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The last of the triad of Senators accused of receiving hundreds of millions in kickbacks from the pork barrel scam walked away a free man on Dec. 7. Former Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. was acquitted for plunder and was released by the Sandiganbayan from Camp Crame.
Business and politics can be superficial, even judgmental. Studies show that those with youthful, symmetrical faces are three times more likely to bag an interview or close a deal as compared to those with lopsided, aging faces. A survey conducted by Forbes magazine confirmed that attractive people enjoy a five percent earnings advantage over those deemed unattractive. Making matters worse for unattractive people is that their earning capacity diminishes at an accelerated rate over time while that of attractive people diminishes at a remarkably slower pace.
When does a political family become a political dynasty? A political dynasty is established in two instances. First, when an elected government official is succeeded by a member of his household up to the first degree of consanguinity or affinity. Second, when several members of a family occupy various positions in government simultaneously.
Secretary Ramon Lopez of the Department of Trade and Industry is among the hardest working Cabinet members we have today. Under his purview is the unenviable task of attracting foreign investments, shepherding local industries to global competitiveness, creating international trade opportunities and protecting local consumers from unfair trade practices, among many others.
We were in the town of Furano in the prefecture of Hokkaido. It was 3:08 in the morning and my wife and I were deep in sleep after a day of touring. Suddenly, our cellphones (which were on silent) began to sound an alarm similar to that of a fire truck siren. The alarm was blaring and it permeated throughout the city through the town’s loud speakers. Along with the alarm came a notice in Japanese saying “Emergency Earthquake Warning!”
From a modest base in 2010, tourism has blossomed into a $38.5-billion industry comprising 12.2% of GDP in 2017. Foreign visitors topped the 6.62 million mark while domestic travelers reached 96.7 million. Curious to note that the number of domestic tourists have already surpassed the 2022 target of 86.2 million four years ahead of schedule. The industry has so far created 5.3 million jobs, most of which are in the countryside.
Expectations could not be higher for newly confirmed Secretary of the Department of Tourism, Bernadette “Berna” Romulo-Puyat. Following Wanda Teo who used her position as a piggy bank for the entire Tulfo clan, the public now demands a sensible, no nonsense tourism program.
In overall competitiveness, the Philippines is only better than Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar today. We have been overtaken by Vietnam and Indonesia in most competitive indicators in the last two years. This is not to say that the Philippines did not improve. We did, especially between the years 2010 to 2015. In the last two years, however, the rest of the region accelerated their reforms while the Philippines remained static given the disruption of the national elections and the period of adjustment of the new administration.
In this time of uncertainty resulting from the unnecessary provocation of our Christian community, political killings, and rumors of martial law, its important that we put perspective on things by taking into consideration the true state of the economy.
“Make the Philippine embassy in Spain the most productive in Europe, if not the world” -- this is Ambassador Philippe Lhuillier’s marching orders to his team of consuls.
What is ours, is ours. This includes the trove of resources in the West Philippine Sea.
One thing I appreciate about being a member of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce is having access to inside information otherwise inaccessible to the...
How serious is NAIA’s congestion problem? Consider this: The country’s principal gateway processed 42 million passengers last year, 11 million more than it was built...
Metro Manila is a city of extreme contradictions. Existing side by side are communities overcome by poverty and squalor and an elite whose members live...
Late last month, Manila was host to famed economist and global policy maker, Professor Ramon Tamames. For those unfamiliar with Prof. Tamames, the Spanish professor...
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