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Friday, January 20, 2017

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...
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...
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...
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 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...

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...
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...

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...
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...
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...

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...
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...
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...

How to run Philippines Inc.

I have been running a business organization with diverse interests for decades, so I know very well how important it is for the members of such an organization, in spite of the differences in product or service areas, to coordinate, complement and operate for the benefit of the whole...
Local protesters were recently seen carrying signs that read: “No to Fascism.” While doubting their full understanding of that political philosophy, you have to give them credit for thinking that something is wrong. In an article for the Left-leaning US magazine The Nation, titled “Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Is a Wildly Popular Fascist,”...

Why worry about martial law?

YES, indeed, why worry about it when the country sadly experienced it twice already in 10 years and four months under two presidents. The first martial law was declared by President Ferdinand E. Marcos on September 21, 1972, and lifted it nine years later, on January 1, 1981, to save the republic...
At the state banquet in Malacañang, President Duterte said, “Japan is a friend closer than a brother…a friend unlike any other.” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe responded that Philippine-Japanese relations are “deep, warm and brotherly”. Both leaders were characterizing the current relationship between their two countries. They could have very well...

ERC reforms stir controversy

Recently, media was flooded with news items regarding  the suit filed by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and several other groups against the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). In a petition filed before the Supreme Court, the PCCI-led group asked the High Court to stop the ERC from implementing...
When the British bank HSBC released its economic growth forecast recently, it gave a better forecast for the Philippines compared to other markets in Asia. HSBC sees that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) will stay at a healthy 6.5 percent, the same as the bank’s growth projection for...
Is a lease a public-private partnership (PPP) modality? What is a lease arrangement? What law governs leases as a PPP? How does the government, as lessor, select the private-sector proponent-lessee? For those who are of the view that the build-operate-transfer (BOT) law is the only PPP law in the country,...