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Ramon M.

Borromeo Consumer P-Noy’s publisher’s notes

Ramon is an executive who enjoys cooking
occasionally for family and friends. pain, utility Wasted
Solo V. Tibe in system loss Inheritance
Solo is engaged in litigation and management
Opinyon inspired
New columnists, new perspectives Borromeo
After 13 issues, the
Opinyon’s editorial staff, as
with Linggoy Alcuaz, take

San Miguel fund-raising sparks alarm bells Can Small Medium Enter- pride in the papers strong
stand on issues of the week.
The paper takes position
prise Market absorb San Miguel Corp.’s huge funding requirement. SHOPTALK PAGE 4 on national issues without
being partisan.
In answer to accusation that
P15.00 it is an opposition paper,
We politicize we say it is hard hitting but
economic issues never partisan. It politicizes
and give economic economic issues and give
perspective to economic perspective to po-
political issues litical issues. We are guided
by this editorial policy.
Read page 4
The Only Opinion Paper, We Take A Stand
NOVEMBER 22 - 28, 2010 • Vol. I, No. 14 ISSN 2094-7372

By Al Labita Who is MVP? He may have built a formidable business
empire and reaped prized accolades, but behind the façade of corporate
coups hides what critics tagged as “unethical” dealings in the past. story on PAGE 2

inside EASTWIND JOURNALS by Bernie Lopez MAYNILAD’S DRAMATIC P-Noy favors big investors
at the expense of consumers
NEWS The Only Opinion Paper, We Take a Stand

From page 1
Captive customer’s new foe
Take, for instance, the By Karlo Gomez which will be charged to
Philippine Long Distance customers once energy hikes
Telephone (PLDT). Consumer groups seeking to are approved. Pangilinan
foil the Manila Electric Co.’s claims that this strategy will
Until now, taipan Alfonso lessen the generation costs
(Meralco) plan to increase
Yuchengco can’t get over that energy rates might find that comprise 60 percent of
incident in 1995 when he was themselves battling a new consumer’s bills.
Yuchengco Manuel Lopez Oscar Lopez
“forced” to yield his family’s foe. The debt-stricken Lopezes However, skyrocketing
interests in PLDT to Manuel V. have appointed Manuel V. power rates pose a major chal-
Pangilinan in his bid to seize Pangilinan as their “legacy lenge to Pangilinan, including
control of the telecom giant. asset’s” new chief, which is consumer advocates’ demand
At the time, Pangilinan widely believed to be a move to refund the extra charges.
– often referred to as MVP to save them from the brink of In all these consumer issues,
-- acted as managing direc- financial demise. Pangilinan has kept mum and
tor and chief executive officer Pangilinan now sits as the refused to participate in the
of First Pacific Co. Ltd, the president and chief executive ongoing hearing at the Energy
officer of Meralco, and controls Regulatory Commission.
Hong Kong-based flagship of
more than 40 percent of Also, the consumers are
Indonesian tycoon Soedomo the country’s biggest power doubtful of the corruption-
Salim. Lacson Cojuangco Zobel de Ayala distributor’s shares through free image associated with
Salim, whose core busi- Philippine Long Distance Pangilinan.
nesses range from banking to Telephone Co., Metro Pacific With Meralco’s addition to
trading, noodles manufactur- Investments Corp, and First the roster of his gargantuan
ing and property ventures, Pacific Holding. Meanwhile, acquisitions, Pangilinan is
wanted to expand to the Phil- Manuel Lopez remains a non- set to rule the local business
ippines. And that task fell on executive chair. He publicly scene with a phalanx of Hong
MVP who started his career as expressed his alacrity to buy Kong and Indonesian-based
an investment banker. more shares to gain control of cohorts from First Pacific with
In PLDT’s buyout case, the utility. questionable motives and
MVP reportedly pulled strings In a published report, intentions.
Pangilinan sought to increase By becoming active players
in high places with no less than in the energy business, the
Estrada Gokongwei Jimenez his shares by up to 45 percent
then president Joseph “Erap” by eyeing shares held by question is what interests
Estrada and his “corporate Eusebio Tanco’s group. First Pacific and its foreign
genius” Mark Jimenez as his complained that he was sub- Lopez suddenly found himself Generally perceived by the entities have in managing and
jected to alleged harassment booted out by Pangilinan as public as a positive force to controlling Meralco. Although
and arm-twisting by MVP’s president and chief executive reckon with in the business Pangilinan never promised a
minions to sign a waiver. officer. sector despite plagiarizing sweeping change, the captive
He held roughly an indirect a commencement speech, customers are entitled to full
eight percent equity in PLDT Frustrations Pangilinan’s historic plunge disclosure of his objectives
through a holding firm, the In recent talks to reporters, into the energy industry could that concern the management
Philippine Telecommunica- Lopez could not hide his frus- be unwelcoming to the 4.8 and direction of the company.
tions Investment Corp., PLDT’s trations over their company’s million captive customers of Nevertheless, the obtrusive
controlling stakeholder led by sudden change of ownership Meralco. capitalist trait of Pangilinan
Under Pangilinan, which he shares with the
the Cojuangco family. in the blink of an eye. He vent
Meralco is seeking to invest Lopezes will always be a
his ire on patriarch Oscar for in generation facilities that hindrance to forging better
Bowed to pressures forging a “secret deal” with are projected to deliver at bridges to the consumers. For
Though Yuchengo’s inter- Pangilinan. least 1,500 megawatts for the one, his corporate orientation
est in PLDT was deemed a Until now, animosity still next five years according to always seems to favor private
minority, he had an ace up persists among siblings of the reports. These planned power actors than consumers.
his sleeve -- his right of first once high-profile Lopez fam- generation facilities may cost For consumer groups, the
refusal. Meaning, he had the ily, the landed gentry in Panay the power distributor more battle could be tougher with
right to match or exceed any island who used to control than seven billion pesos, First Pacific at Meralco’s helm.
bid. Meralco, their crown jewel in
To MVP, the taipan was a the power supply business.
hindrance to his grandiose They have yet to gain a full MVP gave up his interests in the emerging flagship of his
plan to conquer PLDT and grasp of how they lost Meralco the property and sold them business empire.
he had to resort to all means they inherited from their great to rival Ayala group even at a Like that of the failed Boni
and at all costs to hurdle such grandparents. More than loss. property venture, it’s likely
pesos and cents, Meralco was That decision to divest only MVP will eventually dump
intertwined with the Lopez confirmed market talk that the telecom giant and sell it off
PLDT’s financial fortune is faltering due to fierce family’s tradition of business MVP was not a long-term in- to a persistent suitor – taipan
competition in the telecoms market, the reason acumen.
MVP had previously eyed
vestor and was only engrossed
with his short-term passion
John Gokongwei – who previ-
ously mounted a hostile bid
why MVP has shifted his focus to Meralco as the San Miguel Corp (SMC),
southeast Asia’s largest food,
for money.
PLDT’s financial fortune is
to take over PLDT, but MVP
blocked it.
emerging flagship of his business empire. beverage and packaging firm. faltering due to fierce compe- With MVP’s shifting for-
But SMC chair Eduardo “Dan- tition in the telecoms market, tunes in the corporate world,
“facilitators” supposedly for a obstacle. And indeed he did ding” Cojuangco Jr. quickly the reason why MVP has the more things change, the
“fee.” succeed. In no time, the taipan rebuffed him. shifted his focus to Meralco as more they remain the same.
bowed to pressures. Danding, who had a tight
“Unholy alliance” Poor “Tonyboy” Cojuangco. grip of SMC, likened MVP to
That caught the eye of For a time, MVP allowed him that of a “parachute investor”
Senator Panfilo Lacson who, to remain as PLDT non-exec- who he thought had no long-
in his privilege speech in 1998, utive board chairman. MVP term interests in the company
exposed the “unholy alliance” eventually yanked him out except to ride on its growth
between Erap and MVP. and took over as chairman. momentum.
“The bigger and more Tonyboy’s fate could likely Then came the government
important question remains: befall on current Meralco auction in 1995 of the 214-ha
What was the deal in pesos chair Oscar Lopez. Though his prime property in Fort Boni-
and centavos between Mr. family still holds a minority facio situated on the fringes
Estrada and Mr. Pangilinan, if stake at over 13 percent, that of Makati city. The property is
any. Or, should we rather ask, could eventually be diluted now part of Taguig city based
how much was involved?,” as MVP is poised to raise his on a Supreme Court ruling.
Lacson said. stake in Meralco from 41 to 46 An MVP-led group ten-
Oodles of money allegedly percent. dered a whopping 39 billion
changed hands in the PLDT Until now, not a few clan pesos bid for the property, the
deal. A P100 million check members still agonize over highest among bidders, beat-
purportedly issued by MVP how they lost the coveted ing Ayala Land, Inc.
to Erap was later traced by power firm to MVP.
probers of his corruption case They feel betrayed that Ayalas
to the “Jose Velarde” bank the purchase deal worked out But the Ayalas, embarrassed
account. early this year by Pangilinan, in losing out to a strange new-
The lawmaker’s expose’ the “point man” of wealthy comer in the property busi-
marked the first time that Indonesian tycoon Salim, was ness, blanked MVP in every
MVP’s name was dragged in kept under wraps all along. step of the way in his efforts to
the tricky politics of business. After steering Meralco transform the sprawling area
Yuchengco, founder of the for 24 solid years, raising its into his envisioned “Global
RCBC banking group, con- profile as one of the country’s city.” Apparently stung by
firmed Lacson’s expose’ and most profitable firms, Manuel the dose of his own medicine,

2 N O V E M B E R 2 2 - 2 8, 2 0 1 0 OpinYon
The Only Opinion Paper, We Take a Stand
sage of this law without socio-economic

Doing business OFW Deployment impact studies and proper scrutiny of the

problems concerning OFWs is an indica-
tion that the government has overlooked
at the BOC many areas which should have been

now faster
carefully examined.

OpinYon: What does the govern-

By Chito Junia ment plan to do with the OFWs who
Traders and importers who are left unemployed due to banning
are expecting their shipments of some host countries?
from abroad to arrive in time Lito Soriano: Aside from the insuf-
ficient knowledge on the real situation of

for the Christmas holidays have
every reason to celebrate. OFWs and their respective families, the
Doing business at the Bureau government has not exerted any effort to
of Customs (BOC) today is not By Rea ann santos study the impact and implications of the
only faster, but at a lower cost law before it is enforced. This has further
as well, because of the full caused the government to be unprepared
implementation of its Import for circumstances such as massive loss
and Assessment System (IAS) of jobs. Likewise, the government has
and the enhanced Risk Manage- not prepared a plan of action for OFWs
ment System (RMS) programs. seeking employment abroad.
While barriers are in place to
detect questionable shipments OpinYon: Does this law encourage il-
and high-risk cargoes, release legal recruitment due to many restric-
of low risk cargoes and ship- tions rather than preventing it?
ments of historically compliant For many decades, about ninety percent of Filipinos Lito Soriano: Definitely, yes. As the
importers can now be done in policies get rigid, more migrant workers
30 minutes or less under the
working in other countries were men. will opt to take illegal means or undocu-
BOC’s IAS and RMS programs. mented migration as an easy way out.
Originally, it was for low-skilled agri-
According to Customs Com- Human trafficking and corruption in our
cultural jobs mainly as plantation workers
missioner Angelito Alvarez, the airports will thrive.
in Hawaii and then as fruit and vegetable
IAS and RMS are just two of the farm workers in California. Virtually, all
many other programs the bureau is OpinYon: Does the Philippine gov-
became permanent migrants. But with
implementing to fulfill its commit- ernment have the capability to lobby
the massive development of the oil and
ment to deliver faster and world such changes in other countries?
gas industries in the Middle East starting
class service to the public. Lito Soriano: If we believe it is the
in the sixties, both the occupations and
The IAS’ Electronic to best way to protect our workers, we could
the temporary 2-3 year duration of the
Mobile (e2m) system covering have used our long established goodwill
work attracted many skilled construction
all the bureau’s ports and with these host countries because we have
and engineering workers to the deserts to
sub-ports totaling 48, enables been dealing with them and they have
the deserts of the Middle East and then
a faster end-to-end cargo been our partners for the past 30-45 years.
to industrial and manufacturing plants in
clearance process through the Diplomatically, this is a disaster of epic pro-
Europe and other Asian countries. They
use of mobile broadcasting portions. We are begging other countries
could earn much better salaries and still
and internet/Electronic Data to provide protection to domestic workers
call the Philippines home.
Interchange Connectivity. that we cannot give them here. We simply
In the last few years, however, the
The RMS operates like a do not care for their welfare. The other
dominance of the male over the female
grading or rating system that countries are aware of this and we have
in the deployment of OFWs is fast dis-
guides BOC personnel in the become their laughing stock.
appearing. We have been witnessing a
determination of low and high disturbing gender shift as women now
risk cargoes, using the historical OpinYon: What will happen to OFWs
outnumber men working in foreign
compliance record of shippers/ in certified or not-banned countries
lands. Today nearly 70 percent of OFWs
Based on set selectivity
deployed are women. In the overseas
employment sector, experts claim this The ban on deployment to non-compliant countries will cause
criteria, all inbound cargoes’
risk levels will be determined.
situation is disturbing as women are
the most vulnerable and they work in
an alarming increase in the number of unemployed workers.
Those falling under the low
risk category will be allowed
low-skilled positions often without the
normally accepted protections afforded
These prospective OFWs have no other option but to seek jobs
through the green lane for
faster processing, while others
to males. Our domestic workers are not here. Since unemployment rate is ballooning, returning OFWs
may have to go through strict
part of the host government labor force
thus not covered by their labor laws. will become jobless, as well.
inspection in the red lane. Lito Soriano, a labor migration expert
In effect, the RMS establish- and a former OFW in Saudi Arabia, says As a result, only a few nations are
es a pre-arrival cargo clearance who will complain of exploitation,
most of these women are employed as likely to meet the criteria mentioned
process for low risk shipments maltreatment, illegal dismissal?
domestic workers for the champions of and most of those which will be certi-
and compliant shippers/import- Lito Soriano: The government has
industries, decision-makers, and in the fied as acceptable are highly developed
ers. This program is expected not crafted any provision to cover cases
homes of business and government lead- countries, thus, the Middle East, North
to encourage and motivate such as this in the implementing rules
ers in their host country. African nations, and a number of job
importers to be compliant to and regulation of RA 10022. Ironically,
“As domestic workers they are the destinations in Asia that account for 70
tariff laws for faster facilitation the law which is supposed to protect
country’s best PR agents before industry percent of all land based deployments are
and release of their shipments. the migrant workers will invite more
leaders as they earn the trust of their em- unlikely to meet the requirements. This
Meanwhile, in its report problems and issues concerning both
ployers. The trust they earn is a trust also now will definitely affect OFWs as they
for the first 100 days, the compliant and non-compliant countries.
earned for their country,” Soriano stated. will lose their jobs.
bureau consistently posted At this point, domestic workers The government has also amended
improvements in collection on a OpinYon: Will the law affect the
comprise over 30 percent of properly the section on penalties and fines. There
month-to-month basis, surpass- existence of recruitment agencies in
documented deployments. To this must is now an increase in penalties. If a per-
ing last year’s cash collection the country considering the fact that
be added the illegal and human trafficked son is found guilty of illegal recruitment,
performance by an average there will be a decrease in number
departures. the [recruitment] agency is also liable.
of P 2.8 billion. As a result the of OFW deployment?
Earlier this year, a law was passed that Ngayon kahit hindi ikaw ang nagpa-
agency’s total cash revenues Lito Soriano: Yes, this will impact
bans the deployment of OFWs to countries patakbo ng kumpanya, at shareholder
for the period January to the recruitment agencies as we expect
that do not have laws protecting migrant ka lang, pwede kang isama sa charge at
September this year surpassed lower number of overseas employment
workers. Lito Soriano has expressed alarm pwede kang makulong. A person will
by P 25 billion what it earned opportunities and limited countries for job
on the effect of this ban. now suffer 12 to 20 years of imprison-
from duties and taxes during destinations. The government, however,
Following is an interview with Lito ment and fines are increased up to P1 to
the same period last year. has not expressed any initiative to respond
Soriano to have better understanding of P2 million depending on the gravity of
Vis a vis current year targets, to the issue on the existence of recruitment
Republic Act 10022. the case. Also, failure to submit reports is
however, there have been agencies. Other labor exporting countries
now a criminal offense. exert huge efforts to replace Filipinos as the
substantial shortfalls owing OpinYon: Can you tell us about RA
largely to contractions in the preferred workers of host countries.
10022. OpinYon: How will the law impact
global market, the unusual Lito Soriano: RA 10022 is an act the families of OFWs?
surge of the peso to the dollar OpinYon: How do you feel as an
amending RA 8042, the Migrant Workers Lito Soriano: The ban on deployment
and earlier tariff restructuring agency owner, do you think the
and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995. Basi- to non-compliant countries will cause
in compliance with international government treats you fairly as a
cally, the amendments aim to enhance an alarming increase in the number of
commitments. partner of the OFWs?
the protection of Overseas Filipino Work- unemployed workers. These prospective
The market has shown signs Lito Soriano: The government ap-
ers or OFWs. These include Sec. 3 stating OFWs have no other option but to seek
of curtailing the surging peso and pears to be unjust in the creation of this
that a host country should have existing jobs here. Since unemployment rate is
the bureau is pursuing revenue law, not only for recruitment agencies but
laws, protecting the rights of migrant ballooning, returning OFWs will become
leaks in the past that could make also for OFWs and their family as well.
workers, a signatory to and / or a ratifier jobless, as well.
up for foregone tariffs. The government has positioned recruit-
or multilateral conventions, declarations
Moreover, with the ment agencies as illegal even when these
or resolutions in relation to the protec- OpinYon: What prompted the gov-
enhanced RMS and IAS, the are operating inside the law. Sadly, it is
tion of workers and migrant workers, ernment to pass the law?
Bureau’s performance in the ambivalent with respect to migration even
and have concluded a bilateral agreement Lito Soriano: RA 10022 embodies
coming months is expected to when it uses remittances in recognizing
with the government on the protection of past governments’ responses to seek
be even better. economic sustainability and growth.
the rights of OFWs. greater protections for OFWs. The pas-

OpinYon N O V E M B E R 2 2 - 2 8, 2 0 1 0 3
EDITORIAL The Only Opinion Paper, We Take a Stand

the paper to every next issue.

publisher’s notes This inspiration comes from our believing
in what we are doing. Believing in our vision
By Ray Junia and advocacies. Believing on what the paper
stands for.

Opinyon OPINYON is a newsmagazine that takes a

stand on issues of national concern. While it is

serious in most parts, we have a light read in
Margie Holmes, Behn Cervantes, Marivic del
Pilar, and others.
I have received reports that some parties
Last Monday Linggoy Alcuaz dropped by the accuse OPINYON to be an opposition paper.
office as he usually does to pick up his copies I wish to disabuse their minds. OPINYON is
of OPINYON. not partisan. But it takes a stand on issues and
That Monday he found time for a short explains its position. In doing so, it politicizes
chat. He explained his inspirations for writing economic stories and gives economic perspec-
his column; like they are results of talks with tives to political stories.
persons of trust, some in his family. He wants It has been accused of being the tabloid
to write what people think of situations. paper in the business community. Of that we
But he is more inspired at how lately people plead guilty. We give color to an otherwise
who frequent media forums look forward to dull economic story. We have gathered top
getting a copy of the opinion paper. minds who share their opinion on public and
That Linggoy is inspired is not strange in even private concerns.
the editorial room. We all are. We are inspired That’s why the name of the paper is OPIN-
by the calls for subscription, the stories con- YON. That is why Linggoy and the rest of
tributed even by students, the experts who the writers and staff of OPINYON are proud
guide us in our stand on issues. We are most of being part of the country’s only opinion
inspired by the volunteerism that has moved paper.

A Loose Cannon
At the rate he’s pursuing new ventures at a fast
San Miguel fund-raising
clip, businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan or MVP
for short may well be likened to a loose cannon.
From telecoms to power and tollways, he’s now
zeroing in on the commuter train business by
sparks alarm bells
It may not admit it, but San Miguel Corp. ernment.
snapping up a sizeable stake in private sector-led As some wisecracks say,
Metro Rail Transit Corp. (MRTC).
(SMC) may be reeling from its costly the taste of pudding is in
diversification to heavy industries. the eating. Only later years
How MVP, whose sneaky entry into power of P-noy would probably
retailer Meralco triggered an unprecedented surge Its massive fund-raising bear out the naked truth or
in power rates, would temper MRT‘s government- exercises had triggered alarm barefaced lie of his grandiose
pegged fares is a US$64 question that can’t be left bells among stock analysts, promises.
especially those tracking big
entirely to a laissez faire philosophy. cap issues such as SMC. ••••••
While MRT is mainly a business proposition – a Next year, SMC will float Speculations are rife that
veritable profit center --it is vested too with public an unprecedented US$3 bil- SHOPTALK, the recent travel warning
interests as it caters to mass commuters, many of lion worth of shares in the
equities market as part of its
INC. issued by the United States
them daily wage earners. was meant to pressure the
capital buildup to finance its Ryan & Allen Aquino government to refrain
Like Meralco and other public utilities, what’s entry to mining, power gen- from messing up with Visiting
emerging in the MRT case scenario is a potential eration, tollways and other Moreover, there are creep- Forces Agreement which al-
clash of intrinsic values, pitting the government’s “big ticket” infrastructure ing doubts about the financial lows American troops to hold
social stabilization agenda against the private in- projects. viability of SMC’s ambitious their annual “war games” on
vestors’ obsession for return on equity and capital Whether the market can and strategic forays in such Philippine soil.
absorb SMC’s huge funding areas as mining, energy and While P-noy quickly re-
investments – in short, profits. requirements is a perplexing tollways where profitability acted to the terrorism-related
Basically, MRT is a mass-based transport sys- question that has left most remains uncertain. advisory as a deterrent to flow
tem crisscrossing the key parts of Metro Manila. analysts gasping for breath. •••••• of foreign tourists and invest-
Though government-owned, MRT is being run by The equities market may be P-noy, sounding too ments to the Philippines, the
a private consortium on a 25-year build-operate- highly liquid, given the current utopian, must be referring to realities on the ground seem
inflow of so-called “hot money” another government when he unperturbed.
transfer scheme. from bullish foreign funds that assured prospective investors Last week’s Manila visit of
Over the past years, MRT fares had been heav- pushed the bellwether stock in infrastructure of a hassle- former US president Bill Clin-
ily subsidized by the government as part of its index to record highs over the free bureaucracy. ton for a speaking engage-
socialized pricing policy. Lately, the cash-strapped past weeks. He’s barely five months in ment was the best argument
government felt it could no longer bear the burden Whether or not the market office and making promises against Washington’s adverse
can sustain its bull run until this early is too presumptu- travel advisory.
of a costly subsidy. Its plan to jack up the fares, next year remains to be seen, ous for a president who has Even tourist spots such as
however, has sparked a mounting public outcry. given that share trading is a barely scratched the surface in Boracay and Palawan reported
Roping in new moneyed investors like MVP is feast-and-famine, boom-and- reforming a red tape-plagued, a brisk traffic of fun-loving
one decisive way out of the government’s current bust cycle. inefficient and corrupt gov- foreign tourists.
impasse over the planned fare increases. At least,

kids think...
it is hoped that with the financial risks spread out
among the stakeholders, both in government and
private sectors, the fares will remain stable.
When everyone grows up, time changes. Things in our life seemed
Still, the key challenge is how to strike an ac-
like it just began yesterday. Like 2 years ago you had a successful job with a
ceptable and fair balance between the govern-
business, but now it felt like it was just yesterday that it happened. Another
ment’s social concerns and the private investors’
example is that in the old days, the pictures were black and white, but now
profit considerations. Any miscalculation is po-
they are colorful. Time changes everyday. Do you agree?
tentially disconcerting which, given the Filipinos’
temperament, can ultimately lead to a social, Micka J. Yngson is a twelve-year old, sixth grade student at The Learning Child in Ayala,
political and economic upheaval. Alabang. Asked what she wants to be, she says she wants to be a writer. But even that changes
everyday, she says. This space is for contributions from young mind, even kids.


Publisher Managing Editor News Editor
Published and printed by Digitek Publishing
House with editorial and business offices at NESTOR L. ABREMATEA REA ANN SANTOS RICARDO G. VELARDE
Unit A, Finlandia Residences 2926 Finlandia Vis-Min News Bureau Chief Editorial Assistant Art Director
Street corner Volta Street, Makati City.
Telephone: 843-3989. EROS ARBILON FAYE SY Atty. RICKY M. RIBO
Email: Online Editor Marketing Officer Legal Counsel

4 N O V E M B E R 2 2 - 2 8, 2 0 1 0 OpinYon
The Only Opinion Paper, We Take a Stand
Simply sucking Consumer pain, utility
us dead
Our OpinYon column the past weeks
gain in system loss
has focused on the skyrocketing rate “Meralco trims system loss to record system loss should only be P
26.04, not P107.75. This is an
increases and leapfrogging net incomes 7.8%”, said the business banner of a over-charge of P 81.70, and this
of the power generation, distribution, morning broadsheet. Wow! is only for one customer in the
lower consumption level.
trading and transmission Here is the real deal in sys- In effect, the P 107.75 system
companies. It started with tem loss. loss charge of Meralco if applied
the Meralco’s 60% increase While Meralco claims its to distribution only is 32.26%,
in profits from September last system loss has been trimmed not 7.8%.
year of P 7-B to its target of to 7.8% from the mandated Moreover, in its latest fil-
P 11-B which it said it would 9.5% ceiling, the ceiling in ing for rate increase, Meralco
even surpass. A week later CONSUMERS other countries have been much booked as operating expense
we highlighted the Aboitiz
Equity Venture’s 187% surge DEMAND! lower.
In the United States, the CROSSINGS
hundreds of millions of pesos in
the so-called own-use electricity
in its net income to P 16.8-B ceiling was already at 6.5% which was previously charged
of which 80% came from its
Mentong Laurel three years ago, and could be
Butch L. Junia as system loss. With the change
power generation operations, significantly lower now. in the booking of this account,
including the bargain prices generated the gargantuan in- System Loss, from a techni- There can be no system loss in Meralco’s system loss has been
for which it bought two power crease of its profits: “… earn- cal point, is natural heat loss in generation for the simple reason trimmed further.
barges from Napocor and ings growth was delivered the conveyance of power from that this is where electricity is We still pay for the own-use
overpriced by 300% to the by EDC coming mainly from the source to the end-user. produced, before it is conveyed electricity under a different
ERC as basis for its power the increased contribution of From the point of a pam- or transmitted to the distribu- item, making Meralco look more
rates for electricity from those the plants that it acquired last pered, favored and spoiled tion utilities, and therefore there efficient than it actually is.
two same power barges. The, year. We are fortunate that utility, it is simply the difference can be no heat-loss. When you see the Meralco
last week we highlighted the these developments are aided between the power purchased Transmission, on the other Christmas Tree brightening up
WESM (Wholesale Electric- by the positive sentiment and and power sold, regardless of hand, has its own imbedded Ortigas and Meralco Avenues,
growth in our economy whether the loss is racked up system loss, so that any collec- you can be sure that you are still
tion of Meralco on top of that paying for those lights, even if
So, a national today,” according to
First Gen president
from reckless inefficiency or
imprudent management of bill is double- over- billing. it now comes from one of your

patrimony which Giles Puno. So, a

national patrimony
the system or from the normal
course of operations.
Given the technical defini-
tion of system loss as wire loss,
pockets instead of the other.
So, next time Meralco makes
gave very cheap which gave very cheap
electricity is privatized
Let’s do the numbers on the
latest Meralco brag in utility
it should be imputed to the
distribution cost only, excluding
those loud claims of efficiency
gains, look at the fine print.
electricity is so prices can be jacked management.
The 7.8% system loss is com-
even the supply and metering
charges as non-wire services.
There could be more to it
than what they say.
up just to profit one
privatized so prices family (and its foreign puted based on the combined
cost of generation, transmis-
We took a sample bill of about
165 Kwh with a system loss charge
Apologies. There was a copy
reading lapse in our last column.
can be jacked up partners behind the
sion, and distribution. What is
the implication of this?
of P 107.75, based on Meralco’s
way of computing system loss.
The title should have been “Hear-
ing with a Heart.” An extra ‘t’
just to profit one  The profit upwelling
for the four privatized
The net effect is that Meralco’s
system loss is bloated by as much
The generation charge on this ac-
count was P892.00; transmission
strayed into the head, changing
it to ‘Hearting’. Like that winning
family (and its power operations cited
here brings the sum
as 70% when we take into account P158.00; distribution P333.00. ad said, we will try harder.

foreign partners total of the additional

burden on the Filipino
that the combined generation and
transmission cost could account
We did the right way of com-
puting system loss, applying the l Email
behind the scene). power consumers from
for 70% of the total cost. Why do
we say that?
7.8% factor to the distribution
charge ofP333.00 only, and the
for comments, suggestions and
Luzon to Mindanao
ity Spot Market) petition for to P 28.766-Billion. This sum
a rate increase for electricity
transacted through its trading
wouldn’t have been added
to our electricity bills if there
had never been privatization
P1 B Capital Fund for Small and Medium
Scale IT Start Up Companies – Legarda
floor to the power distribution
networks; upon which we inflicted on our power indus-
concluded that the profiteer- try. This is P 28.766-Billion
ing: “.. it just goes on and on, less money for the pockets of
keeping our power rate the Filipinos who would otherwise Senator Loren Legarda proposes INFORMATION TECHNOLO- ness Index in a study conducted by
highest ever in Asia. have spent it on other needs the creation of an IT venture GY START-UP COMPANIES BY the Economist Intelligence Unit.
 This week brought us a new and consumables, from food to capital fund for small to medi- PROVIDING AN IT VENTURE While the same study notes that
shock report of the oligarchs’ medical care, to education and um-scale IT start-up companies CAPITAL FUND - to assist en- the Philippines has a generally
entertainment, to clothes and in order to encourage more trepreneurs and likewise provide favorable business environment,
profiteering, the Lopez family
transportation costs, to several Filipinos to venture into the very incentives for the proliferation of there were weaknesses and
owned First Gen Corporation dynamic industry of information IT-related businesses through- inefficiencies in the IT sector that
reported a net income of $ more visits to the mall and
technology. out the country, thereby increas- need to be addressed in order to
66.5-Million or P 2.8-Billion trips to provincial relations or
“There is a need to widen the ing connectivity, particularly in improve its standing.”
from $ 7-M or P 301-M in a trip to the beaches to spread participation of the poor in the underserved areas. “Resident doctors are the
just nine months. First Gen a little more money in the rural IT sector, particularly through “Such measure will allow the main workforce in hospitals and
said its Energy Development areas. The privatization of our entrepreneurial activities. The IT industry to penetrate even the as such, they are sometimes on
Corporation (EDC), the Na- power generation, transmis- proposed fund, which amounts grass roots level, thereby mak- duty for three straight days,
pocor geothermal company sion, trading and distribution to P1 billion, shall be admin- ing IT services accessible to the during which meals and sleep
privatized by its government industry is not just sucking istered by the Department of marginalized poor. “ are missed. Surely, these dismal
appointed president Paul us dry, it is sucking us dead. Science and Technology.” “In the year 2009, the Philip- conditions make raising a family
Aquino who then joined the Consumers have only one Legarda filed Senate Bill No. pines ranked 47th out of 66 and living decently a very diffi-
private EDC as CEO (so much choice – fight back. How? Stay 1407 - AN ACT TO ACCELER- countries in the Information Tech- cult endeavor for Filipino doctors
for the ethics of the Aquinos), tuned to our reports. ATE THE DEVELOPMENT OF nology (IT) Industry Competitive- in the country.“

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OpinYon N O V E M B E R 2 2 - 2 8, 2 0 1 0 5
POLITICS / ECONOMICS The Only Opinion Paper, We Take a Stand

Maynilad’s P-Noy’s wasted Aquino-

dramatic water Cojuangco inheritance
rate increases We have had fifteen luckiest Filipinos
since we first had a national president. As
On the other side, P Noy’s
grandfather, Benigno Aquino Sr.
was the second highest ranking
We present here in Part 1 historical data ERAP puts it-“the Presidency is Destiny!” national level Japanese Collabo-
from 2007-08 to show past unfair water The fifteen are Emilio rator. He was the Secretary of
the Interior in the Laurel Puppet
Aguinaldo, Manuel Quezon,
rate increases of Maynilad. Jose P. Laurel, Sergio Osmena, Government. But while Jose P
On November 28 and Sr., Manuel Roxas, Elpidio Laurel is perceived in our history
Quirino, Ramon Magsaysay, of the Japanese Occupation as
December 4, 2007, Maynilad
conducted public hearings, Jr., Carlos P. Garcia, Diosdado YESTERDAY, the Good Collaborator, Aquino
which were required before the Macapagal, Jr., Ferdinand E. TODAY & was considered the Bad Col-
MWSS could approve its new
water rate increase for the next
Marcos, Cory C. Aquino, Fidel
V. Ramos, Joseph E. Estrada, TOMORROW laborator. And so, official Philip-
pine History includes Laurel
five years effective January 2009. EASTWIND Gloria M. Arroyo and Benigno
C. Aquino III. Among the fif-
Linggoy Alcuaz in the Roster of our Presidents.
Aquino, as the Secretary of the
The hearing was considered by
attending consumers a circus
JOURNALS teen of them, the luckiest of the Interior, was in charge of the
luckiest is P Noy. Among all of lac and the Sumulongs of Rizal. Puppet Philippine Constabulary
because Maynilad never gave Bernardo V. Lopez them, P Noy recved the biggest With respect to their parent’s as well as of the local police. He
a satisfactory explanation for
the dramatic rate increases. The inheritance from his parents. pedigree, P Noy beats them all. was the organizer and leader of
increase for Manila Water was reveals that the rate was a We don’t mean the biggest in P-Noy is the son of our the KALIBAPI, the pro Japanese
effective last January 2008. staggering P334.87 by Janu- terms of material wealth. What youngest ever Senator, Nation- Civil Society of the Occupation
Maynilad was asking for ary 2007. This is a scandalous we mean is that he among the al Hero and Martyr Ninoy and period.
a rate increase of P10.96 per increase of about times 56 or fifteen inherited the biggest Saint and President Cory. Now, We believe that it was the
cubic meter or 40% without 5,600%. Even if we consider legacy from both his parents- let us pause a while in our anal- sins of their ancestors that
revealing the data to justify Maynilad’s report of a rate of Ninoy and Cory. ysis of the present President, as made both Marcos and Aquino
it. The table below reveals the P80.64 in August 1997, this is We hardly know who the well as our comparison of the excel. In the case of Ferdinand,
dramatic jump in rates. When still a huge increase of times parents of the others are except fifteen luckiest Filipinos, and he had also been charged, con-
Maynilad won the concession three or 315%. The table below for Gloria Arroyo (President take a look at their ancestors. victed and finally acquitted of
in 1997, the existing rate was in pesos per cubic meter for Diosdado), Ferdinand (Assem- Quezon had a Spanish Friar the murder of his father’s rival,
P4.96 per cubic meter, accord- those consuming more than blyman Mariano), Fidel (DFA for an ancestor. Marcos’s father Assemblyman Nalundasan.
ing to the Freedom from Debt 30 cubic meters a month says Secretary Narciso) and Erap was alleged to have been a low However, the greatness of their
Coalition (FDC). Maynilad it all. (Engineer Ejercito). We only level Japanese collaborator. fathers were not shared in full
know that Laurel, Osmena According to former National by the sons Bongbong and
Aug 97 Jan 99 Jan 00 Jan 01 Jan 02 Jan 03 Jan 04 Jan 05 Jan 06 Jan 07 andRoxas came from aristo- Archives Director Ricardo Noynoy. In Noynoy’s case, the
Basic Rate 35.28 39.75 41.95 44.88 68.38 153.31 158.56 212.58 227.70 242.22 cratic families in Batangas, Manapat, the Cojuangcos had reverse happened. Oftentimes,
Others 45.36 46.30 46.76 47.37 93.35 70.15 74.28 89.69 92.59 92.65 Cebu and Capiz. Aguinaldo, a grandaunt who was the love male children of a great father
Total 80.64 86.05 88.71 92.25 161.73 223.46 232.84 302.27 320.29 334.87 Quirinoand Garcia came from of Gen Antonio Luna and the suffer from comparison and
Cavite, Ilocos Sur and Bohol custodian of the jewels of the expectations that they can-
and belonged to not so badly Revolutionary Government. not cope with. Daughters are
Basic Rate
of families. Magsaysay was According to Ric, who was hardly affected. When the
painted by the CIA to have just “Smart Piles” Publisher, Editor male is the eldest son or the
been a mechanic. Dadong was and Researcher in the early only son, the negative effects
a real poor boy from Lubao, nineties, and who died on Dec are worst. Ninoynaangtatay,
Aug 97 Jan 99 Jan 00 Jan 01 Jan 02 Jan 03 Jan 04 Jan 05 Jan 06 Jan 07
Pampanga. Quezon was born 24, 2008, when Gen Luna was Cory pa angnanay at may Cris
Source – Maynilad Business Plan 2007 out of wedlock. Cory came assassinated in Nueva Ecija, pang bunsong kapatid!Wow! It
from two distinguished political the Cojuangco clan of Tarlac was too much for Noynoy.
Note that ‘others’ does not dollar loans is the burden of the families-the Cojuangcos of Tar- inherited a big portion of the Turn to page 11
move so much, increasing by utility firm as investor, not the
about 100% from 1997 to 2007, consumer.
but the basic rate is soaring to
the high heavens, increasing by
about about 700%. How did the
Another reason for the
dramatic rate increases is secret
capital expenditures, again se-
Another terror storm on the horizon
rate get so high in such a short cret because they never revealed
“If we understand the mechanism and the to the hilt on the TV media
and especially on Fox “news.”
time? First are a series of allow- to the public the breakdown and motives of the group mind, is it not possible to After reading recently that The
ance for foreign exchange losses, details for these capital expendi- control and regiment the masses according to Washington Post allowed a lob-
which simply means, every time tures. Capital expenditures refer byist to write a news story that
the peso degrades against the to maintenance and expansion our will without their knowing about it?”
preached the lobbyist’s interest,
dollar, the increasing dollar loans projects. Because there is no (Taken from the book Propa- I wondered if the manufactur-
are charged to consumers. The breakdown, we do not know if ganda by Edward Bernays who ers of full body scanners were
‘forex’ allowances are redundant these are bloated or if they are is considered as the Father of behind the heavy coverage
and compounding. There was projects which have nothing Public Relations) of the Underwear Bomber, if
the original Currency Exchange to do with water service. Re- The discovered bomb pack- not behind the plot itself.  In
Rate Adjustment (CERA) of member Meralco charged their ages from Yemen to Chicago
one peso per cubic meter, the sports complex to consumers. could be considered a failure. WHISTLE America, everything is for sale.
Integrity is gone with the wind.
Foreign Currency Differential
Adjustment (FCDA), which was
This was kept secret for a long
time and discovered only many
For they did not serve the inten-
tion of destroying the aircraft
BLOWER (Is Anyone Telling Us The
Truth? by Paul Craig Roberts,
P4.07 per cubic meter at a certain
time, according to FDC reports,
months after. where they were found; nor did Erick San Juan January 07, 2010)
Asked during the public they reach its destination. The
the Accelerated Extraordinary consultations why they did not Obviously, some govern-
alleged sender of the packages identify this as a  false flag ments use fear to control its
Price Adjustment (AEPA), and reveal these capital expendi- as reported is the “al Qaeda” operation covert operations citizenry and in the process the
the Special Transitory Mecha- ture breakdowns, instead of in the Arabian Peninsula conducted by a clique in citizens surrender their rights
nism (STM). answering the questions, they (AQAP)-“brand name” that is governments, corporations, or in the name of security. In the
These are all charged to just promised to do so, which
always conveniently used by other organizations which are case of the former US President
consumers and they were secret they did not do, similar to their
its creator whenever there’s designed to appear as though George W. Bush, he benefited
amendments to the conces- empty promises in the past.
a need. It is no different with they were carried out by other from the 9/11 terror attack in
sionaire’s contract, ‘secret’ in the Only a congressional or judicial
sense that there were no public
the Philippine setting of using entities. Clearly the entity here several ways. The Indict Bush
subpoena can make Maynilad
consultations to present these reveal its capital expenditures.
the ASG-Abu Sayyaf Group, is no less than the AQAP who Now came out with this report
increases. Because they are The table below shows the NPA-New People’s Army, many believed was a creation of how Dubya Bush gained from
‘secret’, they can be questioned planned capital expenditures ABB- Alex Boncayao Brigade of an intelligence agency and 9/11 : 1) Bush got to implement
in court and be the subject of of Maynilad for 2008 to 2012 in and now JI-Jemaah Islamiyah, state sponsored. the PATRIOT Act, which gave
refunds, like what is happening millions of pesos, whose details etc. as the usual suspect. The To name a few of the false him an extraordinary amount
right now to Meralco’s illegal or breakdown have never pattern is easy to comprehend flag operations that happened of personal control by fiat over
charges to consumers. In the been revealed. Only five of the especially if the information is in contemporary history: the country’s society, com-
latest public consultations, 15-year depreciation period is coming from the usual opera- Reichstag Fire (1933), Opera- merce and economy, 2) Bush’s
Maynilad had no answer to given here. Note the sudden rise tors who are “experts” in fear- tion AJAX (1953), Operation War on Terror scared people
why these were done without of 33% from 2008 to 2009. mongering. Unfortunately, Gladio (1947-1981), Gulf of into re-electing him for a sec-
consultation. No one has chal- To be continued the intention to sow fear and Tonkin Incident (1964), Opera- ond term, 3) the demolition
lenged in court the right of utili- tension among the American tion Northwoods, the London of WTC7, which was executed
ties to pass on foreign exchange l For comments, write to populace and the rest of the bombing (2007) and the Sep- under cover of the attacks,
losses to consumers. Consumer / world was achieved by the tember 11, 2001 World Trade meant that records supporting
advocates argue that the risk of operator(s) of the failed bomb Center bombing. the SEC’s case against Enron,
plot because of their assets in For every act of terror, one which Bush’s longstanding
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 the media who readily leaked cannot help but ask the nag- friendship with Enron CEO
the myth without validating ging question who benefits? Ken Lay left him susceptible
Real cost of Capital 6,750 8,995 8,264 7,871 6,634 the story.. Remember the failed un- to, was in an instant, vapor-
Expenditure For those who are aware derwear bomber plot from last ized. These are just some of the
Source - FDC of such action, one can clearly year? The plot is being played Turn to page 11

6 N O V E M B E R 2 2 - 2 8, 2 0 1 0 OpinYon
The Only Opinion Paper, We Take a Stand
Amicus curiae 1 POEA employees,
The dispute between the Philippine Airlines
Employees Association-TUCP (PALEA-
TUCP) and the management of the country’s
now insurance agents
biggest passenger aircraft carrier will now be Officials of the Philippine Overseas success and assure payments
Employment Administration (POEA), as on future claims.
fought in a court of law. Or so, it seems. Recruitment agency own-
With the decision of displayed by a huge tarpaulin poster at the ers must bear in mind that the
Labor Secretary Rosalinda lobby of its Ortigas office abhor fixers. new compulsory insurance
Baldoz increasing the sepa- program for agency-hired
ration package but affirming “No Fixers Allowed”, the workers was designed not
an earlier ruling that threw poster strongly relays the mes- only to protect the workers,
out the notice of strike and sage to those wanting to earn but recruitment agencies as
disposed in favor of man- THINK quick money at the POEA. well. They must be prudent
agement the issues raised by LABOR A good move by POEA of-
ficials to cleanse its premises The in choosing the insurance
companies they deal with and
the union, the only chance
left to win back the case in Dave Diwa of unwanted and exploitative Migrant fully understand the features
favor of the workers is to fixers who may have victim-
ized countless overseas job
Worker of the insurance product they
challenge the decision at the Supreme Court this time, are getting.
Court of Appeals all the way outsourcing as management
applicants of hundreds of CeeJay Are they getting their in-
to the Supreme Court. thousands of pesos. surance requirements for their
puts it, or contractualization
It is just as well that the as the workers see it, will
But how about its employ- regulatory agency in the workers from a licensed insur-
long drawn labor dispute become the rule instead of ees who are now practically overseas manpower place- ance agent? Are they getting a
between PALEA-TUCP and the exception in employment selling the compulsory insur- ment industry. And because group or individual insurance
PAL will have to be resolved relations. The era of unbridled ance coverage to agency-hired POEA employees/officials policy for their workers? If it
by the courts and not by a outsourcing-cum contrac- migrant workers? Should they facilitate and process the is through a group insurance,
strike, a call for revolution, tualization will have been not be banned, reprimanded, deployment and licensing have they been provided with
blame throwing or a presi- formalized and legalized in suspended or even fired for requirements of recruitment the master policy of the group
dential intervention. None of a big way. The fear therefore, conflict of interest as well? Are agencies they exercise influ- insurance? These are just
these options are feasible or is real and frightening for the they not also trying to earn ence over them. Thus, this some of the questions recruit-
advisable at the moment. The trade union movement. quick money through illegal will not level the playing ment agency owners must ask
interest of the riding public is Ironically, the only way means? field for the other players in their agents, if only to avoid
just as paramount as that of the trade unions can prevent Under the country’s in- the industry. future problems in claiming
the workers, the owners and this from happening is to surance Law, only licensed
the government authorities.
Sadly, there is no other
eschew the same route taken
by PALEA in 1998 when
insurance agents are allowed
to offer and sell insurance Under the country’s insurance Law, only
reasonable way. Sadder even
is the possibility that a third
they lost the case. Lawyers products. But, at the POEA,
with its captive market of
licensed insurance agents are allowed to
will tell us that the chances
party resolution may not of winning a lost case using recruitment agencies, some of offer and sell insurance products.
satisfy the workers at all. the same old arguments are its employees are now acting
Confronted by this situation, not encouraging. This is as virtual insurance agents. As I have said in my last benefits.
as in the case of the Haci- like fighting the present war Only on its second week column, the compulsory insur- At US$ 144.00 premium
enda Luisita farm workers or by using the strategies and of implementation the com- ance program for agency-hired for a two year policy contract
the rebellion charges against weapons of the last war. pulsory insurance coverage migrant workers is the best for each of the over one (1)
Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, One can pursue the program for agency-hired million OFWs deployed by re-
thing that ever happened to
it may be inviting for the PALEA-PAL dispute from workers took effect last No- cruitment agencies each year,
parties to exert all efforts to another angle, from a dif- vember 8, 2010- this writer has this is a seven billion business
With its comprehensive
strike a win-win solution ferent perspective. It is to already learned of recruitment coverage, OFWs can now have which are currently enjoyed
before the judicial gavel this window that the gaze of agency owners and Liaison peace of mind. by only five (5) insurance
strikes down a law, a busi- the courts must be directed. Officers getting their insur- However, because of the companies accredited by the
Let PALEA enter ance requirements through magnitude of the market and Insurance Commission of the
There is a growing the front door; let
those who want to
POEA employees/officials,
either through referrals or in
business in the compulsory Philippines for the program.
Under the program, the
consensus that trade help win the case
take the backdoor.
some other ways.
insurance program for migrant
workers, strong monitoring cost for the workers’ insurance
There is obviously conflict
unions must unite This way, all doors of interest here since the
and regulation of insurance
laws must be established and
shall not be charged to the
OFWs. Recruitment agencies
and do all they can and windows will be
adequately covered.
POEA is the government’s enforced, if only to ensure its or employers shall pay for it.

to win the case that Let the case be

Gov’t plans for Pocket Open Skies

argued from a higher
the PAL union is plane, from the van-
tage point of appropri-
fighting for: against ate public policy, from
the transcendental
contractualization purview of the man-
By Vic Bert Sia industry...”
Aquino said in an inter-
declaration of Philippines as
an unsafe port of origin. In
masquerading date of the Constitu-
tion itself. Raise the
Philippine aviation industry
is set to crash land as Malaca-
view that it will start first
with what they called pocket
August, PAL workers staged a
strike due to scrapped flights
as legitimate fact of “hire and fire”
as nothing but the fruit
ñang is preparing an executive open skies.
In 2007, Philippine Air-
and its plans to outsource
some of its departments.
order to implement a “pocket
outsourcing of a poisonous tree
called “liberalization.”
open-skies ”. lines (PAL), Cebu Pacific Air, If the Philippines will open
During the Infrastructure Air Philippines, Asian Spirit its skies freely for foreign air-
PAL made clear its
ness practice or a solomonic Summit at the Marriott Hotel and Pacific East Asia Cargo lines it would put P150 billion
intention to terminate 2,600
presidential discretion. employees. They also said last November 18, President Airlines banded together to in investment and 15,000 jobs
The last time PALEA that they will persuade the Aquino addressed the par- oppose the plans by the Ar- at risk. It will create a surge of
brought a case on the same third party service provider to ticipants that he would put royo administration to grant foreign competitions which
issues in 1998, it lost. It then absorb the laid off employees. a “teeth” to Executive Order foreign airlines full access to makes the aviation industry in
paved the way for the spin- This honest confession could 219 that established the do- our two international airports. the Philippines even tougher
off of the maintenance and turn the tables against PAL mestic and international civil The group emphasized that than it is now. The airlines
engineering division of PAL given a stricter interpretation aviation liberty. the Philippines’ skies is part would have to either cut jobs
into what is now Lufthansa of our laws on sub-contracting Aquino said that “what of our sovereign territory and or close the establishment
Technik Philippines. That involving jobs of regular remains to be done is putting national patrimony therefore entirely.
loss also ushered in the era of employees who are members teeth to existing policy.” He flight entitlements by foreign During the summit how-
“CBA moratorium” that Gerry of a union. added that the government carriers must be evaluated on ever, Executive Secretary
Rivera, then vice-president Extend the argument a will pursue a full implemen- the basis of reciprocity, the Paquito Ochoa Jr. said the
and now, PALEA president, little further, and argue that tation of EO 219 in interna- welfare of the local aviation EO for the pocket open-skies
questoned before the Supreme “privatization” in the case tional aviation. EO 219 had industry and national inter- policy is still being drafted.
Court but again lost. of PAL, a national airline, only been applied to domestic est. He said that the issue is very
There is a growing con- a national treasure and a aviation. Just this year, PAL, the sensitive that they have to be
sensus that trade unions must public carrier was flawed country’s official flag carrier, very careful in structuring the
He also mentioned that
unite and do all they can to and is repugnant to the was plagued with numerous order.
the national development
win the case that the PAL public interest clause of the “requires promoting an open setbacks caused by the stiff The government seems to
union is fighting for: against Constitution. Why, Manila and competitive international competition and labor woes. believe in the old saying, “the
contractualization masquer- Hotel could not be so easily
ading as legitimate outsourc- aviation sector that enables In January, PAL was down- more, the merrier”. However,
sold because it partakes of Philippine and foreign air graded to Category 1 from it won’t be merry at all if the
ing. The fear is that, should our national patrimony, so
PALEA fails to convince the carriers to expand their op- Category 2 by the United Philippine skies will open to
said the Supreme Court. States Federal Aviation Ad- foreign airlines, even though
Court of Appeals and the erations, maintain a strong
To be continued
Philippine-based aviation ministration due to their if it’s just pocket-sized.

OpinYon N O V E M B E R 2 2 - 2 8, 2 0 1 0 7
travel The Only Opinion Paper, We Take a Stand

Pilipinas Kay Ganda

Yesterday our Department of Tourism launched the moment the plane landed
in Batanes. Their airport is un-
it’s new PR Campaign for our country. The slo- pretentious. It blends with their
gan was “PILIPINAS KAY GANDA”. environment and their culture.
Its simplicity is what makes it
Hours after the new slogan beautiful. Our hotel was not
was launched, there have been fantastic, however, this did not
a landslide of criticisms attack- matter because when in Batanes,
ing the very slogan used. Why one stays outdoors for most of the
is it in Tagalog? How do those day. All the people in the island
two words depict our country? were warm and open to tourists.
Etc. The DOT also launched TRAVELLING We could knock on the doors of
it’s Pilipinas Kay Ganda website
which was pulled out hours later IS MY LIFE any house in their heritage village
and we were allowed to enter and
because the website is said to their way of life was explained
have been hacked because when Marivic Del Pilar to us. The scenery in Batanes
one clicks it, one is transferred to is phenomenal. No wonder
a porn site. flights and fear getting stranded photography enthusiasts frequent
Having said all these I no in case strong rains hit the the place. When I was there, I felt
longer want to focus and join in islands. For the few who were like I was in the Swiss Alps. As I
the bickering and criticism. That brave, we have just seen and walked and hiked the hills, I did
is their problem. Instead I want experienced one of the most not feel like I was in the Philip-
to share one destination in the beautiful places the Philippines pines. Batanes has an ambience
Philippines which exemplifies has been keeping for all these that is romantic and relaxing.
something truly beautiful in the years. I would liken Batanes to This was where I realized that
Philippines. I am talking about a very young woman, kept inside the saying, “there is no place like
Batanes. the house by her parents. But home,” is very true. To travel is
Very few have visited these once you catch sigh of her, you to feel the beauty of the world

Diving Davao
northern islands. Some are will forever be entranced and in around us. It is when I travel that I
scared of going there because love with her beauty. feel fully alive and inspired. Life is
they hear there are very few I experienced this beauty from beautiful. Pilipinas kay ganda!

Day 7 Sept 19 Sun

I inhale love to exhale hate
I inhale encouragement to exhale
I inhale positivity to exhale negativity TRAVEL
I inhale peace to exhale anger
I inhale generosity to exhale greediness Violeta Imperial
I inhale compassion to exhale selfishness
I inhale hardwork to exhale laziness
up by the introdivers because
I inhale creativity to exhale dullness
of fright, and she stayed longer
like a pro.
I inhale divine providence so I can be
On our way back, I had

Singapore in Parañaque1
a great conversation with a
I inhale mental growth so I can do
Chinese Malaysian married
to a Filipina, and learn how
I inhale emotional intelligence so I can
to have a happy married
understand more
life. Chinese guys tradition-
I inhale spiritual intelligence so I can
ally keeps the money, but in With a mostly middle to high income level using local labuyo, then they must
be closer to my Creator be doing so with extreme caution.
Filipino culture, all money population of 65,000 residing within 770 Their sambal was perfect with
should be given to the wife. our main course, stingray. It was
I inhale blessing so I can bless others
Just imagine the culture and hectares, BF Homes in Paranaque City plays lathered with a paste made of
I inhale miracles so I can be one
I inhale love so I can be loved
value conflict handled gently host to a number of unique eating places. various pounded spices, wrapped
and gracefully. I am glad I in a banana leaf and barbecued. To
I inhale Jesus Christ
learn the wisdom from this One such place is Food De complete the authentic Singapor-
I am always up at 4 am, no encounter. Sentosa on Aguirre Avenue right ean dining experience, I ordered
mater what time I sleep in the After the dive, we got across Puregold Jr. an iced Tiger beer. Stingrays
evening. This is the time God our underwater photos from One evening, my wife and might be stricken soon from
talks to me, because I am still Maeng and souvenir Tshirt. I had a craving for gado gado. WOODEN their menu if a bill banning their
brain dead, no thoughts but
just do silent worship. 5am
Hope they join the DOT Ac-
credited Dive Guide Training
While looking for the Indone-
sian restaurant in BF Homes SPOON capture becomes a law. Pompanos
would probably be the best near
will start to update and edit in Davao first week of Decem- that we heard served that salad
consisting of steamed and fresh
& FORKS substitute. Or one can just take
a low budget plane from Clark
this travel blog. Birds start to ber.
chirp, dawn has set. We checked in at our funny vegetables and potatoes served Ramon M. Borromeo to Singapore and enjoy the real
with a rich peanut buttery thing.
While having a lovely hotel, the entrance are motels My advice on eating stingray
sauce, our searching eyes were For starters, we ordered their
breakfast, daing from Maitum, both left and right side and attracted by the bright lights is not to eat the head or parts near
roti bread which was accom-
warm rice, coffee, vegetable at the end of the road is ours. and eye-catching tarpaulin ad of panied by a curry sauce which it. Thinking that the stingray was
omelet, beach front, wonder- We always have to explain to Food De Sentosa. had a low spice level that even like most fish with the head as a
ful meal, the mosquitoes are our taxi drivers, sir there is re- Its ad proudly announced my wife, who has a low toler- prized delicacy, I went for it and
having us for breakfast also. ally a hotel at the of the road, “NOW AVAILABLE Authentic ance for tongue-burning food, got punished for my ignorance
I wonder if they have malaria promise. And the drivers will SINGAPORE SATAY w/ peanut enjoyed it. Of course we asked with a strong burst of what tasted
or dengue there. There is a always laugh. sauce”. We slowed down our for the chicken satay to get our like iodine. A few gulps of Tiger
Holy Eucharist at 8am in local Janice Ikeng met us at the car to absorb the words, “w/ fix of peanut sauce. It must have beer quickly brought back the
dialect, I joined anyway even Iron Horse w dinner buffet peanut sauce”. A hasty conjugal been very good as I recall only equilibrium in my taste buds.
though I don’t understand it, at P99/pax, it is just ok. Sea decision was made upon advice having one bite from one of the Their dessert choices were
but can surely follow the pat- Foods are really so great. Had by our stomachs that we just four sticks with the rest enjoyed rather limited though. But I can’t
tern of ceremony. While Mari- coffee and durian Sansrival. really wanted to eat anything by my wife. complain because the charming
car goes snorkeling again. We planned our trip next day. with a savory peanut sauce and We also tried their oyster cake daughter treated us to their ver-
The Dive boat picked us I wana try Durian cheese not necessarily gado gado, and which had a very generous helping sion of fruit gulaman and sticky
9:30am, met Maeng, set up cake, durian halo halo, durian by our brains that we should not of oysters as a filling to its omelet rice porridge. My wife and I were
my own gear. Met divers from coffee, durian crepe, durian be searching for what could be base and as a topping as well. touched by the hospitality of the
Taiwan, Malaysia, Germany, float and more. an elusive Indonesian restaurant I had my share of their sambal family and the sincerity of their
Korea, Canada, China, and We board the cab on the without a map. sauce which was mildly spicy and food. We promised to come back
Food De Sentosa is a cozy 20 did not overpower the taste of the to try their Claypot Rice which is
Japan. Mixed divers, photog- way home with expected
to 30 seat restaurant run by fam- fresh oysters. cooked slowly for close to an hour.
raphers, intros, openwaters funny surprise to our taxi We did return the next night
ily members led by a Singaporean Opinyon: Sambal sauce could
and advance group. Drift dove driver again. Our hotel do father who takes care of the cook- but then I will write about that in
have become a staple condiment
behind Samal Island twice. have an elegant lobby and ing and his daughter and son by a for Filipinos just like patis, toyo my next column. Abangan ang
Practice spotting for critters, swimming pool, 70s restau- Filipina wife. They are assisted by or catsup. But our local labuyo is susunod na kabanata.
thou I don’t have my dive cam- rant and wifi. Good enough to three waitresses dressed to look far hotter than its counterparts
era yet, but dream of having spend the night. like the friendly stewardesses of in Asia. Even my Indonesian l Ramon M. Borromeo is an
one soon. I also practiced my Singapore Airlines. The father friends who like their food spicy executive who enjoys cooking
kicking skills and stationary l Ms. Imperial is a community claims to be retired and takes find our labuyo too hot. occasionally for family and friends.
potions for photo opps. Maricar based ecology tour provider, his cooking as a serious hobby. But Food De Sentosa’s sambal His cooking can be described as
had her intro dive and I think Corporate Social Responsibility According to his daughter, their sauce tastes the same as the ones ouido in that he cooks what he
will get hooked also, she used (CSR) organizer, nature lover menu keeps getting better as her I have enjoyed in Singapore, Ma- learns from watching cooking
the other tanks that was given and scuba diver father conjures new dishes. laysia and Indonesia. If they are shows on television.

8 N O V E M B E R 2 2 - 2 8, 2 0 1 0 OpinYon
The Only Opinion Paper, We Take a Stand
Manny’s 8th crown Jovit Baldevino. If we want rock,
Manny Pacquiao has most definitely put our
there is Arnel Ignacio. They will
nation on the map. If not the geographical do very well, thank you.
map, the former poor boy of Dadiangas has You have duties enough in
put our grateful country on the boxing map. You can enjoy the Karaoke
The native of General but do it in private, please. And,
Santos (formerly Dadiangas) is do it with your mom. Aling
considered ‘pound for pound’ Dionisia and you can sing,
The Best Boxer in the World. dance and act to your hearts’
That is a credit to the athlete content. But, do it in private,
Manny. Our nation judges please. DO NOT impose your-
Pacquiao a national hero. In self on the public.
fact, whenever he has an At first, it was cute. It seemed
international fight, the nation ETAL nothing more than a case of
stands still. Even crime rates bigay hilig, after all. But, now
Behn Cervantes
Margie Holmes talks
go down while the telecast of that you do it for real- feeling
his latest fight is watched by an singer at dancer na talaga -we
admiring nation. was. Now, he is a trembling, squirm because you and your
dear mom ‘try hard’ to sing,

about clinical depression

Those who can afford Pay- slurring heap of flesh aided by
Per-View do so in pubs. The a caregiver and suffering from dance or act.
rest do it at home or watch Parkinson’s Disease. We are also most uncomfort-
the event in neighbors’ sets. We pray for Manny and able when you mistake English
By Rea Ann Santos perspective through the life
Politicians fly to the arena hope he does not end up like vowels. We thus wonder what
stories of the FCD 10. the once graceful, fast and the heck were you saying?
With the help of the FCD where they have ringside seats.
“Depression is a thief”, says Dr. almost invincible Ali. Fight a couple more times
Holmes. “It takes away your 10, the book provides insights What is the Pork Barrel for? As
Manny has become a member Manny is now a Con- and retire while you are top,
joy, sense of wonder, the taste as to how depression functions Manny. That is best for you.
of your favorite food, even the in life and how it affects of the Lower House himself, gressman. If he studies his
some colleagues flew there on regions’ needs and feels for his But, please choose your
smell of freshly washed hair.” the life of a Filipino. Thus,
Manny’s invitation. constituents as he claims, he battles.
Margarita Go-Singco compiled personal accounts
What are friends for? might surprise cynics about his Singing, dancing and acting
Holmes, a certified clinical give hope for the readers who
are under a similar condition, We take pride in Manny’s performance in Congress. are NOT three of them!
psychologist and author of
best-selling books about that they too, will surpass the unprecedented 8th world title. However, Manny likewise Fighting with your vowels
gender issues and sexuality difficult circumstances. I am happy for Manny. has an interest in acting and and consonants is a lost battle!
comes out with a new series, The honesty in these anec- I pray Manny counts his singing. Frankly, he should stop By the way, congratulations
“Down to 1: Depression dotes is refreshing, making the many hundreds of millions pursuing the last two because for defeating the larger and
Stories”. Her latest book, book very character-centered. (pesos) of blessings and consid- he obviously has no talent in taller Antonio Margarito.
which took ten years in the There’s an appeal to emotion ers retiring soon while he is on those fields.
making, aims to combat
depression and eliminate false
when the FCD 10 share
information, observations
the top of the variable heap.
There are many who were
You are pound
for pound The Best
We pray for Manny and
notions about depression that
a person might have.
and feelings, down to all the
incidental details.
world champions. Now, many
are ill and poor. Mohammed Ali
Boxer in the World.
Rest on your laurels
hope he does not end up
Filipinos are well-known to
be more emotionally resilient
“Down to 1: Depression
Stories” discusses the link
is one. Ali was once a gorgeous and forsake Show-
biz. We have Sarah
like the once graceful, fast
as compared to other races.
Much has been said about how
between severe depression
and suicide, which could come
hunk of man. Ali is a shadow
of the Mocha Adonis that he Geronimo and little and almost invincible Ali.
happy Filipinos are as a nation, about among readers who are

Questions being raised at the 2010 Cinema

despite widespread pov- clinically depressed.
erty, natural and man-made The book contains the
catastrophes, political turmoil, Diagnostic and Statistical
and economic challenges.
However, this does not
mean that they are immune to
Manual of the American
Psychiatric Association and a
research which deals closely
One Originals Film Festival awards night
depression and other mental with clinical depression. No doubt, the annual Cinema One Originals Lazaro didn’t attend the
health issues. A recent study It also has specific sections awarding ceremonies because
concluded that Filipinos are that allow readers to rate and Film Festival spearheaded by Cinema One, he had some very important
very emotional people and recognize whether or not they the movie cable channel of ABS-CBN, has matters to look into.
that they are also prone to are clinically depressed and He was Best Actor winner a
depression. hopefully be familiar with the given the local film industry the necessary couple of years ago when he
Skillfully designed to con- available assistance in store for starred in “Yanggaw,” a folk
textualize clinical depression in them.
impetus to enliven the art and the business
thriller also directed by debut-
the Philippine setting, the book When it seems that all components of the trade. ing Somes.
unravels the personal accounts else fails, we need someone Pen Medina won  Best
of ten courageous Formerly / to lean on. Fortunately, this Since 2005, the Ronald
Arguelles-run film arm of the Actor  this year for his per-
Currently Depressed personali- book allows us to experience formance in “Layang Bil-
ties (FCD 10) in the country. the company of people who Lopez media conglomerate
has produced quite a number anggo,” another fugitive film
Dr. Holmes carefully crafted are going through the same
of movies which are qualified while  Marc Abaya  clinched
a comprehensive understand- journey and tapping us to be
more mature in dealing with as commercial and artistic as the Best Supporting Actorplum
ing of what clinical depression
really is from a personal the reality of depression. well. THE NET for “Dagim,” a Joaquin Pedro
Valdes on a man lost in a
The recently concluded 2010 [National Entertainment Today]
Cinema One Originals  Film strange mountain.
Festival awards night, though, Boy Villasanta Jodi Sta. Maria took home
has a share of thought-provok- the Best Supporting trophy for
ing questions being raised by “We enjoyed naman. Pinuri her convincing portrayal of a
some quarters. ni Mark si Ia (Ria’s pet name) girl revisited by her balikbayan
One of them is nominations on stage. That alone made her boyfriend in EJ Salcedo’s “Third
for the best actress category. so elated. Joel Torre (who was a World Happy.”
According to Puloy guest during the awards night) Michael Angelo Dagnalan,
Cadayona, mom of young told Ia that same night, ‘I’m meanwhile, got the Best Direc-
actress Ria Garcia who starred a fan.’ Kaya it was more than tion nod from the jurors for his
in “Ishmael,” no actress, new being nominated and even “Layang Bilanggo” which also
or veteran, regional or Manila winning,” said Cadayona in a won Best Film.
show biz-bred, was nominated text message. ••••••
to the section, even the lead, There were members of Shorts—1970s popular sexy
titular star in “Ang Damgo ni the jury, of course, who voted actress Carmen Ronda suc-
Eleuteria Kirschbaum” Donna among the virtual bests. cumbed to cardiac arrest due to
(Top) OpinYon publisher Gimeno, when she is the central “Wala daw nag-qualify complications of the ovarian and
Ray Junia (extreme figure in the story, after all. for best actress since wala daw breast cancers and multiple vital
right) and editorial Although Cadayona was bidang girl in any of the mov- organs malfunction last Novem-
staff with Margie surprised about the results of ies,” clarified Cadayona. ber 15 at a Davao City hospital.
Holmes (3rd from left) the contest, she was very thank- “What about ‘Damgo ni Her body was brought to Manila
and Jeremy Baer (2nd ful her daughter was chosen to Eleuteria’? The story of ‘Ish- and will be buried in a still un-
from left) at the book play a pivotal role in a Richard mael’ revolves around Agnes disclosed time and place…Nora
launching. V. Somes masterpiece about an na in the end, patay ang lahat Aunor  is set to return home in
ex-army (Ronnie Lazaro) who ng male leads,” she observed. March next year, according to her
(Left) Holmes merrily killed his wife for adultery, got No, it wasn’t sourgraping. only son Ian de Leon…Judy Ann
signs copies of her jailed for years but went out a It was just a critical acumen.  Santos and Ryan Agoncillo’s first
new book, Down To 1: freeman later but had to save a But the decision of the judges born Lucho was baptized at the
Depression Stories. young kept girl (Garcia) from was final for they knew better same time Manny Pacquiao was
a false messiah religious cult than any ordinary moviegoer. breaking the nose of Antonio
leader (Mark Gil). •••••• Margarito.

OpinYon N O V E M B E R 2 2 - 2 8, 2 0 1 0 9
ENVIRONMENT The Only Opinion Paper, We Take a Stand

Ecological cities
“Sustainable” is still a big word in the
Largeness of spirit
Her face bears some of the weariness of conducted largely fraudulent
development circles, but it seems that the and sham elections early this
close to two decades of detention, but it still month blatantly excluding Suu
bigger word “ecological” has overtaken it. exudes an uncommon serenity and strength. Kyi’s NLD and guaranteeing
25 percent of parliament seats
These two words are Her diminutive sarong- for the military. Was Suu Kyi’s
actually compatible, and are wrapped frame belies a release conditional, and simply
in fact mutually exclusive. quiet, if fierce, dignity, made a crude public relations stunt
By comparison however, emblematic by the spray of for a ruling junta to create a
“sustainable” seems to be bright flowers she always façade of democratization? Or
a spent word, because it is plants on pulled-back hair.
already given that it should BANTAY Upon her persona of feminine FREE
was this turn of events a hope-
ful sign, at last, of change for a
be done in the first place,
whereas “ecological” is still
GOBYERNO courage and moral clarity a
whole nation rests its hopes for
CORNER long-suffering Burma?
Only time will tell. In a BBC
a relatively emerging word Ike Señeres democracy and a secure future Dr. Neric Acosta interview Suu Kyi eloquently
that suggests imperative – away from the decades-long spoke of conciliation and
actions that still have to be by way of nature related nightmare of a junta-ruled stunned by a massive display peaceful collaboration; asked
done. projects. Of course we have country that has made what of people power, cancelled if she would want the regime
A number of my friends to invest money to generate was once Southeast Asia’s most the elections and returned the to fall, she answered without
pointed out to me that the ecological capital, but the prosperous country the poorest country to the path of a closed a hint of rancor and with great
the correct terminology value added we get is very and most repressed. society, throwing Suu Kyi and charity: “I do not wish to see
is “ecological capital” and much worth it. She is to millions of her thousands others to jail. the military regime fall, but
not “ecology capital”, and I “Green communities” is countrymen simply called “The In the last 18 years, Suu Kyi for it to rise to more dignified
stand corrected. I also stand a generic term that applies Lady.” But to the brutish ruling had been detained and locked heights of doing what is best for
corrected that ecological to buildings and villages. In military junta of Burma, she is up in her lakeside home in democracy and the aspirations
capital is not exactly a new both cases, the common de- everything they are not. She Rangoon, deprived of access of the people of Burma.” It was
concept, except that it has nominators are the building is the biggest threat to their to the world, including her Suu Kyi who had said it most
not really gained in popular- associations and village as- continued rule and singularly own family. She has had no cogently about power, revising
ity. Perhaps what is relatively sociations that are composed represents a people desperately Internet connection, television Lord Acton’s famous quote,
new is the notion that when of the residents. On a slightly yearning to be free. or contact with her party col- and declaring that in truth “it
combined together as joint bigger scale, this would apply She is Aung Sang Suu Kyi, leagues. When her husband, is not power that corrupts but
assets, ecological capital and to barangay councils that are only daughter of General Aung British academic Michael Aris, the fear of losing it.”
social capital could become a in effect composed also of San, Burma’s independence was dying of cancer a few years It is indeed the fear of losing
powerful resource that could the residents. All told, build- hero, who led his country out ago, he and their two sons were power that drives tyrants to
generate a lot of financial ings, villages and barangays of British colonial rule but was barred from visiting Burma to oppress their own people and
capital. could now go green if their assassinated not long after be by her side. To this day Suu stand in the way of their na-
The Clean Development organizations would decide Burma gained its independence Kyi has yet to meet her own tion’s potential. It was fear of
Mechanism (CDM) and the to do so. in 1948. To the world she is the grandchildren. losing power that drove a terri-
Debt for Nature Swap (DNS) It is already a forgone 1991 Nobel Peace Laureate who This week, however, the fied junta to ruthlessly deny the
are the two huge sources of conclusion that the funds in 1990 led the National League world rejoiced in her release people the democratic mandate
ecological capital that are that are available from the for Democracy to an unprec- from detention. There was they had entrusted to the NLD
still relatively untapped by general appropriations act edented victory by winning celebration to be sure, but in 1990.
both the national govern- (GAA), the internal revenue over 90 percent of the seats in cautious optimism as well, Turn to page 11
ment agencies (NGAs) allocation (IRA) and the national parliament. The junta, considering how the junta
and the local government countryside development
units (LGUs). This is really fund (CDF) sources are not
very surprising to note in a
country that is hungry for
capital, when in fact these
enough to finance the local
development projects. Given
this reality, it is now time for
Our social obligation to Metro Manila
would be overt actions leading
two sources of money are the NGAs and the LGUs to Recently, the Asian Development Bank to positive results. The Run
already staring at us in the start tapping the ecologi-
face. cal capital sources that are
(ADB) came out with a study that Metro for Sagip Pasig Movement,
the effort of Rotary Club of
Also known as the carbon already widely available. Manila, like other Asian metropolises, Manila to clean Manila Bay,
credits scheme, CDM is Ecological cities or eco-cit-
quickly becoming very popu- ies are the ways of the future. will be very vulnerable to climate change. and peoples’ organizations
making merchandise items
lar worldwide as its mechan- Many countries have started This means that the trag- out of recycled materials are
ics are becoming clearer, and many years ago to create new edy caused by Typhoon Ondoy few private initiatives worth
as its manner of applicability cities or to recreate old cities in which struck Metro Manila emulating. These initiatives
is becoming more defined. such a way that these popula- and nearby Rizal and Laguna should be synchronized and
Essentially designed to tion centers would have very municipalities last year will harnessed to complement our
reduce the carbon footprints low carbon footprints, while likely happen again. government initiatives.
of countries in general, its at the same time keeping or Why? All the indicators are neo Cutting across these inter-
methods of applicability
have gone down to the level
raising the standards of living
that used to be fed with high
still there. Our ratio of garbage
production versus garbage col-
spectrum ventions, the spirit of “Bayani-
han” or volunteerism which ran
of compliant companies, and
it is evolving to a point that
carbon resources. The time to
act is today, because tomorrow
lection and disposal remains Atty. Solo V. Tibe high during the Ondoy incident
indirectly proportionate. Our must drive us in our common
it is now down to the level of is already too late. If we do population of 14 million, more and the Laguna Lake Develop- objectives. Many members of
personal carbon footprints. not act today, we will be left than 2 million of whom are ment Authority (LLDA). They our police, military, media,
Strictly speaking, the behind by the countries that informal settlers, are taking the have the mandate and they socio-civic groups, community
DNS scheme does not re- already started their ecological toll on our basic services and should take the initiatives. organizations and even young
ally condone our foreign moves yesterday. public infrastructures. Coastal Intervention should come people displayed exemplary
debts, although that is true lands, esteros and water basins, in many forms, namely, strictly acts of heroism amidst such
in a figurative sense. What l IKE SENERES is a particularly the Laguna and enforcing our environmental natural calamity last year. We
actually happens is that we syndicated columnist, broad- Pasig Rivers, have been polluted laws and sanitation policies, thus need to learn how to tap
will in effect pay for our caster, information technol- with garbage and human waste. improving our public sewerage the Bayanihan spirit during
external debts not in the ogy consultant, and television These, while government inter- system, relocating the informal crisis situation, but more im-
form of cash, but in the form producer. He was formerly ventions for crisis management settlers in Pasig and Cainta portantly before it occurs.
of ecological capital that we Director General of the National remain reactive rather than pro- Floodway as well as those At the end of the day, every-
would internally generate, Computer Center (NCC). active and a culture of apathy on tilts and lying on esteros one has a social obligation to
and lack of discipline pervades and shorelines, raising public save Metro Manila from further
our people. awareness on garbage disposal urban decay. Sans the LGUs,
The ADB paper drives us to system, recycling, reduced use MMDA and LLDA, the burden
conclude that Ondoy was not of plastic materials and other to take care of our metropolis
the culprit. It only revealed the pro-environment advocacies. and all other cities and munici-
ugly state of our metropolis It can be done. During the palities in our archipelago, lies
-- urban decay. time of Vice President Noli De upon those who enjoy its ame-
But it is not too late; nor Castro and MMDA Chairman nities, benefits and privileges.
are all hopes lost to save our Fernando, informal settlers This means that every single
metropolis. We need however living in the railways from person, male or female, young
to put in place long term as well Northern to Southern Luzon and old, rich and poor – for we
as short term interventions were successfully relocated. are all metro citizens. As we
from both institutional as There is no valid excuse that it savor the benefits of metro liv-
well as individual actors with cannot be done now. ing, we should be accountable
dispatch. The private sector of course to make it liveable.
Of course, the foremost ac- has its key role to play. This
tions must come from our gov- begins with a right attitude l Atty. Tibe is engaged in
ernment institutions, namely of caring for the environment litigation and management
our Local Government Units much like caring for oneself consultancy. He also serves as
(LGUs), the Metro Manila De- and one’s family, neighbours Legal Counsel to the National
velopment Authority (MMDA) and the next generation. Next Federation of Labor Unions.

10 N O V E M B E R 2 2 - 2 8, 2 0 1 0 OpinYon
The Only Opinion Paper, We Take a Stand
PPP: Paunang pahirap ni P-Noy
From page 12 The PPP scheme, consum-
What’s delaying RFID refund?
It has been almost one year since the Even Bureau of Internal
ers warned, is highly suscep- Revenue (BIR) commissioner
FCI also cited the protest
raised by the Road Users
tible to suspicion and may
be vulnerable to corruption,
Land Transportation Office (LTO) under Kim Henares said that if the
Supreme Court and COA had
Protection Advocates (RUPA) especially if consumers are the Arroyo administration had forced already ruled and ordered
which questioned the P6B cost excluded from the solicitation
claimed for the upgrade of an process. While they realize upon the motorists to refund the money, then
existing road that was already that there is no such thing as it should be done without
registering their vehicles the delay.
paid for by the public under a free lunch, consumers fear requirement to pay an addi-
pre-existing franchise and toll they could end up paying for The money is supposed to
tional P350 for the radio fre- be in escrow and in the hands
arrangements. Also questioned an extravagant feast under
PPP, where only the people of
quency identification (RFID) of a disinterested party. It was
at that time was the financing
package, where practically the P-Noy may partake. stickers. Public definitely not remitted to the
whole project will be funded
from loans for which consumers
“The President should fire
the people who have made
Some of those who op-
posed the RFID charges even primer national treasury to facilitate its
release if ever the RFID project
claimed that the unlucky ve- was questioned and struck
will not only pay the principal
but interest as well, on top of
him appear like an ally of
private business but an enemy hicle owners who had to pay David Cagahastian down by the courts--which
margins the investors will exact of the people,” FCI said. for RFID before it was stopped subsequently happened.
as part of their ‘entitlements’ Referring to P-Noy, they by the Supreme Court paid as ing for the refund of the RFID But what’s delaying the
under the project. asked: Sino ba talaga ang Boss much as P519.06 because they collections in cash, which is refund of the money almost
“Foreign investors will niya? also paid P169.06 in “com- the lawful thing to do because one year after the Supreme
bring in 10 percent of project Leaders of the consumer puter fees,” a fee as intangible the vehicle owners paid for Court had issued the order?
cost and borrow the rest group said the President seemed as RFID itself. the stickers in cash. Even if the DOTC reverses
from local banks. Under this unaware of the consequences of In the short time that Regardless, however, of the ruling to scrap the RFID
arrangement, the investor his latest policy, which not only LTO’s information technol- the mode, the
turns all regulatory regimes
develops the project from
financing obtained on a cash inside-out, but could even moot
ogy contractor Stradcom had
been collecting fees for the
refund should
push through what’s delaying the
flow which, in turn, is driven
by state-mandated rates, FCI
and negate judicial decisions
which he promised to side-step
RFID, it had collected P31
million from about 90,000 ve-
The Supreme
refund of the money
said, adding that ultimately,
consumers could be paying for
with massive doses of taxpay-
ers’ money.
hicle owners who registered
their vehicles at a time when
Court had
already issued a
almost one year after
an overpriced project that may
not have gone through bidding
Whoever advised
President on this must be
the RFID project was being
status quo ante the Supreme Court had
order on the
to get the best price.
In support of this scheme,
among the lightest of the cabi-
net lightweights that Senator Until finally in January RFID project. issued the order?
the Monetary Board already Miriam Santiago threatened this year, the Supreme Court That was ten
announced the virtual lifting to annihilate at the Commis- intervened and granted a months ago. project, which is now under
of the single borrowers limit on sion on Appointments. petition to stop the RFID Sometime in August, the review, the government would
lending to infrastructure proj- The way things are in this project, and ordered LTO and Commission on Audit (COA) still have to refund the P31
ects to give the Public-Private Aquino administration, noth- Stradcom to refund to the ve- had issued a separate order to million it collected from the
Partnership projects easy access ing has changed: big projects hicle owners the P31 million LTO to refund the P31 million. vehicle owners who never got
to bank funds and credit. are packaged o protect inves- it collected for RFID. Department of Transpor- to use the RFID’s purported
FCI is concerned that while tors at the expense of the ordi- But almost one year after tation and Communications sophisticated technology.
the schemes for these projects nary citizens and consumers. the Supreme Court decision, (DOTC) secretary Jose de And Stradcom would still
seem best suited for the pockets Why is this happening? those unlucky victims who Jesus had also approved the have to prove whether the
of government and the inves- The answer is obvious to had registered while RFID refund, although he is still RFID stickers indeed do what
tors, nobody has bothered to every Filipino, including our was in effect have yet to get reviewing whether a similar
elementary graduate domes-
it’s supposed to do, instead of
ask what is best for the consum- their money back. RFID project should be
ers, who will pay for the cost of tic who asked how come her being just an embellishment
LTO chief Virginia Torres implemented under the new on your windshield.
overpriced projects. neighbor who works at the said that she has been push- Aquino administration.
The PPP projects under Pres Toll Regulatory Board owns a
Aquino, consumers warn, could fleet of cars and built a man-
be worse than the existing BOT
projects. According to the Presi-
Not far behind or even up
Pinoy’s wasted tive ratings. P Noy still has high
gross ratings but seems to be in The Flea...
From page 6 a continuous dive from which From page 12
dent, these are solicited projects. ahead in lifestyle change are gov-
Consumers are asking for full ernment officials in the energy Instead of becoming great, he may never recover. The property developer
disclosure and transparency in sector. The Energy Regulatory he became small. Being small, Unlike Erap, he is unable to reportedly plans to convert
choosing the projects, selecting Commission has been accused he chose lightweights as his overcome his shortcomings. the sprawling piece of land
of being used by MERALCO into commercial area with
the private partner and evaluat- friends. When he won and Unlike GMA, he has no stami- possibly a posh mall as
ing the cost. in making life very difficult for became President he preferred na for work. Unlike Ramos, he anchor.
Under the current BOT, un- ordinary consumers. lightweights for his cabinet and has no sense of institutions. Now, there’s a connection
solicited proposals are subject To the hapless and harassed officialdom. His lightweights P Noy runs a government of why the same com-
to Swiss challenge. Under P- consumers, will PPP eventu- preferred more lightweights men(Some say of juveniles, not pany continuous to play the
Noy’s solicited PPP projects, it is ally mean PANIBAGONG as their Undersecretaries and men.) and not of laws. Unlike infomercial in their cinemas
not clear as to who will do the PAHIRAP ni P-Noy? that has PGMA in the closing
Assistant Secretaries. In the his mother Cory, he is not credits despite being an avid
solicitation, how the solicitee is Time should tell. But we
end, it becomes a vicious circle blessed but perverse. Unlike supporter and benefactor of
chosen, and how the solicitude fear time may not be on our
of mediocrity begetting more Marcos, he is not brilliant but the new government.
is checked or evaluated. side.
mediocrity. mediocre. Unlike everybody

Another terror... will come our way especially

We thank God for answering
our Double Barrelled Prayersof
else, he did not have to work his
butt off to become President. I n a drunken stupor, a lady
party-list solon, smitten
with her superstar colleague,
with the help of the internet. two weeks ago. Pacquiao did Unlike everybody but Gloria, initiated a raffle of airline
From page 6 Vigilant groups through their not lose and P Noy did not he cannot become greater tickets for the superstar’s
benefits enjoyed by the former blog sites can easily spread the commit any major mistake than his father. Like Gloria, he recently held “show” in
President and the so called word of an impending terror act during his visit to Japan for will diminish the legacy of his the US for the local media
‘chicken-hawks’ who actually so that it could be exposed. Like the APEC. As usual, he only parents. P NoyGising! What covering them.
warned the Americans and the what we are doing here in our complained about his favourite do you have to show today for The lady party-list solon
put the also tipsy superstar
rest of us that the war on terror country, vigilance is always the scapegoat and whipping boy, your 145 days? When the next on the spot but with millions
may last a  hundred years! antidote against the criminal- the Media. Nothing new! By major crisis hits, how many under his belt, why not. The
With the continuous scare- minded individuals and vested the way, the late October Pulse supporters and sympathizers lady solon offered to pay for
mongering coupled with actual interest groups. Let us expose Asia survey results were similar will you have left? Will you the hotel of the winners.
acts of terror by greedy and evil- their plans before they can to the earlier September SWS in more ways be worse than Of the winners, only two
minded individuals, humanity implement them. In this way, survey. P Noy slid down and Gloria? Will Gloria be better has existing US visa. The other
winners begged to “monetize”
will always be faced with fear several lives will be saved in the has not rebounded yet. Usually, in more ways than you? In the their prizes but this apparently
and tension. To address this process and such perpetrators an incumbent President has past three weeks of November, fell in deaf ears.
dehumanizing terror, people of will have to think twice before the power of rebound. Ramos we have discovered that very few The deniable rumor is
the world must be united and doing another criminal act. displayed this in 1995 after the of your huge army of supporters that the lady party-list solon
watchful at all times. Let us not allow another FlorContemplacion execution, of a year ago remain standing. and the colleague superstar
Methinks that with our 9/11. We can do it if we will Ipil raid and rice shortage. They lie demoralized. Stricken had a one night tryst and it
seems the lady is yearning
concerted efforts, we can always be alert and equipped  GMA displayed this over and down from their former heights for one more “rumble.”
endure every terror storm that for the next terror storm. over again inspite of her nega- of glory by their own leader.

Largeness pragmatic requirements of

realpolitik and international
and timber resources of Burma
ensure the generals of steady
And for both nations, the
face of such resistance and
such are towering exemplars of
humanity, humility and cour-
From page 10 trade, and the call for sanctions support from China and India, heroism were individuals who age, that continue to inspire
It is the same fear that and greater democratization. just as South Africa was long had the ‘largeness of spirit’ – peoples across the world. Just
made the generals crush most As with South Africa for most a source of copious minerals Nelson Mandela, who spent as a freed Mandela ushered in
brutally the massive protests of the apartheid years, many for the global markets. But 27 years as a political prisoner, change for a new South Af-
led by Buddhist monks in 2007 countries have turned a blind domestic resistance and global and Suu Kyi, who has paid a rica and became its first post-
against rising commodity prices eye on human rights violations demand for democracy and high price for the principles apartheid president, the world
and increasing repression. and the suppression of dis- human rights fueled the drive she has lived by. Like our own awaits with bated breath and
Burma’s pained narrative sent in Burma because of the for international sanctions and Ninoy Aquino, incarcerated for prays for Daw Aung Suu Kyi to
is not unlike South Africa’s – extraction of it’s rich natural growing multilateral pressure over seven years under martial claim at last what is her and the
years of oppression by a police resources. The natural gas and on both countries to open their law but returning from exile to Burmese people’s rightful place
state, the clash between the oil fields, abundant minerals societies to change. meet his martyrdom in 1983, in history.

OpinYon N O V E M B E R 2 2 - 2 8, 2 0 1 0 11
The Only Opinion Paper, We Take a Stand

The Flea
NOVEMBER 22 - 28, 2010 / Vol. I, No. 14

By The Staff
The Only Opinion Paper, We Take A Stand
A fter the premature
guessing-game on who
would replace who in the
Secretary Purisima for making
PNoy cabinet, Flea Market
so much fuss over the difference
kibitzers have now shifted
between the Independent Power
talk on who in the cabinet
Producer (IPP) contracts and the
would get the inaugural
PPPs, where he highlights our
Ombudsman case.
paying for undelivered electricity
Like Pacquiao, the
as an upside of PPP.
cabinet underling heav-
They belittled such attempts
ily favored to be the first
at a strained differentiation cal-
Ombudsman case of the
culated to make PPP look good
PNoy presidency is his well-
at the expense of IPPs. While
insulated shooting buddy.
stressing that the IPP had its
This presidential buddy
downside and was downright
could be picked from the
expensive, consumers said
“police line-up” for at least
Purisima was either unfamiliar
two major misdemeanors:
with the regulatory process, or
jueteng bribe-taking and the
he was not being forthright on
Manila Hostage Crisis.
the matter.
The second Ombudsman
In all these PPP projects, it
“candidate” is the social wel-
was pointed out, recoverable cost
fare secretary for her ugly
will include development and
past called Peace Bonds.
construction cost (which must
Well, the opposition may get
be prudent and reasonable) and
lucky by throwing a book
return on investment or capital,
at Dinky for her expected
which must also be reasonable.
bungling of the multi-billion
The revenues to cover that cost
CCT program.
will come from user fees, wheth-
The third, mind you,
er as toll or fare or payment for
could be the chief executive
services like electricity. In these
himself for bad influencing
cases, variables like projected
and mismanaging his
passengers or users or sales vol-
“student council.”
ume of electricity, together with

the agreed period for recovery of
foreign-based event
investments, will determine the
organizer tapped by the
applicable rate.
finance department for its
Unless Secretary Purisima
Public-Private Partnerships
has lately been gifted with such
(PPP) Summit last week
prescience as to say with abso-
(Nov. 18-19) nearly fo-
lute certainty that the number
mented a local media revolt

PPP: PAunang
of passengers on the trains, the
by being extra picky with
users of the roads and the pas-
the list of Filipino journalists
sengers at the airports will be as
that it should accredit.
they will project in their solicita-
The private event orga-
tion of these PPPs, there will be
nizer was really prepping

years when he will be paying for
the event as an international
empty seats on the PPP trains,
gathering that it wants to fill
phantom cars at the PPP toll
up the media gallery with
ways and ghost passengers at
foreign journalists. Slots for
the PPP airports, they said.
local media were too limited
Fears of consumer groups like
akin to getting a seat in a
the Forum for Consumer Inter-
Pacquiao fight.
President Benigno C. Aquino III assured some ests (FCI) seem well-founded, as
they cited the Philippine experi-
Some local media outlets
were not even given a slot to
500 foreign and local investors who attended the ence in toll roads, mass transit,
telecommunications and power.
the outrage of their editors
and staff.
recent launching of his Public-Private Partnership “We’ve had Build Operate
Transfer (BOT) projects built at
The private event
organizer must have been
(PPP) program of ‘zero risk’ in big-ticket projects as extravagant development cost
really trying to impress their
and outrageous cost overruns
Filipino employers led by
his government will pick up the tab, big or small, that resulted in very high recov-
the DOF that it wants an
ery costs from consumers,” FCI)
whenever they are faced with regulatory losses. said.
all-foreign media covering
the event.
We are asking the President to
They should be worth
By Ray Junia explain how he intends to promote
every single dollar since they
and protect investors without sac-
just made “sulot” of the job
rificing consumer interest under
from a local event firm with
PPP, the group said. We need to
The Philippine Daily Inquirer and therefore should be fired for the courts inutile. a top finance official as their
know how PPP will be different
aptly described it: “Solicited proj- putting the President on the spot. What is the point, they ask, “padrino.”
from BOT, they added.
ects get regulatory risk surety.” With his popularity waning and in subjecting service contracts to Lo and behold, on the
FCI cited the case of the
Quoting the President his government failing to gain regulatory review if the President day of the event itself, the
South Luzon Expressway (SLEX)
further, Inquirer wrote: “If for traction on any front, P-Noy will just make good the differ- staff of this event organizer
which was recently upgraded by
some reason, a court decision will now have to explain to irate ence between the contracted suddenly became scarce
a Malaysian company. “When
threatens the (rate) adjustment, and furious consumers why they price and the regulated price? hours after the Media
they were selling the project to
the government will compensate were flushed down the drain in What will be the point in ID tags were dispensed,
government, they said in a pub-
the private concessionaire for this bailout of big ticket projects. questioning in court any abuse, denying the other journalists
lic hearing that the project cost
the difference between what the Using government financial malfeasance or nonfeasance of who came late a chance to
is between P6B and P7B. They
tariff should have been under the institutions (GFIs) to launder a regulator, if the President will be “accredited.”
are now saying the project cost
formula and the tariff which it is whatever bailout money is just make good the difference  

is about P12B which is almost
actually able to collect.” thrown at losing projects does between the regulated price he real story behind the
double the original proposal,”
Assurances of that clear tenor not mean that it is not taxpayer and what the consumers, or the abrupt evacuation of
the group complained.
and unmistakable certainty, es- money, they said, considering the courts, consider an equitable state charity agency from
Under PPP, will the President
pecially coming from the highest subsidies these GFIs get. Funds price, they ask. its previous domicile was
pay the Malaysians the P5B
elected official of the land, was from World Bank and Asian De- In all cases, they said, the because the property, which
difference, even if the claimed
music to the investors’ ears and velopment Bank are additions to “make good” money of P-Noy is was considered a backwater
development cost is being ques-
drew applause that shook the the national debt, which is again tax money. piece of real estate some
tioned, FCI asked.
hotel’s chandeliers. shouldered by taxpayers. Consumers also scored decades back, piqued the
Turn to page 11 interest of a major property
This policy, however, was met After listening to Finance
developer supportive of
with groans and moans from the
consumers who will now have
Secretary Cesar Purisima
describe the so-called regula- Consumer groups said P-Noy PNoy.
The Flea Market talk is
to pay for those projects either
directly through user fees or
tory risk guarantee mechanism,
consumers warned we could obviously did not do his homework. that the leading property
developer, whose corporate
indirectly through their taxes
that P-Noy will have to dip into
hold the distinction of being the
only country to put up a bailout Or his advisers did not, and name starts with the first
letter of the alphabet, is
therefore should be fired for
to make good the difference fund, long before any financial
between regulated rates and leaks or crisis. getting impatient on getting
contracted rates. More significantly, consum- hold of the prime real estate
Consumer groups said P-Noy
obviously did not do his home-
ers are concerned over this latest
policy that virtually renders the
putting the President on the spot. before other business
groups take similar interest.
work. Or his advisers did not, regulatory process irrelevant and Turn to page 11

12 N O V E M B E R 2 2 - 2 8, 2 0 1 0 OpinYon