Mindanao Times » Opinion http://mindanaotimes.net Mon, 01 Oct 2018 16:00:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.25 Egalitarian: Of the State of the City Address http://mindanaotimes.net/egalitarian-of-the-state-of-the-city-address/ http://mindanaotimes.net/egalitarian-of-the-state-of-the-city-address/#comments Mon, 01 Oct 2018 16:00:32 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=62646 Read more ›]]> Today, we will again hear the Mayor making good of her visions for the City. The people of City will hear how the promises on poverty alleviation, infrastructure development, solid waste management, health, education, agriculture, tourism, transportation and traffic management, peace and order, and disaster mitigation fared over the year.

But one addition to all these is the unique position of the City relative to the national political spheres. At the moment, Davao City is becoming the “new center,” and relevant political directions are usually crafted by the minds of the people of this City who are so attuned on how governance works here. So, if they want to see how Philippines will be in the next three years, they have to see Davao. This is true in the anti-crime, in the development priorities vis-à-vis mining, peace initiatives, investment directions, among others.

The City is the birthplace of Tokhang, which earned national prominence albeit the non-Visayan speaking individuals understanding of toktok and hangyo. The mining sector is experiencing setback in the whole country, well, they never had the chance in Davao City. Another thing that is cursory is the kind of provision afforded by the City to investors. The City leadership takes good care of its investors, provides equal opportunities to all stakeholders, but limits itself to the services that allow fair competition.

Today, I expect the Good Mayor to talk about the High Priority Bus System (HPBS) and other traffic-solution schemes in order to address the grueling effects of traffic brought about by the volume of vehicles that utilize the limited width of the old-city streets. As one may observe, there are now a number of paved access roads, and a number of bridges with bigger lanes, hopefully there will be more for next year as a complement. It will also be good to hear about status of additional bypass roads to decongest the main roads.

Davao City maintains higher purchasing power of income, enjoys massive influx of BPO locators, there are more business establishments around the city needing more space. The real estate is becoming a huge industry and this sector is susceptible to price bubbles, a rapid increase of price of properties which may adversely affect housing, people mobility, nexus and concentration, the environment and ultimately the watershed. Thus, it is imperative to also be concerned of water access of the growing population without punishing the watershed.

The City Government is also effective in providing access to education. Its scholarship program able to hone the next technocrats of the City, this will make us confident of the city’s future. One sector that the City Government did not forget is the agriculture, the farmers and the fishermen. Stories of accomplishment for this sector means inclusive growth, after all, we do not experience rice shortage. Finally, I am excited to hear how the localized peace talk be implemented. For the most part of their lives, the insurgents can always rely that the City Government will always extend them support and protection as long as they will return to the folds of the law and live peacefully with the rest of the people of Davao.

All these are so natural and seamlessly unfolding that we may not notice these things moments of change, much like the abundance of fruits now happens in September which made us enjoy the benefits much longer, so thus the benefits of effective governance had been.

Let me tell you one thing that others may have not noticed in the City Hall; there is now an access ramp for the PWD on top of the parking space, and the five or more wheelchair at the corner ready for use. I know that the City Hall cannot readily be retrofitted because it is a landmark, but Mayor Sara was able to find a way to make access to the City Hall a lot easier for the people of my type, the Persons with Disabilities.

And so, I can only say good job Mayor Sara and my big thank you!

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Lugar Lang: “I feel so voter” http://mindanaotimes.net/lugar-lang-i-feel-so-voter/ http://mindanaotimes.net/lugar-lang-i-feel-so-voter/#comments Mon, 01 Oct 2018 16:00:30 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=62648 Read more ›]]> Hands down the best news I received from home when I was abroad last week for my PhD symposium was from my daughter, who sent me a screenshot of her ink-stained thumb and accomplished voter registration form with the message “I feel so voter.”

The strange syntax threw off the English teacher in me, yes, but the message was not lost on the mother. “I feel so proud nanay,” I replied. It definitely aged me, but never before have I felt it more crucial for new voters to register and then vote. As Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez declared, “Being a registered voter means you’re in a position to help bring about actual change.”

And the 2019 elections is the best time for the people to bring about the change we really want. To send the message that we will not be duped a second time by President Duterte’s false promise of change.

According to COMELEC, by next year, the country will have around 60-61 million registered voters, about 850,000 of whom are new voters based on census data. Given these numbers, we can easily see that Duterte’s 16 million votes in 2016 is not even half the confidence of the country. Yet because of the democratic process, which every day is being threatened by the current administration’s tyrannical moves, everyone is suffering the consequences of the votes of the 16 million. Think record-high inflation, record-low peso-dollar value, record-setting idiocy in government, record-high unresolved extrajudicial killings, and the fearsome possibility of the Marcoses back in Malacañang.

Two years into Duterte’s term, I am certain his 16 million voters have diminished. And next year, the Filipino people can show each other that our loyalty is to our country, not to a person who has consistently failed us and who has even betrayed us by effectively surrendering our sovereignty to his best friend, China. It’s tantamount to treason.

I didn’t force my daughter to register because I wrongly thought that one has to be 18 to register. It turns out that the age requirement is for May 16, 2019. I was glad to learn that Ateneo de Davao University organized a satellite COMELEC registration center to urge their students to register, thus giving them no more excuses not to. I still remember how difficult it was for me transfer my registration from Pasay City to Davao, such that I had to skip the 2010 presidential elections. But for the 2016 elections, I endured the heat and the long lines at the COMELEC office in Magsaysay Park in Davao to make sure my votes were counted. Then I shaded VP Leni Robredo’s name 100% for good measure, among others.

I hope those of us who are disgruntled by how the Duterte administration is running (or not running) the country did register or reactivate, and will vote accordingly in 2019. As we can see, some persons have been campaigning early on the sole basis of their close relationship with Duterte. No credentials whatsoever except being Duterte’s man Friday, at best. It’s such a hard sell, clearly. That’s why they’re working overtime to campaign for him, with such traditional and dirty tactics like using government funds to place his face and name in the limelight. I’ve seen the campaign headquarters, heard the radio campaign jingles, and seen the stickers and revised Duterte armbands around Davao. I do wonder why this is allowed, but I hope the Filipinos are not this stupid to elect him and the rest of the Duterte lackeys.

I know my daughter isn’t that stupid to vote for anyone in the PDP-Laban slate, especially after witnessing the first two years of this administration. She has her own mind and analysis of the country’s situation. And I hope majority of the 850,000 new voters, many of whom are quite “woke” in social media, will translate their wokeness into actual change through their votes. Like Rizal, we are counting on you. And the more than 40 million Filipinos who did NOT vote for Duterte in 2016. Let’s do this.

Follow or message me on Twitter @jhoannalynncruz

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Honoring my Mother: Adapting to change http://mindanaotimes.net/honoring-my-mother-adapting-to-change/ http://mindanaotimes.net/honoring-my-mother-adapting-to-change/#comments Mon, 01 Oct 2018 16:00:29 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=62650 Read more ›]]> It was in high school where I first heard the saying, “The only thing permanent is change.”

I never paid it any mind though, and simply brushed the idea aside with a sneering ‘Yeah yeah, every second that passes becomes the past, and each present moment is only as fleeting as the next, and so on.’ (Priest-teachers can really be boring, no?) Who thinks about these things in high school anyway?

In college, I heard the same saying again, this time from a friend, and I had thought, so what? What’s with everyone, do all these quotes come free inside chocnut wrappers? However, my reaction by then had somewhat graduated to a freezer-cold, “Of course, everyone knew that. Duh.” In all, for many years, I have maintained this so-what perspective, and even still asked, what was the fuzz really all about?

Then, I got old.

By then, the live-for-the-moment posturing of youth had long gone and moved on to sons and daughters, and you’re unceremoniously led to the lonely path where you’re constantly left reminiscing between what has transpired in your life and what the hell happened. The answer to that might as well be written on a sign at the path’s end, and it would read, CHANGES, in bold, and in all capital letters.

Throughout those early years, idealism, hormones, the sense of adventure, and the struggle to be understood and heard had been the most important things. Because of these, we’ve probably, more than once, taken for granted little decisions that may have seemed insignificant at the moment. Through time, these then slowly piled up unto each other and thus formed crucial markers that eventually influenced the direction leading to where we are now. All connected, whether we like it or else, these “little things” eventually defined what we are now.

Youth, with all its promises of a seemingly-endless journey and bountiful gifts of blinding energy, is actually a double-edged sword, if not handled skillfully. Yet, how were we supposed to know that? Truth is, a restless youth does not necessarily guarantee a restful old age. This is why listening to others harping about the good-old-days is such a trip because you know that literally, you are only what you put in, in the end.

So, how has this permanent whatchamacallit turned everything out for you?

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Rough Cuts: Is a RevGov really necessary? http://mindanaotimes.net/rough-cuts-is-a-revgov-really-necessary/ http://mindanaotimes.net/rough-cuts-is-a-revgov-really-necessary/#comments Mon, 01 Oct 2018 16:00:28 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=62652 Read more ›]]> There are some well-meaning persons in Davao City who are of the opinion that a declaration by President Rodrigo Duterte of a revolutionary government (RevGov) will hasten the attainment of reforms that will propel the Philippines to its desired development goals.

We respect their idea much as we agree that it is their right to espouse such belief that only a revolutionary government can make the Philippines become every Filipino’s Shangrila.

But we also wonder if they have also thought that such declaration of a RevGov by the President as they have strongly pushed, could also hasten the further division of the Filipino nation?

The country’s history is replete of lessons to be learned from. It is the Filipino’s refusal to learn from these lessons that allows the country to regress. And we the citizens have been willing participants in making this deterioration happen.

We were the ones who voted for our national leaders from the President to the Senators, to our congressmen.

These leaders got elected because their candidacies were bankrolled by the so-called oligarchs and big businesses. They are political families who have pincher-like control of certain areas since the birth of the country.

And the RevGov proponents are saying that they can be eliminated when the Philippines would be under a revolutionary government?

Again let us go back to the country’s recent most remembered history, the EDSA people power. Who were the people behind the “uprising?” Clearly they were the elite who were on the other side of the political divide. They were the oligarchs that the Marcos dictatorship was trying to do away with and substituting them with those who were with him.

What happened after EDSA? Yes, the anti-Marcos oligarchs faded. Some of them escaped to other countries to hide from the arms of the law under the succeeding administration. But it was only for a short period. Some of them capitulated followed by their surrendering of some of their accumulated wealth to the new government.
Meanwhile there were new beneficiaries of the EDSA, they who gained rewards from the spoils of that “adventure” of the Filipinos to bring the country back to its feet. These EDSA “beneficiaries” have now evolved into the new oligarchs, the leading businessmen and the new political “influencers.” They are the new political king makers.

As to the so-called “cronies” of the late dictator, well, some of them indeed passed into oblivion with only their tattered names remembered harshly every now and then.

But we say many, as in MANY, were able to worm their way back to prominence and are again in the limelight of the country’s business scene. They too, are back as the most sought-after political patrons by both old-rooted and aspiring politicians.

If this lesson in our country’s history is still not clear to many of us, then the likelihood is that the failure of EDSA 1 to sustain its initial gains is still bound to happen should a RevGov be declared as “hungered” by some citizens.

After all, the indicators are present. Those who would be in the forefront of the campaign for a RevGov, especially those who will bankroll the efforts to get a nationwide signature support to goad the President into doing it, would most likely be expecting rewards.

Yes, a “reformed” government would be more than enough reward for the citizenry. But we are certain based on the country’s history, that this notion is not a guarantee that those who feel left behind will not renege on their commitment to help pursue whatever initial gains a RevGov gets upon its declaration.

Personally, however, we believe that there are enough laws that the government is armed with to confront the many problems in governance. What is needed is the political will of our leaders, the kind that will not be intimidated by forces with dubious interest. It is one political will the execution of which is anchored on solid legal grounds and not on hatred or desire to get back at those who harbor opposite positions on issues. It has to be that political will that would not consider family relations, party affiliations, friendship, and even religion.

If the citizens know and see that their leaders have this attribute and exercise it fairly and squarely, then we are sure they will be strongly behind every move of the leadership to achieve the desired reforms and development.

A revolutionary government, with all its uncertainties and adventurism, will not be necessary.

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Rough Cuts: Not even ‘band aid’ solutions http://mindanaotimes.net/rough-cuts-not-even-band-aid-solutions/ http://mindanaotimes.net/rough-cuts-not-even-band-aid-solutions/#comments Sun, 30 Sep 2018 12:13:56 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=62614 Read more ›]]> We agree fully with the observation of many social analysts in the country that the solutions resorted to by the government to address the exorbitant costs of food items like rice, meat, and vegetables are all “band aid” in nature.

That is, on a very short term and limited coverage basis. We also noted that the solutions put forward by the government, specifically the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of trade and Industry (DTI), while giving some semblance of relief to the sufferings of people in certain areas, specifically in Metro Manila, are in the process, transferring the problem to other areas.

Let us take as example the acute supply of rice in the Zamboanga area weeks back. What the DA did was to put up several Bigasang Bayan in the areas badly hit by the shortage in that Western Mindanao region. But what did the DA and its attached agency, the National Food Authority (NFA) do? They diverted the rice stocks intended for Cagayan de Oro City that was, and still is, suffering from the shortage of the staple.

So, the scheme appears to be sacrificing others to stop the suffering of other sectors of the country’s population. In other words, the DA and the NFA, and the DTI as well, somehow agreed to compromise the rice supply situation in one area if only to make it appear that these government agencies are doing something to address the distress call in another location.

As to how much the government agencies’ intervention has alleviated the situation in Zamboanga, we have no idea so far. But we know that the diversion of the rice supplies intended for Cagayan de Oro City to Zamboanga has created an uproar not just from the Cagayanons but from people in other areas similarly situated as far as rice supply is concerned.

Now let us take a look at the much boasted by DA Secretary Manny Pinol’s “flooding” of Metro Manila with low-priced vegetables from Mindanao. Indeed there was a lot of drama with Pinol in the lead role when the vegetable stocks were displayed for sale to the public in very limited stations in the national capital region. Yes, the vegetables were very cheap compared to the prices of the items in the metro’s many public markets.

But how can such a scheme succeed to even become a “band aid” solution when Pinol himself disclosed why the veggies were priced that low. The DA secretary proudly claimed that the vegetables coming mostly from Bukidnon or possibly from the Davao Region were directly marketed by the farmers sans the middlemen and big-time traders’ participation. He also disclosed that the agriculture products were flown into Manila by air carriers owned by friends of the President for free or perhaps on discounted fare rates.

The question now is how long will such support be made available? And if it is continuous what would be the payback? Will such concessions given by the airline company be not disadvantageous latter to the Filipinos?
And how many display centers for the people in Metro Manila to buy the low-priced vegetables from Mindanao? From what we have monitored over national television there were only two or three stations located far from each other. Now, will such small number of buying stations be enough for the DA top guy to claim he has made good his promise to “flood” Metro Manila with Mindanao-sourced cheap vegetables?

Will not the low-priced vegetables end up more expensive for consumers from other areas of the Metro who have to spend for transport fares and suffer the various risks of travel just to buy the DA-offered cheap veggies?
Meanwhile, the vegetable supplies in the markets from where the ones sold direct to the DA in Manila are sourced, are also vanishing. Again, this is another case of making sacrificial lambs just to make some officials at the DA and the DTI look good in the eyes of people who create the most noise in airing their complaints.

And as we wrote in this space early last week, we personally found out that the costs of most vegetables in the local markets have increased considerably. The reason given by retailers is that the bulk of supplies are sold to Manila buyers who are buying them in big volume.

The retailers even admitted that the vegetable quality has also deteriorated because what are left for them by Manila buyers are almost “rejects.”

Imagine the problems created by some of the “best and brightest” persons in this administration as they put forward their solutions to a national crisis! They are indeed of the unusual breed.

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Timesman: Unique government! http://mindanaotimes.net/timesman-unique-government/ http://mindanaotimes.net/timesman-unique-government/#comments Thu, 27 Sep 2018 16:00:24 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=62580 ]]> Supporters of Mayor Inday Sara encouraging her to run for the May 2019 senatorial elections may now awaken to the fact that the city executive is not interested in the national post after she reiterated her willingness to run for reelection as mayor.

With the mayor’s statement that “If the Dabawenyos will re-elect me, I would like to continue working for Davao City as Mayor,” people advocating for her to run in the national post are just wasting their time and effort to convince her.

Inday Sara is in the right direction to seek reelection. Why would she run as a senator when her chances of winning are yet to be seen despite her good performance in the recent Pulse Asia survey showing her in the fifth to sixth in voter preference for the ‘Magic 12’?

Voters might still change their minds and the eagerness of
Inday Sara’s supporters now to see their idol in the Upper
House may vanish on the way to the polling places as we can’t read their (supporters) minds. Filipinos have changeable minds, remember?

Whereas, running for reelection is already in the bag, so they say, as Inday Sara may again win unopposed as what happened in her first attempt as mayor in 2010 and reelection in 2016. Why should she spend so much fortune, time and effort running in the senatorial race when if she goes for reelection it will give her no headache, less campaign funds (or no expenses at all), and most of all, she will always have plenty of time with her Stonefish and other children.

The same opinion I can share with the supporters of SAP Bong Go whose propaganda tarpaulin now scattered not only in the city but as well the whole of archipelago endorsing Bong Go to run for senator. (Some people identified with Bong Go might be too eager for their senator-to-be in the Senate not knowing that their action might cause disqualification for him to run because of the existing Comelec prohibition on early campaigning –LDT).

Bong’s supporters will only be disappointed once he finally announces the intention not to run.

Bong is only in government service because his good friend and Boss Digong is still around. Once President Duterte ends his term in 2022 or earlier (If the clamor for him to step down from the presidency by critics succeeds -LDT) Bong may also suddenly disappeared from the national limelight and just concentrates playing basketball in the hard court where adoring fans shout his name for another triple shot.

And another thing why for sure Bong will not continue to remain in the government is because of the controversy now haunting the Special Assistant to the President (SAP) accusing his family’s construction business of using his closeness with Malacanang to get VIP treatment from government projects, which Bong denied.

As a private citizen, no one dares opening the can of worms then against Bong. Now, as a public property, even a smallest move of Bong has to be scrutinized by the people.

Knowing Bong and his family for quiet a time now, for sure he will not allow his critics to destroy the good reputation of himself and family he built for years and will leave the government with unblemished record in public service.

In the same Pulse Asia survey of probable winners in the senatorial race, Bong Go’s name is in the 22nd to 27th listing. Meaning that those too early propaganda is not doing any good for the SAP!

-oOo-

Result of the recent Pulse Asia survey indicates that we are losing good men and women in politics interested to serve the government service. Out of possible 66 individuals for the senatorial race, only 12 will be elected. Some were known ex-cons, accused of corrupt practices while in the government, while others are still in jail while their cases are still being heard in court.

I will not be surprised if one of these days other countries will say Filipinos have a unique form of government – for allowing people with criminal minds to lead them. Anyway, it’s the bright boys in the tourism industry that coined that slogan, “It’s only in the Philippines!”

-oOo-

Another rah-rah boy of President Duterte is spokesman Harry Roque who is also dreaming of a senate seat.

Roque placed way-way behind the ‘Magic 12’ in the Pulse survey, an indication that voters don’t like him in the senate.

I would suggest that he remain a spokesman for Duterte where he excelled in defending the President. As a senator, he may not be a good lawmaker. Aray!

Take care and enjoy your weekend, folks!

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Life of a Teacher http://mindanaotimes.net/life-of-a-teacher/ http://mindanaotimes.net/life-of-a-teacher/#comments Thu, 27 Sep 2018 16:00:17 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=62578 ]]> When someone asks why you became a teacher, the common response would be, one wants to teach in order to give knowledge to students.

For me, becoming a teacher was not my first choice. I didn’t thought to become a teacher one day. When I was still high school, I experienced failing grades and fighting inside the classroom or was even bullied by my classmates. They would say in layman’s terms that I was myself a teacher’s headache.

A common definition of a teacher is someone who teaches us in school, but beyond that, teachers play a vital role in the lives of students. We are second parents of them. A teacher is called by many names: Sensei in Japanese, Laoshi in Chinese, Guro and Maestra/Maestro in our own native language. A teacher has the same common desire and that is to make a positive difference in the lives of students.

According to Randall Butisingh “Teaching is more than a noble profession, it is a vocation or more than a calling. It is called a noble profession because a teacher touches others’ lives, give more than less and sacrifice for the common good of others and that is to teach for the students. Being a teacher is a profession that demands a lot of heart. Teachers prepare their lesson heartedly and don’t even care if it’s already late at night. They wake-up early in the morning to go to school, Because of our commitment and desire to help and to impart knowledge, sometimes we feel frustrated and even hurt if our hard work don’t pay off like students who won’t listen and get low or failing grades.

Beyond our official time in school, we extend our time and effort to conduct remedial classes just to help our students pass the subject. Most of our time is spent in school more than our family but we love what we do. We treat our students like our own child. We give financial support from our own pocket, if students cannot attend school because of financial difficulty. We make a way just to compensate. A teacher performs different tasks to shape most careers in life. A teacher sometimes becomes a carpenter and electrician, performing necessary repairs inside the classroom just to make it comfortable and conducive to learning.

A teacher also acts as a coach who encourages students’ with low self-esteem to strive to be the best they can, helps them to build self-confidence and help them to be successful in the future. He is a manager giving simple tasks to develop their sense of responsibility. He is a guidance counselor to students who experienced misdirection in life. Most of all, he is a second parent who provides love and care. A teacher performs critical task that is to mold students to become a responsible and productive citizens to our society. The knowledge that teachers share is a great tool to uplift our lives. Let me share you phrases from the parable of a pencil written by anonymous. I would relate a pencil maker to a teacher and a pencil as a student.

“You will able to do many things but only if you allow yourself to be held in God’s hand and allow other human beings to accept you for the many gifts you possess. Lastly, no matter what the condition you must continue to write. You must always leave a clear, legible mark no matter how difficult the situation is.” Yes, if you allow yourself to be held by God and to other persons like a teacher everything will be possible or your dreams would fall into its proper places.

If you are reading this, thank your teacher!
(Jayson V. Badad is a teacher at the Talomo National High School)

By Jayson V. Badad

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Rough Cuts: The evolving local political scenario http://mindanaotimes.net/rough-cuts-the-evolving-local-political-scenario/ http://mindanaotimes.net/rough-cuts-the-evolving-local-political-scenario/#comments Thu, 27 Sep 2018 16:00:15 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=62586 ]]> Two weeks from now, those who are aspiring to run for public office will already be trooping to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) offices to file their certificates of candidacy.

In Davao City we already have some idea who are those entertaining to enter or go back to the political field.

For mayor it is already a given that incumbent Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio would run for reelection. That is, if she does not break her oft-repeated statement that she is not running for senator this coming May 2019 elections.

If she runs for the Senate then the likelihood is that she’ll give way to her brother resigned Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte. The other possibility is that the mayor’s home-grown Party, the Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod, or call it the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (if she prefers to use the newly Comelec-registered party), may field Presidential son-in-law (the Mayor’s husband) lawyer Mans Carpio, for the post she will vacate. Of course this could be premised on Pulong’s possible option of running for congressman in the city’s first district.

Or, it could be the other way around. That is, that the mayor’s better-half will be made to tangle with any of the
Nograles brothers (Karlo and Koko), depending also on which arena surveys would show bigger chances of winning for either Mance or former VM Pulong.

Of course as we have written in this space earlier, the race for the top two positions in the city will evolve into a different scenario when the ruling city administration will put up a winnable candidate against the next Nograles to run in the first district. We are certain the latter political clan will not just hand over the city’s top executive position without some semblance of a fight. More so if Karlo is left out in the administration’s senatorial ticket.

But then, again, Mayor Sara may not be the person who will do something that could compromise the strong commitment of her President father, a new Constitution that will lead to the change in the form of government from its present system to a Federal one that includes provision on doing away with the dynastic practice in Philippine politics.

So, if the lady mayor opts to run for reelection, fields

her brother for the VM position, have her husband tussle
with any of the Nograles brothers, or either of the latter two, then that would already be a glaring disregard of the proposed provision in the draft charter accepted by her father from the Commission that was tasked to craft it.

For now, the contest for city mayor, vice mayor, and first district congressman still remains in a maze. The final scenario could only be known until the deadline of the filing of certificates of candidacy expires middle of next month.

We however, see that there might be a bitter squabble internally in the mayor’s party for the vice mayor’s position. As many might have already observed now incumbent VM Dr. Bernie Al-ag is not hiding his own interest to be officially elected as vice mayor. But we have also seen streamers hung in strategic locations all over the city with inscriptions in English, “January in May,” and in Cebuano, “January sa Mayo.”

For the discerning observer there is no need to read
between the lines. The message is clear. The probability is bigger that the second wife of the resigned vice mayor is groomed for an elective position higher than a councilor. So she could be made to run for Vice Mayor or representative of the first district of the city. After all, the Catalunan barangay captain now carries a Duterte surname. Add to it a bigger voters base which is her barangay, and her chance of dislodging a Nograles bet could be enhanced.

So Dr. Bernie has to wait until a party decision is made, and only then can he make his own decision to run for his present post or go back to his position in the city council. But, if this happens it will dampen the plan of his elder brother Nonoy to run for a new term in the Sanggunian.

Meanwhile, we are already aware of several individuals moving around in their respective districts. And we are certain their intention is to “test” the grounds.

In the first district we know the last termers among the
incumbent councilors are already trying to give maximum
exposure to their nearest kin. There are new names but are
also scions of politicians who are being groomed for
councilors. One is a cousin of prospective comeback
candidate for congressman in the second district, Vincent
Garcia.

In the city’s third district the re-electionists are already positioning themselves to gain better chances of inclusion as official candidates. But there are new names who could give them a run for their money. Aside from former dad Nonoy Al-ag there is former Mintal barangay captain Abay Bargamento. And former councilor Kaloy Bello’s come-back could not be discounted. He has the name and the backing of the President, no less. VM Bernie’s replacement councilor after the former was catapulted to the second highest position in the city, is definitely eyeing for getting elected.

As we said earlier, all these are still fluid. But the
wait is no longer long. It’s barely three weeks and things will come to a head. Let us see.

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Family Matters: Bring back the time http://mindanaotimes.net/family-matters-bring-back-the-time/ http://mindanaotimes.net/family-matters-bring-back-the-time/#comments Thu, 27 Sep 2018 16:00:07 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=62584 ]]> You will hear this again from me when I say that most children these days do not know how to wait and exchange that waiting to something better as a result. We see this from waking up until they are about to go to bed. Now I know you guess my next words as I say,

“In my time…” Yes, in my time, we kids were contented to eat what is set on the table. We did not have to throw tantrums when we felt like we should eat out. Kids didn’t feel that they were deprived of clothing even when we had only three to four sets of clothes to wear. Naturally, gadgets were not missed obviously because we never had any idea of their existence. Maybe, I can say that we were saved by the lack of new inventions. True, today’s progress has gone leaps and bounds but the price to pay among families is too high.

Because of the waves and avalanche of what we have now to “endure,” family setups are continually suffering. We call this, isolation of members from each other. Family members still live in one roof, but they are isolatedly focused on their piece of gadgets and their thoughts are far from each other. In fairness, modernity is beneficial. Progress brings us to global community. Suddenly, the world has gone smaller. But it is isolating us from family relationships. However, by just one click and our children already know the latest in YouTube, the latest fashion and the latest fake and true news. They easily have access to worldly views, that in my time, anything that parents call sin and socially unacceptable are received with sensitive conscience. No wonder that even in the lawmaking body, the age of accountability are proposed to go down to 13 years old. Yes, for so long, minors are considered from the age of birth to 18. But we all know that now from as young as 10 -13, their minds are being corrupted many times, they can be involved in rapes, gang violence and even as couriers of drugs.

I do not say that my time was better. All I am saying is,

we as kids had enough awareness to handle and had all the time to process what we needed to know. But today, I liken kids to 110 volts plugged into 220s and my, that is a tremendous overload.

This is why parents should all the more monitor their children’s capacity to handle what modernization has so freely given them to access. Let us not isolate ourselves from them. Even if they seem capable to handle a day, check them just the same. Let us not allow their computer games to take control of their schedules. Passivity is one malady of parents that contribute to the social and family sanity of kids. We make our intentional schedules the whole month for something kids look forward to. Let them anticipate that fun time together. It need not be an expensive trip, but maybe something the whole family can just get together for recharging. Bring their favorite drinks and food. After all, we Filipinos consider an outing fun if there is food. It would be good if we let everyone know that family time together is a rule that everyone has to attend. This need not be weekly, but anytime set to emphasize the point of togetherness.

We parents are responsible to what our kids should become someday. Ask wisdom from God when we seem to run out of ideas to train them. Sometimes, our small ideas yet sincere desire to make their lives better is rewarded by the Lord beyond our expectations.

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Random Thoughts: UP economists on the spot http://mindanaotimes.net/random-thoughts-up-economists-on-the-spot/ http://mindanaotimes.net/random-thoughts-up-economists-on-the-spot/#comments Thu, 27 Sep 2018 02:39:40 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=62561 ]]> “If there is such a clear solution to poverty, why do economists not all agree about it and write books explaining what the solution is?” ( Wayne Grudem and Barry Asmus, The Poverty of Nations, 2013).

-o0o-
In answer to the above question, Grudem and Asmus described the six types of economists:
1. Some do agree. Although many economists advocate only partial solutions or even incorrect solutions because of their underlying assumptions.
2. Professional donors. They spend much of their time giving away other people’s money, and their primary solution to world poverty is to give away more money.
3. Pure economists. They do not address cultural, moral, or spiritual values at any length, presumably because they think that these topics are outside the realm of legitimate study for economists.
4. Cultural equalizers. They are convinced that it is misleading or even wrong to say that any culture is “better” than any other, even “better” at producing economic growth. That we should not try to explain the disparity by saying that one country’s cultural habits and values are better than another’s.
5. Fatalists. They claim that economic prosperity came about simply because some nations had the good fortune of favorable geographic factors, such as moderate weather, abundant natural resources, and useful animals from the beginning, so it was inevitable that they would become rich while others would remain poor.
6. Socialists and other “planners” of stronger or weaker varieties. Their solution to poverty is more planning and wise government “experts”.
Hence, one noted world economist summarizes the current confusion in economic development:
“Instead of a handful of simple and clear-cut laws that tell us what to do and what to expect, we have a hundred competing tendencies and possibilities, of uncertain strength and quite often, direction, with little guidance as to how to add them up. We can explain every fact many times, with the result that there is very little left that we can both believe strongly and act upon.”
Now comes the economists from the University of the Philippines (My alma mater) recent warning that “Federal form of government tends to worsen poverty and widen income inequality” and that “the Philippines may end up jumping from the frying pan to the fire if it embraces federalism”. They even have the “balls” to compare our country with Nigeria and Sudan!” Over-acting naman kayo. This is a great insult to us Filipinos.
First question: What type of economists are those from the UP?
Second question: What are their underlying assumptions in concluding that federalism is not good for the Philippines?
Third question: Since they admitted that our country is now in a “frying pan,” why did they not propose any solution so that we can get out of the “frying pan?”
“Puro lang kayo daldal ng daldal”. Understandably, “Pag ayaw puro dahilan lang kayo. Walang man lang solusyon kayong maibigay sa Sambayanan para makaahon ang bansa sa kahirapan!”
Why is the Philippines presently in a “frying pan?” Because we continue to have an extractive economic system and an extractive political system. Thus, we have an exclusive growth where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer in our current Philippine Society. “Tama ba ito mga UP economists?”
If this is really so, and we indeed think this is really so, how do we get out of this “frying pan”? “Yan ang dapat sagutin ng ating UP economists, hindi puro problema ang sinasabi ninyo!”
To achieve inclusive growth in our country, we must reform our-present Constitution to adopt real inclusive economic system and inclusive political system. But our UP economists are not in favor of Constitutional Reform. This simply means they are for the status quo of keeping our country in the “frying pan”! They are so fearful of real Social Transformation or societal change that they prefer our country to continue to stagnate rather than innovate. No risk, no gain! They love analyzing this issue to death. “Sayang lang ang binabayad ng gobyerno sa inyo.” Clearly, the book “The Poverty Of Nations, is a must reading to UP economists. “Mag-aral pa kayo!”
Yes, what our nation badly needs is an honest-to-goodness Social Transformation. This involves System or Structural Reform and People Reform. Yes, we badly need also long-range solutions to our present predicament. Band-aid or piece-meal remedies will not suffice. We are deeply stuck in the mire that calls for more deep-rooted solutions.
A Modied Social Market Economic System is an inclusive economic system and a Federal System is an inclusive political system are the two systems that we must adopt to attain real inclusive growth in our country. For People Reform, we are proposing our “New Filipino People Reform Program”. These Reforms will complete our formula for Real Social Transformation in the Philippines. “Pag gusto, may paraan!”
UP is supposed to produce game-changer graduates. How can UP do its mandate with this kind of status quo mindset economists in its midst? On second thought, what do we really expect from those intellectual elites who benefit much from our present oppressive and imperialistic economic and political systems in our oligarchic and elitist society.

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