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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Revenge of Grace Poe –“Anak ni Panday “

Aftermath of the 2013 Philippine Mid-term Election  
By this time, both local and senatorial winners in the last Philippine mid-term election has been declared  by the Commission On Elections but the smoke of politics has not completely vanished and still hovers in the air. Election winners are still reeling with euphoria while there are some losers who are hell bent on pursuing election protests with different reasons such as cheating,  vote-buying and the questionable reliability of the PCOS units used in the canvassing of votes.
While most election outcomes affirmed the enduring existence of political dynasties, there were a few political families that suffered its worst defeat in the last election.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Marcelo B. del Pilar: Another Victim of Injustice and Philippine Bureaucracy

In the May 22, 2013 issue of a Bacolod City local daily, Visayan Daily Star, Editor Carla P. Gomez wrote;
DOJ Finally Paying Dead Prosecutor, 84 Others To Get Retirement Differentials Too
“The family of a retired government prosecutor in Negros Occidental, who had pleaded with the Department of Justice for the release of his retirement pay so he could have a heart bypass operation before he passed away, will finally be paid.”
“Marcelo B. del Pilar, 66, who retired as OIC city prosecutor of Cadiz City in Negros on July 15, 2011, succumbed to a heart attack on April 4 without getting what was due him, and what he needed to save his life, his wife, Teresa, said. The DOJ, on its website, yesterday announced that 85 DOJ prosecutors, including del Pilar, who retired since 2010 to 2012 can now claim their retirement gratuity differential.”
“His family is now entitled to receive P4,135,167.68 representing his unpaid retirement benefits, the DOJ announcement said. Teresa  del Pilar said it is sad that the money due her husband that could have saved his life, is being released only now. She said she is thankful to Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda for following up the release after being informed by the DAILY STAR of the plight of her husband in March before he died. She received a letter from Lacierda on the efforts made to help them, Teresa said.”
“DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima also sent her a letter dated April 8 after her husband had died, which she received in the last week of April, explaining to her the delay in the release of his benefits, Teresa said. She said she wept because de Lima had written only then, when her husband had written to the secretary in October 2012 yet, seeking her help and did not get an answer until the day he died. It was too late, she said.”
“Del Pilar suffered heart attacks in 2007 and 2010, and his cardiologist, Dr. Jose Joel Yap, had recommended that he undergo a heart bypass operation to prolong his life. He was hoping that with his lump sum benefit, he could afford that operation.”
“In March, Del Pilar said he had to live on money borrowed from his children after he retired, because the law states that a prosecutor cannot engage in private practice for a year after retirement. Last year, he was able to earn again from his private practice as a lawyer, but on March 16, he suffered another heart attack and was hospitalized in Bacolod.”
“He was released from the hospital on Holy Week, and we thought he was better, but he just suddenly succumbed to a heart attack,” Teresa said. She said her husband did not want government to give him money for his operation. “We wanted what was due him, so he could pay for it himself,” she said.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The “Padrino” System - A Menace to Philippine Society (Final Part and Conclusion )

Public Procurement of Goods and Services
Public procurement in the Philippines is governed by the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB). Republic Act No. 9184, otherwise as the Government Procurement Reform Act, was enacted by Congress to provide guidelines in the procurement of goods and services in government. The law declared a policy to promote the ideals of good governance in all its branches, departments, agencies, subdivisions, and instrumentalities, including government-owned and/or -controlled corporations and local government units. All procurement of the national government, its departments, bureaus, offices and agencies, including state universities and colleges, government -owned and/or-controlled corporations, government financial institutions and local government units LGU’s, shall, in all cases, be governed by the following principles:
Transparency in the procurement process and in the implementation of procurement contracts.
Competitiveness by extending equal opportunity to enable private contracting parties who are eligible and qualified to participate in public bidding.
Streamlined procurement process that will uniformly apply to all government procurement. The procurement process shall simple and made adaptable to advances in modern technology in order to ensure an effective and efficient method.
System of accountability where both the public officials directly or indirectly involved in the procurement process as well as in the implementation of procurement contracts and the private parties that deal with government are, when warranted by circumstances, investigated and held liable for their actions relative thereto.
Public monitoring of the procurement process and the implementation of awarded contracts with the end in view of guaranteeing that these contracts are awarded pursuant to the provisions of this Act and its implementing rules and regulations, and that all these contracts are performed strictly according to specifications.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The “Padrino” System - A Menace to Philippine Society (Part II)

The Political “Patronage” in Human Resource Management
Although favoritism is occurring in private organizations to a certain extent, efforts have been made by private companies to curb down this immoral practice. Today, successful and well organized private corporations utilize private Human Resource Consulting firms, (such as John Clements and Guthrie-Jensen Consultants) to do the recruitment and selection of work applicants for vacant positions in their organizations, thereby minimizing if not completely eliminating favoritism. More than that, private organizations nowadays give more emphasis on regular Work Performance Evaluations that become the basis for promotions and salary increases of their employees. 
However, with resignation, we have to accept the sad reality that favoritism in the government service is and will always be in full throttle. This malpractice has always been a source of grumble and criticism in most if not all local government units. The mere knowledge that favoritism is practiced in a government office is more than enough for competent and efficient employees to breed the sentiment of “indifference” in their work, in response to a question, “Why would I care with my work when performance is not a consideration for promotion”, for them a reminder of an old saying; “it’s not what you know but whom you know”.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The "Padrino" System - A Menace To Philippine Society (Part 1)

Photo courtesy of www.thebloggingjuan.blogspot.com

The Filipinos are proud people with many positive and negative values as well. Some of their positive values include being religious, hospitable, respectful, family oriented, friendly, with high sense of fraternity or “pakikisama”, among others.
The prominent negative Filipino values include being fatalistic, crab mentality (Ma-inggitin), “maῆana” habit (wait for tomorrow), “niῆgas-kugon” (Procrastination), bashful (Mahiyain) and high reliance on the “Padrino  (Godfather)  system”, and many more.
Among the aforementioned negative values, this text will focus on the “Padrino” system which is prevalent in the country.  While there are many factors that hinder the progress of any country or community for that matter, the “Padrino” system in the Philippines, proved to be a major deterrent in the country’s sustainable development.
The dominant practice of the “Padrino” system is highly associated with the incessant corruption in the country, it being one Filipino value that permits and reinforces the prevalence and continuance of corrupt practices in the country.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Manfredo P. Alipala - Forgotten And Unheralded Bacolod Hero.

I am dedicating this article to an old friend and fellow Bacolod native, the late MANFREDO P. ALIPALA. Although his achievements in amateur boxing in the Philippines and Asia have brought pride and fame to Bacolod City, it pains me to think that there was not even a recognition and appropriate honor bestowed by the city to a forgotten Bacolod hero. I am filled with regrets that, having been a high ranking city government official for almost 8 years, I failed to initiate a move to acknowledge a friend and fellow Bacoleno’s outstanding contribution to the fields of both amateur and professional boxing. For appeasement, I cannot convince myself that my failure to do so was due to my hectic and heavy workloads as a former Secretary to the Mayor and later City Administrator with concurrent job positions.  Even as a private citizen based in a foreign land, I will try my best to make this right by seeking the help of current Bacolod City officials to distinguish the first Bacolod native to win the (only) Gold Medal in amateur boxing in the 1962 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia and the first Olympian from Bacolod to represent the Philippines in amateur boxing to the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Legacy Of The Battle Of Thermopylae

Modern Thermopylae. Photo courtesy of tumblr.com

Thermopylae also known as “hot gates”, from hot sulphur springs nearby, is a narrow pass on the east coast of central Greece between the Kallídhromon massif and the Gulf of Maliakós, about 85 miles (136 km) northwest of Athens and lie between the cliffs of Mt. Oeta and the Malic Gulf. Silt accumulation has gradually widened the once-narrow pass. In ancient times, Thermopylae was used as an entrance into Greece from the north.  In antiquity its cliffs were by the sea, but silting has widened the distance to more than a mile today.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Battle of Thermopylae - Zenith of Heroism (Part 2)

As a the second day of the battle was coming to a close, a Trachinian traitor named Ephialtes arrived in Xerxes' camp and informed the Persian leader about the secret mountain path around the pass of hermopylae. Taking advantage of this information, Xerxes ordered Hydarnes to take a large force, including the Immortals, on a flanking march over the trail. At daybreak on the third day, the Phocians guarding the Anopaia path were surprised to see the advancing Persians. Attempting to make a stand, they formed on a nearby hill but were bypassed by the Persians. That led to the fall of Thermopylae.

Ephialtes of Trachis was the son of Eurydemus of Malis, who betrayed his homeland Greece by showing the Persian forces a path around the allied Greek position at the pass of Thermopylae that resulted into the victory of the invading Persians. The treachery of Ephialtes  was motivated by his greed for money as a reward from the Persian King Xerxes. However there was no bounty given to Ephialtes after the Persians were defeated in the Battle of Salamis. He fled Thessaly when a reward for his death was offered by Ampicythons of Pylae. Ephialtes  was killed by Althenades of Trachis for an unrelated cause, nonetheless, Althenades was given the reward.  Today the name Ephialtes which means “nightmare” is used as a synonym for traitor in Greek in a comparable fashion to Judas Escariot in the Bible or Arnold Benedict in the American history.