Saturday, May 29, 2010

Philippine Politics Still Belongs to Lakas Party?

Despite its election setbacks, the ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD remains the dominant party in Philippine politics and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who recently re-assumed party leadership, hopes to further improve the party's position in the future. 

In a news conference in MalacaƱang, Presidential Spokesman Ricardo Saludo said while few deserted the party during the campaign period, Lakas-Kampi-CMD still has the most number of members in the House of Representatives which, he said, gives the party the status of being a major force in legislation.

"It (Lakas) continues to be dominant. It is the largest party in the Lower House. We still have governors and mayors all over the country," Saludo said, counting about 109 Lakas members who won seats in the House of Representatives during the May 10 polls.

He said that as party head, President Arroyo wants to see the party maintain its political dominance and has vowed to focus on rebuilding the party.

Filipino Economy to Grow

The Goldman Sachs sees remittance and IT service exports to continue powering the Philippine economy this year. 

In a report, dated May 27, 2010, the investment banking and securities firm said the recovery of the domestic economy "is firmly underway" as shown by the higher-than- expected gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 7.3 percent in the first quarter of this year, as reported by the National Statistical and Coordination Board (NSCB) Thursday.

The domestic economy grew by 0.5 percent in January to March of last year.

The government's 2010 first quarter growth target is between a range of 2.9-3.9 percent while the market expects it to grow by 4.4 percent.

Domestic demand jumped 10 percent year-on-year compared to the 5.9 percent in the last quarter of 2009, due to the increases both in the private and government consumption.

"Robust overseas remittances are likely to result in further upticks in private consumption over the next few quarters," Goldman Sachs said.

Remittances grew seven percent year-on-year in the first three months this year as demand for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) continue to be high along with the global economic recovery.

Relatively, government consumption was strong due to relief and rehabilitation disbursements as a result of the typhoons that ravaged most of the Luzon area in the second half of last year.

"The 2010 first quarter GDP print confirms the recovery process is firmly underway, and we expect it to continue to get support from the two engines of flows – stable remittances and growing IT service exports," it said.

The investment firm projects a 4.2 percent growth for the Philippines this year, higher than the 1.1 percent last year, the consensus forecast of 3.9 percent, and the 2.6-3.6 percent target of the government.

Battle of Political Parties in House of Speaker Election

It's a battle between President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who won as representative of Pampanga under the Lakas-Kampi-CMD party and Liberal Party (LP) Quezon City Mayor Feliciano "Sonny" Belmonte, who won as representative of Quezon City, for the Speakership in the House of Representative for the 15th Congress. 

Lakas-Kampi-CMD political adviser Prospero "Butch" Pichay, in a radio interview, said that majority of members want President Arroyo to run as House Speaker.

"We have also the process to field only one candidate for the Speakership. As of now, we still have the number to win the Speaker. Everybody is clamoring that President Arroyo should run as Speaker of the House," he said.

Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Villafuerte earlier said that in the fight for Speakership, a candidate should get at least 170 votes to have stability on the leadership of the House of Representatives.

"Dalawa ang lumalabas na pangalan -- si Sonny Belmonte at Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and I think they are beginning to gather potential supporters," he said.

Quezon Rep. Erin Tanada said the LP has only Sonny Belmonte to run for Speakership of the Lower House.

"Rep. Belmonte has the advantage for having been a former Speaker of the House," he said.

As of now, Tanada said the LP has 40-50 congressmen. "We have to have alliance with other parties to win the Speakership."

For his part, Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali Gonzales Jr. said that a Speaker always has the blessing of the President-elect.

"Si Sonny Belmonte ang napipintong makakatuwang ni Noynoy (who is leading in this year's presidential race) to take care of the legislative agenda of this incoming President so I'm pretty sure na eventually Belmonte will be the next Speaker," he said.

Political Parties Don't Complaing of Cheating

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) here has not received even a single complaint of poll cheating during the conduct of the May 10 polls. 

However, the Comelec is investigating the use of transparencies even if they have yet to receive a formal complaint.

The massive use of transparencies was observed to be massive in Makato town.

The transparencies, which are of the same size as ballots, reportedly were used by voters as guides despite impressions that they were used as a form of vote buying.

The voter could just attach the transparencies to the ballot and manually shade the oval nearer the name of the candidate that they have voted for. The shaded portion will also be reflected in the transparencies.

"As to its legality I have to ask the opinion of the regional attorney.

"It might still be considered a case to case basis where the used of transparencies if used by an illiterate possibly legal as an aid," Comelec provincial supervisor, Atty. Ian Lee Ananoria Ananoria said.

Transparencies were allegedly distributed by a local political party here to their supporters.

Congressman Manny Pacquiao

World boxing champion Manny Pacquiao officially won the "biggest fight of his life" Thursday night, adding an eighth title that won't be at stake until the next mandatory fight after three years. 

Sarangani's Provincial Board of Canvassers (BOC) formally accorded Pacquiao the title congressman-elect at past 11:40 p.m. here Thursday after scoring a "landslide" win last May 10 in the highly-anticipated fight for the province's lone congressional seat.

Based on the final and official tally released by the BOC, the boxing champion garnered a record 120,052 votes to finish off the congressional hopes of his lone rival, businessman Roy Chiongbian, who only mustered 60,899 votes.

Pacquiao ran under his own political party People's Champ Movement (PCM) and losing presidential bet Manny Villar's Nacionalista Party (NP) while Chiongbian bannered administration coalition Sarangani Reconciliation and Reformation Organization-Lakas-Kampi-CMD (Sarro-Lakas).

"I'm very happy with this win because it's from one of the biggest fights of my life. I thank God and all the people of Sarangani for supporting me all the way," he told reporters following his proclamation at the provincial capitol's Sangguniang Panlalawigan session hall.

The BOC, which was presided by Commission on Elections (Comelec) Region 12 Director Michael Abas, proceeded with the proclamation of the winning provincial candidates after completing the provincial canvassing at around 10 p.m. Thursday.

Abas said the delay was caused by the faulty configuration of the accompanying compact flash (CF) or memory cards of several precinct count optical scan of PCOS machines that were deployed in the vote-rich municipalities of Glan, Kiamba and Malungon.

He said election automation firm Smartmatic-TIM's main office in Manila was only able to deliver the CF card replacements Thursday morning.

Manny Pacquiao Has a Basketball Team

At least nine teams will vie for supremacy in the first ever joint venture of the Philippine Basketball League (PBL) and Liga Pilipinas dubbed as Tournament of the Philippines which fires off on June 2 in Manila. 

Five teams from Liga and four from the PBL will make up the initial foray although officials of both leagues are still awaiting the confirmation of two other Liga teams in Taguig and Pampanga.

Meantime, Fil-American Clifford Hodge was selected as the top overall pick of the Pacman GenSan Warriors during the recent draft at the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) office in Pasig City.

Hodge is listed as a 22-year old, 6-foot-5 cager from Hawaii who is born to an American father and a Filipina mother who hails from Sulu.

League officials described Hodge as a versatile and athletic player who can shoot from the outside.

Aside from the Warriors of congressman-elect Manny Pacquiao, other teams joining are Cebu, Misamis Oriental, Laguna and Mandaue from Liga, Magnolia, Pharex, Cobra and Agrinurture, Inc. from PBL.

Excelroof, winner of the PBL tournament last March, begged off from competing this time since most of its marquee players will be playing in the coming NCAA season starting next month.

Two other PBL teams -–Toyota Otis and Hapee Toothpaste– also won't see action but are likely to compete in the next conference probably in October.

Manny Pacquiao at Philippine Independence Day

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will lead the 112th anniversary celebration of Philippine Independence Day on June 12 at Rizal Park. 

National Historical Institute executive director Ludovico Badoy said in a media briefing in Malacanang on Wednesday, President Arroyo will lead the flag raising ceremony in Rizal Park in the morning of June 12.

According to Director Badoy, there will be a simultaneous flag raising all over the country in the morning of June 12.

Badoy added, after the flag raising ceremony, Mrs. Arroyo will also lead the wreath laying to the monument of national hero Dr. Jose Rizal.

"Of course President Arroyo will also have her Vin d' Honneur in Malacanang at 12 noon on June 12 wherein the members of the diplomatic community, together with the government officials and legislators will attend," the NHI director also told Malacanang reporters.

He added, in the afternoon (4 p.m.) of June 12, Mrs. Arroyo will also watch the civic military parade and the float parade at the Quirino grandstand.

Badoy also stressed that the President will have her speech in the afternoon at the Quirino grandstand right after the civic-military and float parade.

The NHI executive director said, the President is expected to deliver her last report to the nation particularly the achievement of her administration for the past 9 years in office.

"To me, it is extra special because she will be rendering her last report to the nation. I feel the President will have to take advantage of the Independence Day celebration to deliver her speech like a State of the Nation Address (SONA)," Badoy claimed.

He also pointed out that the theme of the 112th Independence Day celebration this year is "Kalayaan, Tagumpay ng Bayan".

Badoy also added that the float parade in this year's celebration will feature the modern day Filipino heroes like Efren Penaflorida who was named CNN Hero of the Year and pound for pound boxing icon Manny Pacquiao who is now a congressman-elect of Saranggani province and other modern day Filipino heroes.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Brigada Eskwela in the Philippines

CONSCIOUS of the perennial problems hounding the country's educational system, authorities now look on a different angle and urges benevolent citizens to be part of the solution.
With apparent government backlog in providing education facilities, Department of Education (DepEd) taps concerned companies, organizations and citizens to pitch in and join Brigada Eskwela Plus.
According to the DepEd, there is a need for 39 new 2 classroom school buildings for the secondary and 62 2-classroom buildings for the elementary this year as enrollment increase is estimated at 5%.
The situation is also being complicated by the fact that the government's education for all campaign is set to seek all school-age kids and pull them back to schools. 
Over the pressing need for action, the call was echoed during the weekly Kapihan sa PIA as City schools division office through Dr. Erlinda Mahinay as the topic on Brigada Eskwela was raised.
Brigada Eskwela is a nationwide voluntary activity implemented by the DepEd and its external education stakeholders to prepare the schools for the opening of classes.
And just as old schools need to be refitted to make them lend a conducive environment to learning, clean ups, repairs, maintenance and other rehabilitation activities are needed.
And just as the government is hard up on funds, the authorities have said they could use a little help.
"We urge our communities to come out and help in any way they can, be it though free labor or materials needed for the repairs and rehabilitation or repainting jobs," Dr. Mahinay resounded.
Or to those who have better economic conditions, we are now urging companies and groups for the "adopt a school" program of the Oplan Balik Eskwela, she said.   
By adopting a school, organizations and companies can earn tax credits and at the same time help upgrade schools, she claimed. 
The Brigada Eskwela of Oplan Balik Eskwela has been implemented to stop the old practice of students and pupils using the beginning days of the school year to clean up the school premises, Dr. Mahinay explained. 

Philippine Schools Prepare for Opening of Classes

Calls for participation in preparing the public schools for the opening of classes resound here as the Brigada Eskwela starts May 24, 2010.
Schools Division Superintendent Norma Varquez says through the Brigada, the Department of Education (DepEd) engages the support of the parents and communities to make the schools ready for the opening of classes.

It would also stress that education is not just a responsibility of the teachers but also of the multi-stakeholders in the community as well, she pointed out during a radio interview.
The activity widely understood as a voluntary clean-up and maintenance of public schools to get the entire school ready for classes.
This time, communities and education stakeholders can show in a week-long activity its voluntary support to show its concern of education.
In a Dep-ed memorandum, Brigada Eskwela is "a week-long school maintenance activities participated by parents, communities and education stakeholders every month of May.
The activity also involves giving free labor and materials for the upkeep and maintenance of schools, which has been generally the main hub of voters during the recent elections.
The past political exercise did not spare the schools from garbage and posters despite relentless appeals from the Dep-ed to spare the schools from politics.
Superintendent Varquez however added that while free labor and donations in kind as materials fro repair are appreciated, the Brigada discourages cash donations. 

Cebu Pacific Flight to Japan and Korea

CEB, the only low-cost carrier to fly to the major North Asian countries offers seat sale fare for as low as P1,999 from now until May 23, 2010 for travel August 1 to October 30, 2010.

P1,999 'Go Lite' seats are up for grabs for flights from Manila to Incheon, Cebu to Incheon and Pusan. Those going from Manila to Osaka can avail of P2,999 seats.  These fares are 50% less than the lowest possible year-round fares for Japan and Korea.

For those traveling out of Clark, P1,499 'Go Lite' seats are also offered on flights going to Bangkok, Macau, Hong Kong and Singapore. Clark-Cebu flights are also on sale with a 'Go Lite' seat sale of P499. Travel period is from July 1 to September 30, 2010.

Take this opportunity to explore our neighboring countries especially since there are a lot of activities in store for the budget traveler during the summer and fall seasons in Japan and Korea.

CEB now accepts web bookings up to four (4) hours before your scheduled time of departure. Hurry, grab your seats

Saturday, May 15, 2010

National Elections in the Philippines

Despite their bruising news coverage of the recently concluded national elections in the Philippines, the four major Metro Manila broadsheets had admirably kept themselves as vigilant with their English as with the evolving numbers of the election results. Their problems with English grammar and usage were thus few and far between; in fact, I found only four grammatical and semantic fumbles serious and instructive enough to be critiqued in My Media English Watch—mixed up tenses, faulty sentence construction, verb phrase misuse, and highly convoluted, almost unfathomable feature writing.  

Also in this week's edition of Jose Carillo's English Forum, I'm sharing a pet theory of mine on why many nonnative English speakers can't speak or write the language well enough even if they become quite good at constructing grammar-perfect single sentences. This, to my mind, is due to their very limited repertoire of the connectives—the coordinating conjunctions, the conjunctive adverbs, the subordinating conjunctions, and, of course, the prepositions, which many people find such pesky and elusive things to learn. Some of us may not be even aware of it, but these connectives are absolute musts for flagging the contours and detours of our thoughts each time we write or talk. - Jose Carillo 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Cheap Plane Ticket of Cebu Pacific Air

P499 seats to select domestic and international destinations

We flew 906,118 passengers for the month of April 2010 alone! This achievement breaks the airline's own record of its best performing month, previously last March 2010 with 857,041 passengers.

CEB is happy to announce a seat sale to select domestic and all international destinations starting now until May 11, 2010.

For travel this July 1 to September 30, 2010, you can avail of the 'Go Lite' seat sale fare of P999 from Manila to Taipei or Kota Kinabalu.

P1,499 seats are up for grabs for Clark flights to Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore or Bangkok, as well as Cebu to Hong Kong and vice versa. Manila flights to Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Macau and Bangkok are also available for the 'Go Lite' seat sale fare of P1,499.

For the 'Go Lite' seat sale fare of P2,499, get to travel from Manila to Kuala Lumpur or Ho Chi Minh, and from Manila or Cebu to Singapore. Available also are 'Go Lite' P2,999 seats from Manila or Cebu to Incheon, Cebu to Pusan, and Manila to Jakarta or Shanghai.

Those off to Osaka, Japan can avail of the 'Go Fare' of P2,999.

Domestic flights are also on sale, for travel  from June 1 to July 31, 2010. Specifically, these are P499 'Go Lite' fares to and from CEB's Cebu hub, and to and from Davao and Cagayan de Oro. P699 'Go Lite' fares are also available from Manila to Bacolod, Calbayog, Catarman, Coron (Busuanga), Iloilo, Naga, Puerto Princesa, San Jose and Tuguegarao and vice versa.

We thank every Juan for their continued support, making Cebu Pacific number one and hope that  you can take advantage of our trademark low fares for your more frequent domestic and international travel!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Noynoy Aquino Mapipulates Philippine Election Survey?

As some sectors of the Philippine mass media become more and more preoccupied with making the news instead of just reporting it, some mind-bending semantic and journalistic disasters are bound to happen. This is what Jose Carillo's English Forum found out during the second week of its media coverage watch of the national election campaign. Imagine a business paper coming up with a headline that Nonoy Aquino "padded his poll lead" in the final Social Weather Stations pre-election survey that the paper itself had commissioned, and a leading Metro Manila broadsheet coming up with a headline that creates the distinct imagery of vice-presidential bet Jojo Binay hog-tying his opponent Mar Roxas while Noynoy Aquino scampers away from the scene of the crime. Ridiculous? Yes, but true! Read all about these language gaffes and more in my special media coverage watch.

To cap its campaign to help the electorate sort out truth and falsehood from the torrent of propaganda engulfing the national election campaign, the Forum is once again running "A primer on political propaganda," a cautionary essay I wrote during the run-up to the 2004 national elections. Along with my three-part series on the logical and verbal fallacies that the Forum posted earlier this year, I think this essay is as timely and as relevant as ever today. Please take time to read it before voting on May 10. 

Friday, May 7, 2010

Philippine Election: Comelec to Assist Illiterate Voters

BOARD of Elections Inspectors (BEI) can be asked to assist voters who are illiterate, says Atty Rodolfo Villares recentty.
During the daily program Mga Gutlo sa Kaalam uban sa Commission on Elections, new city election officers cited provisions of the Omnibus Election code which allows the BEI to assist illiterate or handicapped voters.
He also said the law allows two more persons to assist the voter; a relative within the fourth civil degree of affinity or consanguinity and a housemate who has the full trust and confidence of the voter.
Of course, the assistors are bound by law not to divulge in any manner anything the voter wants him to reflect in the official ballots.

The point popped upon the question whether party watchers would be allowed to assist voters.

No, they are not, Villares reiterated, as he hints that such a move can be illegal if pressed. - PIA

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Kelly Clarkson Concert in Manila Philippines

Bulletin Entertainment thinks your life should not suck by missing this opportunity to see "American Idol" Kelly Clarkson in person.

Fire off an email to us at: and tell us why we should take you and your friend to the concert. Include your full name, age, address and mobile phone number on the body of your email. We will pick five best answers and notify the winners via email and SMS message with details of how to get your pair of free tickets!

Winners must be able to present a valid ID and must be able to pick up the tickets at the Manila Bulletin office in Intramuros on May 1, Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m.

Kelly's "All I Ever Wanted Tour" in Manila is presented by Jag, PLDT Watch Pad, and ABS-CBN. It is also brought to you by Midas Productions, Pulp Live Productions,, in cooperation with the Manila Bulletin, Araneta Coliseum, Nissan, the official residence Discovery Suites, and other media partners.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Free of English grammar and usage errors

In keeping with the spirit of the New Year, I thought we should be more forgiving of the overly exuberant figurative language of the print and broadcast media these past several days. But I think levity in journalistic language shouldn't be pursued to the point of insensitivity and callousness, like what was done by a major Metro Manila broadsheet last January 31when it reported that owing to the full moon, Mayon Volcano might extend the "courtesy" of "natural loud bangs and fireworks display" to the Albayanons as they welcomed the New Year. This personification of Mayon as if it were just another devil-may-care New Year's Day reveler is wayward, dangerous language—one that trivializes the need for great caution at this time when Mayon is still perilously restive. Except for this kind of loose journalistic language, though, I'm glad to note that the major reportage of the Metro Manila broadsheets for that same day—the last day of 2009—was admirably free of English grammar and usage errors

To start off the New Year, I posted in Jose Carillo's English Forum two previously published essays of mine: the first on the need to widen our repertoire of English idioms to become truly fluent in the language, and the second a personal assessment in a little over 800 words of the world as it is today. The Forum then rounds off its first-week edition for 2010 with links to two thought-provoking retrospective articles on the human condition—one on the Peter Principle, a theory on managerial incompetence that raised eyebrows 40 years ago, and the other on mankind's abiding belief in end-of-the-world prophecies despite consistent outcomes to the contrary.

Cebu Pacific Scandal

Ivy Rozina Vega Mondonedo-Castro 17 January at 17:27

I am Elma Revillame. I had a confirmed flight with Cebu Pacific, flight 5J476, Bacolod-Manila, Sunday, Jan 17, 2010, departing time 1045H. My friend drove me down the airport and actually saw airport clock at 945AM. We were both confident to be on time. (By practice, you have to be in the airport an hour before the flight, right?)

As I was falling in line at the check-in counter (there were at least five people ahead of me), the counter suddenly closed. A security guard then approached all of us in line, got our tickets and wrote the time. Mine was indicated 1005AM. I didn't contest because, unaware of their intent, I also noticed at THAT time, it was already 1005 AM. I later realized they were going to use indicated time as "TIME OF ARRIVAL AT THE AIRPORT", and NOT as time they closed the counter. THE FLIGHT WAS FULL.

All of us in line waiting were then escorted to the station manager of Cebu Pacific, Bacolod-Silay Airport, MS MENBAH MALTE. She then announced all our "confirmed seats" were forfeited for being late, NO REFUND, NO REBOOKING. She said this to 15 people who 'weren't late' but unfortunately, were excess to the full capacity of the plane. I managed to get some names of the passengers who fall victim of this flight: <Names, Time written by the guard>
1. Conrado M. Duran Jr. , 1003AM
2. Rolando P. Duray, 1004 AM
3. Elma Revillame, 1005 AM
4. Mario Constantino Jr, 1005AM
5. Welyan Quia-ong, 1009AM

Naturally, we all argued. All of us were totally surprised of the announcement, especially there is NO REFUND AND NO REBOOKING. To note, most of the passengers I was with then were newly-graduated students who were on their way to Manila to take the board exam on Monday, January 18, 2010. Surely, money is an issue for them, and no outright cash to purchase another ticket. (If I haven't withdrawn some money earlier, I wouldn't have cash to buy another ticket with Zest Aire!)

To add insult to injury, the flight was DELAYED TO 12NN, 1 hour and 15mins DELAY!!! We continued arguing because obviously they had ample time to accommodate us for the delayed flight, if the issue is indeed the fact that we were late. But noooohhh, the issue here is THE FLIGHT WAS OVERBOOKED!!!

We argued and reasoned to the station manager for over an hour (to note the plane hasn't departed at that time yet) regarding the overbooking, but what MS MENBAH MALTE could only say is that the Aviation Board allows them to overbook by 10% of the plane's capacity. The big confusion is, should the 110% arrives on time (like what happened to 15 of us), what are they going to do? Ms Malte simply said, we're going to rebook the rest of the passengers to the next flight! And so, why weren't we accommodated then??? Because the guard wrote 3-9mins late in our tickets MISCHIEVOUSLY!!! (they emphasized counter closes 45mins before flight) BUT THE FLIGHT WAS DELAYED TO 12NN!!!!!

The truest issue here is THE FLIGHT WAS OVERBOOKED, and sadly we were last in line. It should be okay if we get a refund, or get rebooked to the next flight SINCE WE PAID FOR IT!!!! But alas! No! Cebu Pacific is going to get all our money, without giving us the service that we seek.

Last straw is, I just learned that for a regular or promo ticket, you CANNOT REFUND OR REBOOK YOUR TICKET IF YOU DIDN'T CONFIRM FLIGHT TWO DAYS PRIOR… Ergo, If you're 1min late (from the 45min cutoff), say bye-bye to your money…. I run the figure in my head, CEBU PACIFIC HAS SWINDLED OVER P35,000 for that flight alone!!!!! No wonder they became number one!!! They swindle all unknowing passengers!!!!

My message (and well I speak for the many of us being swindled): Are we just going allow Cebu Pacific to continue reaping off money to unknowing victims, like us??? Should we really allow them to overbook 10% and just say to those last in line, "Sorry, you're forfeited, NO REFUND NO REBOOKING –Ergo, thank you, you have just been swindled". Would DTI or whoever allow this to continue, the abuse of so many victims?

I talked to some security and airport personnel, they reportedly said, "Ma'am madalas nangyayari yan dito, gina-into lang kamo sg Cebu Pacific" (That happens all the time, Cebu Pacific keeps deceiving their passengers). Whoah! That's truly alarming!

I sincerely hope this gets to you, your loved ones and your friends. I truly hope nobody gets fooled again by this company! This is really really really alarming! Over P40K A FLIGHT???? That's huge swindling!!!! And should we count all their flights nationwide, and well, globally, OMG!!! You do the math!!!! 

Monday, May 3, 2010

Philippine DSWD Cards

WHEN local politicians threaten to de-list you from the government's premier subsidy program for indigents, if only to wrest from you a pro-vote for him, he is bluffing.

In fact, if he has replaced some beneficiaries from the list to accommodate his supporters, he can be warned for usurping the authority of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD); the agency mandated to implement the Pantawid sa Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

An advisory shared by the DSWD hints that local governments could not do that as the project implementation cost of the program solely comes from the national government.

"No amount of money is given to the provincial and municipal levels for the implementation of the program," the advisory states.

But with the government socialized family subsidy as a rich source of support that can be translated to votes, chief executives wittingly use the program to gain the edge in campaigns.

The 4Ps is a National Government program implemented by the DSWD, the social agency asserts.

By such, it is solely the DSWD who is responsible in undertaking the program's major activities including selection and targeting of areas and the enumeration and identification of potential household beneficiaries through the Proxy-Means Test.

Proxy means test is a simple statistical test to measure the socio-economic condition of the household and the National Household Targetting System undertakes this, DSWD said.

The same agency is looking into the enrollment and monitoring of compliance of the program's conditionalities as well as preparing the payments and release of cash grants directly to the 4Ps beneficiaries in coordination with the Land Bank of the Philippines.

Over this, the DSWD averred that the Local Government Units (LGU's) are just partners in the program implementation and are specifically responsible in ensuring the constant availability of supply-side requirements on health and education.

The DSWD would also be ensuring the effective implementation of 4Ps in their respective localities using all the systems, procedures, and components of the program based on the 4Ps policies and guidelines set by the DSWD National Office.

With this, DSWD warned about de-listing, replacement, and addition of areas or beneficiaries as this is as a task solely for the DSWD National Office and are therefore not in the powers of the local governments.

For details, DSWD said one may call the Regional 4Ps Information Officer Aileen Lariba (0917-381-5555) at tel nos. 2329505 / 2329507 or Asela Bella Tse (0905-403-0386) for related inquiries. (PIA-Bohol) 

Bohol Election Update 2010

All roads will lead to the clustered precincts in the 1,109 barangays in 47 towns, where thousands of registered voters will troop to savor the first poll automation next Monday even as the Commission on Elections is now ready to conduct the synchronized elections.

Nobody knows yet how many of the total 732,696 registered voters in Bohol will cast their votes on Monday. But some sectors believe that it would be higher than the last elections.

The Comelec provincial office yesterday bared that the official ballots have already been completely delivered to the municipalities while the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines for every clustered precinct have yet to be sent to their destinations.  

Comelec information officer-designate Joven Beniga said that PCOS machines will be delivered sometime this week or as early as tomorrow after their testing.

These machines for the first time of election automation are being tested by the Smartmatic and the Department of Science and Technology last week.

Beniga said that the official ballots and the PCOS arrived here last Wednesday. The poll agency started the delivery the official ballots to their destinations for three days - Wednesday to Friday but the PCOS were not because of the mandatory testing. So far, there have been no hitches on the testing, he said.

In-charge of the official ballots delivery is the Air21 and Fedex while those of the PCOS the Argo forwarder, Beniga said.

He said that the delivery of the ballots was escorted and closely guarded by the deputized police officers and the Philippine military men. The same situation will take place on the delivery of the PCOS machines this week.

It will be recalled that Comelec Manila completed ahead of the schedule the printing of more 50 million official ballots needed for the entire registered electorate in the country.

Meanwhile, the campaign will end on May 8, 2010. in accordance with the Comelec ruling. (RVO)

Update Philippine Elections 2010

With barely nine days left before the historic May 10 polls, Bishop Leonardo Medroso rallied the 1.1 million Boholanos to bend their knees in prayers for enlightenment and guidance in selecting the candidates they will vote on Election Day.

Bishop Medroso echoed the call together with the clergy during a prayer procession and mass held at the Cogon Shrine last Wednesday.

The call came as a 9-day novena prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate heart of Mary started yesterday and will wind up on May 9, eve of the election.

The church official said with the unabated corruption in governance, the electorates should carefully select their chosen candidates whom they think can make a difference in the call for clean governance.

"Each vote is sacred," he said as he reminded voters to check every candidate as to their integrity and capability to run the affairs of governance from the presidency down to the local officials.

"Everyday should be a day of prayer in the lips of every Boholano," the bishop appealed as this is the only way that the right leaders can be elected.
With the expected massive vote buying and intimidation in some areas, the more people should pray for the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, the church official stressed.

"We should elect people who are not corrupt and those bets who advocate pro-life," he said.

Medroso led the concelebrated mass which capped the prayer-procession that gathered parishioners from four jump-off points, namely St. Joseph cathedral, Lourdes Parish Church, Tubod chapel and at the HNU-Dampas gate.

Prayers and hymns were recited from the studio of station dyRD, beamed through the city streets.

The prayer procession and mass bannered the theme "Inubanan sa Pag-Ampo, Botohi ang Kandidato nga Ligdong ug Dunay Kakayahan nga Pinili sa Imong Nalamdagan nga Konsensya" (With prayers, vote for the right candidates based on your enlightened conscience).

The gathering of the faithful participated by various church-mandated organizations was spearheaded by the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (BCBP).

Philippine Election 2010 Issues

The electorate voiced out their sentiments regarding their most dreaded fears in next Monday's national and local elections.

Harassment or intimidation done by incumbent politicians and their men topped the "fear factor" of the electorate during a random survey conducted yesterday by the top-rated Radyo Merkado," over dyRD.

The independent weekly radio survey asked its listeners on the "things they fear would happen come Election Day?"

Some 34% of the respondents said harassment of voters would be the most dangerous thing expected to happen in the May 10 polls.

Majority of the respondents who noted harassment as their first fear, cited the dreaded City Task Force created by Mayor Dan Lim in the city which will be used as his private army and goons to demand votes from the electorate during the May 10 elections.

Twenty-two percent of those who fear "harassment on election day" as the primary concern cited the well entrenched members of the dreaded task force in the city who are already assigned in the city's 15 barangays. In fact, their mobility is already assured after Mayor Lim purchased "spider cabs for them" since he created the group which he called as the City Monitoring Team.

Even during the campaign trail, supporters of mayoralty bet Jose Antonio Veloso already reported of harassment made by the Task Force members to those who will attend his nightly caucus in the barangays.

Propaganda materials of congressional bet, former Gov. Rene Relampagos and mayoralty bet Veloso were ordered detached by task force members from tricycle units amid threat they will not be renewed of their city hall permits.

Veloso, during a radio interview, said the intimidation will even worsen on Election Day. He forecast that the task force members will be tapped by the mayor to block some of their supporters from going to the precincts which Lim did in the previous elections.

Some respondents, on the other hand, also expressed fear of the worsening intimidation in some towns in the second district in the congressional race contested by Gov. Erico Aumentado and Trinidad mayor Judith Cajes, wife of last-termer solon Roberto Cajes.

The survey showed that next to harassment, the electorate expects massive vote buying on Election Day. Some 29 percent of the respondents cited vote buying as a major election violation which is expected to be at its peak on the eve of and on the Election Day itself.

As of this time, the town of Loay was reported to have the most "expensive" vote buying which already started during the campaign trail. The mayoralty race is contested by re-electionist Mayor May Lim-Imboy and Willy Flores of Alona Kew Resort.

Some respondents revealed that special operations locally called as "pusil" will also be applied during Monday's election in the hotly contested mayoralty races in the city and towns.

"Pusil," according to the informant-respondent is done by tough guys supporting the mayoralty bet who will intimidate household members not to vote, and at the same time, will dole out few thousands of pesos in exchange for their compliance of their request for them not to go to their voting precinct.

Nine percent of the respondents in the radio survey expressed fear for computer malfunction and possible power interruption on Election Day up to the counting of votes.

Other concerns of respondents on election: insistence of some party leaders to expose the voters ballots through "internal agreement", lack of transportation in the hinterlands and a possible people power in the event the so-called "people's choice" might not win in the electoral counting.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Philippine Election 2010 Campaign Materials

The Office of the secretary to Manila Mayor Alfredo S. Lim has warned against tearing down the yellow banners displayed in the city and bearing the faces of slain senator Benigno `Ninoy' Aquino, Jr. and his wife, former President Corazon Aquino unless they are ready to face charges.

Lawyer Rafaelito Garayblas said that last month, city legal officer Renato dela Cruz wrote the Commission on Elections to seek its opinion on the action taken by some Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) personnel, assisted by policemen from the National Capital Region Office (NCRPO), who jointly tore down the Cory and Ninoy banners from the center islands along Roxas Boulevard and Padre Burgos Street and the park where the statues of the Aquino couple stood, at the corner of P. Burgos and Bonifacio Drive in Ermita.

In his letter to Atty. Ferdinand Rafanan, Director IV of the Comelec's law department, Dela Cruz asked if such move by the MMDA and the NCRPO was authorized by the Comelec.

In his letter-reply, Rafanan said the Comelec did not issue any authority to remove the said banners.

"Further, banners bearing only the pictures and names of Ninoy and Cory Aquino are not considered election campaign materials as provided under Comelec Resolution 875," Rafanan said in his letter, which was signed not only by him but also by Director III Atty. Josllyn de Mesa and Atty. Ma Juan Valeza, attorney IV of the investigation and prosecution division.

Garayblas said the city government had maintained that the yellow banners only bore pictures and names of both Ninoy and Cory and were the city's little way of paying tribute to them as their modern-day heroes.

Noynoy Aquino's Psychological Status

As an observer of language, I came across a very instructive case study recently of how a revealing, off-the-cuff press statement of a presidential candidate, Sen. Benigno Aquino III, was fudged in translation and in paraphrase by certain media outlets that reported it. The concern of Jose Carillo's English Forum being primarily the use and misuse of language, however, I would neither dwell on the political implications of that statement nor make any psychological inferences from it. My critique will simply focus on the blatant unfaithfulness of the translation from Tagalog to English by two media outlets, and on how another media outlet presented as direct quotes a heavily paraphrased and fudged English translation of Sen. Aquino's actual statement in Tagalog.

My critique of this unileral fudging of Sen. Aquino's press statement leads off my special watch of media's coverage of the national election campaign. I'm doing this instead of my usual media grammar watch from now until the voting on May 10. It will focus on the language used by the election protagonists and by the media outlets themselves in their poll campaign reportage. I believe that this special watch is called for at this time when most Filipinos are now in such a frenzy over the coming elections.