PRICE OF PNoy's INCOMPETENCE

Senator Sergio Osmeña III has finally confirmed what myriad of Filipinos—and even foreigners—have known over the past three years (2011-2013): the lack or absence of competence of Benigno S. Aquino 3rd as President of the Republic of the Philippines! The revelation of Senator Serge Osmeña last Thursday, March 13, 2014, has become the talk of the town after his press conference was broadcast on radio and television in real time and published in the national newspapers next day. What made the disclosure very credible is Senator Osmeña’s being a “key political ally” and a campaign strategist of President B. S Aquino III in the 2010 presidential elections. Actually, President Aquino had already demonstrated his “sterling” incompetence on his second month in office after his inauguration on June 30, 2010. This was in the infamous Hostage Incident at Luneta (Rizal Park) on August 23, 2010 when tourists from Hong Kong were unfortunately killed by a gunman, a desperate former policeman, because of the miserable mishandling of the crisis situation – as if this country had no president. The pathetic performance of Mr. Aquino on the Hostage Incident clearly showed that incompetence can inflict more harm or damage to a country and its people than the much-despised corruption under the administrations of former presidents Joseph “ERAP” Estrada and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The revelation of Senator Serge Osmeña that President Aquino is “a very poor manager” is certainly most welcome. The chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy also described PNoy and Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla as “awful managers,” saying that “we would not be having this of problems (power outages and price hike) if they were good managers.” It seems like he has had enough of the two former college classmates.

INQUIRER EDITORIAL: Building better cities

2nd Annual Pacific Cities Sustainability Initiative (PCSI) Forum held last week in Manila: In welcoming the delegates to the PCSI Forum, ULI Philippines chair Carlos S. Rufino said it was a privilege for the Philippines to host the conference “given our own most recent experience” with Yolanda/Haiyan. He said that “despite the geographical vulnerability and environmental challenges in this age of climate change, the Asia-Pacific region has never been more resilient.” Asia Society Philippines Foundation chair Doris Magsaysay-Ho said the PCSI Forum would provide city mayors and their administrators with “the chance to draw out ideas and principles from the experiences of the gathered expert participants.” And along with the timely exchange of ideas, the conference also laid down the groundwork for the 2015 Philippines Livable and Resilient Cities Competition. Twenty-one Philippine cities—from Angeles to Zamboanga—will vie for top honors in best urban planning and disaster risk reduction to meet the challenge of climate change. With extreme weather disturbances now the new normal worldwide, it’s but appropriate for governments to seek “best practices and new approaches” to bringing about “livable cities” that will ensure the wellbeing, indeed the very survival, of their constituents. It takes bold thinking as well as an open mind.In the Asia-Pacific, the modern city also needs to be “resilient”—meaning capable of surviving not only the natural disasters that regularly come our way but also the unnatural blight brought about by unchecked urban growth. This was the essence of the 2nd Annual Pacific Cities Sustainability Initiative (PCSI) Forum held last week in Manila, where foreign and local experts in urban living and sustainability shared their thoughts and discussed possibilities concerning such life-and-death issues as disaster preparedness, recovery, integrated planning, housing, investment, and good governance. The idea was to engage and share ideas within the community of nations, according to the reality that is climate change.

ALSO: ‘Livable cities’ forum opens

As some of the best minds in planning “resilient” and “livable” cities convene in Manila this week for an international forum on urban challenges, a design and urban planning competition will be launched to get city planners across the Philippines to better plan for climate change and natural disasters. Asia Society and the Urban Land Institute (ULI) have convened leading global experts beginning March 11 up to the 13th for the 2nd Annual Pacific Cities Sustainability Initiative (PCSI) Forum. This is an invitation-only group of urban sustainability experts from across the world who will share best practices and new approaches for creating livable, sustainable cities across the -acific that should survive and thrive in the face of climate change and extreme weather. The urgency of preparing for climate change is specially significant in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) and the reconstruction efforts, top officials of Asia Society and ULI said in a press briefing on Tuesday. Aside from rapid urbanization, congestion, the need for mass transit, water resources, power, better law enforcement and public services, the groups believe that cities now face the challenge of a climate-defined future.
Forum speakers include Secretary Panfilo Lacson, the presidential assistant for recovery and rehabilitation; Robert Parker, former mayor of Christchurch, New Zealand, and Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, head of the Presidential Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight in Indonesia.


ALSO: The Leapfrog Project seeks sustainable solutions for Yolanda-hit areas

When Typhoon Yolanda hit central Philippines in November, the world rallied to help the
survivors restore normalcy to their lives. However, while the outsize generosity shown by both the international community and other Filipinos made a huge dent in the victims' needs, fraud and political intrigue slowed down aid distribution. Furthermore, said Filipino-American architect Lira Luis, funds donated by organizations without local contacts means there is a real possibility that "very little of it ends up in the hands of those who need it most.” Because of this, Luis has come up with the Leapfrog Project, which aims to provide direct assistance to the region hit by the super typhoon by giving locals the power to bring change to their community. The project "centers on the concept that it could potentially be possible to create a blueprint for a metropolis with embedded resilience to extreme geological and meteorological events" such as the super typhoon. Furthermore, the project wants to help empower the Yolanda survivors to help themselves. "Dimly lit or dark places have become dangerous situations for women and children at night, particularly in tent cities or refugee camps," said Luis, referring to reported cases of sexual violence in the aftermath of the disaster. Addressing this problem will be Living Balls, fixtures that use microorganisms, such as a native species of bioluminescent plankton, "intended to light up the city as it begins rebuilding." At the end of their use, the plankton will be returned to their natural habitat, making it a "closed-loop system."


READ FULL REPORTS HERE:

Price of PNoy’s Incompetence March 14, 2014 11:40 pm by RICK RAMOS INSIGHTS


by RICK RAMOS

MANILA, MARCH 10, 2014
(MANILA TIMES) Senator Sergio Osmeña III has finally confirmed what myriad of Filipinos—and even foreigners—have known over the past three years (2011-2013): the lack or absence of competence of Benigno S. Aquino 3rd as President of the Republic of the Philippines!

The revelation of Senator Serge Osmeña last Thursday, March 13, 2014, has become the talk of the town after his press conference was broadcast on radio and television in real time and published in the national newspapers next day.

What made the disclosure very credible is Senator Osmeña’s being a “key political ally” and a campaign strategist of President B. S Aquino III in the 2010 presidential elections.

Actually, President Aquino had already demonstrated his “sterling” incompetence on his second month in office after his inauguration on June 30, 2010.

This was in the infamous Hostage Incident at Luneta (Rizal Park) on August 23, 2010 when tourists from Hong Kong were unfortunately killed by a gunman, a desperate former policeman, because of the miserable mishandling of the crisis situation – as if this country had no president.

In a parliamentary system, PNoy would not have lasted long as prime minister where he could be replaced by his own party or by the ruling coalition in matter of months.

But then in the first place, the likes of Benigno S. Aquino 3rd would never be chosen as prime minister by his peers, the members of parliament (MPs) due to his lack of qualifications.

The pathetic performance of Mr. Aquino on the Hostage Incident clearly showed that incompetence can inflict more harm or damage to a country and its people than the much-despised corruption under the administrations of former presidents Joseph “ERAP” Estrada and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The revelation of Senator Serge Osmeña that President Aquino is “a very poor manager” is certainly most welcome. The chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy also described PNoy and Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla as “awful managers,” saying that “we would not be having this of problems (power outages and price hike) if they were good managers.”

It seems like he has had enough of the two former college classmates.

Last February 27, Mindanao suffered at least 12 hours of power outage (blackout). Malacañang had announced the power crisis in Mindanao would last this summer from March to May (at the very least). Earlier, the power shortage in Luzon started on Nov. 11, 2013, but the Department of Energy (DoE) had apparently no plans to address it.

Senator Serge Osmeña III revealed that he had asked President Aquino to fire his Energy Secretary (Petilla) two months ago in January 2014. However, the Chief Executive did not let go of his dear friend and former classmate at the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU). And yet the worse is yet to come “with the way he (P-Noy) solves things,” as Senator Osmeña disclosed. “He would stay with the people he appointed.”

The response of P-Noy to the demand of the Senate Chairman of Energy to fire his Energy Secretary is most revealing and damaging, too. President Aquino called for a meeting with the senior Senator Osmeña to placate him, only for him not to show up for their appointment!

This is the height of immaturity and says a lot about the puerile president. Indeed, there is a child-president in Malacañang!

Other than the lack or absence of competence, the biggest problem of PNoy, which he has displayed in the past three years and eight months, is his unbearable arrogance. He is so proud that he will never admit having made a mistake since he became the president.

President Aquino appears to have inherited the genes of his late mother’s own brand of arrogance. This was best reflected in her attitude of not welcoming “unsolicited advice,” as if she were not the President of the Philippines.

Senator Serge Osmeña has suggested that it would do good for PNoy to admit his mistakes for the good of the country.

“When you are willing to accept that you made a mistake it’s easier to correct it. I am not saying that the corrections will be ideal, but first, you accept that you made a mistake. Then ‘yes, we will make correction.’ ”

Senator Osmeña has done our people a great service with his revelation of how President Benigno S. Aquino 3rd is running the country. I am glad that he has finally spoken about the way PNoy does things as President.

After the Department of Energy (DoE), perhaps the good senator from Cebu can also expose and confirm the despicable incompetence of the top officials of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) and the Department of Public Works & Highways (DPWH) that he personally knows of first hand. Senator Serge Osmeña knows a lot!

INQUIRER EDITORIAL

Building better cities Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:30 am | Sunday, March 16th, 2014

MANILA -With extreme weather disturbances now the new normal worldwide, it’s but appropriate for governments to seek “best practices and new approaches” to bringing about “livable cities” that will ensure the wellbeing, indeed the very survival, of their constituents. It takes bold thinking as well as an open mind.

In the Asia-Pacific, the modern city also needs to be “resilient”—meaning capable of surviving not only the natural disasters that regularly come our way but also the unnatural blight brought about by unchecked urban growth.

This was the essence of the 2nd Annual Pacific Cities Sustainability Initiative (PCSI) Forum held last week in Manila, where foreign and local experts in urban living and sustainability shared their thoughts and discussed possibilities concerning such life-and-death issues as disaster preparedness, recovery, integrated planning, housing, investment, and good governance. The idea was to engage and share ideas within the community of nations, according to the reality that is climate change.

The PCSI was launched in 2009 as a collaboration between the influential think tanks Asia Society and Urban Land Institute (ULI) in partnership with other leading organizations and schools. It is aimed at fostering meaningful discussion among the Asia-Pacific countries toward such goals as reducing energy use, protecting the environment, adapting to climate change, and building smart, livable cities.

The Asia-Pacific region regularly experiences all manner of natural disasters from typhoons to earthquakes to tsunamis.

The Philippines continues to suffer the effects of the devastation wrought by Supertyphoon “Yolanda/Haiyan” in November 2013. In many frightening ways we have been made aware of the wisdom of preparing for the worst, and of the utter folly of haphazard preparations.

In welcoming the delegates to the PCSI Forum, ULI Philippines chair Carlos S. Rufino (photo) said it was a privilege for the Philippines to host the conference “given our own most recent experience” with Yolanda/Haiyan.

He said that “despite the geographical vulnerability and environmental challenges in this age of climate change, the
Asia-Pacific region has never been more resilient.”

Asia Society Philippines Foundation chair Doris Magsaysay-Ho said the PCSI Forum would provide city mayors and their administrators with “the chance to draw out ideas and principles from the experiences of the gathered expert participants.”

And along with the timely exchange of ideas, the conference also laid down the groundwork for the 2015 Philippines Livable and Resilient Cities Competition. Twenty-one Philippine cities—from Angeles to Zamboanga—will vie for top honors in best urban planning and disaster risk reduction to meet the challenge of climate change.

The competition thus promises to be an opportunity to apply the lessons learned from the conference—a significant learning experience that cannot but lead to better lives.

“We are confident that the PCSI Forum will serve as a platform for key leaders to engage in constructive dialogue, share valuable experiences and practical solutions to promote international partnerships, help each other become more prepared, and plan together sustainable and resilient communities for the next generations,” Rufino said.

Applying the lessons requires both ambition and devotion. And it has been done.

After the terrible earthquake that leveled Christchurch in 2011, New Zealand lifted interest rates last week after a three-year moratorium due to its booming economic recovery.

Such bullishness was also exhibited in 2012 by Auckland, New Zealand’s largest and most populous city, when it launched a 30-year blueprint to turn itself into the world’s most livable city.

The PCSI Forum highlighted the urgent need for concerted thinking in battling the dangers besetting the planet. If our cities are to survive—and flourish—in this changing world, then it is imperative to buckle down to work. It is only through working together that humankind will survive.

At no time has the adage “no man is an island” been more resonant than now.

‘Livable cities’ forum opens By Doris C. Dumlao Philippine Daily Inquirer 6:09 am | Wednesday, March 12th, 2014


Secretary Panfilo Lacson, the presidential assistant for recovery and rehabilitation, is one of the speakers at the ongoing 2nd Annual Pacific Cities Sustainability Initiative Forum. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—As some of the best minds in planning “resilient” and “livable” cities convene in Manila this week for an international forum on urban challenges, a design and urban planning competition will be launched to get city planners across the Philippines to better plan for climate change and natural disasters.

Asia Society and the Urban Land Institute (ULI) have convened leading global experts beginning March 11 up to the 13th for the 2nd Annual Pacific Cities Sustainability Initiative (PCSI) Forum.

This is an invitation-only group of urban sustainability experts from across the world who will share best practices and new approaches for creating livable, sustainable cities across the -acific that should survive and thrive in the face of climate change and extreme weather.

The urgency of preparing for climate change is specially significant in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) and the reconstruction efforts, top officials of Asia Society and ULI said in a press briefing on Tuesday.

Aside from rapid urbanization, congestion, the need for mass transit, water resources, power, better law enforcement and public services, the groups believe that cities now face the challenge of a climate-defined future.

Forum speakers include Secretary Panfilo Lacson, the presidential assistant for recovery and rehabilitation; Robert Parker, former mayor of Christchurch, New Zealand, and Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, head of the Presidential Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight in Indonesia.

“Despite the geographical vulnerability and environmental challenges in this age of climate change, the Asia Pacific region has never been more resilient,” said Carlos Rufino, chair of ULI Philippines.

“Everyone here in the Philippines is privileged to host this prominent conference given our own most recent experience with Typhoon Haiyan.

We are confident the PCSI Forum will serve as a platform for key leaders to engage in constructive dialogue, share valuable experiences and practical solutions to promote international partnerships, help each other become more prepared and plan together sustainable and resilient communities for the next generations,” Rufino said.

Doris Magsaysay-Ho, chair of the Asia Society Philippine Foundation, said the forum would play a key role in the upcoming “Livable and Resilient Cities Competition” organized by the Apec (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) 2015 National Organizing Council, the National Competitiveness Board and the World Wildlife Fund, supported with a grant from USAID.

FOM GMA NEWS NETWORK

The Leapfrog Project seeks sustainable solutions for Yolanda-hit areas By RIE TAKUMI, GMA NewsFebruary 23, 2014 8:31pm 46 63 1 171


The Leapfrog Project, initiated by Filipino-American-owned architecture firm ALLL, includes a lateral leadership of local Filipino professionals from the WorkLand M&E Institute, Inc., University of the Philippines, National Housing Authority, United Architects of the Philippines, Social Project.PH, Philippine government agencies, and international professionals from Bionic City, The Caritas Project, OREM Foundation, and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) including graduates from Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin.

MANILA -When Typhoon Yolanda hit central Philippines in November, the world rallied to help the survivors restore normalcy to their lives.

However, while the outsize generosity shown by both the international community and other Filipinos made a huge dent in the victims' needs, fraud and political intrigue slowed down aid distribution. Furthermore, said Filipino-American architect Lira Luis, funds donated by organizations without local contacts means there is a real possibility that "very little of it ends up in the hands of those who need it most.”

Because of this, Luis has come up with the Leapfrog Project, which aims to provide direct assistance to the region hit by the super typhoon by giving locals the power to bring change to their community.

By the people, for the people

The Leapfrog Project aims to help Yolanda-stricken areas shift towards sustainable development through innovative designs and with the help of local communities.

According to its website, the project will be a collaboration among "the most forward-thinking minds in the field of sustainable built environment" and the socio-economic development sectors. It will consider "brilliant ideas that will be found most appropriate and supportive of the achievement of the project goal," it said.


One of Project Leapfrog's planned installations: "living balls" of luminescence. Below are renderings of the balls during daytime and at night. Images courtesy of Lira Luis/Project Leapfrog

The project "centers on the concept that it could potentially be possible to create a blueprint for a metropolis with embedded resilience to extreme geological and meteorological events" such as the super typhoon.

Furthermore, the project wants to help empower the Yolanda survivors to help themselves.

"I have initiated the Leapfrog Project as an initiative based on a balanced collaboration with Filipinos that moves away from acts of imposition," Luis said in an emailed statement to GMA News Online Saturday.

She added, "By directly including the locals in a hands-on capacity, we become true supporters to them as they rebuild the Philippines."

This way, the project also hopes to remind Yolanda victims that they are not alone, even as support begins to dwindle.

"It’s our message to Haiyan survivors that they would not be forgotten," said Luis.

Living architecture

One of the Leapfrog Project's planned installations targets one problem in Yolanda-hit areas: the lack of light at night.

"Dimly lit or dark places have become dangerous situations for women and children at night, particularly in tent cities or refugee camps," said Luis, referring to reported cases of sexual violence in the aftermath of the disaster.

Addressing this problem will be Living Balls, fixtures that use microorganisms, such as a native species of bioluminescent plankton, "intended to light up the city as it begins rebuilding." At the end of their use, the plankton will be returned to their natural habitat, making it a "closed-loop system."

Luis' idea for the balls came from an earlier project, Living Walls, which use urine as a natural fertilizer to encourage the growth of algae and small plants on special panels made of ceramic or concrete.

The Living Ball installations, said Luis, symbolize its creators' vision for "a future city development where each piece demonstrates resiliency in rebuilding."

To make the Living Balls a reality, Leapfrog Project set up a page on local fundraising site SocialProject.ph to collect funds from interested organizations and individuals.

An offline fundraising event for the Living Balls will also take place during the project's launch at the 2014 American Institute of Architects' national convention in June.

Paglingon sa pinagmulan

Luis says the Leapfrog Project is one way for her to pay her native land back for everything it taught her.

"I want to help the Philippines rebuild because it hits close to home. The Philippines is where I was first taught that architecture is a service profession," she said.

A graduate of the University of Santo Tomas, Luis said her experiences in the university foreshadowed the work she would be doing in the future.

"I recall walking through waist-deep flooded streets in Manila during regular tropical cyclones...[I] could only imagine [how much worse] Haiyan’s landfall in central Philippines [was]," she said.

As the first Filipino graduate from Taliesin, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, Luis felt it was only right to use her knowledge to serve other Filipinos.

"I may live outside the Philippines, but my [heart] burns for the Filipinos displaced by Haiyan," Luis said. — BM, GMA News


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2014 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE