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What is a State of the Nation Address?

THE annual State of the Nation Address (Sona) is a paradox. The concept for the address comes from the US Constitution, which requires the president to, “from time to time, give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” It was a report on how things were going, and what the president needed Congress to do as the lawmaking body of the government.

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The myth of government spending

PRESIDENT Aquino’s fifth State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday was a fine speech that evoked the proper emotional responses and provided the people with plenty of information. However, on another level, it may have shown why the global economy is sick.

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Incidental transactions subject to VAT

THE late United States Chief Justice John Marshall once said that “the power to tax involves the power to destroy,” and involves, as it does, one of the most illimitable powers of the government. The courts, in viewing that power as destructive, have espoused the principle that tax statutes are to be strictly construed against the taxing authority and, thus, may neither be extended by implication beyond the clear import of their language nor may they be enlarged by operation so as to embrace matters not specifically provided (Commissioner of Internal Revenue [CIR] v Philippine Airlines, GR 180066, July 7, 2009). Therefore, before a certain type of tax may be imposed, it is first necessary to determine who or what are to be taxed.

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