As a cleaner and less smoggy new year rolls in, thoughts of the past year will undoubtedly occupy our usual conversations for the week.
Of course new laws mandating perpetually redeemable gift checks and the removal of witholding taxes are game changers for many of our readers.
Based on our readong of recent events and trends, here's a list of what may happen in thr next year:
1. More savings and an economic boost from TRAIN, slightly higher transport fares.
Those with incomes till 250,000 a year or about 4.7 million salaried workers will no longer need to pay taxes, giving them from 7,000 to 21,000 pesos of new savings per month.
Imagine at least a million of them spending at least 7,000 a month. Thats easily Php7 Billion a month pumped into the economy. Monthly.
In exchange, they will have to shell out an average of an additional 40 pesos a day or 1,200 bucks a month for additional excise taxes (assuming you fill ten liters of fuel on a daily basis).
On the other hand, those who commute may spend more or less an additional 10 pesos a day for their usual commute between, lets say, Bacoor Cavite and Makati City.
2. More electric jeepneys, buses snd cars will fill our streets due to the PUV Modernization program. This program will push the entry of new jeepneys and minibuses
3. Faster and Cheaper internet. The entry os a third player has gotten the duopoly scared, enough to dare one of them to invest 50 billion to upgrade aging facilities to meet the challenge of a new player.
As a result, expect faster internet as they move to head off the challenge.
4. More highways and expanded roads. As Build Build Build goes into high gear, government will start up many shelved or delayed projects, giving us more roads and infrastructure which will get us moving.
5. More tourists. As China will almost hit a million tourists (double that of last year's) to the Philippines this year, word of mouth may just lure another million. The gambling and entertainment playground of Entertainment city Manila will bring in loads of them.
Russia wont be left behind, as travel and tour agents have begun exploring Philippine destinations.
6. Five year licenses, ten year passports and free State college tuition.
2018 is the implementation year for these three landmark programs that will change the game for many who have had to suffer unproductive days, long lines and costly education.
7. More efficient buses. Cebu and Davao may implement the P2P or High Priority Bus Systems.
Cebu for one already has a popular airport to-mall-ferry bus system that makes travel to and through the queen city more seamless.
Davao is in the final stages in designing a bus system it plans to launch.
In metro Manila, the P2P bus system has become more popular, causing more to leave their cars at home.
8. Calamansi- flavored food. Beyond the juice and the highly popular muffin, calamansi has evolved into a unique and popular flavor in countries like South Korea.
It is a Filipino contribution to the global palate, and may yet find a bigger audience.
9. Less smokers. As the heightened implementation of anti smoking laws will happen, the available space for smokers is getting smaller.
These and a host of other changes are expected in the coming year. It will pay to have an open mind to take them in.