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Growth, mobility and vaccines

For countries and economies that have GDP data for second quarter (Q2) 2020 so far, the Philippines has had the deepest contraction of -16.5% in Asia. The same virus that affected all countries in the continent has produced very different results in economic performance — Why?

Villar still the wealthiest Filipino with P283B net worth

Manuel B. Villar, Jr. remains the richest Filipino in 2020 based on Forbes Magazine’s latest list of world billionaires.  The Forbes World’s Billionaires List came...

Electricity pricing under hysteria conditions

The enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) which the government hoisted over the entire Luzon has resulted in large-scale business and economic losses. The overall impact on the 1st quarter GDP will be known in about two months from now, but the decline in electricity demand is known daily.

Digital maturity

It’s been well accepted by CEOs and senior executives that the world is indeed getting more volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous brought about by fast changing consumer preferences, break-neck speed of technological advancements, and the entry of nimbler technology competitors.

US senators see PH justice system differently from PH officials

US President Donald Trump’s approval of the Fiscal Year 2020 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill which included a provision prohibiting the entry of Philippine government officials found to be involved in the “wrongful imprisonment” of Sen. Leila de Lima drew various comments from key Philippine officials. Here are some of them.

Court again defers action on Marcos election suit

THE SUPREME Court has again deferred action on the ballot recount results involving the vice presidential election protest of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr.

FIRe, innovation and stealing of innovation

“All creation is a mine, and every man, a miner... In the beginning, the mine was unopened, and the miner stood naked, and knowledgeless, upon it... Man is not the only animal who labors; but he is the only one who improves his workmanship. This improvement, he effects by Discoveries, and Inventions...”

The next Speaker

In my column of June 11, I asked: Are the current aspirants for Speaker of the House of Representatives of the 18th Congress men of gravitas? Are they presidential timber like a number of previous speakers? Or are they lightweights who can be pushed over the top like Pantaleon Alvarez, who is again an aspirant for the Speakership?

Customer journey mapping

Many technology companies and start-ups are disrupting incumbent industry players by providing better customer experience, thereby capturing significant market shares. Take for example Dollar Shave Club, which disrupted the razor market in the US in 2012, grabbing 30% market share from Gillette in just a few years by offering good enough blades through a direct-to-consumer selling via internet and mail order until it was acquired by Unilever for a reported $1 billion in cash.

Parojinog son convicted for illegal possession of drugs

A QUEZON City court found Reynaldo E. Parojinog, Jr., the son of slain Ozamis City mayor Reynaldo O. Parojinog, Sr., guilty beyond reasonable doubt for illegal possession of drugs.

Sense-making — an emerging leadership skill

“The S&P 500 death rate is rising,” CLSA investment strategist Damian Kestel said in 2017. “A period of relative stability is ending. An increasing...

Overdue time for educating Filipino voters

During episodes of DZMM’s series on senatorial candidates, the station’s field reporters asked ordinary folks in the streets who they would vote for senator. Many said they would vote for candidates who can provide jobs or access to housing while many others said they would choose candidates who can enforce the law. A few said they would choose candidates who can “fix” things if and when they find themselves in conflict with the law.

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...