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Social Progress Index

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The Philippines registered a gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 5.3 percent in the third quarter that ended on Sept. 30. It dropped from 6.4 percent in the second quarter; nevertheless, it is second only to China’s 7.3 percent in the region. While the growth rate is commendable (despite the drop), for which the government rightfully deserves credit, the criticism continues that economic growth is uneven and the marginalized sector has not benefited from it, with the gap between rich and poor even getting worse. (This is consistent with the Philippines’ 45.8 Gini score—or a measure of the inequality of the distribution of wealth: the higher the score, the higher the inequality—which makes it the 35th country with the most uneven distribution of wealth in the world.)

Posted: November 29th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Fighting corruption in government procurement

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The hearings in the Senate on the alleged overprice in the construction of the Makati City Hall parking building have put in the limelight Vice President Jejomar Binay, touted as the “most likely next president of the Philippines” because of his immense popularity among the masses. One of the allegations aired during the hearings was that the Binays were getting a 13-percent “commission” on Makati’s major infrastructure projects, which the family vehemently denies.

Posted: September 20th, 2014 in Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

On Calax and the DAP

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The bidding for the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (Calax) has become very controversial, with the San Miguel Corp. Group, which had the highest bid of P20.1 billion premium payment to the government, appealing its disqualification at the Office of the President. The SMC Group’s bid premium is substantially higher than that of the winner Team Orion, a 50-50 joint venture between Ayala’s AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp. and Aboitiz Land’s bid of P11.65 billion.

Posted: July 26th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Corruption pays

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The past few weeks have sadly again confirmed that in this country, corruption pays. The announcement of the Commission on Elections that it could no longer go after former commissioner Virgilio Garcillano and a number of other Comelec officials for possible violations of the Election Code in connection with the alleged rigging of the 2004 presidential election results in Mindanao was very disheartening. It’s as if the infamous “Hello Garci” conversation that almost toppled the Arroyo administration never happened; the fraud perpetrators will go unpunished, and the people who obstructed justice by coming up with their own version of the tape were amply rewarded.

Posted: May 24th, 2014 in Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Hidden taxes

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The proposal of Sen. Sonny Angara to reduce the top income tax rate for individuals, which is currently 32 percent, to 25 percent by 2017 has surprisingly been welcomed by Malacañang, at least for the matter to be thoroughly studied and to possibly include as well the regular corporate income tax rate, which stands at 30 percent.

Posted: March 15th, 2014 in Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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