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Do We Still Need an FOI?

At any rate, even if at this point, the government is pretty open about how things are going in this country,  let’s at least have a law that guarantees freedom of information, who knows when another would-be dictator might come forward and be again elected President.

 

by Ducky Paredes

 

While I would not mind having the FOI, a “Freedom of Information Act”, having been writing even during the Martial Law Years (when an FOI would have been a great help), I feel that it would not make much of a difference anymore.

We already have an “Open Government.”

As Dr. Solita Monsod writes in her column in another newspaper, “P-Noy and his administration have given us all the ammunition we need to make an informed (as opposed to the chismis type) judgment on everything he has promised to do. We just have to look at StatDev13, in the NSCB (National Statistical Coordination Board) website.

‘Remember his “Social Contract with the Filipino People” that sprang from his campaign promises? Well, that Social Contract became the basis of the government’s Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2011-2016.

“The country has had several medium-term development plans. But what’s new with P-Noy’s PDP is that it was accompanied by a 98-page Results Matrices (RMs), which make easier the assessment of the government’s performance. It contains, for each chapter/sector of the PDP, the outcomes desired, which of the 16-point Social Contract items are being addressed, the indicators/units used for each outcome, the baseline values of these indicators/units. Plus, the Implementing Agencies (IAs) or Oversight Agencies (OAs) that will be held responsible for these outcomes. This is what is called a ‘whole of government managing for results’ approach.

“They mean business. The level of specificity of the targets goes into details, like the target increase in eggplant production (that’s why there’s 98 pages), which make the Reader cross-eyed. But the point is, the administration is willing to put its money where its mouth is as far as transparency and accountability are concerned.

“What’s more, the Reader doesn’t have to go to the different agencies to find out what their performance was. It is all put together for us by another government agency, the NSCB, which publishes the StatDev in its website (www.nscb.gov.ph). Not only does StatDev 13 (the “13” stands for 2013) present the targets and their latest actual accomplishments, it also tells us at a glance (red frowny face, green smiley face and yellow deadpan face) what the probabilities are of achieving the target. The technical details are provided elsewhere as to how these probabilities are computed.

“How’s that for transparency?”

* * *

Curious,  I accessed the webpage. Most of their stats are circa 2013 and prior which is probably what the government can also give out even under an FOI regime. Wikipedia tells us that over 90 countries  have some form of freedom of information  legislation with Sweden’s being the oldest in the world, since 1766.

At any rate, even if at this point, the government is already pretty open about how things are going in this country but  let’s at least have a law that guarantees freedom of information. Who knows when another would-be dictator might come forward and be again elected President.

* * *

The National Statistical Coordination Board’s (NSCB) Secretary General is Jose Ramon G. Albert, a doctoral degree holder in statistics from the State University of New York and a senior research fellow of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS). 

Dr. Albert assumed office as the new NSCB Secretary General on September 24, 2012.

Secretary General Albert graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics as a Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Scholar at the De La Salle University in Manila in 1985. He was also an Awardee for Excellence in Mathematics. He took his Master of Science in Statistics at the State University of New York at Stoney Brook in 1989 where he also earned his doctoral degree in Statistics in 1993.

Prior to his appointment as NSCB Secretary General, Dr. Albert was a Consultant of development agencies such as the United Nations Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific (UNSIAP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank Group, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the Department for International Development. He has also served as Consultant of various government agencies of the following countries: Malaysia’s Economic Planning Unit, Lao’s Department of Statistics, the Qatar General Secretariat for Development Planning, the Malawi Ministry of Economic Planning and Development, and Ethiopia’s Central Statistics Agency, among others.

He had also worked as Professorial Lecturer of Statistics at the University of the Philippines, Diliman; Graduate School of Business, De La Salle University, Manila; and, as Adjunct Faculty Member of the Asian Institute of Management, Makati City.

For many years, Dr. Albert has been actively involved in various efforts towards statistical development of the country being a member of various NSCB Technical Committees/ Technical Working Groups on Poverty Statistics, Survey Design, Seasonal Adjustment of Philippine Time Series and Population and Housing Statistics, cognizant of his statistical expertise on these areas.

Dr. Albert writes interestingly. Here is a snippet from one of his articles: “In 2012, the annual cost of maintaining each prisoner in the country (as per the 2012 General Appropriations Act), is P19,345. This cost per inmate includes food and medicine allowance, and is much higher than the maximum assistance provided to a poor family at P15,000 per year under the conditional cash transfer (CCT)  program of the government.” The NCSB webpage also produces something called “Sexy Statistics” and Filipino Versions of arricles on sttistics!

* * *

We have a letter from a reader:

“Once again your column has shown what is really at stake. Impeachment seeking lawmakers are only out to make themselves smelling like a rose but it’s very expensive nowadays to even buy a small bottle of perfume. These guys are just starting the 2016 general campaign so early as they ran out of issues to tackle. I do agree SIR we did replace Estrada with another plunderer who had carved a name for herself and will be forever known as the small but terrible crook and his equally greedy and obese husband.

“Pnoy Aquino might not be the very best President we ever had but his reputation is still that of an honest to goodness leader whose credibility is still respected by many intelligent people.

“I do agree with you that Binay has now reached the apex of being a billionaire despite not having any inherited wealth (like the Aquinos) and is now trying to fool everyone of his alleged sense of being a good but meek public leader. Just think of the consequences of having another dwarf sitting in the Palace surrounded by his ever loyal lackeys and sycophants and drumbeaters. His reputation is that of aligning himself with questionable leaders such as Enrile and the now known and hated crook family the Estradas. These people deserve to be behind bars together with GMA who is pretending to be sick. The Revilla senator is a good example of what it takes to have a dynasty together with the midget Binays  and Estradas.

“It leaves me wondering why these opportunists are trying to undo the good work Pnoy has done despite many setbacks both natural and man made.

“At the end of the day we always come to realize how wrong we are as usual and then just scratch our heads and ever bulging bellies thinking where we went wrong… again !!!

“It does make sense for an intelligent person like you to  include despite everything the country has moved a little bit forward. Population control which the Church abhors has not been successful and the question comes to mind: What has the Church done to alleviate the poor’s hunger, thirst,lack of education and opportunities to thrive?

“Come 2016 elections money will flow (probably mostly stolen from the coffers of the taxpayers ) to finance vote buying, harassment and guns and gold and goons again reminiscent of the past and we come to elect a new leader who is as tainted as the color of his skin.

“Need we say more who that person is…” Ramon Mendoza

* * *

My niece, Tina Quirino, first born of my Sister Barbara (Babsy), died of cancer in Eugene, Oregon, USA  last Saturday (Sunday in Manila). Prayers are appreciated.

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hvp 07.28.14

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

Sulat Mula Saudi

Diretsahan

 

ni Horacio Paredes

 

Magandang hapon sa inyo from Saudi Arabia. Ito ay first time na ginawa ko mag email sa isang manunulat sa dyaryo. Bilang isang OFW d2 sa Saudi Arabia, nasusubaybayan ko rin ang mga nangyayari jan sa pinas. mula sa kalamidad, kromen at gulo sa gobyerno. minsan ayoko namanood ng TV or magbasa ng dyaryo kasi puro negative lang nababasa ko at napapanood ko. Ang mga Kontrabida noon sa gobyerno, mula pa kay marcos, cory, ramos, erap, at gloria ay sya rin naman mga kontrabida kay Pinoy. sa aking pong opinyon- nakikita ko naman ang ginagawa ng ating pangulong pinoy. mahirap pero pilt na ginagawa ang lahat. Bakit nga po kaya may mga taong hindi masaya??? sila po ang nagpapagulo sa pinas. parang ayaw nilang umunlad ang pinas. panay siraan, batuhan ng masasama, nakakasawa na. kung ang pangulo ay kurakot bakit hindi ilabas ang ebidensya, hindi yung pa interview ng painterview sa media.

Nakakalungkot, pero tutoo ang sinabi nyo sa inyong sinulat. Sana mamulat ang mas nakakaraming Pinoy na ang dapat maalis sa ating sistema ay yung ugaling talangka  na kahit sa mg OFW ay nadadala ng mga Pinoy. Minsan parang di ko masabi na proud ako maging Pinoy sa mga ginagawa ng ibang kababayan natin jan sa Pinas lalao ng mga pulitiko….

Pilipinas — Huwag tayong papayag na ganito na lang lagi. Huwag tayong papayag na ang tuwid na daan ay ibaluktot ng ilang mga may hangad sa kapangyarihan.

Mag ingat din ang palasyo sa mga nag a-anyong tupa sa tabi ng Pangulo pero sa huli sya din naman pala magpahamak sa Pangulo. Sana hindi..sana mali ako….

Salamat Mr. Paredes sa iyong pitak, God Bless you.

Thank you & Best Regards,  Alvin P. Buot

* * *

Alvin, salamat sa iyong sulat, Kung minsan, lalo na yata kapag nasa isang bansa tayo na halos walang bumabatikos kung anuman ang gustong mangyari ng hari at ng kaniyang pamilya, na parang magulo sa Pinas. Sa totoo lamang, ‘ika nga, parang talagang mas magugulo ang mga mamamayang merong  sariling pagiisip at may karapatang sumunod sa kanilang sariling kagustohan. Ito ang pagkakaiba ng mga bansang walang karapatan ang mga mamamayan at ang bansa gaya ng Pinas na tayo pa nga ang pumipii kung sino ang dapat na mamuno sa ating bansa. Sa totoo. kahit parang mas magulo, mas masaya naman tayo sa ating bansa kahit na minsan ay kinukulang tayo sa salapi.

# # # #

hvp (07.26.14)

 

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

The EDCA, the Binays and the BFP

Whatever is going on in the BFP cannot be fitting and proper! Defintiely something very  wrong  is happening with our Bureau of Fire Protection!


by Ducky Paredes

 

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)  is awaiting the decision of the Supreme Court on whether Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca) between the Philippines and the United States  violates our constitution as civil society groups have filed another impeachment complaint against President Aquino over the military agreement.

“That’s how it is, this is a free country. You can talk, you can file cases and, hopefully, it will be decided [favorably] by the Supreme Court. We’ll just await what the Supreme Court decision is,” Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. says.

The complaint, by the Gabriela party-list, was filed by civil society groups which question Edca’s legality..

The complaint accuses the President of committing culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust in pushing for Edca’s affirmation. The agreement, thjey claim, violates the constitutional provisions banning the presence of foreign troops and bases and the use and entry of nuclear weapons in the country.

“We still have to find out if it is unconstitutional, so we cannot jump the gun,” said Catapang, who is now four-star general.

He said a delay in the implementation of the agreement might be disadvantageous to certain components of Edca.

The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca) is a “creative way” for the Philippine government to improve deterrence and face challenges to national security with the help of an ally, the United States

“We want to avoid conflict, that is why we need to establish a credible deterrence. We don’t have the wherewithal to do that and so what is the practical solution for us? It is to leverage on our alliance. We only have one treaty ally, that is the US,” General Emmanuel Bautista, former AFP Chief of Staff  said

“There are no [US military] bases here, so we have to find creative ways to allow us to undertake (Mutual Defense Treaty)-related activities but would still affirm the provisions of the Constitution. That is the Edca,” says Bautista.

The Edca could have been beneficial to the Philippines during the March 29 rotation of troops and resupply mission of the military to Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal) in the West Philippine Sea, which the China Coast Guard tried to block, had the security pact been operational at that time.

With a second petition questioning the constitutionality of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, its panel said Thursday that “every Filipino” could raise their queries about the bilateral agreement.

In a statement, the Edca panel, which Defense Undersecretary Pio Lorenzo Batino leads, said that “it is the right of every Filipino to raise questions and seek clarification on the Edca.”

Petitioners Makabayan bloc marched to the Supreme Court Tuesday to declare Edca unconstitutional.

They said that Edca is a “lopsided” agreement wherein the American troops would make the Philippine bases their stomping ground.

It was the second petition against the agreement after former senators Rene Saguisag and Wigberto Tañada, two lawmakers who voted to remove American bases in the country 24 years ago, filed their petition Monday.

Despite the second petition, the Edca panel saw it as an opportunity to quell the doubts about the agreement which was signed on April 28, United States President Barack Obama visited the Philippines.

* * *

The way I see it, those who would fill the EDCA might as well join the Chinese in clainming that their bogus Nine-Dash Line gives China most of the  South China Sea and a few Philippineislands islands and rocks in lur seas. Without the American troops and the US protection that we wouldt have under EDCA, our Philippine military  really are no match for the Chinese milatary and its ships, oplanes and armaments.

 The presence of the Americans on Philippine soil is the one thing that may give pause to dream of the Chinese leaders to set up a base (with or without our permission) in the South China Sea on territory that is part of the Philippines.

* * *

A complaint filed before the office of the Ombudsman claims that the actual cost of the New Makati City Parking Building located on F. Zobel Street was only P245, 558, 248 million, yet, Mayor Juunjun Binay and the City Council, appropriated P1.56-billion for its construction , or “an enormous overprice of more than P1.314 billion.”

According to the  Mayor, the construction of the building cost P48,859 per square meter. This is incredible considering that the average cost of a commercial building in Makati City in 2007 was only P7,691 per sq.m. Consider that a commercial building has a lot more partitions and amenities and is a more complicated structure than than a parking building.

Former Mayor Dr. Elenita Binay  is still facing several graft charges for overpricing equipment bought by Makati for the Ospital ng Makati; during her term as Mayor.

* * *

Senior Superintendent Joselito Quibin has been with the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) since May 1, 1985. In the 29 years that he has been with the BFP, Quibin started out as a District Admin Officer,  was promoted to Station Commander, City Fire Marshall, Provincial Fire Martshall,, Assistant Regional Director for Administration, Officer-in-Charge of BFP-R11. He was made  Acting Director for Personnel in April 2006. He was then promoted to Senior Superintendent. In January 2007, he was OIC, Regional Director BFP-Region 12. After one year,  Quibin  was designated  Regikonal Director, Region 11. In 2011, He was transferred to  BFP-National Capital Region as Deputy Director for Administration.

In July 2012, he was made Director for Personnel BFP-National Headquarters,

This month, he found himself  re-assigned as Assistant Regional Director for Administration (ARDA) BFP- Region 8.

This is clearly a demotion. Not only does the position require only the rank of Superintendent, not that of Senior Superintendent, Quibin had already been an ARDA (Assistant Regional Director for Administration) earlier in his career while still a Superintendent.  Now, already promoted to Senior Superintendent, he is again getting an assignment as an ARDA, clearly a demotion, for someone in his new rank.

Under RA 9263. there are posts to which, one has to be a  Senior Superintendent. Yet , in the Bureau of Fire Prevention (BFP), some of these positions that are reserved  for Senior Superintendents are being held by only Superintendents, while Senior Superintendents such as Joselito Quibin are given posts that ought to be given to lower-ranking officers.

Whatever is going on in the BFP cannot be fitting and proper! Defintiely something very  wrong  is happening with our Bureau of Fire Protection!

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hvp 07.27.14

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

Erap’s City SONA

” Manila had become he Carnap Capital. Illegal drugs were rampant. Illegal gambling  was going on everywhere. There was open prostititution. Many of  the  police were involved in criminal activity. The morale of the police was low because they were not receiving their allowances sand they lacked the support of the city administration.”

 by Ducky Paredes

            When Joseph Estrada was President, he was able to give only two State of the Nation Adresses (SONA). Yesterday, at the Ninoy Aqjuinoi Stadium, as the Mayor of Manila, he gave his first and the first ever State of the City Address (SOTCA).

            He started off in Tagalog  citing that he inherited sa city that had been badly run which was, according to the Commission on Audit (COA) with a deficit of P3,5 billoion. “We later found out that the total unpaid obligations of the city as of 30 june 2013 amounted to p4.4 billion. The city owed meralco ₱613,697,511.57. Water bills stood at ₱ 57,770,942.88.

            “Unpaid disbursement vouchers totaled p446 million.  We also learned that the city has unpaid tax liabilities of ₱ 684,418,057.76. mostly in unremitted taxes withheld from employees.

            I could not sleep soundly because the money left for us amunted to only P235 Mllion whole the debts amounted to P4.4 Billion.”

            “To add insult to injury, the supposed computerized tax collection system was not working. Financial records and documents were missing.

            Manila had become the Carnap Capital. Illegal drugs were rampant. Illegal gambling  was going on everywhere. There was open prostititution. Many of  the  police were involved in criminal activity. The morale of the police was low because they were not reciving thewir allowances sand they lacked the support of the city administration.

            We came upon Manila with a “bloated bureaucracy” there were  11,000 employees, clearly 46 % over the legal limit which according to law should constitute their  payroll. morale was low. We could not give them their benefits even when we wanted to.

            Health care services in our hospitals were free of charge under the previous administration, but this policy for both residents or non-residents, regardless of income, drained and depleted the budget to the prejudice of Manila residents especially the poorest of the poor.

            Health Care was free but medicines and supplies were in short supply and the hospital equipment were inoperational and worse mostly the patieints being treated were not legitimate Manilenyos.

             The City Hall was unkempt, in a state of disrepair, dirty and foul-smelling. The offices and all the toilets were “nakapandidiri”. The rats were as large as cats. Even the office of the Mayor was in ashameful state.     The problems we needed to address were many and daunting. The six years of poor fiscal management, inefficient administration, neglect of duty and graft and corruption made Manila, as the american author Dan Brown said, as the “gates of hell.”

         accepted the challenges. I was confident knowing that behind me was our Vice Mayor, Francisco “Isko Moreno” Ramagoso,  competent  councilors and honest officials and employees of the city administration and hard-working  barangay leaders.

        We initiated programs that did not need too much money. We used the brooms to clean our city, starting with the office of the mayor, Office of the Vice Mayor, Department of Public Services and the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission of Gina Lopez for the city-wide cleanup. We also joined the Manilas Bay Clean-up activities,             We repaired storm drains and cleaned up the esteros.

        We also concentrated on the problem of Pesce and Order. I have said it before and I will say it again. “Without peace and order, there can be no economic growth.”

        I told the leadership of the Manila Police District that I would support them 100%, but I expect total commitment so that our police force will become once again “Manila’s Finest”.

        We made1,590 arrests of those involved in illegal drugs with more than ₱180 million worth of illegal drugs confiscated. The campaign against prostitution was intensified and the one strike policy against illegal gambling was strictly enforced.

        I did as I promised to our police of financial and operational support.  We gave them the allowances that were kept by the previous administration for almost three years.  We even added to it for training and equipment.

        With the generous assistance of four Filipino-Chinese groups namely the Chinese-Filipino Business Club Inc., represented by Mr. Johnny Chua, the Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce represented by Mr. Joey Go, the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Inc. represented by Mr. Alfonso Siy and the Filipino-Chinese Charitable association represented by Dr. James Dy and other benefactors, the Manila Police District received new patrol cars, motorcycles, bicycles, electric transporters , computers and other equipment.

        Let us give a round of applause to our Chinese friends.

        I am happy to report to you that during our first year in office, the Manila Police District was recognized as the top police district in Metro Manila. And I believe that the Manila Police District will again be the best police district this year.

        We also did something about the Traffic in Manila! Upon the recommendation of the traffic management council, we amended the traffic management ordinance of the city. In cooperation with Metro Manila Governor Francis Tolentino, we implemented measures to improve traffic in Manila. We started with the “bus ban” followed by a “truck ban” and also prohibited tricycles from several main roads and streets. Bus, truck and tricycle operators complained, but the great majority of our residents benefited because they felt its positive effect. These regulations will continue to be enforced for “the greater good of the greatest number.”

        We dismissed many of our police who were involved in crimes and kotong. We also filed charges against city officials  and employees who were crooked or not doing their duties. We supported and the campaign against fixers  and dismissed abusive traffic enforcers.

        Your city council enacted ordinances no. 8330 and no. 8331 that helped increase revenues for priority projects and basic services to our people. They also passed ordinance no. 8346, the Manila joint venture ordinance, which will make it easier for the private sector to participate in infrastructure and urban renewal projects of the city. 

        The city council also amended our traffic management code to provide legal support to our new traffic policies, programs and regulations.

        They also enacted ordinance no. 8344 granting free medical care to employees of the city government, barangay officials, senior citizens and personnel of the Manila Police District in support of our health care service program.

        Two resolutions were approved to address the Luneta Hostage-taking incident.. We have now formally put closure to this problem and paved the way for better relations between Hong Kong and Manila.

        We also straightened out the problem in Health Care.

        We implemented “socialized charging” in our hospitals through the orange card system.  We made sure that those with ability to pay will contribute to the cost of health care so that indigents and the poorest of the poor can get free and adequate health care services.

        With the help of the Department of Social Welfare and our  Hospital Directors, more than 100,000 orange cards were given to our citizens who could not pay for hospital services. I guarantee to one and all free and reliable hospital services t all.

        We improved revenue collection efficiency. I challenged the heads of our revenue generating departments, offices and bureaus to increase collection by not less than 20% of the revenues of the previous year.

        Our total revenues for my first six months as mayor, increased by 16% or by ₱345 million. revenues from business taxes increased by 38% or by ₱201 million, from real property taxes by 46% and from business permit fees by 60% or by ₱15.7 million.

        Your city council enacted ordinance no. 8330 which provided a revised schedule of fair market values of real property and ordinance no. 8331, the 2013 omnibus revenue code of the city which rationalized local tax rates. The previous administrations did not revise property values since 1996 and did not increase local taxes since 1993.—

        These ordinances were enacted by our city council without fear or hesitation. As a result, we were recognized by the department of finance as one of only two cities in Metro Manila with an updated schedule of values and compliant tax rates of real property.

        Our revenue collection greatly improved. Revenues from January to June 2014 were 29.75% or ₱1.3 billion higher compared to the same period during the previous administration.

        We have made sure that every tax centavo collected goes to the  general fund of the city.

                                                                                                                    * * *

        Slowly but surely, our debts are being serviced. The P613 million we owed Meralco has been reduced to just P22 million. We have also extinguished half of the P57 million we owed in water bills. More than P150 has been paid on othre debts. P190 million was paid tro the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

        I promise that the City of Manila will be debt-free by the end of my second year.

        Not only have we paid our debts, We have also completed projects.

        We  now have a fully computerized tax collection system which will substantially increase tax collection and minimize graft and corruption.

        We also now have an integrated command and control center for disaster management and response, traffic control and peace and order improvement.  This modern and state-of-the-art command and control center is among the best in the country.

        We have equipped our Manila Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office created under ordinance no. 8323 with amphibious vehicles, rescue boats, ambulances and other equipment.

        We are proud of the fact that we had “Zero Casualty” for the recent typhoon “Glenda” and were able to successfully transfer affected individuals to evacuation centers..

* * *

        Our Manila Dialysis Center, the biggest dialysis facility in the country, will be fully operational by September this year. The orange card holders will get free dialysis while others will be entitled to substantial discounts based on ability to pay. This dialysis center is for the use of all our citizens, especially for the kapus-palad,

        In partnership with a professional company, MSR  Health Solutions Inc.,  we now have modern diagnostic laboratories in three of our hospitals.

        We were able to give City Hall a complete paint job, fixed some offices and renovated the public toilets. We have rehabilitated our parks and plazas, seven of them with fountains and assigned guards.

        We have awarded lots to 135 awardees under the “land for the landless program”, a project of former Mayor Ramon Bagatsing, Jr, which we fully support.

        We have computerized the office of the Civil Registrar so that certified true copies of Birth Certificates. Death Certificates,  and Marriage Contracts can be released in just one day.

        Our website, manila.gov.ph, is now working and accessible to all. We also have a city app, “go manila,” the first of its kind among LGUs, which is accessible to android phones users now and later on to apple users as well.

        Before Divisoria was virtually impassable to vehicles because vendors occupied the middle of the street.

        We have made great strides in organizing and protecting the vendors and hawkers in Manila so they can earn a decent living free from harassment and extortion.

        The vendors whose used to occupy the streets now have a night market so they can continue to earn a living.

        Our  Department of Social Welfare’s “feeding programs,” “relief operations,” ”gift giving” and other social services for senior citizens and for the poor have served more than 8,000 evacuees who were cared for and fed during the last typhoon.

        We celebrated the 443rd founding anniversary of the city with appropriate, relevant and meaningful activities.

        We also honored and thanked our taxpayers for their contributions to our city’s development.

        We recognized outstanding barangays and their officials for being supportive partners in our urban renewal program.

        We revived the tradition of the Ms. Manila Pageant, not only for the tradition but also to raise funds for  our Dialysis Center.

* * *.

        With the help of many, we were able to set up waiting sheds with wifi. We were able to construct foot bridges and solar-powered lamp posts without spending a centavo.

        Our  performance have been confirmed by the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s evaluation report for the seal of good governance.

         to the DILG report, we had perfect scores in peace & order, good financial housekeeping and business friendliness and near perfect scores in environmental management and social protection

        Where are we now? Where are we headed? What is our agenda for the future?

        Peace and order will remain our top priority. We will purchase more police cars, motorcycles and electric transporters for increased police visibility and quick response.         We will increase our budget for police operational support.

        We will make sure that the updating of our comprehensive land use plan is completed to be our guide for our urban renewal projects. We will start  with the Binondo and  Ermita-Malate tourist belt.

        We will construct ten new school buildings to add to the 19 under construction or rehabilitation today. We will also make sure that all our public schools in Manila will have computers and Internet connections.

        We will make funds available for our scholarship programs. a complete set of P.E. uniforms will be distributed to our grades 1, 2, and 3 by next month and to our grades 4, 5, and 6 soon thereafter.  Moreover, we shall join the fight of our teachers and educators for their right to incentive pays and allowances

        We will start and continue out Nutribun project in the schools and we will be dispensing vitamin-enriched beread and milk to our schoolchildren to assure their health.

        We will rehabilitate and further equip our hospitals in partnership with the private sector. We will make sure that all of our impoverished citizens will  have orange card st that they can avail of free medical services andfree medicines under our Ornge Card System. We will support our health centers to make adequate health care services within walking distance of our residents.

* * *

        We will begin to fix our five public markets with the help of the private sector. Because the trust of big business  in our city has returned, we have received unsolicited proposals to redo the Manila Central Market, Quinta Market, Pritil Market, Obrero Market and the new Antipolo Market.

        We have started the construction, repair and/or asphalting of 18 city roads. i have given instructions to our city engineer, Robert Bernardo, to make sure they are finished on time and according to specifications.

        We will rehabilitate and modernize the Manila Zoo in partnership with the private sector  and improve our sports complexes for the better enjoyment of our residents.

        We will also improve Manila South Cemetery and build a columbarium therein.

        We will rehabilitate, repair and/or upgrade our barangay halls and offices.

        We will make sure Manila is a business-friendly city, free from red-tape and unreasonable impositions.

        We will double our efforts to make manila clean and green. we will implement our solid waste management plan.

        We will continue to rescue abandoned and neglected children and reactivate the manila council for the protection of children.

        We will request our city council to enact the code of general ordinance, local investment and incentive code, health and sanitation code, environment code, gender and development code, and to create the internal audit service office to further strengthen our campaign against graft and corruption.

        We will task our donor, Global Gold Goal. Inc. to rush the delivery of the promised ten solar-powered lamp posts, within the year.

        We will revive and strengthen our twinning agreements with our sister cities around the world and promote our tourism. We went to Yokohama, Japan on the invitation of the mayor of Yokohama while the mayor of San Francisco visited us in Manila.

        We continue to talk to the Supreme Court to start the construction of the Manila Hall of Justice  for the sake of our Honorable judges and prosecutors.

        Upon the recommendation of the head of the city personnel office, Vic Quintos, we will start a rationalization program to manage our personnel services budget to ensure a lean, efficient and effective team.

        I also want our employees of the City of Manila  to know that they will receive the 4th Tranche of their salary increase  before the end of the year. If the applause to this will be phenomenal, we will make the increase retroactive to January 2014.

        Despite the many challenges we have met and surpassed in the last year, we have triumphed with your support and unity for the good of the City of Manila.

        The best days of manila are yet to come.

        Manila, forward ever, backward never.

        Mabuhay po kayo!

# # # #

hvp 07.24.14

 


Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

Why I Am Against Impeaching the President

Malaya 07.24.14

 

 

Binay, the vice president becomes president if an impeachment against the President succeeds. Would that be in the best interests of this country?

by Ducky Paredes

        There are now three impeachment complaints against the President that have been endorsed by sitting congressmen and two others that still need a endorser. As with a lot of things that  politicians do, most of these were done only to gain notoreity for the authors.

        What would impeaching the President accomplish?

        Remember that we tried to impeach President Joseph Estrada. That failed but we still got rid of Erap as President by a hate campaign that the so-called “intelligent” voters fell for. Among those who moved for the impeachment and when that failed, forced the President out of his office, was former President Cory Aquino.  Cory had the good sense to eventually ask Erap for his forgiveness when she realized that she was on the wrong side of history. After all, what did we get for the effort to impeach Erap and finally illegaly forcing him out of office and putting a sitting President in jail (who, according to the Constitution, can be removed only after a successful impeachment?) There was an impeachment but it failed since the Senate’s vote on the impeachment failed.

        So, what did that accomplish? What did we get?

        The only winner was Gloria Arroyo, the vice president took over who eventually turned out to be worse than the one she replaced. Imagine that we had a President who never had a budget that was passed by the legislature. She was given each year the budget that was passed the year before which meant that while the total amount for the budget would be the same as the passed budget the year before, she could assign the items and the amounts as she went along. She ran the country like her own household and was even virtually a Chinese agent who gave the Chinese rights to explore in our seas and even to share in our resources.

        That’s what we got when we tried to impeach Erap and failed.

        If we succeed in impeaching President Aquino, who profits? Who takes over? Jejomar Binay?  I have nothing against Jojo but I cannot help wonder how he got to be a billionaire. Did he practice a profession that could give have given him the billions that he now obviously has? Or, did he have a business that could have earned him that kind of money? I don’t know of any. In fact, he never ran anything but the City of Makati, through 24 years for him, nine for his wife and now his son as mayor. Yet, he obviously has a lot more money now than when President Cory appointed him OIC in Makati City in 1986.

        Binay, the vice president becomes president if an impeachment against the President succeeds. Would that be in the best interests of this country?

* * *

        We have a President who, despite the disrespect that he gets from his critics and the various political enemies who regard him as a lightweight has moved this country forward, even as to its being regarded by the World Bank as an example to the rest of the world. World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim praised the country as an example of one that is run with good governance: ” “Good governance means delivering public services effectively and efficiently, while being transparent about what you spend and the results you achieve,” Kim said. “Good governance involves choosing wise policies and investments; maintaining public assets; and ensuring that civil servants are skilled, motivated, and have the tools to work effectively. It is about fostering a transparent regulatory environment that will allow the private sector to create growth and jobs.”

        According to the United Nations, supporting good governance is an important component of the World Bank Group’s new Philippine’s Country Partnership Strategy, which supports the country’s goal of promoting sustainable growth, reducing poverty and creating jobs. Under this new four year strategy, the World Bank Group plans to provide US$3.2 billion in financing for development to the government and another $1 billion for investments in business and industry from IFC, its private sector arm.

        WB President Jim Yong Kim also said: It is now well established within the academic literature on institutions and growth that there is a strong and positive correlation between the principles of good governance and a country’s GDP per capita.  As you, President Aquino, have so eloquently noted, “good governance is good economics.”  The precise causal relationships are less well understood, but some recent studies have begun to confirm what many of us have long suspected—that effective institutions (or their absence) have an important impact on economic growth.  There is plenty of evidence that corruption can deter private investment. And studies at the sectoral level have documented the perverse effect that corruption and weak administration can exert on education and health outcomes, or on the quality and selection of infrastructure projects.  Some recent studies from the United States underscore that high levels of corruption are associated with increased inequality, as well.”

        The WB President continued: “Under your leadership, President Aquino, the Philippines is in the forefront of this transformation. You’ve doubled government budgets for social services and made performance-informed budgeting the norm. Citizens increasingly see your conditional cash transfer program, Pantawid Pamilya, as an instrument to realize their rights to education or health care. 

        “Your administration has also streamlined business regulations, bringing down the cost of doing business and reducing opportunities for corruption. Your Open Data initiative has reinforced accountability at all levels of government. For instance, the Philippines is now using electronic procurement technology to encourage citizens to be observers in all stages of the bidding process and, just recently, started the use of geo-tagging. Similar tools are now being used to monitor assistance for people affected by Typhoon Yolanda. Your commitment to transparency is a beacon for the nations of East Asia, and beyond.”

* * *

        This is the man who is now facing impeachment complaints and possible jail term for having violated our Constitution? One has to wonder: what is wrong with us?

# # # #

hvp 07.23.14


Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

Impeachment Na Naman?

Diretsahan

 

ni Horacio Paredes

 

Hindi na ba tayo motututo? Tumatnaw na naman ang mga walang utak nating mga mambabatas sa impeachment upang matangal ang ating halal na Pangulo na minamata ng ilan nating “madudunong” na mambabatas. Parang nakalimutan na nila kung ano ang nangyari noon ang ating pangulo ay ai Joseph Estrada na ngayon ay alkalde ng Maynila at napakaganda naman ng ginagawa.

Noong Pangulo si Erap, ang mga nagtanggal sa kaniya ay ang mga  “intelligent” voters kuno. Sa totoo nadala sila sa mga batikos ng kung sino-sino tungkol sa ating Pangulo noon na si Joseph Estrada hanggang umabot na nga sa impeachment. Ngunit, noon namang dinidinig pa ng Senado ang kaso tungkol sa kung dapat bang matangal si Erap bilang Pangulo, hindi maka-hatol ang mga Senador kung kaya si Erap na ating Presidente (kahit na ayon sa ating Saligang Batas ay maaari lamang matanggal pagkatpos ng tagumpay na impeachment) ay kinulong at tinanggal sa pwesto (labag sa ating Saligang Batas.)  Eto ay ginawa ng mga taong nag-aakalang “intelligent voter” sila,

Mabuti naman na si dating Pangulong Cory ay humingi ng tawad kay Erap sa kaniyang naging papel sa mga pangyayaring natanggal si Erap sa puwesto. Sa aking pagkaka-alam wala nang iba pang nag-sorry kay Erap sa kanilang naging papel sa paglabag sa Saligang Batas sa pagtanggal kay Erap.

Naririto na naman tayo. Ang mga kumakalaban sa ating Pangulo ay wala nang respeto sa kaniya at tinuturing siyang Abnoy at mas masahol pa kahit na ang buong mundo ay  panay ang puri kay PNoy sa pagsulong ng ekonomiya ng Pilipinas dahil na rin sa “good governance” ng ating Pangulo.

Ang mga papuri ang nanggagaling sa World Bank at sa United Nations. Sa totoo panga, kaamakailan lamang ay naririto ang mga taga-World Bank dala ang mga ilang mga taga-Europa na mga ekonomista upang madinig ang mga payo ng ating Pangulo tungkol sa “good governance” dahil sa pananaw ng World Bank napatunayan ng ating Pangulo na maaaring magpalakad ng bansa na walang corruption at malinis na pamamahala.

Ngunit sa mga “marurunong” nating mga pulitiko na minamata ang ating Pangulo at kanilang tinuturing na “abnoy” wala silang nakikita kundi ang  matagal na nilang pinapantasya na mababang uri ang ating Pangulo, kaya — ayan — kanila na namang panaginip na makakabuti sa bansa kung matanggal si PNoy sa paamagitan ng “impeachment.”

Parang hindi pa sila natuto na noong impeachment laban kay Erap, lalo lamang sumama ang bansa  noong napalitan si Erap ng kaniyang Bise na si Gloria na lumitaw na isa sa pinakamasama nating naging Presidente.

Hindi impeachment ang lunas sa ating problema. Dapat na maging mas madunong tayong mga botante at hindi dapat mga ganitong klaseng mga kongresista (sa mga distrito man o sa mga saling-pusang partylist) ang piniipili nating niluluklok bilang ating mga mambabatas na walang alam kundi “i-impeach ang Presidente!”

# # # #

hvp (07.23.14)

 

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

The Daylight Dialogue

‘This project has the potential to be truly transformational for Mindanao and critical to poverty reduction in the Philippines.’

 

by Ducky Paredes

            The day after our President delivered his diatribe against the Supreme Court. which has always been sacrosanct in our country because of the held belief that even when the Supreme Court is wrong, it is still right, I heard  on my car radio a program then happening in Malacanang  – a “Daylight Dialogue: The Good Governance Challenge” good governance conference of The World Bank Group gathered various members of civil society, the academe, media, international development organizations, and the private sector to discuss the progress and outlook of the Aquino administration’s governance initiatives.

            Other participants in the Daylight Dialogue include representatives from international civil society groups, such as those based in Switzerland, Cambodia, and Bangladesh.

            “International organizations have taken great interest in our good governance efforts and how we’ve been able to pull them off. The Daylight Dialogue is a wonderful venue for exchanging insights on how governments can be more transparent and accountable, and not just from the perspective of those working in the bureaucracy.

            According to the government’s Official Gazette, the Daylight Dialogue shared how the government’s openness has created a paradigm shift in Philippine governance practices—a shift, from adversarial to a more constructive civil society engagement, to promote open government;Share the Philippines’ experience in initiating and implementing good governance reforms, overcoming challenges along the way; andFoster discussion on how key good governance reforms will be sustained and institutionalized.

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim announced a US$119 million funding, which is part of a proposed new Philippine Rural Development Project promising support for farm-to-market roads, bridges, communal irrigation systems, and potable water, including in the conflict affected areas of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Investments to generate at least 6,000 jobs in Mindanao, including the ARMM are also being proposed by IFC, the Bank’s private sector arm.

“Together with the IFC, the World Bank is scaling up support for rural development and job creation in the region, with the Bank providing financial assistance to critical public infrastructure and the IFC promoting private investment in agribusiness,” said Kim. “This project has the potential to be truly transformational for Mindanao and critical to poverty reduction in the Philippines.”

It was announced that Kim and the President met that morning at Malacañang Palace, where they discussed an additional $US 6.6 million in World Bank funding for the Mindanao Trust Fund. That funding helps support livelihoods for over 100,000 people and will support the creation of a development plan for the conflict affected areas.

 “Good governance means delivering public services effectively and efficiently, while being transparent about what you spend and the results you achieve,” Kim said. “Good governance involves choosing wise policies and investments; maintaining public assets; and ensuring that civil servants are skilled, motivated, and have the tools to work effectively. It is about fostering a transparent regulatory environment that will allow the private sector to create growth and jobs.”

According to the United Nations, supporting good governance is an important component of the World Bank Group’s new Philippine’s Country Partnership Strategy, which supports the country’s goal of promoting sustainable growth, reducing poverty and creating jobs. Under this new four year strategy, the World Bank Group plans to provide US$3.2 billion in financing for development to the government and another $1 billion for investments in business and industry from IFC, its private sector arm.

I wondered why we had to listen to a diatribe against the SC which was badly received by all who heard it when there was good news that would come from Malacanang itself the very next day.

The fighting speech against the SC should not have been given. Instead, the Daylight Dialogue with the World Bank ought to have been given prominence. After all, isn’t the UN’s giving our President fulsome praise for his good governance answer enough for the Supreme Court’s criticism of the President’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP)?

Because this came after the President’s speech against the SC’s condemnation of his DAP, the Malacanang event was generally ignored, although it was proof that the DAP was being used for the good of the country.

Too bad that instead of the “Daylight Dialogue” working for the government and the country, it was virtually ignored. while  all of  the President’s critics concentrated on his harsh words on the Supreme Court and its justices, many of whom were appointed by the President.

In WB President Jim Yong Kim’s speech. he said: It is now well established within the academic literature on institutions and growth that there is a strong and positive correlation between the principles of good governance and a country’s GDP per capita.  As you, President Aquino, have so eloquently noted, “good governance is good economics.”  The precise causal relationships are less well understood, but some recent studies have begun to confirm what many of us have long suspected—that effective institutions (or their absence) have an important impact on economic growth.  There is plenty of evidence that corruption can deter private investment. And studies at the sectoral level have documented the perverse effect that corruption and weak administration can exert on education and health outcomes, or on the quality and selection of infrastructure projects.  Some recent studies from the United States underscore that high levels of corruption are associated with increased inequality, as well.”

The WB President continued: “Under your leadership, President Aquino, the Philippines is in the forefront of this transformation. You’ve doubled government budgets for social services and made performance-informed budgeting the norm. Citizens increasingly see your conditional cash transfer program, Pantawid Pamilya, as an instrument to realize their rights to education or health care. 

“Your administration has also streamlined business regulations, bringing down the cost of doing business and reducing opportunities for corruption. Your Open Data initiative has reinforced accountability at all levels of government. For instance, the Philippines is now using electronic procurement technology to encourage citizens to be observers in all stages of the bidding process and, just recently, started the use of geo-tagging. Similar .tools are now being used to monitor assistance for people affected by Typhoon Yolanda. Your commitment to transparency is a beacon for the nations of East Asia, and beyond.”

To my mind, listening to the WB President would have been more constructive than having to hear our President berate the SC Justices for their decision calling the DAP unconstitutional, which only gave the certified PNoy haters the proof they needed to  hate him even more.

# # # #

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

Sundries

This is an LTO  racket that has been going on for years now. Why can’t anyone put a stop to this? What sort of government do we have that allows crooks to take advantage of motorists? Aren’t the LTO and the rest of government supposed to be on the side of those who religiously pay their taxes, registration fees and licenses?

 

by Ducky Paredes

 

For the first time since 1992, my columns in Malaya and Abante missed their deadlines. I did not have power due to typhoon Glenda. What made it worse for me was that, while others on my block had electricity by 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, my house was still without. I finally discovered on the morning of Thursday when I asked a neighbor when their power was turned on. “Four o’clock yesterday,” she replied.

My house was the only one still without power. The electrician from the school on my street stopped by and looked at the meter since I was obviously worrying over it.  He took one look and told me that the breaker between the meter and the house was grounded. He proved it to me by trying to force the breaker on. It turned itself off.

Thus, I had to buy a breaker and have it installed before I could again work on my writing. Thus, I had no columns on Thursday for both Malaya and Abante and no Malaya column on Friday.  Several friends actually missed the columns and asked me what happened.

* * *

I do all of my non-life insurance business with BPI/MS Insurance Corporation. When I had my car registered last week, I reminded my driver that the car already had Third Party Liability (TPL) coverage amounting to P500,000 for Bodiy Injury and for Property Damage another P500,000. I paid premiums on these amounting to P2,400.

When he got to the LTO Office, he was told that he had to buy TPL Coverage of P100,000 for the insurance cover being sold by the LTO personnel. My driver called me and I talked to the LTO person who informed me that the coverage that BPI/MS wrote out for me me was not registered with them. He asked me to clear this with the insurance company. I asked him how long it would take for my insurer to be registered. He told me that he was not sure. So, to get my registration done that day, I told my driver to buy the insurance being offered by what looks to me as a fly-by-night insurance company which is probably an insurer that will not be around when he is needed to settle a claim.

This is an LTO  racket that has been going on for years now. Why can’t anyone put a stop to this? What sort of government do we have that allows crooks to take advantage of motorists? Aren’t the LTO and the rest of government supposed to be on the side of those who religiously pay their taxes, registration fees and licenses? So, why do they make me buy an insurance cover that is next-to-worthless compared to the one I chose for myself and is guaranteed by the oldest bank in the country?

* * *

I received a text from someone who identified himself as Globe Telecom telling me that I had earned some points that could be applied to my billings. So naturally. I did as instructed and sent off a text with the amount indicated to a four digit number. As soon as I did that, the text I received told me that I had just transferred the amount to a number that is not mine.

Of course, the person who did this — stole the rewards due me — had to be someone inside Globe Telecom. He knew my number and knew that I had rewards coming to me. This now makes me wonder if the telecom company that I have been with since its inception has now become — for me — unreliable.

Certainly, it had to be someone inside Globe to know what rewards subscribers have earned and their phone numbers while having access to a four number phone that he can use for his scheme. The number to which I inadvertently  gave my rewards was 63926500287.

I am writing this as a warning to Globe Telecom users and other cell phone users even those using Smart and other telecoms.

* * *

The Philippine-Vietnam Friendship Association has elected former Senator Eddie Ilarde as its president. The new group will officially be launched  at 5 in the afternoon of  Tuesday, July 29 at the Manila Hotel.

According to Ilarde, there is need to foster closer and stronger trade and cultural relations between the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Republic of the Philippines considering their shared historical backgrounds and proximity. I would also add  common  problem — that of China forcing itself in our seas and claiming these through its nine-dash line.

The Philippines and Vietnam have had good relations. Operations Brotherhood had medical mission in South Vietnam. (I joined OB in Laos when I was in my 20s and only have a nodding acquaintance with Vietnam.)

Vietnam’s Ambassador to the Philippines. Trong Trieu Duong, said that the Associaiton will “enhance the two countries’ people-to-people relations.”

The other principal founders and members of the board of directorsare: Dr. Gonzalo Jurado, Alfredo M. de las Rosa, Ernesto Banawis, Dorrigo Domingo, Jr. Ricardo Wagan, Luis Arriola, Luis Arranza and Victoria Orsts.

Dr. Jurado was elected Chairman, Atty. Domingo as Secretary General and Atty, Uranza as secretary-trasurer. Among those invited to the affair are the Vietnamese Ambassador to the Philippines, the Philippine Ambassador to Vietnam, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, former President Fidel Ramos and several prominent citizens from various sectors of Philippine society.

* * *

The 5th Leg of the Federation of Philippine Amateur Senior Golfers, Inc. (FPASGI) will hold it 5th Leg of the 2014 Golf Tournaments on Mondy, August 4 at the Capitol Hills Golf Course in Loyola Heights. The course is a par 62. I was a member of Capitol some years back and was even president of the Capitol Seniors. When the course was converted from a Par 72 to a Par 62, I moved to Valley Golf and Country Club where I am now a member. It may be interesting to play Capitol’s short but difficult course again. FPASGI members should be there by 6 in the morning to register for this tournament, which has a shotgun at 8:00 a.m.

# # # #

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

Lahat Panalo

Diretsahan

 

                                                                                   

ni Horacio Paredes

 

Hindi maikakailang marami pa rin sa ating mga kababayan ang tumatangkilik sa jueteng kahit ito ay mariing ipinagbabawal ng ating gobyerno.

 

Napakalungkot lang isipin na karamihan sa nahuhumaling sa ilegal na palarong ito ay mga kababayan nating ang pamumuhay ay maituturing na “isang kahig, isang tuka.” Kung tutuusin, para sa kanila, walang masama na sa papiso-pisong taya nila ay maaari silang manalo ng malaking halaga. Sino nga ba naman ang ayaw na makipagsapalaran para sa posibilidad na biglang suwertehin?

 

Ngunit may nananalo ba talaga sa pinagbabawal na sugal na ito? Paano ba nalalaman kung magkano ang premyong mapapanalunan dito? At saan o kanino ba talaga napupunta ang malaking perang tinataya sa jueteng ng ating mga kababayan? Madaming sagot sa huling tanong, at isa na riyan ang mga nangongotong, nangungurakot, at tumatanggap ng regular na payola, padulas o lagay mula sa mga jueteng operator.

 

Nakakabagabag din ang mga mistulang nahuhumaling sa bisyong ito. Sa halip na ilaan ang kanilang araw-araw na kita sa kanilang mga pangangailangan tulad ng pagkain, isinusugal nila ito sa isang sugal kung saan napakiliit na tiyansang manalo.

 

Hindi naman talaga masasabing bisyo ang pagsusugal kung ito ay na-ko-kontrol ng tama. Kung ang iyong ipininanglalaro ay maliit na halaga lang naman, at kung ang inilarong iyon ay nagagamit para sa kapakanan ng mga mas mahirap nating mga kababayan, marahil ito’y hindi maituturing na masama. May mga palarong legal na nakakatulong sa ating mga mas nangangailangang kababayan, kagaya ng mga larong nasa ilalim ng Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

 

Noong isang araw habang aking binabaybay ang EDSA, napansin ko ang mga nakapaskil na poster sa mga bus tungkol sa ilan nating kababayan na ‘di umano’y sinuwerte sa palarong Scratchit Kaskaswerte. Libu-libo na pala ang pinalad sa mga iba’t ibang papremyo na nakalakip sa mga game cards.

 

Ayon sa kilala ko nang waiter sa isang paborito kong restoran, ang nakakatuwa sa palarong ito ay pagkatapos mong kaskasin ang play area sa card, agad mo nang malaman kung ikaw ay nanalo at kung magkano ang iyong mapanalunan. At agad mo ring makukuha ang iyong premyo. Nung sinabi sa akin ito, parang hindi ako agad makapaniwala. Subalit sa aking paguusisa, sa mismong PCSO, sa talaan ng Scratchit para buwan ng Hunyo at Hulyo ng taong kasalukuyan, dalawa mula sa Metro Manila ang umano’y suwerteng nakasungkit sa pinakamalaking papremyo na Php 500,000. Tatlo naman ang pinalad na manalo ng Php 200,000; isa ang nagmula sa Cagayan, isa sa Calamba, at isa sa Navotas. Tatlo din ang pinalad na makakuha ng Php 100,000; isa muling taga-Calamba ang pinalad, isang taga-Baguio at isang taga-Rosales, Pangasinan.

 

Bukod sa mga nabanggit na mga papremyo, marami na daw ang sinuwerte mula nang nagsimula ang palarong Scratchit sa ating bansa noong taong 2007.

 

Bukod sa mga pinalad na manalo, marami sa ating mga kababayang kapus-palad ang natulungan at patuloy pang natutulungan dahil nga PCSO ang nagpasimuno ng larong ito. Sa bawat Scratchit na naibebenta ay may kaukulang porsiyento na napupunta sa kawang-gawa.

 

Ang Scratchit ay isa sa mga palarong masasabi nating  ang lahat ay panalo. Bukod sa potensyal na swerte nito para sa manlalaro, naipapasa sa mga mas nangangailangang Pilipino ang perang nalilikom mula dito. Kaya kung isusugal mo lang rin ang pera mo, doon na sa legal at nakakatulong – at sa mas malaki ang tiyansa.

# # # #

hvp (07.21.14)

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

The Daylight Dialogue

‘This project has the potential to be truly transformational for Mindanao and critical to poverty reduction in the Philippines.’

 

by Ducky Paredes

            The day after our President delivered his diatribe against the Supreme Court. which has always been sacrosanct in our country because of the held belief that even when the Supreme Court is wrong, it is still right, I heard  on my car radio a program then happening in Malacanang  – a “Daylight Dialogue: The Good Governance Challenge” good governance conference of The World Bank Group gathered various members of civil society, the academe, media, international development organizations, and the private sector to discuss the progress and outlook of the Aquino administration’s governance initiatives.

            Other participants in the Daylight Dialogue include representatives from international civil society groups, such as those based in Switzerland, Cambodia, and Bangladesh.

            “International organizations have taken great interest in our good governance efforts and how we’ve been able to pull them off. The Daylight Dialogue is a wonderful venue for exchanging insights on how governments can be more transparent and accountable, and not just from the perspective of those working in the bureaucracy.

            According to the government’s Official Gazette, the Daylight Dialogue shared how the government’s openness has created a paradigm shift in Philippine governance practices—a shift, from adversarial to a more constructive civil society engagement, to promote open government;Share the Philippines’ experience in initiating and implementing good governance reforms, overcoming challenges along the way; andFoster discussion on how key good governance reforms will be sustained and institutionalized.

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim announced a US$119 million funding, which is part of a proposed new Philippine Rural Development Project promising support for farm-to-market roads, bridges, communal irrigation systems, and potable water, including in the conflict affected areas of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Investments to generate at least 6,000 jobs in Mindanao, including the ARMM are also being proposed by IFC, the Bank’s private sector arm.

“Together with the IFC, the World Bank is scaling up support for rural development and job creation in the region, with the Bank providing financial assistance to critical public infrastructure and the IFC promoting private investment in agribusiness,” said Kim. “This project has the potential to be truly transformational for Mindanao and critical to poverty reduction in the Philippines.”

It was announced that Kim and the President met that morning at Malacañang Palace, where they discussed an additional $US 6.6 million in World Bank funding for the Mindanao Trust Fund. That funding helps support livelihoods for over 100,000 people and will support the creation of a development plan for the conflict affected areas.

 “Good governance means delivering public services effectively and efficiently, while being transparent about what you spend and the results you achieve,” Kim said. “Good governance involves choosing wise policies and investments; maintaining public assets; and ensuring that civil servants are skilled, motivated, and have the tools to work effectively. It is about fostering a transparent regulatory environment that will allow the private sector to create growth and jobs.”

According to the United Nations, supporting good governance is an important component of the World Bank Group’s new Philippine’s Country Partnership Strategy, which supports the country’s goal of promoting sustainable growth, reducing poverty and creating jobs. Under this new four year strategy, the World Bank Group plans to provide US$3.2 billion in financing for development to the government and another $1 billion for investments in business and industry from IFC, its private sector arm.

I wondered why we had to listen to a diatribe against the SC which was badly received by all who heard it when there was good news that would come from Malacanang itself the very next day.

The fighting speech against the SC should not have been given. Instead, the Daylight Dialogue with the World Bank ought to have been given prominence. After all, isn’t the UN’s giving our President fulsome praise for his good governance answer enough for the Supreme Court’s criticism of the President’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP)?

Because this came after the President’s speech against the SC’s condemnation of his DAP, the Malacanang event was generally ignored, although it was proof that the DAP was being used for the good of the country.

Too bad that instead of the “Daylight Dialogue” working for the government and the country, it was virtually ignored. while  all of  the President’s critics concentrated on his harsh words on the Supreme Court and its justices, many of whom were appointed by the President.

In WB President Jim Yong Kim’s speech. he said: It is now well established within the academic literature on institutions and growth that there is a strong and positive correlation between the principles of good governance and a country’s GDP per capita.  As you, President Aquino, have so eloquently noted, “good governance is good economics.”  The precise causal relationships are less well understood, but some recent studies have begun to confirm what many of us have long suspected—that effective institutions (or their absence) have an important impact on economic growth.  There is plenty of evidence that corruption can deter private investment. And studies at the sectoral level have documented the perverse effect that corruption and weak administration can exert on education and health outcomes, or on the quality and selection of infrastructure projects.  Some recent studies from the United States underscore that high levels of corruption are associated with increased inequality, as well.”

The WB President continued: “Under your leadership, President Aquino, the Philippines is in the forefront of this transformation. You’ve doubled government budgets for social services and made performance-informed budgeting the norm. Citizens increasingly see your conditional cash transfer program, Pantawid Pamilya, as an instrument to realize their rights to education or health care. 

“Your administration has also streamlined business regulations, bringing down the cost of doing business and reducing opportunities for corruption. Your Open Data initiative has reinforced accountability at all levels of government. For instance, the Philippines is now using electronic procurement technology to encourage citizens to be observers in all stages of the bidding process and, just recently, started the use of geo-tagging. Similar .tools are now being used to monitor assistance for people affected by Typhoon Yolanda. Your commitment to transparency is a beacon for the nations of East Asia, and beyond.”

To my mind, listening to the WB President would have been better than hearing our President berate the SC Justices for their decision calling the DAP unconstitutional.

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hvp 07.22.14

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