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America’s burden: Return of the Balangiga bells

The nation should welcome the statement on Saturday of the US embassy in Manila that the United States will return to the Philippines the church bells of Balangiga, Samar. The bells were seized by US troops as trophies during the US-Philippine war of 1898-1902. The bells’ return will be a …

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National ID system must ensure privacy rights

Right up to the time President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) Act into law on Monday, there remained nagging questions about the measure, particularly on the aspect of safety of the cardholders’ information. The Senate ratified the measure in late May, a week after the bicameral conference …

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Mocha must go

SEN. Aquilino Pimentel 3rd had to eat his own words after describing the plan to tap Communications Assistant Secretary Esther Margaux “Mocha” Uson as a spokeswoman for the push for federalism as a “beautiful decision.” Some sense was knocked into his head amid the public outrage over the viral video …

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Another half-measure against EDSA traffic

AT its meeting earlier this week, the Metro Manila Council (MMC) adopted a proposal to ban single passenger private vehicles on EDSA during rush hours. The basic idea has some merit, has been used successfully to improve traffic flow in many places around the world, and ought to be implemented …

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The right call on the budget for the wrong reason

THE move by the House of Representatives to reject an initiative by the Duterte administration to switch to a cash-based system for the national budget could be sending next year’s proposed P3.757-trillion appropriations back to the drawing board. What is ironic about that decision is that the reason for the …

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Beware any Cha-cha panel move to postpone 2019 polls

It is premature and mischievous for members of President Duterte’s consultative panel for Charter change to dangle the possibility of a postponement of the 2019 mid-term elections as a consequence of certain amendments to the Constitution that the panel may propose. For a panel that is no more than a …

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Other cities should follow QC’s lead in cutting red tape

FOR years, the National Competitiveness Council has moved heaven and earth to try to raise the Philippines’ profile in the “Doing Business” listing of the World Bank – the annual ranking of countries based on the “ease” of undertaking business procedures – with relative success. The Doing Business 2018 report, …

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PH loses a steady hand in Edgardo Angara

THE Philippines mourns the loss of a statesman, technocrat and consummate politician, Edgardo J. Angara, the former Senate president who passed away on Sunday at the age of 83. Angara was a reliable hand in Philippine governance and a stalwart of pragmatic and centrist politics that has characterized the post-Marcos …

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No cause for alarm about inflation

INFLATION reached 4.5 percent in April, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported on Friday. The increase in consumer prices accelerated from the 4.3 percent inflation rate recorded in March, and was significantly higher than the 3.2 percent inflation rate a year earlier. April’s inflation rate was in fact the highest in …

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Congress must broker compromise on ending ‘endo’

LABOR groups are not exactly happy with President Rodrigo Duterte’s May Day gift: his signature on an executive order (EO) banning the practice of “endo,” or the repeated hiring of workers on five-month contracts by employers to avoid granting them regular employment status. The President signed the EO on Labor …

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