BULLETIN EDITORIAL: LOVE, RESPECT FOR FILIPINO MOTHERS

Mother’s Day, a very special celebration in the Philippines and in many other parts of the world, is observed on May 11, 2014, to pay tribute and honor to the woman who gives birth, takes care of the family, rears children and sees to their physical, spiritual and values formation from infancy to adulthood. The mother is the source of strength and stability for the family. A Jewish proverb says “God could not be everywhere and therefore He made mothers.” Filipino families express love and respect for mothers through special treats and gifts. Some say it with flowers, chocolates, balloons, and cards specially crafted by school children. Schools devote lessons on how to remember mothers and shower them with love and attention on Mother’s Day. Families treat them to lunch or dinner in their favorite restaurants, malls, or places of recreation. Mother’s Day celebrations were started by early Greeks and Romans, who held the Spring festivals dedicated to maternal goddesses. Early Christians observed a festival in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In United States of America (USA), the idea of an official celebration for mothers was suggested by Julia Ward Howe in 1872. She wrote a Mother’s Day Proclamation, urging mothers to campaign against war. It was Anna Jarvis of Grafton, West Virginia, who in 1908 pushed for her mother’s dream of a day to honor all mothers. Because of her efforts, President Woodrew Wilson declared in 1914 the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day and made it an official holiday. READ MORE...

Ping and Kiko

Former Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan could perhaps take hints from his erstwhile colleague, ex-Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson on what awaits him in joining the Cabinet of President Benigno “Noy” Aquino III. Pangilinan was sworn into office last Tuesday as presidential assistant for food security and agricultural modernization. Whew! What a long job title! So, let us just call this newly created Cabinet post using its acronym PAFSAM. Some others though simply call him as food security czar. Much earlier, President Aquino appointed Lacson to a specially created new post called as the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery, or OPARR. Lacson is being called “rehab czar” for short, supposedly in charge of the rehab for the disaster-stricken provinces hit by super typhoon Yolanda. Six months after Yolanda struck our country on November 8 last year, Lacson admitted the government’s rehab program for Yolanda-stricken areas has not gained much headway. Since he was appointed on December 1 last year, Lacson rued his OPARR could not move any faster the national government-led rehabilitation efforts to substantially ease the plight of survivors and victims of the Yolanda disaster. READ MORE...

ALSO: 'Typhoon Kiko' and agricultural Yolanda

Intentional or accidental, the appointment of former Senator Kiko Pangilinan as Presidential Adviser on Agricultural Modernization has caused such a major disturbance in the peace and tranquility at the Department of Agriculture that he can be called Typhoon Kiko. I consider the former Senator a friend and the reason for writing this piece is not to be critical, but to merely bring out in the open issues surrounding his appointment, and as well as the concerns of people in the service and affected sectors. Perhaps in doing so I will help Kiko be forewarned and therefore forearmed. As chairman of the Senate committee on agriculture, Kiko has had a long-term interest and concern for Philippine agriculture. It is unfortunate that many see his posting as nothing more than positioning him to be in the national limelight prior to the 2016 election. Kiko’s challenge now is to prove that his appointment is more than political positioning. From day one, Kiko’s appointment has been suspect and questioned for several reasons. First, if he is a presidential “adviser,” what qualifies him to advise? His career path is not agricultural but legal and legislative. At the most he is a hobby farmer or a gentleman farmer. If he is an adviser, why give him Cabinet rank in a department where the official Cabinet member and Secretary of Agriculture is still in office and has not resigned. READ MORE...

ALSO: Of mothers and heritage

There is a photo, taken at the height of the post-Aquino assassination protest actions in 1984, that shows a woman defiantly waving a protest flag in front of police troops bombarding her with streams of water from fire hoses. The woman was Louise G. Orendain and she was then 64 years old, a retired journalist who never retired from her duties as a concerned citizen and her personal mission to right the wrongs of the world. Her daughter Joan, no pushover herself, recalls a mother who was so busy pursuing her journalistic calling that she had no time to cook or look after her brood. So it fell on Joan, the eldest daughter, to look after things on the domestic front. Other such mother-daughter pairings might have resulted in resentment and remorse. But Joan remembers being so entranced by her mother’s strong personality that she ended up being a writer and PR practitioner herself. When Louise turned 88, her children threw her a grand celebration. And when her turn came to greet her family and friends, she went up to the mic, burst into a shimmering smile, told them how much she enjoyed the occasion, then collapsed in a heap. They rushed her to the hospital emergency room, but they knew she was gone, at least physically. “She died and lived in the best possible way,” Joan now says, recalling a mother who pursued her passions and lived as fully as she wanted, showing her daughters an example of how to live without compromise. There are mothers and there are daughters, and there’s no template on what sort of relationship makes for a perfect pairing. But it’s true that our mothers will always be with us, in our memories and in our DNA. And sometimes, when we yell at our children, cook a favorite dish, or choose a particular scent, our mothers suddenly surface, reflected back in our own selves. READ MORE...


READ FULL REPORTS HERE:

Editorial: Love, respect for Filipino mothers May 11, 2014 Manila Bulletin


A FILIPINO MOTHER

MANILA, MAY 12, 2014 (BULLETIN) Mother’s Day, a very special celebration in the Philippines and in many other parts of the world, is observed on May 11, 2014, to pay tribute and honor to the woman who gives birth, takes care of the family, rears children and sees to their physical, spiritual and values formation from infancy to adulthood.

The mother is the source of strength and stability for the family. A Jewish proverb says “God could not be everywhere and therefore He made mothers.”

Filipino families express love and respect for mothers through special treats and gifts. Some say it with flowers, chocolates, balloons, and cards specially crafted by school children. Schools devote lessons on how to remember mothers and shower them with love and attention on Mother’s Day. Families treat them to lunch or dinner in their favorite restaurants, malls, or places of recreation.

Mother’s Day celebrations were started by early Greeks and Romans, who held the Spring festivals dedicated to maternal goddesses. Early Christians observed a festival in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In United States of America (USA), the idea of an official celebration for mothers was suggested by Julia Ward Howe in 1872.

She wrote a Mother’s Day Proclamation, urging mothers to campaign against war. It was Anna Jarvis of Grafton, West Virginia, who in 1908 pushed for her mother’s dream of a day to honor all mothers. Because of her efforts, President Woodrew Wilson declared in 1914 the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day and made it an official holiday.

Nations celebrate it on different dates and differently according to culture and tradition. In Britain and Ireland, it is “Mothering Sunday” on the 4th Sunday of Lent. New Zealand, Australia, and Canada celebrate it on the 2nd Sunday of May. Spain’s Dia de la Madre is observed on May 6. In Bolivia, Mother’s Day is May 27. In Antwerp, Belgium, it is on August 15. Norway holds it on 2nd Sunday of February. In Sweden, the last Sunday of May is Mother’s Day.

Every Filipino devotes a day to honor the most important woman in the life of the family – the mother.

She is the guiding light and the beacon who holds the family together.

There are innumerable ways to celebrate Mother’s Day, but the underlying measure is the love, respect, and appreciation accorded to her by family, relatives, and friends.

FROM PHILSTAR

Ping and Kiko


By Marichu A. Villanueva

MANILA, MAY 12, 2014 (PHILSTAR)  COMMONSENSE By Marichu A. Villanueva (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 9, 2014 - 12:00am

Former Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan could perhaps take hints from his erstwhile colleague, ex-Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson on what awaits him in joining the Cabinet of President Benigno “Noy” Aquino III. Pangilinan was sworn into office last Tuesday as presidential assistant for food security and agricultural modernization.

Whew! What a long job title! So, let us just call this newly created Cabinet post using its acronym PAFSAM. Some others though simply call him as food security czar.

Much earlier, President Aquino appointed Lacson to a specially created new post called as the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery, or OPARR. Lacson is being called “rehab czar” for short, supposedly in charge of the rehab for the disaster-stricken provinces hit by super typhoon Yolanda.

Six months after Yolanda struck our country on November 8 last year, Lacson admitted the government’s rehab program for Yolanda-stricken areas has not gained much headway. Since he was appointed on December 1 last year, Lacson rued his OPARR could not move any faster the national government-led rehabilitation efforts to substantially ease the plight of survivors and victims of the Yolanda disaster.

Lacson did not mince words to spread around the blame for this seeming lack of progress in the national government implementation of Yolanda recovery and rehabilitation programs and projects. Without mentioning names, Lacson merely pointed to two unidentified Cabinet secretaries who have been dragging the OPARR in doing its job at faster pace.

Funding is not a problem because international as well as local support for the Yolanda rehabilitation program continues to pour in. In fact, much of the international funding goes directly to non-government organizations (NGOs) implementing their own recovery and rehabilitation assistance to Yolanda areas. But Lacson as OPARR chief has no power over the use of these funds that are channeled to the national government.

Saying he could only do so much under Memorandum Order (MO) No. 62 that created the OPARR on December 6 last year, Lacson noted his job description also limited his powers and authority on government line agencies. Under this MO 62, P-Noy designated Lacson as the “over-all manager and coordinator” of rehabilitation, recovery, and reconstruction efforts of government departments, agencies, and instrumentalities in the Yolanda-affected areas, namely, Samar, Leyte, Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Capiz, Aklan, Antique, Iloilo and Palawan.

Although he, too, has Cabinet-rank post, the OPARR chief is not exactly on equal footing with department secretaries who are the immediate heads of these line agencies placed under the “oversight” functions of Lacson. True to form, Lacson frankly expressed in public his “frustration” specifically with two uncooperative Cabinet officials. He merely described the two Cabinet officials as “dedma,” street lingo for an unresponsive person.

If we examine how Lacson does his work at the OPARR, according to him, the rehabilitation is being done on a cluster framework approach.

The OPARR formed five clusters each headed by a Cabinet secretary.

These are:
*Infrastructure cluster headed by Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson;
*Social services cluster headed by Department of Social and Welfare (DSWD) Secretary Dinky Soliman;
*Resettlement cluster headed by the Vice President Jejomar Binay, in his capacity as chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council;
*Support services cluster co-chaired by Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Florencio Abad and *Secretary Arsenio Balisacan of the National Economic and Development Authority; and,
the Livelihood cluster headed by Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo.

Earlier, Lacson and Singson have tangled over the construction of bunkhouses. But eventually they came to an understanding of how to go about it. So that leaves four Cabinet Cluster heads who could be currently getting Lacson’s goat.

The OPARR chief confessed he has not reported yet to P-Noy about the two uncooperative Cabinet officials.

We could only guess how P-Noy would react after Lacson went ahead griping to media his beef against the two presidential alter-egos before reporting it directly to him.

Washing dirty linen in public could give Lacson a dose of his own medicine.

While he may not be a card-bearing member of P-Noy’s Liberal Party (LP), Lacson’s assumption of this Cabinet post certainly made him part of the official family.

In the case of Pangilinan, his being LP (campaign manager during the May 2010 senatorial elections) certainly will make his work as PAFSAM easier.

Under Executive Order 175, P-Noy gave also “oversight” functions to Pangilinan on four attached agencies of the Department of Agriculture (DA), namely, the National Food Authority, National Irrigation Administration, Philippine Coconut Authority and Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority. All four DA agencies have been transferred to the Office of the President.

As erstwhile chairman of the Senate committee on agriculture, Pangilinan made no bones his interest of the DA post headed by LP stalwart, DA Secretary Proceso Alcala.

However, the former Quezon congressman obviously enjoys P-Noy’s trust and confidence. Even with Pangilinan as PAFSAM, Alcala remains the “primary point person” in the department.

It took a while before Pangilinan finally accepted a Cabinet post after his second term as senator ended in June last year.

He has immersed in agricultural life in his own “Sweet Spring Country Farm” in Alfonso, Cavite where he tried his hand in organic farming. He is especially attached to his four-month old female pig named “Bacon” that freely roams the farm as mascot.

Actively posting his farming adventure in his Facebook account, Pangilinan shared one funny anecdote about a dinner conversation with his seven-year-old son Miel about his going to the Cabinet after the Senate.

The boy asked him: “Dad why go inside the Cabinet? You can’t breathe in there!”

For sure, Ping and Kiko, who are the latest to join P-Noy’s Cabinet at this late stage of the administration, will at best keep their noses clean until the coming 2016 elections.

'Typhoon Kiko' and agricultural Yolanda CTALK By Cito Beltran (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 9, 2014 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


By Cito Beltra

Intentional or accidental, the appointment of former Senator Kiko Pangilinan as Presidential Adviser on Agricultural Modernization has caused such a major disturbance in the peace and tranquility at the Department of Agriculture that he can be called Typhoon Kiko.

I consider the former Senator a friend and the reason for writing this piece is not to be critical, but to merely bring out in the open issues surrounding his appointment, and as well as the concerns of people in the service and affected sectors.

Perhaps in doing so I will help Kiko be forewarned and therefore forearmed. As chairman of the Senate committee on agriculture, Kiko has had a long-term interest and concern for Philippine agriculture. It is unfortunate that many see his posting as nothing more than positioning him to be in the national limelight prior to the 2016 election. Kiko’s challenge now is to prove that his appointment is more than political positioning.

From day one, Kiko’s appointment has been suspect and questioned for several reasons. First, if he is a presidential “adviser,” what qualifies him to advise? His career path is not agricultural but legal and legislative. At the most he is a hobby farmer or a gentleman farmer.

If he is an adviser, why give him Cabinet rank in a department where the official Cabinet member and Secretary of Agriculture is still in office and has not resigned.

What threw fuel into the fire was the announcement from Malacañang that Kiko would head the National Food Authority, the Philippine Coconut Authority, National Irrigation Administration and the Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority.

This essentially states that the Department of Agriculture has been split asunder with Kiko getting the “choice cuts.”

So now we have a two-headed department with one having the President’s “full trust and confidence” while the other getting hold of the major business side of it.

This situation has led to the opinion that the President does not have the heart or is incapable of firing or asking his appointees to resign, so instead they get Kiko to make Secretary Alcala uncomfortable enough to resign, which is what some friends and supporters have allegedly been suggesting to Sec. Procy.

Speaking of termination/resignations, the bets were on the that the NFA administrator will be the first to be blown out by Typhoon Kiko, but when reports reached the PCA that a certain Tañada is already shining his shoes to come in as the new administrator for the Philippine Coconut Authority, Administrator Forbes reportedly opted to do a voluntary resignation rather than be taken out of a job he did not ask for.

It’s tough enough when people say your appointment is politically motivated, but when questions are raised as to why you get “choice cuts,” Kiko can expect to be constantly under a magnifying glass.

In his defense, I find it unlikely that Kiko and his backers have plans on the war chests of the four choice cuts. In all likelihood, Kiko will push for more investments, inputs and spending on “agricultural modernization” via the funds of the choice cuts, which when it happens will certainly make Kiko a very popular farmer advocate in a largely agricultural country. You can’t buy that, but Kiko can get it through the program.

I would suggest to the Second Secretary at the Department of Agriculture to address the concerns of people within the choice cuts.

Apparently people were so surprised and disturbed that many of them have stopped working and are busy worrying and mentally preparing for the “hagupit” or lash of Typhoon Kiko.

As insiders told me, they are at a standstill, not knowing if they should carry on with projects, contracts, or if they will be reassigned, removed etc.

 Like real-life storms and calamities, Typhoon Kiko will surely make an impact and I’m hoping that it will be more of cleansing and washing away the garbage and debris, instead of a destructive force that will setback the Department and the agencies of choice.

* * *

I received what I believe was an invitation to be a “guest observer” of the Senate committee on agriculture concerning the coconut scale insect infestation that I’ve written about several times.

Thinking back to everything I’ve learned about the pest, the infestation and the confusion surrounding the problem, I suddenly realized that the CSI problem is an agricultural replica of Typhoon Yolanda.

It was out of the ordinary, behaved and propagated in compounding speed that left a disaster in 4 provinces and still growing. Like Yolanda, no present technology and knowhow would be sufficient to meet the attack.

Just like in Yolanda, everyone went into panic mode, had their own solutions, but no one in the national government was willing or in agreement to declare an “emergency situation.”

Just like in Yolanda, in spite of the warning many people chose not to believe or do something about the CSI. Up to now, just like in Yolanda, it is those who are directly affected that are left to find an answer, a remedy or a solution while the national agencies are bound or restricted by laws, rules and procedures that were crafted for “normal circumstance” and not serious threats and national emergencies.

In aid of legislation, Senator Cynthia Villar should find out and put to law what constitutes an emergency situation, and empower the department or agencies to declare one when needed free from duress from other departments.

Senator Villar should also investigate how the FPA requirements on pesticide accreditation becomes unrealistic, if not obstructive, during such dire times.

The good Senator should also discover how so many agencies of the Department of Agriculture are falling short of their mark and mandate because of poor communication skills, product promotions and marketing.

Finally, there exists among agencies of the DA a sense of paranoia and fear of being accused or charged by the COA or Ombudsman if they actually give out air or products in the interest of agricultural promotion.

When you combine this with the pressure from the department of Budget for agencies to be self sufficient or self sustaining, what happens is the agencies go on cost cutting and cut back on promotions and activities.

There are a lot of problems and CSI is just a consequence.

FROM MANILA BULLETIN

Of mothers and heritage By Rina Jimenez-David Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:03 am | Sunday, May 11th, 2014


Rina Jimenez-David

There is a photo, taken at the height of the post-Aquino assassination protest actions in 1984, that shows a woman defiantly waving a protest flag in front of police troops bombarding her with streams of water from fire hoses.

The woman was Louise G. Orendain and she was then 64 years old, a retired journalist who never retired from her duties as a concerned citizen and her personal mission to right the wrongs of the world.

Her daughter Joan, no pushover herself, recalls a mother who was so busy pursuing her journalistic calling that she had no time to cook or look after her brood. So it fell on Joan, the eldest daughter, to look after things on the domestic front.

Other such mother-daughter pairings might have resulted in resentment and remorse. But Joan remembers being so entranced by her mother’s strong personality that she ended up being a writer and PR practitioner herself.

When Louise turned 88, her children threw her a grand celebration. And when her turn came to greet her family and friends, she went up to the mic, burst into a shimmering smile, told them how much she enjoyed the occasion, then collapsed in a heap.

They rushed her to the hospital emergency room, but they knew she was gone, at least physically. “She died and lived in the best possible way,” Joan now says, recalling a mother who pursued her passions and lived as fully as she wanted, showing her daughters an example of how to live without compromise.

There are mothers and there are daughters, and there’s no template on what sort of relationship makes for a perfect pairing.

But it’s true that our mothers will always be with us, in our memories and in our DNA. And sometimes, when we yell at our children, cook a favorite dish, or choose a particular scent, our mothers suddenly surface, reflected back in our own selves.

* * *
Talking about another mother, in my mother’s hometown of Alaminos, Pangasinan, concerned citizens are bringing a petition to Mayor Arthur Celeste regarding his plan, supported by the city council, to build a “legislative building and sociocivic center” in the town plaza in front of the church.

While stressing that they have no objections to the construction of the building, necessary because the Alaminos City Hall is becoming much too cramped, the petitioners say the building can very well be constructed in any other property in the city, in particular an empty lot just beside City Hall.

Some critics of the plan say that if Mayor Celeste persists in putting up the building in the plaza, it would destroy the symmetry of the town plan that has been in place, as in most other old towns in the country, since Spanish times.

What’s more, construction in the plaza—named after Marcelo Ochave, a long-serving former mayor—would necessitate cutting down ancient acacia trees that have stood like sentinels since at least before World War II.

* * *
“We believe that Plaza Ochave should remain open and accessible to the public,” the petitioners say in their letter to the mayor. The plaza, they add, is an historical feature of the town “that should be cared for by different generations.”

The National Historical Commission of the Philippines, the petitioners say, has informed them that public plazas are for public use and should remain accessible to the enjoyment of all.

The NHCP has intervened in other and similar cases involving the plans of local governments to build in previously open public plazas. The town plazas, said the Commission, dates back to the 16th century when by royal Spanish decree every town had a free, open, public plaza in the center of town, accessible to all.

“The plaza was so crucial to the life of the town that the Spanish colonial government stipulated the shape and size of the plaza and the structures that could be built around it,” the NHCP declared.

In a position paper written regarding the case of a similar plan of the local government of San Jose, Batangas, the Commission said the proposed municipal building “will shatter the beauty of the plaza and deny residents and citizens … access to free, open space—a right that they, and future generations, have a right to enjoy.”

* * *
One wonders why Mayor Celeste and the city council of Alaminos are hell-bent on pursuing the construction of the office building on Plaza Ochave, even if it means destroying the historical symmetry of the town layout that has been a feature of Philippine towns for over five centuries.

Admittedly, in many towns, heedless officials and indifferent citizens have allowed the centuries-old town template to be ruined by commerce, uncontrolled development, or greed.

But when and while there is still time to prevent such a misfortune, then people of goodwill and concerned government officials—the NHCP, the Department of Interior and Local Government, and the Department of Tourism, for starters—should bring their voices and power to bear on the matter.

The people of Alaminos should consider themselves fortunate that they are living in a town that still carries vestiges of the past—even if these are fast-disappearing. Much of the change, it is true, is being done in the well-meaning but misguided zeal of those who want to pursue development, tourism and “progress” regardless of the cost to heritage and “roots.”

Last Friday, I opened my column by quoting an advertising guru on how planning the future without considering the past is akin to “planting cut flowers.”

Without roots, without heritage, without gratitude to the past, we will be a lost people, wondering who we are and what makes us proud to be ourselves.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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