Wednesday, March 30, 2011

In mourning, let us examine ourselves

We mourn the passing of our fellow countrymen. Our hearts go out to their loved ones. In light of this painful event, I call on our colleagues in government to do what we can to modernize our economy so that our people would seek gainful employment here at home rather than elsewhere. Hindi sana nangyari ito kung hindi na nila kinailangan pang sumugal sa kapalaran sa ibang bansa.

In addition we need to go after heartless illegal recruiters, corrupt immigration officials, and drug traffickers who operate with impunity in our country. Our fellow countrymen is being used as drug mules is just the tip of the iceberg, so they say. The bigger issue facing us is an inept justice system and an economy that cannot support its population. Let this be our motivation to give our people what they truly deserve: a just and progressive Philippines.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A three year election hiatus in ARMM is needed to effect reforms

While we recognize and respect the views of those who believe that the elections should push through, we believe that for the sake of genuine reforms in the ARMM, we must be willing to do things differently. Clearly we are left wanting in this failed political experiment. The Ampatuan massacre is one clear proof that the elections there have failed to benefit the people, thus radical change is needed.

Several elected governors of the ARMM have faced graft charges. The ARMM was first created in 1989 through Republic Act No. 6734 in pursuance with a constitutional mandate to provide for an autonomous area in Muslim Mindanao. Despite being classified as autonomous, the region still receives approximately 98% of its operating budget from the National Government.

We have had regular elections in the ARMM for two decades now yet, with all due respect, those elected by and large failed to provide the leadership needed to transform the region. We propose a three year hiatus so that we may have a window to implement genuine reforms needed to govern such a region. We would like to see an ARMM that will truly provide real meaning to autonomy and self-governance.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I-contempt na yang mag-asawang Ligot

Wala tayong napala sa pagharap ni Mrs Ligot. Pa ligot ligot lang.

Dapat ma contempt na ang mag-asawa dahil kahit may karapatan sila o right against self incrimination hindi dapat inaabuso ang karapatan na ito na nagiging dahilan ng pagkaantala ng trabaho ng senado.

A blanket invocation of the right against self incrimination cannot be made by witnesses called to testify before the senate committees. It should be opposed vigorously.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Amidst rising global food prices, Prepare for all possible scenarios

There's a need for the government to prepare contingency measures to address rising global food prices but the public and media should temper the issue and not panic.

The inquiry in aid of legislation on the government’s ability to address the sudden increase of the prices of foods and other agricultural products that we presided was conducted precisely to assess the government’s preparedness amidst the prolonged political turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa which at the moment is affecting the price of oil. We invited the DTI, NEDA, and the DA to ensure that prices remain stable and that there is enough supply of food in the country.

We recommend that the government agencies concerned through the Executive Department should look at stockpiling measures much like what other countries are currently doing to protect their buffer of food. We also call the attention of the DTI and consumers to aggressively monitor prices of basic commodities in the market to prevent unscrupulous traders from taking advantage of the situation.

From the reports we gathered, prices of pork and chicken remain stable, and the price of onion has gone down. We also got a report from the NFA that our rice supply is still sufficient. But the price of flour, milk and sugar are going up thereby causing the price of bread to go up. Oil price increases are obviously affecting the prices of all the commodities. These are the reasons why we are conducting this inquiry—to make sure that we are not caught with our pants down in the worst case scenario.

Kinakailangan ay huwag mag-panic ang lahat. Kinakailangan lamang ay maghanda tayo para hindi tayong abutang natutulog sa pansitan sakaling magtuloy-tuloy ang pagtaas ng bilihin.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez , do a Nixon and resign

Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez should have the decency and just resign from office. She has tarnished the image and reputation of the office she holds. She has damaged the institution by clinging to it like a leech.

Mahiya naman siya at magbitiw na lang kung may natitirang kahihiyan pa siya sa kanyang sarili. Nababoy ang tanggapan ng Ombudsman dahil sa kanyang kapabayaan at pagbabalewala sa kanyang sinumpaang tungkulin.

In addition, her impeachment trial in the Senate will bring the legislative mill to a standstill. The legislative agenda of this administration will face delays if and when the Senate trial goes underway.

It would be best for the Ombudsman as an institution, for the nation, and for all of us if she just resigns and spares the nation the spectacle of a public trial.

The once-highly regarded, respected and feared office of the Ombudsman is no more. What we have left is an office that is a complete and total embarrassment to public office and service. For the sake of decency in public office she should just get out or be kicked out.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Put OWWA funds to good use

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Department of Labor and Employment, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and Department of Trade and Industry should work together to provide safety nets for returning OFWs from Libya and the Middle East. Bringing them home is the first step. Providing them the needed support to tide them over after being displaced is the next challenge.

The sudden job loss will have a tremendous impact on their day to day existence. OWWA funds must be put to good use, and now is the time to use it to provide help in the interim to our citizens in need. Our government must be ready to cushion the impact by providing financial assistance to these displaced workers. The fees collected from every overseas worker even before they can work abroad should now be channeled back to the workers when they need it most. And this begins with having a system in place to bring them home in times of crisis in the countries they work in, and up to providing options for their readjustment back here at home.