Thursday, November 30, 2017

BISA NG EASE OF DOING BUSINESS ACT INAABANGAN NA SA MGA KANAYUNAN - SOLON

BISA NG EASE OF DOING BUSINESS ACT INAABANGAN NA SA MGA KANAYUNAN - SOLON

Inaabangan na ang magiging epekto ng Ease of Doing Business Act sa pagyabong ng negosyo sa mga kanayunan, yan ang inihayag ni Iligan City Lone District Congressman Frederick Siao.

Congressman Frederick Siao
Inilabas ang nasabing pahayag, matapos pumasa sa ikatlo at huling pagbasa sa House of Representatives ang House Bill 6579 o ang Ease of Doing Business Act (EODBA) na layuning gawing madali ang pagtatayo at pagsasagawa ng negosyo at transaksyong pang-negosyo saan mang dako ng Pilipinas. (http://www.congress.gov.ph/legisdocs/first_17/CR00436.pdf )

Sa ilalim ng EODBA, kailangang magkaroon ng one-stop-shop ang lahat ng Local Government Units – barangay, bayan, lungsod, at probinsya para sa pagpoproseso ng mga business permit.

Dapat din ipaskil ng bawat LGU sa kanilang mga opisina at i-post sa kanilang website ang lahat ng requirement at processing time para sa kaukuluang permit at lisensiya na may kaugnayan sa negosyo para maiwasang magpabalik-balik ang mga aplikante ng permit.

Dapat ding maiproseso ang permit ng isang aplikante sa loob lamang ng isang araw para sa mga barangay, tatlong araw para sa mga pambansang ahensiya at iba pang LGUs; habang sampung araw ang ibibigay na palugit sa mga LGUs para sa mga kumplikadong papeles.

“Excited kami sa Iligan City sa napipintong pagsasabatas ng EODBA sa buong bansa dahil mangangahulugan ito ng mas masiglang daloy ng negosyo sa Iligan at mas maraming trabaho para aking mga kababayan,” sabi ni Siao, na nagsilibing two-term councilor sa Iligan City bago naging Kongresista.

Ayon sa 2017 edition ng Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index of the National Competitiveness Council nangunguna (1st) ang Iligan City pagdating sa “Availability of Basic Utilities,” 10th pagdating sa “Cost in Doing Business,” 12th sa “Business Registration Efficiency,” 16th sa “Employed population,” 17TH Sa “Social Protection,” at 18th sa “Compliance to Business Permits and Licensing System (BPLS) Standards.” https://goo.gl/kq3W2a

“Tingin ko maganda na ang ranking namin para sa isang Mindanao City na may populasyon na 352,000. Kapag naipatupad ang EODBA, lalo pang mapapaganda ang ranking namin,” sabi ni Siao.

Si Siao ang itinuturing na ama ng Investments & Incentives Code of Iligan City, ang ordinansang katumbas ng EODBA sa Iligan City. Siya rin ang Chair ng Committee on Trade & Commerce sa konseho ng Iligan City mula 2010 hanggang 2016.

Panawagan ni Siao, sa susunod na taon ay kailangang maisailalim na sa pagsasanay ang bawat kawani at opisyal ng bawat LGU para maihanda sila sa tamang pagpapatupad ng EODBA. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), at Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) ang mga ahensiyang maaaring magbigay ng pagsasanay sa mga LGU officials and employees.

“Sa Iligan City, sisikapin naming maging maayos ang pagpapatupad ng ng Computerized or Software-Enable Business Permit and Licensing System at ng Electronic Business One Stop Shop, pati na ang pag-adapt ng unified business application form, batay sa mga tagubilin ng EODBA,” wika ni Siao.

“Sa Disyembre ay napipintong maisabatas ang 2018 National Budget at ang 2019 budget cycle ay mag-uumpisa na sa unang quarter ng 2018, kaya naman inaasahan kong isasaalang-alang na ng DTI, DILG, DICT, at ng Department of Budget and Management ang budget and personnel requirement ng bawat ahensiya ang EODBA,” sabi ni Siao.

Ang senate version ng HB 6579 ay ang Senate Bill 1311 o ang Expanded Anti-Red Tape Act na inaprubahan na rin ng senado. May mga pagkakaiba sa mga probisyon ng SB 1311 at HB 6579 kaya’t pagkakasunduin pa ang mga pagkakaibang ito para makabuo ng iisang bill na ieendorso para lagdaan ni Pangulong Duterte.


REFERENCES:

http://www.cmcindex.org.ph/pages/profile/?lgu=Iligan
http://www.iligan.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2014/02/Application-Form-for-BP-Iligan.pdf
http://www.iligan.gov.ph/institutionalizing-simplified-business-registration-businesses-iligan-city/
http://www.iligan.gov.ph/services/
http://www.business.gov.ph/web/guest;jsessionid=f88f193cf180b6313dbc5310a70a
https://psa.gov.ph/content/population-iligan-city-was-recorded-323-thousand-results-2010-census-population-and-housing
http://nap.psa.gov.ph/activestats/psgc/municipality.asp?muncode=103504000&regcode=10&provcode=35
http://bworldonline.com/competitiveness-council-cites-top-local-governments/
http://www.manilatimes.net/competitive-lgus-tagged-latest-ncc-list/344924/
http://www.sunstar.com.ph/cebu/local-news/2017/08/18/cebu-city-drops-competitiveness-index-559295
http://www.sunstar.com.ph/pampanga/local-news/2017/08/24/san-fernando-4-central-luzon-towns-receive-award-560151
http://www.canadianinquirer.net/2017/11/03/automation-to-leapfrog-ph-rank-in-doing-business-report/
http://www.sunstar.com.ph/zamboanga/local-news/2017/08/20/zamboanga-city-named-most-improved-lgu-559512
IMPACT OF EASE OF DOING BUSINESS BILL ON LGUs - The Iligan City Perspective

IMPACT OF EASE OF DOING BUSINESS BILL ON LGUs - The Iligan City Perspective

BACKGROUND: Iligan City Lone District Representative Frederick W. Siao served as councilor of Iligan City for two consecutive terms from 2010 to 2016. He chaired the Committee on Trade & Commerce in the city council. He is recognized as the father of the Investments & Incentives Code of Iligan City, a very important piece of local legislation in the aspect of ease of doing business in the city.
Rep. Frederick W. Siao

Iligan City, which I represent here at the House of Representatives, ranks 33rd overall among the highly urbanized cities of the Philippines, according to the 2017 edition of Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index of the National Competitiveness Council. In 2014, Iligan ranked 41st. Eight places up the ladder after just three years. http://www.cmcindex.org.ph/pages/profile/?lgu=Iligan.

Iligan is now 1st in Availability of Basic Utilities, 10th in Cost of Doing Business, 12th in Business Registration Efficiency, 16th in Employed Population, 17th in Social Protection, and 18th in Compliance to Business Permits and Licensing System (BPLS) Standards.

Quite good for a Mindanaoan city with a population of 352 thousand. We certainly intend to do much better.

The House of Representatives passed House Bill 6579 or the Ease of Doing Business Act (EODBA) on third and final reading. (http://www.congress.gov.ph/legisdocs/first_17/CR00436.pdf )

We in Iligan City are quite excited about HB 6579 because it means more of our residents will have jobs, get better services, work in new business enterprises, and continue the march onward to progress.

We look forward to working with the DICT, DTI, DILG on implementing this important piece of legislation. We know this new legislation means more capacity building and training for our government personnel and ordinary citizens who are actively working with our barangays. Without capacity-building, implementing the Ease of Doing Business Act will not go smoothly.

Iligan City will do its best to be part of the Computerized or Software-Enable Business Permit and Licensing System and the Electronic Business One Stop Shop, as well as adopt and roll out the unified business application form.

THE ROAD AHEAD

HB 6579 gives a one-year timetable for implementing key changes. Those 365 days will go by quite fast.

I urge the DILG, DTI, and DICT to convene in early 2018 the cities and municipalities in parallel national summits to expedite the preparations for making EODBA happen on time and done well.

With the 2018 national budget soon to become law and the 2019 budget cycle to begin early next year, my expectation is the DTI, DILG, DICT and DBM will factor into the budget the resources and personnel needed to do EODBA properly in 2019 and onwards.

The Senate version of HB 6579 is known as the Expanded Anti-Red Tape Act (SB 1311), which has basically the same overall approach and priorities, but there are some different provisions between the two, so those have to be reconciled by the bicameral conference committee, the unified bill will then be reported out for ratification by both chambers, then sent to President Duterte for his signature.

President Duterte could choose to let the bill lapse into law, but knowing how cutting red tape has been his priority since Day One of his administration, he will make sure this bill gets the signing ceremony it deserves.

HB 6579 and SB 1311 prove the resolve of the Duterte administration and the 17th Congress to make the national economy grow by leaps and bounds by throwing away the shackles of red tape.

THE HONORABLE FREDERICK W. SIAO
Lone District of Iligan City
Vice Chair, Committee on Tourism
Member, Committees on Appropriations, Mindanao Affairs,
Economic Affairs, and 7 other committees
Facebook: /congressmansiao Twitter: @freddiesiao

REFERENCES:

http://www.cmcindex.org.ph/pages/profile/?lgu=Iligan
http://www.iligan.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2014/02/Application-Form-for-BP-Iligan.pdf
http://www.iligan.gov.ph/institutionalizing-simplified-business-registration-businesses-iligan-city/
http://www.iligan.gov.ph/services/
http://www.business.gov.ph/web/guest;jsessionid=f88f193cf180b6313dbc5310a70a
https://psa.gov.ph/content/population-iligan-city-was-recorded-323-thousand-results-2010-census-population-and-housing
http://nap.psa.gov.ph/activestats/psgc/municipality.asp?muncode=103504000&regcode=10&provcode=35
http://bworldonline.com/competitiveness-council-cites-top-local-governments/
http://www.manilatimes.net/competitive-lgus-tagged-latest-ncc-list/344924/
http://www.sunstar.com.ph/cebu/local-news/2017/08/18/cebu-city-drops-competitiveness-index-559295
http://www.sunstar.com.ph/pampanga/local-news/2017/08/24/san-fernando-4-central-luzon-towns-receive-award-560151
http://www.canadianinquirer.net/2017/11/03/automation-to-leapfrog-ph-rank-in-doing-business-report/
http://www.sunstar.com.ph/zamboanga/local-news/2017/08/20/zamboanga-city-named-most-improved-lgu-559512

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Editorial: An Act of Disburdenment

An editorial about random mandatory drug testing in schools. Please read and share.

random mandatory drug testing in schools
An Act of Disburdenment Amid the spate of extrajudicial killings in the current administration’s war on drugs, the signing of DepEd Order No. 40 subjecting high school students of both public and private institutions to random mandatory drug testing rouse fears that they will become open targets of the campaign against illegal drugs. Yes even high school students are now, not spared but in the first place if you are not blameworthy and is acquainted with the guidelines, there is nothing to fear.

Although the Department of Education said that this is to strengthen the government’s effort against illegal drugs, the primary ground for implementation is for prevention and rehabilitation of possible drug users and dependents, and not to harass them. This goes along with the objective of determining the prevalence of users among students, to discourage the use of drugs and to assess the effectiveness of school based programs.

DepEd clarified that students will only be given the drug test under their parents’ consent which goes to an advantageous reason: Parents want what is best for their children. It is assured that the results will be dealt with utmost confidentiality. Unless, of course, these parents use their children as accessories of crime, they might have to abstain but that is yet another matter in need of immediate solution. Should a particular student be chosen randomly, the issue here lays not on the child’s vulnerability but rather to his/her innocence which is generally more relevant.

Upon testing positive, it is only the beginning of the story and not the end. One will be provided with appropriate intervention measures as an effort to address the cause of their habit. This, as a matter of fact, becomes a road map to reinstatement which includes counselling and later treatments. Correspondingly, DepEd says the result will not be grounds for expulsion or disciplinary action against the student. Furthermore, it should not reflect in the student’s academic records or be used to incriminate him/her for further legal actions.

The incident wherein a 17-year-old Senior High School student was killed during a drug operation in Caloocan City jolted the nation for quite some time. This might have been an awakening that even innocent teenagers are not spared. So one might say that drug testing would not likely help students in and of itself. However, considering the favourable conditions that guarantee and respect the students’ rights, privacy, and dignity, your cooperation is deserved as much as how you deserve your well-being. The provisions, in any aspect, disburden the students and their parents and not penalize. #

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Editorial: ALWAYS PRO-FILIPINO

fake news

This is an editorial about Fake News. Please read and share!

As stark as it is clear, the proliferation of fake news has been dividing the country and everyone has a role in combatting this cancer slowly eating the society.

In a recent senate hearing concerning fake news attended by PCOO Assec Margaux Uson and DFA head of strategic communications Rey Joseph Nieto among others, senators hit Thinking Pinoy and Mocha Uson Blog for posting fake news and 'not getting their side'. Uson reasons out that she is not required to because she isn't a journalist, only a blogger.

Now people put the blame to media. Mainstream media is being degraded by the escalation of these bloggers. Yes there is a distinction between a blogger and a journalist. Social media warriors such as these bloggers are not journalists. And yes they are 'entitled to their own opinion', freedom of speech so to speak but as someone whose platform has a wide extent, they must know that every right comes with a responsibility. However, inasmuch as we chalk up the guilt to anyone, the problem won't bail out. The the issue here does not lie on whether who has been spreading it and why because even in the yesteryears, fake news has been prevalent. What needs greater attention is how to combat its proliferation and existence.

It is a given fact that one becomes defensive and might even sing a different tune once aggravation hits home or close to it. In the cases of Mocha Uson Blog and Thinking Pinoy, both are known to be pro-administration bloggers and the president's most vocal supporters. Most often than not, they are ready to defend their preference ang glorify the administration while undermining the opposition. They would provide arguments that would weight up in their favor; talk about the battle between brains and brainless, between ideologies.

As citizens of this country, there is a need for everyone to become more responsible. There has been too much talking, too much reactions than research and more oppositions than actions. To fight this battle means public vigilance and the constant use and practice of conscience and critical thinking. Verifying information is another must. In addition, with accordance to better journalism, making a legislation against fake news is a prerequisite.

In the end, it does not really matter whether we are pro-administration or not. The partiality must not be against or pro a person. There is a great need for everyone to arrive at well-rounded decisions. Bear in mind that we should always be pro the common good, pro-country --- always pro-Filipino. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Youth: Catalysts of Change

Youth, young people catalysts of change

Much of the country's and even the world's problems today concerns the youth. It does not necessarily mean, however, that they are the roots of the problem. Transformed, empowered and aware youths have and will become instruments for better solutions.

Inasmuch as how the government and the general 'non millenial' public view the youths as delinquents burdening the country, some of them and their organizations, however, proved the stereotyping wrong. Amid terrorism as a scourge, the proliferation of fake news, extrajudicial killings and the likes among others plaguing the society it is undeniable that everyone has a role in combatting these societal plague especially the youth. And it all starts with awareness.

With the recent Kian delos Santos incident jolting the country and proving that even teenagers are now not spared, the Sanggunian Kabataan (SK) ensure that their fellow youth are engaged in productive endeavors through sports for example. SK organizes activities that help divert their fellow youths' attention away from harmful vices.

The Supreme Student Government (SSG) of schools addresses their fellow students' needs and assists them towards becoming proactive members of the campus and the community as well in the extent of their organizing and thinking powers. Officers work hand in hand with other stakeholders in educational institutions for the good of their fellow students.

Issues on the prevalence of fake news are answered spot on by the youths acting as vanguards and safeguarding the truth and nothing else . The freedom of expression should not be abused and is put to good use by campus journalists. They advocate for better journalism as how the SSG promotes good governance.

The government must view the youth as part of nation-building and not just mere delinquents burdening the country. The youth of today are not only valuable assets of the society. They have proven themselves to be far more better by becoming vanguards of truth, advocates of peace and catalysts of change.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Jobs in South Korea: Hiring Factory Workers in SoKor

Jobs South Korea, Work South Korea

Looking for a job abroad? Here's your chance to work in South Korea (Sokor) as factory worker.

Here's the announcement from Hiring Factory Worker - Sokor Facebook page.

POEA SPECIAL HIRING!!!
SOUTH KOREA!!!
DAVAO CITY!!!


Qualifications:
✔️ 18-37 years old
✔️ Male or Female (No descrimination lesbian, Gay)
✔️ Single or Married
✔️ Elementary, Secondary, ALS, BP-OSA, College Level or
Fresh Graduate.
✔️ Physically fit (Not colorblind, No TB, No Hepa B, No Lung scar)
✔️ With or Without work Experience
✔️ No height and weight requirements.
✔️ Tatoos are allowed
✔️ APPLICANTS must Pass the EPS-TOPIK
(Employment Permit System - Test on Proficiency in Korean)

BENEFITS OF WORKERS:
FREE BOARD AND LODGING
FREE MEALS
FREE Medicare
Paid Vacations
FREE Training at the Philippine Embassy for Machine Operators
Insurance (up to 3,000,000 PHP)

Things you must know:
✔100% NO PLACEMENT FEE.
✔NO DIRECT HIRING.
✔ NO SALARY DEDUCTION.
✔ POEA to HRD KOREA (government to government system)
✔ 3 years contract
>If you are a sincere worker, you can have the chance to get additional 1year and 10 months extension on your contract.
✔ Backpay 500,000-900,000 PHP if you finished your contract.

Attend our one day free orientation to know more! Also, message us your Name, Age, Location and Contact Number for further details and for your reservation slot!  :)

FREE ORIENTATION DAVAO CITY SATURDAY NOVEMBER 11 2017
1st batch 8am
2nd batch 11am

Reserve your seat now!! Limited slot only!!

FREE ORIENTATION ON BATANGAS AND LUCENA CITY WILL BE SCHEDULE, KINDLY WAIT FOR UPDATES!

STRICTLY Private Message Only! To secure your personal info!
YOU CAN ONLY REACH ME THROUGH PRIVATE MESSAGE.

For more info, you can contact Rookie James Tagab (Calinan, Davao City) @ 09073797542.

Thank you. :)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Lessons Learned from BPI Glitch

On this post, we will discuss about the lessons we can learn out from the BPI glitch.

On June 7, clients woke up in horror to find that their BPI ATM accounts are not in their normal state. Most found their accounts containing a considerably lesser amount than what should be, while some found their account having much more than it should have. But it was worst for BPI clients who had nothing at all. It was a collective, worrying question of “Where’d my money go?!”

BPI glitch
Credits: ABS-CBN News

To be fair, BPI claims that not all accounts where affected, and it seemed as though all were affected because of the noise that social media created. In fact, many people did not actually realize that something was wrong in their accounts until they read it on Twitter and/or Facebook.

In an attempt to calm down the generally panic-stricken account holders, BPI Senior Vice President Catherine Santamaria addressed the public in a news conference “Please do not panic…We will make sure that your money is there.” She even silenced suspicions on the possibility of hacking. She explained, “Every day, the system does batch processing and somewhere in that process between midnight and this morning, there was an error.”

However, though many were concerned with their balance, many more were alarmed at the fact that they could not withdraw their money because they absolutely need it at the moment. How could BPI possibly attend to this problem? The only route of action they could take was to extend banking hours until 7:30 p.m. to accommodate all the customers who wanted to but cannot access the ATM.

This event, which has been dubbed as the “BPI glitch” is not the first nor the last of its kind. Banks will have some glitches now and again. As to how widespread and how harmful it can be, nobody wants to stay and find out. So how can you have the confidence to walk out and say “Nah, I’m good” in situations like these?

Two things: Hide your gold in different locations, one of which must be your pocket. In other words, do not keep your savings in one bank and always have cash in hand.

Let’s go with the first one. It always pays to have plan B…and C. You can extend it all the way to Z if you want. But remember this: Plan A will not always work. Sometimes, bad weather strikes and you just have to find some other way. Distribute your savings among banks, so if one bank suffers from a glitch then you can always run to the other/s.

The second one? Make sure to have cash in your pocket. So that even if all the banks happen to suffer from a glitch (God forbid), then you can continue to walk without holding your breath in too much because hey, you still got some cash in your hand!

The BPI glitch may have been alarming to many, but at least it served as a great reminder for these two very important lessons for surviving in the modern world.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Angara Bats Special Assistance for Families of Fallen Soldiers in Wake of Deadly Marawi Clash

Senator Sonny Angara has renewed his call for the immediate passage of bills granting special financial assistance and benefits to uniformed and law enforcement personnel in the wake of intense firefights between government forces and the Maute group in Marawi City.

According to latest reports, the number of fallen government troops since May 23 has risen to 58, including 40 from the Philippine Army, 15 from the Philippine Marines, and three from the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Senator Angana Bill Financial Assistance and Benefits for soldiers




The Philippine Marines lost 13 troops in a single day on Friday during a clearing operation that lasted for 14 hours.

"As the siege by extremist groups continue to drag on in Marawi City, our brave soldiers need all the support they can get. It's unfortunate that this conflict has cost the lives of many of our troops. Nakikiramay po tayo sa kanilang mga pamilya," Angara said.

Angara is one of the authors of Senate Bill 1462 or the Uniformed and Law Enforcement Personnel Special Financial Assistance Act, and SB 1463 or the Uniformed and Law Enforcement Personnel Educational Assistance Act.

Under SB 1462, a special financial assistance equivalent to the average six months salary, including allowances and bonuses, will be provided to the families and beneficiaries of any personnel of the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) who is killed or permanently incapacitated while in the line of duty.

Surviving spouses or designated beneficiaries will be given priority in employment in government agencies and offices where their qualifications are fitted.

SB 1463, on the other hand, provides that all surviving children will automatically and without qualification be extended full scholarship from kindergarten to tertiary level. Such scholarship privilege includes payment of tuition and miscellaneous fees, allowance for books and school supplies, and allowance for food and transportation.

"Bilang pagkilala sa kanilang sakripisyo, mahalaga na masiguro natin ang kinabukasan ng kanilang mga naiwang mahal sa buhay. Upgrading the assistance and benefits of our uniformed personnel is long overdue. I call on our colleagues to prioritize the passage of such bills," Angara said.

Due to the slow delivery of benefits, the proposed measure further seeks to create a Dependents Welfare Office to expedite the grant of special financial assistance and benefits, which should be within three days from receipt of a written certification of the fact of death or permanent disability or incapacity.

If any personnel is injured or wounded in the performance of official duties, hospitalization expenses, including necessary medicines and medical equipment, will be shouldered by the government.

The proposed measure expanded the coverage of the special assistance to uniformed personnel of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

"Such special assistance befits the selfless service of our fallen heroes who have offered their lives to preserve peace, defend the dignity of the country, and ensure the safety of all Filipinos," the lawmaker said.

In addition, Angara has filed a bill that seeks to increase AFP's hazard pay to 25 percent of their base pay.

Currently, pursuant to Executive Order 201, members of AFP receive P540 in hazard pay.

"If our bill passed into law, we will see an eightfold increase in the hazard pay. Halimbawa, ang isang Private First Class na may monthly base pay na P15,600, ang hazard pay nito ay tataas mula P540 hanggang P3,900," the senator explained.

"Bigyan naman natin ng angkop na insentibo ang ating sandatahang lakas para sa kanilang kabayanihan at sa araw-araw na pagharap sa mga panganib," he added.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Does Liza Soberano deserve Darna role?

On May 2017, Liza Soberano was declared to play the much-coveted role of the iconic Darna. The announcement came amidst great anticipation among the fans of the Filipino superheroine, who were all taken by surprise when Ms. Angel Locsin had to withdraw from playing Darna due to health reasons.

A search for the next Darna ensued, and Liza emerged as the victor among other young actresses who were also being considered for the role – Kathryn Bernardo, Nadine Lustre, and Yassi Pressman to name a few.

Liza Soberano new Darna fan art

There was a mixed-reaction in the general audience when the announcement was made. Some expressed their dismay, saying that Liza is too young for the role.

Some said that she is too shy and soft-spoken to take on the role of a tough and daring superheroine. While others complained that it takes someone truly Pinay to portray a Filipina persona well-loved by practically every Filipino household.

However, the majority argued that Liza has proven her worth as an actress in her previous teleseryes “Got to Believe”, “Forevermore”, and “Dolce Amore”. Thus, she should be given the chance to show the world that she will slay this one.

Besides, her fans argue that Liza is a true Pinay, despite her being half-American, due to the fact that she embodies the values of a typical “dalagang Filipina”.

In fact, her credibility as a Pinay does not end there, because her face is described by the general audience to look more Asian than other mestiza actresses in the industry. Even Director Erik Matti said that “Pinay siya na maganda, pan-Asian.

Mahirap 'yung mestiza eh,” He even said that Liza’s face has a versatile quality to it, “You can do a lot of things sa mukha niya. Puwede siya mag-iba-iba ng itsura and she could still look really good” – which is a huge plus factor.

Regarding her “being too young to play Darna”, it should be remembered that Ms. Angel Locsin was just 20 years old when she portrayed Darna in the 2005 TV Series. Mrs. Vilma Santos was also the same age when she played Darna in 1973. Liza, who is 19 years old as of this writing, is just at the right age.

What does Ms. Liza Soberano herself has to say about her latest project?

She said in an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN news that “Sobrang na-excite po ako and siyempre I'm happy and I feel really honored to be able to don the iconic costume and to be able to embody what Darna represents”.

She even said that “Ang gagawin ko na lang po is I'll give my more than 100 percent sa project na ‘to,” There you have it folks!

She may be shy and reserved but she definitely won’t pull any punches on this one. She is obviously fired up for the role, and she is ready to prove any pessimist wrong, because she does want the role and she does want to slay.

So if anyone deserves to be the next Darna of this generation, Liza Soberano is “it”.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Push and pull: the state of tax reform in the Philippines

This article will discuss the latest tax reforms in the Philippines.

latest tax reforms philippines 2017
Credits: CNN Philippines

In a country that makes its citizens pay 30-32% in taxes while a majority is not earning enough, being taxed is a heavy burden for an individual. And the Philippines is one of the countries in Southeast Asia who puts a heavy burden of taxation on its citizens.

In their campaign trail for the 2016 Presidential elections, candidates promised a lower income tax as one of their campaign promises. Among the six, Rodrigo Duterte placed those who earn P20,000 as those who will not pay taxes.

Now that he won the elections, President Duterte is eyeing a comprehensive tax reform that would benefit the poor, while keeping the rich to pay taxes.

That was supposed to be the rationale of House Bill 5636, which calls for the comprehensive tax reform. The proposal was even named as the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN).

The bill is needed to be passed immediately into law, because, as Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez claims that not passing the bill would leave the country in an "unsustainable financial position" and "more vulnerable to fiscal risk."

The DOF estimated it would cost the country "an extra P30 billion in annual debt servicing, and P100 billion more in higher borrowing costs for the public."

The DOF and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said the lowering of income taxes and the subsequent increase in excise taxes like the Value Added Tax (VAT) among others would only have a “negligible” effect on the country’s inflation rate.

The DOF submitted its first proposal to the House of Representatives in September 2016. This initial package, the first of four, includes the lowering of the personal income tax rates and the reduction of value added tax exemptions.
The proposal was revised after immediate imposition of high taxes on fuel and cars was met by opposition from the public and private sectors. The removal of Value-Added Tax (VAT) exemptions for senior citizens and persons with disability were also met with criticisms.

The DOF submitted its amended proposal on January 17.

The proposed taxation stated that those earn P250,000 or less will be exempted from paying taxes. Bonuses like the 13th month pay will likewise be exempt. Only the 0.1%, the rich, will shoulder a hefty 35% taxation.

Should the bill be passed into law this will take effect in January 2018.

The obvious winner should be the poor and even the low-earning middle class sector. Unfortunately, the reform still has its con: it included higher rates on VAT, as well as other excise taxes, like the oil excise tax, tax on sugar and its other products, and automobile tax, among others.

This was met with further opposition in Congress. Bayan Muna party-list Representative Carlos Isagani T. Zarate said that with these taxes, expenses and basic commodities will significantly increase for most Filipinos.

Zarte said by imposing higher excise taxes on petroleum products, particularly on liquefied petroleum gas, diesel and gas, as well as sugar-sweetened beverages the tax measure will definitely hit the poor hard, because it would mean higher prices of basic goods and services.

While it is true that those earning P250,000 yearly are exempted from income tax, Zarate said the bill removed the previous personal-tax deduction, as well as the deduction to the medical and health insurance. It will also impose taxes on the fringe benefits of workers.

Using DOF data, independent think-tank Ibon Foundation calculated that the rich will be paying a collective Php178.3 billion from their personal and corporate income tax, estate and donor taxes, and capital income taxes. However, consumers will be shelling out a total of Php341.6-B from all the proposed excise taxes.

“The government stands to lose up to P152 billion in revenues by 2019 because of the adjusted income-tax structure, but the government is seen to earn at least P320 billion through complementary tax reforms, such as excise taxes and removal of VAT exemptions that would be shouldered primarily by ordinary citizens, especially the poor,” Zarate added.

Tax measures are mandated to originate from, and be passed in, the House of Representatives before it goes through Senate scrutiny, as per congressional rules. While the president certified the tax reform bill as "urgent," Congress hurriedly passed the bill on the third reading. It now awaits the Senate version, and the bicameral ruling, as well as the President’s signature.

Once the tax reform pushes through, however, it will be far from what Pres. Duterte promised in his campaign as a service to the greater masses.