MA. ISABEL ONGPIN

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THIS year has brought many visible and dramatic signs that most of the world is discontented and rebellious. The electorates of the United Kingdom, Italy and the United States have delivered anti-establishment election results. More are expected to do the same as further elections take place. These events have occurred…

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I DID not watch or hear the “in aid of legislation” committee hearing in the Lower House which in a way was fortunate on my part. Unfortunately, I read about what transpired and it was dismal, demeaning of the legislators, and a new low in public discourse. Nothing in aid…

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WHATEVER else is happening in this country, the holiday season is upon us and will not go away. Aside from the early Christmas carols and the ubiquitous Christmas decor from trees to wreaths, followed by gift-wrapped stuff and Christmas cards, the parties and other events with the theme of Christmas…

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IT is indisputable that like other countries at this time we are weighted down with a drug problem in virtually all sectors of our society. Something has to be done and it has to be effective. Violence won’t do because it will breed more violence, either as extrajudicial killings as…

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I WAS in the United Kingdom when the Brexit vote was taken and I was traveling in the Middle East with an American tour group in the latter part of the United States presidential campaign that ended last Tuesday with US Election Day. These are some observations I made vis-a-vis…

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One step toward inclusive growth, the highly elusive factor that is missing in our newly-found status as having the fastest economic growth rate in the region, is to fulfill the housing need of this country. There is obviously a huge backlog in providing housing, particularly low-cost housing which is expected…

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The Lower House has constituted itself rapidly, and with hardly any debate that the public has been privy to, into a Constitutional Assembly to push Federalism and effectively overhaul our system of government. They plan to change the Constitution, if not replace it. That is the sum and total of…

AMBIENT VOICES

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Talk of a legislative initiative to impose an excise tax on cars or vehicles supposedly to solve the traffic situation is worrisome for the consequences of inequality and futility that will be its real effect. Excise taxes will not prevent or stop the haves from buying a car. They have…

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After a 3,300-kilometer drive through the Zagros Mountains of Iran (ascending close to 3000 meters in parts), we descended on Isfahan, Iran’s legendary city of history, art and culture. It flourished in the 15th to 17th centuries during the Safavid Dynasty whose most prominent and influential king was Shah (Persian…

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This is my third and last week in Iran. So far with my tour group of 12, we have traveled 3,300 kilometers by bus from Yazd, where we came by plane from Tehran, crossing deserts and mountains (Zagros Mountains), passing by fields of wheat and orchards of pomegranate and figs…

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