Wake Up, Philippines!

A practical solution to the unemployment problem

Posted in DOLE, Employment, Tips by Erineus on February 12, 2009

As the impact of the global financial crisis unravels, we find our country affected the most with the closure of companies and factories and the termination of OFW contracts. The Department of Labor (DOLE) reports that more than 15,000 workers have been retrenched over the past two months, while 19,000 others had their working hours reduced. As many as 800,000 people are expected to add to the swelling unemployment rate which presently stands at 6.8 % or about five million unemployed and underemployed adults.

We have read of various efforts to address this problem of worsening unemployment. Business and labor groups have banded with academe and the government to push for the creation of 1.3 million jobs within the year, which will be sourced from both domestic and overseas establishments. Active players will be the government, business process outsourcing (BPO) centers and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

While we read of these various solutions and wonder at the same time whether the wheels will turn in favor of the displaced workers, we are able to see a brighter future with actual programs already being done in Makati. Mayor Jejomar Binay reports that his Public Services Employment Office (PESO) had successfully employed more than 15,000 job seekers in multinational firms and local companies just last year. Around 4,499 applicants were hired through a Mini Job Fair held last year, while 2,015 people were employed under the Regular Job Placement Program. PESO Satellite offices also reported that they were able to find jobs for 1,940 job applicants and 1,896 applicants who joined the Mega Job Fair in May and November last year. Under Makati City’s Government Internship Program, 3,275 young adults found work, while another 1,569 became gainfully employed through the city government’s coordination with private companies who sponsored job fairs.

Mayor Binay, whose great advantage over other mayors is the number of large establishments in a prime commercial city that is Makati, certainly has a simple and practical example to ensure that services are delivered directly to people. What he does is simply match the wealth of available resources and opportunities in his city with the most urgent need of his constituents. His PESO is an effective vehicle that makes plans happen, ensuring that objectives are met. The important thing is he works on hand and stays on top of the situation. Progress is monitored and evaluated and the numbers are recorded so that a sense of achievement permeates his whole organization, with each member knowing that they have contributed meaningfully to solving a problem. Lest we become engulfed in the technical jargon of economics, having to figure out their meaning and impact on our common problems before being able to formulate a solution, let us get down on ground and deal with the problems directly. We need not be or pretend to be economic experts to do this.

Nowadays, there are two kinds of leaders those who are interested in the fleece and those who care about the flock. We challenge our local leaders to become true leaders in these trying times. Their being in the grassroots is an advantage; they can develop the potentials in their respective areas and create new opportunities for their people. Collectively, their efforts will push the nation forward even in hard times. If they just keep the needs of the people in mind, they will not miss knowing the best and most practical solution. This is a simple formula that cannot go wrong.

By Alejandro R. Roces
Updated February 12, 2009 12:00 AM

More equitable

Posted in CARP, DAR, Laws, LBP, Supreme Court Decisions by Erineus on February 12, 2009

This is another case of agricultural lands subjected to land reform. The issue arising here is the time of determination of just compensation: is it at the time of taking or at the time of payment?

The case involved 8 parcels of lands containing an aggregate area of 34.95 hectares all duly titled in the name of an agricultural cooperative (AAC). Sometime in 1972 the DAR acquired the said property under its Operation Land Transfer Program pursuant to PD 27. The properties were thereafter distributed to farmer beneficiaries who were subsequently issued certificates of land transfer and emancipation patent between the years 1978 to 1990.

However, the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) paid AAC for only two parcel of land on February 10, 1986 and March 3, 1987 in the total sum of P35,778.70. The other 6 parcels of rice land with an area of 28.2514 hectares remained unpaid.

On May 28, 1987, AAC sold the said properties to another cooperative (PAMC). The latter thus inquired from the LBP about the balance of payment for the six other parcels of land. LBP then sent a letter to PAMC pegging the value of the 6 remaining parcels at P 148,172. 21. The latter however refused to accept their valuation.

In the meantime, R.A. 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Act was signed into law on June 15, 1988. The said R.A. mandates that the LBP shall compensate the landowner in such amount as may be agreed upon by the landowner, the DAR and LBP or as may be determined by the court as just compensation taking into consideration the cost of the acquisition of the land, the current value of like properties, its nature, actual use, income, sworn valuation by the owner, the tax declarations and the assessments by government assessors.

On August 12, 1994 LBP reiterated its valuation of P148,172.21 and requested PAMC to submit some documents so that full payment could be effected. But PAMC again protested and requested for a revaluation. In October 1994 DAR issued A.O.13 imposing an increment of 6% yearly interest compounded from the date of coverage on the value of lands not yet paid. So LBP adjusted its proposed valuation by adding said increment thus increasing the amount to P537,538.34. PAMC still rejected the amount and instead subsequently filed a petition before the RTC acting as Special Agrarian Court (SAC) for the valuation and determination of just compensation pursuant to R.A. 6657.

LBP however contested the said petition contending that the said law should not be applied retroactively to this case as it did not provide for retroactive application. According to LBP, the taking of the lands in this case was deemed effected on October 21, 1972 when PD 27 took effect and when AAC was deprived of ownership over its lands in favor of farmer beneficiaries. Hence in computing the value of land for payment of just compensation, the valuation of the land at the time of the taking in 1972 pursuant to PD 27, should be made the basis. There is no injustice here since there would be an increment of 6% per annum, according to LBP. Was LBP correct?

No. Under the factual circumstances of this case, the agrarian reform process is still incomplete as the just compensation has yet to be settled. Considering the passage of R.A. 6657 before the completion of this process, the just compensation should be determined and the process concluded under said law. R.A. 6657 is the applicable law with PD 27 and its corresponding E.O. 228 having suppletory effect only. It would certainly be inequitable to determine just compensation based on the guideline provided by PD 27 and E.O. 228 considering the DAR’s failure to determine just compensation for a considerable length of time. More than 30 years have passed and the landowner is yet to benefit from it while the farmer-beneficiaries have already been harvesting its produce for the longest time. The seizure of the landholding did not take place on the date of effectivity of PD 27 but on date of payment of just compensation.

Hence it is more equitable for the SAC to determine just compensation for the reminder of the property using the values at the time of its payment and considering the full and fair equivalent of the property taken from its owner by the expropriator, equivalent being real, substantial, full and ample (LBP vs. Pacita Agricultural Multi Purpose Coop. etc. G.R. 177607, January 19, 2009).

Note: Books containing compilation of my articles on Labor Law and Criminal Law (Vols. I and II) are now available. Call tel. 7249445.

A LAW EACH DAY (Keeps Trouble Away) By Jose C. Sison
Updated February 12, 2009 12:00 AM

Poll: Pinoys believe first love never dies

Posted in Love, News Feature, Surveys by Erineus on February 12, 2009
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MANILA, Philippines – More than half or 55 percent of Filipino adults believe that “first love never dies,” while seven out of 10 Filipinos agree with the statement, “If you love someone then set him free, if he/she comes back again it was meant to be,” the Social Weather Stations (SWS) reported after a recent survey.

The Fourth Quarter 2008 Social Weather Survey was conducted from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1, using face-to-face interviews of 1,500 adults divided into random samples of 300 each in Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao and 600 in balance Luzon.

The December 2008 survey asked the respondents, “Naniniwala po ba kayo sa kasabihan na ang unang pag-ibig daw po ay hindi namamatay (Do you believe in the saying that first love never dies?)”

The survey showed that 59 percent of the respondents in the Visayas, 57 percent in Mindanao, and 52 percent each in balance Luzon and Metro Manila believed in the saying.

Three out of five or 60 percent in Class E respondents believe in it, 54 percent in Class D, and 47 percent in Class ABC.

Belief that first love never dies is similar among men (56 percent) and women (54 percent), the SWS said.

By age group, 58 percent of those 55 years old and above believe in it, 56 percent among those aged 35-54, 52 percent among those aged 25-34, and 49 percent among those aged 18-24.

Fifty-eight percent of those who are married share this belief, 54 percent among those with live-in partners, and 45 percent among those without spouse or partner.

To the survey question, “Naniniwala po ba kayo o hindi naniniwala sa lyrics ng kantang nagsasabing: Kung mahal mo ang isang tao, palayain mo siya, at kapag siya’y bumalik ito’y itinadhana? (Do you believe or do not believe in the lyrics of a song stating that: If you love someone then set him/her free, if he/she comes back again it was meant to be?),” 81 percent of respondents in Metro Manila, 79 percent in balance Luzon, 78 percent in the Visayas, and 74 percent in Mindanao said they believe in it.

By class, 79 percent of Class D respondents believe in the statement, 77 percent among Class E, and 76 percent among Class ABC.

Seventy-seven percent of men and 79 percent of women believe in it.

The non-commissioned survey has sampling error margins of plus or minus 2.5 percent for national percentages, plus or minus six percent or Metro Manila, Visayas and Mindanao, and plus or minus four percent for balance Luzon.

By Helen Flores
Updated February 12, 2009 12:00 AM

‘Not for publication’

Posted in American Occupation, History by Erineus on February 12, 2009

COLONEL Cornelius Gardner, an 1869 West Point graduate, veteran of the American Indian Wars (he fought Cheyennes and Apaches), commandant of Fort Wayne, Michigan was strongly opposed to the USA war with Spain in 1898. The year after, 1899, Gardner was put in command of the 13th United States Infantry and sent to the Philippines to quell what American politicians called “Philippine insurrection.” A reformer at heart, Col. Gardner saw the perils of American imperialism.

In a letter to his friend, Michigan Governor Hazen Pingree, which he ended with “not for publication,” he made a frank assessment of the Philippine situation: “The educational problem is probably the most difficult one of all. Heretofore it has been entirely in the hands of the church. The text books were all of a religious nature, and only such things were taught as would assist the clergy in easily robbing and domineering the people.”

With regard to teaching English, observed that “English is gradually becoming the language of the Orient. It is now spoken in India, the Strait settlement, Chinese treaty ports and considerably in Japan” and concluded, “I can see no advantage hereafter in teaching in the primary schools any language but Tagalog and English. Tagalo is a language of too great a poverty of words, except for elementary instruction; higher education should be in English….” Curiously, he referred to Tagalog as Tagalo, like any Spaniard.

Wary of the Protestant onslaught in this country, Gardner said only “religious enthusiasts” can bear living in the Philippines and remain long enough to teach, but Filipinos do not want nor need missionaries of any other kind because the Catholic church had already made Filipinos “moral and temperate” so it is best that they “be left alone.” He added that “…the introduction of Protestantism in its varied forms and different creeds would produce chaos, where now simplicity and order reigns.

He believed that: “The clashing of the clergy proselyting [sic] each for his own sect and all against the present religion of the people would be exceedingly unfortunate for these people.” Gardner described Filipinos as “already far more religious than we Anglo-Saxons” directly opposing William McKinley’s cynical policy which insisted the USA had to “Christianize and civilize” the Filipinos. Gardner said Filipinos had “to be taught not religion but science and art and modern knowledge of things tangible. Modern machines for sugar refining, for cording hemp, for refining cocoanut [sic] oil …” In a way, he defined the role of Filipinos in America’s economic master plan as mere suppliers of raw materials.

By far, the most revealing assertions of reformist Gardner in his “not for publication” letter to Gov. Pingree are about the persistent Independence issue. “Hope for independence is too deep-seated, it can never be eradicated, except by a destruction of the population.” While he wrote, the Filipino-American War was raging with such brutal intensity. “Unless we govern wisely and humanely with a view to improve the conditions of the people here, and not with a view to make money out of them, we will have continual revolutions…” a rather prophetic warning for Filipino politicians who took over after 1946. (gemma601@yahoo.com)


Kidapawan City celebrates its 11th Charter Anniversary

Posted in Municipalities by Erineus on February 12, 2009

KIDAPAWAN used to be a district of Pikit, Cotabato. It was converted into a Municipality on August 18, 1947, by virtue of Executive Order No. 82 signed by then President Manuel A. Roxas, making it the fourth town of the then Empire Province of Cotabato.

The name Kidapawan was taken from the Ubo-Manobo words “tida’’ which means “spring’’ and “pawan’’ which means “highland.’’ From “Tidapawan,’’ the “Highland Spring,’’ the name evolved into Kidapawan. Through Presidential Decree No. 341, Kidapawan became the provincial capital of North Cotabato on November 22, 1973. After more than 10 years, North Cotabato was renamed Cotabato.

Kidapawan is located at the base of majestic Mt. Apo. It is bounded at the southeastern section by Cotabato province and situated in between Davao, Cotabato, General Santos, and Koronadal City. On February 12, 1998, it was legally created into a component city of Cotabato by virtue of Republic Act No. 8500 signed by then President Fidel V. Ramos. Through a plebiscite on March 21, 1998, the Act was ratified.

Kidapawan City belongs to the Soccksargen Region (Region XII). It is composed of 40 barangays and had a population of 101,205 as of the 2000 Census. It is considered the industrial center of Cotabato. It is also one of the tourist destinations in the country. The city’s attractions include Mt. Apo, the tallest mountain in the Philippines, Lake Venado, Kawayan Falls, Marbel Falls, Steaming Blue Lake Agco, and the home of the endangered Philippine Eagle.

The Charter Anniversary is highlighted with parades, beauty contests, trade fairs, and traditional non-lethal horse fights.

We greet the officials and residents of Kidapawan City led by its Mayor, Rodolfo Y. Gantuangco, on the occasion of its 11th Charter Anniversary and wish them success in all their endeavors.

Source: http://www.mb.com.ph/OPED20090212147941.html

Cancer of corruption

Posted in Graft and Corruption by Erineus on February 12, 2009

THE appeal for concern for the world’s poor aired at the just-concluded World Economic Forum at the mountain resort of Davos, Switzerland continues to resonate with such urgency as to touch peoples and governments everywhere to contribute to the alleviation of poverty wherever it may be found.

At the same time, the “cancer of corruption” that is widespread in most of the Third World countries was denounced as a major cause of backwardness and impoverishment of the people.

United Nations’ Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in a statement, referred to the “poorest people who live on less than a dollar a day who are vulnerable to every stock that comes.”

He called on leaders of government and society to stand by them.

Bill Gates, known worldwide as a generous benefactor to good causes has called for “creative capitalism” to do a better job of serving the world’s poor as well as the rich.

He expressed alarm that capitalism, while so good for so many, is failing much of the world.

Ban Ki-Moon and Bill Gates were only two of the 2,500 business and political leaders who gathered in Davos for the Forum’s first meeting this year.

As you may well know, the World Economic Forum is the “Geneva-based non-profit foundation best known for its annual meeting in Davos, that brings together top business leaders, international political leaders who are known for their commitment to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional, and industry agenda.”

That United Nations’ Ban Ki-Moon and Bill Gates should concern themselves with the “bottom billion,” in reference to the poorest of the poor of the world, is understandable precisely because of the current economic meltdown sweeping countries worldwide.

Obviously, they wanted to remind rich countries represented in the Davos gathering that they have tough obligation to perform for the world’s poverty-stricken citizens, particularly at this time of spreading crisis.

In a recent report carried by the International Herald Tribune it was noted that a new sub-class of Japanese workers were finding themselves literally cast into the streets as the economy sours.

Also, it was reported that some advertisements were beginning to appear in newspapers and online that offered lumber for food or medicine.

Gates, in particular, urged business establishments to devote a larger percentage of their resources for the rescue of Third World countries from hunger and extreme poverty.

It is recalled that at various times he urged business to work hand in hand with government and non-profit organizations in a new level of participation with the objective of reversing the onrush of poverty, and embarking on technological innovations for those left behind.

At one time, his foundation gave 6 million for a green technology project and farming techniques to save millions of people from hunger and extreme destitution.

At one point of the discussions, it was noted what has been the experience in corrupt societies: People being cut off from access to public services such as provisions for clean water, health care, credit, and good education, among other public benefits.

The cancer of corruption, it was pointed out, was as endemic as the rampant practice of “making payments for non-existent public works projects, money disbursed to fictitious persons; employed personnel are paid only a fraction of the stipulated wages with the rest appropriated by officials…”

Of course, they all sound familiar – and so basic and too elementary compared to the rascality of some of our own corrupt officials – as if you didn’t know.



Fundamental institutional values

Posted in Institution, Values by Erineus on February 12, 2009

FUNDAMENTAL values apply not only to individuals. They also apply to institutions. In both instances, whether for individuals or institutions, any center for governance and leadership should create the necessary conditions conducive for those values to become virtues.

For values to become virtues, individuals within governance units should give flesh and substance to those values in their day-to-day actions and decisions. Individuals need to observe them habitually in the discharge of their daily duties. Indeed, they have to make a habit out of translating values into concrete deeds in the ordinary course of carrying out their assignments and trying to meet their targets in their personal governance scorecards.

The four fundamental values that apply to institutions, particularly those that can be building blocks in the bigger task of nation-building, are the following: Commitment, competence, professionalism, and patriotism.

Commitment is loyalty to the institution of which we are a part, and to the bigger and higher cause (i.e. its core values, its mission and vision) it is trying to serve and pursue. It demands fidelity, or more simply faithfulness to our duties to act and perform according to the standards and targets that we have agreed to observe. It is to get ourselves counted due to our strong determination to deliver according to our word.

Competence is the higher ability to carry out our duties, using the knowledge and expertise that we can obtain as well as the technology and human networking that we can access. In a dynamic environment, the level of our competence needs to keep rising so that we can cope with the higher demands of a rapidly changing world.

Professionalism involves the special expertise we acquire through previous and continuous training in a given field of endeavor. In using such expertise, we need also to observe the standards of professional practice: These standards extend to specific ethical behavior, which always takes into consideration our need to be of service to those in need of our expertise and attention and our duty towards the institution we work for as well as the wider community we belong to.

Patriotism is love of country and of people: Their long-term needs and demands should always be on our radar screens. It calls for selflessness and big-heartedness to take into account the manifold challenges of the communities we live in, the sectors we are a part of, and above all the nation of which we should be responsible citizens. It asks us to contribute our utmost to the strengthening of institutions in our midst so they can become more effective and relevant instruments for promoting the general welfare of all of our people. Indeed, our love of country is a concrete manifestation of our love for the Almighty, the source and destination of everything we have and are.

Each institution is free to choose which specific aspect of these four fundamental institutional values it wishes to underscore. Each institution also has naming rights for those specific aspects of these four values it wishes to highlight. However, the center for governance and leadership in any institution can use these four values of commitment, competence, professionalism and patriotism as the reference for the core values it chooses to nurture and propagate as components of the institutional culture that it takes responsibility for.

Source: http://www.mb.com.ph/OPED20090212147937.html