Thursday, October 28, 2010

After hostage-rescue fiasco, Manila comes up with "tourist cops"

Are they stupid? After the world just witnessed the most stupid, most inept, hostage-rescue operation ever, they come up with "tourist cops." 
Are they serious? 
Who is going to believe them? 
Who is going to have confidence in them?

Or does this mean that these are the only cops authorized to ask money from tourists? 

Just asking.

Metro Manila deploys 'tourist cops' 
By Abigail Kwok
First Posted 14:07:00 10/27/2010

Filed Under: Police, Tourism, Security (general), Travel & Commuting
MANILA, Philippines – With the upcoming holidayseason, the National Capital Region police office has deployed tourist policemen in seven key tourist areas in the region to assist foreigners visiting these places.
NCRPO director Chief Superintendent Nicanor Bartolome identified the seven areas as: SM Mall of Asia, Intramuros, Adriatico St., UP Manila, Divisoria, Binondo, and along Roxas Boulevard.
These tourist policemen are from the Regional Public Safety Battalion and will have two 12-hour shifts, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and vice versa.
Bartolome said the deployment of “tourist police” was part of the NCRPO’s commitment in making police services more accessible to foreigners and helping make Metro Manila tourist-friendly.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Noynoy wants an explanation, again

This is what Noynoy's presidency is going to boil down to - ASKING FOR AN EXPLANATION. When the storm changed direction, he asked for an explanation. Now, he wants an explanation why the barangay election is a mess. If you did not make it a requirement to make it automated, why pretend to be surprised. It is not simpler than the national election. The logistics are the same and it involves just as many or even more people running for positions.

Noynoy unhappyPDFPrintE-mail
by Tess Bedico   
Monday, 25 October 2010 20:01
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III was not happy with the conduct of yesterday’s barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, particularly the delay in the delivery of election paraphernalia.
The President demanded an explanation from the Commission on Elections even as he said holidays may be declared in specific areas where elections did not happen or were delayed.
“I heard about it about two or three days ago tungkol dito sa mga hindi nade-deliver, eh paano ka nga masa-satisfy doon?” the President told a press briefing after casting his vote at the Central Azucarera de Tarlac Elementary School in Tarlac City
“Parang compared to the automated elections medyo mas simpleng undertaking ito at nakalagay naman sa batas na matagal na dapat na napaghandaan at hindi nga mukhang nahanda nang maayos. Kailangang malaman kung ano ang dahilan,” he said.
Aquino took exception to reports that there were delays even in the polling precincts near Metro Manila or in not-so-remote areas. The Commission on Elections said elections in 1,599 barangays will only be held today to wait for the arrival of the election materials.
He said he also sought an extension of the voting hours in areas where the polls opened late.
But despite the delay in voting in some areas, the President said he is confident that the public will be allowed to exercise their right to vote. He reiterated his call for all registered voters to go out and vote.
“The barangay is the face of government that we see most often in our daily lives, hence  its importance in our democracy,” he said.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Affinity or close ako sa kanya

Affinity in terms of sociology, refers to "kinship of spirit", interest and other interpersonal commonalities. Affinity is characterized by high levels of intimacy and sharing, usually in close groups, also known as affinity groups. It differs from affinity in law and canon law which generally refer to the marriage relationship. Social affinity is generally thought of as "marriage" to ideas, ideals and causes shared by a tight community of people.

Usually used by people in the business of network marketing. In the ethnic community like ours, companies may use people who are prominent in the community to advance their causes. 

For example, they may hire somebody who is well known in the community so that person will be able to spread their cause more effectively. When you receive an email from somebody you do not know, you tend to delete it without opening it. But when you receive an email from this person, you open it and you are more receptive to it, dahil ika nga nila, kakilala mo siya. If they want to put their press release in your newspaper or your website or your blog, you tend to agree to do it because of the emotional bond that has already existed. 

I used to receive one email after another from a well-known Filipino company, which we will call B, that has gone international. I just deleted them because they were just too many.  Now, they hired a local Filipino community leader as their "consultant." Now, this local "consultant" is the one bombarding me with email from the company. This company is the arch-rival of another Filipino company, which we will call A. While I do not get advertising from company A, I do not want to give the impression that I am already being paid by B. Press releases are supposed to be free. However, if you put too many press release from one company, it gives that impression that you are already being paid by that company. 

If you do that, it is the equivalent of giving them  advertising - for free. 


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sleep more & Stay Slim or sleep less & live longer

This is a dilemma. Do I want to sleep less, live longer and be fat? Or do I sleep more, stay slim and die young? These studies are keeping me awake at night that I am living the first one by default. But then, there is another study that says that plenty of sleep keeps your sex drive alive. So, it boils down to getting lots of sleep, to stay slim and horny but live a short life. Or sleep less, become fat and have no sex drive and live long. WHAT A CHOICE!

Sleep in to keep trim: study 
By Jessica Murphy, QMI Agency
Last Updated: October 5, 2010 2:55am

MONTREAL - It seems one of the best things you can do to keep trim is sleep in, a new U.S. study says University of Chicago researchers have found cutting back on sleep reduces the benefits of dieting by limiting overall fat loss and supersizing hunger.
"If your goal is to lose fat, skipping sleep is like poking sticks in your bicycle wheels," said lead researcher Plamen Penev.
The small-scale study, published in the latest issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, followed 10 overweight or obese volunteers between 35 and 49. Each person was placed on a balanced diet that restricted calories to 90% of what they needed to maintain their weight without exercise.
Each participant spent two weeks under observation getting 8.5 hours of sleep a night and another two weeks with just 5.5 hours a night.
Volunteers lost an average of 6.6 lbs. at each session. But when researchers dug deeper, they found sleep-deprived volunteers lost just 1.3 lbs. of fat compared to 5.3 lbs. of lean body mass, which includes muscle.
When volunteers got more sleep, fat loss and lean body mass loss was roughly equal.
Sleep-deprived participants also had higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that boosts hunger levels and promotes fat retention.
It may explain why previous studies indicated sleep-deprived people ate more. A study published in June in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found one night of reduced sleep led study participants to eat 20% more calories the next day.
Penev's subjects, who were closely watched in a lab setting, had no choice but to follow their diet.
"They couldn't follow their feelings of hunger," he said. "The diets they were given, in the real world they would also be the ones responsible for following the meal plan, which would make it harder to stick to that plan."
And by losing lean body mass, they further undermined any fat-loss efforts by slowing their metabolism.
"As they're investing all this effort into losing the excess fat, they're also setting themselves up to having to keep cutting and reducing the amount of calories they're eating in order to be successful," Penev explained.
He said the next step is more research in a real-world setting like medical centres with weight-loss programs, where participants can be tracked for longer periods.
But the study's findings may be enough to convince dieters to cut calories, not catnaps.
"It suggests the amount of sleep one gets during periods of dieting could make a significant difference," Penev said.
Sleeping problems affect one in four Canadians, according to the Ontario health ministry, which recommends six to nine hours a day for people 16 to 65

Only sleeping five hours a night? You may live longer than your friends.

A study done at the University of California, San Diego has found that sleeping between five and six-and-a-half hours a night is associated with the greatest longevity, at least in women over 50.
This may be great news for women who aren’t getting as much sleep as they used to, and are worried about it.

A team of scientists did a two-part study. The first stage took place between 1995 and 1999. They monitored the sleeping habits of 459 women between the ages of 50 and 81 living in California. Then, 14 years later, the scientists returned to study the same group. Eighty-six of the women had died; 444 of the original women were located and evaluated.

The researchers were surprised to find that the best survival was in women who slept between five and 6.5 hours a night. Women who slept less than five hours a night or more than 6.5 hours were less likely to be alive at the end of the 14 years.
“This means that women who sleep as little as five to six-and-a-half hours have nothing to worry about since that amount of sleep is evidently consistent with excellent survival,” reported lead author Dr. Daniel Kripke, professor emeritus of psychiatry at UC San Diego school of medicine. The study was published online in the journal Sleep Medicine

Saturday, October 16, 2010

MANILA, a megacity where the living share space with the dead

As the world faces overpopulation, the Philippine capital highlights the problems it brings, as Jenny Kleeman discovered

In the heart of Manila's vast North Cemetery, the largest graveyard in the capital of the Philippines, Ricky Baking is hunched over a tomb with a hammer and chisel. After several determined blows, the lid cracks into three pieces. He opens the rotten coffin to reveal the skeleton of a 65-year-old man, dressed in his burial suit and shoes. Baking steps into the tomb with bare feet, and reaches for the bones.
Jenny Kleeman in front of living shacks built on the banks of a pollluted river in Manila where overpopulation has forced people to carve out living quarters in shanty towns. Photograph: Channel 4
This isn't a grave robbery – it's an eviction. Like everywhere else in Manila, the North Cemetery has run out of space. Up to 80 funerals take place here every day, and demand for plots is so high most people can only afford to rent tombs. If your relatives fail to keep up the payments, another body will take your place. It's Baking's job to clear this grave so another coffin can be lowered into it later this afternoon. He's done this so often it's almost mundane to him.
Land is precious in Manila, and people are prepared to endure incredible circumstances to claim their own piece. Baking's family is one of hundreds that have set up home in the cemetery, jostling for space with the dead. "It's much better living here than in a shanty town," he assures me as we clamber over densely-packed powder pink and blue tombs on the way to his home. "It's much more peaceful and quiet."
The crypt where his family of seven sleeps is barely bigger than a garden shed, but it's furnished with every modern convenience: there's a fridge, a DVD player, electric fans and a built-in toilet. His youngest daughter was a little frightened when they moved here four years ago, he says, but they now find it easy to forget the body buried beneath its floor. In a city with too many people, this is a decent place to live.
The world is facing an overpopulation crisis. In 40 years time, if current growth rates continue, the number of people on the planet will be almost one and a half times what it is today, rising from 6.8 billion to 9.2 billion by 2050. As population increases, so does competition for basic resources – land, food, water and fuel – as well as the threat of environmental devastation and endemic disease. Our numbers are going to be unsustainable within a few years.
Most of the 10,000 babies born every hour are going to grow up in urban settlements: more than half the world's population now live in cities, and that will rise to 70% by 2050. Megacities – with more than 10 million inhabitants – are springing up across the globe, particularly in developing countries. In 1985, there were only nine megacities Today, there are 26.
But as we brace ourselves for the future challenges posed by overpopulation, the residents of Manila are already living with them. This is the city where the statistics come alive. Greater Manila is home to 20 million people, rising by another quarter of a million every year. It's a place of great economic extremes, and space and privacy are luxuries only afforded to Manila's wealthy elite. A third of Manilans live cheek by jowl in makeshift settlements on any bit of spare land – under bridges, next to railway lines, beside flood defences as well as cemeteries. These are ordinary people, often with reasonably paid jobs, who can only afford to live in battery conditions if they want to stay in the city.
Overcrowding is a fact of life from cradle to grave in Manila. At the government-run Jose Fabella maternity hospital, four mothers and their newborns share each bed. On the morning I visit, 133 babies have already been born since midnight in one ward alone. It's desperately hot and the mothers are fanning their babies with whatever they can find. The ward is well-equipped, but running at double capacity. There are simply too many mothers calling on its resources.
"Looking after the welfare of so many people is quite a challenge," says Elisa Navarro, the head nurse. "We have to do regular ward checks to make sure none of the mothers are sleeping on the babies and suffocating them." I can see how easily it would be for this to happen – most of the women are exhausted from labour and almost unaware of the seven other people in their bed. But the mothers tell me they're used to it: at home their entire family will sleep together on a single mattress, which can often mean sharing a bed with eight or nine other people.
The Parapina family live in Baseco, a shanty town of just over half a square kilometre that's home to 90,000 people. Jennifer and Manuel have seven children, aged eight to 17 and all nine share a shack that's no more than three metres across. There's no space for tables, chairs or a mattress – so when night falls, the family put bedding down on the floor and lie side by side together, like sardines.
Jennifer and Manuel earn enough money to clothe and feed their enormous family, and to furnish their home with electric fans and a television set, but the only way they can afford a place in the city is to build it themselves on public land, out of whatever wood and corrugated iron they can scavenge. They've lost four previous homes to the fires that often rage through Baseco. It's easy to see why: the rooftops are draped in thick tangles of cables, illegally tapping electricity from Manila's central supply.
We sit cross-legged on the bare floor, with Jennifer's youngest five children gathered around her. "We never planned to have so many," Jennifer smiles bashfully, "but I think of our children as a blessing. They're going to look after us when we're older." In a country with a weak social care system, a large family is your insurance policy. It's a reason why so many people across the developing world reconcile themselves to the poverty that can come with large families.
Jennifer is only 36, but by the time she was 28 she'd already been pregnant nine times. Contraception has long been taboo in the Philippines – this is a Catholic country and successive governments have refused to promote sex education and contraception for fear of losing the Catholic vote. The Parapinas count themselves as observant Catholics, but it wasn't fear of hellfire that stopped Jennifer from planning her family – it was lack of information. When a local charity began offering free advice and birth control in Baseco a few years ago, she chose to be on a long-term contraception, and the Parapina family finally stopped growing.
Contagious diseases spread fast in Baseco. Jennifer has been living with tuberculosis for two years, but she's tells me about it in the matter-of-fact manner of someone who accepts serious illness as a normal part of life. Pneumonia, measles, cholera and dengue fever claim thousands of lives a year in Manila's most built-up areas. But this isn't enough to stop the city's population growing.
Jennifer's children say they'll show me around the shanty town. Baseco has grown up around a sea wall near the city centre that's supposed to protect Manila from flooding. Typhoon Ondoy killed hundreds in the capital last year but people are still building homes right against the flood defences here. The sea wall itself has been turned into the town's unofficial high street, with grocery stores, snack bars and even funeral parlours setting up stall right next to the water.
We arrive at the filthiest beach I have ever seen, strewn with household waste, plastic bags, polystyrene, old shoes, bricks and car tyres, with the strong, acrid smell of urine – a nightmare inversion of the Philippine beach on the front of my guidebook. Princess Parapina, 15, says this is the place where the children play. Most of the rubbish is washed up from the sea: the beach lies close to the mouth of the notorious Passig River, Manila's unofficial sewer and garbage chute that cuts the capital in two, which was declared biologically dead in the 1990s.
The people of Baseco add to the rubbish, of course. There's no sanitation in the shanty town and people have the choice of either coming down to this beach to go to the toilet or using a plastic bag in their homes. But even space on land as polluted as this is precious and there are houses built right up along the water's edge, wherever the ground is solid enough to support a shack.
The Parapina children rarely get the chance to play together because of the way the public school system works in Manila. There are 6,000 children at the local primary, so they have to go to school in shifts, staggered throughout the day, with classes starting at dawn for some. There are one thousand nine-year-olds in Mark Anthony Parapina's year alone, taught in three separate batches, with six classrooms of children in each shift.
Baseco Elementary has everything you'd expect in a modern school – there's a library, plenty of text books, posters and artwork on the walls – but the main resource teachers lack is sufficient time with their students. Mark Anthony's teacher, Evangeline Castro, tells me it's an uphill struggle. "The four hours we get with each class isn't enough to teach them well," she says. "We're really rushing to pack in everything we can into those four hours." No matter how hard she works, she'll only be able to give her pupils half an education.
The city's wealthy residents have largely been able to buy themselves out of Manila's worst problems. They live in spacious gated communities, they go to work in glass tower blocks in the city's gleaming financial district and they send their children to elite private schools where they'll only have to share their teachers with a few hundred or so others. But even the richest can't avoid the traffic. With millions of cars on the road, drivers spend an average of 1,000 hours every year stuck in jams, and even when cars are moving, they crawl at less than 10km an hour. Manila's municipal government has tried to ease the congestion by limiting which cars can be driven on certain days of the week, according to the numbers on their plates. But those who can afford it have simply bought a second car so they can stay on the road, driving different cars on different days.
Manila's wealth is the prime reason the city's population is exploding. If you want a piece of development and prosperity in the Philippines, you have to come to the capital. Rural poverty has caused thousands of Filipino people to flood into Manila every year from the countryside in search of their fortune. They arrive to find few jobs and nowhere to live – but this still isn't enough to make them return home.
Bai Warda's family is one of 300 who have set up home under a bridge in Quiapo, near the centre of town. She moved here from Mindanao, an island in the south of the country and she's brought up four children on the banks of the stagnant San Miguel waterway. From a distance the settlement looks incredibly ramshackle, made up of plywood shacks precariously balanced on stilts in the sewage-filled river, but close up it's clear that this is a functioning village with its own electricity supply, restaurants and a barber. Bai Warda has been running the local grocery store here for nearly 30 years.
"Most of the people who live here weren't born in Manila. We come from all over the country," she tells me. "I came here because I thought we'd be able to get jobs and better living conditions in the city." I wonder how desperate life must have been at home for this makeshift community to be a better alternative. "I'd never go back to Mindanao – there's nothing for us there," she replies. "I couldn't provide for my family's future if I went back."
It's tempting to think of Manila's overpopulation problem as extraordinary and exceptional. But as global population explodes, and wealth is increasingly concentrated in sprawling cities, Manila is an example of what urban centres all over the world may look like in the not too distant future. And as cities in developing countries become overwhelmed by their population, their inhabitants will have even more reason to migrate to the developed world. The planet is running out of space. Perhaps we will all need the resourcefulness and resilience of Manila's residents if we're going to continue living on it.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Filipino Tourists barred from Leaving the Country

I don't understand how the Philippines can stop Filipinos from leaving the country when the receiving country granted them visas. If these "adults" used an "illegal"  (TRANSLATION - NOT REGISTERED WITH THE POEA AND THEREFORE DID NOT PAY "DUES.") recruiter, why is the Philippines stopping them? It is their decision. Besides, OFW's still get in trouble even if they used "registered" recruiters anyway. So, what is the difference? And, the last time, I checked, we are still a democratic country, free to leave, isn't it? Only Cuba still bans their citizens from leaving. I remember back in the 80's, I heard stories of temp agencies making their "temp workers" kneel on salt if they are returned by employers with a complaint. Did the country become one big temp agency with it's citizens as it's temp workers allowed only to leave at the convenience of the government?   

Almost 700 suspected 'tourist workers' barred from leaving RP

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Almost 700 Filipino travelers were barred from leaving the country after they were suspected of being "tourist workers" — those who pretend that they are going overseas as tourists when they are actually planning to work abroad.

Bureau of Immigration (BI) Officer-In-Charge Ronaldo Ledesma said 672 passengers at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) were barred from leaving in June and July on suspicion of being “tourist workers."

The DMIA, also called the Clark International Airport, is located at the Clark Freeport Zone in Angeles City, Pampanga. Clark was a former United States military base that now houses a golf resort, industrial buildings, and retail establishments.

The BI tightened its monitoring and screening procedures at the DMIA after receiving reports that Clark was being used as a base of operations by human traffickers and illegal recruiters.

Lawyer Carlos Capulong, BI-DMIA head supervisor, said the 672 passengers were "offloaded" or not allowed to travel between August 1 to 31 as they attempted to leave with dubious travel documents.

Compared with the number of passengers who left the country via DMIA, the 672 passengers represent roughly 6.8 percent of the 9,938 travelers who were allowed to take overseas flights at the DMIA.

Citing earlier reports, Capulong said the undocumented overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who leave via Clark were usually bound for Malaysia, where many reportedly end up working as household helpers and others as prostitutes.

The BI earlier reorganized its personnel at Clark amid suspicions that certain immigration officers previously assigned there were allegedly in cahoots with criminal syndicates.

PNOY shows no Backbone

HK Dismayed by Aquino's Hostage Decision

October 13, 2010, 8:05pm
The Philippine leadership has been told to show some backbone as Hong Kong's government declared itself “disappointed” by the response to the killing of eight tourists.
The reaction came following a  Manila decision to water down recommended actions against people blamed for the shambles of a hostage rescue attempt on August 23 in Manila.
President Benigno S. Aquino III on Monday had ordered that only administrative charges be laid against four police officers and three government officials.
He also cleared the Philippine police chief and an interior undersecretary of blame in the miserable and bloody failure of police in tackling the tourist bus hostage situation.
But Aquino's decision ran contrary to an investigation committee that called for criminal and administrative charges to be leveled against 12 officers and officials.
Among them were Manila's Mayor Alfredo S. Lim and former Philippine National Police chief Jesus Verzosa.
That led to the Hong Kong government to issue its statement last night.
“The people of Hong Kong, especially the survivors and the victims' families, will find this hard to accept,” it said. “The Hong Kong SAR government is also disappointed.”
It went on to argue that “eventual actions” must include the Philippine leadership living up to a pledge “to be accountable to the public.”
It added: “That is also what is owed to the dead and the injured.”
There was also a call for Aquino to release in full the report of the investigation into the killing of the eight tourists and injuries to seven others after a sacked police officer hijacked their bus, kept everyone at bay for most of a day and then started killing.
Aquino defended his decision to spare people from criminal sanctions.
“We vowed justice for all,” he said. “We have a process. We are following the law. The bottom line is, just because one sector wants charges filed it does not mean that charges will be filed.”
Also on Wednesday, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who headed the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) that called for heads to roll, admitted she is considering quitting.
“Certain people from certain quarters have suggested – if not prodded – that I tender my resignation,” she said.
Suggestions she should quit started when Aquino called for a review of her committee's report, De Lima said. “And to be honest, that idea crossed my mind.”
But she's still thinking on the matter.
She also said now-retired police chief Verzosa should have been sanctioned for failing to take charge of the hostage situation.
Even if it's not in the hostage crisis manual, De Lima said, her panel believed that, as chief of police, “he should have monitored the hostage crisis continually and intervened when the situation became problematic.”
Back in Hong Kong, a police spokesman said full findings of its own investigation – including reports by experts – will go to the Coroners' Court. It submitted a preliminary report to the court last week. According to the Hong Kong judiciary website, “the task of the Coroner's Court is to inquire into the causes and circumstances of certain deaths… it has extensive powers related to the conduct of affairs relating to such deaths.”
The force would not comment on a report that at least one hostage had been killed by so-called “friendly” fire.

Puno told to resign
At the Upper Chamber, Senate President Pro Tempore Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada called on ’’ Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)
Undersecretary Rico Puno to resign for the sake of delicadeza (propriety) so as not to add to the leadership burden being shouldered by President Benigno S. Aquino III.
Estrada said there are two strikes against Puno.
The first was his apparent ineptitude during the Aug. 23 hostage-taking incident where eight Hong Kong tourists were killed.
The second was Puno, a close ally of President Aquino, being linked to the “jueteng’’ (illegal numbers game) payola.
In a recent appearance before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chaired by Sen. Teofisto L. Gujingona III, Puno vehemently denied the allegation of retired Pangasinan Archbishop Oscar Cruz that he and former Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director-General Jesus Verzosa were recipients of a regular jueteng payola.
“Para huwag ma-embarrass ang pangulo, magkusa siya mag-resign. Dapat magkusa. Magbitaw siya,” he added. (Puno should resign so as not to embarrass the President.)

New charges
The Manila Police District (MPD) on Wednesday filed new charges against the brother of slain hostage-taker who was accused of conspiring in the bloody August 23 bus siege.
The MPD-General Assignment Section (MPD-GAS) said it received an order from President Aquino to file charges for illegal possession of firearms against Senior Police Officer 2 Gregorio Mendoza.
“The President, through the Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, has ordered us to immediately file appropriate charges against Mendoza based on the review of the recommendation of the IIRC. We are just following orders,” the MPD-GAS said.

Pure drama
The Secretary to the Manila Mayor Alfredo S. Lim, Atty. Rafaelito Garayblas, on Wednesday dismissed the vehement reaction of SPO2 Mendoza against Lim's administrative charges as mere “drama.”
“Does he have amnesia or is he just bent on sweeping the real issues under the rug? The fact remains that it was his brother, the late captain, who committed a criminal act and killed all the innocent hostages while he willingly aided his brother in ensuring that such criminal acts continued to the end. Now, he is showing the world that he is the victim? Is it an insult to the intelligence of the people?” asked Garayblas. (With reports from Mario B. Casayuran, Czarina Nicole O. Ong, and Leonard D. Postrado)


Philippine justice is like one big 'salaan' (filter sieve) with one large hole in the middle. For how else to explain why all the big fishes recommended by the De Lima investigating committee were allowed to get away with nary a scratch on their thick skins?! Let's review their CLAIMED alibis:
1. USec Puno - he has no training in hostage situations; anyhow it was a local thing; didn't occur to him it was "international;"
2. Retired PNP chief Versoza - "I had to go to a seminar"; really?;
3. Mla Mayor Lim - he has had 50 yrs public service; this was nothing new to him;
4. MPD Negotiator Yerba - media hogging the airwaves (c'mon.. lumang tugtugin na yan);
5. SWAT Ground Commander - "our team lacked equipment;" (the panel was right: gross incompetence).
6. MPD Chief & Hostage Crisis Leader Magtibay - (?? what can he say except that he had the handle on things and he blew it, miserably).
7. Probably it's only NCRPO Chief Santiago and Vice Mayor Moreno who could be charged with simple neglect, but they, too, were exculpated.
8. We go to the biggest of them all: Pres Benigno Aquino III - the buck stops with him. So, what did he do? Declare that he wants to do away with "frivolous lawsuits." When is a case where 8 foreign nationals died as a result of Incomepetence ever "frivolous?"
- injunred,

I do respect Pnoy , but to acquit his friend from alleged wrongdoing is a different thing. I remember his Slogan during election campaign, "Kung walang Korap walang Mahihirap.I believe, the root of the Hostage drama that was happened last Aug 23, is Corruption.
Then Pnoy created IIRC headed by Justice Sect. De Lima, to investigate.And the result of the investigation was very unsatisfactory to Pnoy, because the second man @DLGCD is his best friend,a and his former PNP chief is said to be a trusted friend.
He acquitted these guys from any liabilities from the hostage incedent that was invistigated by IIRC.If Pnoy, truly to his favorite slogan, let his friends defend themselves from their alleged wrong doing, they have their own mouth and prove beyond reasonable doubt before the court that they are not a culprits
Parang lumabas na ; friends is sticker than people.Kaya ang sayana yung 2 kaibigan niya. At yung taga Hongkong, lonely sila.
Sorry guys, ganito ang Gobyerno namin..!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

NO MORE OFM'S (overseas Filipino Maids) TO BE SENT ABROAD

The Philippine government must be dreaming. They came up with a new migrant law where the country will only send maids to countries which has a bilateral agreement with the them. Now, they are worried that other countries will not respect that requirement anyway. DUH! Now, they are talking of certification to avoid abuses by the "vulnerable" member of society daw. Sus ginoo. Dagdag na kotong na naman ang naisipan. So, sino magbabayad para ma-certify itong mga maid? E di iyong mga maid din.

By the way, whatever happened to the supermaid program under Noynoy's predecessor, GMA?

RP may stop sending domestic workers abroad

By Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) Updated October 04, 2010 12:00 AM Comments (117) View comments

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines may be forced to stop the deployment of household workers (HSWs) abroad early next year as a result of the new migrant workers law, a ranking official of the Department ofForeign Affairs said recently.
Foreign Affairs undersecretary Esteban Conejos admitted that many countries hiring Filipino household workers and other skilled workers are having difficulty complying with the provisions of the new law.
Conejos said under the new migrant workers law, the deployment of household workers is only allowed in countries with existing bilateral agreement with the Philippines or mandated certification from the DFA.
However, Conejos said a number of countries hiring these workers are unlikely to comply with the certification requirement of the government.
To address the problem, Conejos said the government is even considering “quality certification” or certification by skill, thus eliminating the vulnerable sectors.
“We are trying to be optimistic about this, but considering the historical evidence, we might not be so confident with respect to certain sectors. Ironically, the sector (vulnerable sector) that Congress wanted to protect with this amendment might just be the sector that would be stripped of formal protection,” Conejos explained.
He added that restriction in deployment may also trigger a rise in illegal deployment of HSWs.
Meanwhile, the recruitment industry warned against the imposition of a ban in the deployment of HSWs abroad.

Labor Undersecretary Hans Cacdac, however, maintained that the Philippine government has no plans yet to ban the deployment of HSWs abroad.Recruitment leader Lito Soriano said stopping the deployment of HSWs might result in a backlash from foreign countries which may exert economic and political pressure on the Philippines.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

RP expects United States to give jobs to Pinoy graduates

There is something crazy about this scenario. Why do we expect the United States to hire Philippine graduates?  Romualdez is perpetuating the image of the Philippines a a temporary labor agency to the world. Isn’t the Philippine government supposed to create the jobs for our own graduates, just as other countries, like the United States, is responsible for making sure there are jobs for their own graduates? 

Romualdez: U.S. jobs for Pinoy grads vital to RP economy
by Ryan Ponce Pacpaco   
Wednesday, 06 October 2010 19:30

“THE market for physical therapists in the United States is important to our graduates and economy. It is imperative for us to ensure that the country would not be blacklisted again in their licensure examination. Sad to say, we are helpless and it would be disastrous if the country faces an indefinite ban in the future as a result of our failure to address the problem.”    Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez aired this  appeal after the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT), which administers the US National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE), lifted the licensure examination ban on Filipino PT graduates which stemmed from the discovery of leakages of test questions involving a review center in Manila.

A lawmaker yesterday urged the concerned government agencies to protect the job opportunities of Filipino physical therapy (PT) graduates being recruited to practice in the United States (US) by ensuring that the country would not be blacklisted again in the licensure examination there.

Romualdez asked Congress to find ways how to regulate the review centers to guard the sanctity of examinations following reports that there is no government agency, not even the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), that regulate the existence of review centers.

“If there is nobody regulating these review centers, I think Congress should do something about it to protect the potential market of our professionals like the PT graduates,” said Romualdez.

The FSBPT identified the St. Louis Review Center in Manila, Philippines as allegedly part of the test questions leakage, prompting them to stop administering the examination to PT graduates in the Philippines.

Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) party-list Rep.  Antonio Tino said “this is a symptom of the failure of the government policy of deregulation of private higher education. PT graduates and their families are the immediate casualties.”

Tinio called on the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to explain their continued failure to regulate the review centers.

“We are calling on the CHED to explain its continuing failure to regulate review centers. Some of these resort to unscrupulous practices to maximize profits and cash in on the growing demand for healthcare professionals abroad,” said Tinio.

Earlier, lawmakers said FSBPT should not jeopardize the future of PT graduates in the country just because a review center was allegedly involved in the leakage of test questions.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Aquino favors birth control

President Aquino is becoming notorious for double-speak. He favors birth control but it does not mean he will support the reproductive Health Bill now in the Senate. 

Palace: Aquino firm on birth control stand 
By Christian V. Esguerra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 18:28:00 10/01/2010

MANILA, Philippines – Stating President Benigno Aquino III is not a leader exclusively of Roman Catholics, MalacaƱang said Friday he would remain “resolute” in his position allowing the propagation of artificial birth control methods despite opposition from the country’s biggest religious denomination.
“He will be resolute in his stand—the position he took in the campaign is the same position that he will be taking now,” said presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda a day after Aquino was reminded of the possibility of excommunication for Catholics allowing abortion.
The Palace acknowledged that the Catholic Church could not be kept out of the debate on the reproductive health bill owing to “certain moral dimensions” of the measure.
But Lacierda pointed out: “The President is the president, not only of Roman Catholics, but also of other faiths, so he has to be above faith(s).”
“Responsible parenthood is something which is, I believe, favorable to all faiths,” he added. “No one will dispute that you would rather have a family of two for whom they could provide a good quality of life rather than have a family of six for whom you can’t provide a better tomorrow.”
But while Aquino has said he would support poor couples preferring the use of contraceptives, Lacierda said it did not necessarily mean that he was throwing his support behind the RH bill now filed in the Senate and House of Representatives. He said the President has yet to receive and read a copy of any of the bills.
Asked if such measures were a priority, Lacierda said Aquino’s primary concern at present was the Incident Investigation and Review Committee report on the Aug. 23 hostage crisis.
“Once that is settled, we will ask the President on his other priorities,” he said.
Amid the disparate positions, MalacaƱang sought common ground with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines whose president, Bishop Nereo Odchimar, said he was open to a dialogue with Aquino.
“We don’t know how this will be resolved, but what we’re saying is we are open to a dialogue,” Lacierda said. “We understand from the statements of Bishop Odchimar that he’d rather not be confrontational but also be open to a dialogue.”
He added: “That is a good beginning, a good start. Let’s see it from there, how we can come up with a fruitful dialogue.”
Lacierda said Aquino had a standing invitation for such an exchange with the CBCP. The Palace said earlier that the President was open to such a dialogue.
If the dialogue takes place, Lacierda said, the Palace would explain that the government program has “no bias toward any particular (birth control) method.”
“We are presenting everything. The Catholic Church believes in natural planning. We are presenting that as well,” he said.
“There have been a lot of misconception(s) going around so we want to clear the air with the bishops. We want them to know what the true position is of the President.”
A centerpiece component of the RH measure is the free distribution by the government of contraceptives to poor couples who would ask for them. Critics argue that the government has no business using taxpayers’ money for such a program.
Lacierda said such contraceptives were already being made available to the poor in local health centers. He said the government has also allotted a portion of the proposed P1.645-trillion national budget for next year.
“The position is this—we will be informing you of the various menu of family planning methods,” he said.
“You will be coming up with an informed decision. If you, for instance, prefer natural family planning method, there will be (less) expenses. But if you prefer artificial family planning method and you don’t have the means to purchase those contraceptives, the state will provide you.”