Issue of May 13, 2018
     
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Death and taxes

My deepest condolences to the family of Dr. Cirilo F. Bautista, National Artist for Literature, who passed away recently. Not only was Doc Cirilo a ninong on my wedding, he was also a family friend. We will miss him dearly.

This near-sighted Ibaloy writer remembers having coffee, fruits, and peanuts with him and the late poet Francis “Butch” Macansantos and late broadcaster Nap Javier in the latter’s home when the four of us decided to form the Baguio Writers Group many years ago. Farewell, Doc Cirilo. Say hello to Mang Nap and Kuya Butch for me in the great library in the sky. Until we meet again.

Anyway, we often hear that there are only two sure things in life – death and taxes. My naughty barkadas say that we should also include “crab mentality” when it comes to Filipinos. They’re kidding, of course.

I remember reading an article about how Denmark, Norway, and Sweden they consistently top the list of countries having the highest quality of life or living for their citizens. If I’m not mistaken, these Nordic nations and lands of the Vikings also happen to be among those with the highest taxes in the world.

It seems, however, that their citizens don’t mind paying high taxes since they claim that they get these back in the form of quality services, safety, and security, and are generally taken care of by their respective governments. They also know that their taxes are properly used for their benefit and are not pocketed by corrupt officials or used for other nefarious purposes. No wonder they don’t mind paying high taxes. Enough said.

FYI: It’s all systems go for the City Planning and Development Office under Evelyn Cayat as it currently gathers data for the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index.

Cayat said the index ranks local government units based on an overall competitiveness score, based on three major pillars that pool data from several sub-indicators.

These pillars include economic dynamism, government efficiency, and infrastructure, where the scores are determined by the values of the actual data and the completeness of the data submitted.

She explained that the public and private sectors and academe can use the index where the data can serve as a diagnostic tool to assess the city’s competitiveness and identify areas for improvement and collaboration.

“The data can provide insight for policy making, development planning and investment promotion,” Cayat said.

She added that the data paints a general picture of the city that may be used by the academe, civil society, and tourists as a take-off point for further research. Cheers!

We are on air Wednesdays, 8 a.m., over K-Lite 96.7 FM with Hillary Johnson and every last Tuesday of the month at 3 p.m. for City Hall Hour over SkyCable, DZEQ Radyo Pilipinas and Big FM. In this beautiful archipelago of delicious coconuts and smiling carabaos, it’s more fun and cooler in Baguio!

Here’s “Charts” by Cirilo F. Bautista:The graphics by which the calculus is borne/ to prescribe the signs and pathway of the mind/ none can unlock with statistics or bind/ to metal currency like fish and corn;/ for neither time bomb nor flagman can scorn/ the sure numerals the gnomon has signed./ Be a dryad, a glyptic seeing or blind,/ the calculus will wound you with its horn:/ so fine a machine can demolish the art/ we raise against the phalanx it employs,/ the human tactics we plot on our chart/ melt before its argument like plastic toys/ dolmen, alar, crude, tied to the womb like sex,/ it is the saviour that comes with an ax.”

May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless and keep us all safe.

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