TITA VALDERAMA

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AGRICULTURE Secretary Emmanuel Piñol wants agriculture subjects to be taught to elementary and high school students. He said it is part of his department’s plans to encourage young people to go into agriculture. If Piñol would have his way, he also wants the agriculture sector’s budget for 2018 increased to…

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Despite the objection of key economic managers, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the free-college tuition bill, known as the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act. It was a popular decision to make. It was meant to ease the financial problems of poor students and parents. But then Budget…

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NAME-CALLING used to be common only during campaign seasons, between and among rival parties. But nowadays, name-calling has become an almost daily occurrence, particularly in social media. Have we become so democratic that an ordinary citizen can call the President crazy or madman, or a government consultant describe the Speaker…

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To welcome change is to welcome a chance for those who need most. That was essentially the theme of an advertorial I heard on radio seeking support for the administration’s comprehensive tax reform package. The Duterte administration hopes to generate at least P200 billion in new revenues in the next…

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THE state of the nation address (SONA) last year, the first for President Rodrigo Duterte, holds the distinction of being the longest, delivered in one hour and 32 minutes. It was long in words, mostly a reiteration of his campaign promises, and tough warnings in ad libs addressed to his…

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MOST if not all politicians use the poor to get elected. Yet, after generations, poor people remain poor because promises of better life for them remain promises. But talking to a couple of barangay leaders a few days ago kept me thinking if poor people really want to improve their…

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IF harsh penalty can stop the commission of a crime, we should be living in a peaceful world. But we are not, despite the existence of so many laws prescribing stiff penalties against certain crimes. What penalty could be worse than imprisonment for life in cramped and stinky jails, with…

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HOUSE Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has been going on a rampage in recent weeks. He is mad, and his madness is not directed at just anybody working under him but at the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals. He is mad because he could not have his own way. Alvarez…

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THE defiance that Congress leaders have shown in dealing with a constitutional question over the declaration of martial law in Mindanao is quite disturbing. And then you hear the Speaker of the House warning of a constitutional crisis if the Supreme Court comes up with a resolution directing Congress to…

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IN my journalism classes, I require my students to watch the movies ‘Shattered Glass’ and ‘Spotlight’ for them to distinguish real journalism from fiction or creative writing. The movies are relevant in view of the spread of fake news, or what others call alternative facts, that make the life of…

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