Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

29
Oct
11

I Love My Generation

Traditional Baby Crib made of hardwood

 To Pinoys and Pinays born in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s & 70’s!

First, some of us survived being born to mothers who did not have an OB-Gyne, who smoke cigarettes  and/or drank San Miguel Beers or Syoktong, while they carried us in their wombs. The Manghihilot was a cheap and popular way to deliver babies. Dinala ka ba ng Nanay mo sa Pediatrician for DPT? While pregnant, they took cold or cough medicine, cortal or medicol, ate Isaw, and did’nt worry about diabetes or cervical cancer.

Traditional "Andador", made of rattan

Then after all that trauma, our baby cribs were made of hard wood covered with lead-based paints, pati na yung walker (Andador) natin, matigas na kahoy or rattan at wala pang gulong.

We had no soft cushy cribs that play music, no disposable diapers (lampin lang), ( noon cloth or rattan duyan lang tied to the posts or ceiling, babies would fall asleep sa sobrang hilo ) and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, no kneepads, sometimes wala pang preno yung bisikleta.

Take-out foods was limited to Ongpin’s pansit or Aling Toyang’s pre-cooked ulam in kalderos. No pizza shops, McDonalds, KFC, Subway, Jollibee, and coffee was just Kape hindi gamahal as in Starbucks.

Getting a free ride

As children, we would ride in jeepneys libre pag kandong, hot un-airconditioned buses with wooden seats (yung JD Bus na pula), or cars with no airconditioning and no seat belts (ngayon lahat may aircon na).

Carabao Ride

Riding on the back of the carabao on a breezy summer day was considered a treat (ngayon hindi na nakakakita ng kalabaw ang mga bata). Chewing sugarcane sticks til all the juice is extracted is part of every Negrense childhood experience. Big trucks filled with sugarcane which makes stops in the city to get tires fixed often fell victims to children.

Did you make your own saranggola and pasted bubog on the strings?

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle purchased from 7 Eleven (minsan straight from the faucet or poso) walang 7 Eleven noon, sari-sari store ni Mang Akong to buy sarsi, suntan, RC cola or choco-vim.

We share one soft drink bottle with four of our friends, and NO ONE actually died from it or contracted hepatitis. 

We ate rice with star margarine, pampatangkad daw, took raw eggs straight from the shell, and drank soft drinks with real sugar in it (hindi diet coke), but we weren’t sick or overweight kasi nga ……….

Kids playing Luksong Tinik

WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING !!!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, and get back when the streetlights came on. Sarap mag patintero, tumbang preso, habulan at tagu-an. Hindi uso ang kidnap for ransom na yan, safe maglaro sa labas. Tandaanmo ba PIKO, step-no-step- yes, trumpo, garter & mala-ahas sa haba na goma? Kung naulan, jackstones, pick-up sticks or sungka, bahay-bahayan, tinda-tindahan, titser-teacher- an or swimming sa baha or kangkungan.

"Tumbang Preso"

No one was able to reach us all day (di uso ang cellphone, walang beepers). And yes, we were OK.  Sipol lang ni tatay ang meron noon!

We would spend hours building our wooden trolleys (yung bearing ang gulong) or plywood slides out of scraps and then ride down the street, only to find out we forgot the brakes! After hitting the sidewalk or falling into canal (sewage channel) a few times, we learned to solve the problem ourselves with our bare dirty hands.

"Swimming Sprees"

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo’s, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 100 channels on cable, no DVD movies, no surround stereo, no IPOD’s, no cellphones, no computers, no Internet, no chat rooms, and no Friendsters, Facebook. MSN etc. …….. …WE HAD REAL FRIENDS and we went outside to actually talk and play with them!TV viewing was a treat, kilala mo ba si Popeye, Gumby, Betty Boop & followed the bouncing ball in Melody Tunes? That was karaoke then, LOL!

We climbed walls and trees (to get aratiles and catch salagubang & tutubi – tied them on the neck or buntot with a string),fell out of trees, got cut or “bukol”, broke bones and teeth and there were no stupid lawsuits from these accidents. The only rubbing we get is from our friends with the words…masakit ba ? pero pag galit yung kalaro mo,,,,ang sasabihin sa iyo..beh buti nga !

We played marbles (jolens) in the dirt , washed our hands just a little and ate dirty ice cream, fish balls & inihaw sa baga We were not afraid of getting sick or getting germs in our stomachs.

We had to live with homemade guns, gawa sa kahoy, tinali ng rubberband, sumpit, tirador at kung ano ano pa na pwedeng makasakitan, pero masaya pa rin ang lahat. We made up games with sticks (syatong), and cans (tumbang preso)  and although we were told they were dangerous, wala naman tayong binulag o napatay… paminsan minsan may nabubukulan lang.


We walked a lot, rode bikes, or took tricycles to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them to jump out the window!
Mini basketball teams had tryouts and not everyone made it to the team. Those who didn’t pass had to learn to deal with the disappointment. Wala iyang mga childhood depressions at damaged self esteem ek-ek na yan. Ang pikon, talo.

Ang magulang ay nandoon lang para tingnan kung ayos lang ang mga bata, hindi para makialam at makipag-away sa ibang parents.

"Kick"

That generation of ours had produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, creative thinkers and successful professionals ever! They are the CEO’s, Engineers, Doctors and Military Generals of today.

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas….

We had failure, success, and responsibility. We learned from our mistakes the hard way.

You might want to share this with others who’ve had the luck to grow up as real kids, even to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were. We are lucky indeed.

(This is a forwarded message)

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02
Oct
11

MISS ROSALINA J. HAUTEA

 MISS ROSALINA J. HAUTEA

Miss Rosalina Jaranilla Hautea, commonly known to close friends and relatives as “Lola Aling” or “Tya Saling” or simply “Aling” or “Saling”, passed away peacefully in the grace of our Lord on September 2, 2011 at the age of 84.
Lola Aling, is survived by her adopted sons Jonas Poblador and Dino Acuna, and many friends and relatives who dearly loved her.
Lola Aling  who resided in Victorias City, Negros Occidental for 61 years until her death, was born in La Paz, Iloilo City to Victor Hautea and Pacencia Jaranilla on February 11, 1927, the feast of the Our Lady of Lourdes.
She spent some part of her childhood under the care of her wealthy unmarried maternal grandaunt ‘Iyay” who owned vast lands in Panay and Iloilo. They used to wake up at 5am and open doors and windows while singing a hymn in beliefs that it will welcome good grace and luck all through out the day.
Lola Aling was the youngest of 2 siblings, her sister was Estelita Hautea, later married to Salus Villanueva whom together had 8 children, namely Rene, Erlinda, Ninfa, Emily, Elenita, Helen, Mae and Susan.
Lola Aling was fond of telling lots of her childhood experiences, like her dreams of the Our Lady of the Lourdes dressed in white with blue belt around hip who guided her in the dark with a lampara (oil lamp) and her experience with a big bearded man whom she later identified as St Peter in the gates of Heaven where she was asked to return.
She never learned to drive although her father in many occasions tried to teach her, at one point she ended up throwing their jeepney out into their family fishpond when she was in her teens.
The war broke in 1941 and Lola Aling and her family moved to the mountains of Guimaras in Panay to evacuate from the raging forces of the Japaneses Imperial Army. They spent some 4 years fleeing. She said it was one of the scariest nightmares of her life. Some of her nieces, like Nene Linda, later Mrs. Linda Aujero, were born in Guimaras Mountains while into hiding from the Japanese forces.
After the liberation, she went back to school to study education at the Colegio de San Agustin de Iloilo where she graduated in 1950.
After graduation, the young Rosalina, with the guidance of her father went to Negros Occidental in the town of Victorias where the husband of a relative was a Superintendent of Schools. Her first teaching assignment was in the farmlands of Barrio Estado in Victorias, Negros Occidental.
In Victorias, Lola Aling went to live with her paternal relatives, Lolo Eguil and Lola Edad Junsay (Miguel Junsay and Natividad Hautea) and later to Lolo Moning and Lola Oring (Hermogenes Hipolito and Leonor Junsay) until they all died. There, she took care of the kitchen as she was a good cook and became a nanny figure to the grand children of the olds. Jonas Poblador from the time he was born till aged 17 when he left for the states became her adoptibo. She did all of these while teaching at the same time.
She never married, although she said she once dated a businessman and a lawyer. She told stories about her run aways in the movie theatres in the middle of the show when her dates start to grasp for her hands.
In 1982, after Lolo Moning passed away, Lola Oring often asked my parents if I can stay in Victorias for weekends, so they can get to have a kid in the house. My parents  who used to live in Bacolod happily agreed.
However, in 1983, Lola Oring after a short battle with cancer died, so Lola Aling who was then in her mid 50’s is left alone in the big house. Lola Oring’s son Tito Gary Hipolito, before heading back to the states after the funeral talked to and convinced Lola Aling to retain me so that she will have company since she is the only one left to live in the house. I was 7 years old then and it was the start of my life’s journey with this great person, as her 2nd adopted son.
In 1988, after 38 years of teaching, she retired at the Victorias Elementary School, which was preceded by a big thanks giving treat to her fellow teachers with “3 lechons” (roasted pigs), 1 for grades 1&2, another one for grades 3&4 and another one for grades 5&6 teachers. It was a happy and memorable moment for Miss Hautea.
Because she had me, she never opted to go back home to Iloilo after her retirement. Instead she went with me to Don Felix where I studied high school renting the school’s canteen. It went on for years until it was my time to leave the school for college.
Lola Aling was a friendly and loving person, she liked to help friends in whatever way she can. She was sometimes coined as “Miss Manug-patigayun”. A very loyal, caring and kindhearted person. She will talk to everyone including strangers that she just met.
She loved to sing her favorite Visayan Songs like “Dandansoy”, “Si Felimon” and “Malakat ka na Gali”.
Playing mahjong ran through her veins. I would go with her in her daily mahjong sessions especially during summer. It was a fun experience for me because I get to meet friends, friends who even until now I’m still friends with.
Going to Bacolod to buy step in sandals and eat Batchoy were her items.
The best cook in the world when it comes to Valenciana, Dinugu-an, and Pancit Molo.
Lola Aling, your mission is now over. You have done your part, you have raised 2 sons and taught many students and loved many friends. Served relatives and touched lives. God wants you home now, so I release you. In my heart, you never went anywhere, you are always here with me. My heart is a safe place where you dwell now. We are always together. Farewell, but I will never say good bye.
Lola Aling, we will never forget you, we love you, rest now, sleep well and good night.
Interred on September 10, 2011, Saturday at the Junsay-Hipolito Musoleo, Victorias Public Cemetery.
3rd Night Celebrated on September 12, 2011
1st 9th Novena Night Celebrated on September 21, 2011
2nd 9th Novena Night Celebrated on September 30, 2011
End of 9th Novena Night or 40th Night Celebrated on October 9, 2011
26
Jul
10

Sona of President Noynoy Aquino

 
 
 
 
 

P-Noy on his State of the Nation Address before the 15th Congress

The SONA crowd

 

English Transcription of President Benigno Noynoy Aquino III SONA
State of the Nation Address

of His Excellency
Benigno S. Aquino III
President of the Philippines
to the Congress of the Philippines
Session Hall of the House of Representatives
July 26, 2010
[Batasan Pambansa Complex, Quezon City]

 

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte; Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile; Vice President Jejomar Binay, Chief Justice Renato Corona, Former Presidents Fidel Valdez Ramos and Joseph Ejercito Estrada; Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate; distinguished members of the diplomatic corps;

My beloved countrymen:

Our administration is facing a forked road. On one direction, decisions are made to protect the welfare of our people; to look after the interest of the majority; to have a firm grip on principles; and to be faithful to the public servant’s sworn oath to serve the country honestly.

This is the straight path.

On the other side, personal interest is the priority, and where one becomes a slave to political considerations to the detriment of our nation.
This is the crooked path.

For a long time, our country lost its way in the crooked path. As days go by (since I became President), the massive scope of the problems we have inherited becomes much clearer. I could almost feel the weight of my responsibilities.

In the first three weeks of our administration, we discovered many things, and I will report to you some of the problems we have uncovered, and the steps we are taking to solve them.

This report is merely a glimpse of our situation. It is not the entire picture of the crises we are facing. The reality was hidden from our people, who seem to have been deliberately obfuscated on the real state of our nation.

In the first six years of this year, government expenditure exceeded our revenues. Our deficit further increased to PhP196.7 billion. Our collection targets, which lack PhP23.8 billion, were not fully met, while we went beyond our spending by PhP45.1 billion.

Our budget for 2010 is PhP1.54 trillion. Of this, only PhP100 billion – or 6.5% of the total budget – can be used for the remaining six months of the current year. Roughly 1% of the total budget is left for each of the remaining month.

Where did the funds go? 

A calamity fund worth PhP2 billion was reserved in preparation for anticipated calamities. Of this already miniscule amount, at a time when the rainy season has yet to set in, PhP1.4 billion or 70% was already spent.

The entire province of Pampanga received PhP108 million. Of this, PhP105 million went to only one district. On the other hand, the province of Pangasinan, which was severely affected by Typhoon Pepeng, received a mere PhP5 million, which had to be used to fix damages inflicted not even by Pepeng, but by a previous typhoon, Cosme.
The funds were released on election month, which was seven months after the typhoon. What will happen if a typhoon arrives tomorrow? The fund has been used up to repair damage from typhoons that hit us last year. Our future will pay for the greed of yesterday.

This is also what happened to the funds of the MWSS. Just recently, people lined up for water while the leadership of the MWSS rewarded itself even though the pensions of retired employees remain unpaid.

The entire payroll of the MWSS amounts to 51.4 million pesos annually. But this isn’t the full extent of what they receive: they receive additional allowances and benefits amounting to 81.1 million pesos. In short, they receive 211.5 million pesos annually. Twenty four percent of this is for normal salaries, and sixty six percent is added on.

The average worker receives up to 13th month pay plus a cash gift. In the MWSS, they receive the equivalent of over thirty months pay if you include all their additional bonuses and allowances.

What we discovered in the case of the salaries of their board of trustees is even more shocking. Let’s take a look at the allowances they receive:
Attending board of trustees and board committee meetings, and you get fourteen thousands pesos. This totals ninety eight thousand pesos a month. They also get an annual grocery incentive of eighty thousand pesos.

And that’s not all. They get a mid-year bonus, productivity bonus, anniversary bonus, year-end bonus, and financial assistance. They not only get a Christmas bonus, but an additional Christmas package as well. Each of these amounts to eighty thousand pesos. All in all, each member of the board receives two and a half million pesos a year exclusive of car service, technical assistance, and loans. Let me repeat. They award themselves all of these while being in arrears for the pensions of their retired employees.

Even the La Mesa watershed wasn’t spared. In order to ensure an adequate supply of water, we need to protect our watersheds. In watersheds, trees are needed. Where there should be trees, they built homes for the top officials of the MWSS.

We cannot remove them from their positions quickly because they are among the midnight appointees of former president Arroyo. We are investigating all of these things. But if they have any shame left, they should voluntarily relinquish their positions.

Now let’s discuss funds for infrastructure. The DPWH identified two hundred forty six priority safety projects to be funded by the motor vehicle user’s charge. This needs a budget of 425 million pesos. What they ended up funding were only 28 projects. They disregarded 218 projects and replaced these with seventy projects that weren’t in the plans. The 425 million pesos originally asked for became 480 million pesos, increasing because of projects allocated for a favored few.

These projects make no sense: unstudied and unprepared for, sprouting like mushrooms.

The era of such projects is at an end. Under our administration, there will be no quotas, there will be no overpricing, the funds of the people will be spent for the people.
There’s more. Five days before the term of the previous administration ended, they ordered 3.5 billion pesos to be released for the rehabilitation of those affected by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng. This was supposed to fund eighty-nine projects. But nineteen of these projects amounting to 981 million pesos didn’t go through public bidding. Special Allotment Release Orders hadn’t even been released and yet the contracts were already signed. It’s a good thing Secretary Rogelio Singson spotted and stopped them. Instead, they will all go through the proper bidding, and the funds will be used to provide relief to those who lost their homes due to typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.

Let’s discuss what happened in Napocor. From 2001 to 2004, the government forced Napocor to sell electricity at a loss to prevent increases in electricity rates. The real motivation for this is that they were preparing for the election.

As a result, in 2004, NAPOCOR slumped deeply in debt. The government was obligated to shoulder the 200 billion pesos it owed.

What the public thought they saved from electricity, we are now paying for using public coffers. Not only are we paying for the cost of electricity; we are also paying for the interest arising from the debt.

If the money we borrowed was used properly, then there would be added assurance that constant supply of electricity is available. However, this decision was based on bad politics, not on the true needs of the people. The people, after having to sacrifice, suffered even more.

This is also what happened to the MRT. The government tried again to buy the people’s love. The operator was forced to keep the rates low.

In effect, the guarantee given to the operator that he will still be able to recoup his investment was not fulfilled. Because of this, Landbank and the Development Bank of the Philippines were ordered to purchase the MRT.

The money of the people was used in exchange for an operation that was losing money.

Let us now move on to the funds of the National Food Authority (NFA).

In 2004: 117,000 metric tons (of rice) was the shortage in the supply of the Philippines. What they (the government) bought were 900,000 metric tons. Even if you multiply for more than seven times the amount of shortage, they still bought more than what was needed.

In 2007: 589,000 metric tons was the shortage in the supply of the Philippines. What they bought were 1.827 million metric tons. Even if you multiply for more than three times the amount of shortage, they again bought more than what was needed.

What hurts is, because they keep purchasing more than what they need year after year, the excess rice that had to be stored in warehouses ended up rotting, just like what happened in 2008.

Is this not a crime, letting rice rot, despite the fact that there are 4 million Filipinos who do not eat three times a day?

The result is NFA’s current debt of 177 billion pesos.

This money that was wasted could have funded the following:
–         The budget of the entire judiciary, which is at 12.7 billion pesos this year.
–         The Conditional Cash Transfers for the following year, which cost 29.6 billion pesos.
–         All the classrooms that our country needs, which cost 130 billion pesos.

This way of doing things is revolting. Money was there only to be wasted.

You have heard how the public coffers were squandered. This is what is clear to me now: change can only come from our determination to stamp out this extravagance and profligacy.

That is why starting now: we will stop the wasteful use of government funds. We will eradicate projects that are wrong. 

This is the point of what we call the zero-based approach in our budget. What used to be the norm was every year, the budget merely gets re-enacted without plugging the holes.

Next month we will be submitting a budget that accurately identifies the problem and gives much attention on the right solution.

Those that I have mentioned were only some of the problems we have discovered. Here now are examples of the steps we are undertaking to solve them.

There is a case of one pawnshop owner. He purchased a vehicle at an estimated cost of 26 million pesos.

If he can afford to buy a Lamborghini, why can’t he pay his taxes?

A case has already been filed against him. Through the leadership of Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, BIR Commissioner Kim Henares, Customs Commissioner Lito Alvarez, and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, every week we have new cases filed against smugglers and against those who do not pay the right taxes.

We have also already identified the suspects of the cases of Francisco Baldomero, Jose Daguio and Miguel Belen, 3 of the 6 incidents of extralegal killings since we assumed the Presidency.

Fifty percent (50%) of these incidents of extralegal killings are now on their way to being resolved.

We will not stop the pursuit of the remaining half of these killings until justice has been achieved.

We will hold murderers accountable. We will also hold those who are corrupt that work in government accountable for their actions.

We have begun forming our Truth Commission, through the leadership of former Chief Justice Hilario Davide. We will search for the truth on the alleged wrongdoing committed in the last nine years.

This week, I will sign the first ever Executive Order on the formation of this Truth Commission.

If the answer to justice is accountability, the answer to the dearth in funds is a new and creative approach to our long-standing problems.

We have so many needs: from education, infrastructure, health, military, police and more. Our funds will not be enough to meet them.

No matter how massive the deficit is that may keep us from paying for this list of needs, I am heartened because many have already expressed renewed interest and confidence in the Philippines.

Our solution: public-private partnerships. Although no contract has been signed yet, I can say that ongoing talks with interested investors will yield fruitful outcomes.

There are some who have already shown interest and want to build an expressway from Manila that will pass through Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, until the end of Cagayan Valley, without the government having to spend a single peso.

On national defense:

We have 36,000 nautical miles of shoreline, but we only have 32 boats. These boats are as old as the time of (US General Douglas) MacArthur.

Some had this proposition: they will rent the Navy headquarters on Roxas Boulevard and the Naval Station in Fort Bonifacio.

They will take care of the funding necessary to transfer the Navy Headquarters to Camp Aguinaldo. Immediately, we will be given 100 million dollars. Furthermore, they will give us a portion of their profits from their businesses that would occupy the land they will rent.

In short, we will meet our needs without spending, and we will also earn.

There have already been many proposals from local to foreign investors to provide for our various needs.

From these public-private partnerships, our economy will grow and every Filipino will be the beneficiary. There are so many sectors that could benefit from this.

We will be able to construct the needed infrastructure in order to help tourism grow.

In agriculture, we will be able to have access to grains terminals, refrigeration facilities, orderly road networks and post-harvest facilities. 

If we can fix out food supply chain with the help of the private sector, instead of importing, we will hopefully be able to supply for the needs of the global market. 

The prices of commodities will go down if we are able to make this efficient railway system a reality. It will be cheaper and faster, and it will be easier for travelers to avoid crooked cops and rebels.
 
A reminder to all: creating jobs is foremost on our agenda, and the creation of jobs will come from the growth of our industries. Growth will only be possible if we streamline processes to make them predictable, reliable and efficient for those who want to invest.

We make sure that the Build-Operate-and-Transfer projects will undergo quick and efficient processes. With the help of all government agencies concerned and the people, a process that used to take as short as a year and as long as a decade will now only take six months.

The Department of Trade and Industry has already taken steps to effect this change, under the leadership of Secretary Gregory Domingo: The never-ending horror story of registering business names, which used to take a minimum of four to eight hours depending on the day, will be cut down drastically to fifteen minutes.

What used to be a check list of thirty-six documents will be shortened to a list of six, and the old eight-page application form will be whittled down to one page. 

I call on our local government units to review its own procedures. While we look for more ways to streamline our processes to make business start-ups easier, I hope the LGUs can also find ways to implement reforms that will be consistent with the ones we have already started.

All will certainly benefit from this streamlining — be it businessmen, soldiers, rebels and ordinary Filipinos. As long as the interests of Filipinos will not be jeopardized, we will explore all available avenues to make this a reality. We must start now, and we should all help achieve this and not stand in each other’s way.

The time when we will no longer be made to choose between our people’s security and the future of our children is upon us now.

Once we implement these public-private partnerships, we will be able to fund public service in accordance with our platform.

This will enable us to fund our plans for education.

We will be able to expand our basic education cycle from seven years to the global standard of twelve years.

We can build more classrooms, and we will fund service contracting under the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education Program (GASTPE).
Conditional cash transfers that aim to lessen the burden of education on parents will also be funded if this partnership becomes a reality.

Our plans for improving PhilHealth can now be within reach.

First, we will identify the correct number of Filipinos who sorely need PhilHealth coverage, as current data is conflicting on this matter. On one hand, PhilHealth says that eighty-seven percent (87%) of Filipinos are covered, then lowers the number to only fifty-three percent (53%). On the other hand, the National Statistics Office says that only thirty-eight percent (38%) of Filipinos are covered by Philhealth.

Even as we speak, Secretary Dinky Soliman and the Department of Social Welfare and Development are moving to implement the National Household Targeting System that will identify the families that most urgently need assistance. An estimated 9 billion pesos is needed in order to provide coverage for five million poor Filipinos. 

Our country is beginning to see better days ahead. The private sector, the League of Provinces headed by Governor Alfonso Umali, together with Governors L-Ray Villafuerte and Icot Petilla, are now ready to do their share when it comes to shouldering the financial burden. I know that the League of Cities under the leadership of Mayor Oscar Rodriguez will not be far behind. 

If the local governments share in our goals, I know that I can surely count on Congress, the institution where I began public service, to push for our agenda for change.
Our Cabinet has already showed it skill by identifying not just problems but also proposing solutions in a matter of three weeks.

In the aftermath of Typhoon Basyang, we were told by those in the power sector that we would be without electricity for four days. The quick action of Secretary Rene Almendras and the Department of Energy resulted in the restoration of power to almost all those affected within twenty-four hours.

The so-called water shortage in Metro Manila was quickly attended to by Secretary Rogelio Singson and the Department of Public Works and Highways. Secretary Singson did it without prodding, which alleviated the suffering of those affected.

We also witnessed the competence and initiative of those we appointed to be part of our Cabinet. It is but just that they not be forced to go through the eye of a needle to be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. Should this happen, competent Filipinos will be encouraged to help our country by becoming public servants. 

In the soonest possible time, we will convene the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) to discuss the important bills that need to be addressed. Rest assured that I will keep an open mind and treat you honorably.

We will push for the Fiscal Responsibility Bill, which will limit spending bills only for appropriations that have identified a source of funding. We need 104.1 billion pesos to fund those laws already passed but whose implementation remains pending because of lack of funds.  

We will re-evaluate fiscal incentives given in the past. Now that we are tightening our purse strings, we need to identify those incentives that will remain and those that need to be done away with.

We will not allow another NBN-ZTE scandal to happen again. Whether from local or foreign sources, all proposed contracts must undergo the scrutiny of correct procedures. I now ask for your help with amending our Procurement Law.

According to our Constitution, it is the government’s duty to ensure that the market is fair for all. No monopolies, no cartels that kill competition. We need an Anti-Trust Law that will give life to these principles, to afford Small- and Medium-Scale Enterprises the opportunity to participate in the growth of our economy. 

Let us pass into law the National Land Use Bill.

It was in 1935, during the Commonwealth, that the National Defense Act was passed. There is a need to amend for a new law that is more responsive to the current needs of national security. 

I appeal to our legislators to pass the Whistleblower’s Bill to eradicate the prevalent culture of fear and silence that has hounded our system.

We will strengthen the Witness Protection Program. We must remember that from 2009 to 2010 alone, cases which involved the participation of witnesses under the program resulted in a ninety-five percent conviction. 

There is a need to review our laws. I call on our lawmakers to begin a re-codification of our laws to ensure harmony in legislation and eliminate contradictions. 

These laws serve as the basis of order in our land, but the foundation of all rests on the principle that we cannot grow without peace and order. 

We face two obstacles on our road to peace: the situation in Mindanao and the continued revolt of the CPP-NPA-NDF.

Our view has not changed when it comes to the situation in Mindanao. We will only achieve lasting peace if all stakeholders engage in an honest dialogue: may they be Moro, Lumad, or Christian. We have asked Dean Marvic Leonen to head our efforts to talk to the MILF.

We will learn from the mistakes of the past administration, that suddenly announced an agreement reached without consultations from all concerned. We are not blind to the fact that it was done with political motivation, and that the interest behind it was not that of the people. 

We recognize the efforts of the MILF to discipline those within its ranks. We are hopeful that the negotiations will begin after Ramadan.

To the CPP-NPA-NDF: are you prepared to put forth concrete solutions rather than pure criticism and finger-pointing?

If it is peace you truly desire, then we are ready for an immediate cease-fire. Let us go back to the table and begin talking again. 

It is difficult to begin discussions in earnest if the smell of gun powder still hangs in the air. I call on everyone concerned not to waste a good opportunity to rally behind our common aspiration for peace.

Our foundation for growth is peace. We will continue to be shackled by poverty if the crossfire persists.

We must understand that now is a time for sacrifice. It is this sacrifice that will pave the way for a better future. With our freedom comes our responsibility to do good unto our fellows and to our country.

To our friends in media, especially those in radio and print, to the block-timers and those in our community newspapers, I trust that you will take up the cudgels to police your own ranks.

May you give new meaning to the principles of your vocation: to provide clarity to pressing issues; to be fair and truthful in your reporting, and to raise the level of public discourse. 

It is every Filipino’s duty to closely watch the leaders that you have elected. I encourage everyone to take a step towards participation rather than fault-finding. The former takes part in finding a solution; from the latter, never-ending complaints.

We have always known that the key to growth is putting the interest of others beyond one’s own. One thing is clear: how do we move forward if we keep putting others down? 

How will those without education secure quality jobs? How will the unemployed become consumers? How will they save money for their future needs?

If we change all this, if we prioritize enabling others, we will open a world of opportunities not just for ourselves but for those who direly need it. 

We have already begun the process of change, and we are now able to dream of better things for our country. Let us not forget that there are those who wish us to fail, so that they will once again reclaim power to do as they please at the expense of our people. 

My firm belief is that our fate is in the hands of God and our people. While we focus on uplifting the lives of our fellow men, I have an unshakeable faith that Almighty God will give us His blessings and support. If we remain firm in our belief that God is on our side, is there anything impossible for us to achieve?

The mandate we received last May 10 is testament to the fact that the Filipino continues to hope for true change. The situation is not what it was before; we can all dream again. Let us all become one in achieving a fulfilment of our hopes and aspirations for our country.

Maraming Salamat Po.




My standpoint


Mabuhay Pinoy

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