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Pass the tax reform package without undue compromise

Soon, probably tomorrow, we will know whether our economy will advance or falter. The Ways and Means Committee of the House of Representatives will soon vote on the first package of the comprehensive tax reform program also known as Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN). This package consists of the following main features: • […]

Is current inflation worrisome?

Price increases have always been the people’s concern. Surveys time and again show that the people consider price increases as a main problem. The poor and the working class are sensitive to the rise in prices of food, housing, water, electricity, transportation and health. An increase in the cost of basic goods is very visible […]

Populism, the bad and the good

Populism has acquired a dirty meaning. Its poster boys are usually fiery strongmen like the late Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, Donald Trump of the United States of America, and our very own Rodrigo Duterte. Populism is on the rise all over the world — in the Americas, in Europe, in Asia. It thrives in rich […]

Defend the unitary excise tax for cigarettes

Seeking to attain health and revenue objectives, the government and reformers in civil society, the health community, and the private sector pushed for and succeeded in legislating the Sin Tax Law in 2012. The law has put in place substantial reforms: Steeply increasing the excise taxes on alcohol and tobacco, annually adjusting the tax rates […]

Symbols and Libingan ng mga Bayani

On a more personal level, the butterfly has become my symbol of remembering and connecting with my departed wife Mae. A few days before Mae passed, I was abroad and had no intimation of an impending tragedy. On the return trip, I had a layover at Singapore’s Changi airport, and some unexplainable thing enticed me […]