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Employee engagement

EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT has become a mainstream concept throughout organizations, including corporate boardrooms. The rise of digital transformation as a strategy and the emergence of the millennial generations gave it much prominence in the recent years.

Mandatory fare discount as socialistic policy

MODERN day socialists and populists in governments, explicit and implicit, are aware of the limits of governments giving all sorts of endless, no timetable subsidies, discounts and other welfarist programs. So they invented a new form of welfarism — forcing private corporations to give mandatory discounts (restaurant food, medicines, fare in public transportation, etc.) to people, rich and poor no distinction. Politicians and governments get the credit while corporations get the financial burden as those forced discounts cannot be used for tax deduction.

Japan Foreign Minister to visit PHL

THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday announced that Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono will visit the Philippines from Feb. 9 to 11.

BDSM in the time of ML

BENEDICT MIQUE, Jr. the writer and director of the acclaimed Cinemalaya Festival entry ML (which stands for Martial Law) uses the popular framework of the standard teen slasher horror thriller to get his message across. It is an inspired choice. In that revered form, a bunch of attractive young people are inadvertently trapped somewhere, then one by one they meet a gruesome end. The good or virtuous teen is spared. As in fairy tales with a moral lesson to tell, the youths who die deserve it. They are usually fatally flawed to begin with: obnoxious bullies, disrespectful of their elders or of authority, criminally inclined or sexually promiscuous — generally all of the above. A recent local example was Topel Lee’s Bloody Crayons (2017) based on a popular wattpad novel, which unexpectedly had the audience ROFL. For Mique’s film though, any elicited laughter is nervous and hollow because of the dark seriousness of his subject.

Arroyo is again acting like she’s the prime minister

On Oct. 17, 2018, House of Representatives Speaker Gloria Arroyo spoke before the delegates to the 139th International Parliamentary Union (IPU) General Assembly at the Centre for International Conference Geneve in Geneva, Switzerland. Mrs. Arroyo was head of the Philippine delegation to the IPU assembly.

Ethical consumerism

When is shopping considered a good deed?

Palace, AFP differ on Trillanes amnesty, LP ‘plot’

ARMED Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. confirmed at a Senate hearing on Tuesday that opposition Senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV had applied for amnesty in 2011, and also denied that the embattled lawmaker and the opposition Liberal Party (LP) are in cahoots with communist rebels in a supposed Red October ouster plot against President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

Malacañang: Enrile, Marcos can’t ‘twist’ martial law history

MALACAÑANG ON Monday contradicted former Senate president Juan F. Ponce-Enrile’s remarks in his interview with former senator Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. contradicting several established circumstances of the martial-law regime of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos.

Mindanao’s Martial Law will not extend to Luzon, Visayas says Palace

AS various groups of protesters marched on the streets of Metro Manila on Friday, Sept. 21, to commemorate the 46th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law by the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, Malacañang said that the situation is different now and that the Martial Law that is currently in force in Mindanao will not be extended to the rest of the country.

Roque: Bill on fake news unconstitutional

PRESIDENTIAL spokesperson Harry L. Roque, Jr. on Wednesday said he opposes the passage of a bill penalizing government officials who create or spread fake news, saying the proposed measure may be used to target government officials in the opposition.

Navigating the TRAIN tracks

By Bjorn Biel M. Beltran, Special Features Writer Predictably, when the Duterte administration came out with the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, seeking...

TRAIN, inflation, and PPP

“It is vain to talk of the interest of the community, without understanding what is the interest of the individual.” -- Jeremy Bentham (1748-1834,...

Tourism, casinos, and Boracay

“Every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has a right to, but himself.” -- John Locke (1632-1704, considered the father of classical...

IPR in the ASEAN and plain packaging in the West

Last week, March 22, a global coalition of 62 market-oriented independent or nongovernment think tanks and institutes sent a letter to the World Health...

Digital-ready leadership skills

The fusion of different technologies in the digital, physical and biological spheres is disrupting businesses and organizations the world over. Commonly referred to these...

Charity and giving should not be legislated

“How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and...

Corona and Sereno impeachments not the same

Many pundits liken the impeachment of Maria Lourdes Sereno to the impeachment of Renato Corona. Except for the fact that the respondent in the...

Estimating electricity price hikes because of TRAIN, Part 2

Part 1 of this short study was published in this column on Feb. 15. Some corrections and adjustments are made here because of (a)...

Mining tax and TRAIN

“Government does not tax to get the money it needs; government always finds a need for the money it gets.” -- Ronald Reagan, former US president Under...

The sin of health alarmism in TRAIN sin tax hike

“When a new source of taxation is found it never means, in practice, that the old source is abandoned. It merely means that the...

‘Tap on a keyboard and make a living’

According to the October 2000 Awake! magazine article, “Is It Wise to Invest in the Stock Market?,” “the apparent ease of trading stocks online...

TRAIN, inflation, and emerging DOE price control

More countries are reporting their January 2018 inflation rate and it is becoming clearer that majority of them have reigned in the inflationary pressure...

Cobalt, batteries, and TRAIN

Many people are enamored -- and rightly so -- with consumer electronics and gadgets like smartphones, iPads, laptops, and so on. Then, there is...

Solar insecurity, energy stability, and affordability

“When PV Solar rely on up to 67% of revenues from subsidies, the state becomes a counter-party that is critical to sustaining the firm’s...

TRAIN, inflation, and the stock market

At first there were bureaucracies, endless subsidies, and new taxes; second were price hikes due to the new taxes; third, monetary control measures to...

Distortions in TRAIN 1 should be corrected by TRAIN 2

The new Philippine tax law, the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN), has reduced personal income tax but it also created new economic...

Estimating electricity price hikes resulting from TRAIN

Electricity and energy means development. So an increased electricity supply at a lower, more stable, and more competitive price results in increased development. Increased development...

Asians’ freedom from high inflation and regulations

“Bad times make good policy and good times make bad policy. If you want to introduce important reforms, wait for bad times and the...

Land use bill and Asian urbanization

Urbanization, like technological innovation and mass production of mobile phones and other gadgets, is among the important reasons why people’s lives have become more...

Lower taxes via more mineral exports

Countries that impose zero income taxes on their nationals are dependent on extracting and exporting their natural resources such as oil and natural gas....

Gordon and Faeldon in power play

Senator Richard Gordon and Former Customs commissioner Nicanor Faeldon engaged in power play during the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on alleged corruption in...

ERC paralysis and implications for consumers

Despite a significant increase in the Philippines’ power generation capacity in recent years, the country’s installed capacity and electricity production remains small compared to...

Why low or zero income tax can mean more development

“The people are hungry: It is because those in authority eat up too much in taxes. When the government is too intrusive, people lose their...

‘The lady doth protest too much, methinks.’

The line above is from William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet where Hamlet’s mother says it in reference to the protestation of a lady that she...

The Asia Liberty Forum and the search for rule of law...

“There is no evidence that fuel and electricity subsidies benefited the poor. There is no evidence that trade protection benefited the poor. Elimination of...

Effects of SC ruling on electricity retail access and open competition

“The real bosses, in the capitalist system of market economy, are the consumers… The entrepreneur profits to the extent he has succeeded in serving...

Has East Asia liberalized its trade enough?

Under a system of perfectly free commerce, each country naturally devotes its capital and labour to such employments as are most beneficial to each....

My hope for 2018: PNP adopts the Marc Anthony Fernandez protocol

Before the year 2017 ended, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the Duterte administration will apply the lessons learned from previous experience to make the...

The dream of federalism and the reality of centralized government

Repeated calls for federalism by the Duterte administration actually point to more centralization of the national government -- the complete opposite of what they’re...

Top eight energy news of 2017

This should have been a “Top 10” list but due to space constraints, I limited it to only eight, divided into four news stories...

Lessons I learned after the MMDA towed and impounded my car

“Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes and a...

Holiday road trips and PPP projects

For the third straight year, I drove my family from Makati City to Iloilo City via roll-on roll-off (RoRo) vessels during the holidays. The road...

Trends in global and national trade, prospects for the near future

Global merchandise trade has slowed down recently despite low oil prices and less political and economic instability. After recovering from the 2009-2010 global financial...

The resident jesters of the Court of DU 30 made us...

In the spirit of Christmas I will engulf you with the twisted yet funny web of comedic utterances of the resident jesters of DU...

The MMDA towed my car even with my kids inside

“The animals you eat are not those who devour others; you do not eat the carnivorous beasts, you take them as your pattern. You...