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Author: Gerald M. Nicolas

A white sand beach in Manila Bay?

Who asked for a white sand beach in Manila Bay? Definitely not the 15,000 or so families languishing in poverty, hunger, and joblessness in Baseco, the biggest coastal informal settlement in Manila. Of course, the truckloads of crushed dolomite boulders that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) allowed…

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Stop calling Duterte ‘propoor’

Former finance secretary Roberto de Ocampo devoted almost a third of his column, “Federalism’s unpleasant surprise” (6/23/18), to heap praises on President Duterte. Wondering why the President still commands ardent support as indicated by his high approval ratings, he said, “It would be snooty and condescending to dismiss this popularity…

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Urban poor commission needs a champion

Hopes rose among the urban poor when President Duterte declared, during his first month in office, that his administration would not treat them like dogs by allowing the demolition of their houses. If relocation cannot be avoided, he said, he would be “very generous” and ensure the presence of job-creating…

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Off-city resettlement and climate change policy

Eight years ago, almost 80 percent of Metro Manila went under water after Tropical Storm “Ondoy” unloaded a month’s volume of rain in just six hours. Almost two million people were affected by the widespread flooding that killed hundreds, rendered thousands of families homeless, and caused a leptospirosis outbreak. Believing…

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Democracy ‘vs,’ nay, ‘means’ discipline

Dichotomies are rather popular lately. Filipino Catholics were recently dared to abandon a “hypocritical institution” because a “new religion” has emerged to bring about change, and the bandwagon leaves those who disagree; in short, continuity versus change. Wolf-whistling and catcalling are forms of compliment, a popular lawyer tells us, so…

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