Friday, September 5, 2008

Endo: Will love save you from the rat race?


Starring Jason Abalos and Ina Feleo

Directed by Jade Castro

Written by Jade Castro, Michiko Yamamoto, and Raymond Lee





Endo, which is the street slang for "end of contract" among low-wage earners in the Philippines, tackles the lives and loves of the ubiquitous, but invisible, labor force that are our sales people, waiters, and others. It centers on Leo (Jason Abalos) whose life is a series of terminable contracts. Unable to finish school and forced to be the family breadwinner, he takes on five month service-oriented jobs, one after another. Will his love affair with the spirited dreamer Tanya (Ina Feleo) finally give him a taste of security and permanence?

Philippine Graft and Corruption

By Romy Teruel
Columnist, Sunday Post

Income tax payers rejoiced when R.A. 9504 was signed by the President into law.  The new Income Tax Law eased the burden of income tax payers with its provision for P50,000 personal exemption and P25,000 for each qualified child. More than that minimum wage earners are now exempt from paying income taxes.

 Prior to this, personal exemption was P20,000 for single income tax payer,  P25,000 for head of family, P32,000 for married, and P8,000 for each qualified child.

 The measure was a great relief to the overburdened taxpayers already weighed down by high cost of living brought by the unrestrained increase in the price of oil and the food crises that hit the poor the most. "Here's a government that really cares," tax payers said of the measure.  Those in government remember fondly that only a month ago President Arroyo authorized a 10% increase in their salary.

 However, except for the minimum wage earners, the rejoicing has now stopped and is replaced by silent curse and gnashing of teeth. This column will try to provide the reasons for their curse and protest, albeit in silence.  Even that salary increase has become meaningless as the amount is not even enough for the increase in income tax they have to pay under the new measure.

 The Bureau of Internal Revenue has just come out with the new Tax Table to govern the implementation of the new income tax law.  And for most of those who know how the BIR works,  the amendment to the income tax law was just icing to cake to make it palatable.  What BIR lost in the minimum wage earners, they recovered from those who will now be paying high income taxes because of the bracketing of taxable income.

 For example, an income tax payer who is married with four qualified children and who has a taxable income of P298,457.52 will now pay an income tax of P42,589.48 where before he used to pay only about P36,000.  That's because under the new income tax table he will have a personal exemption of P50,000 plus P100,000 for the four qualified children for a total of P150,000. But the balance of P148,457.04 will have an income tax of P10,416.67 plus 32% of the amount over P47,917.00 or P32,172.81 thereby having a total income tax payable of P42,589.48

 Given the difficult economic times where will the tax payers get relief?  Where is the relief there from the income tax burden envisioned by R.A. 9504? None from the law.  

 So they will look for income that is unregistered and unrecorded and therefore does not need payment of income tax.  In layman's language, the new income tax law is another instrument that will promote graft and corruption.  Who says that government is not a party to the promotion of graft and corruption?

 I bet BIR never thought of this when they were considering the implementing rules of the new income tax law.  What they must have in mind was how to recover what would be lost revenues from the exemption of minimum wage earners.  Like the Memorandum of Agreement for the Ancestral Domain of the Bangsa Moro in Mindanao, the income tax table was kept under wraps until the bombs exploded.

 NOTES. Tomorrow all government offices will join in the launching of the 108th Anniversary of the Civil Service.  The theme of the celebration is "Republic Service – Kabalikat Ng Bayan sa Panahon ng Paghamon."  It is a fitting theme to reassure the people that civil service is there side by side with them in facing the challenges of difficult times.  But against the backdrop of the new income tax law, KABALIKAT there could be interpreted as NASA BALIKAT ( an added weight) NG BAYAN.

 Anyway, HAPPY ANNIVERSSARY to all the civil servants. At the Capitol the month-long celebration will be launched with a convocation hosted by the Human Resource Management and Development Office.  During the month-long celebration there will be bloodletting, blood sugar testing for employees, supplemental feeding, and even "bagsakan" of cheap agricultural food products.  A family day for all provincial government officials and employees will be held on the last Friday of September.

Murder in Bohol Unpunished?

By Boy Guingguing
Publisher, Sunday Post

 They call it bribery, we call it sharing. 

 It was true then, the more it is true now.

 This is how we describe our staying power in the highly competitive business of newspaper management.

 Time and time again, we have been engulfed with this question like-- why we managed to survive all these years in this dog-eat-dog environment of running a paper?

 Aside from faith in God, the Almighty, we have also another   secret that we can share, to all those who care to listen. It's none other than the Christian value of sharing. Simply put, we just don't want to grab all the credits, for fear of being accused of engaging in insatiable greed.

 How many times have we been accused in the past of bribery as a mean to corner a big chunk of the market especially on municipal ordinances? That is further from the truth. If at all, we ever generate a generous part of the ordinance market, it's because we value the art of sharing. That's the long and short of it. Yes, our rivals call it bribery, but we maintain that for God's sake, we are just sharing part of the bounty.

 Is there anything wrong with sharing part of your blessing? If we can even share part of the loot, why can't we do it with blessings?

 It's really hard to imagine that some people are so selfish that they want to have their cake and eat it too. We know of some people that just because they are wielding the power of media, they already think that they can get away with anything including murder.  

 Enough of these hypocrites. Remember this: no one in this world no matter how much you wallow in comfort and opulence will ever get to heaven, without contending with his own day of reckoning, while on earth. You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.

 You put one over your brethren whom you call brother. But have you ever thought that there's such a thing as the law of retribution? This punishes  those who took advantage of their power and strength over the weak and the lowly.

 Therefore, those who enjoyed life through deceit and intimidation should start feeling the pangs of retribution. After all, it's never too late to overhaul our outlook in life. Just be fair to everybody and everything    will just fall in place. As a repentant sinner, it happens to me. That's why I am now at peace with everybody. It follows, too, that I am at peace with the world.   

No Justice in Talibon Irrigation Dam Scandal

One of the problems confronting this country, aside from the unequal distribution of wealth, is the manner that justice is dispensed by the courts.

 Indeed, there is something about justice in the Philippines that makes people wonder if it is fast becoming an endangered specie.

 With the manner poor people routinely end up in prison – regardless of whether they are guilty or not – it is hardly surprising what kind of conclusion one arrives at as a consequence.

 This is not to denigrate the men and women who work faithfully and truthfully to dispense justice – and they are legion. Regardless of what people think, there are still many who face the mirror after a day's work with their dignity intact.

 The perception however remains.

 How people arrived at that perception, we can only surmise.

 It is not so much about how the poor almost always end up as losers. Rather, it is the manner in which the rich flaunt their clout that rubs off and leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

 If there is no justice in this country, the likes of ex-Cong. Romeo Jalosjos, former Calauan Mayor Antonio Sanchez, Claudio Teehankee Jr., Hubert Webb, Ambet Antonio and Rolito Go would not have made Muntinlupa their home.

 And yet, even that would have to go through a wave of protests from people who would point out that their convictions were the consequence of intense pressure from media and the public and not because of efficient dispensation of justice.

 It doesn't help that otherwise respectable justices of the Court of Appeals and leading lawyers including the counsel of First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo are making a fool of themselves in the investigation being conducted on the Meralco temporary restraining order snafu.

 One need not look very far though.

 Regardless of where one stands, the resolution of the majority panel that dropped the charges of rape with homicide against former Panglao Mayor Doloreich Dumaluan and two others leaves more questions than answers.

 It did not help that a leakage occurred when that controversial resolution came out. And it does not help that the majority panel took a long time in resolving the motion for reconsideration filed by the family of victim Vivian Dumaluan.

 Now, here comes the decision on the Talibon dam.

 The accused certainly have the right to declare that they have been vindicated. In the process however, it puts the justice system on trial. - Editorial, Sunday Post Newspaper

Long Farewell to Peter Valdes, Filipino Tivoli Systems Founder

By Erwin Oliva
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Filipino Tivoli Systems co-founder Peter Valdes died Thursday morning (September 4) barely six months after he was diagnosed of having pancreatic cancer, his colleagues told Friday.

Bernard Yu, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vinta Systems, a company put up by Valdes with several partners, confirmed news of Valdes' death

Valdes co-founded Vinta Systems and was the chairman of the board for sometime. He became part of the who's who of the global information technology industry when his co-partners sold Tivoli Systems to IBM for $743M in 1996.

He eventually decided to invest some of his money in the Philippines, as he hoped to spark software development in the country. He co-founded Vinta Systems in 1998.

Yu said Valdes' condition deteriorated this week, as he fell into a coma Wednesday.

"He went to the United States when he was diagnosed but decided to be treated here. During treatment, he had problems. Tumor was causing problems. Last week, he almost collapsed and doctors found that the cancer has spread," Yu said.

An industrial engineering graduate of the University of the Philippines in 1975, Valdes pursued his graduate studies in the US. He later worked as a software architect with IBM in Austin, Texas, where he met his co-partner Robert Fabbio who later co-founded Tivoli
Systems in 1989 along with Steve Marcie and Todd Smith

Vinta Systems vice chairman Augusto Lagman who is currently in Europe, said he was very sad when he heard about Valdes' death. "His remains will be brought to Angeles today. Unfortunately, I'm still in Europe," Lagman added.

The Cruelty of MILF in Mindanao

Gikondena sa mga Maranao pinangulohan ni Lanao Del Sur Provincial Governor Mamintal "Bombit" Adiong, Jr. ang pagpanghasi, pagpamataysa mga inosente ug paglumpag sa mga kabtangan sa mga rebeldeng sakop sa Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)

Gipasabot ni Adiong nga ang salaud ni Commander Bravo ug iyang ginsakopan batok sa mga Kristiyanos sa Lanao del Norte dili iya sa Islam ug wala magpasabot nga may panagbangi tali sa mga Muslim ug Kristiyano.

Kini samtang iyang gidason nga panaghisgutay pa gihapon ug dili sumbohan sa armas ang solusyon sa dugay na nga pagpangitag identity sa mga Muslim kay niini, masugnoran pa hinuon ang sitwasyon.
Kini usab samtang gitambongan sa baga nga katawhan ang peace summit nga gi-rganisa sa Iligan City government ug sa Muslim-Christian Multi-Sectoral Movement for Peace and Development sa Mindanao. - PIA