May 30, 2009

All they will get from me is a big middle finger

Right of reply bill to cover bloggers

At hindi lang blogs. Apparently, pati rin mga social networking sites like Facebook and Friendster.

Punyetang mga lawmakers ito. Are they really representing US? Pati ba naman mga opinyon natin pakikialaman pa? E di magbuo rin sila ng sariling blog at Facebook account at dun sila sumagot!

Ay oo nga pala. Mga bobo nga pala marami dun, baka di marunong gumamit ng computer. Ni hindi nga alam kung ano ang USB na ginagamit sa pagtransfer ng sex video mula sa camera papuntang computer.

May 29, 2009

Looking forward to the weekend

Ngayon lang ako nakaranas ng linggo na sa sobrang bad trip e gusto ko nang uminom ng beer.

May 26, 2009

Rambling

Matagal-tagal na rin akong di nagpo-post. Ewan ko ba, kasabay ng pagpaplano sa direksyon ng NGO na pinapasukan ko, napaisip rin ako kung ano nga ba ang dapat gawin ng Pilipinas to get out of the rut it is currently in (wahhh, biglang lalim naman). Habang pinag-aaralan mo kasi ang mga problema, makikita mo ang pagkakakawing-kawing ng iba't ibang isyu.

Kapag inarok mo ang ugat ng kawalan ng trabaho, papasok na ang isyu ng kakulangan ng kwalipikasyon ng mga tao dahil sa kakulangan sa edukasyon. Defective ang education ng tao kasi defective ang mismong educational system. May problema sa educational system dahil sa corruption, sa tendency natin na mag-adopt ng foreign systems na hindi naman angkop sa atin, sa kakulangan ng budget dahil mali ang priorities ng gobyerno (debt servicing, basketball courts), sa pagsurrender ng basic education sa private sector kung kaya't naging market-driven profit-oriented, sa overcapacity ng educational system dahil sa population growth, etc.

As you can see, I am already rambling here. Hehehe. Dahil sa dami ng problema sa lipunan, ang hirap talagang isipin kung saan ba dapat magsimula. Kung may sisimulan ka naman, magkakaroon ba ito ng saysay kung wala namang magsisimula sa ibang aspetong nakakawing sa isyung sinubukan mong atakehin?

Questions, questions...

May 12, 2009

Ang Pambansang Hinlalaki

Kaninang umaga, habang nagbabasa ako ng diyaryo, nakuha ang aking atensyon ng isang maliit na news item.

'Pambansang Hinlalaki' role urged for Pacman

Siyempre, kamot ulo ako agad. Binasa ko pa rin naman yung balita at naintindihan kung bakit 'Pambansang Hinlalaki' ang gustong ibansag ni Mong Palatino kay Pacquiao. Pero...yun na ba talaga ang pinakamagandang naisip na titulo ni Mong? Yun na ang kanyang creative best?

Sabi tuloy ng aking kaklase noong high-school na si Atty. Dave Machica: "Pwede ba akong maging pambansang middle finger?"

May 9, 2009

Career

Sumulat na naman ako sa Philippine Daily Inquirer. At napublish naman:

Taxes on books and drugs betray our wrong priorities

I am really starting to enjoy this. Hahaha

May 7, 2009

Inflation-indexed cap on tuition fee increases

The past couple of weeks, nagkaroon uli ako ng contact sa dalawang estudyante ko dati na nagsipaghinto sa pag-aaral. Ang good news, pareho silang babalik na sa pag-aaral. Ang bad news, hindi na nila itutuloy ang kanilang pag-aaral sa FEU. Masyado na kasing mataas ang tuition.

Sa totoo lang, hindi ko maintindihan kung bakit sa batas natin, ang nilagay na cap sa mga tuition fee increase ay 10%. Sobrang taas ng rate na ito na halos sigurado nang lalampas ito sa inflation. Which also almost guarantees that the cost of education would rise at a faster rate than your average goods and services in the market.

Marami ngayon ang pinupuna ang mga pre-need firms na nagbenta ng educational plans na hindi na makayang i-honor ang kanilang mga obligations. Kesyo hindi daw napangalagaan ang pera. Hindi daw nilagay sa tamang investment. Ngunit kung iisipin mo, ang talagang salarin dito ay ang mga private schools na nagsamantala sa 10% cap sa tuition fee increase. Kasi, halos wala ka namang mahahanap na investment na may return na kayang tapatan ang 10% annual growth ng tuition. Talagang mapipilitan kang ilagay ang pera sa high-return pero risky investments.

Sa tingin ko, dapat na i-scrap ang 10% cap sa tuition fee increase. I believe that tuition fee increases should be capped at the inflation rate. An educational institution, kahit na private for-profit, should not be a lucrative business. It should be profitable but only to the point of being sustainable. Hindi yung mas malakas pang kumita ang school kaysa mga regular businesses.

May 5, 2009

Taxation policies expose government's misplaced priorities

It is a great irony that on the day Cielito Habito showed that countries investing in education and health are more effective in reducing poverty (Worthwhile investments in PDI, May 4, 2009), Manolo Quezon came out with a column exposing the Bureau of Customs' unfortunate decision to levy customs duties on book importations just to meet their revenue targets ("The great book blockade of 2009 in PDI, May 4, 2009). This 'book tax' just shows the administration's low regard for education. This issue reminded me also of government's decision a couple of years ago not to exempt medicines from the Value Addex Tax, showing its lack of concern for its people's health.

A government does not only exercise its taxation power to raise revenues for its operations. Taxation policy also highlights state priorities. What then can we say about a government which hastily reduces tariffs on imports that destroy local industries, purportedly in support of the doctrines of free market economics and globalization, but does not hesitate to reinterpret a decades-old tax treaty to impose a tax on imported books that can enrich the minds of its people? Already hard-pressed to promote a reading culture among its citizens, the last thing this country needs is another deterrent to book accessibility.

What then can we say about a government which trumpets championing the Cheaper Medicines Law while at the same time collecting eleven centavos out of every peso spent by a terminally ill patient on his life-prolonging medicine? Is it right to collect taxes from the sick to fund congressional junkets to Las Vegas and the printing of tarpaulins used by politicians for electioneering? Mamamatay na lang, bubuwisan pa.

An efficient public health and education system is supposed to be society's great equalizer but this government only increased the advantage of the haves over the have-nots in our society with its taxation policies. Legal doctrine says that the government's power to tax is absolute. But we must also remember that the power of government also emanates from its people. It is time that we Filipinos demand for taxation policies that, as the Constitution says, would embody our ideals and aspirations and promote the common good. I encourage everyone to flood the mailboxes and electronic inboxes of the BIR, Bureau of Customs and the Department of Finance to strongly demand for the removal of these taxes on book importations and medicine purchases.

May 4, 2009

Kailangan ba talagang nasa batas kung paano kinakanta ang Lupang Hinirang?

Natapos na naman ang isang laban ni Pacquiao at siyempre, di mawawala sa usapan ang pagkanta ng Lupang Hinirang.

Regardless of my opinion about Mr. Nievera's rendition, hindi ba't panahon na upang i-amend yung law restricting the liberties an artist can take when interpreting our national anthem?

Noong miyembro pa ako ng Kontra Gapi, isa sa mga paborito kong piyesang tinutugtog ay yung ethnic arrangement ng Lupang Hinirang. Sa kulintang tinugtog ang melody supported with various rhythms from indigenous instruments from all over the Philippines. Marami na naiyak sa version namin na iyon, pero napakalimited lang ng pagkakataon na natutugtog namin yun dahil nga sa sobrang strictness ng law about playing / singing the national anthem.

Personally, I believe that our current law is a sign of national insecurity. If one is proud of and has respect for one's country, hindi na kakailanganin ng batas ng "tamang" pagkanta sa pambansang awit. We have heard Americans sing the Star Spangled Banner in so many versions and they do not have problems about it. It is because they are secure about their national identity and their national pride.

Fruitlessly waiting for a Messiah

Tutok na tutok na naman ang mga tao kay Pacquiao. Despite the disaster happening in the Bicol region. Despite the threat of the H1N1 virus. Despite the continuous show of corruption and injustice reigning in our society.

Are we a nation of people who's waiting to be saved instead of proactively saving ourselves from the mess we are in? Meron ba tayong (reverse) Messiah complex, waiting for redemption to come from somebody else instead of coming from within us?