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Half-baked measure half-baked measure EDITORIAL 09/25/2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Half-baked measure half-baked measure

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Noynoy’s allies in the House rushing the approval of the budget for next year apparently on the prodding of the Palace, is resulting in an unprecedented spectacle in the legislature of a measure being literally regurgitated, reflecting mostly on the poor leadership of the lower chamber.

The House process requires that the budget bill be in its complete form when it passes second reading as the third and final reading of the bill would merely be a matter of the fine-tuning of its wordings before it is transmitted to the Senate.

For an important bill such as the budget, the process requires a more thorough scrutiny of the measure that should have been done prior to this bill being sent to the plenary, which was supposed to have been done during the first and second readings of the bill.

The third reading should have been done since the bill is to merely receive formal approval of Congress and where amendments are not allowed anymore..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110925com1.html

The hypocrisy of it all FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 09/25/2011

The hypocrisy of it all

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
For someone who went to New York to speak about transparency in government, he comes off as merely again paying lip service to his pledges and claims of transparency in his government and of his claimed good governance.

Noynoy and his Palace mouthpieces may even think that they have succeeded in convincing, not just the Filipinos but also the world leaders that indeed, his is a transparent and “honest” government that is out to stamp the plague of corruption.

They should think again. Recall that while these various ambassadors to the Philippines openly give their praises of the Noynoy government and lavishly, what they write back home, by way of their secret cables may just be a different picture of what this Noynoy government is.

Still, it is the nature of the usual pro-government Manila media to portray their president in much too good a light, omitting or burying the actual picture..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110925com2.html

DAR accused of ‘conniving’ with Henry Sy’s firm to evict Hacienda Looc farmers

DAR accused of ‘conniving’ with Henry Sy’s firm to evict Hacienda Looc farmers

“DAR officials are fully aware that Hacienda Looc is a contested land and that the fraudulent cancellation of their certificates is not equivalent to a conversion order,” KMP secretary general Danilo Ramos said.
Sidebar: Hacienda Looc farmers decry harassment, tag Henry Sy as a ‘landgrabber’
MANILA – Fighting for their land and livelihood, farmers from Hacienda Looc camped outside the national office of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Sept. 19.

Farmers belonging to Ugnayan ng mga Mamamayan Laban sa Pangwawasak ng Kalupaan ng Hacienda Looc (Umalpas-Ka) reiterated their demand to stop the conversion of 8,650 hectare Hacienda Looc in Nasugbu, Batangas.

SM Land, owned by business tycoon Henry Sy, is developing 5,800 hectares of Hacienda Looc into the Hamilo Coast project that includes the Pico De Loro Beach and Country Club and the Pico De Loro Residential Condominiums. It aims to develop 13 natural coves, 25 kilometers of pristine beachfront; forests, mountains, limestone cliffs, and rock formations. Since 2004, SM Land has been building structures along the coastal areas, converting farmlands and displacing farmers and fishermen of Hacienda Looc.

Farmers from Hacienda Looc set up a camp in front of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). (Photo by Ronalyn V. Olea / bulatlat.com)
Umalpas-Ka and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) accused DAR officials and SM Land of collusion to evict farmer-beneficiaries from the hacienda.

“The DAR and SM Land are obviously in collusion with each other to evict farmers and push through with the anti-people Hamilo Coast project in Hacienda Looc,” Armando Lemita, Umalpas-Ka spokesman, said. “The DAR allowed SM Land to grab our lands,” Lemita said.

Lemita said that during their dialogue with DAR, Sept. 13, officials failed to present any conversion order. “SM Land has arbitrarily converted more than 200-hectares of the contested land for the Hamilo Coast land development project,” Lemita said.

In 1990, the DAR granted a collective certificate of land ownership award (CLOA) and emancipation patents (EPs) to farmers in Hacienda Looc under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). After several years, the DAR cancelled the certificates after the government’s Assets Privatization Trust (APT) sold the whole hacienda to Manila Southcoast Development Corp. (MSDC), a member of the SM Group of Companies.

“DAR officials are fully aware that Hacienda Looc is a contested land and that the fraudulent cancellation of their certificates is not equivalent to a conversion order,” KMP secretary general Danilo Ramos said..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/09/22/dar-accused-of-%E2%80%98conniving%E2%80%99-with-henry-sy%E2%80%99s-firm-to-evict-hacienda-looc-farmers/

Palestinians say UN bid is non-violent resistance focus 09/25/2011

Palestinians say UN bid is non-violent resistance


UNITED NATIONS — Despite dire warnings that their demand for UN state membership will unleash a cycle of violence, Palestinian leaders say their move is anchored in a tradition of peaceful resistance.

“When you’re occupied and downtrodden and you see that the world is standing next to you it gives you hope,” said top Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath.

“To be honest, part of that hope will go into keeping the Palestinian determination on non-violence and keeps incitement away and keeps also the determination to get their rights back.”

Opponents of the application for a state of Palestine to be admitted as a full member of the United Nations say the move is doomed to fail and will only fuel new bloodshed in a region scarred by decades of unrest.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110925com3.html

Biazon should be steadfast N.O . N.O.N.S.E.N.S.E Jacinto ‘Jing’ Paras 09/25/2011

Biazon should be steadfast

N.O . N.O.N.S.E.N.S.E
Jacinto ‘Jing’ Paras
Last Thursday, Biazon , the new Commissioner of Customs, made a big bang by announcing that he had filed with the Department of Justice a complaint against Petronas Energy Philippines over the questionable importation of LPG resulting in a loss of revenue to government in the amount of a billion pesos. We could have said thank you for the good job except for the question of, why only against Petronas? Why not against Shell Pilipinas which had been caught several times for smuggling at the Port of Batangas and involving several billions of pesos that were lost in government revenues due to said smuggling activities?

Is Shell so influential and powerful that the Bureau of Customs (BoC) now under the leadership of Biazon cannot touch? Is it because of the interference of a Malacañang official by the name of Secretary Rene Almendras that Biazon is not acting against Shell? It has been said that former Commissioner Alvarez refused to file a complaint against Shell and collect from the oil firm the sum of P1.5 billion as excise taxes and VAT despite the very clear findings of smuggling and the subsequent recommendation from the BoC at the Port of Batangas to file charges and collect the said taxes from Shell..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110925com5.html

Smoking VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 09/25/2011


Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
There is no need for any more scientific investigation, for further laboratory experimentation. Men, women and young people know it. Professionals, businessmen and laborers know it. Practically anybody and everybody know it. What? Smoking is bad! It is bad for the health of the smoker as well as for all those around the latter. Smoking ruins the lungs and the heart of smokers together with those inhaling their smoke that slowly invades a bigger and bigger space.

No wonder that even cigarette packs carry the clear and signal warning that smoking is a danger to the wellbeing of people, the smokers themselves in particular. This is why there are simple as well classy restaurants, small together with huge buildings — mega malls included — where smoking is banned altogether. Thus it is that smoking is now even considered taboo in these and those public places. In other words, no one with a sound mind and good will recommends smoking whenever to whoever.

Nicotene — this is the archenemy of good health, the primary cause of many fatal sickness, the distinct curse of smokers — with all those engulfed by the smoke they blow here and there..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110925com7.html

P300-M loans for farmers become Quedancor pabaon 09/25/2011


P300-M loans for farmers become Quedancor pabaon

The Senate is looking into possible another anomaly during the term of former President Arroyo involving the diversion a loan program for farmers under the Agriculture Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF) acquired by the Quedan Rural Credit Guarantee Corp. (Quedancor) to provide Quedancor officials with golden parachutes on their retirement.

Sen. Francis Pangilinan, chairman of the Senate committee on agriculture and food, said his committee would investigate irregularities in the use of the ACEF which was worth P10 billion but was mostly diverted for purposes other than lending to farmers including pabaons for Quedancor officials.

The conversion scheme called pabaon was made popular by revelations of a similar program in the military in which princely amounts are given to retiring generals obtained from the diversion of military funds.

Pangilinan said that based on the report submitted to him last January, the ACEF records show that it only has P1.8 billion balance..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110925hed1.html

Palace to groups complaining of power rates: ‘Go tell ERC’ 09/25/2011

Palace to groups complaining of power rates: ‘Go tell ERC’

The Palace tossed comnplaints raised by varied groups last Friday against sky-high electricity rates in the country, which they said may reach P11 per kilowatthour soon, to regulator Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) as deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte said in retort that “the government is aware of complaints that power rates are too high.”

Since an average Filipino household consumes 200 kilowatthour of electricity a month, an P11 power rate, would mean a bill of P2,200 a month from the current P1,600 a month from a rate which is already among the highest in the world.

Several trade groups last Friday sent to the Palace a statement demanding a government plan to lower energy rates amid a feared reemergence of a global economic crisis that would hurt exports and local business activity.

The statement, signed by the PCCI, Philippine Exporters Confederation (Philexport), Philippine Steelmakers Association (Philsteel), Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEF), and the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) also raised the possibility of another power shortage due to the lack of a concrete program from President Aquino on power supply.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110925hed2.html

2 ‘mysterious’ OFW deaths reported every month 09/25/2011

.2 ‘mysterious’ OFW deaths reported every month

A Filipino migrants rights group in the Middle East yesterday said it is receiving at least two cases of “mysterious” deaths involving overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) every month.

Migrante-Middle East regional director John Leonard Monterona, in a statement, said they are constantly receiving reports of OFWs who died under questionable and vague circumstances on an average of two cases every month.

“The figure is based on the combined reports from our Migrante chapters in the Middle East citing local news reports and from the kin of the OFWs who have sought our assistance,” he added.

Monterona clarified the figure that they got did not include those reported to various Philippine diplomatic posts.

“We are quite certain there were other cases of ‘mysterious’ deaths reported to the Philippine embassies and consulates and its satellite offices,” Monterona said.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110925hed5.html

3.3-M hectare of coco lands in danger By Charlie V. Manalo 09/25/2011

3.3-M hectare of coco lands in danger

By Charlie V. Manalo 09/25/2011

The militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) yesterday said that 3.3 million hectares of coconut lands are in danger of being controlled by United States agro-corporations over the $15-million investment bagged by President Aquino in his recent trip to the United States.

The peasant group also pushed the immediate return of the more than P150-billion coconut levy funds to small coconut as the solution to the development of the coconut industry.

The peasant group issued the statement after Aquino said that two US companies, Pepsi Cola and Vita Coco want to make fresh investments worth P15 million in the country’s coconut industry to meet the international demand for coco water.

KMP deputy secretary general Randall Echanis called on Aquino “to divulge the terms” of the investments fearing that this could lead to “one-sided and onerous land lease deals” between the US and Philippines..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110925nat1.html

Gov’t spends P1.2B for 4Ps in Davao 09/25/2011

Gov’t spends P1.2B for 4Ps in Davao

DAVAO CITY — The national government, through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), has spent P1.255 billion for 125,057 registered beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) or Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) in the Davao Region.

DSWD regional director Esther Versoza said the 4Ps beneficiaries, after five years, will be self-sustaining since they would undergo an exit activity prior the ending of their availment.

She cited the Social Welfare Education (SWE), which teaches the beneficiaries about livelihood activities to make them become self-reliant.

Before graduating from the program, the 4Ps beneficiaries would also be given sustainable employment and skills development, Versoza said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110925nat7.html

Woman solon throws support behind RH bill approval By Arlie O. Calalo 09/25/2011

Woman solon throws support behind RH bill approval

By Arlie O. Calalo 09/25/2011
Alarmed by many women who are either battered or abused, Malabon City Rep. Jaye Lacson-Noel has openly thrown her support to the approval of the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill, a move which she described as a “very personal crusade.”

“I have accommodated all opinions for and against the RH bill, attended marathon hearings and plenary debates, but my decision to support the bill comes from my day-to-day discussions with my constituents, based on their grim, violent and often pathetic realities on the ground, about their specific and immediate needs for a comprehensive RH law,” Lacson-Noel said in statement e-mailed to Tribune.

In a huddle with members of the Camanava Press at her district office, the wife of An-Waray Party-list Rep. Bem Noel revealed that the number of cases of battered and abused women that came into her knowledge, though they did not necessarily originate in the city, has made her decide to push the immediate passage of RH bill.

In fact, Lacson-Noel said she is in the process of creating her own Malabon database on the number of unwanted pregnancies, pre- and post-natal challenges and accidents and other records related to women, especially those that reside in her district..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110925met3.html

Motorists driving without head, tail lights nabbed 09/25/2011

Motorists driving without head, tail lights nabbed

Over 160 motorists have been apprehended in one night by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) for driving without turning on their headlights.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino yesterday said the apprehended motorists were cited for reckless driving, which carries a fine of P1,200, as provided under DoTC-Center for Transport and Traffic Management (CCTM) Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 26, Series of 1998, and Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation Code of the Philippines.

CCTM is the former name of the Traffic Discipline Office (TDO), the traffic management arm of the MMDA.

“Night driving without headlights is dangerous. We have to remind the public that it is prohibited under the law, for everybody’s safety,” Tolentino said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110925met5.html

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