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Makati City
Friday, January 20, 2017
The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Bill Act, or House Bill 4774, is probably the closest we can expect to come to sensible tax collection, as there are provisions that will make everyone unhappy. The problem for legislators writing tax laws is that most people’s idea of perfect “tax reform” is “less taxes for me; more taxes for them”....

Know elections better

ON Wednesday the Education and Information Department (EID) of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) conducted its first voter-education session to be broadcast on Facebook Live. By the time the broadcast ended, the roughly hourlong session had reached 298,097 people. I may not fully understand the complexities and nuances of Facebook’s Reach metric, but close to 300,000 people do not...
The advent of social media has exponentially facilitated how ordinary people can communicate. Social-networking sites, initially designed to be just that, have been the primary medium for most “millennials” to be updated with current events and be exposed to topics open for debate. The interactive nature of social-networking sites has also encouraged the free flow of ideas and “facts”,...
The Philippine Catholic Church is urging the people to be merciful amid the social and moral issues in society on the Fourth World Apostolic Congress on Mercy (Wacom). Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, who opened the international congress on Monday, encouraged delegates to continue sharing Jesus to the world and become disciples of God’s mercy. “So many people today experience...
By Gervy James Biagtan Last year I discussed the growth of the business-process outsourcing (BPO) industry and the notion of the midnight sun that would never set. That sun is now facing some potential and imminent headwinds in the next nine months, within the next three to five years and within the next six to 12 years. The Duterte and Trump effect Much...
Businesses are created primarily to make money for shareholders. Whether we broadly define the purpose of a business as “serving society” or, in a narrower term, such as “meeting customer needs”, the ultimate goal is to generate wealth for investors. Sometimes, however, some companies explore ways to give back to the community or to help in nation-building. That’s when...

The elites and the populists

For about a year I have been writing about the “political hell” that is sweeping the world, which would peak in 2017. Of course, it is “hell” only if you are a part of—or you support—the existing political and economic elite. I have described it as a “fight to the death,” and the rhetoric in the Philippines, the United...

Business in the shadows

They’re everywhere! You see them in the streets, on the bus, at home and in almost every nook and cranny of any city or town. They are the street vendors; our stay-out household helpers, nannies and tutors; your neighbor who makes and sells cupcakes from her home kitchen; the lady down the street who augments her family’s meager income...
January 9, 2016, is a crucial day for antipoverty and health advocates. The issuance of Executive Order (EO) 12 by President Duterte aims to implement the provisions of the reproductive-health (RH) law, which were not covered by the temporary restraining order released by the Supreme Court (SC). Furthermore, the said EO seeks to step up concrete actions to promote modern...

The sun and the moon

From feast days back to the Ordinary Time of the year, the liturgy of the Church brings us to the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus, summarizing his preaching and detailing the call of the first disciples (Matthew 4:12-23). The great light Living in darkness is a favorite metaphor for the people awaiting salvation. Jesus came to dispel the darkness...
FOR 50 years, this country went through pitiful and willful experiences under two types of governance, exactly 10 years and four months under martial rule and 39 years and six months under civilian rule. In both instances, the country today remains the economic laggard of the five original countries that founded the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) on August...
AS we start the year 2017, renewal of business permits and payment of taxes are compulsory activities for any business organization. One of the major taxes is the local business tax imposed by the local government unit where one is doing business. In the event that a taxpayer disagrees with the tax computation made by the local treasurer, taxpayer usually...
THERE must be something in President Duterte’s character and demeanor that endears him to his hosts when he visits foreign countries, which many of us in our country, notably his critics, have so far failed to discern since he assumed the presidency. Otherwise, why is it that, despite his controversial statements, his seemingly uncontrollable tongue, the bad things that...

Looking a gift horse

AS a Christmas gift to the sore losers of the last election, Duterte has repeatedly offered to resign—if the country adopts a constitutional change from unitary to federal government. There it is—a gift. But both sides scorn it. The sore losers because so sweeping a change will sweep away the presidency in everything, perhaps even in name. A chancellor, as in...
President Duterte recently approved the recommendation of the Social Security Commission (SSC) to increase Social Security System (SSS) pension benefits by P1,000 effective January 2017 and another P1,000 in 2022 or earlier. Finally, the long-awaited clamor of some 2.2 million pensioners will be realized. The President, likewise, approved the increase of the contribution rate by 1.5 percent, from 11 percent...
Tourism executives are bragging they can hit the target of 6.5 million foreign tourists this year, but what could possibly cause a backlash from behind is our stark lack of infrastructure and amenities that service literally the “behind”. Come forth with comfort? This figure can easily be reached with the global promotions of the Miss Universe pageant 2017, the Philippines...