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Philippine History Part V – Ngayon. Manila still stands

Paco Parkbut the Philippines has expanded. Aguinaldo’s Cavite was still province. A President from Mindanao and a Vice-President from Bikol are now seated. Where is this all going? Let us ask Nicolo Macchiavelli or better a short summary (link) of his main book, the Prince, which in the original is a rambling and difficult read:

The power to form a principality lies with either the nobles or the people. If the nobles realize they cannot dominate the people, they will try to strengthen their position by making one of the nobles a prince. They hope to accomplish their own ends through the prince’s authority. The people will follow the same course of action; if they realize they cannot withstand the nobles, they will make one of the people a prince and hope to be protected by the prince’s authority.

The Philippine situation is not in Macchiavelli’s equation. President Rodrigo Duterte is a kind of country noble by the Italian writer’s classification, but he was voted by people who wanted his protection. Vice-President Leni Robredo is one of the people, but she was fielded by the Liberal Party which could be seen as a party of “noblemen”, originally instead of popular Grace Poe.  Duterte was voted by many people in Metro Manila, many overseas Filipinos, and by much of Mindanao. Robredo was strong in Bikol, the Visayas, and in Muslim Mindanao.

It pays to have a look at which social groups voted for whom. Duterte had his main support bases in the new middle class both in the cities and overseas from all reports. Robredo could have had her support bases in the rising middle classes of the Visayas and Bikol, where apparently tourism has created new wealth. The really poor voted for whoever they thought could help them most, probably more urban poor for Duterte, and more rural poor for Robredo. Since Duterte and Robredo did not compete directly, the groups that voted both could be interesting to know.

Groups with common interests across a country. Their interactions, their alliances and their conflicts, will determine the next six years. Years worth observing – history in the making, ngayon.

Irineo B. R. Salazar, 1 July 2016, München

11 comments to Philippine History Part V – Ngayon. Manila still stands


    MANILA, Philippines – Officials from the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) proposed that lawmakers pass a law that would require big companies to pay taxes locally to help boost the regions’ income.

    On Wednesday, June 28, the House constitutional amendments committee held a dialogue with officials from CAR and ARMM to determine their fiscal status amid the plan of President Rodrigo Duterte to switch the country to federalism.

    During the hearing, the CAR and ARMM officials admitted local income generation is a problem in the regions, which remain largely dependent on funding from the national government.

    Negros Occidental 3rd District Representative Alfredo Benitez asked how much revenue CAR was able to generate from taxes in 2016.

    Cordillera Regional Development Council vice chairperson Milagros Rimando said they were able to collect P5.7 billion in 2016, and P4.8 billion in 2015. But she lamented these figures combing are still smaller compared to the funding they receive from the national government, including their Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) shares.

    Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan explained this is because major companies operating in CAR pay their taxes in the head offices in Metro Manila.

  • Philippine Weekly Update 20 – 26 August 2016

    According to the Department of Finance (DOF), the exemption of senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWD) from the payment of value added tax (VAT) on food, medicine and education is non-negotiable. DOF is eyeing the lifting of VAT exemptions, adjusting for inflation of the tax of fuel, and rationalization of fiscal incentives to compensate for the planned reduction in personal and corporate income tax rates.

    DOF sees a higher oil excise tax and proposes P10 levy for every liter of gas and diesel, as a major revenue source that will compensate for forgone revenues once income tax rates are slashed, as promised by President Duterte.


    Killings prompt ‘hesitation’ among European investors
    News – August 23, 2016
    By: Roy Stephen C. Canivel

    The president of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) said there is a sense of “hesitation” among European businesses considering investing in the country, amid the spate of extrajudicial killings in the course of the Duterte administration’s campaign against illegal drugs and criminality.

    “There’s a hesitation at this point in time to really come in to the Philippines from an investment point of view because the people would rather be at a wait and see situation on how it turns out,” ECCP President Guenter Taus said at the sidelines of an EU Philippine relations forum on Thursday.

    Mr. Taus was elaborating on remarks he made in response to a question at the forum pointing out the extrajudicial killings amid the government’s war on drugs.


    Out of 40 national laws to have passed through the 16th congress, 36 lapsed into law from July 17 to 22 after former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and President Rodrigo Duterte neither signed nor vetoed the bills.

    Here are new, interesting laws that stood out:

    1. Stricter Anti-Carnapping Law

    2. Mandatory subtitles

    3. Keeping Filipinas from becoming mail order brides

    4. No more candies or inexact change

    5. Longer prescription for crimes of graft and corruption

    6. Anti-age discrimination for employees

    7. No more texting while driving

    8.) Mandatory speed limiters


    ECCP proposes special lane in BIR for good taxpayers News – August 18, 2016 By: Amy R. Remo

    The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) has called on the government to create a blue lane that would allow “good” taxpayers to enjoy certain benefits such as faster processing time and streamlined procedures when paying their obligations.

    “It will encourage companies in the Philippines to commit to clean and ethical ways to do business and pay the right taxes. [This is] good for the government. With the blue lane, companies will enjoy less bureaucracy in dealing with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR),” ECCP senior advocacy adviser Henry V Schumacher said in a text message on Wednesday.

    He said these responsible taxpayers must also be the least priority of the BIR when it comes to tax reviews.


    Relocation need not be far: ECCP News – August 18, 2016

    The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) said relocation for informal settlers need not be far from Metro Manila where they earn their living.

    The poor can be housed in socialized condominium projects which will be require large space. The ECCP is also batting for the creation of a clear roadmap on socialized housing and the introduction of sustainable building materials…

    Schumacher said the ECCP sees vertical developments within Metro Manila and its outlying areas which will not need huge land areas.


      With a 91-percent approval rating in his first month in office, it seems like President Rodrigo Duterte can do no wrong. But two controversial issues he had committed himself to during the campaign are now stirring dissent.

      His war on drugs has led to extrajudicial killings while his promise to allow the burial of ex-president Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani is reigniting the fire of anti-Marcos groups. This week we have two excellent pieces for you to ponder: “Where Will President Duterte and His War on Drugs Take Us?” by Criselda Yabes and “Eulogizing Marcos” by Greg B. Macabenta.

  • 9 – 15 July 2016 Philippine Weekly Update – July 28, 2016

    Aside from income tax reform, Senator Sonny Angara will be prioritizing the passage of Individual Income Tax Reform Bill and Taxpayer Assistance Service Bill that will promote taxpayer rights, and create an office that will help address the difficulties faced by Filipinos in paying taxes.

    Loren Legarda filed her top 10 priority bills – the Magna Carta for Seafarers; Water Sector Reform Act Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act and National Land Use Act; Creating the Department of Culture; Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program Act; National Land Use Act; Final Forest Limits Act; Amendment to the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers; Department of Housing Act; Philippine Innovation Act; and the Anti-Discrimination Act.

    Cynthia Villar intends to pass the bills on agriculture in the new Congress. The bills are: Urban Agriculture Bill; Development of a Micro Insurance Program; Amendments to the National Food Authority Charter; Bill mandating local government units to allocate a percentage of their development fund to agriculture.

    Nancy Binay vowed to pursue the bill exempting employees earning P30,000 and below from paying income taxes in the 17th Congress.

    Panfilo Lacson filed SB 40: Budget Reform for Village Empowerment Act of 2016 creating a Local Development Fund (LDF) to be divided among the different political; SB 45: Expands the coverage of the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) to include Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) such as casinos, real estate brokers, and dealers of art works and motor vehicles ; SB 47: Removes from all public servants the “protection” afforded by Republic Act 1405 which prohibits disclosure or inquiry into bank deposits.

    • 16 – 22 July 2016 Philippine Weekly Update – July 29, 2016

      The regional Department of Agriculture (DA) plans to embark on a P49-million rehabilitation of old cacao trees and to apply appropriate farm technology to manage cacao farms.

      The Department of Agriculture (DA) is pushing for the implementation of a new support program that would provide free seeds and other inputs to rice farmers for two cropping seasons starting next year. DA is currently working on the details and arrangements for the initiative, which DA Sec. Pinol described as a top priority and the national government’s rice self-sufficiency program.

  • Mariano Renato Pacifico

    In PNP turnover ceremony Leni and Rody was side-by-side giggling and having a banter like teenagers on their first date.

    I can see there was no rift between them at all. It was the intrigue-meister at banned Philippine Press making up stories spreading suggestive innuendoes that Rody was petty and hate Leni. See? These hated Philippine Press can make stories to misinform and plant seeds of distrut in Filipino people.


    The Philippine Press is a mob. I have never heard a journalist criticize a fellow journalist. IT IS OMERTA.

    My take is Rody did not want to take oath with Leni because Leni will surely invite Mar Roxas and Korina Sanchez which she did.

    Good thing came out of Rody not having dual oath taking. There were competitions between them:
    1. Who has the most meager of menus: Street food versus haute cuisine
    2. Who has the shortest speech: Leni did 11 min. Rody did 15
    3. Who are the invited. Leni invited 200, 600 showed up which is total violation of security protocol. PSG should be sent to Mamasapano to die for allowing uninvited undocumented illegal paperless 400 additional guest to join the party.

    There were no V.I.P.s as Leni promised in competition with Duterte’s 150 V.I.P.s. Of course, Leni invited Mar Roxas because he is NOT V.I.P. anymore. Mar Roxas is now a travel VLogger.

    Absolutely Mar Roxas will retire from political life. He lost to Binay. He lost to Grace Poe (remember Grace Poe dumped him?). He lost to Duterte.
    4. Duterte wanted to serve the poor. Not to be outdone, Leni wanted to serve the poorest
    5. Who has the most journalist to cover the loath taking. Of course, Duterte has the least because he did not want them. Leni enjoyed the klieg lights

    But in the end it is the constutents that benefited the most. No circus. No 18 bishops. No concentrations of power. Just simple hi! hello and goodbye.

    The following day after the Philippine Press were standing on their heads over dual oath-taking, THE FILIPINOS SAW LENI AND RODY HAND-IN-HAND!

    They were not enemies after all! They are friends!

    Leni asked Rody if she can see him in Malacanang! You know what Rody said? “Sure, anytime!” No, “errr, let me see if I can fit you in my calendar”. Nothing like that. “Check with my chief-of-staff before you drop in!” He simply said, “Sure, anytime!”

    After the ceremony they were like school kids on their first date. I think there is romance in the air.

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