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Christmas food and agricultural productivity

What do Filipino households spend most on during Christmas? You guessed it: food.  The Philippines is also the country that proportionately spends the most on Christmas food, according to a 2023 worldwide survey of 23 countries by WorldRemit. The survey classified Christmas spending according to three categories: food, decorations and gifts. A Filipino household on...


Boracay feels economic pinch despite 1.8M tourist arrivals

BORACAY ISLAND—John Neil Gregorio, 22, had just completed a four-year computer science course when an uncle prodded him to take on the job of a service crew member in an Indian restaurant in Boracay last August.  Despite the meager starting daily wage of P300, with free meals and board, he bit the bullet, seeing a...


‘What could have been, what can be done’

If given a three-minute audience with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., said former health secretary Jaime Galvez Tan, he will make a strong case for the development of the young population to make the Philippines at par with the fast-growing economies in Southeast Asia.     This will be his recommendation to the President: Synergize education, health, agriculture,...

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Power grid operator NGCP billed consumers P2.6B worth of CSR, PR expenses

As the sole public utility in charge of power transmission lines, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) is mandated to ensure the reliability of the country’s electricity supply. So when a government representative found that it had included corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities in its operating expenses, she sought an explanation. “Are CSR...


Estate tax may now be paid in installments and online

Instead of a one-time payment that many find difficult to comply with, heirs may now pay in installments the estate tax due the property they inherited from relatives. They may also stagger the payments over a two-year period. Heirs even have the option to settle the amount online with an accredited bank of the Bureau...


Gov’t can ill afford Palace’s ‘populist’ policies on rice, says ex-finance official

The Marcos administration’s imposition of a price cap on rice and new prices for palay as well as its subsidy for rice retailers could be “costly” to the government, according to resigned finance undersecretary Cielo Magno. The government can ill afford the costs arising from the three policy packages because these are not part of...


Tarlac rice farmers, retailers suffering losses due to price cap

Rice farmers and retailers are incurring heavy losses from the price cap imposed starting on Sept. 5 on regular-milled and well-milled rice even as it brings temporary relief to consumers. Executive Order No. 39 (EO 39) set the price of regular-milled and well-milled rice at P41 and P45 a kilo, respectively, amid soaring prices of...


Transport groups ‘will continue to make noise’ vs modernization plan

Two transport strikes have been called this year in protest against the government’s so-called public utility vehicle modernization program (PUVMP), which is aimed at replacing aging jeepneys with environment-friendly but much more expensive minibuses. Following two days of a planned weeklong strike in March, leaders of transport groups Manibela and Piston were called to a...


In Hong Kong, gov’t falls short of protecting Filipino workers from debt burden

This report on OFWs debt burden is being republished with PCIJ’s permission. —Ed. (Last of two parts) Many Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Hong Kong are hounded by their lenders from the Philippines, who even hire debt collectors to threaten and harass their employers. The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) found that Hong Kong...