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

FROM THE MANILA TIMES

BBL: BABEL WITHOUT THE VOWELS
[The BBL is an unworthy temple to worship in. It has been brought down by its delusions and extravagant expectations.]


by YEN MAKABENTA  It came to me like an epiphany: if you drop the vowels from Babel (as in the tower of Babel), you get BBL.  This has led me to entertain the notion that the Biblical story of the tower of Babel can serve as a cautionary tale for Congress and the nation in discussing and debating the burning issue of the day: the proposed passage of a Bangsamoro basic law for Muslim Mindanao. The Encyclopedia Britannica succinctly summarizes the story in this manner: “In biblical literature, [the Tower of Babel] denotes the structure built in the land of Shinar (Babylonia) some time after the Deluge. The story of its construction, given in Genesis 11: 1-9, appears to be an attempt to explain the existence of diverse human languages. “According to Genesis, the Babylonians wanted to make a name for themselves by building a mighty city and a tower ‘with its top in the heavens.’  “God disrupted the work by so confusing the language of the workers that they could no longer understand one another. The tower was never completed and the people were dispersed over the face of the earth. “The myth may have been inspired by the Babylonian tower temple north of the Marduk temple, which in Babylonia was called Bab-ilu (“Gate of God”), Hebrew form Babel.”  Parallels between Babel and BBL  Now, why do I say this Biblical story should serve as a cautionary tale in the deliberations by the Senate and the House on the Bangsamoro law?  Consider the parallels.  With the BBL project, President Aquino has staked his presidency and his legacy on its realization. He aimed for the heavens in coveting the Nobel peace prize as his reward. His negotiators agreed to almost every demand of the Moro Islamic Liberation front (MILF) in the unbelievable Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) that no self-respecting state and responsible Filipino president could possibly sign. No issue has divided our people and our country more than the BBL. READ MORE...

ALSO EDITORIAL: A right answer nobody wants to hear
[And therein lies the point that has always been missed by President Aquino, and has apparently eluded his would-be successor: Traffic congestion is not a key performance indicator, an accomplishment to take smug pride in while it perceptibly worsens, but rather an indicator of demand for infrastructure.]


BACK in 2013 and on one occasion last year, President BS Aquino 3rd briefly found himself buried under a heap of scorn for laughing off Metro Manila’s appalling traffic congestion as a sign of the country’s positive economic growth. In what was perhaps a sign that he really does intend to try to be the Aquino clone the Liberal Party wants, outgoing DILG Secretary and presidential aspirant Mar Roxas repeated the dubious-sounding assertion last week as the guest speaker at a meeting of the Philippine Sugar Technologists Association in Cebu. “This is a problem in a sense that arises from prosperity. Because there is money. Because there is economic activity,” Roxas said, according to news reports. Roxas explained that during his tenure as Secretary of Trade and Industry (2000-2003), 60,000 vehicle sales in one year “was a big year;” in 2014, about 260,000 additional vehicles hit Philippine roads, with a further 300,000 projected for this year. Roxas went on to point out that congestion is not limited to the nation’s streets and highways. In 2014, 50 million domestic air tickets were sold, equivalent to about half of the population, and, as even Roxas had to admit, far beyond the capacity of the existing air transport infrastructure. The idea that congestion is a positive economic sign is infuriatingly counterintuitive, because waiting in a blocks-long line to board a train or spending an hour or more to make a trip of four or five kilometers in no way feels like progress. READ MORE...

ALSO EDITORIAL: Pattern of incompetence


What's with these confettis and why aren't they yellow? They're impeachment complaints, sir.....MANILA TIMES EDITORIAL CARTOON AUGUST 20, 2014---
THE current inability of the Department of Foreign Affairs to keep up with the demand for new or renewed passports is only the latest embarrassing addition to a record of basic incompetence within the Aquino Administration. It is also further warning that “continuing Aquino’s reforms” should be the exact opposite of the broad policy objective the next president should have.
The first sign of trouble, though few remember it now, was very early in President Aquino’s reign, when the MRT system ran out of plastic tickets. At the time, there were still vestiges of adequate process control in the commuter rail service’s management, and so the problem turned out to be only a mildly-amusing glitch – the MRT was forced to use its stock of old tickets, which were emblazoned with the image and name of former President Arroyo, something the then-new Aquino Administration found only slightly less mortifying than arriving at the office and suddenly realizing they’d forgotten to put on their pants. Bigger and more serious problems Since then, the problems have only gotten bigger and more serious. The difficulties of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in being able to supply first driver’s license cards and then vehicle plates through this year and most of last year are almost the stuff of legend, at this point. In addition to that, for several months last year the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) was unable to supply Philippine seafarers with the proper, internationally-recognized Seamen’s Book, a passport-like document that serves as a verified record of a seaman’s experience and qualifications, and gives him the ability to travel freely for work purposes. And now, the DFA is having serious difficulties keeping up with the demand for passport booklets, no small task even under the best of circumstances, given that between five and six thousand Pinoys are leaving everyday to find work abroad, but not one that should be sabotaged by what boils down to an avoidable oversight. “Avoidable oversight,” however, is a pattern of incompetence that seems to define the “Daang Matuwid” that, by some perverse logic, we’re all being told — and many foreign journalists, ambassadors, foreign chambers and UN officials are telling the world — should be continued by BS Aquino’s successor. READ MORE...

ALSO EDITORIAL: Stop oppressing OFWs

(This is a corrected version of our original editorial in which we committed the grave error of mistaking BOC Commissioner Albert Lina for former senator Joey Lina. We are sorry for our grave error.)


Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina, 2013 PHOTO UNTV NEWS BUREAU of Customs Commissioner Albert Lina’s brother then Senator Joey Lina became notorious years ago for being the author of a populist but anti-developmental and pro-gangster and pro-anarchy law. His law penalizes middle-class Filipinos who own real estate that have been invaded by squatters. It gives squatters the right to continue occupying their illegally occupied real estate –often with the support of gangsters and bullies — until the land’s owner can give them the money needed for them to relocate to another site. The money required from a rich real state corporation to pay off squatters is no skin off the wealthy corporation’s owners. But the expense of relocating a squatter family or families is devastating to the thousands of Overseas Filipino Workers who are abroad to earn the money for the food, clothing and shelter of their families and to save up the funds needed to build their first homes on land they are still making installment payments for. Not only OFWs but also “non-poor” families that own a piece of land but can’t afford to build their dream home suffer as a result of what the late Neal H. Cruz correctly dubbed “The Stupid Lina Law.”  A new “Stupid Lina Move” against OFWs
Now BOC Chief Albert Lina has come up with a plan to make OFWs miserable. He plans to curtail the use by OFWs of balikbayan boxes because these are being used for smuggling.
We wholeheartedly agree with Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. who has lambasted BOC chief Lina for using his agency’s “bureaucratic might against overseas Filipino workers sending personal effects to their families through ‘balikbayan’ boxes in the guise of an anti-smuggling campaign.”
Senator Marcos urged Commissioner Lina not to carry out plans to impose “further restrictions on the use of balikbayan boxes by the OFWs including a plan to impose taxes or additional fees on forwarding costs for OFW boxes.”
Mr. Marcos commendably said: “Mr. Lina, you are a public servant. It is your duty to consult with stakeholders first, before embarking on any draconian measure that would turn their lives upside-down.”


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

BBL – Babel without the vowels


by YEN MAKABENTA

MANILA, AUGUST 24, 2015 (MANILA TIMES) August 17, 2015 11:14 pm YEN MAKABENTA - It came to me like an epiphany: if you drop the vowels from Babel (as in the tower of Babel), you get BBL.

This has led me to entertain the notion that the Biblical story of the tower of Babel can serve as a cautionary tale for Congress and the nation in discussing and debating the burning issue of the day: the proposed passage of a Bangsamoro basic law for Muslim Mindanao.

The Encyclopedia Britannica succinctly summarizes the story in this manner: “In biblical literature, [the Tower of Babel] denotes the structure built in the land of Shinar (Babylonia) some time after the Deluge. The story of its construction, given in Genesis 11: 1-9, appears to be an attempt to explain the existence of diverse human languages.

“According to Genesis, the Babylonians wanted to make a name for themselves by building a mighty city and a tower ‘with its top in the heavens.’

“God disrupted the work by so confusing the language of the workers that they could no longer understand one another. The tower was never completed and the people were dispersed over the face of the earth.

“The myth may have been inspired by the Babylonian tower temple north of the Marduk temple, which in Babylonia was called Bab-ilu (“Gate of God”), Hebrew form Babel.”

Parallels between Babel and BBL

Now, why do I say this Biblical story should serve as a cautionary tale in the deliberations by the Senate and the House on the Bangsamoro law?

Consider the parallels.

With the BBL project, President Aquino has staked his presidency and his legacy on its realization. He aimed for the heavens in coveting the Nobel peace prize as his reward. His negotiators agreed to almost every demand of the Moro Islamic Liberation front (MILF) in the unbelievable Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) that no self-respecting state and responsible Filipino president could possibly sign.

No issue has divided our people and our country more than the BBL.

READ MORE...

In Mindanao, there is no support for the BBL, except in the areas controlled by its principal beneficiary, the MILF. In the rest of Mindanao, there is anxiety and fear of the BBL.

If the original version of the bill is passed, the legislation would surely be rejected by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional.

The people in Mindanao — Muslims, Christians and lumads — do not understand each other’s position on the issue. There are no less than 13 different Muslim tribes and communities. All together, we have here a veritable babel of tongues.

They have to be unified by their common aspirations for this place they call home.

The BBL is an unworthy temple to worship in. It has been brought down by its delusions and extravagant expectations. When the Mamasapano incident took place on January 25, 2015, there were other casualties besides the 44 SAF commandos and eight other persons who died.

Among these other casualties are (1) President Aquino’s envisioned legacy of an enduring peace in the south; (2) Malaysia’s influence in Muslim Mindanao; and (3) the dream of a separate and independent Moro state in Philippine territory.

United Mindanao and credible Bangsamoro

But paradoxically, the BBL project – for all its imperfections, errors and tragic offspring – and by going through the fire, is, in my view, bringing forth a more united Mindanao and a credible Bangsamoro Autonomous Region which Mindanao’s people and the rest of the country can support.

In the Senate, thanks to the work of three committees and the hard work and leadership of Sen. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., the chamber is poised today to start debates on a substitute measure that, on careful scrutiny, addresses all the issues and concerns in Mindanao, and could open the way forward for a basic autonomy law that most everyone can support.

In the House too, the work of improving on the original BBL has moved forward as the effort to make the law constitutionally compliant has gathered strength.

Only the trio of Mr. Mohagher Iqbal, Ms. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, and Ms Teresita Quintos-Deles continue to pine for the passage of the original or undiluted BBL.

Even the usually clueless Palace propaganda machine has been reduced to welcoming the substitute measure in the Senate. They see the writing on the wall.

President Aquino himself has not bestirred himself to comment on what is happening.

It is more than likely that Congress and the nation will quickly reach a consensus on what is the proper thing to do about the Bangsamoro idea and the pursuit of peace and development in Mindanao. The hardliners for or against the BBL will go to the sidelines.

Now that there is a concrete and sensible proposal to seriously discuss – in the Marcos proposal for a Bangsamoro Autnomous region (BAR) – our usually laidback senators and congressmen will be roused to do their responsibilities.

The reverse of the biblical Babel

By being inclusive of every stakeholder in Mindanao, the emerging Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BAR) is doing the reverse of what happened in the biblical story.

In the Bible, the people disintegrated into a Babel of tongues.

In the Philippines and in Mindanao, I dare to forecast that we will see our divided people gathering together to support an autonomous Bangsamoro.

The 16th Congress will pass the law before it adjourns in June 2016.

And President Aquino will see a more realistic version of his BBL dream come to life.

And that finally is how it should be. A good law must spring from the desire, striving and genius of the people.

yenmakabenta@yahoo.com


EDITORIAL: A right answer nobody wants to hear August 16, 2015 10:18 pm

BACK in 2013 and on one occasion last year, President BS Aquino 3rd briefly found himself buried under a heap of scorn for laughing off Metro Manila’s appalling traffic congestion as a sign of the country’s positive economic growth.

In what was perhaps a sign that he really does intend to try to be the Aquino clone the Liberal Party wants, outgoing DILG Secretary and presidential aspirant Mar Roxas repeated the dubious-sounding assertion last week as the guest speaker at a meeting of the Philippine Sugar Technologists Association in Cebu.

“This is a problem in a sense that arises from prosperity. Because there is money. Because there is economic activity,” Roxas said, according to news reports.

Roxas explained that during his tenure as Secretary of Trade and Industry (2000-2003), 60,000 vehicle sales in one year “was a big year;” in 2014, about 260,000 additional vehicles hit Philippine roads, with a further 300,000 projected for this year. Roxas went on to point out that congestion is not limited to the nation’s streets and highways. In 2014, 50 million domestic air tickets were sold, equivalent to about half of the population, and, as even Roxas had to admit, far beyond the capacity of the existing air transport infrastructure.

The idea that congestion is a positive economic sign is infuriatingly counterintuitive, because waiting in a blocks-long line to board a train or spending an hour or more to make a trip of four or five kilometers in no way feels like progress.

READ MORE...

The negative economic impact of traffic congestion has even been quantified; an estimate by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) last year estimated the daily loss in Metro Manila (including the neighboring provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite) at P2.4 billion, or about P876 billion per year.

Nevertheless, the assertion is technically correct: According to a report by INRIX, a data management company that specializes in road traffic data, there is an obvious correlation between the number of vehicles on the road and GDP growth.

There are a few exceptions, and the degree of correlation varies, but in general an increase in traffic and faster economic growth go together in any country. Which one is the cause and which is the effect, the INRIX report does not speculate.

Backward-looking

And therein lies the point that has always been missed by President Aquino, and has apparently eluded his would-be successor: Traffic congestion is not a key performance indicator, an accomplishment to take smug pride in while it perceptibly worsens, but rather an indicator of demand for infrastructure.

For more than five years it has been treated as an afterthought rather than a forward-looking priority. If that were not the case, the Aquino Administration would not be trying to make up for lost ground all at once in an election year by allocating a huge amount – ostensibly almost P800 billion – to infrastructure-related projects in this year’s national budget.

Roxas’ comments last week, in which he highlighted the increase in the country’s capital spending over the past five years rather than offer any suggestions of how he would actually manage infrastructure development, were not encouraging. That was especially so since whatever was spent was clearly insufficient to keep up with traffic growth.

The problem of traffic congestion affects everyone, and it is one of the few areas in which even Aquino’s most loyal and forgiving supporters agree “more of the same” will not be enough from the next president. Mar Roxas – or any other candidate, for that matter – will greatly improve his or her election chances by keeping that in mind.

14 Responses to A right answer nobody wants to hear
rodrigonase says:
August 17, 2015 at 2:08 pm
While Abad is screwing around with the taxpayers’ money, Pinoy’s Government has been sound asleep for the last five years and ignoring his bosses with our future mired in deep shit and now they are asking to give them another 12 years to screw us all over again. That’s Daang Matuwid that has become a virtual parking lot due to traffic congestion.
Reply
danilo de leon says:
August 17, 2015 at 12:41 pm
until now nobody in the government wants to admit that there is one primary source of traffic n
congestion in metro manila and other major cities in the country – the jeepney. get rid of the jeepney and major throroughfares, secondary and interior streets will be free and edsa is relieved of the tremendous volume of private vehicles who prefer to bear the slow pace of traffic in edsa rather than go through and slug it out with the jeepneys in the alternate roads outside edsa. local and city governments should field and operate city owned buses to ferry commuters in their own areas. but every administration is scared of the jeepney. and even try to glorify this road monster and abomination.
Reply
P.Akialamiro says:
August 17, 2015 at 11:13 am
What a dumb way of evaluating the traffic jam as a positive sign of economic ‘boom’. I am far from being an econimic analyst, but whoever made that conclusion must be from ‘outer space’ or, just plain “outre”!
Reply
mario san antonio says:
August 17, 2015 at 9:39 am
what a twisted notion! did they not anticipate this problem of overcrowding of our streets by more cars? what are those highly paid traffic experts doing? they anticipated an economic growth but failed to see its effects on our streets. taking pride in economic progress while at the same time blaming it as the cause of more traffic congestion, without the corresponding action plan to correct it, is pure stupidity and a clear reflection of leadership lacking foresight. and this is the administration/tuwid na daan they are pushing forward.
Reply
ren fuentes says:
August 17, 2015 at 1:22 pm
sinabi mo pa mario san antonio. boy sisi and his super alalay and most probably the one telling boy sisi what to do( he is the (im) defacto president for the last 5 years) sat on all the infra projects. they relied on PPP which in turn would result in expensive toll fees for the ordinary citizen. they said there was not enough money for these BUT THEY HAVE TRILLION PESO PORK FOR BOY SISI ALONE AND ALMOST TWO HUNDRED BILLION FOR PORK OF THE SENATORS AND CONGRESSMEN. had they used this amount for infra since the first year of boy sisi, there would be less gridlock in traffic and if the roads are toll roads the fees to be shouldered by juan de la cruz would not be as expensive as the toll fees to be charged by the PPP proponent. now in his last year and a half, the extension of skyway or connecter roads are being built at the same time causing traffic gridlocks all day long especially if the rains fall and streets become flooded.
Sean says:
August 17, 2015 at 9:03 am
unutil ang gobyerno.. walang magawang paraan sa mga problema ng mga taong majority ay nagbabayad ng tax… dapat ialis na rin ang tax…
Reply
Geoffrey Hudson says:
August 17, 2015 at 8:51 am
Having recently arrived in the Philippines, I am disgusted at the approach to the traffic problems in Manila. The traffic lights are out of sync, there are amateurs directing traffic, there are jeepneys spewing toxic exhausts, there are buses whose drivers think they are in a Formula 1 vehicle when they finally have a few metres of clear road.
This is not to mention that when I counted a sample of 100 private vehicles, 72 !!! of them contained one person…the driver.
The answer to me is simple..make one lane for buses, motorcycles and taxis ONLY. Introduce heavy fines for drivers who break the rules.
The politicians in this country have a world-wide reputation for their corruptability…they also need to get their heads out of the traffic sands.
Reply
Filipino says:
August 17, 2015 at 6:23 am
Pointing out the defects and failings of the government is one thing, but spending ones energies to give birth to negative spirit that consumes some columnists is another matter. These columnists claims to be Christians. Are they exchanging the doctrines they insinuate to believe for sake of readership, notoriety, or relevance?
Reply
Wayne Marzon says:
August 17, 2015 at 5:30 am
Politician’s will say something just to say something…..without meat and bones. That’s how they make lots of money by masking the real problem instead of solving the problem heads on. That’s also the media’s fault by buying of what they said instead of doing in depth investigation of how and what’s going on under the table. Most uninform voters always believe with all those sugary rhetoric as long as they get some kind compensation during the election day. Money talks….politics is a dirty profession, the only candidates that win and survives must have money and connection from the elites.
Reply
victorts says:
August 17, 2015 at 5:05 am
That reply by Roxas was not solving the traffic problem. It was justifying the problem. God forbids he wins the presidency, we could expect a virtual stand still on the streets of Metro Manila.
Reply
Truth Seeker says:
August 17, 2015 at 3:27 am
Dapat pala hindi manalo si Roxas kundi bunton bunton ang traffic at baka hindi na makalabas ng garahe ang kotse ng bawat tao!
Reply
Mark Sanders says:
August 17, 2015 at 3:18 am
What excellent advice this is for those wishing to hire the right person for the right position. In an interview both sides bring expectations to the mix and it is so important that an opportunity is provided for both to be clear about what they expect. Interviewers need also to be honest about the position and what if has to offer the applicant and also the potential it offers for the person to use all of the skills and qualifications that have been set as a requirement for the position.
Reply
BABYBOO says:
August 17, 2015 at 3:09 am
Sufferings as indication of progress is monkey excuse for incompetence. Aquino and Mar Roxas death will be the dawn of progress. Incompetents is dead and` buried. Bury the LP of Aquino and Roxas comes 2016 election.
Reply
ren fuentes says:
August 17, 2015 at 1:34 pm
DO NOT VOTE FOR ANY CANDIDATE ESPOUSING THE DAAN MATUWID. WE ALL KNOW IT IS JUST A SHAM SLOGAN. REJECT ALL THE CANDIDATES OF THE LP or the LAPIANG PORK even if their senate lineup consists of capable individuals. these individuals will just protect boy sisi after june 30, 2016 and will just do what the old congress does which is raid the treasury with schemes to hide the pork.
DO NOT FORGET MAR aka BOY PICKUP. HE STARTED THE DETERIORATION OF THE SERVICE OF MRT-LRT, THE DETERIORATION OF THE AIRPORTS AND THE TRAFFIC AT THE RUNWAYS, LACK OF VEHICLE PLATE NUMBERS AND CARD FOR DRIVER’S LICENSE, PROLIFERATION OF COLORUM BUSES IN EDSA THUS CAUSING TRAFFIC JAMS, A DISASTER IN MANAGING DISASTERS LIKE THE ZAMBOANGA REBELLION OF MNLF AND THE YOLANDA TYPHOON, UNCONTROLLED PROLIFERATION OF ILLEGAL DRUGS, HIGH CRIME RATE DUE TO USE OF ILLEGAL DRUGS, ETC. KUNG GUSTO NYONG ITULOY PA ANG MGA ITO (TWID NA DAAN DAW) AY IBOTO NYO SI MAR aka BOY PICKUP


EDITORIAL: Pattern of incompetence  August 20, 2015 10:54 pm


WHAT'S WITH THE CONFETTI AND WHY ARE THEY NOT YELLOW? THEY'RE INPEACHMENT COMPLAINTS, SIR......MANILA TIMES EDITORIAL CARTOON AUGUST 20, 2014---

THE current inability of the Department of Foreign Affairs to keep up with the demand for new or renewed passports is only the latest embarrassing addition to a record of basic incompetence within the Aquino Administration. It is also further warning that “continuing Aquino’s reforms” should be the exact opposite of the broad policy objective the next president should have.

The first sign of trouble, though few remember it now, was very early in President Aquino’s reign, when the MRT system ran out of plastic tickets.

At the time, there were still vestiges of adequate process control in the commuter rail service’s management, and so the problem turned out to be only a mildly-amusing glitch – the MRT was forced to use its stock of old tickets, which were emblazoned with the image and name of former President Arroyo, something the then-new Aquino Administration found only slightly less mortifying than arriving at the office and suddenly realizing they’d forgotten to put on their pants.

Bigger and more serious problems

Since then, the problems have only gotten bigger and more serious. The difficulties of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in being able to supply first driver’s license cards and then vehicle plates through this year and most of last year are almost the stuff of legend, at this point. In addition to that, for several months last year the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) was unable to supply Philippine seafarers with the proper, internationally-recognized Seamen’s Book, a passport-like document that serves as a verified record of a seaman’s experience and qualifications, and gives him the ability to travel freely for work purposes.

And now, the DFA is having serious difficulties keeping up with the demand for passport booklets, no small task even under the best of circumstances, given that between five and six thousand Pinoys are leaving everyday to find work abroad, but not one that should be sabotaged by what boils down to an avoidable oversight.

“Avoidable oversight,” however, is a pattern of incompetence that seems to define the “Daang Matuwid” that, by some perverse logic, we’re all being told — and many foreign journalists, ambassadors, foreign chambers and UN officials are telling the world — should be continued by BS Aquino’s successor.

READ MORE...

All of these incompetently run agencies have cited variations of “problems with the printer” as explanations for their document shortages, which any fifth-grader would recognize as a lame excuse for not turning in one’s homework. It’s basic office management, and if the government cannot handle that, what more damage can it cause when trying to “manage” policy?

BSA’s crooked “Daang Matuwid” is the road we must avoid

We think that question has already answered itself with the Administration’s discouraging performance in key areas like infrastructure development, disaster response, budget management, among other things.

But, exasperatingly, in Mindanao, everything the BS Aquino Administration has touched, from the peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, to the power supply problem and the socio-economic programs, has experienced something akin to vandalism. BSA’s crooked and dangerously pot-holed “Daang Matuwid” is the road our country must avoid.

Broad aspirations are fine – they sound good on TV – but what the country needs is actual competent management. That can only come from a president who clearly demonstrates an understanding of the basic functions of the government and how to carry them out. An understanding, in other words, of the presidency as a job.

5 Responses to Pattern of incompetence
Janelle says:
August 21, 2015 at 6:10 pm
Its about time our govt should be run like a corporation and all personnel should be hired based on their qualifications and experience. It is so sad that right from the very start, the focus of noynoy is not his job of building our country but to take down his “enemies” & allow his kkk to fool around with their respective departments.
Reply
Banyagangpinoy says:
August 21, 2015 at 3:07 pm
Hanggat hindi nagkakaroon ng sariling panindigan si ABNOY hindi titino ang ating bansa.
ABAYA and his KKK are the main reason for his failures. Likewise he should stop being vindictive, so he can work intelligently. MAAWA KAYO SA PILIPINAS…
Reply
Oldandcurious says:
August 21, 2015 at 9:39 am
The horrible state of the MRT and with the LTO, now with DFA is not about incompetence. Simply put, is wanton greed.
The people tasks to do what needs to be done cannot move efficiently to accomplish what they are mandated and expected to do because the supplies (Passport, Driver’s License, additional new train coaches) are simply not there, kasi nga naibulsa na ng mga appointed buddies ni Pnoy ang mga nakuha sa hatian.
Walang kapantay na kapabayaan at hind masukat na katakawan sa pera ang puno’t dulo ng “Daang Matuwid.”
Reply
hectordavid says:
August 21, 2015 at 9:24 am
We entrusdd our futufe to a child who has lived in the shadow of an extraordinry indiviual during a very difficult period in our history .
We expected him to act like a leader pinning on his back our hopes and dreams, blindfolding ourselves to the obvious stupidity and incompetence.
The fault sir is in ourselves not our unripe and imbalanced choice
REPLY
Yes, indeed the fault is in those of us who followed the lead of the Yellow Army (but not us and those millions of Filipinos who never got swayed by the Yellow Army and the Black and White Movement). The biggest culprit is Smartmatic and its PCOS machines who produced President BS Aquino.
Reply
ren fuentes says:
August 21, 2015 at 2:46 pm
now the yellow cult is trying to hoodwink us witn another do nothing boy pickup or poe-ppet. amazing that some foreign groups are in favor of the presidency of either of the 2 mentioned. chanco of philstar mentioned that his international banker friend is saying that boy pickup or poe-ppet will be good for the phil. is a do nothing fellow and another no experience fellow good for us according to the yellows and these foreign groups?? siguro madali nilang mabobola ang mga ito to further exploit us. kawawa tayo pag nanalo either itong si boy pickup o poe-ppet o biNOY. the biggest hindrance that i feel we should hurdle is the magical hocus pcos machine of the smartmatic-comelec gang supported by the yellow cult.


EDITORIAL: Stop oppressing OFWs August 22, 2015 11:01 pm

[BOC CHIEF ALBERTO LINA plans to curtail the use by OFWs of balikbayan boxes because these are being used for smuggling.][OFW: The balikbayan box is so sacred to us, OFWs. It is an expression of love, and we always look forward to hearing about how its contents made our family happy.'']


BOC Commissioner Alberto Lina, 2013 PHOTO UNTV NEWS


Former Senator and now Manila Hotel General Manager Joey Lina

(This is a corrected version of our original editorial in which we committed the grave error of mistaking BOC Commissioner Albert Lina for former senator Joey Lina. We are sorry for our grave error.)

BUREAU of Customs Commissioner Albert Lina’s brother then Senator Joey Lina became notorious years ago for being the author of a populist but anti-developmental and pro-gangster and pro-anarchy law.

His law penalizes middle-class Filipinos who own real estate that have been invaded by squatters. It gives squatters the right to continue occupying their illegally occupied real estate –often with the support of gangsters and bullies — until the land’s owner can give them the money needed for them to relocate to another site.

The money required from a rich real state corporation to pay off squatters is no skin off the wealthy corporation’s owners. But the expense of relocating a squatter family or families is devastating to the thousands of Overseas Filipino Workers who are abroad to earn the money for the food, clothing and shelter of their families and to save up the funds needed to build their first homes on land they are still making installment payments for.

Not only OFWs but also “non-poor” families that own a piece of land but can’t afford to build their dream home suffer as a result of what the late Neal H. Cruz correctly dubbed “The Stupid Lina Law.”

A new “Stupid Lina Move” against OFWs

Now BOC Chief Albert Lina has come up with a plan to make OFWs miserable.
He plans to curtail the use by OFWs of balikbayan boxes because these are being used for smuggling.

We wholeheartedly agree with Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. who has lambasted BOC chief Lina for using his agency’s “bureaucratic might against overseas Filipino workers sending personal effects to their families through ‘balikbayan’ boxes in the guise of an anti-smuggling campaign.”

Senator Marcos urged Commissioner Lina not to carry out plans to impose “further restrictions on the use of balikbayan boxes by the OFWs including a plan to impose taxes or additional fees on forwarding costs for OFW boxes.”

Mr. Marcos commendably said: “Mr. Lina, you are a public servant. It is your duty to consult with stakeholders first, before embarking on any draconian measure that would turn their lives upside-down.”

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He reminded the BOC chief that the balikbayan box came into being during the late President Ferdinand Marcos’ time “ when Section 105 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines was amended to provide duty and tax-free privileges to overseas Filipino workers so they can send personal effects including gift items to their families.”

Sen. Marcos said to the BOC: “Have you no shame?

For every OFW, a balikbayan box is the equivalent of his or her love letter to a spouse and the rest of the family. Every item inside that box was bought with a specific person and purpose in mind, bought for with the hard-earned money of our modern-day heroes.

So if a single item there gets lost, can you imagine how that feels to an OFW who invested so much emotion and money just to get those goods home?”

Investigate Customs’ perennial collection shortfalls

Sen. Marcos challenged Mr. Lina to justify before the Senate during its forthcoming budget hearings the BOC’s move to open balikbayan boxes at random. “Let them defend themselves during the budget deliberations.

Specifically, I would like to know how many bigtime smugglers have they managed to put behind bars during the five years under this administration.”

He said there was a need to investigate the perennial shortfalls in the collections of the BOC.

“Are they planning to impose taxes on balikbayan boxes to make up for their annual collection deficit? In bullying our OFWs, they managed to expose their own internal deficiencies. Ayusin muna nila ang bakuran nila dahil mas nakakapinsala ang korapsyon sa loob ng BoC kesa sa mga balikbayan boxes na pinapadala ng mga lehitimong OFWs.”

35 Responses to Stop oppressing OFWs
Romeo Cueto says:
August 23, 2015 at 2:04 pm
I’m sure our President Pinoy know nothing about this bad practice !!! He is an honest Presedente !
Reply
Yikes says:
August 23, 2015 at 1:39 pm
It has all the blessing of this inept president! He should be prosecuted later on for his failed policies: PDAF, mamasapano, yolanda funds. His attacks on OFWs, the spine of the economy is just foolish. Another president who will go to jail.
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neoxyrel says:
August 23, 2015 at 1:03 pm
Thanks Sen. Bongbong for depending the OFWs, often the milking cow of the administration. You have my vote and the OFWs I know if ever you would run for a higher office.
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Wilson Tugade Guillermo says:
August 23, 2015 at 12:47 pm
The likes of Senator Bongbong Marcos, Mayor Lito Atienza, Mirriam Defensor Santiago who acted swiftly by raising their voices in support to millions of OFW’s against the repressive BOC move against OFW and balikbayan boxes is COMMENDABLE. Setting aside ill political motives that is playing in our head, it is still a welcome and worthy gesture of support to OFW’s. Mabuhay po kayo Senador Bongbong Marcos, Mayor Lito Atienza, Senador Mirriam Santiago. Sana ay magtagumpay kayo sa inyong larangan sa politika at umaasa ang bawat PILIPINO na lagi kayong nakabantay sa kapakanan ng nakararami at ng ating bansang PILIPINAS.
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jeniel e. posa says:
August 23, 2015 at 12:41 pm
why this people accepting in the government position which they cannot solve the problem but to give another problem.Why the balikbayan boxes is a personal things and properties of the ofw’s , they want to open to check without permission to the owner?If something’s lost any one item, who will blame for that, custom personnel.I ashame those people behind this corruption and dirty behavior doing of the BOC.
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Virgo888 says:
August 23, 2015 at 11:15 am
This is a simple case of business rivalry. Lina knows that Balikbayan boxes business is the bread and butter of his competitor
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kutikut says:
August 23, 2015 at 9:10 am
this is before lina’s time but i would like to point out a proof that the boc is a den of thieves, remember that some 2,000 container vans banished into thin air!
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vg says:
August 23, 2015 at 9:07 am
Thanks Marcos for defending OFWs. We do not want them to be stolen from or have to pay to receive their boxes.
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Kuya Eddie says:
August 23, 2015 at 7:56 am
hay naku, puno na po ang salop!
kahit ang munting kaligayahan ng balikbayan boxes ay pagnanakawan pa rin para sa election 2016 ng mga sakim na LP – Abad, Abaya, Drilon, Pnoy
Mr. Lina – alam ng lahat ng OFW ang iyong motibo at utos ng iyong amo!
matakot ka sa diyos! maawa ka sa mga OFW!
BAYAN – heto ba ang tuwid na daan?
Reply
taxpayer says:
August 23, 2015 at 6:58 am
It was Ex Sen JOEY LINA not BERT LINA who authored the so called Lina Law.
=REPLY
YES, WE ARE SORRY FOR OUR GRAVE ERROR. The error has been corrected.
Reply
Dominador D. Canastra says:
August 23, 2015 at 6:39 am
Sayang si Bert Lina.
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Marcial Lex says:
August 23, 2015 at 6:25 am
That Lina sucks!!Thanks Sen. Bongbong, you are really a public servant..!
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mylatorres says:
August 23, 2015 at 5:38 am
Sir, since you have mentioned that Sen. Marcos is opposing on this bullshit and stupid Lina move… he (Sen Marcos, and all other concerned Senators) should stop this bullying on OFW’S….of which i’m one of them. Thru your column, please help us stop this additional corruption of BOC…Mr.Lina is a devil puppet of Aquino…this must stop!
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Thai anton says:
August 23, 2015 at 5:28 am
I beg to disagree dapAt lang magbayad sila ng buwis , dapat wala ng balikbayan boxes at pera ang ipadala nila , para sa Pilipinas sila bumili
Ng mga kailangan nila ,increasing locally made products viability and thus providing JOBS to Pilipinos , in the Philippines. I stopped sending balikbayan boxes long ago , because I realized that I am contributing
To joblessness in my own country .
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kasilagan6657 says:
August 23, 2015 at 7:52 am
ehhhemmm…there you go again…yellows…you were not sending balibayan boxes after all coz you are working in BOC…all ypu send to your family are “lean meats” from balikbayan boxes of OFWs….
Ompong says:
August 23, 2015 at 8:01 am
Bakit hindi pa ba sapat yung perang pinadadala namin sa pamilya namin na ginagamit pangbili ng locally made sabon/locally made cooking oil/locally made pandesal at iba pang mga locally made? Kung ayaw mong magpadala, wag mong gawin. Karapatan mo yun.
Pag umuuwi kami, di ba me dala rin kaming pera na pinanggagastos para kumain sa Jollibee/MacDo/Burger King/Mang Insal. Di ba sandamakmak ang mga outlet nito? So, there you go, maraming trabaho at sa Supply Chain nito.
Truck truck ba ang ipinadadala ng bawat isang OFW para maging daan upang malugi ng husto ang Pilipinas thru BOC?
Kung wala ang OFW, bangkarote na ang Pilipinas. Buti pa si Pres. Marcos, alam nya ang hirap ng mga OFW kaya nga nag issue siya executive order amending Section 105 of the Custom and Tarrif Code.
Etong si Bert Lina, me ari o dating me ari ng Air 21 na dating me hawak ng FedEx eh nalulugi na yata sa dami ng kalaban nila sa business ng Balik Bayan Box. Kaya eto, gusto nyang bweltahan ang mga kawawang OFW na hindi ginagamit ang serbisyo ng kumpanya nya.
Dagdag pa na kailangan nila (LP) ng malaking pondo para siguraduhing mananalo ang manok nilang si Mar Roxas – GOOD LUCK NA LANG SA INYO!
ren fuentes says:
August 23, 2015 at 10:33 am
lahat ng sinasabing mga dapat dito bilhin ay galing sa ibang bansa din o imported at karamihan ay smuggled pa. halos lahat ng mabibili mo sa divisoria ay smuggled goods. so ang pinayayaman mo ay mga mayari ng malls na kadalasan ay sila ang nag smuggle ng mga kargamento. syempre wala sa pangalan nila ang importasyon.
neoxyrel says:
August 23, 2015 at 1:12 pm
remember the billions of dollars being pumped into the economy of the OFWs. I bet you are one exemption and I also bet that you are not an OFW but an immigrant who opted to escape from country because you are a selfish coward who does not have the balls to help your country of birth.
Mei says:
August 23, 2015 at 1:15 pm
holy crap thai anton!you were contributing to joblessness? Paano? I have been sending boxes for years helping my family and everybody now has jobs. what has sending goods got to do with joblessness? you send your family to college and the they get jobs. the boxes are for their supplies,imported food stuff, and things they cannot afford to buy otherwise. many relatives make use of slightly used shirts or clothes, and they really need it. I send a lot of baby stuff for the poor mothers in the country and they are very grateful for it. To a new mother who does not even have a blanket for the baby, these stuff are urgently needed and they were given to me by friends. they cant nab or arrest the richdrug dealer or smuggler because they can afford to pay them off, so they hit the poor overseas worker is there sanity to this? they are all crooks!!!!
nilo says:
August 23, 2015 at 2:10 pm
Sir ‘Thai Anton
Alam po ninyo hindi ako naniniwala na OFW kayo?bkit ko ito nasasabi kasi di ninyo nararamdaman ang mga totoong nararamdaman namin na mga OFW.
Minsan nga naiisip ko parang tama nga yata yung sinasabi ng isang pulitiko na ang gobyernong ito ay walang malasakit sa aming mga mahihirap..Lilinawin ko po kung maganda sana ang opportunity diyan di na kami aalis diyan wala nga po at isa pa po may batas na tayo diyan bakit di muna baguhin ang batas kung kailangan talaga at sa panig namin ano po ba ang naigaganti sa amin ng gobyerno?kami bagong bayani sa salita pero sa gawa wala.Lahat ng bagahe may mga panagalan namin at kung ano man ang nasa loob nito pananagutan namin may x-ray naman at wag lang sana bubuksan dahil pag binuksan na doon na ang temptation eh wala pa namang cctv camera sa working place nila at please imbestigahan ninyo ang sarili ninyong bakuran.bakit ang dami na nagtatrabaho diyan sa BOC ang gaganda ng buhay Magkano ba ang kita nila?
D.i. Abella says:
August 23, 2015 at 5:04 am
is Alberto Lina of the BOC the same Lina who authored the so called Lina Law? Wasn’t it Joey Lina?
REPLY
Yes, We are very sorry for this very serious error. The mistake has been corrected.
Reply
Armando D. Manaloto says:
August 23, 2015 at 5:01 am
You are erroneously referring to Mr. Alberto Lina as the author of the Lina Law authored by senator Joey Lina. It is an unforgivable journalistic error to commit a mistake of fact.
REPLY
YES, WE ARE VERY SORRY FOR THIS GRAVE ERROR. The mistake has been corrected.
Reply
Zak Pasiking says:
August 23, 2015 at 4:41 am
You’re very correct Mr. Senator Bong Bong, you are the man that every Filipino Citizen proud of! Let them assured and let them know ( the OFW)shall be soon freed from bondage, and let them know too(the Culprit at The BOC) their days are numbered..
I know Mr. Senator, even you did not declared yet your intention to ran for President,but your heart clearly speaks. Rest assured, that all my fellow OFW’s around the globe are united with you…!
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Oraman says:
August 23, 2015 at 3:44 am
Mr Joey Lina is the author of Lina Law ! Is he a brother of Alberto Lina? Basta Lina pabigat sa OFW!
REPLY
Yes. We are very sorry for the grave error of referring to BOC Commissioner Bert Lina as former Senator Joey Lina.
The mistake has been corrected
Reply
Maria Noela Kertz says:
August 23, 2015 at 2:50 am
Mr President Aquino, Is Lina your gift to the OFWs? I have so much respect in you in your fight against corruption until now. My respect in you is going down the drain. You are becoming an anti-OFW. Let’s not forget that the remittances from the OFW’s are helping in the country’s economy. You put people to power with questionable background and integrity. Don’t you realize, these chosen herds you have will totally reflect your personality and integrity in the end? We (OFW’s) are saddened by these rules of the boc going after the small time people who work hard just to make their love ones or family happy. Wake up Mr Aquino and listen to the OFW’s.
Reply
carl says:
August 23, 2015 at 7:47 am
the ofw workers of the philippines are the backbone of the philippine economy ,leaving their homeland and love ones to help their families , gone for years ,miss their childrens development , what more does that lina guy want, send him over there ….. should be fired from his job, and all the ofws should unite and let their voice be heard and get lina out of office
Mar Padilla, Jr. says:
August 23, 2015 at 2:13 am
I agree completely with BBM.
Reply
JRT says:
August 23, 2015 at 1:49 am
By the way, to the BOC, have you completed your investigation why number of containers containing toxic garbage were shipped to our country. What’s the outcome? Are there officials who need to be investigated and punished? Did you guys put this issue under the rag?
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JRT says:
August 23, 2015 at 1:28 am
I am an OFW for more than 30 years. I really don’t see the problem of checking Balikbayan boxes. It’s true that there are some OFW who are engage in smuggling luxury items. It’s well known by many Filipinos in various countries. It’s robbing our country of taxable goods for nearly USD 1 Billion a year. I don’t believe for a minute that ordinary OFW will find this ruling will make their life miserable. They cannot afford luxury items for God sake. The life of smugglers will definitely get miserable. I would like to challenge those who think that smuggling is not going on Balikbayan boxes. I think the BOC is right in checking the Balikbayan boxes if it is to stop or eliminate smuggling by usually rich people.
I think it’s good for our country to start collecting more taxes especially from the politicians and filthy rich businessmen.
Reply
Ompong says:
August 23, 2015 at 10:24 am
Ang problema, pag binuksan ung kahon eh hindi naman sa harap nung may-ari kundi sa harap nung agent lang. At pag nakursundahan nitong mamang/aleng customs na ito ung item/s eh kukunin na lang nya. Pag pumalag naman yung agent, tiyak tatakunin ni mamang/aleng custom yung agent. So suma total, ung laruan o spam na dapat mapunta sa pamilya nung OFW ay nasikwat pa.
Common knowledge dyan sa customs kung sinu-sino ang mga “biyaherong” malalaki ang gumagamit sa mga balik bayan boxes na yan. Kaya every time na me parating itong mga biyaherong ito eh naka timbre na yan sa kanila.
ian says:
August 23, 2015 at 2:29 pm
Ah, and let all suffer because of the misdeeds of the few, like what Bush did to all airports to combat international terrorism? Ah, but you know how people at the BoC and the Bureau of Post have pilfered mails and boxes. It is possible that there should be a commensurate and just way to inspect balikbayan boxes under the premise: they are private goods of private individuals intended for their private use. You make smuggling the premise, then you make us all smugglers, or suspects or alleged smugglers. What a shame! How infantile and how narrow-minded can one get in one’s selfishness and ego-tripping.
nilo says:
August 23, 2015 at 2:36 pm
To: JRT
Sir,
Sabi po ninyo 30 yrs. na kayo na OFW ? so dapat alam na ninyo ang feeling namin na mahihirap? wala na ba silang maisip na ibang paraaan ?kailangang bang idamay ang lahat sa pagkakamali at ng mga gumagawa ng masama?May x-ray naman di ba doon lang malalaman na kung ano ang nasa loob ng kahon?bukod pa sa lahat ng balikbayan box may mga pangalan ng nagpadala so doon lang may idea ka na.Kung OFW nga siya o hindi saka bakit agad agad paiiralin na agad ito eh hindi pa sila handa at isa pa di ba may batas na umiiral dito ano ang mangyayari kung lagi na lang ganyan.Ang namamahala o mamumuno papalit palit yan pero ang batas nanatili yan.Masyado naman ninyo kaming ina api,nagtatrabaho kami dito para sa pamilya namin na kahit malayo sa mga mahal namin sa buhay tinitiis namin.Sure ako di mo yan narasan Mr. JRT at kung totoo ngang OFW ka kasama mo siguro ang pamilya mo at maganda ang trabaho mo kaya para sayo maliit na issue ito.Pero sa amin na maliliit na tao malaking issue ito at sana maunawaan naman ninyo ang mga nadarama namin na mahihirap dalangin ko na sana pagkalooban kayo ng damdaming empatiya para sa ganoon maramdaman ninyo kung ano ang nararamdam ng mga tulad naming mahihirap. Salamat po
MannyD says:
August 23, 2015 at 1:15 am
It was a Joey Lina who authored the law. anyways both of them are big failures.
REPLY
YES, WE ARE SORRY FOR OUR GRAVE ERROR. The mistake has been corrected.
Reply
Firestarter says:
August 23, 2015 at 1:02 am
It has the go signal of our Shameless and incompetent President. This administration is the most ineffective and useless among the previous administration from the time of Cory Aquino. The balikbayan boxes is the scapegoat of their failed government of Pnoy.
Reply
rene valderrama says:
August 23, 2015 at 12:19 am
Alberto Lina was never a member of Congress. How could he have authored a Law?
REPLY
YES, YOU ARE RIGHT. WE MADE A GRAVE ERROR IN MISTAKING BERT LINE FOR HIS BROTHER FORMER SENATOR JOEY LINA.
The mistake has been corrected.
Reply


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