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Sunday, June 20, 2021


Lyca Balita - Onwards
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Pride and progress

June is Pride month, and as emphasized in my previous article, there are many important things to protest; Pride is a protest before anything, after all. Still, Pride is also a celebration. We celebrate not only our existence, but also our progress—a reminder that our protests work, even one step at a time. Years ago, the LGBT+ community existed primarily as stereotypes: the funny gay best…

On optional standard deductions

Except for certain types of taxpayers or types of income where no deductions or where there are only limited deductions in the computation of income taxes due, individual and corporate income taxpayers are generally entitled to claim deductions in computing their net income subjected to income tax. Traditionally, these are the costs and expenses incurred by the taxpayer in earning the…
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1Sambayan top bets

The much-awaited list of presidentiables and vice-presidentiables of 1Sambayan came out last Saturday, June 12. The significance of the date of the announcement, which coincided with our country’s celebration of its 123rd Independence Day, is not lost on us. The names being offered represent the people’s champions who will free our people from an…
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US inflation

“Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hit man.”—Ronald Reagan “Inflation is taxation without legislation.”—Milton Friedman It may not surprise you that my favorite quote about inflation is: “Inflation takes from the ignorant and gives to the well informed.”—Venita VanCaspel Inflation, like other situations—including the stock market and…
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Confidence boosters

The pledge of G-7 leaders to provide at least 1 billion vaccine doses to 92 poor and lower-middle-income countries and last week’s emerging positive domestic trade figures are a big confidence booster. The business community and Filipinos in general will welcome these positive developments. As more vaccines are made available to the population, Filipinos get the reassurance that it has…
Column box-Al Mendoza-That’s All
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Expressway to Quezon on; Toyota ‘kaizen’

IT is obvious.  There’s no stopping Ramon S. Ang (RSA) from pursuing his nation-building platform.  Not even the pandemic.  If only half of the nation’s billionaires can have RSA’s mindset, economic resurgence will never be utopia as it is now. With the metropolis still euphoric over the recent opening of the RSA-authored Skyway from South to North and vice versa that…
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Revisiting the Small Business Wage Subsidy Program  

Second of two parts Last week, I discussed the Small Business Wage Subsidy Program (SBWS), which is a collaborative project among three government institutions led by the Department of Finance (DOF), in cooperation with the Social Security System (SSS) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), to assist the more than 3 million workers of small and medium business enterprises negatively…
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Pacquiao’s last hurrah!

Somebody once said that every story has a happy ending. If it’s not happy, it’s not yet the end. Will August 21, 2021 be a happy ending to the marvelous boxing career of our “Pambansang Kamao” Manny Pacquiao? No less than our boxing icon, Pacquiao himself recently announced his forthcoming fight with Errol Spence Jr. in Las Vegas on August 21, 2021. …
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The free market works

The journey started in 1761 when Ebenezer Kinnersley demonstrated heating a wire to incandescence and ended when Thomas Edison lost his company in the 1889 merger that formed Edison General Electric. In the intervening period, countless thousands of scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and financiers around the world worked towards one objective: commercially viable, safe, and efficient…
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The road to pre-pandemic levels

The return to normalcy is beginning to take shape in the United States, the United Kingdom and some parts of the European Union. Opened dine-in restaurants, resumption of cruise travel and people spending their time in their favorite bars are becoming frequent—the sights that we normally saw before the pandemic. The speedy vaccine rollout in these developed nations clearly allowed them to…

When your salary is not enough

JUST recently, there emerged discussions about a college graduate rejecting a P37,000 starting salary as an entry level Marketing Associate. The said graduate was expecting a P60,000 income due to the fact that she graduated from a prestigious university (probably one of many reasons). This has sparked online debate on whether or not, the decision was correct. But before we make judgments…
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‘Terra incognita’

It is April 2020 and the world is gripped by fear and uncertainty. Covid-19 was just declared by the World Health Organization as a pandemic a month ago, and vaccine research and development are still ways away. “We are in the middle and the end is not in sight,” American writer Rebecca Solnit wrote at that time for a piece on Literary Hub ( “We are waiting, which is among…
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The bond is stronger than ever

Lotlot de Leon is happy that she made time when asked to be part of the movie Dito at Doon, produced by TBA Studios under the direction of JP Habac. The highly successful movie that debuted online, and is now available in more than 60 countries worldwide via TBA Play, starred her real-life daughter Janine Gutierrez. “When they inquired about the possibility of me playing Janine’s mom in…
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‘Protect your data like you would protect your cash’

This is what you need to know if you are using GCash: Protect your data like you would protect your cash. Chito Maniago, GCash vice president of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, said they are always asked by users how to protect themselves from fraud. “Never give away personal data like your MPIN [mobile personal identification number] and OTP [one time pin] to anyone,…
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Huawei FreeBuds 4i: ANC for less

IF we are to believe the rumors, June is going to be an exciting month for Huawei as the tech giant is expected to launch its very intriguing HarmonyOS (outside China) alongside two new tablets and smartwatches. The Android OS alternative will then appear on all Huawei products going forward including the long-awaited Huawei P50—and maybe even for other smartphone brands. The release of…
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The many roles of an association CEO

I was invited by the Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE) to the second run of its “Association Insiders” webinar series entitled, “The Many Roles of an Association CEO.” AuSAE is the premier not-for-profit professional society representing over 10,000 individual leaders working in associations in Australia and New Zealand. The new series features monthly interviews…
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Gordon redux

Sen. Richard Gordon was born to be a presidential contender. He is gifted with personal attributes and leadership qualities that destined him to lead people. He has exceptional administrative and organizational skills, which he has amply demonstrated when he was the city mayor of Olongapo City for several terms, Chairman and Administrator of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority,…


Fed-up young workers fear they need offices to save their careers

Managers hoping to lure employees into offices may find their youngest and newest staff are their strongest allies. Young white-collar staff feel caught between a rock and a hard place—they value quality of life over old-fashioned 9-5 commuting, but are even more worried about seeing their careers stall unless they head back into an office. That’s…

#FeteFromMyIsland: It’s more fun at Fête de la Musique Philippines 2021


Gen Z spending more now than it did pre-pandemic

OK boomer, you may have money, but you’re not spending it. Younger consumers, even though they have less saved than older Americans, are the ones opening their wallets as the US economy recovers. Millennials and members of Generation Z are spending even more than they did before the pandemic…



Envoys & Expats



As Russia tensions simmer, NATO conducts massive war games

From Gaza to Chile, Biennale asks: How can we live together?

Eurovision delivers decades of songs, spectacle

Icelandic volcanic eruption a ‘wonder of nature’

Fear and grief grip Gaza anew amid familiar glare

PHOTO GALLERY: India’s Deadly Virus Surge Follows Crowded Events

The Broader Look

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PHL building digital economy blocks one step at a time

ONE and zero. These two binary digits have been, and still are, the building blocks of a new way of doing business after the nation’s leaders ordered the lockdown of territorial borders and forced people to close doors to neighbors and friends. The economy went into entropy. But the binary…

Live & In Quarantine