Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Text Messaging Cost Slides Down To P0.50 Per Text

The only people who were perhaps smiling ear to ear after the State of the Nation Address of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo are habitual texters and that's about millions of Filipinos! PGMA announced that she has requested the telecom firms to lower the texting rate and they have agreed to lower text messaging at P0.50 per text message.

This means a lot of work for the marketing people of telecom firms like Smart and Globe. Smart's best-selling All Text 20 with 90 Smart-to-Smart text and 10 other network text will now be rendered obsolete because at a rate of P.050 per text message, smart texters would rather get the regular load and get longer periods for their load unlike the All Text scheme where it is good only for a day or two at most.

Monday, July 28, 2008

SANA or SONA?

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's SONA should have been dubbed as SANA because it contained all the wish-list of the government under her administration: more budget for the kawawang housewife, more income generating enterprises for the 41-year old padre de pamilua, etc, etc.

In fairness to PGMA, this year's SONA was more in touch with reality such as the worsenign economic crisis and the poverty facing even the unborn Filipino. However, with her honesty came the glaring realization that the Philippines is indeed a country in desperate need of economic reform but VAT should not be one of them.

On the contrary, PGMA even highlighted the Value Added Tax as the enactment that saved the country from further economic crisis. PGMA should say this to the millions of Filipinos who have to pay an extra 12% VAT for their Jollibee meal everyday and for every Filipino who has to pay the additional VAT slapped on by professional like DOCTORS to their patients.

The reality is that while the government has been using VAT allegedly to subsidize the poor, the same VAT is making life HELL for millions of Filipinos. And if PGMA is true to her words, then the VAT is subsidizing ARMM officials who are living in sheer abundance despite the region being the poorest in the country. Check our their homes---sorry ----mansions at Juna Subdivision and you will see that every Muslim in the ARMM should not be living in poverty at all.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Church Dared: Go To Tondo And See Life's Realities

Movers behind the Philippine Catholic church were challenged by non government agencies and reproductive health advocates to visit Tondo and see the realities of life. Then perhaps they will be able to fully understand the need for a viable reproductive act such as the one being debated in Congress today.

While Tondo is more than that, it is said to be a showcase of Philippine poverty and population blast. However, poverty can also be gleamed even in your own neighborhood, just take a look at the low-income and sometimes no-income families of five or more.

The Philippine Church is an important group that politicians will please to high heavens thinking of the clout it has to its Faithful come election time. Although not as strong as the Iglesia ni Kristo, the Catholic Church is still a potent political ally that most politicians, even President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo would not dare cross them.

And while most politicians are running scared with their tails behind their butts, a government official has proven there is still someone in government who will not mince words nor sacrifice her beliefs even at risk of being taken away from her post and that is DSWD Secretary Esperanza Cabral.

Cabral has been very vocal about her stand on reproductive health and she has not backtracked despite Malacanang's dilly dallying on the issue. Cabral said she has been in the forefront of the country's battle against poverty as DSWD chief and she is only saying and standing for what she thinks is best for the people even at the risk of losing her appointment.

And there are more politicians proving their worth and not merely as sniffing dogs---Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian of Valenzuela and Mayor Tomas Osmeña of Cebu has publicly avowed support for the reproductive health bill. Davao City's mayor Rodrigo Duterte is one of the independent-minded politicians in the country today and he even rewards Dabawenyos who would go for vasectomy. Will Duterte align himself with these fearless politicians?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Are The Oil Companies Fooling Around With Consumers?

The oil companies seems to be making a fool of the Filipino consumers by raising oil prices consecutively and then givign in to Malacanang and dropping the price by P1.50. If they find it feasible to lower their prices by this much then why raise it in the first place?

Malacanang should really investigate this cartel because something smells fishy and they wouldn't want to be the center of the ire of consumers who are already fed up with their game. How true that the oil companies profited millions from the continuous rise of oil price in the past months?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Umbrellas To Defend RP President?


It's everywhere in the net. News and features on the use of Philippine body guards of power umbrellas to defend Philippine President Glora Macapagal Arroyo. I am just not sure if these articles and blogs commenting on the use of power umbrellas to defend the Philippine President are words of praise or meant to debase the country's weapon of choice.

Zoo commented that the umbrella is the top weapon of choice being carried by PGMA's entourage wherever they go. Even Gizmodo commented featured the $180 unbreakable umbrellas as multi-purpose weapons that can "kill the rain" and "kill people".

There is a video of flexibility expert Thomas Kurz using the umbrella to chop watermelons and it worked fine.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

City govt's take-over of Tondo slaughterhouse an exercise of excess power and force

The take over of the local government of Manila of the Vitas slaughterhouse in Tondo yesterday was a blatant display of undue government force. The television footage of the forcible and bodily removal of Dealco Farms, Inc. owner Dennis Alcoreza and executive vice president Joyce Alcoreza (his sister) was so violent one would think the Philippines was under Martial Law.

I am not talking about violence in terms of using guns and mortars but the last time I checked, the Philippines was still operating under a system of law which should have been followed in case Vitas had indeed violated some laws.

The local government used to operate the slaughterhouse but former Mayor Lito Atienza transferred the ownership to Dealco in 2001. This is reportedly the largest slaughterhouse in the city and provides services to the cities of Laguna, Metro manila, Batangas, Bulacan and Pampanga.

The city government tried to take over the DEALCO-run slaughterhouse in 2007 because the slaughterhouse reportedly failed to pay its rent and real property taxes worth P25 million.

Anyone watching the video footage which shows how Alcoreza and his sister were bodily carried outside and forcibly detached from their office and chairs, and their employees forcibly taken out would ask why such a violent act is necessary when the city government can just file the necessary legal maneuvers and boot them out. However, knowing that Alcoreza is a political ally of Atienza and the latter a political foe of Mayor Lim explains everything.

A temporary restraining order was granted by the Manila Regional Trial Court to Dealco which prevents the city government from taking over the slaughterhouse. And despite the claims of the city's legal officer that it has yet to receive its share in Dealco's Gross sales and that it has been misdeclaring its earnings, the manhandling of these people at a time when the TRO remains in effect and without a legal order from the court is purely an undue exercise of police power.

Prices of Diesel, LPG Up Again

Prices of Diesel, LPG Up Again! So what's new?

Fuel prices have regularly gone up in the past months that another rice hike is no longer news for most people. Some people are even anticipating the increase every Saturday.

For the record, the price of fuel have gone up 18 times since January 2008 or a total of P19.50 for diesel and kerosene and P18 for gasoline. Both diesel and gasoline prices went up by P1.50 per liter while that of liquefied petroleum gas went up by P1.00 per kilo this Saturday.

As usual, the price increase has been attributed to the stronger dollar and the rising price of fuel in the world market. Funny but there was no corresponding decrease in local fuel prices when the Philippine peso was up against the Greenback for several months this year.

Neri's appointment as SSS chief endangers contributions of 30 million workers

Will the contributions of almost 30 million private sector employees as well as those in the self- employed sector be in rotten hands just because the newly-appointed chief of the Social Security System or SSS is a rotten egg?

Malacanang's promotion of former Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chair Romulo Neri to SSS has raised a lot of eyebrows especially those of the SSS workers and officials themselves who claims the SSS funds are not government funds but are contributiosn from workers and should not be included in Malacanang's political manuevers.

The Black and White Movement castigated prsident Gloria macapagal Arroyo for neri's appointment saying it was Malacanang's way of makign sure Neri kept quiet about graft
and corruption in the Palace. It can be recalled that Neri was involved in the ZTE expose where millions of commissions supposedly exchanged hands between the Chinese firm, Commission on Elections chief Benjamin Abalos and the First Gentleman.

Bayan Muna representative Teodoro Cawsino said Neri's appointment as chief will assure Malacanang that "she and her minions (can) plunder the pension funds of the private sector workers" and the SSS chief will just look the other way.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dog Owners Bats For Pulling Out Of Rimadyl From Stores

NBC10.com reported that there is a great chance you may be giving your dog a deadly prescription medicine called Rimadyl. Dog owners may think they are keeping their pets alive by giving them one of the most popular prescription pain medications for canines only to find out sometimes too late that it can kill them.

Rimadyl is prescribed for dogs suffering from arthritis as well as other conditions causing them pain but it was discovered that your dog can have a negative reaction to the drug and the results can be deadly.

Janice Nollar has given her dog Jezebel Rimadyl only to find out that her dog refuses to eat, became lethargic and nearly died. Her veterinarian concluded that Jezebel’s liver stopped functioning as a result of Rimadyl.

Hundred of pet owners who had the same experience with Rimadyl filed a class suit against Pfizer, the drug’s manufacturer. But while Pfizer settled the case out of court it has refused to admit that their drug was the culprit. However, questions on the negative effects of Rimadyl have been floated around a year prior to the filing of the case in the 90s..

A total of 3,600 drug reactions involving dogs have been reported in 1998 and the Food and Drug Administration has confirmed that Rimadyl was cited as the cause for 39% of these cases. The FDA said that the dogs died in 13% of these cases.

There are different schools of thought regarding the prescription of Rimadyl to alleviate pain for dogs. Veterinarian Alan Schulman is among those who believe that giving Rimadyl to your dogs is worth the risk since its benefits outweighs the dangers provided the drug is given properly and the dog monitored regularly.

But for Nollar and hundreds of dog owners, Rimadyl should be pulled out from the stores.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Is GSIS inefficient?

GSIS chief Winston Garcia has been meddling in the recent Meralco overcharging fiasco but is he the right person to determine if Meralco is being managed properly when he could not even clean up his own ship?

The inefficiency of GSIS has been a common complaint among government offices here in Davao City. One concrete example is the refusal of GSIS to release the burial benefits of a deceased government official not for lack of the required papers but because the one in charge of that paperwork will be back on August.

The government worker died of cancer and his family needed that burial benefit to bury him decently. Sans that money, the deceased would have to wait till August to be buried in case the family is not able to borrow money to pay the memorial park. It is ironic that the burial expense could not be released by the GSIS just because of the absence of a single person who should not be indispensable considering that government service should not stop because an employee is absent or has taken a leave of absence.

Perhaps, Garcia of GSIS should save his sinking ship first before he meddles in the affair of other office. Or perhaps, he is also too busy minding the expensive GSIS paintings he acquired for millions to the detriment of the Filipino people?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

PGMA demands full accounting of Sulpicio ferry accident

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has demanded a full report on the sinking of Sulpicio Line's MV Princess of the Stars which left at least 500 people dead and hundreds more missing.

"We have demanded the full accounting of the ferry accident. Ang Coast Guard humingi ng 15 days within which they will submit their findings," President Arroyo said during her visit to Digos, Davao del Sur early this morning.

Arroyo said the tragedy brought by typhoon Frank as well as the ferry accident "was constantly on our mind during our trip to the United States . Overseeing relief efforts was part of our daily agenda. We were in constant contact with our officials. We directed our operations practically on a minute by minute basis."

Arroyo justified the trip to the United States of almost all top government officials during (and despite the typhoon tragedy) by saying that it affirmed the strong ties between ther two nations as well as clarified certain issues between the two countries.

She listed among her accomplishments her meeting with US President Bush and other US officials which allowed the Philippine delegation to press for "economic aid, foor security and stronger military cooperation.

Arroyo was snubbed by Democrat Presidential candidate barrack Obama (who set and reset their meetings and finally spoke to the president only by phone. However, she personally met with Republican Presidential candidate John McCain.

Sending money through rural banks now cheaper with blockchain

Sending money anywhere in the Philippines is now a lot easier thanks to the various money remittance centers like Palawan Express, Cebuana ...