Traffic and sidewalk issues along Pasong Tamo

To the Makati Government:
 
I’m a resident here in Brgy. Bangkal, Makati for 8 years now. I’m a registered voter and resident. I’ve also learned most of the routes in going around Makati.

I am writing this message to you because I really think and feel that it is my duty to inform you about the problems that I’m observing here in Pasong Tamo near Don Bosco area. I live there nearby.

Pasong Tamo Traffic
We all know that the Pasong Tamo Rd. is notorious for flooding. I can see that the government is doing some flood control projects that’s why the Estacion St. (parallel Pasong Tamo) is closed for the project. People also observe the elevation of roads in the Pasay Road area. One side of it is closed due to ongoing construction. I think that is a really good plan.

However, I think that the traffic control/congestion worsened. Everyday, there are many irate drivers and long queues from SLEX going to Don Bosco Rd. and in Pasong Tamo (going to Magallanes and vice versa). The MAPSA officers cannot control the traffic because the volume of vehicles are way more than what the street can handle during that time. The bottleneck is Don Bosco Rd. cor Pasong Tamo. Almost majority of vehicles coming from SLEX wants to turn left going to Waltermart/Pasay Road/Buendia. The vehicles from Magallanes are going the same direction. Hence, there’s a very heavy traffic. As you would know before the construction, Pasong Tamo from Don Bosco Rd. to Waltermart is one way. That’s why traffic before was controlled.

I only see 2 concrete solutions and I hope this can be considered by the government and traffic enforcers:
1) Make Pasong Tamo Rd. (at the very least from Don Bosco Rd. to Waltermart) a NO STOPPING ZONE. As you will see, both sides, the right most lane and the left most lane, are occupied by parked vehicles who are either school bus services, cars of parents waiting etc. This cuts the available lanes to 2 which is very small for the volume of vehicles using the road. Traffic enforcers should force the vehicles to move so that the traffic circulates and penalize/tow if they insist on staying. For the past days, these parked vehicles occupy from the start of Don Bosco school to its Pasay Rd side. This causes so much traffic.

2) Permanently close the entrance from expressway going to Don Bosco Rd. or close it at the beginning and ending of all Don Bosco classes. My first suggestion is quite restrictive because not one vehicle can pass through Don Bosco Rd. But this will surely remove unnecessary traffic for those going to Pasong Tamo. I say unnecessary traffic because it’s a traffic that cannot be controlled by the traffic enforcers. It’s too much for them to handle because the volume of vehicles is so high. By logic, since the drivers know that the road is closed, they will find for alternative routes. My second suggestion can be seen very effective. The traffic in Pasong Tamo becomes very bad when it’s the start or end of students’ classes. I suggest close the gate before 7am, 12pm and 4pm to lessen additional traffic. I think the traffic will be lessened big time.

Please note that during Saturdays, Don Bosco usually has its sports activities like inter-school tournament etc. Not one Saturday was the traffic controlled. There were no traffic enforcers, lots of cars parked along the street and the traffic is like a big and long parking lot in Pasong Tamo.

Sidewalk issues

I also would like to report the sidewalks both on Don Bosco side and Waltermart side. On the Don Bosco side, people cannot walk straight because the sidewalk is uneven  damaged and has so many cracks. Mostly students and passers-by affected by this problem. I hope this issue can be resolved because this will be very helpful for all people walking there.

On the other side, I feel that the Vista residences and Wilcon Depot have violated rules on the sidewalk. Vista condominium is still ongoing and they destroyed the sidewalk flattened and made an inclined angle so that their cement trucks can enter their vicinity. I think this very bad because they park their trucks along the sidewalk and the wet cement flows on the street. The trucks are supposed to be parked in their vicinity and they should’ve not changed the form of the sidewalk. It’s not theirs.

Wilcon Depot has their own contribution to the worsening traffic in Pasong Tamo and they are also obstructing the sidewalk. First, they don’t have proper parking area. Vehicles are allowed to turn in any part of their vicinity. If there is no parking, the vehicle waits on the street. They allow triple or sometimes quadruple parking (cars queued up per column) which partly is their space and partly is the sidewalk. Thus, it obstructs the sidewalk and people resort walking to the street instead. For example, when 1 car wants to leave their place and it happens that it’s infront, they need to move all three cars out to the street so that the car infront can move. All other cars are using the space of the street and adding to the traffic. This is how they are parking the cars – http://www.wilcon.com.ph/content/20-pasong-tamo-makati-city

Wilcon Depot should implement an effective parking scheme. I suggest that they can put a vehicle entrance for those unloading/loading. They need space to load the hardware stuff that they buy. And make parking with limited slots. They have to be rational when accommodating cars. If the maximum parking is for 10 slots, they should not allow 50 vehicles park there. Otherwise, it will be chaotic like what is happening now. They can even ask their customers in case the parking is full to park at Waltermart. It’s covered, it’s safe and it’s around 10 steps away.

If both Vista residences and Wilcon Depot respect the people, they should do something with the problems with the sidewalk. Everyday, lots of students and even employees walk there. There were multiple instances when I nearly got hit by a car that valet personnel from Wilcon Depot was moving.

I hope that this report will go somewhere. I know this is unsolicited but I’m reporting and suggesting this to improve Makati. There are so many people who are affected with these problems which I believe can be resolved. I think that a perspective from a person who sees it everyday is also helpful other than proclaimed experts in the field of urban planning.

Asal Binay at Kulturang Alipin

PALASAK na ang mga balita tungkol sa mga pa-VIP na ayaw pumila o mga naka-tinted na kotseng naka-convoy na ayaw ma-trapik kahit tanghali na bumangon. Kamakailan lang ay naisiwalat sa mga peryodiko, radyo at telebisyon ang video ni Mayor Binay na gumamit ng pagka-VIP upang masapawan ang mga alituntunin sa Dasmarinas Village at mangibabaw ang kanyang kapangyarihan. Siya ay nanaig. Pinuri ang mga guwardiyang pinairal ang mga polisiya sa subdivision at inulan naman ng batikos ang magaling na Mayor.  May iba pa bang tao bukod kay Binay ang ganito ang asal?

“Mayaman ako. May driver ako. May body guard akong may baril. Dito ako paparada.”

Alam naman natin na sa Kalakhang Maynila, partikular sa  Maynila, Makati, Taguig (BGC) at karatig pang mga lungsod, ay hindi madaling makakuha ng parking slot. Ultimo sa kalsada ka magparada, may bayad at oras ang pagpaparada. HIndi ka pwedeng lumagpas sa oras o sumobra ng parada sa linya na nakapinta sa sahig. Tiyak ito-towang kotse at ika’y pagmumultahin. Ikukulong ang iyong sasakyan hanggang ito’y iyong matubos at kung malasi’y mayroon na itong gasgas o sira pagkakuha mo sa impounding center.

At marami na ring naibalita patungkol sa pagpapatayan dahil lamang sa agawan sa parking slot. Hindi ba isang kahibangan na pag-awayan ang isang napakababaw na bagay?

Kapag nagpunta ka sa Makati, partikular na sa Ayala Center (Glorietta, Shangri-La, Greenbelt etc.), makikita mo na andami-daming MAPSA (traffic enforcer ng Makati/yellow boys), Ayala Center guards, pulis, kawani ng baranggay etc. Maraming nakabantay upang panatilihan ang kaayusan sa lugar. Hinuhuli nila ang mga hindi sumusunod sa batas-trapiko at mga pasaway.

Ngunit pansinin niyo kapag nagawi kayo sa may Rustan’s (Glorietta area, Couryard Dr. at Office Dr.) at sa gilid ng Glorietta 3 park sa tapat ng Shangri-La, nagkalat na nakapila ang mga magagarang mga sasakyan. Karamihan dyan ay mga Land Cruiser, Camry, Benz, Expedition, BMW etc. Nakapila na naghihintay. May mga driver ang iba, ang iba nama’y sadyang ipinarada na lang doon ang sasakyan. Makikita mong sinasaway sila ng mga enforcer ngunit hinahayaan lang naman din sila. May iba pa na nakaparada mismo sa may nakapaskil na “No parking/No stopping anytime. Tow-away zone.” Tignan nyo ang lugar na ‘yan lalo na sa gabi, kung kailan uwian na ang mga tao galingsa trabaho at sobrang trapik. Diyan mo makikita ang mga sasakyan na lalong nagpapalala sa trapiko.

Gayundin, pumunta kayo sa Little Tokyo sa may Pasong Tamo sa Makati. Mas grabe ang sitwasyon. Double parking sa magkabilang daanan. Makikita mo roon, sobrang trapik na talaga dahil ang sikip na ng kalye. Ang aangas pa ng mga pumaparada sa daan. Ibababa ang sakay sa gitna ng daan (karamiha’y mga Hapon). Hindi sila tumatabi. Hindi uso ang pagtabi at pag-hazard. Pagkatapos, mag-assist ang barker, mag-mamaniubra ng alanganin na halos masagi na ang ibang naperwisyong sasakyan. Hindi iyan magbibigay kahit alanganin siya. Minsan, mag-counterflow pa iyang mga iyan na hindi mo maintindihan. Mag-high beam pa.

Ang kabalintunaan sa dalawang pangyayaring ito ay: 1) Bawal talagang maghintay o pumarada sa daanan. Ito ay dapat sinusunod ng lahat; at 2) Ilang metro lang ay parking area.  Kadalasan, P45 ang unang 2 hanggang 4 na oras.

Ang hindi ko maintindihan sa mga taong ito ay kung bakit ayaw nila pumarada sa tamang lugar at kailangang doon sila sa kalsada. Samantalang ang mga ordinaryong mga tao ay sumusunod naman. Minsan nga’y ang mga ordinaryo at mga working/middle class ang napagbubuntunan ng power tripping ng mga pulis.

Anong gustong palabasin ng mga taong ito? Siguro nama’y hindi nila gagawing dahilan na wala silang pambayad sa parking. Aba’y kaya nilang bumili ng mga BMW at Land Cruiser. Ang dating lang sa akin, gusto nilang sabihin at iparating na: “Kaya kong pumuwesto kahit saan ko gusto dahil mayaman o makapangyarihan ako” at “Hindi ako madadaan sa mga pag-aresto at pagmulta dahil marami akong koneksyon at kaya kitang ipatanggal sa trabaho.” Marami pang ibang mga pahayag na ganyan ang konteksto.

Kaya kung tatanungin, marami bang katulad ni Binay na ganyan kahambog, power tripper at abusado sa kapangyarihan? Kung sa Glorietta at Little Tokyo pa lang, naku napakarami na! Paano pa kaya sa ibang lugar, hindi ba?

Diskriminasyon sa kapwa Pilipino batay sa yaman at pagiging dayuhan

 Isa itong halatang obserbasyon ko sa karamihan sa ating mga Pilipino. Malakas talaga ang colonial mentality. Naka-ilang restaurant na rin ang aking napuntahan kung saan may mga kasabay kaming mga dayuhan gaya ng Amerikano, Breton, Aleman etc. Kung mapapansin ninyo, parehas naman kayo (ikaw at ang dayuhan) na kostumer, parehas naman kayong magbabayad at magbibigay ng tip, ngunit mas inaasikaso pa ang dayuhan kaysa sa inyo. Mas uunahin pang kuhanin at ibigay ang order kahit mas nauna kayo sa pila. Mas maayos ang pakikitungo nila sa dayuhan kaysa sa kapwa nila Pilipino.

Naalala ko tuloy ang nobelang ‘Gapo (pinaikling Olongapo) ni Lualhati Bautista. Pinakita roon na talagang Pilipino mismo ang nagbibigay ng diskriminasyon sa kapwa nila Pilipino. Mas aasikasuhin nila ang mga Kano. Samantalang kinakalimutan nila at hindi binibigyan ng maayos o katumbas na serbisyo ang kapwa nila Pilipino. Tama ba naman ba ‘yon?

Sa palagay ko nga, hindi naman nanghihingi ng espesyal na trato ang mga dayuhang ito. Pilipino mismo ang lumuluhod at sumasamba pa sa mga ito. Hindi ba isa itong malaking katangahan?

Kitang-kita iyan araw-araw kung papansinin niyo lang. Sa Ayala na nga lang, lahat nag-underpass tuwing araw para makatawid sa kabila. May Amerikana na nagbukas ng gate sa tawiran sa Ayala upang tumawid. Alam naman nating tuwing gabi lamang ito binubuksan dahil kakaunti na ang mga dumadaang sasakyan. Imbis na hulihin at pagmultahin ang Amerikana dahil ito’y nag-jaywalking, aba’y tinulungan pa ito ng dakilang MAPSA! Pero kung Pilipino ang gumawa niyan, tiyak sigaw at multa ang aabutin niyan.

Ganyan din  kapag papasok ka sa mall (hal. MOA) o sa LRT/MRT. Lahat ng mga taong pumapasok sa mall o sa estasyon ng tren, tinitignan ang bag at kinakapkapan. Kapag Amerikano na, kulang na lang tanggalin ang lamesa para malaki ang daanan ng dayuhan papasok. Walang kapkap, ngingiti pa ang gwardya at babati ng “Good morning!”

Sariling kababayan, dinodorobo at binibiktima ng diskriminasyon.

May diskriminasyon din kapag mayaman, middle class o mahirap ka. Doon sa mga insidente sa Glorietta at Little Tokyo, palagay mo ba kung middle class na naka-Innova ang paparada doon, masisindak niya kaya ang MAPSA o ang pulis? Malamang siguro, isa na siya sa mga na-tow at kung malasi’y nakulong pa.

Iba ang nagagawa ng pera at kapangyarihan sa pagsasakatuparan ng mga alituntunin at batas. Kaya marami talaga ang nag-aasal Binay.

Gasgasan ang mga sasakyang hindi marunong pumarada sa tama!

Kadalasan, kapag ako’y nadadaan sa Pasong Tamo, gustong-gusto ko talagang gasgasan gamit ng piso o dulo ng cutter ang lahat ng sasakyan na nakabalandara sa kalsada na nagiging sanhi ng matinding trapiko. Ang dami ko ngang naisip gawin. Gusto kong hampasin ng baseball bat ang side mirror, i-spray paint ang body at tapunan ng pintura ang windshield at butasan ang mga gulong. Ang kakapal kasi ng mga mukha ng mga iyan! Hindi lang kayo ang tao sa Pilipinas. Kung gusto niyong magkalat ng sasakyan niyo, bumili kayo ng sarili ninyong Glorietta at Little Tokyo. Huwag ninyong idamay ang ibang taong gusto lang makauwi sa mga bahay nila.

Para sa mga nagpapaka-alipin sa mga dayuhan na iyan, tapos na ang pananakop ng Kastila, Amerikano at Hapon! Tapos na ang World War 2. Malaya na tayo. Huwag kayong maging MAKAPILI. Mas masahol pa ang ganyang ugali kaysa sa mga mananakop mismo. Aba’y kapwa Pilipino niyo na ang ginagago niyo. Huwag naman ganun.

Panghuli, ang batas ay para sa lahat. Sana gaya ng pag-apply sa US visa ang pagsagawa at pagsakatuparan ng mga batas. Noong ako ay nag-apply at nasa embahada ng US, ang mga kasabayan ko,: mayaman, kasambahay, matanda, bata, OFW na galing Japan, may syota sa US etc. Pero lahat dadaan sa proseso at tanging consul lamang ang magsasabi kung aprubado o hindi ang visa application. Nasa harap ko sa pila, congressman natin. Walang special lane, walang VIP treatment. Lahat pantay-pantay.

Tanggalin na natin ang Asal Binay. Kay Binay na lang ‘yan. Kasabay ng pagtanggal sa Asal Binay, itapon na rin natin ang Kulturang Alipin. Hindi tayo alipin ninuman. Malaya tayong mga tao na nakatira sa malayang bayan.

It’s the Filipino people Mr. President, not GMA or Corona

by Justin David G. Pineda
IT’S already February 2012 and the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona is still the highlight of everyday events in the government and media. But unlike Jeremy Lin’s sudden hype because of his skill, [1] the impeachment is like a paid advertisement to sway people’s minds to rebel against “betrayal of public trust.” However, even though the Filipinos have a hasty generalization mentality, day by day it changes due to extreme lack of capability both skill and evidence that the prosecution has been showing in the trial. [11]
Not a few people will conclude that whoever is against the President of the Republic is a pro-GMA person. You can see that everywhere in argumentation in social networking and media sites. It has always been argued that we deem wanted GMA to be liable for her sins to the country. Yes, I agree with these people 100%. If needed, then she should give back all the money she has allegedly stolen from the Filipinos and pay the price of her crimes in jail. But I always say that GMA is just one small part of the story of the Filipinos. Furthermore, saying that if you’re anti-GMA then you should be pro-PNoy is such an illogical statement.
On the GMA Case
In the first place, I don’t agree with how the government handled her arrest and even stopped her from leaving the country last November 2011. The issue there wasn’t whether she will escape the country or not. The issue was whether the government followed the rule of law or not. [12] Let’s always remember that the court would and should never rule based on speculations. Speculations include thinking that she will just escape or faking her illness. If that were true then there should be evidence. There was even no formal case filed by the government against her. Better yet, let’s put ourselves in her shoes being barred from leaving the country even though no formal charge was filed. You’re being blocked because of speculations. Wouldn’t that sound unfair? It is not the fault of the court that they allowed GMA to leave. It is the fault of the government for failing to file a formal case against GMA. PNoy has been in his throne for more than a year already before this incident happen. He could’ve tasked his officials to spend time filing cases against GMA. But he spent those time just bragging and blaming the previous administration in his SONA justifying that he cannot do much because the government funds were missing. He spent his time being a pot calling the kettle black.
In the February 23, 2012 trial of CJ Corona, Senator Gringo Honasan asked clarificatory questions to DOJ Sec. Leila De Lima regarding her disobedience on the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) issue on the GMA case. De Lima explained that the DOJ Circular 41 gave them the power to issue a Watch List Order (WLO) to hold GMA. She admitted she defied the TRO and proceeded to block her. Sen. Honasan asked if there should be a “probable cause” in determining whether an individual should be placed under WLO. The Secretary said no. But since she defied the TRO issued by the court, she was given a show-cause order why she shouldn’t be held for contempt. The Senator then asked, why a show-cause order is needed. De Lima replied, “because there is due process.”
How easy it is for the DOJ Secretary to issue a WLO without even determining a probable cause yet when she’s the one with criminal liability, she’s given a proper time to explain herself because of due process.
Days after the TRO incident, on November 18, 2011, the Pasay Regional Trial Court (RTC), after recommendation from the DOJ-Comelec joint panel, issued a warrant of arrest against GMA. This move made the TRO useless and created a probable cause against GMA. [7] However, ask yourself this: Is this how the court handles a case against an accused? The moment, the same day the recommendation from the joint panel was released, the court has already determined a probable cause against the respondent. If you go to the Comelec office, you would see a lot of voluminous documents on the case yet they were able to issue an arrest warrant within 2 hours. Are they fast readers and fast typists? Days ago, the government was questioned on legal basis. In this case, they made the process look legal through technicalities. But would you call that due process? In the first place, would you call that ethical?
Of all these Filipino cases, how many of them are being attended to and being determined with a probable cause in just 2-hours?
On the Corona case
PNoy’s hate on Corona sitting as Chief Justice was first felt during the Presidential Inauguration when he chose Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales to administer the oath-taking ceremony instead of the CJ. [8] He continued mentioning the midnight appointment of Corona and how his appointment will become a hindrance to the administration’s plans for reform.
I personally didn’t like Corona to become the Chief Justice when appointed by GMA on 2010. I believe that he shouldn’t have even accepted the position. I wanted Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio [13] become the CJ. I’ve read his profile and decisions made and all were superb. Of course, in a legal argumentation, 2 lawyers will have 2 opposite arguments that have good points. For one side, a president can appoint a CJ when one vacates it. It so happened that CJ Puno’s mandatory retirement was on May 2010 which was an election month. [14] On another side, there shouldn’t be no appointments due to election ban. Two arguments both found in the constitution. And so the appointment became legal after decided by the Supreme Court. But I don’t really think that it’s the end of the world for PNoy. For me, what happened was part of democracy. One part of the government cannot always be on the same page of the other parts.
The President have been so consistent in criticizing and lambasting the CJ. The Judiciary, on the other hand, has always been silent and the least expressive to the public. The sympathy of the public went to the President especially because the CJ was appointed by an unpopular president. The President in return continued his acts.
Then came the Criminal Justice Summit on December 6, 2011 wherein both the CJ and the President attended. Instead of giving a talk on Criminal Justice, the President slammed the Chief Justice and the Supreme Court in its face. The CJ just kept silent, emotionless and calm. [6] But it was a sign that the President really wanted the CJ out.
One week later, 188 Congressmen signed an impeachment complaint of Corona. He was impeached by the House of Representatives on 8 Articles of Impeachment. [5] It was a very fast move, just like how an arrest warrant was issued against GMA. Eight articles of impeachment were read, verified and signed by more than 188 representatives within 5 hours and transmitted to Senate.
The trial began before the Senate even started. After filing the impeachment complaint, members of the prosecution panel led by the Justice Committee Chair Niel Tupas Jr., they claimed that the CJ has amassed ill-gotten wealth and various properties beyond his capacity to pay as a Chief Justice. Days before the trial, the Land Registration Authority (LRA) released records and claimed that CJ Corona has 45 properties. These properties were disclosed by the prosecution team in a press conference.
For Malacañang’s part, the President admitted urging the Congressmen to file the impeachment complaint. I really feel that they were expecting Corona to resign because the plaintiff admittedly claimed that impeachment complaint is very weak. [31] Other signatories of the complaint also admitted that they didn’t read the whole contents of the complaint and just relied on the Powerpoint made by Tupas. [20] PNoy for his part started drafting replacements for Corona even when the impeachment hadn’t started yet. [21]
They never knew that CJ Corona will not give up easy and fight back. The Chief Justice answered all allegations one by one and even fired back to his critiques. High profile lawyers offered legal services pro-bono to defend him. [22]
And the prosecution team with more than 50 private lawyers have been humiliated publicly due to their lack of preparation and fishing expedition. They cried foul when Retired Associate Justice Serafin Cuevas, lead defense counsel, [2] had been very strict in following rules of court and evidence. He has been objecting a lot silencing the prosecution and ruining their plans of presenting a lot of witnesses and evidences which Cuevas claims as “immaterial, irrelevant and impertinent.”
The reason why I’m personally against the removal of Chief Justice Corona in the Supreme Court is simply the cases filed were so weak that the accusers didn’t even have any idea about what they complained about. [15] They’re just pulling up people issuing subpoena to whoever they wanted. It pains me to see how these politicians embarrass a person without any concrete basis. But in a wider scope, the President is trying to become a dictator- first by controlling the executive, second by controlling the legislative and now trying to control the judiciary. This plan is contrary to what democracy speaks about. He wants everybody in the government agree with him. If not, he/she will be impeached or terminated. The worst part is, these offices affected by the impeachment focus more on the impeachment rather than their primary work- the Senate, the Congress (who has only 2 sessions in quorum last January), [32] the Judiciary (especially the Supreme Court) and the Office of the President.
So the question is: Is this the government that we want? A government that chases the allegedly bad without the due process? A government that promotes character assassination? A government, which Senator Bongbong Marcos defines, that enforces “selective justice?” [16]
On the Filipino case
Supposed GMA and Corona both are sent to jail hypothetically, what good will it bring to the Filipino people? Freedom? Growth in economy? Trust in government? [4] You answer.
The problem with the President is that he is too busy and obsessed catching who he thinks is bad to attain peace. He wanted to build a “matuwid na daan.” However, catching bad guys is supposedly the norm. Meaning to say, it should be given that for a country, it is peaceful. It is not something to brag or to give so much limelight. Because for Filipinos, a straight path is just the same with a zigzag path. Those are just 2 roads. Catching the bad guys won’t bring the poor out of hunger. Putting GMA in jail won’t increase the economic growth. Ousting Corona won’t lower the oil prices and the primary commodities.
My point is simple. Let the courts handle these cases. End of story. Focus more on building the country and not focus on persecuting individual people. They are entitled to due process and presumption of innocence for God’s sake.
The economy drastically went down months right after PNoy stepped in Malacañang. [9] He focused on a crusade to battle the corrupt but only there. He tighten the release of the taxpayer’s money because he doesn’t want the money to go in the pockets of the corrupt. But if you will not let the money go into cycle, then there won’t be any improvements in the country at all. This is what is happening.
The unemployment rate is higher. [10] Children who go to school are lower. [17] Basic commodities are getting higher as well but he is not doing anything about it. If he’s doing something about it, nobody knows. What people see in television is his love life and campaign against GMA and Corona.
Does he have any concrete projects that are being/already implemented? If there are, what are they? Please don’t tell me Condition Cash Transfers (CCT) amounting to PHP 21 Billion annually. [30]
Specifically, he must address concerns on education, employment, environment and technology. There are so many projects that can be done for those categories mentioned. But I see none.
It’s true that PNoy is doing selective justice. He does what he wants. He will humiliate anybody who is against him and defy the rule of law. There is no accountability on his part also. I remember the Qurino Grandstand Hostage taking last August 2010. A lot of Chinese tourists where killed including the hostage taker. The President didn’t apologize for what happened because he said his administration did its best to help. [28] But did they? The Undersecretary for DILG Rico Puno was not terminated even if he didn’t act properly during the hostage crisis. Puno is close friend who help campaigned him in the elections. [29]
When the presidential speech writer Mai Mislang tweeted various derogatory statements regarding Vietnam during their State Visit there, she was even defended by the President. [3] When his “kabarilan” Sec. Ronald Llamas was caught buying pirated DVD’s and his car caught with an AK-47 rifle, he wasn’t fired. As a matter of fact, the President defended him. [24][26]
When the NBI Director Magtanggol Gatdula, was allegedly involved in a kidnapping of a Japanese alien, without proper conference or meeting, he was kicked out and humiliated in his office. Gatdula filed a TRO seeking to stop a preliminary investigation which perceived to be biased because of the DOJ panel doing reviews without getting his side. The court sided with Gatdula and issued a TRO. But the great Leila De Lima didn’t follow it and continued with her investigation. [25]
The Retired Lieutenant Jovito Palparan who was accused by the government for kidnapping and killing of student activists was issued a WLO by the DOJ. He was following and attending the hearings set for him. When the WLO expired, he wanted to leave the country. Even if there are no pending cases on him and the WLO has already expired, he was still barred by Sec. De Lima. [27]
I mentioned these things because the President’s campaign is for public trust and accountability. He tries to use force and power to put down his enemies who he thinks are criminals without the due process. But as you can see, he himself runs a corrupted administration. He doesn’t discipline or admonish incompetent and sinful officials he appointed for as long as they’re his friends and do things that pleases him. While personal vendetta is being promoted, who in the 90 million Filipino people are benefiting from it?
With all fairness to GMA, she did bring the economy through BPO’s. She did build those roads in the North. She did something. [23] Public office is public trust. But public office has also other tasks other than establishing it as a public trust. In its essence it says for service of the public, not for the service of personal interests.
I’m deeply dismayed and bothered that our President has been a spoiled brat doing what he pleases in bigotry and conceitedness. Enough is said during the Sendong when he was partying when his people are dying in Mindanao. [33] Enough is said that he there was a flood control project there which he scrapped because it was GMA’s project. Enough is said that he vetoed budget for Disaster Management program in the National Budget. [34]
What is next Mr. President? I respect democracy and I respect the millions of people who voted for PNoy. But he must serve not only for those who voted for him. When I chance upon my ITR I saw I paid more than a 100,000 Pesos for taxes yet I don’t see even little improvements in our country. All I see and hear are complains and blames because of the corrupt past administration.
I hope it’s not all about politics and media sensation. The Filipinos deserve more than that. In the end I ask this current government, What makes you different from what you say is a corrupt administration if yourselves don’t follow the law, protect your own and neglect the needs of your people?
The President is elected for the Filipino people and not to chase Arroyo and Corona.
References:
[1] Linforgraphic: The journey of Jeremy Lin by Inforgraphic World from http://infographicworld.com/linfographic-the-journey-of-jeremy-lin/
[2] When the going gets tough, the tough get going by Fil V. Elefante from http://businessmirror.com.ph/home/opinion/23410-when-the-going-gets-tough-the-tough-get-going
[3] Journalist twits President’s speechwriter for rude tweets ABS-CBN News (with a report from RG Cruz) from http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/11/01/10/journalist-twits-presidents-speechwriter-rude-tweets
[4] Fidel Ramos: Impeachment won’t solve poverty by DJ Yap from http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/151943/fidel-ramos-impeachment-wont-solve-poverty
[5] 188 solons impeach CJ Corona by Cynthia D. Balana, Gil C. Cabacungan Jr. http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/109793/188-solons-impeach-cj-corona
[6] Aquino lambasts Supreme Court in front of Corona by Christine O. Avendaño, Marlon Ramos from http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/105887/aquino-lambasts-supreme-court-in-front-of-corona
[7] Court issues arrest warrant vs GMA by Dexter Ganibe, dzMM from http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/11/18/11/court-issues-arrest-warrant-vs-gma
[9] Rappler Animate: How Aquino handled the economy by Lala Rimando Katherine Visconti and Emil Mercado from http://www.rappler.com/business/1230-rappler-animate-how-aquino-handled-the-economy
[10] As Aquino perorates, unemployment rises by J.A. de la Cruz from http://businessmirror.com.ph/home/opinion/23775-as-aquino-perorates-unemployment-rises
[11] Santiago lectures lead prosecutor in impeachment trial by Kathrina Alvarez from http://www.sunstar.com.ph/manila/local-news/2012/02/13/santiago-lectures-lead-prosecutor-impeachment-trial-205888
[12] The directive to bar the Arroyos from leaving the country stays — de Lima by Leonardo Postrado from http://www.mb.com.ph/node/341505/the-directive-bar-arroyo
[13] Justices of the Supreme Court from http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/justices/j.carpio.php
[14] Corona assumes as Chief Justice By Genalyn Kabiling and Jeamma Sabate from http://www.mb.com.ph/node/257841/corona-a
[16] Bongbong: PNoy has ‘selective’ justice by Ryan Chua from http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/11/22/11/bongbong-pnoy-has-%E2%80%98selective%E2%80%99-justice
[18] Oil firms hike prices by P1.35 by Neil Jerome Morales from http://www5.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=780241
[19] The NFA Says Get Ready for P2 Per Kilo Increase in Rice Prices from http://www.agriculture-ph.com/2011/04/more-rice-crisis-price-increases.html
[20] Corona asks Senate to subpoena Belmonte by Christian V. Esguerra from http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/126561/corona-asks-senate-to-subpoena-belmonte
[21] Palace: We’re not disregarding JBC by Willard Cheng from http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/12/29/11/palace-were-not-disregarding-jbc
[22] Lawyer defends pro bono work for Corona by Karen Boncocan from http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/141257/lawyer-defends-pro-bono-work-for-corona
[23] Arroyo to Aquino: It’s the Economy, Student by Michael Lim Ubac from http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/126851/arroyo-gets-back-at-aquino
[24] Aquino rebukes adviser over fake video discs by Virgil B. Lopezfrom http://www.sunstar.com.ph/manila/local-news/2012/02/04/aquino-rebukes-adviser-over-fake-video-discs-204382
[25] Gatdula TRO effect downplayed by Evangeline de Vera
[26] Aquino defends Llamas over AK-47, says adviser has right to protect himself by Chichi Conde from http://www.interaksyon.com/article/15004/aquino-defends-llamas-over-ak-47-says-adviser-has-right-to-protect-himself
[27] Palparan barred from leaving RP despite lapsed WLO by Benjamin B. Pulta, Pat C. Santos and Virgilio J. Bugaoisan from http://globalbalita.com/2011/palparan-barred-from-leaving-rp-despite-lapsed-wlo/
[28] Aquino rejects call for apology for Hong Kong deaths by Jill Beltran from http://www.sunstar.com.ph/manila/local-news/2011/08/23/aquino-rejects-call-apology-hong-kong-deaths-174809
[29] Rico Puno qualified to handle peace and order – Palace from http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/09/02/10/rico-puno-qualified-handle-peace-and-order-palace
[30] DSWD wants P39.4-B for conditional cash transfer by RG Cruz from http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/business/08/01/11/dswd-wants-p394-b-conditional-cash-transfer
[31] ‘Masama pagkakagawa ng complaint’ – Farinas from http://pcij.org/blog/2012/02/07/masama-pagkakagawa-ng-complaint-farinas
[32] ‘Impeachment trial affecting quorum at House’ by Paolo Romero from http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=773571&publicationSubCategoryId=
[33] Palace defends PNoy for attending PSG party by Willard Cheng from http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/12/19/11/palace-defends-pnoy-attending-psg-party
[34] Gov’t courting disaster, solon warns by Jester Manalastas

Ang elitistang mas masahol pa sa malansang isda

 

Nagsisilbing identidad ang wika ng isang bansa. Ang Japan ay may Nihonggo at ang France ay may French. Gayundin, ang Pilipinas ay may Filipino. Hindi ako isang linggwistiko na eksperto sa pinagmulan ng wikang Filipino at ang kanyang porma. Ngunit alam kong ito ang wika ng ating bayan; ang wika na ginamit ng mga bayani na siyang nakipaglaban sa mga mananakop upang makamtam ang minimithing kalayaan. Ang wikang ito ay nagmula sa ating mga ninuno na siyang ginamit sa pakikipag-usap sa araw-araw. Ang wikang ito ang bunga ng tradisyon at kultura ng ating bayan. Ang wika na siyang sumisimbulo kung sino tayo- mga Pilipinong malaya.

Kaya naman ganun na lamang ang aking pagkadismaya at pagkalungkot sa ilang mga Pilipinong kung tratuhin ang ating pinakamamahal na wika na parang basura. Sabihin na lang natin na oo, sa pangangailangan ng makabagong panahon ay kailangan natin matuto ng Ingles upang magkaroon ng komunikasyon sa ibang mga tao lalo na ang mga banyaga. Pero sinasabi ko sa kahit sinuman, na hindi ibig sabihin na kapag ika’y magaling magsalita ng Ingles ay isa kang intelihenteng tao. Siguro’y nagtutunog matalino ka ngunit hanggang sa pandinig lamang iyon. At sinisiguro ko ring walang katotohanan na ang Ingles ay siyang wika ng karunungan. Kung gayon at sinasabi iyan ng iilan, ibig ba nitong sabihin, ang mga taong hindi nagsasalita ng Ingles ay mangmang? Ilan ba ang hindi gumagamit ng Ingles? Sa Tsina pa lamang, mahigit isang bilyon na. Ibig ba nitong sabihin, wala sila silang sapat na karunungan gaya ng mga taong nagsasalita ng Ingles?

Naalala ko noong ako’y nag-aaral ng isang asignaturang Filipino noong kolehiyo, pinag-aralan namin sa isang estadistika na maraming mga pamantasan sa probinsiya ang bagamat hindi kilala ay maganda ang estado sa board exams. Nang alamin kung paano sila natututo, sinabi ng pakultad na nagsisimula siyang magturo ng Ingles. Kapag ang mag-aaral ay hindi na makaintindi, magtuturo siya ng Tagalog. Kapag hindi pa rin makaintindi, isasalin niya ang kanyang turo sa Bicolano. Doon natututo ang mga estudyante sa pakikipag-usap sa sariling wika. Mahirap ipilit ang mga bagay na hindi talaga kabilang sa ating pagka-Pilipino, dahil hindi rin ito natural na kabilang sa ating pagkatao.

Bakit, kapag ba gusto mong matuto sa Matematika, Agham, Kasaysayan o anumang disiplina, kailangang marunong kang mag-Ingles para gumaling? Hindi ka ba gagaling kapag sarili mong wika ang gagamitin? Ang mga mayayamang bansa gaya ng Hapon, Korea, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia atbp., huwag natin silang mamaliitin na hindi marurunong dahil hindi nila ginagamit ang Ingles at pinagyaman nila ang sarili nilang wika. Mahal ng kanilang mamamayan ang kanilang wika at umunlad sila gamit ito.

Sa personal kong karanasan, alam kong kulang ang ginagawa ng gobyerno at akademiya na palaganapin ang wikang Filipino sa kanilang mga sistema ngunit alam ko ring mayroon silang ginagawa para paunlarin ito. Alam kong maraming pwersa ang nagbabanggaan kung ano ba talagang wika ang dapat bigyang prayoridad na matutunan dahil na rin sa globalisasyon. Pero kapag ika’y lumabas at saan man magpunta dito sa Pilipinas, ang natural na wika pa ring ginagamit ay Filipino- hindi lamang ng mga tindera, tsuper, katulong, kundi lahat ng mga Pilipino. Ang wikang Ingles ay maaaring makapagpakita na tayo’y may iba pang wikang alam. Ngunit mas malakas pa rin ang tawag ng ating pagka-Pilipino kahit saan man tayong lugar sa mundo mapunta.

Kaya ito lamang ang masasabi ko sa taong halos sambahin na ang banyaga at itapon ang sariling wika: Kung hindi dahil sa wikang ginamit ng ating mga bayani upang ipaglaban ang ating bayan, malamang ika’y nabubuhay na alipin pa rin. Ngunit siguro nga, maging alipin ng banyaga ang gusto mong gawin sa buhay mo. Sa kasamaang palad at riyalidad, wala namang pakialam ang tao kung marunong kang mag-Ingles o kung ano pa mang wikang banyaga ang alam mo. Ang importante ay marunong kang makisama, makipag-usap at makaintindi sa kapwa ng walang panlalapastangan. At huwag kang umastang akala mo’y kung sino kang marunong at superyor, kasi mas matalino ang sambayanang Pilipino kaysa sayo. Meron ka na bang napatunayan sa pag-i-Ingles mo? Kung susumahin, ilan ka ba sa bansang ito na itinakwil ang wikang Filipino? Isa? Ilan naman ang ininsulto mong tao dahil sa mababang pagtingin mo sa sariling wika? Hmm.. mga 90 milyong Pilipino? Kung si Dr. Jose Rizal ay babangon mula sa kanyang libingan at nalamang isa kang Atenista na itinakwil ang iyong pagka-Pilipino, malamang sa malamang, itatakwil ng ating pambansang bayani ang kanyang pagiging Atenista. Noong sinabi ni Rizal na ang taong hindi marunong magmahal sa sariling wika ay mas masahol pa sa malansang isda, hindi naman niya literal na tinutukoy ang amoy ng isda. Masyadong mababaw iyon. Ibig lamang niyang sabihin, hindi kailangan ng Pilipinas ng mga elitisang mangmang at hambog gaya mo.

Doing the Math

My dad told me that it’s best to invest on real estate like a house or a condo unit because its value appreciates as time goes by. Yes, I agree. And because people like me who’s not born rich, starts from the bottom going up the ladder. If that’s the case then it means that the state of being rich is low when you start working and it goes up as time flies. This concludes that the hindrance for abundance is ‘time.’ That’s because everything takes time yet life is short.

Anyway, another thing my dad told me was that investing in cars and technology (i.e. expensive cellphones/laptops) is bad because its value depreciates in a short span of time. As Moore’s Law applies in essence, the value of a gadget is half after less than a year in parallel with a technology that is double the power of the current one. Also, the value of a car depreciates drastically while its maintenance is very expensive. So, it’s still impractical to get one when you have a lot of other more important priorities that you support financially.

A couple of weeks ago, my dad gave my a new Toyota Innova J series (Diesel). It’s the cheapest among the Innova series but I would agree that the differences vary very slightly like accessories and such. But the important thing is the engine, which is good because it has the same engine as the Fortuner. It also has comfortable seats good for 8 people and a compartment at the back. So, the mission given to me is to survive a life with a car. My philosophy always says “practicality and simplicity.” At first I don’t really like having a car because it’s expensive etc. But now that I have one already, then it’s time to use it in the most practical and simplest way possible.

I did a lot of changes in my car style when I handled the Innova. Vast changes occurred and that’s because it’s my responsibility now:

I don’t rush when I drive. Never anymore. When there’s a jeepney trying to cut my way even if the driver counter flowed, I’d still give him the space. That’s because I know it’s a pain in the ass if the jeep bumps on me and I would to pay for the repairs.

I always try my best to drive in the coolest way possible. My average speed in the highway is just 60kph. I don’t race with other cars even if they’re provoking me to. I don’t speed up when it’s Yellow in the traffic light. Instead, I start slowing down and hit the brakes even if it’s not turning fully stop yet.

I don’t try to play with vehicles who are very careless. I sound the horn very loud so they would know that somebody is beside or near them even if they get annoyed.

I don’t rush on bumpy and moon-styled roads. I drive slowly to avoid all those holes and other road texture problems. I don’t mind anymore even if the car behind me is rushing (unless it’s an ambulance) and keeps on sounding the horn so I would rush.

I clean the car very often both external and internal. I do the cleaning or sometimes the car wash boys do it. But I have my own stuff as well. I don’t want the car look dirty.

I want the car to be safe. My dad started it with an centralized lock with an alarm. I do have my own security by putting lock on the steering and the brake pedal. I also invest in putting the car in a safe parking lot with a roof even it costs quite expensive. And everywhere I go, before I bring the car to the destination, I make sure that there’s a secured place for the car to stay.

And I learn how to look for the cheapest gasoline stations in the area to maximize my money. I also learn how to look, study and measure all the routes when going to office, Cavite etc. to be able to maximize the gas. It makes me learn a lot actually. I get exposed to shortcuts and alternative roads.

In the end, even if it’s just a month old, I feel like I’m already raising a child. Taking care of a car is so expensive. But it makes you more responsible and mature. At the same time, you get the comfort that some don’t experience.

 

Ang Nakalalasong Amag sa Tinapay

Upang matahak natin ang ating layunin sa buhay, marami tayong kailangang hakbangin sa hagdanan ng kaunlaran. Gayundin, marami tayong mga pagsubok na daraanan upang makamit ito. Hindi ba napakasarap sa pakiramdam ang matamo mo ang iyong pinaghirapan matapos ang matitinding pagsubok? Kahit gaano kaliit o kalaki ang iyong planong abutin, kapag natamasa mo ito, isang malaking ginhawa ang papasok sa ating katawan. Ngunit paano kung ika’y naluklok na sa pangarap mong estado sa buhay? Dahil mas malayo na ang narating mo sa iba na maaaring nagsisimula pa lamang, iba na ang pamantayan mo sa buhay. Dito nagkakaroon ng problema. May katotohanan din ang sabi-sabi na kapag ika’y nasa tuktok na, nakakalimutan mo ang nasa ilalim mo.

Personal kong nasaksihan ang indirektang sapilitang pang-aalipin ng mga nasa taas sa mga taong nasa ilalim nila. Sang-ayon naman ako na dapat may mas nakakataas sayo o may mga posisyon na pagpipilian base sa kaalaman at karanasan. Ngunit sukdulan akong hindi sang-ayon sa pang-aabuso ng mga nasa taas sa mga tao sa ibaba nila. Ganoon ba talaga kapag ika’y mas makapangyarihan kaysa sa iba? Sadya bang hindi maiiwasan ang tukso nang kapangyarihan?

Naniniwala ako na nilikha ang tao na pantay-pantay at may pare-parehas na karapatan at kalayaan. Hindi maaaring mas maraming karapatan ang isang taong mas mataas ang posisyon kaysa sa isang taong kinasasaklawan ng kanyang kapangyarihan. Sabi nga ni Marjorie Evasco, “We’re all the same. We all eat and we all shit.” May kaakibat na responsibilidad ang lahat ng tao ano man ang estado nito sa buhay. Isa sa pinakaimportanteng responsibilidad ng bawat nilalang dito sa mundo ay ang respetuhin and kapwa lalong-lalo na ang kanilang pagkatao.

Kaya naman ganito na lamang ang aking pagkamuhi sa mga taong pilit na nang-iipit at nang-aalipusta nang kapwa sa pang-aabuso ng kanilang kapangyarihan at talikuran ang karapatan at dignidad ng kanilang kapwa kasama na rito ang kanilang mga tauhan. Tapos na ang giyera at pananakop ng iba’t ibang mga banyaga. Ngunit gaya ng kwento ni George Orwell na hango sa Stalinism, mismong mga ka-uri na natin ang nagpapahirap sa atin. At totoo iyon. Tumingin ka lang sa iyong paligid at makikita mo na kung ano ang sinasabi ko.

Marami sa atin ang pilit na kakapit sa patalim upang magtuloy-tuloy ang buhay sa mundong ito kahit ang naghihintay na kapalaran ay mapait at hindi patas. Hindi naman natin sila masisisi. Sa kabilang dako, mayroong mga tao na prinsipyo ang pinanghahawakan sa sarili. Isang bagay na hindi matutumbasan nang kahit anong salapi o suhol. Hindi naman ibig sabihin na ang mga taong kumakapit sa patalim ay walang prinsipyo. Ang prinsipyong tinutukoy sa isang ma-prinsipyong tao ay gagawin kung ano ang tama at iwawasto, hindi gagawin at hinding-hindi tutularan ang mali.

Dapat nating himukin ang bawat tao na kasapi sa ating komunidad o organisasyon na ipaglaban ang kanilang karapatan at dignidad. Kung sila’y natatakot at pilit na kumakapit sa patalim, walang progreso at hustisyang magaganap. Ang pagkapit sa patalim ay isang gawain upang makapagatuloy sa buhay ngunit siya namang tuloy-tuloy sa pagsugat sa kanilang mga sarili. Hindi lubusang natatamasa nang mga taong ito ang tunay na ibig sabihin ng kalayaan. Dapat nating sugpuin ang walang awa at ganid sa kapangyarihan at patalsikin sa pwesto ang ganitong mga tao. Hindi sila karapat-dapat sa posisyon na kanilang kinabibilangan ngayon. Kahit man isang pangarap at bagay na inaasam-asam mula sila’y bata lamang na mapabilang at makakuha ng isang mataas na posisyon, wala silang lugar para rito. Dapat sila’y nasa kulungan upang pagbayaran ang kanilang pagmamalabis at pagpapahirap sa mga taong kanilang nasa ilalim.

Kapag tayo’y magsasama-sama at pag-aalabin ang prinispyong maka-tao, sinisiguro ko na walang maaapi at walang sinuman ang susubok na manapak ng karapatan ng ibang tao. Wala nang matatakot pa na baka sila’y lalong saktan kapag itananong at inilaban ang karapatan. Tandaan natin, kakaunti lamang ang nasa itaas. Marami ang sama-sama sa ilalim. Gaya nang pagpapatalsik sa isang pangulo matapos itong mawalan ng suporta, ganito rin ang mangyayari sa iba pang mga pinuno na hindi kayang gampanan ng maayos ang trabahong iniatang sa kanya.

Gaya ng aking nabanggit, marami ang nangangarap mapunta sa itaas. Marami ang gustong mapunta sa isang maginhawang pwesto. Pero mas mataas ang pwesto, mas marami ang responsibilidad. Ang amag sa tinapay ay nakakalason sa taong kakain nito. Ngunit sa isang mundo na maraming nagugutom, pilit nila itong kakainin. Pero hindi ba kung isang parte lamang ng tinapay ang may amag, maaari naman natin itong tanggalin at kainin ang tinapay pagkatapos?

Dissecting RH Bill’s Intestines

by Justin David Pineda

Tourist guide Carlos Celdran’s association to the church as “Damaso” and to himself as Jose Rizal, a hero for freedom is a fallacy. [20] First of all, priests today neither live extravagantly nor have control on the law. That’s why their stating their stand. Second, we’re no longer colonized and Celdran was not shot at Luneta after what he did. (with pun intended)

But seriously, a lot of people who are skeptics always tend to conclude that the stand of the church is very close minded and conservative. May it be written that these assumptions are true. However, that doesn’t conclude that whatever they say has no merit or point because that’s just one big hasty generalization. Further, we should treat religion as a concept and don’t judge it based on the people; because people (even fictional character) like “Damaso” commit mistakes. But the concept of religion remains and it has something good in it. You don’t judge a stand guilty by association to the church and just go to the other side and proclaim that it’s okay to get excommunicated. It’s just not logical.

Objective of the RH Bill

Obviously, before we can make an opinion regarding the RH Bill, we should have read the whole bill first. I’ll base my stand on the bill itself supporting it by factual data. So as a start, we must define what the Reproductive Health is. And as the bill defines: [1]

(Sec. 4, c.) …as the state of physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and to its functions and processes. This implies that people are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life, that they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so, provided that these are not against the law. This further implies that women and men are afforded equal status in matters related to sexual relations and reproduction.

The definition of reproductive health in the context of the bill relates to “satisfying and safe sex.” There is nothing wrong with that. But later on, we will use this definition in application to the bill’s provisions.

So in summary (assuming you’ve read the bill), the main points that the bill wanted to achieve are to educate the people regarding reproduction (i.e. sex and its factors) and to promote responsible parenthood to manage population and reduce poverty. [3]

Fuzzy Logic

If the argument of the bill is when we reduce the population, we reduce the poverty then these pro-RH legislators believe that population is the cause of poverty. But is the population the real cause of poverty? Let’s say that the population is reduced from 100 million to 50 million (hypothetical). Do you actually think that even reducing the population by half (well, I exaggerated it), poverty will be reduced in percentage (not on number of people of course)? I won’t dwell on comparison and contrast between other countries that are populated and yet far with the country’s economic status because it’s very relative and very debatable. But the bill’s premise does not necessarily follow this logic. I would like to stress out that population is not the cause of poverty. If you don’t agree, tell me what kind logic will result to reducing population equals reducing poverty. If you say Singapore, then why are they paying the people to give birth to children and ask foreigners to live in their land?

Practicability of Contraceptives

 

As per the RH bill, it considers contraceptives as “essential medicines.” [1] 

SEC. 10. Contraceptives as Essential Medicines. – Hormonal contraceptives, intrauterine devices, injectables and other allied reproductive health products and supplies shall be considered under the category of essential medicines and supplies which shall form part of the National Drug Formulary and the same shall be included in the regular purchase of essential medicines and supplies of all national and lord hospitals and other government health units.

These essential medicines will be available to every part of the country, which will be distributed by the baranggays to the people. As of writing, there’s no amount yet stating how much should be allotted for these medicines. But if it’s for the whole of the country, surely it will range from about hundred millions to billions of pesos. That amount of money is not just something that we can easily get.

Let’s now try to dig on some historical account on the effectiveness of contraceptives. During the ’90’s, until the late 2000’s, USAID has supported the Philippines by giving budget to contraceptives costing $3.1M US annually. [11] DoH on its part, has also been giving budget for family planning and responsible parenthood annually. As planned on 2010, Sec. Enrique Ona said that P931M is his budget for family health program where P400M of it will be used to buy contraceptive pills, condoms and injectables. [10]

If I may ask, there already have been efforts already by the government and other organizations about population control and responsible parenthood. But are there any positive changes on the growing population of the country? What I’m saying is, there are already existing efforts and it’s pointing out to saying that contraceptives are not the answer to population control and poverty reduction.

Hence, why is the government giving so much budget and attention to contraceptives and treating them as essential medicines when according to the World Health Organization (WHO) the top ten causes of death in the Philippines are: lower respiratory infections, Ischaemic heart disease, tuberculosis, hypertensive heart disease, perinatal conditions, cerebrovascular disease, violence, diarrhoeal diseases, diabetis mellitus and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. [8] There is not one disease that is related to the use of contraceptives. Why not instead of looking for ways to treat these diseases, the government is focusing on these things? That’s just unfair. According to Atty. Jo Imbong of the CBCP, the primary cause of maternal death is pneumonia. [18] Were they able to put the cure for pneumonia an essential medicine for the mothers?

Rep. Liwayway Chato has a point in saying that the bill is not applicable at most cases for couples. She says that what if the couple wanted to have intercourse at that particular time, would the girl care to say stop and let’s go to a baranggay and ask for a condom? [18]

Legal Issue

Eric Manalang, President of the Pro-Life Philippines, says that the main source of the RH bill didn’t come from Philippine legislators. The RH bill was initiated by the US as a form of aggression to preserve resources for America. [20] Atty. Imbong points to the same thing. She further states that the country has accepted the idea of Reproductive Health as discussed in the international context which involves abortion. Although the bill doesn’t explicitly say abortion, it adapts the idea without even scrutinizing it properly. Thus, during international meetings about it, no Philippine delegation was present. [18]

During an interview with Tomas Osias, executive director of the Commission on Population, he admitted that the bill might involve abortion. Later on he apologized for saying such, for he was pressured. Benjamin De Leon, professor at UP and the president for Forum for Family Planning & Development Inc, says that abortion is just a definition of term. But if we’re to apply the definition, we are killing already. [19] Both the former and the latter are pro-RH and have been involved with meetings and fora about the bill.

For this matter, there may be some grey area whether or not abortion is present in the bill implicitly. That’s because both the church and the pro-RH have different definitions of start of life. But what we know is that abortion is killing. Abortion is bad.

Not using the grey line of abortion, there is one law that overrules the RH bill. And this is Article 15 of the Philippine Constitution. Its excerpt: [17]

Section 1. The State recognizes the Filipino family as the foundation of the nation. Accordingly, it shall strengthen its solidarity and actively promote its total development.

Section 2. Marriage, as an inviolable social institution, is the foundation of the family and shall be protected by the State.

This concludes that the bill wanted to be passed is unconstitutional because of human life prevention.

Medical Issue

The bill states that contraceptives are defined as essential medicines. [1] Aside from pregnancy prevention, it also helps in menstrual disorders like lack of blood, excessive blood, menstrual cramps etc. [12] But in the context of the bill, it seems like these other features are just “added features” because the main premise of the bill is for population control. That’s why I don’t see the point of calling it an essential medicine when your intention is not to get pregnant. Medicine is something you take in order to get well and remove sickness.

Manalang states that when you take a chemical or mechanical is not healthy. [19] Probably that’s right. But what are the effects of contraceptives? According to Medicine.NET, here are some of the side effects: dizziness, headache, lightheadedness, stomach upset, bloating, or nausea, severe depression, groin or calf pain, sudden severe headache, chest pain, shortness of breath, lumps in the breast, weakness or tingling in the arms or legs, yellowing of the eyes or skin. [13] Further research says that it increases carbohydrates in your body. [15] Another research states that contraceptives saturate the gallbladder bile with cholesterol. [14]    

Chato on her part says that the natural state of a woman is to get fertile. In the context of the Reproductive Health, it doesn’t promote reproduction healthy. The bill mainly states in favor for safe and satisfying sex. She further says it is unhealthy. [18]

For my part, you don’t connect maternal problems that are naturally occurring to the problem of population or poverty. It’s a very different case. When they promote the use of contraceptives, they don’t include its negative effects. Now tell me, is that healthy?

Moral Issue

 

Since there is a grey line between the start of life then let us not use that as an argument. A good question to ask is: What is the implication of giving away contraceptives for free to individuals who are not even married and say, college students? What is the implication of giving the law to the hands of the youth to protect them from their parents who are stopping them to have sex and use contraceptives?

Rep. Janette Garin, pointed out that there are 12-15 year old girls whom she assisted to give birth and she said it was pitiful. She also mentioned cases of abortion because of unwanted pregnancies and experiments. [18] But I don’t agree that giving them contraceptives is the answer. On the other hand, I agree with Manalang that these things that Garin mentioned are effects. These already happened because of a cause. Let’s just put it this way. How can you promote responsible parenthood when you morally allow and uphold unmarried couples or individuals have casual sex? I hope we’re at the same page here.

Rep. Luz Ilagan, another pro-RH legislator was asked by Karen Davila if there is an age appropriation when for example a girl would like to have a pill or any kind of contraceptive. She answered that the bill is giving an informed choice. So, if the girl is educated and undergone their seminars then she is free to get what she wants as mandated of their bill [20]

A gun pointed at one’s head

Well, if you don’t believe that it’s God’s will not to follow the RH bill, I’ve given you other reasons why. I still have to go back to the main premise of this bill: What is the cause of poverty? Is it population? In my 21 years of existence in the country, I found that the country is rich full of resources. I found that we have the agriculture and also the brains. But why is it that we’re still in poverty? Again, I think it still boils to corruption and lack of opportunities. Is the problem with corruption and lack of opportunities resolvable? I think so. But not through the RH bill.

You don’t correct a mistake by another mistake. Meaning, Garin’s reasoning that in order to prevent unwanted pregnancy then you should use contraceptives is very incorrect. [18] You should teach them that to prevent unwanted pregnancy (which might lead to abortion, poverty and maternal disorder) is to teach them not to have casual sex and not to have sex and use contraceptives.

Celdran accuses the church of being anti-poor because they protest against distribution of contraceptives for free which targeted the poor. He further says, “Why not rally in 7-11 or Mercury Drug or Forbes Park?” [20] Well, I say that they all have the right to protest not only the church but any taxpayer who works very hard. Why will the government use the people’s money to buy contraceptives to tolerate the libido when in fact what these people need is livelihood? Hence, the government is trying to institutionalize it, mandating its office to provide these services. Isn’t this something to think about?

If allowing unmarried couples and the youth to have access to contraceptives then again, this makes the bill promiscuous and unconstitutional as per Article 15 of the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines. [17] In relation to this, Prof. De Leon and Rep. Garin say that Pulse Asia and SWS survey reveal that 9 out of 10 people wanted the bill to be passed. In reply, Manalang said that little noises like surveys are politically motivated. More importantly, he noted that surveys are incomparable to a constitution ratified by at least 76% of the Filipino people. [20]

I agree with Rep. Chato about the importance of people- that people aren’t hindrance to development and are the nation’s investment. [18] The problem lies on opportunities. Once you’ve given opportunities and challenges to people then they will stop thinking about immoral stuff like casual sex. They will think with goals. At the end of the day, the population will reduce naturally.          

References:

Articles

[1] Full text of House Bill No. 5043 (Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2008) from http://jlp-law.com/blog/full-text-of-house-bill-no-5043-reproductive-health-and-population-development-act-of-2008/

[2] The RH Bill: A Legislation with Good-Sounding Objectives by Jen Yoro from http://jlp-law.com/blog/full-text-of-house-bill-no-5043-reproductive-health-and-population-development-act-of-2008/

[3] Reproductive health bill: Facts, fallacies by Edcel Lagman  from http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/talkofthetown/view/20080803-152296/Reproductive-health-bill-Facts-fallacies

[4] Church, Palace agree condom not abortifacient from http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/03/30/11/church-palace-agree-condom-not-abortifacient

[5] 2010 World Population Data Sheet from http://www.prb.org/pdf10/10wpds_eng.pdf

[6] Ang panukalang batas na Reproductive Health and Population Development Bill from http://www.popcom.gov.ph/RH%20BILL/Layout%20of%20Q&A%20on%20RH%20Bill%20(for%20inputs%20of%20partners).pdf

[7] POPCOM History from http://www.popcom.gov.ph/about_us/index.html

[8] Mortality Fact Sheet 2006 from http://www.who.int/whosis/mort/profiles/mort_wpro_phl_philippines.pdf

[9] Doctors warn DOH on contraceptives from http://ph.news.yahoo.com/doctors-warn-doh-contraceptives.html

[10] DoH Sets P400 Million for Contraceptives by Hannah L. Torregoza from http://www.mb.com.ph/node/280901/doh-

[11] US keeps hands off RH row by Alcuin Papa from http://philippines.usaid.gov/newsroom/us-keeps-hands-rh-row

[12] Oral Contraceptives from http://www.medicinenet.com/oral_contraceptives/article.htm

[13] Medical Uses of the Oral Contraceptive Pill from http://www.youngwomenshealth.org/med-uses-ocp.html

[14] Effects of oral contraceptives on the gallbladder bile of normal women from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1244533

[15] Some effects of oral contraceptives on carbohydrate metabolism from http://journals.lww.com/obgynsurvey/Citation/1967/04000/Some_Effects_of_Oral_Contraceptives_on.39.aspx

[16] Effects of Oral Contraceptives from http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.pa.09.040169.002051?journalCode=pharmtox.1

[17] 1987 Philippine Constitution from http://www.chanrobles.com/article15family.htm

 

Videos

[18] Strictly Politics: Reps. Janette Garin, Liwayway Chato and Atty. Jo Imbong from http://www.youtube.com/user/casarnold

[19] Headstart: Eric Manalang and Benjamin De Leon from http://www.youtube.com/user/neilmarion

[20] Headstart: Carlos Celdran and Rep. Luz Ilagan from http://www.youtube.com/user/neilmarion

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