Saturday, June 25, 2011

Yes, "nobody home" in Malacanang passing off pay-offs and diverting funds

Yes, GMA is right that nobody is home. Nobody is home in Malacanang passing hundreds of thousands of cash to pay off political allies in exchange for votes--or calling COMELEC commissioners on the cellphone for election fraud. Nobody is home receiving calls from cabinet secretaries who report about P200M bribe offers for government contracts, or instructing undersecretaries to divert funds meant for fertilizers to election campaign funds.

Malacanang has been exorcised of all these with GMA stepping down and as such we are truly grateful that nobody's home who's willing and capable of doing all that.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Is the outright sale of the FTI the answer?

The government should “reconsider” the decision to sell the Food Terminal Inc. (FTI) complex in Taguig and, instead, find ways to ensure food supply flowing to the metropolis.

We are making great headway, as far as public-private partnerships are concerned, in addressing the myriad issues that threaten food security in the country. Government should reconsider the sale of the entire property in light of the critical effort at achieving food security and access to markets.

The goal of the FTI was to have a food terminal where farmers can drop off their produce so as to bypass the middlemen and allow them to go direct to the market. The biggest market locally is Metro Manila, and direct access to that market would mean better prices for the consumer and higher incomes for a sector that remains poor.

Let’s zero in on increasing the farmers’ incomes. If we secure our farmers and fisherfolk, we achieve food security.

The planned sale of the FTI began a few years back, before the spectre of spiraling world food prices hit us in 2008. We need to rethink the policy given serious major developments in food security requirements.

Let’s look at the objectives of selling the property. If it is for the benefit of the agricultural sector then funds should be used to strengthen the capability of FTI in its role of providing access to markets. Let’s look for other, more creative solutions to retool the FTI. Market access is key to upping our farmers’ income.

Is the outright sale of the FTI the answer? Whether the property is sold or leased out, the proceeds must be plowed back to the agricultural sector, whose budget was cut in 2011. The funds should be used to increase public investments in the agriculture sector such as irrigation, farm to market roads and the construction of post harvest facilities. If we are to privatize what was originally meant to revolutionize the agricultural sector of the country, then it is this sector, first and foremost, that should benefit from this move.

We need to think and do things differently in light of a looming food crisis. Let’s explore the power of partnerships and do so in a way that will ensure the sustainability of our agricultural sector, and adequate and low-priced food supply to our people.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Arts and Crafts with Miel

Art activities for children is a must. It is infinitely much better than having the children spend hours in front of the TV or with computer games. It sharpens a child's creativity and is a means of expression that a child needs to ensure emotional development.

Here, Miel and I put together hats using used newspapers, crayons, bond paper and some glue with with our initials, M for "Miel" and D for "Dad"

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

On the live coverage of the Maguindanao massacre trial

We laud the Supreme Court in making public the Maguindanao massacre court proceedings. Last November 2010, we filed Resolution 186 in the Senate calling for such action saying "that it would be in the best interest of our judiciary to have transparency in the judicial process, especially in such an unprecedented case of brutality."

We believe that having live coverage would help in the process of speedy dispensation of justice as the whole world will be watching. Such transparency will help uphold the reputation of our courts and will eliminate doubts in the minds of our countrymen. The trial has dragged on for more than a year and the victims and their families are hungry for justice. This is a step towards the right direction.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

May pinagmanahan...

It's quite amazing how a number of our own traits and characteristics find their way to our children.

As a child I would look at marble tiles or wood with random patterns on the walls at home to try and make out shapes, such as animals or heads or faces of human beings, among others.

One day I shared this with Miel, my six-year-old, who after listening intently blurted out, "You know me, Daddy, one time I was looking at the tire of the family car and I saw the shape of three dogs!"

May pinagmanahan.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Pambabraso ng Tsina, di naman nararapat

Hindi natin maintindihan ang pagmamayabang at pambabraso ng bansang Tsina.

Ang pahayag ng kanilang ambassador ay nakakalungkot at nakakabahala. Para manggaling ang mga salitang ito mula sa pangalawa sa pinakamalaking ekonomiya sa mundo ay tunay na nakakapagpabagabag. Ang pagpupumilit nilang kinakailangan pang humingi ng pahintulot sa kanila ang ibang bansa para makapaglayag sa pinagtatalunang tubig ay kayabangan na hindi kinakailangan kung tunay na lahat tayo ay naghahanap ng mapayapang paraan ng pagsosolusyon sa problemang ito. Sila na mismo ang nagsabi na mapayapang paraan ang nais nila ngunit iba ang ipinapakita nila sa mga pahayag na ganito.

Hindi natin dapat hayaang brasuhin tayo ninuman. Ang Pilipinas ay may mahabang kasaysayan pagdating sa kalayaan at pag-aalsa laban sa mga nagnanais bawiin mula sa atin nito. Hindi natin kailanman hahayaan, maging ang malalaking bansa, na brasuhin tayo at gawin tayong sunod-sunuran sa kanilang kagustuhan.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A delightful play time and conversation with Miel

Child experts say that playing is essential to a child's development as a human being. I make it a point to spend play time with my two little ones. It is also a wonderful opportunity to experience
delightful conversation with them.

Miel and I were pretend playing that we were secret agents:

Miel: Dad, pretending I am the smart agent and that I know all the
secret codes.

Dad: Huh? What about me? I am not smart?

Miel: No I am just smarter because my brain is half human and half


Monday, June 6, 2011

Frankie and Miel's first day of school

Today I bring my two little ones to school on their first day. Every year on the first day of school I make it a point to bring my children to school as my father did when we were growing up. I also try and bring them to school as often as I can. It's a way of showing our kids the importance of education. When they see how we value their education, they too will learn to value education and learning.

While in school for the kids' first day, I went ahead to check the prices of meals and snacks in the school canteen just to make sure that the daily allowances/baon of the two little ones are just right. Neither too high nor too low.