Monday, November 18, 2013

Statement of UP President Alfredo E. Pascual on the Status of Disaster Management Efforts for UP Visayas in Tacloban and UP School of Health Sciences in Palo, Leyte

Statement of UP President Alfredo E. Pascual on the Status of Disaster Management Efforts for UP Visayas in Tacloban and UP School of Health Sciences in Palo, Leyte

Tropical cyclone Yolanda hit the eastern seaboard of the Philippines on Friday, 8 November 2013, and devastated the provinces of Samar, Leyte, Cebu, Bohol, Iloilo and Palawan. Two UP units were severely damaged by the super typhoon – UP Visayas Tacloban College (UPVTC) campus (1,543 students, faculty and staff) and UP Manila School of Health Sciences (UPM SMS) in Palo, Leyte (209 students, faculty and staff).

As news of the devastation reached me, I immediately instructed Vice President for Public Affairs Prospero E. de Vera to organize a disaster relief effort.

I also met with my executive staff and the chancellors of all UP constituent units on Monday, 11 November 2013 to map out a coordinated effort to reach out and assist our students, faculty and staff in the affected areas.

Aware of the need for urgent action, I also issued the following memoranda to hasten our disaster management effort:

1. Memorandum PAEP 13-35 (11 November 2013) launching Tulong UP to mobilize material and financial donations for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda (http://www.up.edu.ph/memorandum-no-paep-13-35-help-for-victims-of-typhoon-yolanda/). By late afternoon of the 11th, dozens of of UP students, faculty, and staff worked together to pack 1,000 relief packs which were immediately dispatched for delivery to Tacloban via Air Force C130 flight. We also shipped out that night several boxes of clothes and other goods collected by the UP Diliman Student Council. A truckload of relief goods was provided by UP Los Banos the other day. Senator Koko Pimentel responded as well with a cash donation of P100,000 and medicines worth P100,000. We thank all our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends here and abroad who are sending donations for this effort.

2. Memorandum 13-36 (13 November 2013) and Memorandum 13-37 (15 November 2013) instructing the chancellors of UP Diliman, UP Manila, UP Baguio, UP los Banos, UP Mindanao, and UP Visayas in Iloilo, plus the dean of UP Cebu to accommodate all affected students from UPVTC who wish to cross-register in their respective campuses for the second semester so that these students do not suffer a delay in their studies. (http://www.up.edu.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Memo-PAEP-13-36-URGENT-cross-registration-of-UPVTC-students.pdf) (http://www.up.edu.ph/memorandum-no-paep-13-37-implementing-guidelines-cross-registration-of-upvtc-students/). A number of UPVTC students have already signed up to cross-register in UP Diliman, Manila, Cebu, and Iloilo. UP Los Banos has offered dormitory accommodation and living allowance to at least 100 of those who will cross-register there. Still, there is a need to further widen the dissemination of information re the cross-registration opportunity for benefit of the UPVTC students.

UP Visayas Chancellor Rommel Espinosa sent a 4-member reconnaissance team to Tacloban to look over the UPVTC campus and bring money for cash advance to UPVTC faculty and staff. The team arrived in Tacloban on Thursday, 14 November and stayed for two days. The contacts on the ground for UPVTC are Dean Anita Cular (0917-328-1357) and Associate Dean Anida Lorenzo (0917-357-0650).

UPM SHS Dean Buddy Dastura (0917-803-4929) returned to Palo from Manila also on the 14th and is now on the ground to assess the situation and provide recommendations on how we can best assist our constituents in the School of Health Sciences there.

From reports received so far, we are thankful that there is no fatality among our students, faculty and staff in the two areas. We will continue to seek and assist all the affected members of our academic community until we know everyone in need of assistance been provided with aid.

A UP Manila Pahinungod medical team led by Dr. Eric Talens will leave this Sunday (17 November 2013) to render emergency medical assistance to our Palo, Leyte campus. A forensics team led by Dr. Racquel Fortun is now working with the Department of Health, Asia Foundation, and the International Red Cross to handle the management of dead bodies in Leyte and Samar.

We are also preparing to send a technical team of UP professors who are experts in civil engineering, architecture, urban planning, and geohazard assessment to be led by former Architecture Dean Dan Silvestre. The team will evaluate the damaged physical infrastructure and facilities of our Tacloban and Palo campuses. Their work will provide guidance to our rehabilitation plan. We will continue to work with Philippine authorities on the ground to offer the services of our medical, forensics, and technical experts in the areas that are not covered by other government agencies.

While the situation on the ground is improving, the road to relief and reconstruction will be long and challenging. I appeal to all members of our academic community to continue helping us locate, reach out and help all our students, faculty, staff and their families in the affected areas. I also ask that you continue to mobilize resources and expertise to help us provide relief and reconstruct our campuses, the communities around them, and all other areas devastated by this typhoon.

The loss in the affected provinces is immeasurable, but there are reasons to hope. For one thing, this Philippine tragedy has served to bring the world together, as the international community quickly responded by sending aid and rescue teams. Help came pouring in from foreign governments, from international agencies, and from ordinary people. We are truly living in a global village now, and this growing awareness of our interconnectedness, not only among nations but with our own planet and its inhabitants, is a source of inspiration for us.

In the wake of this devastation, we are given an unparalleled chance to start again. When we rebuild our towns and cities, we can take the opportunity to make them better, smarter, more resilient and more sustainable. We can redesign our communities into places that healthy and creative lives for people.

http://www.up.edu.ph/statement-of-up-president-alfredo-e-pascual-on-the-status-of-disaster-management-efforts-for-up-visayas-in-tacloban-and-up-school-of-health-sciences-in-palo-leyte/

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Why 
the 
government 
should 
continue 
increasing 
the 
UP 
Budget






By Chancellor Caesar
 Saloma

University
 of 
the 
Philippines 
Diliman 
26
 August 
2013

The
Philippine government, through the
Aquino 
administration, started to
 increase earnestly the
 budget
of the University of
the Philippines in
fiscal
year
2013.
It allocated Php10.09B
 which 
is
1.66 times
 more than the 2012 UP budget.
 The average
UP budget
 per year 
in the 
last
 ten
 years
 ending 2012 is
 Php5.63B.
 The UP budget
 was 
Php 4.34 B in 2003.

UP 
is
 the
 only
 national
 university
 of
 the
 country (Republic
 Act
9500). Its
 annual
 budget consists
 of
 three
 major expense categories: Personnel Services (PS),
 Maintenance,
 Operating
 &
Other Expenses (MOOE),
 and Capital
Outlay
 (CO).
 The PS allocation
 is used
 to pay for
 the 
salaries,
 wages
 and
 other
compensation
 of
 permanent,
 temporary,
 contractual
 and
 casual
employees
 while the
 MOOE is
 utilized to 
operate the 
seven
 (7)
constituent
 universities
 of
 UP and 
maintain
 its 
fifteen
 campuses.
 On 
the
 other
 hand, the
 CO
 allocation
 permits
 UP 
to
 purchase
goods 
and
 services 
as
 well
 as
 implement 
infrastructure projects
that
 add
 to
 its
 collection
 of assets.

 Included in
 the
 UP budget 
is
the
 allocation for the Philippine
 General
 Hospital (PGH).

The
 PS
 component
 of
 the
 2012
 UP 
budget
 was
 64.8% 
higher
than
 that
 in 
2008 
implying an
 annual
 average
 increase
 of
 16.2%
in 
the
 said span
 of
 time.
 The
 increases
 enabled
 UP to apply
 a
series
 of
 compensation
 adjustments 
for
 its
employees
 in  accordance
 with 
the 
Salary
 Standardization 
Law
 Policy
 of 
the
Philippine 
government.
  For
 example,
the
 full
 professor
 salary
(SG
29‐8) 
in
 2012
 was
 1.37
times
 higher
 than
 that
 in 
2010.
 For
associate
 (SG
25‐5)
 and
 assistant
 (SG
21‐5)
 professors,
 the
corresponding
 increases
 were
 1.32 
and
 1.2 times, respectively.


Better 
compensation 
is
 aimed 
at
 attracting
 and
 retaining
 highly
talented
 and
 productive
 scholars,
 scientists, researchers
 and
artists 
to 
serve
 in
 UP 
on 
a
 full‐time
 basis.
The
 PS 
component
 of
the
 2013
 UP
 budget
 is
 24.69% 
higher 
than
 in
 2012.

The
MOOE 
component 
is
 a
 distinctive
 feature 
of
 the
 2013
UP
budget.
 At
 Php2.06B, 
it is 2.88times 
larger 
than 
its 
2012
counterpart.
 The 
relative
 increase
 is
 even
 more telling
 at
 3.53 times
 when 
the MOOE
 allocation
 for
 the
 PGH
 is
 considered
separately.
 The 
average annual
 MOOE 
budget 
for
 UP 
is
Php785.655 M
 from 2003 
to 
2012.

In 
2012,
 UP
 Diliman,
 the
 main
 campus
 of 
UP,
 received 
an
MOOE
 allocation of
 Php 103.243 M
 which
 was
 highly
inadequate
 to 
cover
 the
 cost 
of 
energy 
and
 water
 consumption
 as
 well 
as
 security
 and
 janitorial
 services.
 The
 energy 
bill 
of
 UP
Diliman
 amounted 
to
 Php 193.203737 M,
 which
 is
 6.99%
 higher
than
 that
 in
 2011.

 Energy consumption 
increased
 by
 4.18%
primarily
 due 
to 
the
 completion
 of
 new
 buildings
 and
 facilities
particularly 
in 
the National Science
 Complex
 and 
the
Engineering
 Complex.

 The
 2012
 water
 bill
 was
 Php70.130146 M,
 which
 is
 8.74%
 lower 
than
 in 2011.
 Concerted
 efforts
 to
repair
 or 
replace leaking
 pipes
 and
 defective
 water
 fixtures
 have
 led
 to a noticeable
 21.95%
 reduction 
in water
 consumption
 in 
UP 
Diliman
 buildings.


The
 2013
 MOOE
 allocation
 of
 UP
 Diliman
is Php 268.983M, which
 is
 2.61 
times
 larger than
 in
 the
previous
 year.
 The
 said
amount however, is 
still
 not
 sufficient
 to cover the
 increasing
cost
 of 
energy
 and
 water
 consumption 
as 
well
 as
 security
 and
janitorial
 services
 that
 is projected 
to 
be 
at
 least 
Php 420M.

To
 bridge 
the
 gap
 between
 actual
 operations cost and
insufficient
 MOOE
 allotment
 from
 the
national
 government,
 UP
Diliman
 uses
 its
 income
 from tuition
fees
 and 
other
asset
utilization 
initiatives.
 Such
 a
 deficit‐funding
 scheme
however,
reduces
 the
 amount 
of
 money
 that
 is
 available
 for
 making
 the
campus
 more
 enabling
 and
 nurturing.

 It
 has
 postponed
 the
overdue
 rehabilitation/retrofitting
 of
 aging
infrastructures,
scaled
 down
 vital student
 support
 programs,
 and
 stymied
 the
acquisition
 of
 modern
 equipment
 and
 facilities that
 enhance
the safety
 and 
welfare 
of
 the 
UP
 community
 and
 the
 general 
public
that 
regularly 
spend 
time 
in 
the
 493‐hectare
 campus.

The
2013
 UP 
budget
 included
 a
 CO
 allocation
 of
 Php1.45 B
 –
none
 was
 allotted 
in
 the
 previous two
 years.
 In 
2012
however, UP, through
 the
 efforts
 of
 UP
 President
 Alfredo 
Pascual
 was
able
 to
 secure
 Php 1.3B
 from
 the
 Commission
 on
 Higher
Education (CHED) 
as part 
of
 the
 Disbursement
 Acceleration
Plan
 of
 Philippine President
 Aquino,
that enabled it 
to
implement
 new
 CO
 projects 
in
 its constituent universities.


For
 2014,
 UP
 has
 requested 
for 
a
 budget
 of
 Php17.1 B
 that
included
 funding
 proposals
 for 
major
 CO
 projects
 such
 as
 the
Sports
 Complex
 (Php435M), 
the
 College
 of Architecture
Complex 
(Php260.590M), 
the
 College
 of
 Home
Economics Complex
(Php 425M)
 and
 Vinzon’s
 Hall‐Student
Center
(Php100M)
 in UP
Diliman.
The
Executive Branch
 has
submitted
to
Congress
 a
 National
 Expenditure
 Program
 (NEP)
 for
 2014 
that
includes 
a
 UP
 Budget
 of
 Php
8.098 B
 of
 which
 Php1.991B
is
allotted
 for
 PGH.
 The
 UP
 Budget
 in
 the
 proposed
 2014
NEP
represents
 only
 47.36%
 of
 the
 amount
 that 
has been
 originally
requested.
 It 
features 
a
 proposed
 MOOE
 allocation
 that
 is
1.04%
 higher
 than
 in
2013 
and
 there 
is 
no
explicit
 CO
 budget
allocation.


The instruction 
is
 for UP
 to 
source
 the
 funds for its
 proposed
 CO 
projects
 separately from 
CHED. Investing
       seriously
 in
UP 
is
 a
 wise
 strategy
 for
 the 
Philippine
 government and the
country.
The
 infusion
 of 
public
 funds 
that
 permitted
 the
 on‐going
 completion
 of 
the
 National
 Science 
Complex and
t he
Engineering 
Complex, and
 increased
 the 
available
 number
of
graduate
 scholarships 
in
 the
 basic
 and
 applied
sciences,
mathematics
 and
 the
 engineering
 sciences, has
 already 
resulted
in
  meaningful
 human
 capital
 buildup
 in
 the
 form of
 more
 highly
 trained
 PhD
 and
 MS
 graduates.
 It
 has accelerated
 the
generation
 of
 new 
scientific
 knowledge,
 and
 advanced
 the 
development
 of
 technical
 expertise 
in
 critical areas
 of
 national 
importance
 such 
as
 weather
 forecasting,
 disaster 
risk
 response
and
 mitigation
 as
 well
 as
 terrestria l
and
 marine
 resource
management.



Other
 government
 agencies
 such
 as 
the
 DOST, CHED, DA, DENR, DOH, DA
 and
 DepEd as
 well
 as
 Congress
 and
 the
Judiciary
 continue
 to
 rely
 on 
the
 valuable
 expertise
 of
 UP
scholars
 and
 researchers
 in
 the formulation 
and
 implementation
 of
 their
respective
 programs 
and 
projects.

 State
universities
 serve 
about 
a 
third
 of
 all 
college
 students 
in
 the
country, and 
they
 have
 depended
 on
 UP 
to
 provide
 them
 with
their 
next
 generation
 of
 PhD
 faculty
members.The
 number
of
high
 school 
seniors 
taking
 the
 yearly
 UP College
 Admission
 Test
 is 
increasing
 at
 an
 average
 rate of
 3.94%
 since
 August
2007.

 In
 the
 2012
 UPCAT,
 only
 one 
out
 of
 every
 13
applicants
qualified
 for
 admission
 into 
UP
Diliman
 –
 a
 majority
 of
 them
came
 from
 private
 (55.7%)
 and
 public
 science
 (29.4)
high
schools.

 A
 total
 of
 12,732 applicants
 were
 qualified 
for 
the
 entire
 UP 
System indicating
 a
 success
 rate
 of
 one
 in
5.83.

More 
than
 83,500
 high 
school
 seniors
 took
 the
 2013 UPCAT
‐ an
increase
 of
 8.95%
 than 
the
 number 
in
 2012.
 About
 65%
 of
 them
are
 competing
 for
 the 
3,875 
available
 slots 
(the 
same
 number
 as
in 
2012) 
that
 are
 distributed 
in
 the
 68
 undergraduate
 degree
programs
 offered 
by UP
 Diliman.
 Admission
 is
 getting 
more
difficult
 for
 SY
 2014‐2015.

Providing 
solid
 budgetary 
support
 to
 UP
 would
 allow
 it
 to
continue
 rationalizing
 public
 access
 to
 top‐quality
higher
education
 by 
young 
Filipinos
 from
 all
 over 
the
 country.

The
 additional
 funds
 would
 enable
 the
training
 of
 more 
talented
undergraduate
 students
 at a
 rate
 that
 is
 proportional
 to
 the
annual
 increase
 in
 the
 number 
of 
UPCAT
 applications. 
More
investments 
are
 also 
needed 
to
 enhance
 and
 strengthen
 the
academic
 and
 research
 programs
 in the 
other
 six
 constituent
universities
 (UPLB,
 UP
 Manila, 
UP
 Baguio, 
UP
 Visayas,
UP Mindanao,
 Open
 University) 
and 
reduce the
 relatively 
high
concentration 
of
 undergraduate
 and
 graduate
 students
(representing
 45% 
of
 all
 UP 
students)
 studying 
in
 UP
 Diliman.

As 
the leading 
university
 of 
the
 country
 in terms
 of
 research
productivity
 and
 breadth
 of academic
 programs,
UP 
is
 at
 the
forefront
 of
 on‐going efforts to
 harmonize
 and
 standardize
 the
academic
 degree
 programs
 that
 are
 offered
 by
 leading
 ASEAN
 universities 
in
 line with
 the 
implementation
 of
 the
ASEAN
Economic Community Blueprint
 in
 2015.
 UP
 should
 be
 provided
 with
 the
 means
 and
 resources
 necessary
 to 
become one 
of
 the 
truly
 great 
universities
 in
 the
 ASEAN.
 The
 success
 of
UP
 will
 mean greater
 opportunities
 of 
leadership 
for
 many
 more
 highly
 skilled Filipinos in
 this
 dynamic
 ASEAN
 region
 and 
the
 Pacific
 Rim.

Thank
you.

-----------------
About
 the
 author.
 Dr. Saloma
 is 
a professor
 of 
physics
 at 
the
National
 Institute
 of
 Physics,
UP
 Diliman.
He
 received
 the
Galileo
Galilei
 Award
 from
 the international
 Commission
 for
 Optics
 in
 2004
 and
 the
 triennial
 ASEAN Outstanding
 Scientist
 and
Technologist
 Award
 from
 the
 ASEAN
 Committee
on
 Science
and Technology
 in
 2008.
 He 
is
 included
 in
 the
 Ultimate
 List
 of
 15
Asian Scientists
 To
 Watch 
by
Asian
 Scientist
magazine 
(15
May 2011).
He 
is
 a
 member 
of
 the
 National
 Academy 
of 
Science 
and
Technology Philippines and
 a
 Senior
Member
 of
 the
 Optical
 Society
 of
 America.
 In
 August
 2011,
 he 
wrote
 an
 article
 entitled,
 “Why
 the
 Philippine
 Government Should
 Increase 
Its
Budget for
 the
 National
 University.



Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Manila Hotel Kapihan reveals that PDAF abolition is just the tip of the iceberg






By Chanda Shahani

Abolishing the pork barrel or the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) would not solve the systemic problems of corruption and mismanagement plaguing in the Philippines, an emerging consensus at a forum at the Manila Hotel, held last August 26, 2013, shows.

I went to this forum with my mother, former Senator Leticia R. Shahani; which was held on the same day as the million person march. "Come with me instead," my mom said, promising that I would gain more in sights than merely attending the medley of sit-ins held right outside the Manila Hoitel and in other venues. And so I did.

One of the organizers of the march, Rasti Delizo of Sanlakas, said that the march was one where the miuddle class was expected to take the lead. "People are outraged at the misuse of funds worth PhP 10 billion or more," he said, adding that the uniting line of thge various groups involved in the march was to scrap all pork barrel, and to hold all those guilty to account and to punish them.

The forum or kapihan  also revealed the following which, loosely, could be lumped under the general heading of  "pork barrel" or funds which fell under government discretionary spending:

  • President's Social Fund, funded from Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and Philippine Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) remittances.
  • The Judicial Development Fund
  • The Mampalaya Fund
  • Local funds. For example, the Quezon City pork barrel is PhP 42 million a year.
  • Internal Revenue Allotments of the local government units (LGUs).
  • The intelligence fund of the President.
  • Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
The forum was emceed by Manila Hotel President, former Senator Joey Lina. Atty. Lina said that the senators had PDAF or pork barrel of PhP 200 million a year, of which PhP 100 million had to go towards "hard" projects while PhP 100 million had to go towards "soft" projects. In the case of congressmen, they were alloted a total of PhP 70 million, of which PhP 40 million had to go towards "hard" projects while PhP 30 million had to go towards "soft" projects.

Sister Mary John Mananzan, one of the forum participants, said that rather than funding projects helter-skelter via PDAF, it was more important to use the money to fund "the most glaring" projects in order to solve these problems as quickly as possible. These areas were in housing and government hospitals.

Former Senator Leticia R. Shahani, a member of the Former Senior Government Officials (FSGO) a group made up of former high-ranking Philippine government officials,  said that the million person march was "a manifestation of the anger of the people."  She said that no matter what form of structure evolved to take the place of PDAF and other pork barrel funds, it was "useless," unless long-term attention was paid to changing the values and mindsets of people, because ways and means could be found again and again to sybvert the structure and filch money from the people.

Given that Philippine-style government is operating under a system with two houses of congress with one president given one six (6) year term; and with congress given the power of the budget, it would become apparent that congress is allowed (under the 1987 constitution) to approve items on the budget. Thus, in order to remove this glaring self-serving anomaly; the constitution itself has to be amended in order to reflect a system of government that is more attuned to the people's needs.

More on our system of government later.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

PAHAYAG NG UPCSWCD: TANGGALIN ANG PORK BARREL NGAYON NA!

PAHAYAG NG UPCSWCD
22 Agosto 2013

TANGGALIN ANG PORK BARREL NGAYON NA!
PONDOHAN ANG MGA BATAYANG SERBISYONG PANLIPUNAN!

Nakikiisa ang Kolehiyo ng Gawaing Panlipunan at Pagpapaunlad ng Pamayanan (CSWCD) ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas (UP) sa mga miyembro ng faculty, staff, estudyante at alumni ng UP na mariing nagkokondena sa walang pakundangang paglulustay ng pera ng bayan sa mga bogus na NGO at proyekto gaya ng ipinahihiwatig ng tinatawag na P10-bilyong Napoles scam. Bilyun-bilyong piso ang inilalaan sa Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) ng mga senador at congressmen ngunit walang linaw kung paano ito nagagasta kayat nagiging oportunidad para sa walang habas na pandaraya at pandarambong.

Mayroon din ibang malalaking pondo na ang tawag ay lump sum appropriation ng mga ahensiya ng gobyerno, kasama na ang ehekutibo, na hindi alam kung ano at saan ang pupuntahan.

Ang ganitong sitwasyon ay tunay na nakakapanlumo, nakakaiyak at nakakagalit lalo na sa konteksto ng laganap na kagutuman at kasalatan ng mahihirap na Pilipino. Ngayon ay dagdag pang hagupit ang pananalanta ng mga bagyo at pagbaha.

Sa harap ng ganitong kalagayan ay malinaw ang tuwid na landas na dapat tahakin ng lahat ng mamamayang Pilipinong may malasakit sa Inang Bayan. Di dapat palampasin ang tahasang pagtalikod sa matitinding pangangailangan ng ating mga kababayan at garapal na paglustay ng pondong dapat sila ang nakinabang.

Dapat imbestigahan at parusahan ang lahat ng maysala!
Dapat suportahan ang panukalang batas para sa pagtatanggal ng sistemang pork barrel! Isabay na rin dito ang pagtatanggal ng lump sum appropriation ng lahat ng ahensiya ng gobyerno!

Dapat gamitin ang pondong nakalaan sa pork barrel (P25.4 bilyon para sa taong 2014) at sa mga lump sum appropriation sa mga batayang serbisyong panlipunan para sa kalusugan, edukasyon, pabahay, mass transport, imprastruktura sa kanayunan, at reporma sa lupa!

Lumahok tayo sa sama-samang pagkilos ng pamayanan ng UP at sa pamayanang binubuo ng lahat ng mga Pilipinong naghahangad ng isang malinis na pamahalaang nananagot sa lahat ng kanyang gawain at gastusin, at tumutugon sa mga pangangailangan at hinaing ng mga maralita at nasasantabi sa lipunan.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

U.P. Diliman: Remembering 32 journalists killed in Maguindanao










By Chanda Shahani

Last August 23, 2013, Cyd Godinez and I went ot to the College of Mass Communication at U.P. Diliman to attend the commemoration of the November 23, 2009 massacre in Maguindanao where some 32 journalists died, out of a total of 58 victims.


On hand were the faculty and students of the College of Mass Communication, headed by CMC Dean Roland Tolentino. There were some talks, and then candles were lit to commemorate the victims. 

Coming before the August 26, 2013 million person march to Quirino Grandstand to protest the existence of the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) or pork barrel resulting in losses of at least PhP 10 billion to the Filipino people; Dean Tolentino and fellow CMC professor, Danilo Arao, collectively made the point that PDAF was an egregious instance of the misuse of government resources towards unethical ends. On the other hand, the machinery of the local government: local police, personnel, even a backhoe were used to massacre 32 journalists and other people. These assets employed were paid for with the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of the local government units (LGUs).

In other words, even IRAs are subject to abuse, and even IRAs, PDAFs should be looked into and be subjected to oversight and inspection so that abuses of such horrendous proportions can never be repeated again.

In both instances - that of the PDAF and that of the Maguindanao massacre - presidential patronage allowed actors to act with impunity. In the case of the Ampatuans, who delivered valuable votes to former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in Maguindanao, and are still seen as political assets to the President benigno S. Aquino III, the trial seems to drag on with an ever elusive sense of justice for the families and friends of those who died in Maguindanao. 

Dean Tolentino called for the abolition of the Presidential and Congressional pork barrel.He urged those who attended the commemoration of the murder of 58 people, to attend the million person march towards Quirino Grandstand and other points of Metro Manila and throughout the Philippines to march with the PDAF in mind, and the Maguindanao massacre in mind.

"Makibaka tayo at huwag tayong matakot," Dean Tolentino reminded his audience.


At issue regarding the IRAs, it turns out is that the IRAs reflect the same kind of greed for resources and power that are reflected in the presidential and congressional pork barrels, said Danilo Arao, a professor of journalism at the CMC.

Arao also urged journalism students to stick to the time honored University of the Philippines ideals of honor and excellence as part of their public service as working journalists; which included letting concealed information come out to be scrutinized by the public. 

He also said that other issues that need to be kept on the front burner through activism were:
  • Justice for the Maguindanao massacre victims and other victims of extra judicial killings.
  • The retention of freedom of speech.
  • Stop the killing of journalists
Arao said that the high survey satisfaction ratings of President Benigno S. Aquino III were not an excuse to collectively make the public's heads spin with distorted information related to PDAF ore pork barrel, which he said might simply be given a new name.





Noynoy PDAF `abolition’ misleading, protests to continue – UP community



PRESS RELEASE
August 24, 2013

Noynoy PDAF `abolition’ misleading, protests to continue – UP community

Concerned students, faculty, staff and residents of the University of the Philippines denounced the misleading announcement of President Noynoy Aquino as regards the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

In a press conference last August 23, Aquino said that it is now time to “abolish” PDAF and put in place a new mechanism to meet the needs of the people. Members of the Senate and the House of Representatves can still recommend projects but they will have to go through the process of finalizing the national budget.

The concerned UP community members said that Aquino’s policy pronouncement is just a “sugar-coated reform of the inherently flawed pork barrel system.”

In a statement, they stressed that the PDAF will just be repackaged, “such that the Congress will be at the behest of the Department of Budget and Management and the Office of the President.”

They called for the “just distribution and rechanneling of funds to basic social services, NOT a rehashed pork barrel system that is even more vulnerable to corruption. These funds must be allocated through public agencies such as public hospitals, state universities and colleges, public schools, salary upgrading of teachers and government workers, etc. The skewed regional allocations in the proposed budget must be realigned, with sufficient allocations for neglected regions in the Visayas and in Mindanao.”

In this context, they stressed the need for people to rage against “unbridled corruption” in government. “On August 26, we shall march from Liwasang Bonifacio to Rizal Park to Mendiola to decisively assert our resolve to abolish the presidential and congressional pork barrel and rechannel funds to basic social services!”

The statement was signed by the UP Faculty for the Abolition of the Presidential and Congressional Pork Barrel System, UP Kilos Na, Multi-Sectoral Alliance, Office of the Student Regent, Office of the Staff Regent and the University Student Council.

For verification and more information, please call Prof. Sarah Raymundo at (0939) 925-9368

STATEMENT

Marching On: UP Community for the Abolition of the Presidential and Congressional Pork Barrel System

We, the University of the Philippines community, strongly condemn the deceitful and misleading announcement of President Aquino to “abolish” the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and to institute, in its place, a supposedly “new” mechanism for allocation. This is a clear attempt to pacify and diffuse the just anger of the people and their clamor for the abolition of the pork barrel system and the rechanneling of funds to basic social services. In fact, PNoy’s proposal is by no means an abolition of the PDAF; rather, it is a sugarcoated reform of the inherently flawed pork barrel system. It drowns the more substantive problems of graft and corruption and patronage politics that result from this system. Worse, it conveniently leaves the president’s Special Purpose Funds, amounting to at least 310.1B, untouched, even increasing his discretionary power in the management of national funds.

In PNoy’s proposal, the congressional pork barrel (PDAF) will merely be repackaged, such that the Congress will continue to be at the behest of the Department of Budget and Management and the Office of the President. In the guise of transparency, the proposal actually places the PDAF under the stricter and more direct control of the President, making legislators more beholden to Malacanang. This farce is by no means an “abolition” but a perpetuation of the pork barrel system: it fortifies patronage politics both at the presidential and local levels, and violates constitutional principles by blurring the lines between the executive and legislative functions of government.

We are calling for just distribution and rechanneling of funds to basic social services, NOT a rehashed pork barrel system that is even more vulnerable to corruption. These funds must be allocated through public agencies such as public hospitals, state universities and colleges, public schools, salary upgrading of teachers and government workers, etc. The skewed regional allocations in the proposed budget must be realigned, with sufficient allocations for neglected regions in the Visayas and in Mindanao.

Let not the deceitful machinations of the PNoy Administration dampen our rage against unbridled corruption in government and attacks on our right to social services. On National Heroes Day, we shall continue the legacy of our heroes in upholding the people’s interests against the rich and the few who secure seats in government and reduce the national agenda to their own selfish interests. On August 26, we shall march from Liwasang Bonifacio to Rizal Park to Mendiola to decisively assert our resolve to abolish the presidential and congressional pork barrel and rechannel funds to basic social services!

Join the August 26 March from Liwasang Bonifacio to Luneta to Mendiola: 7AM mass-up at Quezon Hall, UP Diliman; 9AM meet-up at Liwasang Bonifacio and march to Rizal Park.

UP CMC calls for abolition of pork barrel, investigation of corruption, arrest of plunderers


N.B. – This is the official statement of the UP College of Mass Communication on the pork barrel issue, signed by 29 faculty members and 14 staff led by Dean Roland Tolentino and former deans Luis Teodoro and Georgina Encanto.

Statement of the University of the Philippines
College of Mass Communication
August 23, 2013

THE FACULTY, students and staff of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication (UP CMC) will join the people’s assembly and march at the Luneta on Monday, August 26 to express our collective outrage. We demand the abolition of the pork barrel system; the immediate arrest of, and the filing of appropriate charges of plunder and other high crimes against those involved in the P10-billion pork barrel scam from both the private and public sector; and a thorough and non-partisan investigation into the entire system of which the scam is only a small part of the estimated P250 billion lost to corruption in the public sector.

Together with the rest of the Filipino people, UP and its constituents, as well as the other state universities and colleges, are among the victims of the corruption that has metastasized throughout officialdom as well as the private sector. While our budgets are being reduced to the detriment of our mandates to train those among our young men and women with the most potential to serve this country and its people, billions are funnelled annually into the pockets of scoundrels and thieves both in and out of government so they may indulge their greed for fleets of luxury cars, palatial homes, and shopping binges abroad.

This is a horrendous crime for which those guilty of it should be penalized. President Benigno Aquino III should first of all forthwith cause the withdrawal from the 2014 General Appropriations Act of the P27 billion in pork barrel funds for Congress, selected agencies, and his own office the Department of Budget and Management has appropriated. He should immediately organize an investigative body credible enough to look into the extent to which not only pork barrel but also other funds have been and are being misused, while ordering the Department of Justice to file the appropriate charges of plunder against those involved in the P10-billion pork barrel scam.

President Aquino’s “bosses” have spoken. His defense of the pork barrel and his insistence on keeping the system intact despite widespread outrage and opposition of the Filipino people are unacceptable. These are completely at odds with the people’s sentiments and the objective interest in seeing to it that taxes are well-spent for the people’s own benefit rather than that of a handful of rapacious individuals whose greed knows no limit.

COLLEGE OFFICIALS
Dr. Roland B. Tolentino, Dean
Prof. Danilo A. Arao, Associate Dean
Prof. Randy Jay C. Solis, College Secretary

Dr. Georgina R. Encanto, Former Dean
Prof. Luis V. Teodoro, Former Dean

Prof. Jane O. Vinculado, Chair, Broadcast Communication Department
Prof. Lucia P. Tangi, Officer-in-Charge, Journalism Department
Prof. Patrick F. Campos, Director of Office of Extension and External Relations

FACULTY
Broadcast Communication Department
Dr. Elizabeth L. Enriquez
Dr. Perlita G. Manalili
Prof. Rosa Maria T. Feliciano
Prof. Victor C. Avecilla
Prof. Josefina C. Santos, DZUP Radio Station Manager
Prof. Fernando A. Austria, Jr.
Ms. Ma. Ivy A. Claudio

Communication Research Department
Prof. Jacques Rusanna Yves DM. Gimeno

Journalism Department
Prof. Evelyn Katigbak
Prof. Ma. Diosa Labiste
Ms. Teresa Congjuico

UP Film Institute
Prof. Shirley P. Evidente, Faculty Coordinator for Academic Programs and Research, UPFI
Prof. Eduardo J. Lejano, Jr., Faculty Coordinator for Film, Theater and Extension Services
Prof. Jose C. Gutierrez III, College Webmaster
Mr. Roy C. Iglesias

LECTURERS
Broadcast Communication Department
Prof. Melba S. Estonilo
Prof. Marinela M. Aseron
Mr. Dexter Mantes

UP Film Institute
Maria Lourdes De Guzman
Carlo Gabriel Pangilinan
Bryan Quesada

ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF AND REPS
Gina Villegas
Marianita P. Cinco
Rosalita S. Burlat
Armando H. Hirao
Nemesio B. Faulan
Clarissa S. Concepcion
Raquelita Bacarra
Jacqueline Manalo
Teresita Santos
Irene Sia
Hermana Dela Paz
Ma. Christine Hernandez
Jam Tolentino
Janette Pamaylaon

CMC Student Council (composed of 13 elected student leaders)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

U.P. Professor shoots a student dead: Remembering a death

Photograph by: Chanda R. Shahani
With demand for reforms intensified and student activism was defined by frequent altercations with authorities, the atmosphere within the University of the Philippines Diliman was chaotic to some extent. One must note however that at this point in UP’s history, students were rallying because of gasoline prices.

Student organizations, at the time, were actively involved with issues concerning the Philippines and were often very enthusiastic about their advocacies. UP later on came to be known for its activism whatever issue it may be.

 It was February 1, 1971 when students decided to do a massive human blockade to keep vehicles from entering the university. By 9 AM student leaders started rallying their fellow students to join the protest and a few hours later, the UP Security Force arrived at the scene acting on complaints from professors and residents of the area. As one can imagine there was a scuffle right at the University Avenue with students behind pillboxes and in a heated argument with university security.

Although activism at the time was not only popular but necessary, there were still those with dissenting opinion and those who did not want to involve themselves in the protests. One of these people is a professor of the Mathematics Department. Prof. Inocente Campos is known for his eccentricities and is infamous among students because he kept on ignoring boycotts –on three occasions to be exact.

The professor tangled with student activists who wanted to go inside his classroom to persuade the class in joining the respective rallies. In one occasion, Prof. Campos fired three warning shots to drive away student activists out of his classroom. Despite his rather eccentric nature, there is no question that Prof. Campos is a dedicated teacher. In fact, he believed that teaching was a sacred responsibility as well as a public duty.

On that day, the professor was on his way to the university to conduct a class since the University Secretary’s office did not suspend classes. Upon entering the first checkpoint, the professor slowed down but he was not blocked by the students. However, someone recognized him and soon, students started throwing pillboxes at his car. He continued driving but one of the tires was damaged and his car stopped. By then, students advanced toward the teacher as he got out of the car.

According to records, he put on his vest and took his shotgun from the back seat then tried to fire it to scare the activists. The gun however was jammed so the professor took out his .22 caliber rifle and started shooting. He did not stop firing and at the heat of the moment drew his revolver and fired more shots. Minutes after the shooting, Prof. Campos was arrested by the police and brought to the Quezon City police station.

As a result of this untoward incident, a student by the name of Pastor “Sonny” Mesina Jr. was seriously wounded. He was rushed to the UP Infirmary and was later transferred to the Veterans’ Memorial Hospital located just a few minutes away from the university. He however did not survive and died four days later.

It is important to note that while many of Mesina’s peers were both angered and saddened by the incident, his death became a crucial factor in latter developments because it turned the protests for gasoline price increase into a massive protest against military intrusion. Pastor Mesina Jr.’s may not be remembered by many but the plaque in remembrance of the student can still be seen today. The plaque was placed right where he fell when he was shot by the irate professor.

Because of the rich history of the university, many incidents are no longer remembered but many of Mesina’s peers will always have a vivid picture of the shooting.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Press Release of UP Staff and Student Regents: UP Board of Regents reopens discussions on naming college after Marcos technocrat

N.B. – This is a joint press release of the Staff and Student Regents on a controversial issue at UP. Please feel free to share. Thank you.

Joint Press Release of the University of the Philippines Staff Regent and Student Regent
31 July 2013

UP Board of Regents reopens discussions on naming college after Marcos technocrat

The University of the Philippines Board of Regents (UP BOR) has decided to reopen discussions on the renaming of the UP Diliman College of Business Administration (CBA) to the Cesar EA Virata School of Business.

At its 1,289th meeting last July 29, the members of the UP BOR agreed to discuss the issue further even if the renaming was already approved last April 12.

According to UP Staff Regent Razel Ramirez, this will allow UP to revisit opinions and expand discussions. “It will also give more time to consider the necessary steps, including the establishment of guidelines in renaming colleges and schools in the university.”

Ramirez made a motion to rescind the renaming of the CBA. In her position paper, she stressed Virata’s role as prime minister during the Marcos dictatorship. This, according to her, is the main reason there is a public outcry over the BOR’s decision last April. She said that Virata supported the Marcos dictatorship until the very end.

She also questioned the claim of the UP CBA Dean that the renaming is the sole concern of the college and the BOR. She said that this sets a dangerous precedent in the university, especially in the absence of clear guidelines. “By allowing CBA to change its name in honor of its supposedly distinguished alumnus, what will prevent the other colleges from changing theirs and on what bases? If a simple change of nomenclature of an academic course requires approval of the University Council (composed of assistant professors, associate professors and full professors), what more the renaming of an academic unit?”

For her part, UP Student Regent Krista Melgarejo said that Virata’s being a loyal technocrat of Marcos is not a good role model for the youth. She said that Article 3.1.2 of the UP Naming Rights Policy approved by the BOR on August 28, 2009, clearly states that the individual “must have sterling reputation or could be looked upon as a role model of the youth.” This policy, however, does not include the renaming of academic units.

“This is yet another case where the university’s soul is being sold in exchange for funding. A clear and present danger brought upon by commercialization schemes resulting from the national government’s failure to provide greater subsidy to education,” she said.

According to Melgarejo, the petition papers signed by many students from the university, including those from the CBA, must not be disregarded. She said that the online petition has more than 500 signatures and comments.

Aside from Ramirez’s position paper and the online petition, the two regents also presented a statement from the UP Alumni Association in America, Inc. President Dr. Romulo Aquino supporting Ramirez’s arguments on the issue. They also furnished copies of the petition paper signed by 13 deans from various UP constituent universities, as well as by former and current UP officials, faculty members, staff members and students.

The BOR is the highest policy-making body of UP.

For verification and more information, please call UP Staff Regent Razel L. Ramirez (0908-591-3737) and Student Regent Krista Melgarejo (0920-645-3953).

31.7.2013

Dear Diliman Diary,

I am awakening again. =)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Indian Navy to expand maritime interests in South and Southeast Asia, retired Indian military official says.

By Chanda Shahani

India can provide a balanced multipolarity to the increasing assertiveness of China in East and Southeast Asia, said Major General Vinod Saighal (Ret.), India's former Director General of Military Training and presently the Executive Director of Eco Monitors Society, an NGO involved in demography and ecology issues, at a forum today at the Asian Center at the University of the Philippines at Diliman.

Saigal said that India is now definitely committed to projecting further east into the South China Sea and beyond is no longer in doubt. Thus far, its maritime projection has been towards maritime activities related to trade and exploration for hydrocarbons, when it has been invited by a host country, such as Vietnam.

He said that much will depend on China's military assertion in the region  as well as the projection of the Chinese navy into the Indian Ocean to either balance or rival India's historic primacy in the Indian Ocean.

He said that if and when India does move in more meaningfully into the maritime speheres claimed exclusively by China as its core interests, the chances of tensions heightening between the two regional powers becomes a distinct possibility.

Saigal said that a greater presence by the Indian Navy beyond the Malacca Straits would be welcomed by practically all the nations of Southeast Asia as well as Japan and South Korea.

Referring to the Philippines in particular, Saigal said that the Philippines was Asia's first democracy, and that India was Asia's largest democracy. He said that both India and the Philippines, therefore were standard bearers for democracy in Asia.

In the same forum, Commodore Caesar Taccad, the Deputy Commander of the Philippine Fleet, Philippine Navy, said that countries such as China and India were already major regional maritime players, and that India's projection into the Indo-Pacific region "would heighten tensions" with China.

He said that India's roile would complement that of the United States, which has begun concentrating its military resources in the Pacific; but whose sustainability to continue operations would remain  in question.

He said that India has interests in the South China Sea, and that it was entirely possible that it would seek strategic partnerships with countries such as Australia and the Philippines.

Dr. Aileen S.P. Baviera, a professor of Chinese studies and international relations at the Asian Center, University of the Philippine and currently its officer-in-charge and former Dean whose research interests include regional security, territorial and maritime disputes, major power relations and China-Southeast Asia ties, said that there was now a trend towards "balanced multi-polarity in South East Asia."

"All countries operate under pressure from domestic considrations," she said, but said that norms such as the following of the rule of law" should prevail and that "the resort to arms buildup isndicative that diplomacy is failing."


Saturday, April 27, 2013

An Open Letter to U.P. President Alfredo E. Pascual

An open letter to UP President Alfredo E. Pascual

Dear Sir:

The baybayin characters on the Sablay of our graduates read as “upa”. This would connote that the iskolars ng bayan are for HIRE upon their graduation, when they are suppose to prioritize service to the nation. Baybayan characters are not the same as our Abakada alphabet where each letter is a basic sound or phoneme, either a vowel or a consonant. In baybayin, which is a syllabic writing system, each character is already a syllable. It seems that there was no in-depth study in using baybayin characters on emblems. Somebody just thought to translate the English letters “U” and “P” to the Pilipino abakada “U” and “Pa” and then to the baybayin characters of syllables “U” and “Pa”. This was reverse engineering at its worst and without any historical basis whatsoever, most definitely not worthy of a UP scholar.

In the military, we revere symbols, especially those made with the blood of our heroes. A well-known usage of the baybayin characters is that found in the flags and emblems of the Katipunan in the 1890s, which bear the baybayin script Ka Ka Ka the acronym for Kataas-taasan, Kagalang-galang Katipunan. They DO NOT stand for the first letter “K” but for the first Syllable “Ka” of the three words. We are often confused into thinking that the symbol is the same as the letter “Ka” in our Abakada. The Abakada is an indigenized Latin alphabet of the Tagalog language, created by Lope K. Santos in 1940. During the Philippine Revolution against Spain, THERE WAS NO Pilipino alphabet then and the baybayin character “Ka” stands for the FIRST SYLLABLE of Katipunan. Therefore, to “abbreviate” words using baybayin, the character of the first syllable of the word is used.

The baybayin characters on the Sablay are the acronym for Unibersidad ng Pilipinas. The first syllable of “Unibersidad’ and the baybayin script for “U” on the Sablay is correct. The first syllable for “Pilipinas” is “pi” but in the Sablay the character there is for “pa”. A tuldik must be placed on the “pa” character to change it to “pi”.

Since 1990, when the Sablay was first used, we have been parading our graduates for the world to see, carrying the word “UPa”, a tagalog word for “Hire”. Sadly, this does not speak well of UP.

Eliseo M. Rio Jr. (UP Vanguard ’65)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

On Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and former army comptroller Carlos Garcia


Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales
Source: http://tinyurl.com/ckomqqd
 By Lorenzo Ed Valenciano

BAD BAD BAD............HAS SHE GONE BONKERS? OR EXPERIENCING THE ONSET OF DEMENTIA? The ombudsman, Conchita C Morales, affirms the former army comptroller, Carlos Garcia, is not deserving of a jail sentence due to procedural flaws, despite the following voluntary information the latter had offered: a) he is willing to give back 1/2 of the loot b) his wife herself admitted [in court] the corrupt practices of her husband; and c) acknowledged that he fled the country with the loot.

My simple logic along with possibly 99% of those who followed the case are wringing our heads and gnashing our teeth in disbelief, to say the least. Does this mean that the neatly-coiffed ombudsman is favoring the argument re procedural flaws over outright admission of guilt? Can somebody please explain to me in simple language why the neatly-coiffed and well dressed lady justice is thinking this way? What is the message behind this guffaw? Could it be: SIGUE LANG SIGUE LANG. MAGNAKAW ng MAGNAKAW. MAG AMIN SA BANDANG HULI. ISAULI ANG KALAHATI NG NINAKAW MO. UNG KALAHATI, I-INVEST MO SA BANGKO AT MAG INTEREST NG SOBRA SOBRA. [wag mong kalimutan ang commission ko, ha].

Former Philippine Army General Carlos Garcia  
 


 BUT HAVING SAID THE FOREGOING, if there is a legal issue behind the well-coiffed/dressed justice's decision, I guess I will have no choice but to kowtow to that]. PS: I wish the CJ would look as presentable as Ms Morales. CJ needs a consultant. Calling the stylist friend of Kris, and ex of PNoy (her name escapes me now). The CJ needs help - your help! LOL


(Source for photo of former Philippine Army General  Carlos Garcia: http://tinyurl.com/d9yrot8)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Diliman Diary's 2013 heartthrobs (First of a series)

With summer temperatures reaching a blistering 39 degrees Celsius in the Diliman area alone; the Diliman Diary decided to look around the metropolis and find good examples of how to dress to beat the summer heat. We decided to marry fashionability with appeal, and came up with the start of a new series: Diliman Diary's 2013 hearthrobs.

Patricia Buhat: An everyday sensibility with extraordinary appeal.




Luis Hontiveros: Charisma personified. Luis is the nephew of Risa Hontiveros whos running for senator and like her is photogenic and reached out to viewers and readers beyond the camera lens.





Jaimie Barameda: Coolness on a hot summer's day. Jaimie shows how to keep one's equanimity despite soaring temperatures. with The secret? A detached good humor coupled a sexy attitude.







Friday, March 29, 2013

A Dying Way of Life


By Anatoly P. Agapito

Photos by Jai Murcillo

The bus sped past the seemingly unending line of houses fronting the vast expanse rice fields that extended to the horizon. He couldn't see where these fields ended and where the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountains began but the warm air from the fields gave him a nostalgic feeling. It is for this reason that he chose to ride in an ordinary bus going home just to feel this air - the warm air that reminded him so much of home - the home that exists only in memory for everything has changed. Slowly albeit so surely... nothing has stayed the same.


The houses the lined the highway were denser now. Here and there there were the unmistakeable marks of "progress." What once were green ricefields were now houses.. if not rice mills.. if not feeds factories. Everywhere... everything reminded him that "coming home" can never be coming home to what it once was before. "Sentiments of an old fool" he said to himself.


His eyes fell upon the carabaos that hauled the heavy rice harvested from the rice fields. They still used the Maharlika highway to haul their loads but they too have changed. What was once wooden carts made from "kawayan" were now intricate contraptions of wood, rubber, some parts metal, and the innovation of adding wheels. "At least that made it a lot easier for the lowly carabao" he murmured to himself.


"Still," he said to himself, "this is a dying way of life." It was undeniable. He sees it. The wheels of progress are moving too fast for the farmer and the beast of the fields to catch up. Along the same highway rice fields were being converted to subdivisions in anticipation of man's growing need for shelter. Somewhere along the superhighway where his bus exited was huge coloseum being erected for cockfighting complete with parking space and lights. He asked himself "As our populations grow... as we convert these vast lands to commercial and residential spaces do we not decrease the amount of palay that we can harvest for food? If then, what will feed the Filipinos of tomorrow? As we choose the concrete parking spaces of tommorrow.. without really having guarrantees if our means of livelihood can one day afford a car or even the food we're going to eat as food prices are set to rise as supplies ran out, are we not starving ourselves later? Have we not read the signs of progress wrongly? Has everyone so hastily jumped into the bandwagon of commerce without regard to what the future may hold?


His heart ached. The wheels of progress are opressing the way of life that he grew up with. The glitter and glamour of the shining lights... the false promise of comfort of city life... were all enticing farmers away from farming. And the lack of certainty of a life firmly planted on the soil had robbed them of their sons and daughters who fled the provinces to take their chances in the city. He can't blame them. Everyone deserves a chance to progress. Everyone except the farmer and the carabao who are forever cursed to serve the land they were born to and they were fated to die under. That way of life is dying. Everyone now thinks that if you are a farmer... then you are poor. You cannot afford the comforts of life. You wouldn't have enough money to send your children to school.. buy their books... even provide for their everyday allowance. Much less let them set their foot in college. This way of life is dying.. he said to himself and he wept bitterly.


And the more bitter part of it is it didn't have to be that way. If only industries would give due importance to the agriculture that feeds them. If only they would recognize that the Filipinos that drove the wheels of industry are being fed by rice fields that they so blindly destroy to profit. But no one would want to see it. The promise of large sums of return is too attractive to stay in agriculture. A farmer who once had 3 hectares of land would rather sell this land to the developer.. who would invest on average investments in gravel to cover it up and concrete to erect townhouses. It is not an easy task and looking for money to fund such a transition also has its commensurate amount of difficulty. But there are more of those who have that kind of money and are more willing to spend on this than those who would stay in farming. In a few years these units would be priced 1.3 Million a piece - a "better" valued investment.


One day when even with the amount of investment we've accumulated we can't afford to put food on the table would we realize that this is the "fork" in road - when we could have made a difference but we did not. When we could have avoided widespread starvation and we did not. It is the simple mathematics of supply and demand really. The more lands we convert to residential and commercial areas the less we have for agriculture. The less land for agriculture, the less rice we harvest. The less rice we harvest the less supply of rice in the market. The less supply the more demand. The more demand the higher the price. And for those who have barely enough to supply for three meals a day. What will happen if the price of rice would increase by 20 pesos more. 5 years ago we still could afford to buy rice for 21 pesos per kilo. Now it has risen to 34 pesos. And no one seems to care or notice. And as population increases the demand only grows. That is a factor of millions his mind could calculate. He wept. "What will happen to my children?" Suddenly he found himself not weeping for the past but weeping for the future? If we do not stop this now... what will happen then?


Monday, March 25, 2013

Pasang Awa

(Source: http://tinyurl.com/atgpx6y)


By Lorenzo Ed Valenciano

PASANG AWA ( as in the last bar exams): is this not one of the greatest reasons/obstacles why the PH, our dear PH, is finding it rather difficult to earn a decent place under the sun? AWA is treated in our parts as a commandment from God that should be extended to all without qualification as to reason or logic. This predominantly Catholic country of ours which we love so dearly, has succeeded, over the years, to twist, give a new meaning to, and culturalize [if there is such a word] it. Unfortunately, our distorted interpretation of AWA is proving/has proven that it does not do us good: we make ourselves non-competitive in a highly competitive world. We must stop the abuse of the word AWA because if we do not, we are pulling ourselves deeper and deeper into the pit of the non-entities. If you think on the word longer and internalize it you might get the sense that it really deters growth..........our propensity to accommodate is so ill-placed, many times we get into trouble being that way. Did you notice how reluctant the attorney who, on TV, tried to explain why the passing mark of the last bar had to be lowered, because he himself could not agree with the decision of the SC to compromise, and allowed a lower passing grade? What is worse, the person said, the compromise was done in deference to the coming holy week. Ngek!

Friday, March 8, 2013

U.P. Manila Dramatista presents We Tell the Story: A Musical



This March, let UP Manila Dramatista tell you a story of two different worlds that were never meant to meet, and in the end conquered fate with love, hope and faith. It will also take you to a journey of unity and harmony within different races and societal status.

For ticket inquiries and reservations contact Janel Mamorno at 09357425860.

The show will run from March 15 until March 23 at the CAS Little Theater, UP Manila.

Like the pages,
http://facebook.com/WeTellTheStoryDRAMATISTA
http://facebook.com/UPMDramatista

Follow this on Twitter,
http://twitter.com/UPMDramatista

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Ladies of the UP Corps, to unite alumnae group on March 16, 2013, International Women’s Month


Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago as head of the
UP ROTC Corps of Sponsors in the late ’60s.



Corps Sponsor ’97 Joyce Marie Rose Cuaycong during the
traditional Presentation of Sponsors at the UP Sunken Garden, 
on board the “white carabao” while trooping the line of cadets.


UP Diliman, QC -  “We are calling on our co-alumnae to join us in addressing contemporary challenges of the ROTC and the UP Corps of Sponsors, as well as relive our distinct culture of relevant and altruistic service,” the UPCOS Alumnae Assembly Organizing Group proposes.

The UP Corps of Sponsors alumnae will conduct their initial lunch workshop at the Bahay ng Alumni on March 16, 2013 from 11am to 3pm.  Ladies who served as mediators between the cadets and cadet officers of their battalions in the ROTC during their college years, from all over the UP System shall meet to relive their glorious years in the Corps, relish friendships, and discuss the organizations’ contemporary social relevance. 

The UP Corps of Sponsors is the socio-civic arm of the UP Department of Military Science and Tactics. It is an organization known to select the beautiful and bright young women leaders in the University of the Philippines, and offers a distinct paramilitary training for its members preparing them to be graceful and empowered women leaders under its shibboleths of Honor, Excellence, and Service. 

Among its notable alumnae are Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Prof. Solita ‘Winnie’ Monsod, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, Commission on Human Rights Commissioner Coco Quisumbing, Philippine Information Agency NCR Director Riza Baldoria, and former Congresswoman Lorna Verano, who will be keynote speaker during the event.

The corps ladies will also grace the Parade and Review of troops at the UP Sunken Garden organized by the UP Vanguard Inc. The parade and review shall be in celebration of UPROTC’s 52nd anniversary.  No less than the Philippines Vice President Honorable Jejomar Binay shall grace the said event. 

The workshop will be facilitated by Dominique Monera-Tabora, another distinguished alumna from UP Baguio and the current World Vision Asia-Pacific Communications Specialist.  Discussions will cover the formalization of the organization’s objectives and next steps. 

Former UPCOS members can reach the Organizing Committee of the UP Corps of Sponsors Alumnae Assembly through email at upcosalumnae@gmail.com or access their facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/UPCOS for related information and updates.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Hungry for hummus

(Source: http://tinyurl.com/bjwuyvb)


By AS Bonifacio

Whenever I have a craving for Middle Eastern food beyond shawarma, I hie off to Kazam in Maginhawa Street in Diliman. My previous go-to haven, Al-Fakr, had long been gone from this foodie stretch, so I was happy to find another similar restaurant likewise serving falafel. This dish is popular that even in Al-Fakr back then, it was hard to come by. I’ve been twice to Kazam where they ran out of falafel, which is simply fried chickpeas (garbanzos). Fortunately, as a healthy alternative, Kazam has rather decent hummus, the non-fried version of falafel, basically, just mashed garbanzos with olive oil etc. thrown in.

I have always been disappointed with the hummus served in Metro Manila restaurants, even at the expensive Cyma, which otherwise has delicious offerings. The best hummus I’ve tasted was homemade, and I was even taught how to make it, but it takes a lot of effort. First you boil the garbanzos, and then you mash them in a blender. Well, they can be mashed by hand too. I’ve tried precooked hummus, sold in dried, powdered form, and it was plain yucky.

Thus I was happy to find Kazam set up space sometime in 2012 at the Sikatuna Village side of Maginhawa Street, no. 162, although they were rudely interrupted by street diggings that required closing down for weeks. Finally late last year, they were back, with their sidewalk trimmed down and now sharing a nice balcony space with their neighboring foodspots. Kazam not only offers hummus but other Middle Eastern delights, particularly Persian food, such as keema (ground beef) and kebabs. I especially love their chelo kebabs, grilled meats with a generous serving of buttered rice, grilled tomatoes and onions. They have a protein-rich chelo combination of tenderloin with either beef or chicken. No pork at all.

Their motabal (mashed eggplant) is a bit too salty for me.  The hummus, however, puts the expensive Middle Eastern restaurants to shame, and the added olive oil is not at all stingy. Sometimes I go there just for the hummus alone, with one order needing two orders of pita bread. They have a shawarma variant with falafel and hummus, which I find too rich, carb-wise, but it’s actually a good deal for the price. Last I went, Kazam had a promo of unli shawarma from noon to 3 p.m. daily, but it’s a shame, since I’m not impressed with their beef version.



Friday, March 1, 2013

U.P. Board of Regents denies Posadas extension

Source: Technology Management Center

Statement of former College of Science Dean Roger Posadas:


To all my fellow faculty members, my students, UP alumni here and abroad, old and new friends, and all others who supported me in my appeal to the UP Board of Regents (BOR) for the extension of my full-time faculty appointment, I am very sad to inform you that the BOR today (February 28, 2013 - ed) denied my appeal with finality and decided to downgrade my faculty status to Professorial Lecturer, a part-time faculty position with a salary that is about 50% of my last full-time salary. This setback for me and other professors who are older than 65 (Jun Cruz Reyes, Naida Rivera, Daisy Carlota, Claro Llaguno, et al.) is a triumph for UP President Pascual's, UP Diliman Chancellor Saloma's, and the All UP Workers Union's new policy of regarding senior professors as unwanted costs and unneeded old fogeys that have to be discarded.

The principal thrust of the incumbent UP administration is not to achieve world-class academic excellence nor to produce UP graduates that embody expertise coupled with virtues but rather to achieve operational excellence by reducing faculty costs and computerizing UP operations. I am very sad not so much for myself -- because my family and I will find ways of surviving somehow -- but for the future of our UP beloved which is now going to the dogs and becoming UP benighted as we keep losing our excellent faculty members to other local universities and to other countries.

I wish to thank all of you sincerely from the bottom of my heart, especially those who have not met me in person, for all your expressions of support and for signing the petitions to the BOR. I am also very grateful to all those who extended their support, comfort, and love to my son, Gregor Ethan. We may have lost this particular battle, but we have won many new genuine friends. My family and I will never forget your help and support. Maraming salamat. Tuloy ang laban. Ipaglaban ang UP.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Retiring in the Philippines with a Special Resident Retiree's Visa (SRRV)


“Smile at Life in the Philippines.” This is our invitation to our former Filipino citizens and foreign nationals to choose the Philippines as their second home. Famous for our vibrant culture, hospitality, friendly English-speaking population, natural attractions, and tropical climate, retirees can expect the good life in the Philippines at an affordable cost.

GEOGRAPHY
The Philippines is an archipelagic nation made up of 7,107 islands spanning 1,840 kilometers north to south. It is part of the Southeast Asian region, and is bordered by Taiwan to the north, Indonesia and Malaysian Borneo to the south, the South China Sea to the west, and the Pacific Ocean to the east. The Three main Philippine Island groups are Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao. The Capital is Manila. Time Zone is GMT +8 hours.

CLIMATE
Generally, Philippines has a tropical climate. March to May is hot and dry. June to October is rainy, November to February is cool. Average temperatures: 78F/25C to 90F/32C; humidity is 77%.

LANGUAGE
Understanding each other will not be a problem between the retirees and our people. Almost every Filipino can understand and speak some English. In fact, we are the third largest English-speaking nation in terms of population.

Two official languages are Filipino and English. Filipino which is based on Tagalog is the national language. English is widely used and is the medium of instruction in higher education. Eight (8) major dialects spoken by majority of the Filipinos: Tagalog; Cebuano; Ilocano; Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinense.

RELIGIONS
Some 83% of Filipinos are Catholic. About 5% are Muslim. The rest are made up of smaller Christian denominations and Buddhist.

COST OF LIVING
The principal appeal for retirement in the Philippines is the lower cost of living. Housing, food, and labor costs are quite reasonable. Global Filipinos and foreign retirees can retire in the Philippines and enjoy not only the lower cost of living but also the very favorable currency exchange rate.

The Philippines’ monetary unit is the Peso. Foreign currency may be exchanged at any hotels, most large department stores, banks and authorized money changing shops accredited by the Central bank of the Philippines. International credit cards such as Visa, Diners Club, Bank Americard, Master Card, and American Express are accepted in major establishments.

WORLD-CLASS MEDICAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
In terms of medical services, our facilities are comparable to the best anywhere else. Our highly trained medical personnel and caregivers are in demand all over the world not only for their competence and expertise but most especially for the care and compassion they show to their wards. Healthcare, a top priority of the senior market, is an expertise of the Filipino who is world-renowned for his excellent healthcare practitioners.

FILIPINO HOSPITALITY
Filipinos are naturally warm, friendly and hospitable. We have a ready smile for everybody and our religious background that is predominantly Catholic makes service to others an innate trait.

TELECOMMUNICATION EDGE
Every retiree can avail of the country’s continuously improving telecommunication facilities. They can keep abreast of what is happening around the world and keep in touch with their relatives and friends back home.

ECO-TOURISM DESTINATION
Philippines can provide the retirees endless choices of world-class destinations that will bring them closer to Mother Nature with clean air and beautiful sceneries. The white sand beaches of Boracay and Panglao and the virgin islands of Palawan often referred to as “the last frontier” are truly unforgettable places that entice the visitors to come back in the Philippines.

To learn how to avail of the Department of Tourism's Special Resident Retiree's Visa program, read the rest here: http://www.internationalmedicalvacations.com/2013/02/retire-in-philippines-with-special.html

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Eng Ho bakery goes beyond Binondo, Banawe





By AS Bonifacio

There's a new-old kid in the block, for foodies who love baked goodies and Chinese delicacies.  Eng Ho  gone beyond Chinatown  and its Banawe  branch, setting up space some months ago on Magiting Street,  near  CP Garcia Avenue and UP campus. This might be due to the ever-growing Korean presence in the neighborhood.

I came upon this happy and delicious find one afternoon after strolling from CHED   (corner University and CP Garcia), heading for Teachers' Village.  I turned right at the intersection near the stud farm. I hadn't been in the area since October last year, and as I turned to Magiting going toward Maginhawa Street, I was amazed to see new foodie spots to my right. Impulsively I went into the first one, looking forward to a refreshing snack.

I immediately saw a huge mocha chiffon cake, no icing, wrapped in plastic and encased in a box, with smaller versions nearby, all displayed on the middle shelf. There were also vanilla chiffon cakes, mocha rolls, butter cupcakes, muffins of various flavors, and boxes of tikoy.  On the top were loaf breads, carrot bread, and cheese rolls.  Beside the cashier stood an upright cake display fridge, showing fancy cakes with icing, and brazo de Mercedes. They accept advance orders for specially designed cakes for birthdays etc. The store itself has no actual bakery in the premises, just a few tables and chairs for dine-in snacking, but they have regular deliveries.

On the other wall were more shelves with more baked goodies such as pandesal with fillings such as tuna, corned beef and asado, not bad for 15 pesos each, student-friendly prices. The asado and bola-bola siopao were available not just steamed and ready-to-eat (P35 each), but also in take-home plastic bags for freezing and steaming later. There were lots of other Chinese goodies, assuring signs that a Binondo landmark was finally in Diliman.

I haven't tried all their offerings, but I have enjoyed, and will continue to do so, their mocha cake and filled pandesal. The mocha cake is yummy even without icing, a boon for those watching their calories and cholesterol. The same goes for their butter bread, soft sweet rolls that can be eaten on their own. The puto pao didn't have much asado inside, but the siopao and asado rolls were decent. The hopia mongo was OK, but not a match for Ho-land's version, still the best.

U.P. Diliman opens New Acquisitions exhibit on February 7, 2013.


The University of the Philippines Diliman, in commemoration of the UP Diliman Month and in celebration of the National Arts Month this February, proudly presents New Acquisitions, an exhibition presenting for the first time new works endowed by artists and friends to the University Art Collection (UAC).

The exhiibit opens Thursday, February 7, at 6 in the evening at the Bulwagan ng Dangal, the University Heritage Museum. Prof. Ruben D.F. Defeo curates the exhibit.

National Artists Napoleon V. Abueva and Abdulmari Asia Imao lead the artists who generously donated their works to the University Art Collectioon. The Joya family gave one work and Senator Edgardo J. Angara donated a sculptural bust done by Imao.

Forty nine artists complete the list, namely: Leo Antonio Abaya, Augusto Albor, Nunelucio Alvarado, Marcel Antonio, Jerusalino Araos, Armand Bacaltos, Pablo Baen-Santos, Grandier Bella, Jeho Bitancor, Benjamin Cabangis, Imelda Cajipe-Endaya, Tomás Javier Calvillo Unna, Norberto Carating, Reynaldo Concepción, Daniel Coquilla, Araceli Dans, Denes Dasco, Dulce Dee, Anton Del Castillo, Norman Dreo, Jes Evangelista, Dakila Fernando, Ofelia Gelvezon-Tequi, Juan Sajid Imao, Toym Imao, Pete Jimenez, Junyee, Lenore RS Lim, Alfredo Liongoren, Julie Lluch, Jesus RW Lozada, Dennis Montera, John Olivares, Mario Parial, Mikel Parial, Gregory Pototsky, Alfredo Roces, Jonahmar Salvosa, Rodolfo Samonte, Jerson Samson, Julius Samson, Popo San Pascual, John Santos, José Danilo Silvestre, Soler, Nestor O. Vinluan, Edwin Wilwayco and Janice Young.

The idea of beefing up the UAC was a brainchild of Professor Defeo who posted in April 2012 on Facebook a clarion call to his artist friends to endow the University Art Collection with landmark works the artists themselves would select. The response was overwhelming.

The works now belong to the University Art Collection. Big or small, they reflect the diverse persuasions of the artistsócelebrating the nobility of the human figure in their constant search for beauty, justice and truth, configuring and distilling from natural forms and occurrences emblems, signs and symbols to concretize imaging as well as other imaginings, or elevating even the most banal to provide fitting platforms for art's often incisive and revelatory commentaries.

The French philosopher and art critic Denis Diderot states: "Happiest are the people who give most happiness to others." This statement is most true and palpable in this exhibition. All the artists included in this collection have generously given more than a fair share of what they do best: their art. In turn, the University of the Philippines proudly presents their works in an exhibition of this scale, affording the artists the opportunity to genuinely share their artistic gifts and ideas with the viewing public at large. They at once become "portraits of philanthropy" as consummate idea whisperer Valaida Fullwood calls them.

In bequeathing to the University of the Philippines works they themselves selected to mark individual milestones in their artistic and professional careers, they have made the institution academically richer in terms of the vivacity of spirit the works construe, the vitality of sensibilities they confront and the vibrancy of styles they celebrate.

Art as donation, performed by the artists themselves and especially endowed to an institution like a university teaching museum, constitutes the highest form of altruism. For indeed, the best way to find oneself, to paraphrase Mahatma Gandhi, is to lose oneself "in the service of others." The very act of donation is a compelling reflection of the artistsí magnanimity to commit their works to deepen and embolden the academic mission of the University as a cultural and heritage repository. That, to say the least, is most rewarding for the institution.

Many of these artists are alumni of this University, who endearingly call UP Naming Mahal their Alma Mater. A few had taught or still continue to teach in the College of Fine Arts. Their coming back to the institution that shaped them to become the celebrated artists they now are is but an endearing gesture and succinct recognition of gratitude. They therefore flesh out what Albert Einstein once pointed out: "It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it."

Works that accrue to a museum collection may be assured of exhibition or "display" possibilities at one point in time, one way or the other, notwithstanding the problematic limited space that beleaguers most museums in the world today. The assurance may somehow satisfy the artists' native craving for exposure, secure in the knowledge that several hundreds of pairs of eyes shall behold their works to give them lasting artistic value.

But more than that, these same works may reference landmarks of thoughts and processes that scholars and academics may point out vis-a-vis specific contexts in the intersticing dialogue of art, life and mind.

With these new acquisitions endowed to the University Art Collection, the University of the Philippines Diliman stands proud to carry on its eminent role as an art patron, with all its attendant privileges, if not awesome responsibilities.

The oil magnate and himself a philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr. believes "that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity an obligation; every possession a duty."

The University can do no less to permanently preserve all donations in its collection. Aesthetic standards may change over time. Museum caretakers may come and go. Curatorial management of collections may vary. But the University of the Philippines Diliman stands pat to dispatch its role as steward and custodian of the works entrusted her, not to cite the awesome material value they collectively carry. The University commits itself to provide and jostle the aesthetic pleasure of the viewing public, and which the works inherently possess, and thereby ensure that these works are constantly viewed, reviewed and re-reviewed in systematic exhibitions and scholarly discourses to address the changing polemics of Philippine Art History.

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