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BY J. ESTANISLAO: THE FACE OF TRANSFORMATION


NOVEMBER 21 -JESUS ESTANISLAO It is easy to get overwhelmed by performance statistics and audit reports on performance claims. Numbers tracking solid accomplishments can be very useful, particularly where progress is being tracked as an institution goes on its governance and transformation journey. But it is also important to see the face of real transformation, not only in quantitative terms, but qualitatively as well. Indeed, in what way — qualitatively speaking — has the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) changed since it began its transformation journey? The direct answer to this question comes from the BSP itself: “Over the years since we embarked on our strategic journey, the BSP has become a more stakeholder-oriented organization.” This answer may look and sound at first surprising for a central monetary authority to put forward. But in light of the many strategic priorities it has included in its strategy map, this is the type of answer one would expect; indeed, of the 21 strategic priorities in the BSP strategy map, six are trained on the“stakeholder perspective”; and one of the four strategic themes of that map is one captioned as “engaged stakeholders.” READ MORE...

ALSO: By Tonyo Cruz - Who are the real heroes?


NOVEMBER 26 -By Tonyo Cruz
Why does it seem too difficult to fight Marcosian historical revisionism and outright lies? It is a question that boggles the mind. But what we know is that the Marcoses still have lots of loot to buy supporters, to whitewash their record, and also to nearly win the vice presidency. Yes, the post-EDSA governments prioritized the sequestration and recovery of the Marcoses’ stolen riches, but there are still a sizable chunk ably/defended by Bongbong, the executioner of the estate. What we know is that the Marcoses are scot-free, ironically enjoying the full freedom Filipinos restored in 1986 by toppling the dictatorship. Heck, they have even been able to repeatedly get elected to office in their bailiwicks. This is the inconvenient truth that we cannot continue to ignore. For while it is true that Filipinos have handed down a political verdict in 1986 through a direct act of the sovereign people, the system has failed us in its duty to hold them accountable. All told, the system has failed or refused to appropriately prosecute the Marcoses so that they could be punished – their wealth seized and the family jailed and perpetually banned from ever holding office? READ MORE...

ALSO: EDITORIAL - A Scarborough EO might provoke a reaction


NOVEMBER 26 -Filipino fishermen thanked President Duterte profusely when they were finally allowed to return to their old fishing grounds at Scarborough Shoal — known to us as Panatag or Bajo de Masinloc — last month after four years that they were blocked by Chinese vessels claiming the area as Chinese territory. The President had just been to Beijing on a state visit and as a sign of goodwill, China allowed the fishermen back to Scarborough. During the state visit, the President had pointedly declared he was not raising any legal issue of jurisdiction or sovereignty. He was just going to appeal for the fishermen so they could resume their livelihood. Last week, during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Meeting in Lima, Peru, President Duterte informed China President Xi Jinping he wants to declare the shoal a marine sanctuary and ban fishing within the shoal, as it is a spawning area for various marine life. A spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Geng Shuang, had no comment on the plan, saying only: “China’s sovereignty and jurisdiction over Huangyan (China’s name for Scarborough) has not and will not change.” READ MORE...

ALSO: By Giving thanks


NOVEMBER 25 -By Alex M. Eduque
This past year has been full of surprises – from happenings and events that have transpired in our very own country, to all corners of the world, one after the other. At times like this and even with the holidays fast approaching, it is so easy to forget about the small things which matter most. It is rather the norm to neglect counting our blessings and appreciate the good that there still is around us when social media is flooded with so much negativity, hate and disdain. While the uncertainty that comes with the times is indeed rather terrifying, it does not mean that there is no way to seek out the ray of sunshine that peeks in between the cracks. And sometimes, one must make the conscious effort to create something physical to serve as a reminder of and to do this. It need not be anything elaborate, but it needs to be (or at least in my case I find) something tangible. Right about this time last year, on thanksgiving day, I remember sitting in my desk at the office and reminiscing about the big holiday it is in the States. I recall everyone looking forward to Thanksgiving – more than the abundance of the meal and the turkey, it is being able to be with family to give thanks that they celebrate. If only that happiness in anticipation and fondness could last year round, people would not always have to look so far to fill their very own hearts. READ MORE...


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The face of transformation


JESUS ESTANISLAO

MANILA, NOVEMBER 28, 2016 (BULLETIN) Published November 21, 2016, 10:00 PM By Jesus P. Estanislao - It is easy to get overwhelmed by performance statistics and audit reports on performance claims.

Numbers tracking solid accomplishments can be very useful, particularly where progress is being tracked as an institution goes on its governance and transformation journey.

But it is also important to see the face of real transformation, not only in quantitative terms, but qualitatively as well.

Indeed, in what way — qualitatively speaking — has the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) changed since it began its transformation journey?

The direct answer to this question comes from the BSP itself: “Over the years since we embarked on our strategic journey, the BSP has become a more stakeholder-oriented organization.” This answer may look and sound at first surprising for a central monetary authority to put forward.

But in light of the many strategic priorities it has included in its strategy map, this is the type of answer one would expect; indeed, of the 21 strategic priorities in the BSP strategy map, six are trained on the“stakeholder perspective”; and one of the four strategic themes of that map is one captioned as “engaged stakeholders.”

READ MORE...

For the BSP, the principal stakeholder is the Filipino people, and it measures success of the pursuit of its strategic priorities in terms of the ultimate “beneficial impact of BSP policies and advocacies on the lives of the Filipino people.” It is for this reason that BSP has put in place “systems to solicit their (the people’s) inputs and feedback.” Thus, BSP gives a lot of importance to the BSP Public Perception Survey; Business and Consumer Expectations Survey, and the newly installed Feedback Management Survey in the BSP.

In this regard, while the BSP does not have a single multi-sector governance council, it maintains continuing contact and regular dialogue with 15 associations of banks and non-bank financial institutions. Through regular meetings with these associations, the BSP is able to play a monitoring and guidance role that every regulator takes on. These meetings become the venue for the BSP “to share exposure draft policies” and “to seek feedback from the associations concerned.” These associations also feel free to “submit position papers for review and adoption of the BSP in formulating policy .“

The consultation process that the BSP conducts on a regular basis is not limited to associations of banks and non-bank financial institutions that the BSP supervises. It extends to other government agencies: for instance, 13 other national government agencies have collaborated with the BSP “to launch the

National Strategy for Financial Inclusion

” This reaching out to other government agencies reflects BSP’s firm conviction that it cannot do it alone, if it aims to contribute more significantly to improving the quality of life of all Filipinos. It has to enter into “collaboration and partnership” with many others.

It is in this light that BSP has been pro-active in its advocacy on microfinance; on providing access to credit on the part of MSMEs so the un-bankable ones are turned bankable; on establishing safe and less costly channels through which OFWs can send their remittances home; and on educating more Filipinos on financial and economic literacy. In addition, through BSP’s Financial Consumer Framework, it has worked towards enhancing the welfare of financial consumers.

Indeed, this is the qualitative face of transformation: from a distant regulator, who operates behind closed mysterious doors to a pro-active advocate who reaches out even to MSMEs and OFWs so ways can be found to assist them and enhance their welfare.


Who are the real heroes? 0 SHARES Share it! Published November 25, 2016, 10:00 PM By Tonyo Cruz


By Tonyo Cruz

Why does it seem too difficult to fight Marcosian historical revisionism and outright lies?

It is a question that boggles the mind.

But what we know is that the Marcoses still have lots of loot to buy supporters, to whitewash their record, and also to nearly win the vice presidency.

Yes, the post-EDSA governments prioritized the sequestration and recovery of the Marcoses’ stolen riches, but there are still a sizable chunk ably/defended by Bongbong, the executioner of the estate.

INCONVENIENT TRUTH

What we know is that the Marcoses are scot-free, ironically enjoying the full freedom Filipinos restored in 1986 by toppling the dictatorship. Heck, they have even been able to repeatedly get elected to office in their bailiwicks.

This is the inconvenient truth that we cannot continue to ignore. For while it is true that Filipinos have handed down a political verdict in 1986 through a direct act of the sovereign people, the system has failed us in its duty to hold them accountable.

All told, the system has failed or refused to appropriately prosecute the Marcoses so that they could be punished – their wealth seized and the family jailed and perpetually banned from ever holding office?

READ MORE...

It is important to note that victims and survivors of martial law did their part, not just in actually fighting and defeating the dictatorship. They actually filed and won a landmark class-action suit against the Marcoses. The decisions they won in US courts are a milestone in world legal history for being the first such successful case against a dictator.

THE VICTIMS

Hilao vs. Marcos, named after Liliosa Hilao, was a lonely cause of victims and survivors which the Philippine government not only tried to stop. The government has long failed to execute the court-ordered indemnification. A compensation law was passed fairly recently – but the president then appointed a police official to head it. Now, it is a best friend of the Marcoses who will implement it.

The lesson here is that this is not plain and simple ignorance. This is not a question of intelligence. This is not only an assault on personal and collective IQ.

This is a question of power.

The Marcoses continue to go scot-free because, through sheer kapalmuks and the government’s failures, they have not been brought to justice. The system, in spite of our fervent belief and full faith in it, has betrayed us.

Look at how the system behaved on Estrada. We toppled him, and then charged him. In court, we proved plunder and won a conviction. But in the “spirit of reconciliation and healing the wounds of division,” his successor pardoned him within weeks.

It is hard to fight the Marcoses’ historical revisionism and outright lies because the system helped and continues to help them.

Official Philippine history for the last 50 years, if we care to look, is kind to them and unkind to the people that heroically overthrew them. It is as if the dictatorship did not exist.

You know it, because you’ve experienced it. It is not easy to find an omnibus and comprehensive official history of the fascist US-backed Marcos dictatorship because there is none.

This is not to say the Marcos loyalists are right. The Marcos loyalists are wrong, but the system is unfairly biased for them and against us. Biased by what politics has done, what schools have taught, what media reports, what justice has failed or refused to do.

Consider how some supposedly intelligent voices arrogantly lecture Marcos loyalists about the dictatorship’s thievery and cruelty. They can only be half-right. The system undercuts their argument by not providing them actual convictions or, at the very least, a full and official record.

Other voices who now praise martial law martyrs and heroes also endorse police brutality on modern-day protesters, demonize the right to political dissent, and engage in Marcosian anti-communism. They also spread the belief that Marcos was toppled by an act of God, or through the power of a God-given family.

The trouble with blaming Filipinos — including the misinformed Marcos loyalists — for the seemingly successful Marcos restoration is that it is victim-blaming. And it forgets what the people have done, and only helps the narrative that this is a fight between two families.

THE TRUTH

The truth is: People resisted, offered lives, and ultimately defeated the Marcos dictatorship. People sued and won their human rights case. People rejected Bongbong’s vice presidential bid. People filed a petition in court against the hero’s burial.

It is tragic that some persons linked or beholden to certain partisan groups may not actually be fighting the Duterte-Marcos alliance. Their apparently sophisticated arguments ring hollow because they refuse not only the promotion of unity and action, but a deeper and more honest look at what is happening. They want a movement that’s exclusive, branded, and colored — ready for elections or for a power grab to reinstall their chosen clique.

The sooner we realize that this is about power and politics, the sooner we get to the root of the problem. It would not easy and pleasant, because we would be questioning some of our fervent beliefs.

For if we really believe that Marcos is no hero, we would be compelled to do everything to prosecute this belief to its logical conclusions. We would put it in politics and law, media and education, in popular culture and parks.

We would have to name and honor all the real heroes, not just the yellow. We would have to end this addiction to the narrative of political icons and superheroes — which, come to think of it, is not unlike Marcosian myth-making and fiction.

Ultimately, we must have power to rewrite history and remake the system. Only then could we hail the real heroes — the Filipino people — and totally defeat the forces of dictatorship.


A Scarborough EO might provoke a reaction 0 SHARES Share it! Published November 26, 2016, 12:05 AM y

Filipino fishermen thanked President Duterte profusely when they were finally allowed to return to their old fishing grounds at Scarborough Shoal — known to us as Panatag or Bajo de Masinloc — last month after four years that they were blocked by Chinese vessels claiming the area as Chinese territory.

The President had just been to Beijing on a state visit and as a sign of goodwill, China allowed the fishermen back to Scarborough. During the state visit, the President had pointedly declared he was not raising any legal issue of jurisdiction or sovereignty. He was just going to appeal for the fishermen so they could resume their livelihood.

Last week, during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Meeting in Lima, Peru, President Duterte informed China President Xi Jinping he wants to declare the shoal a marine sanctuary and ban fishing within the shoal, as it is a spawning area for various marine life. A spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Geng Shuang, had no comment on the plan, saying only: “China’s sovereignty and jurisdiction over Huangyan (China’s name for Scarborough) has not and will not change.”

READ MORE...

The issue here is jurisdiction. To China, Scarborough is Chinese territory. But President Duterte wants to issue an executive order to ban fishing within the shoal.

With the issuance of such an executive order, how will China react? It would be unfortunate if China takes this move as an affront to its authority and reimpose its old ban on Philippine fishermen.

The fishermen, through Fernando Hicap, chairman of the fishermen support group Pamalakaya, deplored the other day that “it is now our own law and government, not China,” that would prohibit them from fishing. Actually, they should understand that the proposed Duterte EO ban is only for the spawning grounds within the shoal, not the surrounding waters which also teem with fish. So they should have no trouble getting enough fish.

The real problem is how China will respond to President Duterte issuing an executive order in apparent contravention of China’s claim to sovereignty and jurisdiction. We hope it will take it all in stride, say nothing about the EO, and continue to let the fishermen come. The danger is that the Chinese officials might react negatively to this seeming challenge to their authority and reimpose their old ban on our fishermen.


Giving thanks 0 SHARES Share it! Published November 25, 2016, 10:00 PM By Alex M. Eduque


By Alex M. Eduque

This past year has been full of surprises – from happenings and events that have transpired in our very own country, to all corners of the world, one after the other.

At times like this and even with the holidays fast approaching, it is so easy to forget about the small things which matter most. It is rather the norm to neglect counting our blessings and appreciate the good that there still is around us when social media is flooded with so much negativity, hate and disdain.

While the uncertainty that comes with the times is indeed rather terrifying, it does not mean that there is no way to seek out the ray of sunshine that peeks in between the cracks. And sometimes, one must make the conscious effort to create something physical to serve as a reminder of and to do this. It need not be anything elaborate, but it needs to be (or at least in my case I find) something tangible.

Right about this time last year, on thanksgiving day, I remember sitting in my desk at the office and reminiscing about the big holiday it is in the States. I recall everyone looking forward to Thanksgiving – more than the abundance of the meal and the turkey, it is being able to be with family to give thanks that they celebrate. If only that happiness in anticipation and fondness could last year round, people would not always have to look so far to fill their very own hearts.

READ MORE...

When one is down or the going gets tough, I oftentimes find that just by surrounding oneself with family and dear friends (who are family) one is already uplifted with an incomparable sense of encouragement. Sometimes, one does not even have to be physically around his/her loved ones – especially when distance is in the equation. A message, a call, or even looking back at fond memories can and does do the trick. So with that in mind, I decided to start out a “Gratitude Wall” in my workplace.

What exactly is a gratitude wall?

A gratitude wall is exactly what it sounds like – it is a wall that carries gratitude and thanks, that serves as a reminder every single day that people around you (even at least at one point in your life) appreciate not only you, but what you set out to do for or give them.

It comes with no surprise that I am by all means a stationery junkie, and to this very day, nothing thrills me more than receiving a hand-written note. Instead of keeping all the notes in albums (like I have in the past years), I decided to celebrate each one I received this past year by sticking it on the wall.

At times, the wall looks odd and imperfect (because of the uneven number of notes and cards) but then again, that is exactly what life is about, right? Seeking out the beauty in between imperfect moments and making the most out of it. Today, I’m proud to say that my gratitude wall is nearing full, and I will soon have to find another corner of my office to “extend” it, but looking at it always puts a smile on my face.

Not only is it a testament of the love and the support I have been so blessed to get from my nearest and dearest, it also reminds me to check on my friends from time to time. It encourages me to be thankful for the gift that is their presence in my life, and is a constant reminder to never take friendships for granted.

Above all else, my gratitude wall is testament that the best things in life are free – figuratively and literally. Nothing compares to the gift of friendship, motivation, inspiration and support the notes I see everyday remind me of, that I have been blessed enough to receive in abundance.

And really, assembling and putting up those notes cost me absolutely nothing. It is a constant work in progress, and that is also the beauty of it all – beyond appreciating the different kinds of paper and stationery my friends choose to write me in, there’s this sense of fulfillment that comes with seeing more notes go up – because as every white space on that wall is taken, another part of my heart is filled as well.

And it is a part of my heart I will hold near and dear forever and ever. Happy Thanksgiving, to one and all! May this day push you forth to seek out the good things and the gratitude that fill your everyday. Now more than ever, do not underestimate how these things can put back that big smile on your face, and in your hearts.


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