© Copyright, 2015 (PHNO) http://newsflash.org

EDITORIALS & OPINIONS OF THE WEEK:
(Mini Reads followed by Full news commentary below)

FROM MALAYA (BUSINESS INSIGHTS)

EDITORIAL:
AN APPEAL FOR  AFFIRMATION


President Aquino will endorse his 'Daang Matuwid' Reforms to someone who can continue - Palace NEXT year’s presidential elections, according to the Presidential premise, is no more than a referendum for his “Daang Matuwid” wherein a win by his chosen one has to be seen and acknowledged as a validation of his own administration’s successes. A victory by the Liberal Party candidate, he proposed, has to mean that the country has decided that it wants his policies to remain in place and made permanent. If we are to accept such a postulation, then the opposite must also be true: that a loss by the administration’s official candidate must be a rejection of Aquino’s mantra. Such oversimplification of a demonstrably complex political exercise however tends to ignore numerous factors that deliver more telling impact on the results of an election than a simple question of upholding the legitimacy of one theory over another. There is the issue of political survival where the government’s campaign against corruption has shaken some of the country’s most powerful and influential political families with criminal prosecution and efforts to confiscate ill-gotten gains. Many of those affected are already trying to forge alliances hoping for a chance to avoid eradication and stay relevant. READ MORE...

ALSO: NO UNLI ‘TO SAWA’


By Ducky Paredes THE passage of the anti-dynasty bill ultimately rests with the House of Representatives and not with the Senate, Sen. Cynthia A. Villar says. Passage of the measure by Congress was sought by President Aquino in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) last Monday. According to Villar, a practical politician, the Lower House should pass its version first because ‘’mas marami sa kanila maraming problema (they have more members having political dynasty-related problems).’’ ‘’We will wait for the House version. The anti-dynasty bill will be determined by the House of Representatives, not us,’’ she said. The anti-dynasty bill at the Senate is with the Senate electoral reforms and people’s participation committee chaired by Sen. Aquilino Pimentel. *** Despite his public pronouncements in support of bills on Freedom of Information (FOI) and political dynasties, President Benigno Aquino III will likely not certify the two proposed bills as urgent. What he has said on these was this: “We’ll see first because the FOI bill lacks second reading only. So, hopefully, the majority floor leader can schedule it for second reading and hopefully it will be done as soon as possible,” according to Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda. Malacañang’s proposed version of the FOI bill has already been submitted to Congress and has been discussed by the House Committee on Information says Lacierda. Aquino did not mention the importance of the FOI bill in his State-of-the-Nation Address. But he did reiterate the need for its passage in its budget message to Congress. “The budget message is powerful, if not more powerful, than the State of the Nation Address,” Lacierda explained. “It comes with perspective. It’s there, but not made public, so it’s a question of perspective on where you’re coming from.” “So we’re just hoping that the House leadership will schedule it for second reading already. Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. already mentioned publicly that he will pass the FOI Bill. So we will just ask the majority floor leader if he can calendar the FOI Bill for second reading’”  While Aquino did propose in his SONA the passage of bill against political dynasties, Lacierda said it also may not be certified as urgent. READ MORE...

ALSO: PNOY’S LAST SONA


By Ducky Paredes ONE expects reaction to that 2-hour speech, that is the last State of the Nation Address of the President will have as many different reactions as there are people. For instance, Senator Grace Poe wanted the President to speak more about the problems of the MRT, while a Mindanaoan watching the SONA, thought that too much time was being wasted on what he considers a Metro Manila problem, wishing that PNoy would speak more on “national” concerns, instead of talking so much about a Metro Manila concern that has nothing to do with the “national” concerns. Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo acknowledged that the highly aggressive training-for-work scholarship program of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has helped to address the skills-mismatch in the labor market. “A growing number of unskilled or semi-skilled high school graduates as well as college undergraduates are being armed with the expertise they need for direct employment, or self-employment,” said Romulo, chairman of the House committee on higher and technical education. In his State-of-the-Nation Address, the President said some 71.9 percent of TESDA graduates are now able to obtain immediate employment. Romulo also welcomed the President’s declaration that government intends to award to the private sector by December the P123-billion Laguna Lakeshore Expressway-Dike Project. “We are counting to the project to reduce flooding and improve living conditions in the coastal communities along Laguna Lake,” Romulo said. Heavy rains cause the Laguna Lake to overflow. And because the lake drains to Manila Bay via the Pasig River, the excess water aggravates flooding in Metro Manila, not just in coastal villages. *** Senator Grace Poe found Aquino’s last state of the nation address lacking for his failure to mention the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill and acknowledge the hardships of commuters of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT). The FOI bill is one of the six priority measures that Congress will pass before the end of the Aquino administration. Asked if she was expecting the President to apologize over the MRT woes, Poe said: “It would be nice to at least acknowledge the hardships of our riding public and then say, ‘we’re not perfect but were trying to do certain things to correct it.” READ MORE...

ALSO EDITORIAL: FIVE-YEAR JUGGLE


INQUIRER FILE JUST when its time is almost up, the Aquino government has finally gotten around to listing the Freedom of Information bill as an urgent piece of legislation, a rather underhanded move, leaving the succeeding administration to face the consequences of a law that it was unwilling to sort out on its own.
For five long years, public clamor for the enactment of an FOI Law was ignored as Malacañang opted to be facetious. It dismissed the measure as unnecessary in a transparent administration, without choking the claim. In finally endorsing FOI as a priority bill, the administration did not even deign to explain the change in attitude, which amounts to an admission of the canard it has peddled since it took over the reins of government in 2010. With the winds of a national election already blowing, the bill now has to jostle for wiggle room in a packed legislative agenda with time running short and most in Congress having already conceding that the chances for its approval are already slim to none. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

EDITORIAL: AN APPEAL FOR AFFIRMATION

MANILA, AUGUST 1, 2015 (MALAYA) July 29, 2015 - NEXT year’s presidential elections, according to the Presidential premise, is no more than a referendum for his “Daang Matuwid” wherein a win by his chosen one has to be seen and acknowledged as a validation of his own administration’s successes.

A victory by the Liberal Party candidate, he proposed, has to mean that the country has decided that it wants his policies to remain in place and made permanent.

If we are to accept such a postulation, then the opposite must also be true: that a loss by the administration’s official candidate must be a rejection of Aquino’s mantra.

Such oversimplification of a demonstrably complex political exercise however tends to ignore numerous factors that deliver more telling impact on the results of an election than a simple question of upholding the legitimacy of one theory over another.

There is the issue of political survival where the government’s campaign against corruption has shaken some of the country’s most powerful and influential political families with criminal prosecution and efforts to confiscate ill-gotten gains. Many of those affected are already trying to forge alliances hoping for a chance to avoid eradication and stay relevant.

READ MORE...

Political ambition is another potent game-changer that will necessarily reconfigure the dynamics of the 2016 votes. Unless President Aquino can convince his allies to unify under one ticket, the administration’s political base will end up getting partitioned, that could very well result in the disagreeing factions getting just enough numbers to secure second and third spots.

Then there are the candidates themselves. The President is essentially asking the public to support whoever he will choose on a mere promise of continuity.

But depending on the degree of gullibility of the Filipino electorate, even the most ardent of this administration’s supporters has to entertain doubts that what they are getting in Aquino’s bet is a veritable clone.

The administration candidate will want to stamp his own mark, start his own programs, and asked whoever he likes to a six-year long dance. – PT.


NO UNLI ‘TO SAWA’ By Ducky Paredes on July 31, 2015


By Ducky Paredes

THE passage of the anti-dynasty bill ultimately rests with the House of Representatives and not with the Senate, Sen. Cynthia A. Villar says.

Passage of the measure by Congress was sought by President Aquino in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) last Monday.

According to Villar, a practical politician, the Lower House should pass its version first because ‘’mas marami sa kanila maraming problema (they have more members having political dynasty-related problems).’’

‘’We will wait for the House version. The anti-dynasty bill will be determined by the House of Representatives, not us,’’ she said.

The anti-dynasty bill at the Senate is with the Senate electoral reforms and people’s participation committee chaired by Sen. Aquilino Pimentel.

***

Despite his public pronouncements in support of bills on Freedom of Information (FOI) and political dynasties, President Benigno Aquino III will likely not certify the two proposed bills as urgent.

What he has said on these was this: “We’ll see first because the FOI bill lacks second reading only. So, hopefully, the majority floor leader can schedule it for second reading and hopefully it will be done as soon as possible,” according to Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda.

Malacañang’s proposed version of the FOI bill has already been submitted to Congress and has been discussed by the House Committee on Information says Lacierda.

Aquino did not mention the importance of the FOI bill in his State-of-the-Nation Address. But he did reiterate the need for its passage in its budget message to Congress.

“The budget message is powerful, if not more powerful, than the State of the Nation Address,” Lacierda explained. “It comes with perspective. It’s there, but not made public, so it’s a question of perspective on where you’re coming from.”

“So we’re just hoping that the House leadership will schedule it for second reading already. Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. already mentioned publicly that he will pass the FOI Bill. So we will just ask the majority floor leader if he can calendar the FOI Bill for second reading’”

While Aquino did propose in his SONA the passage of bill against political dynasties, Lacierda said it also may not be certified as urgent.

READ MORE...

“No one political family, no one politician should be allowed to stay forever in a position, in power, because the evil perhaps overwhelms. The evil sought to be corrected. The evil is present and we should correct that particular evil,” Lacierda said.

Lacierda said several bills against political dynasties have already been filed in the House, citing the bills filed by Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro and Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice.

“[But] the language, the version, has to be finalized first,” Lacierda said. “They have to discuss amongst themselves what would be the final provisions for the Anti-Dynasty Bill.”

“At the very least, at the very least, the President has made his views very public that this is the solution to ‘unli-power’. This is what we need,” stressed Lacierda.

***

Smartmatic-Total Information Management (TIM) Corp. is getting a P1.7-billion contract for the supply of 23,000 new precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines for use in the 2016 elections.

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista told congressmen yesterday that they have decided to award the contract to Smartmatic-TIM, the poll body’s automation service provider in the 2010 and 2013 polls.

“We made the decision just this morning after dismissing the motions for reconsideration of two bidders questioning the recommendation of the special bids and awards committee to give the contract to Smartmatic,” Bautista said.

He said the poll body is scheduled to issue the Notice of Award to the winning bidder today.

The bids committee earlier disqualified Smartmatic but the Comelec reversed its disqualification.

Bautista said the commission is already behind schedule in its preparations for next year’s elections.

“I hope that we do not encounter further delay,” he said.

Comelec Commissioner Robert Christian Lim said aside from the 23,000 new PCOS units, they are looking to either refurbish the 80,000 automated voting-counting machines used in the 2010 and 2013 polls or lease 71,000 new machines.

Lim said the refurbishment with upgrade option would cost P3.1 billion, while the lease option would cost P6.3 billion.

He said the budget for the refurbishment deal was initially pegged at P2.1 billion before it was increased to P2.8 billion and then to P3.1 billion because prospective bidders claimed the initial estimates were too low and they did not want to participate in the bidding.

He added that in case there is a failure of bidding for the two options, the Comelec would resort to negotiating the contract or to direct contracting.

Lim also said between August this year to February next year, the Comelec has scheduled various activities, which include the reception, testing and verification of PCOS units, testing of all software and mock elections.

After completing all these activities, he said the poll body should be ready for the combined presidential, congressional and local elections in May next year.


PNOY’S LAST SONA By Ducky Paredes on July 29, 2015


By Ducky Paredes

ONE expects reaction to that 2-hour speech, that is the last State of the Nation Address of the President will have as many different reactions as there are people.

For instance, Senator Grace Poe wanted the President to speak more about the problems of the MRT, while a Mindanaoan watching the SONA, thought that too much time was being wasted on what he considers a Metro Manila problem, wishing that PNoy would speak more on “national” concerns, instead of talking so much about a Metro Manila concern that has nothing to do with the “national” concerns.

Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo acknowledged that the highly aggressive training-for-work scholarship program of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has helped to address the skills-mismatch in the labor market.

“A growing number of unskilled or semi-skilled high school graduates as well as college undergraduates are being armed with the expertise they need for direct employment, or self-employment,” said Romulo, chairman of the House committee on higher and technical education.

In his State-of-the-Nation Address, the President said some 71.9 percent of TESDA graduates are now able to obtain immediate employment.

Romulo also welcomed the President’s declaration that government intends to award to the private sector by December the P123-billion Laguna Lakeshore Expressway-Dike Project.

“We are counting to the project to reduce flooding and improve living conditions in the coastal communities along Laguna Lake,” Romulo said.

Heavy rains cause the Laguna Lake to overflow. And because the lake drains to Manila Bay via the Pasig River, the excess water aggravates flooding in Metro Manila, not just in coastal villages.

***

Senator Grace Poe found Aquino’s last state of the nation address lacking for his failure to mention the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill and acknowledge the hardships of commuters of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT).

The FOI bill is one of the six priority measures that Congress will pass before the end of the Aquino administration.

Asked if she was expecting the President to apologize over the MRT woes, Poe said: “It would be nice to at least acknowledge the hardships of our riding public and then say, ‘we’re not perfect but were trying to do certain things to correct it.”

READ MORE...

I agree with the Mindanaoan who noted that relief is on the way for the MRT sufferers. There are new trains arriving early in 2016. Their suffering will be over soon while Mindanao is still suffering from age-old problems.

***

As expected, the ones who classify themselves as “militants” were impossible to please.

While President Aquino rattled off his accomplishments since his election in 2010 at his sixth and last State-of-the-Nation Address, he still got a failing grade from militant and human rights groups as well as teachers who all expressed dissatisfaction for his performance.

“Walang naituwid at walang naitawid si PNoy sa kanyang panunungkulan. Economic growth has not trickled down to the masses as unemployment, poverty, contractualization, low wages, and lackluster social services persist,” said Art Barrit, spokesman of the Associated Labor Union- Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP).

Barrit says that the benefits of the country’s economic growth were monopolized by big capitalists whose wealth has ballooned in the last few years.

“The chasm between the rich and the poor swelled even more,” he says.

The Pagkakaisa ng Kababaihan para sa Kalayaan (KAISAKA) said Aquino violates the constitutional prohibition against foreign military bases by allowing the US troops to regain its base here when the government signed the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) and the Philippines-Australia Status Visiting Forces Agreement that allowed the presence of Australian security forces here.

One wonders how they expect to fight off China without the help of the U.S. and other allies!

***

Karapatan accused the Aquino administration of being a saboteur and a double-crosser in the peace talks between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front (NDF.

Karapatan criticized Aquino for his failure to provide decent jobs and wages that drove away Mary Jane Velosos to foreign lands and for workers to make do with meager salaries and unsafe and inhuman working conditions; and the peasants who are still struggling for a piece of land to till.

The re-colonization of the Philippines through the lopsided Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) will also mark the Aquino presidency, she said.

The EDCA, signed by US and GPH government aims to deploy more US soldiers, war material, and weapons inside the Philippine territory.

***

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC), a 30,000-strong group, said that contrary to claims of Aquino, his government’s general performance is a failure when it comes to addressing issues of the education sector and education workers.

TDC, however, gave Education Secretary Armin Luistro a passing rate of 75 percent. “We take in consideration the personal efforts made by students…in this case, Luistro is only acting in accordance with his principal, the President,” Basas said.

Amid criticisms, Luistro gave Aquino rate of nine (9) out of 10.

“You can criticize him when it comes to the words he says or how he say things that other people do not want to hear…You can criticize his programs, his perspectives or how he view other’s perspectives but in terms of credibility, of numbers, everything he said are all accounted for and has basis,” Luistro stressed.

Asked why not give Aquino a perfect 10, Luistro said that he cannot please everybody. “I gave him 9 because I know that he cannot please everybody, there will always be one or two that will not be pleased with what he said,” he noted. Luistro is right on. No President will ever get a 100% grade from all Filipinos.

Clearly, no President can please everyone.

For me, however, President PNoy did great. For those who give him a falling grade I can almost wish that Binay will become their president, so they can see what suffering really is. But, I can’t really wish that on this country that we all love and hate.

Let’s just hope we choose another good one for President in 2016!


EDITORIAL: FIVE-YEAR JUGGLE July 27, 2015


INQUIRER FILE

JUST when its time is almost up, the Aquino government has finally gotten around to listing the Freedom of Information bill as an urgent piece of legislation, a rather underhanded move, leaving the succeeding administration to face the consequences of a law that it was unwilling to sort out on its own.

For five long years, public clamor for the enactment of an FOI Law was ignored as Malacañang opted to be facetious. It dismissed the measure as unnecessary in a transparent administration, without choking the claim.

In finally endorsing FOI as a priority bill, the administration did not even deign to explain the change in attitude, which amounts to an admission of the canard it has peddled since it took over the reins of government in 2010.

With the winds of a national election already blowing, the bill now has to jostle for wiggle room in a packed legislative agenda with time running short and most in Congress having already conceding that the chances for its approval are already slim to none.

READ MORE...

Still we are counting on the intrepid and conscientious few among our lawmakers who might be willing to give the FOI its final push regardless of the insertions of provisions that served only to define restrictions rather than welcome scrutiny on government transactions.

If the bill survives Congressional assassination, we should at least have access to some of the sanctum sanctorums of public offices that have been concealed for so long to the prying eyes of the people and the press.

Weather-permitting, there might even be opportunities down the road to expand the scope of such a law to open a few more locked doors in the government bureaucracy.

We will take the long shot and be glad for it. – PT.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE