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Makati City
Monday, February 20, 2017

February in the Philippines

Valentine’s Day is over, but for the Filipinos, the celebrations continue. The country has colorful traditions, especially during the summer months. Every province has its own specialty, its own patron and its own reason for celebration. What is consistent, though, is the fact that these festivals are carried out...
FOR us to find out who we can be and should be, our mission in life, so to speak, we must first know our strengths (mind and body) as well as our passion (soul and spirit). In her workbook The Path, Laurie Beth Jones wrote some suggestions as to...

1Bataan. Go PPPs

Is it true that all barangays in the province of Bataan have adopted their own public-private partnership (PPP) framework? Is it true that the provincial government of Bataan (PGB) has seven PPP projects in the pipeline? Is it true that PPP contributes to the 1Bataan thrust of the PGB? The...
What really constitutes education? How can we tell whether a person is educated? Is being educated purely a function of one’s ability to memorize or exhibit grammatical prowess? Are there certain books that you have to read? Does it mean graduating with highest honors in a very reputable institution?...

Prenuptial agreements

Back in the old days, prenuptial agreements were almost unheard of in the Philippines. Perhaps, our aversion to this concept stems from our culture of modesty and false pride in that we tend to bloat our sense of self, yet, at the same time, we also take pride in...

The problem with free tuition

IN a few months, the next school year will begin, but the proposed free-tuition legislation is still being discussed. One of the most recent developments was the joint position paper released by economic managers, basically stating that the proposed free-tuition policy will not be an efficient use of government...

Going global

RECENTLY, our profession has been very active in its involvement in the international accountancy arena. The Philippines, through the Board of Accountancy (BOA), joined the rest of the nine other Asean countries in opening up for their accountants to have liberalized access to work in their territories with the signing...
WHAT is a legacy? What is or what should be the legacy of public-private partnerships (PPPs)? What is yours? Merriam-Webster defines a legacy as something, such as property or money, that is received from someone who has died. Breaking down this definition, there is a material gift, not to oneself,...
THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)—in its en banc meeting on November 10, 2016—approved the Code of Corporate Governance for Publicly Listed Companies. Pursuant to SEC Memorandum Circular 19, the code took effect on January 1, 2016. All publicly listed companies are required to submit a new manual on...
IN the midst of recent developments in America, Russia and China in relation to the country’s economy, it would be interesting to witness how the Asean Summit would unfold this year. The Philippines holds the chairmanship for 2017. Former Ambassador and Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Lauro Baja Jr. said the...

Inflation strikes back

Inflation is back. Low oil prices dragged down headline inflation rates in recent years, creating a low inflation illusion. Crude oil is not directly part of consumer spending—pouring a barrel of crude oil into the engine of your car will have negative consequences. However, consumers indirectly buy crude oil as...
On February 3 the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) marked its 40th founding year with the theme “Grand life begins at 40”. In its 77-day accomplishment report, the new PRA leadership, headed by this columnist, as chairman of the Board, and the General Manager/CEO lawyer Janilo E. Rubiato, highlighted public-private...
Since 2005, a campaign has been launched calling for the establishment of a Jury System in the Philippines. Principal proponent of the campaign is the Philippine Jury Campaign International (PhilJury, UK), one of the three organizations based in the United Kingdom urging for change in our judicial system. PhilJury argues...

Integrity is our middle name

“An accountant is someone who solves a problem you didn’t know you had in a way you don’t understand.”—Anonymous AT this time of the year, the professional accountants are in their busy period for their companies/clients with business year ending December 31. The period from mid-December until the deadline for...
WHILE totally inappropriate, I take some satisfaction in seeing the West, and particularly the United States, imploding before our eyes. This is because it strengthens the premise that the economic and political cycle is moving the center of global power to Asia. In his epic The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, English historian Edward Gibbon attempted to make sense of why the longest, largest...
IN a major deviation from the traditional free-trade stance of American leaders, US President Donald J. Trump openly declared that his administration is pursuing America First policy. He has withdrawn US support to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which his predecessor crafted as a strategic response to the growing Chinese trade dominance...

Salt of the earth

AFTER pointing out to His disciples the indispensability of the inner dispositions like poverty in spirit, cleanness of heart, hunger for justice, Jesus reveals to them their dignity and responsibility in society, therefore, as “salt of the earth” and “light of the world” (Matthew 5:13-16). No mere flavoring The metaphor of being...

Braving the Brexit blues

ON June 24, 2016, the world was shocked and a bloodbath at the global stock market occurred when the Britons, after intense campaigning waged by both the leavers and those who wish to remain, voted to get out of the European Union (EU). The EU is composed of 28-member European...
SMUGGLING of petroleum products has been rampant in the last couple of years. The value-added tax (VAT) and excise-tax exemptions of free-port and economic zones (FEZs) are being abused by enterprising individuals. To curtail this problem, the Bureau of Internal Revenue in 2012 required the payment of VAT and excise tax...
Part One BEFORE the end of 2016, the new Social Security Commission (SSC), the policy-making body of the Social Security System (SSS), had been appointed by the Duterte administration. Under Republic Act (RA) 8282, also known as the social-security law, the SSC shall be “composed of the secretary of labor and employment...