regarding the status of the JISCO/Alpart plant in St. Elizabeth.
The mining entity has laid off scores of contract workers which it said was mainly due to the reduction in the world market prices for alumina.
With fears looming of a possible economic downturn, Dr. Phillips believes Jamaica should have learnt from past mistakes when the last global recession occurred.
"One of the things that we need to do is to carefully manage our situation because in 2008 when the world economy really suffered from a great recession, the way we handled it in Jamaica then made things worse. I think the fact that we have given up so much of our bauxite and alumina revenues has not put the country well," he lamented.
Fears of an impending recession have been simmering as U.S.-China trade tensions continue to drag on.
Dr. Phillips, in the meantime, believes there is a link between the government's management of the education sector and its ability to manage crises, such as a global recession.
"Much more effort should have been made to deal with the educational challenge because effective human resources is what will enable us to withstand the pressures which will come from time to time," he argued, pointing to the government's failure to appoint a dedicated Minister of Education.
"There are obviously problems in the results that have come out in CAPE, etc., and there are problems with PEP; so going into high school and leaving high school, we're seeing great challenges with the performance of our children. This shows that we need to strengthen not only the management of our economy, but the management of our delivery of critical social services like education if we are find our way through this crisis," he contended.