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A guide to reforming the Bureau of Customs

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When, in 1573, the Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi established the “Customs Service of Manila” to generate badly needed revenues for the colonial government, little did he dream that he was creating a den of iniquity that seems immune to reforms even in this digital age.

Posted: September 10th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The second half of his reforms

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President Aquino wants to be a reformist president, and he’s doing a good job at reforming society. His “daang matuwid” resonates with the people, and is something they want: a clean, honest government that cares. But they also want a decent life, and that he hasn’t yet provided.

Posted: May 15th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The 15th Congress’ surprising output: A bumper crop of reform measures

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It was disappointing, the way the last session of the 15th Congress ended, with the Senate in turmoil over Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s gestures of feudal favoritism with the people’s money and the House of Representatives’ unconscionable failure to pass the Freedom of Information Bill. But its tragicomic last act should not bury the fact that this Congress had a bumper crop of progressive measures strengthening social, political, and human rights.

Posted: February 11th, 2013 in Columns,Viewpoints | Read More »

Achievements

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A remarkable year 2012 was. In his time, President Fidel Ramos brought about some dramatic changes in the business environment—changes that to this day we are still benefiting from. He deregulated the key sectors—sectors that are now vibrant and competitive: telecom (there would be few cell phones today if PLDT had retained its monopoly), power (we’d still be having blackouts), oil and banking.

Posted: January 3rd, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Little accomplishment to show

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Upon completing the second year of his administration, President Aquino had little to claim as economic and social reform accomplishment other than the decapitated head of former Chief Justice Renato Corona as proof of the invincibility of his self-proclaimed “incorruptible” presidency.

Posted: July 6th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Breast still best

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LAST SUNDAY’S Inquirer had a large banner headline photo showing a woman breastfeeding, as well as a smaller photo and articles to promote National Breastfeeding Month. All that brought back to me memories of the long struggles to promote breastfeeding in the Philippines, dating back to the late 1970s, with the Philippines often hailed as [...]

Posted: August 16th, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Nothing to worry about

This early, there are already misconceptions about the proposed reforms in the retirement system of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, especially among those who are retiring or have a few years left in military service. There are fears that they would receive lesser benefits as a result of the changes. But the new system [...]

Posted: August 2nd, 2011 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

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