Editorial & Opinion

Inequality in the 21st century

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At the end of a low and dishonest year, reminiscent of the “low, dishonest decade” about which W.H. Auden wrote in his poem “September 1, 1939,” the world’s “clever hopes” are giving way to recognition that many severe problems must be tackled. And, among the severest, with the gravest long-term and even existential implications, is economic inequality.

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Languishing in legislative mill

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By Dec. 15, when Congress is supposed to go on recess, the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) would be in the same place it has been since the start of the Duterte administration a year and a half ago: in limbo.

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Challenge of sustainability and inclusive growth

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The 2018 budget reflects this administration’s expansionist fiscal strategy, allowing more spending on priority expenditures such as infrastructure and social services. The total national budget amounting to P3.767 trillion is 12.4 percent higher than this year’s budget.

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Palace vows to uplift ‘poor, marginalized’ on Human Rights Day

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On the observance of the International Human Rights Day on Sunday, Dec. 10, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque reiterated President Rodrigo Duterte’s commitment to uplift the lives of Filipinos, especially the poor, marginalized and vulnerable.

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Trump’s Jerusalem stunt

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The Philippines can say “No” to Israel because it is a staunch friend of long standing; it can say “No” to the United States because, as President Duterte has repeatedly said, it is high time the country pursued a truly independent foreign policy. But when push came to shove at the United Nations last week, in the emergency session of the UN General Assembly called to repudiate US President Donald Trump’s irrational, irresponsible decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the Philippines forgot its history, chose to ignore the declared policy of independence - and abstained.

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Alcohol-Impaired Driving Is on the Rise; Here’s What We Can Do About It

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In 1988, Larry Mahoney drove his pickup truck down the wrong side of Kentucky’s I-71, hitting a church bus head on and killing 24 children and three adults. The incident, which became known as the Carrollton Bus Crash, remains the deadliest impaired-driving incident in American history. The crash received national media attention and resulted in a crackdown on impaired driving. Between 1982 and 2014, the number of annual alcohol-impaired driving fatalities decreased by 51%. But after nearly three decades in decline, the numbers are starting to rise.

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US bills and policies that could harm immigrant families

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The year 2017 has been challenging for most immigrants. Many Filipino immigrants have been concerned with changes in federal policies and how these are affecting families and employment. The following developments are reasons for apprehensions about the future of U.S. immigration: 

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Risk and the dengue vaccine

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Department of Health officials went on television just recently to announce the suspension of the government’s antidengue vaccination program. This move was prompted by the admission of Sanofi Pasteur, the pharmaceutical company behind the vaccine, that the administration of “Dengvaxia” could lead to more severe symptoms for people who have not been previously infected.

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Railways to the rescue

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Only five kilometers were added to the Philippines’ commuter railway system in the past decade out of a planned 73 kilometers, according to a recent report by the Japan International Cooperation Agency. Our current network spans 79 kilometers, in four lines: two light rail transit lines, one medium rail transit line, and the Philippine National Railways commuter line.

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A vision for Philippine industry

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Industry, the bulk of which is manufacturing, has lately outperformed services and agriculture in overall output and employment growth. Manufacturing itself has grown faster than the overall economy since 2010, averaging nearly 8 percent growth annually against the economy’s 6-7 percent. This brings more inclusive growth for the Philippine economy, for at least two reasons. First, manufacturing provides more stable jobs than in much (possibly most) of the services sector, which for more than two decades has led the economy’s growth, and largely includes informal jobs like trading/vending, transport (driving of pedicabs, tricycles and jeepneys), and personal or household domestic services. Second, manufacturing jobs demand less education and training than those in the fast-growing formal service sector industries like business process outsourcing, finance and real estate. Thus, it offers relief for the less educated and poorer segment of jobless Filipinos, who still number well over 2 million.

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