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My main message in “The Decline of Political Parties” (BusinessWorld, 1 April 2019) is that path dependence can explain how Philippine political parties have been emasculated. That is, our colonial history has determined the path of our political parties, and it will be difficult to reverse this.
As May elections draw near, legislators are faced with the daunting task of reflecting upon -- and marketing -- their legacies. Two candidates of note are Senator Sonny Angara and Senator JV Ejercito, both of whom authored bills instituting universal health care in the Philippines. President Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11223, the Universal Health Care Act, in late February 2019.
The role of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in development has not been fully articulated. This essay attempts to show why it is necessary to provide budgetary support for the PCG, but it is equally important to determine where the priorities should be.
Growing old, we like to meet old friends. We “junior senior citizens” (a term coined by Nenette, a college friend of my late wife Mae) enjoy the luxury of time to get together for coffee or dinner. But in the case of Fides (our friendship dating back to almost half a century ago), we had our last couple of appointments at the Manila regional trial court.
The bill to substantially increase the tobacco tax has gained momentum. President Rodrigo Duterte and the Cabinet have certified as urgent Senate Bill 1599, sponsored by Senator Manny Pacquiao, which will increase the current rate of tobacco tax from P35 to P60. Senators JV Ejercito and Wyn Gatchalian have filed separate bills that have higher tobacco tax rates than the Pacquiao bill.
The Philippine Senate has two remaining session days before it adjourns this week, to give way to the election period. It resumes session after the May elections, and from there, has nine session days to wrap up its work. In short, the window for legislation is narrow.
In January 1975, the Department of Health (DoH) and the Philippine Cancer Society (PCS) launched the first ever National Cancer Consciousness Week. The week-long campaign held every third week of January was instituted as a means to educate Filipinos on the dangers of cancer and raise awareness on the treatment and prevention of the disease.
Last Jan. 18, leaders of 30 Philippine medical societies gathered to call for the Senate passage of a bill increasing the excise tax on cigarettes to at least P60 per pack. “The increase will provide crucial funding for the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act that will benefit the current and future generations of all Filipinos from womb to tomb,” went their manifesto.
One of the top Philippine stories of 2018 -- not only in sports but also in national affairs -- is the magical run of the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons. For a few weeks, the Maroons became headline news as the team clawed its way back from elimination and upset heavy contenders toward reaching the championship series.
One of the most difficult pieces of legislation that the Philippine Congress has tackled is Reproductive Health (RH). The book titled The RH Bill Story: Contentions and Compromises, authored by Marilen J. Dañguilan (Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2018) narrates and explains how it is so. And more importantly, the book shows how to overcome such adversity in making the RH Bill a law.
A sweet gentleman, a gentle soul, a kind and humble man, a dedicated revolutionary. These are but a few of the beautiful words to describe Rol.
The University of the Philippines (UP) is again in the news.
The Universal Health Care (UHC) bill is at its final stages. After a couple of preparatory meetings during the Congress break last October, the Bicameral Conference Committee is officially meeting tomorrow to reconcile the differences of the Senate and the House versions. At this rate, we can expect that the UHC bill will be signed into law before the year ends.
INUTILE. That’s how I felt at my beautiful sister Mae’s bedside when she died in 1995, barely a year since arriving back home from her chemotherapy in Michigan. She had two daughters -- Ynna Belen and Angela Jed, just as beautiful as her. She had beautiful dreams ...
It is unfortunate that some quarters have criticized Senator Sonny Angara for his role in shepherding the tax reform legislation, known as TRAIN, in the Senate. These critics have even called on voters to reject Senator Angara, who is seeking reelection in 2019.
A sure way to bring down prices in any market is to replace monopoly with open competition. And if that market supplies a good that almost everyone relies on, then the cascading impact of lower prices will surely pull the inflation rate down.
The House of Representatives passed the Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-Quality Opportunities or TRABAHO Bill in early September. The first major component of TRABAHO is the reduction of the corporate income tax (CIT) rate to 20% over a period of nine years, starting 2021.
August and September usually mark the peak of the Marcos martial law debates.
I had an opportunity to watch Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral over the past week. Blending history with some fictional elements, it is director Jerrold Tarog’s follow-up to 2015’s Heneral Luna and centers around the “Boy General,” Gregorio del Pilar, during the Philippine-American War. Being an outspoken millennial and the self-professed cinephile that I am, I’m taking this opportunity to share my thoughts about the film.
It is said that reason and enlightenment have taken a beating amid the rise of the Trumps, Erdogans and Dutertes. These belligerent strongmen have polarized society. The consequence of extreme polarization is the emergence of biases and blinders from all sides.
A previous piece showed that our greenhouse gas reduction commitment to the Paris climate treaty meant a gradual 2.02% annual reduction in fossil-based electricity generation, for a total reduction of 23.3% by 2030 compared to 2017 levels. The annual reduction required by this low-carbon path is only half the 4% natural attrition rate of coal plants, if they are retired at the end of their 25-year useful life. This provides the country with some flexibility.
My two previous pieces (BW, July 16 and July 23, 2018) discussed four flaws in the DoE’s current power development plan that led it to overestimate the country’s 2040 baseload requirements by more than 100%.
A previous piece identified one serious flaw in the DoE’s Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) 2016-2040: the DoE still assumes that baseload plants will retain their 70% share in the electricity mix until 2040.
A good friend of mine gave me a copy of the book from the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) titled Draft Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (January 2018). This document is also known in its abbreviated form: CASER.
Some quarters led by politicians (it doesn’t matter whether the politicians are pro-administration or anti-administration) have called for the suspension of the increase in the fuel excise tax brought about by the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN).
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