It’s somewhat reassuring and a big relief for Filipinos that the Philippines no longer appears on the top list of Transparency International (TI) as among the most corrupt nations in the world today.
How did we manage to do it as a people? Not much at all, it seems. It just came almost as a natural consequence, when vigilant citizens reacted with nationalistic fervor against massive corruption that involved the brazen acts of wholesale corrupt practices by high government officials who allegedly connived with a dubious character by way of manipulating the releases of pork barrel funds allocated to lawmakers through fake non-government organizations or to non-existent foundations to the detriment of their constituencies and the loss of public funds intended for essential community services.
The entire nation went ballistic over the anomaly, denouncing and openly protesting the huge pile of corruption and anomalies that developed into a deluge of multi-billion peso scandals never before seen in this country’s struggling economy.
The scandalous manipulation of the P10-billion peso fund anomaly of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) a.k.a. pork barrel that is now sweeping the entire Philippine bureaucracy, plus the equally-questionable disposal of the multi-billion peso Malampaya funds and the hair-raising Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) which are mostly questionable in so far as their constitutionality are concerned all contributed to the people’s dismay and utter frustration.
ASIDE FROM PROVIDING PEOPLE’S BASIC NEEDS. Through the years, one thing has clearly emerged; that aside from providing millions of Filipinos their basic needs, one abstract need: justice for one and for all, which is something which is sorely lacking in this nation of 100 million people, justice for one and all.
One can cite many things under which justice should be categorized. And this is that, Filipino leaders must ensure not only liberation from criminal fiends but economic equality, economic justice and social justice which at the moment in the country’s pre-colonial, colonial and modern-day history has been elusive for the people.
The prosecution services, law enforcement agencies, judiciary must deliver government officials, including all functionaries must deliver on all kinds of justice we have cited.
And we mean national government officials, who have to ensure that the institutions of justice work to benefit the Filipino people, as promised.
Before my suggestions to newly-elected or re-elected barangay officials, let me remind about something.
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"They do not just feed their respective families but the country as well."
Thus said Bacolod Vice Mayor Greg G. Gasataya, citing the millions of Filipinos who work abroad as a "gem" in the Philippine economy for their high-value tax contributions.
Induction. Bacolod Vice Mayor Greg G. Gasataya swears in OFW members yesterday of Barangay Handuman at the Sangguniang Panlungsod.*
The Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), whom Gasataya say are dollar-earner generating asset, is a big contribution to the country’s economy.
At an induction ceremony held at the Sanguniang Panlungsod Session Hall in Bacolod City Thursday, Gasataya lauded the officers and members of the Federation of OFW Negros Occidental led by its president, Salvacion Barrios for their organization’s continued expansion of membership in the province.
JUN DL REYES B-DAY. Bantay Banwa Group headed by Chairman/President Roberto Dot Soliven, Vice-Chairman Joseling Abello, Atty. Benjamin Ortega, Roger Yap, Toting Lim, Bingbing Jochico, Ramon Cu, Manuel Si, Jimmy Chua, Manuel Bingbot Baylon, and Manuel Sy in a "dinner conference" at Business Inn with birthday celebrant Jun de los Reyes. Roger Yap of Waterworld Purified Drinking Water sponsored the week-long dinner conferences at Business Inn .*
Ratchaburi, Thailand. Filipinos teaching English subject in Thailand are respected of their excellent performance, not only in teaching but conducting cultural activities as well.
According to Bryan Berba, a cum laude graduate of Bacolod City College, the Filipinos always show ingenuity in any school undertakings.
At Daruna Ratchaburi School (elementary and high school) in Thailand, during the Academic days celebration in November 21-22, 2013, he said the Filipino teachers have shown their ingenuity by showing glimpses of Filipino culture in the 2-day exhibits. Considering the heartbreaking situation of the Filipino teachers here, and their countrymen brought about by typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda, the Filipino teachers worked together and upheld expectations that Daruna English Program is one of the most admired English Programs in the Diocese of Ratchaburi. The exhibit included major beauty spots from the three (3) regions - Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, in a two-dimensional framework pictures designed by Miss Sharon Besiata. It was a fun-filled activity. The Thai students really enjoyed and showed undivided attention towards their fellow Thai students as they performed the Tinikling or "Bamboo Jumping", the national dance of the Philippines. The students also loved listening to songs which were sang by "Jer hom", a High School Student band. "Jer hom" means smells good in Thai. "Jer hom" beautifully rendered the songs "Ang Bandila" and "Pinoy Ako".
Bacolod City Gender and Development Council (GAD), chaired by Councilor Em Legaspi Ang, in cooperation with the Bacolod City Population Office, conducted a Forum on Teenage Pregnancy at Handumanan National High School last Tuesday, December 3, 2013.
TEENAGE FORUM. Mr. Ernie Asoy, Population Program Officer III-AHYD Coordinator, speaks on the risky behavior of adolescents and teenage pregnancy at the Handumanan National High School last Tuesday, December 3, 2013.*
The said Forum was attended by teachers and third and fourth year students of the said school. About 200 students were gathered at the school’s audio visual room.
Students were oriented as to the risky behavior of teenagers, causes and effects of Teenage Pregnancy, Adolescent Health and Development and Responsible Parenthood.
The Immaculate Conception Academy/La Consolacion Academy/La Consolacion College-Murcia Alumni Association, in partnership with the Silver Jubilarians (Batch ’88) and the Ruby Jubilarians (Batch ’73), will sponsor the General Alumni Homecoming dubbed as "Ma Tinabu-ay Ta!" on December 28, 2013.
The homecoming will start with a registration at 2:00 p.m. and a Thanksgiving Mass at 3:00 p.m. in the LCC-Murcia campus. A Fun Walk from LCC to Murcia Gymnasium will follow at 4:00 p.m.
The election of the new set of Alumni officers, videoke challenge by different batches, dinner, dance party, raffle of door prizes, photo booth and coronation of Mr. and Ms. Alumni 2013 are the activities lined up in the evening at the gym.
Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo G. Marañon, Jr., and Department of Education (DepEd) Officer-in-Charge Regional Director Arnold John Siena will grace the opening ceremony of 2013 Palarong Panlalawigan (Provincial Meet) to open on Sunday at Panaad Park and Sports Stadium in Brgy. Mansilingan, Bacolod City.
Bacolod City Mayor Monico O. Puentevella is also expected to attend as city host and expected to talk about the upcoming hosting of National Philippine Youth Games (PYG)-Batang Pinoy which was reset on January 28 to February 1, 2014 at the same venue.
Also expected to attend are provincial officials and mayors from other cities and municipalities barring aside politics in the holding of the province sports competition.
By James G. Toga & Clauden Mae Genanda
World champions Donnie "Ahas" Nietes and Merlito ‘Tiger’ Sabillo, all from Bacolod, yesterday received a hero’s welcome at the Bacolod City Government Center after successfully defended their respective titles during the Pinoy Pride XXIII: Filipinos Kontra Latinos recently held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Nietes ended with an impressive 3rd round TKO victory over Mexican challenger Sammy "Guty" Gutierrez to keep his WBO world light flyweight belt and became second longest current Filipino word champion next to the great Gabriel ‘Flash’ Elorde. Meanwhile, Sabillo was able to protect his WBO minimumweight crown against Carlos Buitrago of Nicaragua via split draw with the judges scoring the fight: 115-113, 113-115 and 114-114.
WORLD CHAMPIONS Donnie "Ahas" Nietes and Merlito ‘Tiger’ Sabillo (4th and 6th from left) received a hero’s welcome at the Bacolod City Government Center (BCGC) yesterday after successfully defended their respective titles. In photo are Bacolod City Mayor Monico Puentevella (3rd from right), Jovencio Paroco (former GAB-Bacolod OIC), GAB Consultant Vic Tan, and Councilors Jun Gamba Jr. and El Cid Familiaran.*