Sunday, August 31, 2014

Lipa Declaration

Last Wednesday, I was privileged to join close to a thousand brave souls who trekked to the Archbishop's House in Lipa City, Batangas to affirm and declare the call to end the moribund political and economic systems and effect a national transformation.

The delegates came from different religious groups and political persuasions and are united under National Transformation Council.

Former Cebu Archbishop Cardinal Vidal laid down the role of the Catholic Church in previous EDSA Revolutions while Bishop Arguelles of Lipa gave a fiery speech calling for system change. Rev. Arturo Corpuz of United Church of Christ in the Philippines and the Dr. Kamil Unda of the Bangsamoro community also gave equally spirited speeches.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Shrinekeeper's Prophecy

Buddhist Temple in Fukian Province

In the spring of 1988, Cory went to China on a state visit. While there, she made it a point to reconnect with her ancestral roots. She went out of her way to travel to the southeastern fringe of China, to Hongjian village of Fujian province where her forebears came from. 

In typical chinese fashion of ancestor-worship and in violation of her Catholic faith, Cory offered incense to her chinese forebears in a local shrine. Before leaving the shrine to return to official business, Cory was approached by an elderly woman who appeared to be the shrinekeeper. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Poverty Continues In the Philippines

Under PeNoy, the gap between the rich and the poor widens
The other day, I got an email which is actually a transcription of an interview that TV5 with one Rosalinda Garcia, indigent in Tondo.

I was so moved by the story.  Her story is something that the whole nation should know.  Poverty remains an issue after four years of Aquino rule.

This made me thinking, there must be truth in Aquino's campaign slogan "Kung Walang Kurap, Walang Mahirap."   The impoverishment of more Filipinos, which is at highest historical levels, is because of the prevalent corruption.  All these news on PDAF and DAP and how Aquino and his allies have been stealing and misusing people's money are all but answers to the nagging question of why poverty continues in the Philippines.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Scrap CCT

DSWD's Dinky-Doo
It was long boring day at the office. I was browsing the Web for news related to DAP, DBM and those pertaining to or referencing Aquino and Abad. I came across DBM’s National Expenditure Program for 2014.

I’ve always been critical of DSWD’s Conditional Cash Transfer Program which was immensely expanded under this administration. I am curious to see how much of taxpayers’ money were allotted to this wasteful program.

For FY 2014, the expenditure program for CCT is as follows:

2014 CCT Budget

Section 3(1) of the department’s expenditure program provides that “DSWD shall submit, either in printed form or by way of electronic document, to the DBM. Copy furnished the House Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Committee on Finance, quarterly reports on the releases and utilization of CCT funds, status of implementation per program component, and the list of beneficiaries per LGU.” My guess however, is that, we the people, will never be granted access to these reports.

I’ve been hearing complaints from beneficiaries that they are not getting their allocations regularly. Cash grants sometimes arrive after every month or quarterly. Another information I got said that it took 2 years for some beneficiaries in Sta. Maria, Bulacan to receive their first cash grants. Worse, they only got cash grant equivalent to 1 year or half of what they are supposed to get. If these are true, then it’s about time to rethink that effectiveness of CCT, better still, scrap it altogether.

Going back to the breakdown of CCT Program allocation, why is there a specific item for “Salaries and Wages” in the amount of 3.379 billion pesos? Does this mean that salaries and wages of DSWD come from the CCT allocation and not from DSWD budget for personnel? How many DSWD employees are directly working for the CCT? Isn’t Ps 3.379 billion pesos too much? As of 2014 the total number of employees of DSWD is 2,388. If we assume that all of them are involved in CCT, average salary will be Ps. 117,915 per month!

Also, what's "Bank Service Fees" for?  How come it will eat up Ps. 550 million of the budget allocated for the program?

I also find dubious are the allocations for "Monitoring/Evaluation" and "Administrative Expenses", totalling almost Ps. 730 million.

Dinky Soliman has a lot of explaining to do on this one.

Monday, April 7, 2014

PeNoy Big Brother

German company to supply surveillance gadgets to RP
While the news headline is busy with DAP scandal, Supreme Court deliberation on the constitutionality RH Law, the controversial Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsa Moro,  the wily PeNoy managed to conclude a negotiated purchase of intelligence and surveillance equipments from a German company, Rohde & Schwarz.

The equipments and peripheral gadgets codenamed Spectrum will cost a staggering Ps. 135 million of taxpayers' money.  You can just imagine how many classrooms could have been constructed with such amount.

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