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Insights into the World Bank’s Insights

The World Bank has come out with a Philippine poverty assessment report titled Making Growth Work for the Poor (2018).

The tragic consequences of suspending the oil excise tax

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).

Low-cost housing for the rich

The Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) estimates that the country’s total housing backlog will accumulate to 3.6 million units by the end of 2018.

Cooly explaining inflation

Being the coordinator of Action for Economic Reforms (AER) or being an advocate, I have to cut a public persona. That means I write...

Keep the TRAIN on track

Policy reforms, and reform in general, are always difficult pills to swallow. Any doctor will tell you to complete the full course of antibiotics...

Tyranny of the Minority?

The “tyranny of the minority” is a term not often used. In democracies such as ours, primacy in decision making is given to the...

Fixing unfairness of incentives and more in TRAIN 2

In our engagement with the private sector with regard to the second package of the comprehensive tax reform, I often hear a similar view...

The Supreme Court: A dictator?

The majority of the Supreme Court Justices are turning the Court into a dictator. They are making the Supreme Court the absolute ruler. We must...

Good trip, bad trip

I thought last week was going to be a good week. On the rare occasion that I read the newspaper, I found good news. The...

What we can learn from the lives of people who use...

Two years have passed since the Rodrigo Duterte administration intensified the anti-drug campaign. But the war on drugs itself has gone on for decades...

The Crucifixion

The crucifixion of Jesus Christ has an immediate relevance to present-day Philippines -- the war on drugs, criminality, terrorism, and killings. Why was Jesus crucified?...

Sereno’s removal does not serve Duterte’s interest

I address this to the pro-Duterte partisans and to President Rodrigo Duterte himself. I wonder whether President Duterte has weighed the costs and benefits...

Universal health care: The dream within reach

In September 2017, the House of Representatives passed House Bill 5784, also known as the “Universal Health Coverage Act.” The bill aims to transform...

Is TRAIN the culprit behind the higher inflation?

Headline inflation hit 3.9%, based on the revised series, in the month of February. Some analysts find an easy culprit to blame: Tax Reform...

Drink (tax) responsibly

The recently passed Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law raised excise taxes imposed on products such as sugar-sweetened beverages, cigarettes, and coal....

Opportunities from the Tobacco Tax Inclusion in TRAIN

One unexpected development in the passage of Republic Act (RA) 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law was the last-minute...

Inflation has become a bogeyman

The recent news that the inflation rate increased from 2.7% in January 2017 to 3.95% in January 2018 (year over year or YOY) raised...

Pro-health is pro-poor: Assessing TRAIN’s tax on sweetened beverages

We are currently living amidst the implementation of RA 10963, also known as Package One of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN)....

No regrets

“No regrets,” written by Edwin Batongbacal, is the last chapter (or the penultimate one, if we count the “Afterword”) of A Time to Rise:...

Miseducating people is no different from spreading fake news

In the weeks that followed the passage of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN), some critics, well meaning or otherwise, have lambasted...

Settled TRAIN

Social media have been chirping on the railroading of TRAIN, examples are the tweets of Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) and investigative...

A response to Prof. Hilbay

“There are not a few comrades doing inspection work, as well, as guerrilla leaders and cadres newly in office, who like to make political...

Assessing TRAIN

The first package of the comprehensive tax reform, also known as TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion), was the most significant yet very...

Take your time, Mr. President

The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion bill (TRAIN) is at the final stages of becoming a law. Last December 13, the Senate ratified...

Public interest over vested interest

Protect public interest over vested interest. This is our call as the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion bill (TRAIN) is nearing to be...

XXX

For porn lovers, XXX or triple X stands for hardcore sex. But for the religious, XXX can symbolize three crosses. I lean towards the religious,...

Upheaval

As 2017 draws to a close, and even before we celebrate Christmas, the country is bracing itself for an upheaval. Consider the following major developments: 1....

Mugabe and Duterte

The recent ouster of Robert Mugabe as Zimbabwe’s leader after ruling the country for 37 long years with an iron fist offers lessons to...

A family’s stories on the ill-effects of smoking

LEONILA DANS Ever since I can remember, Tatay smoked continuously, consuming 3-4 packs per day. Even before I started medical practice, he was already diagnosed...

How far can your TRAIN take you?

The period of amendments on package 1 of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion bill (TRAIN) is about to take place in November...

Lunch with the Yellow Pad: What is UHC?

This time, I try to write differently, patterned after the Financial Times weekly column called “Lunch with the FT,” an institution of what probably...

Slowing down TRAIN

The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) is envisioned as a long-term reform program. It aims to generate revenues to finance AmBisyon Natin...

Mighty’s might

A most disturbing development that will affect revenue collection and even the credibility of the tax reform is the Department of Justice’s (DoJ) dismissal...

Angara’s TRAIN of deception

Nakakaloko. This is how I would choose to describe Sen. Sonny Angara’s version of the Tax Reform for Acceleration (TRAIN) committee report in the Senate. The...

Millennials: rendering judgment on martial law, choosing advocacies

THIS essay on martial law is particularly addressed to the millennials, although it is also for  the general audience. It is both a personal...

A critique of the UA&P studies on tax reform

With House Bill 5636 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) well underway at the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, it...

Tattoos, taxes, trains, and, terrorists

I like the alliteration -- tattoos, taxes, trains, and terrorists. I will dwell with each subject -- all headline news in Digong’s Philippines --...

Why we should raise fuel taxes

Yellow Pad By Jerik Cruz Sometime tomorrow morning, some 13 million Metro Manila residents will brave their daily commutes -- both in “Carmaggedon” and the daily...