On Turkey's Bloody Friday
It's one thing to feel oppressed, but it's another thing to feel alone. Spread the word.
On Buying from Abroad through Philpost Express Mail Service (EMS)
Ordering online from the Philippines is a difficult journey through inaccurate web trackers, inactive phone numbers, uncoordinated post offices, and high tax levies. However, if you really want the product and can't get it locally, then a little grit, persistence, and information should let you wrench your package out of the system faster than usual.
On the Syrian Ghouta Chemical Attacks
: UN Facts and Figures
The United Nations has recently concluded an investigation into the Syrian chemical attack last August 21, 2012 and concluded that chemicals, particularly the nerve agent Sarin, were indeed used against civilians, including children.
On the News
: The Philippines is hitting the jackpot, and the cash is here to stay
This week in news: The Philippines posts large gaming revenue gains from recent resort and casino developments along Manila Bay, and the risk of capital flight remains relatively low amid prudent government finance and capital controls. Read more about them in this post.
On Traffic Accident Hotspots
: EDSA and C-5
Ever wonder where and what types of vehicles are involved in road accidents along Manila's major thoroughfares? The MMDA twitter account can shed some light on that. Vehicular accidents reported by the MMDA along EDSA and C-5 are parsed to reveal the most dangerous intersections and flyovers, as well as expose buses and trucks as major accident culprits.
On Tax Evasion
: They go to crooked politicians, anyway
The Tax Justice Institute estimated the amount of taxes lost due to tax avoidance for several countries, including the Philippines, using World Bank data on shadow economies (the unregulated, but not illegal part of the market).
On the UAAP Season 76
: DLSU vs UST Finals Game 1
What a heartbreaking loss! After recovering from a 17-point deficit, the DLSU Green Archers struggled to make the winning basket in their finals matchup against the UST Growling Tigers. To come to terms with it, I've tried to analyze the outcome of the game the way I know best: through data. Let's take a look at the numbers on the hard court.
On W.H. Taft Residences
: Always the bridesmaid, never the bride
A building along Taft Avenue, W.H. Taft Residences, is still under construction after nearly 7 years, serving as a prime example of why diversified conglomerates should be wary of putting their foot in the real estate and construction industry, where stretched operating cycles require special attention.
On the News
: No Double Standard Here
NO DOUBLE STANDARD - The World Economic Forum published its Global Gender Gap Report 2013, which assesses the level of gender equality in different countries. The Philippines is ranked 5th highest in terms of gender equality, an improvement from past years, and the highest in Asia. Of the four aspects, the country performed well in terms of educational attainment and health, but was performed poorly in terms of economic and political participation.
On True Filipino Resilience
Super Typhoon Yolanda (international codename Haiyan) struck the Philippine central islands last November 8, 2012.
On Yolanda/Haiyan Foreign Aid
: Who is giving what, and to whom?
SHOW ME THE MONEY - Foreign aid for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) has reached staggering levels, with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs pegging the value at P19.53 billion. Data on these massive aid flows can be visualized to show the donors, and through which channels the donations were made.
On Christmas in the Philippines
Christmas festivities in the Philippines are world-renowned. Spectacular light displays, early morning mass, and smiles all around make it hard to be in the island nation during this time of the year and not feel the spirit of Christmas. Let's take a look at the data and see how we can quantify Christmas in the Philippines.
On Trains and Tribulations
: The LRT South Extension and Fare Hikes
The Light Rail Transit Line 1 South Extension Project is now out for bidding, with the contract to be awarded in the second quarter of this year. The rail system is under intense public scrutiny amidst talks of fare hikes, but as in most cases, a look at the data can lend some meaningful context to these debates: fare hikes, capacity constraints, and South Extension feasibility.
On Presidents and Priorities
: Distilling the Numbers out of the State of the Nation Address
The President's annual State of the Nation Address (SONA) is a strong indicator of an administration's priorities and accomplishments, but how do we compare across presidents? We can distill the SONA into numbers and count instances of national issues mentioned in the speech to find out and compare. You can also explore the speeches yourself using an interactive SONA word counter.
On Fraud and Fake Ballots
: Detecting election fraud through data
Election fraud in the Philippines is almost always alleged, but never really proven. We can explore an approach that can identify voting data patterns those most likely to be associated with vote padding - adding fake ballots - and find out how the sanctity of the ballot can be preserved by the thoughtful use of election data.
On the S&P Credit Rating Upgrade
: The Numbers Behind BBB
Ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) has raised the Philippines sovereign credit rating from BBB- to BBB, making it fully in the ranks of investment-grade sovereign debt. Let's look through those three B's and look at the data behind their decision.
On the Overweight and Obese
: 1 in 4 Filipino adults are overweight, 1 in 20 are obese
A report by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation reveals that obesity for both children and adults is on the rise in the Philippines. While girls are less prone to obesity than boys early on, this trend reverses as they become adults. However, both sexes are still losers in the battle of the bulge, as obesity rates increase as they age.
On Latin Honors
: How hard is it to get to the top?
An article from the Inquirer takes a look at how there are more latin honors graduates in Philippines colleges and universities than in years past. We can view comparative data for selected universities to know, more or less, how much weight a *cum laude* title carries for a particular school.
On Pork and Plunder
: The numbers behind the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam
In one of the rarest moments in Philippine history, three high-ranking lawmakers were arrested on charges of plunder related to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), or pork barrel scam.
On Presidential Priorities (July 2014)
: Aquino moves toward legacy
The annual State of the Nation Address (SONA) of the President of the Philippines, when distilled using word counts, can provide insight into the pressing issues of the day. We update [our original post ](/2014/02/sona-words.html) to include the latest 2014 SONA by President Aquino.
On the Effectiveness of Higher Sin Taxes
: Losing Steam? (2014 Q2 Update)
We update our assessment on the effectiveness of sin taxes with fresh national accounts data for the second quarter of 2014, and learn that sin taxes may be losing steam - smokers and drinkers may be having a hard time kicking the habit.
On Taxes versus Sales
: How large is government compared to publicly-listed corporations?
Have you ever wondered how government finances compare to the largest publicly-listed corporations in the country? When the financial bulk of private entities outweigh that of the public purse, it may give rise to undue influence over regulation and legislation. Data from public company disclosures and Department of Finance can help us investigate the matter.
On Coffee Coverage
: Starbucks store density in Metro Manila
Some people just can't start the day without having a cup of coffee. By taking a look at the city-specific distribution of Starbucks stores around Metro Manila, we can see where the coffee guzzlers are located.
On the MRT
: A Capacity Conundrum
The Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT) has been operating at 142% capacity since 2004. New prototype trains have been scheduled to arrive in 2015, but the actual deployment will still be in the following year. How bad is the current train situation? Let's find out through data!