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


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

FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

EDITORIAL: JUST AN OPINION
[Regardless of the administration’s denials, the UN Working Group’s opinion on the Arroyo case marked the Philippines as a violator of human rights. This was a black mark on the country’s reputation—and it was the self-righteous President Aquino and his minions who put it there]


OCTOBER 12 -WITH typical disregard for what is just and right, a spokesman for President Aquino last week dismissed a finding by a United Nations panel that the government violated international law and the human rights of former President Gloria Arroyo through its arbitrary, illegal and politically motivated detention of her since 2012. The panel that the spokesman was so quick to dismiss as “just a group expressing an opinion” was the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, composed of five recognized experts on international law and human rights. Working under the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the panel is mandated to examine individual complaints regarding alleged cases of arbitrary detention, render its opinion and make its recommendations to the government involved. In the course of its investigation, if the group considers that further information is required from the government or the complainant, then it may keep the case pending until that information is received. In this instance, international human rights lawyer Amal Clooney filed a case on behalf of Mrs. Arroyo in February, questioning the government’s continued detention of the former president and its refusal to allow her to post bail, given that all her other co-accused in the same case had already been able to do so. On June 15, the government filed its reply to Arroyo’s complaint through the Philippines Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva, arguing that the former President’s detention was legal and the UN working group should dismiss the case. The government’s participation in the proceedings before the working group was significant, because it was a tacit acknowledgment of its authority and expertise to render a legal opinion. READ MORE...

ALSO Editorial: Building resilience


OCTOBER 17 -While we were preoccupied with speculating on the fortunes of the political personalities who filed their certificates of candidacy this week, a typhoon brewed over the Pacific. Typhoon “Lando,” with international name Koppu, threatens Northern and Central Luzon and even the island’s southern provinces as it is expected to make landfall this weekend over either Isabela or Aurora. The weather bureau has warned local government units and residents of vulnerable areas that the slow-moving typhoon may bring life-threatening storm surges, flash floods and landslides from heavy rainfall. The Office of Civil Defense in the affected regions claims the local units as well as the military and police are already on red alert to ensure zero casualties from the typhoon, even as no preemptive evacuation has yet been carried out as of press time. Reducing and managing disaster risk should be made an election issue, both for national and local candidates. This is not about gathering rice, noodles and canned goods for distribution to hapless residents in evacuation centers. Not, too, about providing them temporary shelters in the event their homes get damaged by the storm or other disasters. Too often, the temptation to play the role of magnanimous benefactor is difficult to resist. As is the invitation to use power to make political enemies suffer more than they already have. Beneficiaries are forced to look upon their officials as saviors without whom they would not survive or recover. As a way of expressing their gratitude, they vote for these officials in the next elections or accept who it is these politicians say should succeed them. National and local candidates should take the lead in ensuring that their constituents become better armed to protect themselves, their families and their property in the event of disaster. This includes anticipating and mitigating disaster risk by identifying the potential threats. Building resilience also means taking steps to prepare for a disaster even before anything comes up in the horizon. It means establishing processes and protocols that only need to be followed when disaster strikes. Finally, it refers to giving residents the means not only to recover, but to build their lives back such that they become stronger and more able than they were before. As we watch with trepidation how Lando develops in the next few hours, we should also be reminded of the great role that these candidates now vying for our attention play. While governance is a dance between the governors and the governed, it is the leaders who determine whether the people would need help all the time, or are enabled to help themselves.THE FULL EDITORIAL.

ALSO By Dean Tony La Viña: Aquino’s good legacy on climate change[From what I gather, President Aquino himself, with key officials like Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Neda Director General Arsenio Balisacan, and recently resigned Secretary Lucille Sering (Vice-Chair of the CCC who will be running in the elections as representative of Surigao del Sur), spent precious hours finalizing the INDC. This means this ambitious INDC has the backing of the highest levels of government. To means, this cements a good legacy on climate change for the Aquino administration.]


OCTOBER 17 -Until lately, I would have assessed the Aquino administration’s record on climate change as a mixture of success and failure. But with the submission last Oct. 1, 2015 of our Intended Nationally Determined Contributions to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, I am now inclined to give this government a more positive mark. Climate change did not start out as a priority for President Aquino. Unlike his predecessor, former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Aquino did not set aside a day a week just to focus on climate change. After a series of typhoons—Milenyo, Reming, Frank, Ondoy and Pepeng—Arroyo paid attention to this most serious development and environment threat to the country, aware that economic development and whatever little progress we could achieve in the fight against poverty was endangered by this global phenomenon. The former president also actively engaged world leaders on this issue, joining more than a hundred heads of states in the 2009 Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change. I personally witnessed President Arroyo’s engagement with the issue as I was asked several times to attend a meeting with her to discuss our international strategy on climate change. Although President Aquino did not regularly convene or attend the meetings of the Climate Change Commission, an agency he chairs (an error committed by Congress in my view as Presidents should not be heading specific agencies), he did create a cabinet cluster on climate change and environment. And after Yolanda devastated the Visayas, the Aquino administration became more aggressive on climate change adaptation, among other things increasing the budget for climate related programs, projects and activities. President Aquino himself began spending more time on the issue, attending in September 2014 the special summit on climate change convened by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in the UN headquarters in New York City. There, President Aquino made it clear he knew what was at stake with climate change. He committed the Philippines “to take steps to maintain and even improve our low-emission development strategy and the trajectory of our energy mix.” A year later, the Philippines became the 136th country to submit an INDC and one that delivers on the promise made by President Aquino in his speech. Our submission is in compliance with the decision of the Conference of the Parties to the climate change convention held last year in Lima, Peru where in all Parties were invited to initiate domestic preparations in anticipation of the legally binding agreement to be decided upon in Paris, France later this year. These contributions will determine the extent of the ambition and conviction of governments in arriving at an agreement that will once and for all address effectively the global issue of climate change. The INDC of the Philippines is a six-page document anchored on the country’s policy declaration under the Climate Change Law where in it is stated that the Philippines shall cooperate with the global community in the resolution of climate change issues. In my view, the Philippine INDC is ambitious, comprehensive, and transformative. Although the details have to be worked out in a rigorous, transparent, participatory and consultative manner, I believe the INDC is doable even as it will be challenging to achieve. In the words of Ateneo de Manila University president Fr. Jett Villarin SJ, the country’s most prominent climate scientist, “This INDC will require us to truly transform our economy.” READ MORE...

ALSO By Rod Kapunan: Answer, not raise, the issues
[Finally, when the two veteran women columnists, Belinda Cunanan and Carmen Pedrosa, raised the issue about the state of mind of Noynoy Aquino, it was right, valid and appropriate because he was gunning for the presidency. Certainly, the 100-million Filipino people cannot gamble on one who could make their lives more miserable, which happened. Now, if Noynoy remains an issue against Mar, it is because he was the one who chooses the candidate, and setting aside the “boladas” of their political soothsayers, the reason why many have their antipathy towards Mar Roxas is because they see him as the continuation of the incompetence of this administration.]


OCTOBER 17 -The hypocrites are condemning the Santiago-Marcos ticket as if to tell the opposition they alone can select who their rivals should be in this coming presidential election. Such a prejudgment against Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago who is running for President with Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for vice presidential candidate is symptomatic of a sick mind because they presuppose they can never be wrong in their campaign strategy. So, if you are not with them, you are not following the righteous path. Such prejudgment by this self-righteous Liberal Party is telling that truly, they are not doing their duty of enlightening the people of the issues, and of the reason why they are being asked to participate in this electoral exercise. Rather, it is the people who should ask them what they have accomplished in the last six years they were in office. Such is their squid tactic, for obviously, there is an attempt to prevent the people from asking why this government that has sanctimoniously proclaimed itself “holy” turned out to be the most corrupt and is now setting the pace for the moral decadence in our society. Let us face it, the Liberal Party headed by Manuel “Mar” Roxas and his entire ticket of hypocrites should be the one answering the issues. The opposition, especially the ticket of Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Bongbong Marcos, are simply trying to pick them up. To put it straight, they should be the one asking why these barking minions deserve to be elected. Like elementary students, it is now the teacher who is asking about their assignment, stupid! Roxas and his political handlers cannot take the offensive by raising issues against their rivals. Their insistence of taking the offensive instead of answering intelligently the issues like their wasteful disbursement of public funds (Disbursement Acceleration Program and Priority Development Assistance Fund) to which the name of Butch Abad has become synonymous; on their plan to hand over a portion of our territory to people who profess the same religion as those now spreading terror here and in the Middle East; about the Mamasapano massacre; the deteriorated peace and order and moral decadence in our society as shown by the prurient behavior of their candidates; for reducing anew this country to a colony of the US; for using taxpayers’ money to secure the impeachment of chief justice Renato Corona in retaliation for the decision to land reform Hacienda Luisita; of the selective justice in prosecuting only their political enemies; by creating new set of cronies made up of the super-rich elite that today has created a deep wedge between the rich and the people where a sizeable number of them are unemployed and starving; for lavishing the elite and the super-rich with last minute multi-billion contracts where the public ultimately pay the exorbitantly price for their services; and for the complete absence of social services such as housing, medical care, and their lack of concern about the spiraling cost of basic commodities. As abominable liars, they are raising again the issues of martial law and dictatorship ignoring that the sitting President is the son of the former President who, just like the mother, has not accomplished anything, except to parade herself as the alleged mother of democracy and the restorer of our freedom. Most vicious are the misguided progressive left, who, in all these years, have been styling themselves as the all-knowing intelligentsia class, but in truth are plain mercenaries who have reduced their ideology to hatred and obfuscation. They have contributed nothing, except to agitate our people and add misery to their lives. In fact, their collaborative support for this regime that turned out to be the most obdurate and shameless US puppet in Asia has reduced them to the level of political nuisance. Worse, they are raising the issue about the late President Ferdinand Marcos against Bongbong Marcos, without thinking that as they continue to rub it in, they are highlighting the contrast that Ferdinand represents now the symbol of an achiever and competence in government, while the one that is brokering the candidacy of Mar and Leni Robredo is now the symbol of dismal failure in government stewardship. Besides, Ferdinand Marcos who died more than 20 years ago is not a candidate. They should present what they have accomplished or answer the charges why they have converted the national treasury as their private money to freely buy the loyalty of their political sycophants. READ MORE...

ALSO Editorial: The economic cost of El Niño


OCTOBER 16 -High rice and corn prices resulting from decreased farm production and increased power rates in Mindanao are among the major economic cost of El Niño. Depending on its severity, the dry spell could add more woes to Filipino farmers, who rely on their agricultural produce as their main livelihood. The government plans to initially allocate P19.2 billion to assist farmers affected by El Niño dry spell and mitigate its impact on crop production. Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the planned budget covering the remaining months of 2015 and next year was still tentative. The government is assuming the current episode of El Niño will be as bad as the 1997-1998 drought when rice production fell 25 percent. The grim scenario has prompted the government to raise the projected rice imports next year to 1.5 million metric tons to ensure the adequate supply of the staple and stabilize prices. Says Balisacan: “The most important thing really here is learning from El Niño... to make sure we have adequate supply. The timely importation is crucial, because what we want is to avoid domestic prices from shooting up while world prices are relatively stable.”  Assisting the farmers, however, is the more crucial element of the budget against El Niño. The government should allocate more to the National Irrigation Administration to help the agency in building more waterways and mini dams that can store more water during the rainy season and irrigate farms in the dry months.  Earmarking the budget for distribution of food stamps and cash-for-work program for families displaced or affected by the dry spell through the Department of Social Welfare and Development is a band-aid solution to El Niño. The drought could happen more frequently now amid climate change. The government should also review the role of NIA as an irrigation authority. Irrigation facilities are still lacking in many rural areas and NIA’s inadequacy in easing the plight of farmers has directly caused lower agricultural production in the past. THE FULL EDITORIAL.


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

EDITORIAL: ‘Just an opinion’

MANILA, OCTOBER 19, 2015 (MANILA STANDARD) Manila Standard Today Editorial | Oct. 12, 2015 - WITH typical disregard for what is just and right, a spokesman for President Aquino last week dismissed a finding by a United Nations panel that the government violated international law and the human rights of former President Gloria Arroyo through its arbitrary, illegal and politically motivated detention of her since 2012.

The panel that the spokesman was so quick to dismiss as “just a group expressing an opinion” was the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, composed of five recognized experts on international law and human rights. Working under the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the panel is mandated to examine individual complaints regarding alleged cases of arbitrary detention, render its opinion and make its recommendations to the government involved.

In the course of its investigation, if the group considers that further information is required from the government or the complainant, then it may keep the case pending until that information is received.

In this instance, international human rights lawyer Amal Clooney filed a case on behalf of Mrs. Arroyo in February, questioning the government’s continued detention of the former president and its refusal to allow her to post bail, given that all her other co-accused in the same case had already been able to do so.

On June 15, the government filed its reply to Arroyo’s complaint through the Philippines Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva, arguing that the former President’s detention was legal and the UN working group should dismiss the case.

The government’s participation in the proceedings before the working group was significant, because it was a tacit acknowledgment of its authority and expertise to render a legal opinion.

READ MORE...

How that acknowledgment turned into a dismissal of the UN panel as “just a group” can be explained by this administration’s penchant to only follow the rules when they prove favorable, and to simply disregard them when they are not.

The UN Working Group itself observed this tendency when it highlighted Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s defiance of the Supreme Court in November 2011, when she ordered a travel ban on Arroyo and prevented her from boarding a plane to seek medical treatment abroad.

It is the height of hypocrisy for this government to wave away the findings of the Working Group, yet take the country’s territorial complaint against China to a UN tribunal.

Should the judgment go against the Philippines, will the President’s mouthpiece once again dismiss a UN body as “just a group expressing an opinion?”

Regardless of the administration’s denials, the UN Working Group’s opinion on the Arroyo case marked the Philippines as a violator of human rights. This was a black mark on the country’s reputation—and it was the self-righteous President Aquino and his minions who put it there.


Building resilience posted October 17, 2015 at 12:01 am



While we were preoccupied with speculating on the fortunes of the political personalities who filed their certificates of candidacy this week, a typhoon brewed over the Pacific. Typhoon “Lando,” with international name Koppu, threatens Northern and Central Luzon and even the island’s southern provinces as it is expected to make landfall this weekend over either Isabela or Aurora.

The weather bureau has warned local government units and residents of vulnerable areas that the slow-moving typhoon may bring life-threatening storm surges, flash floods and landslides from heavy rainfall.

The Office of Civil Defense in the affected regions claims the local units as well as the military and police are already on red alert to ensure zero casualties from the typhoon, even as no preemptive evacuation has yet been carried out as of press time.

Reducing and managing disaster risk should be made an election issue, both for national and local candidates. This is not about gathering rice, noodles and canned goods for distribution to hapless residents in evacuation centers. Not, too, about providing them temporary shelters in the event their homes get damaged by the storm or other disasters.

Too often, the temptation to play the role of magnanimous benefactor is difficult to resist. As is the invitation to use power to make political enemies suffer more than they already have.

Beneficiaries are forced to look upon their officials as saviors without whom they would not survive or recover. As a way of expressing their gratitude, they vote for these officials in the next elections or accept who it is these politicians say should succeed them.

National and local candidates should take the lead in ensuring that their constituents become better armed to protect themselves, their families and their property in the event of disaster. This includes anticipating and mitigating disaster risk by identifying the potential threats.

Building resilience also means taking steps to prepare for a disaster even before anything comes up in the horizon. It means establishing processes and protocols that only need to be followed when disaster strikes.

Finally, it refers to giving residents the means not only to recover, but to build their lives back such that they become stronger and more able than they were before.

As we watch with trepidation how Lando develops in the next few hours, we should also be reminded of the great role that these candidates now vying for our attention play. While governance is a dance between the governors and the governed, it is the leaders who determine whether the people would need help all the time, or are enabled to help themselves.


Aquino’s good legacy on climate change posted October 17, 2015 at 12:01 am by Dean Tony La Viña

Until lately, I would have assessed the Aquino administration’s record on climate change as a mixture of success and failure. But with the submission last Oct. 1, 2015 of our Intended Nationally Determined Contributions to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, I am now inclined to give this government a more positive mark.

Climate change did not start out as a priority for President Aquino. Unlike his predecessor, former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Aquino did not set aside a day a week just to focus on climate change. After a series of typhoons—Milenyo, Reming, Frank, Ondoy and Pepeng—Arroyo paid attention to this most serious development and environment threat to the country, aware that economic development and whatever little progress we could achieve in the fight against poverty was endangered by this global phenomenon. The former president also actively engaged world leaders on this issue, joining more than a hundred heads of states in the 2009 Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change. I personally witnessed President Arroyo’s engagement with the issue as I was asked several times to attend a meeting with her to discuss our international strategy on climate change.

Although President Aquino did not regularly convene or attend the meetings of the Climate Change Commission, an agency he chairs (an error committed by Congress in my view as Presidents should not be heading specific agencies), he did create a cabinet cluster on climate change and environment. And after Yolanda devastated the Visayas, the Aquino administration became more aggressive on climate change adaptation, among other things increasing the budget for climate related programs, projects and activities.

President Aquino himself began spending more time on the issue, attending in September 2014 the special summit on climate change convened by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in the UN headquarters in New York City. There, President Aquino made it clear he knew what was at stake with climate change. He committed the Philippines “to take steps to maintain and even improve our low-emission development strategy and the trajectory of our energy mix.”

A year later, the Philippines became the 136th country to submit an INDC and one that delivers on the promise made by President Aquino in his speech. Our submission is in compliance with the decision of the Conference of the Parties to the climate change convention held last year in Lima, Peru where in all Parties were invited to initiate domestic preparations in anticipation of the legally binding agreement to be decided upon in Paris, France later this year. These contributions will determine the extent of the ambition and conviction of governments in arriving at an agreement that will once and for all address effectively the global issue of climate change.

The INDC of the Philippines is a six-page document anchored on the country’s policy declaration under the Climate Change Law where in it is stated that the Philippines shall cooperate with the global community in the resolution of climate change issues. In my view, the Philippine INDC is ambitious, comprehensive, and transformative. Although the details have to be worked out in a rigorous, transparent, participatory and consultative manner, I believe the INDC is doable even as it will be challenging to achieve. In the words of Ateneo de Manila University president Fr. Jett Villarin SJ, the country’s most prominent climate scientist, “This INDC will require us to truly transform our economy.”

READ MORE...

The core components of our INDC are our commitments in mitigation and adaptation.

For mitigation, the Philippines has proposed a 70-percent cut in carbon emissions by 2030 relative to its Business as Usual scenario for the decades 2000-2030. This means we are committing to increase only a third of what would have been our increase in emissions by 2030 based on 2000 levels. Such increase is expected as a normal consequence of economic growth. By agreeing to these emission reductions by 2030, we have agreed to implement mitigation measures that would avoid the expected increase. For example, this means an energy mix that is tilted towards renewables; in essence, it is a commitment to rely less on coal power that has been the trend up to today.

While energy measures would be the biggest area of mitigation, we would also need to implement transportation programs and projects, solid waste management, industry interventions, and other sustainable development measures. Likewise, we would have to reduce deforestation and enhance our reforestation activities given that the forest sector is a big contributor to our emissions (as well as potentially huge for carbon sequestration).

As for adaptation, recognizing that the Philippines is one of the most climate vulnerable country in the world, the INDC indicates that the country will prioritize adaptation and will strive to mainstream this as well as disaster risk reduction in all plans and programs at all levels.

To be sure that we are not compromising our sustainable development needs, especially the goal of reducing poverty, we made the implementation of our INDC conditional on assistance from our partners and support from the international community. We are already doing many things on our own to mitigate and adapt to climate change and my understanding is that this will not change.

Finally, most remarkable in the Philippine INDC is that it reflects our country’s consistent advocacy of the inclusion of loss and damage and human rights into the evolving global climate change regime. Domestically, we have committed to respect human rights in the implementation of mitigation and adaptation interventions. This is true to our reputation as a global leader on this issue where we have led efforts to integrate human rights into the Paris agreement on climate change.

From what I gather, President Aquino himself, with key officials like Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Neda Director General Arsenio Balisacan, and recently resigned Secretary Lucille Sering (Vice-Chair of the CCC who will be running in the elections as representative of Surigao del Sur), spent precious hours finalizing the INDC. This means this ambitious INDC has the backing of the highest levels of government. To means, this cements a good legacy on climate change for the Aquino administration.


Answer, not raise, the issues posted October 17, 2015 at 12:01 am by Rod Kapunan



The hypocrites are condemning the Santiago-Marcos ticket as if to tell the opposition they alone can select who their rivals should be in this coming presidential election. Such a prejudgment against Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago who is running for President with Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for vice presidential candidate is symptomatic of a sick mind because they presuppose they can never be wrong in their campaign strategy. So, if you are not with them, you are not following the righteous path.

Such prejudgment by this self-righteous Liberal Party is telling that truly, they are not doing their duty of enlightening the people of the issues, and of the reason why they are being asked to participate in this electoral exercise. Rather, it is the people who should ask them what they have accomplished in the last six years they were in office. Such is their squid tactic, for obviously, there is an attempt to prevent the people from asking why this government that has sanctimoniously proclaimed itself “holy” turned out to be the most corrupt and is now setting the pace for the moral decadence in our society.

Let us face it, the Liberal Party headed by Manuel “Mar” Roxas and his entire ticket of hypocrites should be the one answering the issues. The opposition, especially the ticket of Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Bongbong Marcos, are simply trying to pick them up. To put it straight, they should be the one asking why these barking minions deserve to be elected. Like elementary students, it is now the teacher who is asking about their assignment, stupid! Roxas and his political handlers cannot take the offensive by raising issues against their rivals.

Their insistence of taking the offensive instead of answering intelligently the issues like their wasteful disbursement of public funds (Disbursement Acceleration Program and Priority Development Assistance Fund) to which the name of Butch Abad has become synonymous; on their plan to hand over a portion of our territory to people who profess the same religion as those now spreading terror here and in the Middle East; about the Mamasapano massacre; the deteriorated peace and order and moral decadence in our society as shown by the prurient behavior of their candidates; for reducing anew this country to a colony of the US; for using taxpayers’ money to secure the impeachment of chief justice Renato Corona in retaliation for the decision to land reform Hacienda Luisita; of the selective justice in prosecuting only their political enemies; by creating new set of cronies made up of the super-rich elite that today has created a deep wedge between the rich and the people where a sizeable number of them are unemployed and starving; for lavishing the elite and the super-rich with last minute multi-billion contracts where the public ultimately pay the exorbitantly price for their services; and for the complete absence of social services such as housing, medical care, and their lack of concern about the spiraling cost of basic commodities.

As abominable liars, they are raising again the issues of martial law and dictatorship ignoring that the sitting President is the son of the former President who, just like the mother, has not accomplished anything, except to parade herself as the alleged mother of democracy and the restorer of our freedom. Most vicious are the misguided progressive left, who, in all these years, have been styling themselves as the all-knowing intelligentsia class, but in truth are plain mercenaries who have reduced their ideology to hatred and obfuscation. They have contributed nothing, except to agitate our people and add misery to their lives. In fact, their collaborative support for this regime that turned out to be the most obdurate and shameless US puppet in Asia has reduced them to the level of political nuisance.

Worse, they are raising the issue about the late President Ferdinand Marcos against Bongbong Marcos, without thinking that as they continue to rub it in, they are highlighting the contrast that Ferdinand represents now the symbol of an achiever and competence in government, while the one that is brokering the candidacy of Mar and Leni Robredo is now the symbol of dismal failure in government stewardship. Besides, Ferdinand Marcos who died more than 20 years ago is not a candidate. They should present what they have accomplished or answer the charges why they have converted the national treasury as their private money to freely buy the loyalty of their political sycophants.

READ MORE...

The Liberal Party and its horde of zealots should stop talking about their slogan of tuwid na daan. Any intelligent person who knows his logic could readily tell them that it is self-serving and presumptuous. They are not supposed to proclaim themselves as honest because everybody, even those confined at the mental hospital, knows they are not. Rather, it should be a third party who should judge them if they are truly honest and upright, for then there is a semblance of decency that somebody misjudged them. In fact, the reason why they are so frantic in wanting to remain in office and insist on spreading their misleading slogan of tuwid na daan is their fear that criminal charges involving dishonesty await them once they are out of office.

Finally, when the two veteran women columnists, Belinda Cunanan and Carmen Pedrosa, raised the issue about the state of mind of Noynoy Aquino, it was right, valid and appropriate because he was gunning for the presidency. Certainly, the 100-million Filipino people cannot gamble on one who could make their lives more miserable, which happened. Now, if Noynoy remains an issue against Mar, it is because he was the one who chooses the candidate, and setting aside the “boladas” of their political soothsayers, the reason why many have their antipathy towards Mar Roxas is because they see him as the continuation of the incompetence of this administration.

On the other hand, no matter how Mar tries to disassociate himself from this administration to improve his image, he cannot. He himself contributed to the fiasco committed by this regime. Instead of bemoaning with the victims of Typhoon “Yolanda,” he chose to castigate the Mayor of Tacloban City, Alfred Romualdez, for being a Romualdez. Besides, Mar is not only a consummate politician but an opportunistic one. He was appointed Secretary of Trade by President Erap Estrada because of strong lobby by the elite, but was the first to jump ship when things began to get rough for Estrada. He was rewarded by Mrs. Arroyo for his traitorous act in joining the coup to oust Estrada forgetting that he would again be biting the hand that feeds him. This is why he was taken in by this pretending-to-be-honest government. Finally, he chose a running mate who is using the same ploy used by his handler like glorifying the death of her husband.

But is his death an accomplishment?


The economic cost of El Niño posted October 16, 2015 at 12:01 am



High rice and corn prices resulting from decreased farm production and increased power rates in Mindanao are among the major economic cost of El Niño. Depending on its severity, the dry spell could add more woes to Filipino farmers, who rely on their agricultural produce as their main livelihood.

The government plans to initially allocate P19.2 billion to assist farmers affected by El Niño dry spell and mitigate its impact on crop production. Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the planned budget covering the remaining months of 2015 and next year was still tentative.

The government is assuming the current episode of El Niño will be as bad as the 1997-1998 drought when rice production fell 25 percent. The grim scenario has prompted the government to raise the projected rice imports next year to 1.5 million metric tons to ensure the adequate supply of the staple and stabilize prices.

Says Balisacan: “The most important thing really here is learning from El Niño... to make sure we have adequate supply. The timely importation is crucial, because what we want is to avoid domestic prices from shooting up while world prices are relatively stable.”

Assisting the farmers, however, is the more crucial element of the budget against El Niño. The government should allocate more to the National Irrigation Administration to help the agency in building more waterways and mini dams that can store more water during the rainy season and irrigate farms in the dry months.

Earmarking the budget for distribution of food stamps and cash-for-work program for families displaced or affected by the dry spell through the Department of Social Welfare and Development is a band-aid solution to El Niño. The drought could happen more frequently now amid climate change.

The government should also review the role of NIA as an irrigation authority. Irrigation facilities are still lacking in many rural areas and NIA’s inadequacy in easing the plight of farmers has directly caused lower agricultural production in the past.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2015 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE