Tag Archives: Metro Manila

[Press Release] Labor group demands that DOLE relax rules on tardy workers -PM

As cabinet meets to deal with traffic problem:
Labor group demands that DOLE relax rules on tardy workers

With the cabinet meeting today to deal with the grave traffic problem in Metro Manila, the labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) demanded that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issue rules to protect workers who are late for work due to traffic.

pmLogo1

“With employers seemingly cool to our proposal not to penalize tardy workers stuck in traffic, we petition the DOLE to mandate new rules so that employees are not punished for a problem that they have no control over and the government has no solution yet,” insisted Rene Magtubo, PM national chair.

Last week PM proposed the following steps:
1. Grace period of 30 minutes
2. No warning or infraction if three or more workers are late due to traffic
3. No pay cut, offset through additional time worked
4. Shuttle buses for establishments with 200 or more workers

Magtubo averred that “It is well within the powers of the DOLE to issue rules on tardiness due to traffic as it also makes industrial regulations in times of power or economic crisis. Traffic is no less a pressing concern for workers as it impacts on their work-life balance and also employers as it affect their productivity.”

He added that “At the very least DOLE should call a tripartite conference of representatives of workers, employers and government so that the parties can agree on concrete steps to deal with the industrial implications of traffic congestion, including protection for workers who are late due to traffic.”

Media reported that officials of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines were opposed to the proposals of PM. “Since employers are unwilling to meet our sensible proposals, we encourage unions to negotiate with management for such measures in their collective bargaining agreements or table them in grievance procedures. We also call on employees without unions to directly petition their management. Until traffic congestion is substantially reduced, such remedial steps must remain in place to protect workers,” Magtubo argued.

PM is proposing that government provide for green, cheap, public mass transport system in Metro Manila and major cities as a long-term solution to the issue of traffic. Among other strategic solutions, the group insists that government invest and subsidize in efficient electric rail networks that must remain in public hands.

Press Release
September 1, 2015
Partido Manggagawa
Contact Rene Magtubo @ 09178532905

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[Press Release] Cyclists converge for the environment -DAKILA

Cyclists converge for the environment

Summer cycling convergence
Manila, Philippines — In line with Earth Day, cyclists will gather at the Quezon Memorial Circle on April 26 for Summer Cycling Convergence: Festival of Fireflies to promote the culture of cycling as a way to preserve the environment.

Dakila new

The event is a pre-cursor to the Tour of the Fireflies happening this November, the biggest cycling event that brings together more than 14,000 cyclists. The Tour of the Fireflies has been held for the last 15 years, organised by The Firefly Brigade–a group that promotes the use of the bicycle for clean air and sustainable communities.

“Fireflies exist where the air is clean. The lack of fireflies in the city is only a testament to the polluted air we breathe. When was the last time you saw fireflies? The fireflies have fled because of air pollution. But we believe that we can still fight for clean air, and bring fireflies back-this is a symbolic call for our own survival–as we struggle to be able to breathe clean air ourselves,” said Katti Sta. Ana, President of the Firefly Brigade.

The Firefly Brigade does not only see cycling as a way to improve air quality in cities; its members also see it as a means of sustainable transportation. And with the traffic in Metro Manila only getting worse by the day, the bicycle may just be the most sensible, environmentally sound vehicle for getting around the metro.

“In spite of the best efforts of our local bicycle advocacy groups, our current state of transportation leaves much to be desired. Our national government still continues to depend on unsustainable means of solving traffic congestion problems, relying on road-building and widening projects that encourage the use of even more private motor vehicles,” Katti Sta. Ana said.

“After 15 years of organizing the Tour of the Fireflies, we think it is time for LGUs to organize their own bike rides to improve the quality of life in their localities. A few of these LGUs have already started doing this and we are enjoining more to have their own bicycle programs through effective bike-friendly legislations and practices.”

To encourage LGUs into becoming bicycle-friendly places, the cities and municipality comprising Metro Manila were invited to participate in the event: with Quezon City as host, Caloocan, Las Pinas, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Manila, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Paranaque, Pasay, Pasig, San Juan, Taguig, Valenzuela, and Pateros. In addition, the organization will be providing each city and municipality resources that will help them set up bicycle program development plans such as constructing bikeways, planting trees for shade, and holding carless days and bike-to-work days. The convergence aims for local governments to be inspired by the triumphs in cycling advocacy of their neighbor cities, and for businesses to see the opportunities in building upon a thriving bicycle culture that cater to the cycling community.

“We hope that this event will energize the cycling community by informing them of the wide array of cycling-related products available to them and the bike programs of their local governments. By bringing together different stakeholders, we would like to see a convergence of people who join our tour and that this convergence might result to positive actions in terms of support for cycling as a mode of transportation,” Sta. Ana added.

To further promote a culture of cycling, booths will be set up selling brand names such as Cannondale, Cat-eye, Mavic, Tern, Bickerton, California Eco-Bike, Spyder, Lagalag, Lakambini, Larga and Viper. There will also be a bicycle show featuring unique and vintage bikes, a bike tiangge where cyclists will have an opportunity to exchange bike parts or donate to the organization’s Recycle-A-Bicycle Project, and a free bike tune-up for the whole day courtesy of Cycle Shack. And of course, in the tradition of the Tour of the Fireflies, the best costumed rider will get a valuable prize. For the first Cycling Convergence, it will be a Tern folding bike.

According to environmentalist, musician and Dakila spokesperson Nityalila Saulo, “This convergence of cyclists for the environment is a very fitting celebration of Earth Day as the growing interest in cycling not only as a fad but a sustainable means of transportation has greatly contributed in lessening carbon emissions.” Nityalila, leader of Dakila’s Climate Revolution program, led the 1,000 kilometer, 40 day climate walk from Manila to Tacloban last year to call on world leaders to act on climate change. “Dakila supports this convergence of cyclists as their involvement in the advocacy for climate action and transportation reforms is crucial in bringing about public consciousness for a climate-friendly environment and safe and efficient transportation system for everyone.”

Summer Cycling Convergence: Festival of Fireflies is organized by The Firefly Brigade in partnership with Dakila, Manila Bulletin, Newton Multi Sales ad Junni Industries. For more information visit http://www.fireflybrigade.org or http://www.facebook.com/fireflybrigade.org.–

PRESS RELEASE
21 April 2015

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[Press Release] Labor group decries P15 wage hike insulting, divisive to workers -CTUHR

Labor group decries P15 wage hike insulting, divisive to workers

The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) decried the Php 15 increase daily for minimum wage earners in Metro Manila saying that the amount is just enough to buy three small sized eggs in public market and barely enough to buy half kilo rice.

CTUHR logo

“It is very insulting that the wage hikes the Aquino government can grant to the workers are just enough for a pack of instant noodles and eggs. It is apparent that the government benchmark for improving workers’ lives is giving them coins for these two commonly affordable so-called food. The last time, the regional wage board approved only a P10 wage increase and that was on September 2013 implemented only on January 2014, ” Daisy Arago, CTUHR Executive Director said.

On March 18, the DOLE announced, that the Tripartite Regional Wage and Productivity Board (RTWPB-NCR)  issued Wage Oder No 19  approving a P15 wage hike for minimum wage earners in Metro Manila effective April.

DOLE noted that the decision was prompted by erosion of minimum wage, inflation rate, and capacity of employers and it has to do hard balancing between the workers needs and employers. It is a compromise, according to Malacanang.

The group however noted that in the 26 years of regionalized wage fixing, the government only exposed that there is in fact no ‘balancing’ between workers’ needs and employers’ interests. “It is always a one-sided compromise.  There was no time when the workers were somehow happy precisely because in every wage order issued, workers only get crumbs from the table of the rich whose profits had swollen increasing by almost 100 percent from 2009 to 2013, further widening the gap between the rich and the poor,” Arago explained.

The group also underlined that not only the amount is so revolting as trade unions centers had felt, it is also discriminatory as only 12% of workers in Metro Manila will benefit from it when in fact rising prices, transportations fares, services had affected every working people without discrimination.

“Employers are simply advised to revisit their pay structure for possible wage distortion, which is no guarantee that workers receiving a little over minimum wage can get a pay rise. Afterall,  DOLE said, the recent Wage Order is not mandatory for non-minimum wage earner,” Arago said.

The group also lambasted the divisive nature of the wage order and the regional wage system, “Even with this so measly amount, minimum wage earners in Metro Manila seem to be better off with their co-workers in the provinces whose wages are far below, that DOLE admitted to be below poverty threshold,” Arago said.

The group raised that Wage Order # 19 came as a little surprising, if not suspicious as to timing not because workers are not demanding and expecting substantial wage hike which is their right, but it came just in time when President Aquino’s popularity is sliding and workers are warming up in pushing for a national minimum wage of P16,000 per month.

“Whether or not the issuance was meant to temper the seething workers and public discontent over the current administration, we believe that there can be no acceptable justification for P15 wage hike in a time when the workers stomachs are grumbling from hunger and lack of nutrition. Similarly, it also calls an end to economic inequalities amongst workers perpetuated by regionalized wage fixing, as it is not only discriminatory and divisive, but it exposed them further to abuses and rights violations by taking advantage of their cheap labor,” Arago said.###

For reference: Daisy Arago, CTUHR Executive Director, +632.411.0256, +63916.248.4876

RELEASE
23 March 2015

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[Press Release] Right to water advocates storm MWSS office -FDC

Right to water advocates storm MWSS office

Water consumers from urban poor communities and indigenous peoples leaders held a protest in front of the office of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System office today to denounce its role in water privatization and to call on government to turn its back on water privatization policies.

FDC

“It is because of privatization of water services which government implemented under the guidance and full financial technical backing of international financial institutions led by the World Bank that the Philippines now has the fifth highest water rates among major cities in the Asia-Pacific. It is also because our water is privatized that the water rate cuts of P1.46 per cubic meter for Maynilad and P7.24 per cubic meter for Manila Water which the MWSS Regulatory Office imposed last year remains unimplemented until now,” Samuel Gamboa, Secretary-General of the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) said.

The protesters demanded the immediate implementation of the water rate reduction saying there is no legal impediment which prevents the MWSS-RO from doing so especially considering it will benefit millions of consumers.

“The failure of the MWSS to implement the Regulatory Office’s decision has deprived Metro Manila consumers of what would have been welcome relief from high water tariffs charged by Manila Water and Maynilad. It is shameful that the MWSS, instead of standing by their own decision which came after a thorough audit, has been parroting the water companies’ argument that the rate cuts cannot be imposed while arbitration is ongoing,”Gamboa added.

According to FDC, government’s is going full-steam with water sector privatization with PPP projects for bulk water supply in Bulacan worth P24.4 billion and the Kaliwa dam project under the New Centennial Water Source Supply Project woth P18.72 billion, and expansion of private sector investment outside of Metro Manila.

“The Kaliwa dam project which will be implemented under the PPP scheme further highlights the current administration’s emphasis on private sector investments in the water sector. In its eagerness to entice corporations to invest in the NCWSSP, the Aquino administration is running roughshod over indigenous peoples rights and environmental concerns. Why else would they invite investors to bid for the project when they know that the indigenous peoples in the area have not given their Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) as required under Republic Act 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act,” Gamboa revealed.

Indigenous groups from the dam site travelled all the way from General Nakar in Quezon province to express their objection to the planned Kaliwa dam.

“We join people from other parts of the world who are taking part in an international week of action expose the truth behind World Bank marketing of key water privatization
successes.

Our own experience with water privatization has thoroughly exposed this lie. In the 17 years since Metro Manila’s water service was privatized, water rates for Manila’s East and West zones have skyrocketed by 800 percent and 1,000 percent respectively. We call on government to turn its back on privatization and focus on polices that will help in the realization of the human right to water,” Gamboa said.

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[Press Release] Protests vs. Meralco rate hike spreads outside Manila as coordinated picketing staged

Protests vs. Meralco rate hike spreads outside Manila as coordinated picketing staged

Madilim na pasko by PM

The militant Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) staged a coordinated picketing of Meralco branches as protests against the huge power rate hike intensified at the grassroots level and spread outside Metro Manila. Meralco branches in Paranaque, Rizal and Cavite were picketed this morning and afternoon by several hundred workers and urban poor.

Also today, the PM spokesperson together with leaders of other groups formally asked for an anti-competition inquiry on Meralco’s rate hike. The request was filed with the Office for Competition which is under the DOJ and was created by E.O. 45 series of 2011.

“If competition exists in the power industry then business interests would collide but under EPIRA, the players collude,” stressed Wilson Fortaleza, PM spokesperson, as he joined the filing of the request for inquiry on unfair competition against Meralco and generation companies.

He added that “It is futile to pursue an honest scrutiny of Meralco’s huge rate hike through the ERC which is totally captured by monopolists in the power industry. Instead we hope the Office from Competition can give a fair hearing to the complaint. If PNoy is serious about investigating Meralco’s hike, then he can do something through the Office for Competition which is under his authority, unlike the ERC.”

At 10:00 am today, PM members trooped to the Meralco branch in Tambo, Paranaque and Antipolo City in Rizal. Later at 3:00 pm, other PM members in Cavite picketed branches in the towns of Rosario and Dasmarinas.

In the next few days, PM will continue the series of protests with pickets in Marilao, Bulacan and GMA, Cavite.

Press Release
December 16, 2013
Partido ng Manggagawa
Contact Wilson Fortaleza @ 09178233956

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[Press Release] Hundreds of cyclists demand passage and implementation of human rights laws -AIPh

Hundreds of cyclists demand passage and implementation of human rights laws

Photo grabbed from AIph FB

Photo grabbed from AIph FB

 

More than a thousand participants of the Amnesty International Philippines’ Bike for Rights PadyaKarapatan 2013 cycled through 7 cities of Metro Manila reminding the Aquino administration and the 16th Congress of their obligation to enact and implement legislation necessary for protecting human rights of Filipino citizens.

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The 78-kilometer Bike for Rights which is now on its 19th year carried the theme ‘Sampung Tanong ng Bayan sa Pamahalaang Aquino at Kongreso’ reiterating the 10 Point Human Rights Legislative Agenda of Amnesty International Philippines and its previous calls and demands upon the Aquino government.

“Before the 2010 and 2013 elections, Amnesty International presented its Philippine Human Rights Agenda to the candidates and promises were subsequently made. As the year ends, we ask 10 questions – ‘Sampung Tanong ng Bayan sa Pamahalaang Aquino at Kongreso’ – to remind the Aquino government and the 16th Congress about important human rights agenda which they need to act upon immediately starting 2014,” explained Dr. Aurora A. Parong, Director of Amnesty International Philippines.

The 10 questions highlighted, among others, the need for Congressional oversight in the implementation of the Anti-Torture Law, ratification of the International Convention on Enforced disappearances, amendment of the Witness Protection Program, review of the Cybercrime Prevention Act and repeal of discriminatory laws against women, gender and ethnic minorities, as well as the strengthening of the Commission on Human Rights through the adoption of its Charter.

Amnesty International recognizes that many good laws for the protection of human rights were enacted in recent years. Yet the organization is deeply concerned on the continuing crimes and abuses as well as the failure of the Philippine criminal justice system to ensure that justice is served fairly and without delay to victims of human rights violations. Impunity exists, perpetrators of crimes and human rights abuses are not prosecuted and justice is not served to the victims and their families.

“Our laws penalize killings, torture and other human rights violations, however, the killings continue, torture continues, and enforced disappearances remain realities in our country. Three journalists were killed during the past of two weeks. Perpetrators of these killings and abuses get away with their crimes. The good laws do not positively impact on people’s lives,” added Dr. Parong.

Three journalists were killed in the last two weeks – Rogelio Butalid was shot dead in Tagum City on Wednesday while Michael Milo of Tandag City and Jash Dignos of Valencia City was killed on 29 November according to news sources.

Amnesty International reminds the Philippine government to work towards better governance, at the national, provincial and municipal levels, by combating impunity within their jurisdiction. The criminal justice system must be made to work effectively towards penalizing perpetrators of abuses to end impunity and prevent extra judicial killings, unlawful arrests, secret detention, enforced disappearances, torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

“Amnesty International Philippines calls on the Aquino government to take immediate steps to diligently implement pro-human rights laws and enhance our system of laws by acting on the10 points human rights agenda within the 16th Congress.” concluded the Director.

The Bike for Rights: PadyaKarapatan 2013 culminates Amnesty International Philippines’ celebration the 65th year of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The cycling event started in Quezon City traversing though Marikina, Pasig, Mandaluyong, Makati, Pasay, Manila and back to the Quezon City Memorial Circle.

The complete Amnesty International’s Legislative Agenda to the 16th Congress can be downloaded here: bit.ly/legagenda16th

Amnesty International Philippines
Press Release
15 December 2013

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[Press Release] Group appeals to SSS, GSIS, Pag-ibig for Visayas teachers -TDC

Group appeals to SSS, GSIS, Pag-ibig for Visayas teachers

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) once again appealed to the government loan agencies to facilitate faster privileges with lenient terms to the survivors and relatives of the victims of super typhoon Yolanda that swept many provinces of the Visayas including some in Northern Mindanao and Southern Tagalog regions.

TDC

“We appeal to the respective boards of Pag-Ibig, GSIS and SSS to immediately facilitate special loans to the calamity victims or their relatives.” Said Benjo Basas, TDC national chairperson.

Public school teachers are entitled to apply for loan in Pag-ibig and GSIS, while private school teachers may get a loan from Pag-ibig and SSS.

Basas said that “The granting of ‘no-interest loans’ for teachers survivors and relatives would surely help them rebuild their lives after being devastated by the monster storm. The strict policies should be waived at this time. Such would be a gesture not just of support and generosity, but more so, love and compassion.”

This will also signal hope for the teachers so that they will eventually help others in the rehabilitation effort.

Basas said that teachers or employees that are non-residents of disaster areas but are closely related or involved in their family’s economic activities in back in home provinces must be considered.

“People, especially teachers in the affected provinces need these kind of help. We may focus on the provinces of Samar and Leyte but we have to remember that there are also a lot of people, schools and teachers in the northern parts of the islands of Cebu, Negros, Panay and Palawan. Still, teachers in Metro Manila or any other parts of the country that support their families in the provinces must also be granted the same privilege.” Basas ended.

On Tuesday, November 26, TDC members who temporarily evacuated from Leyte will join the gathering of Yolanda survivors at the DepEd Central Office where Sec. Armin Luistro is expected to meet them for lunch.

NEWS RELEASE
25 November 2013

[Press Release] Teachers offer assistance, ask for help for thypoon victims -TDC

Teachers offer assistance, ask for help for thypoon victims

Teachers offered their assistance to the victims of the Super Typhoon Yolanda thru volunteer work in humanitarian organizations and foundations that are doing relief operations for the areas hit by the strongest typhoon in recorded history.

TDC

Benjo Basas, national chairman of the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) said that even “in this little way, we can show our compassion and sympathy to our fellow Filipinos who suffered the effects of perhaps, the worst natural calamity in our country.”
Recognizing the bayanihan spirit in every the heart of every Filipino, the group has offered their help in packaging the relief goods to non-government organizations and several media groups in Manila.

Basas added that much as they want to raise funds for fellow teachers in the calamity areas, they have no capacity to do so, and just ask the members to donate old clothes or any ready to eat food. However teachers and TDC members who wish to donate cash are endorsed to the mainstream organizations and institutions that can effectively handle such operation.

The TDC leaders from Central Luzon, Calabarzon and Metro Manila will meet this Saturday, November 16 at Morning Breeze Elementary School in Caloocan to tackle the possible assistance the group can offer and the attendees are advised to bring their relief donations.

Basas also said the asked the Budget Department to immediately release teachers and government employees’ year-end bonus (13th month pay).

“If the DBM and our respective agencies can expedite the release of our year-end bonus, then we can help our relatives in the provinces. Also, teachers who are affected themselves will have, at least money for survival and other necessities.” He also asks the government loan agencies to facilitate emergency loans, “The granting of ‘no-interest loans’ from Pag-Ibig Fund and GSIS may also help the teachers and employees to cope up in these trying times.” Basas ended.

Normally, the year-end bonus of teachers comes ‘not earlier than November 16’ according to the policy but normally reach them after a week or two.

The TDC noted that there are several reports already from the field especially in Panay and Samar, however, their members and leaders in Leyte are until now inaccessible thru mobile communication and internet.

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[Appeal] in Behalf of Victims of Typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda -Oplan Sagip Bayan

November 12, 2013

Dear Friends and Allies,

We are switching on our Oplan Sagip Bayan operations (Oplan People’s Rescue) in light of the damage by Typhoon Haiyan’s rampage (local name: Yolanda) in Eastern and Central Visayas.

This is in close coordination with CONCERN or Center for Emergency Aid and Rehabilitation who has more than twenty five years of consistent work in the field of disaster-risk and rehabilitation and has assisted more than one million individuals since 1988.

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Residents of Cebu, Bohol and nearby province of Leyte have been served with a double whammy as a 7.2 magnitude earthquake came twenty four days earlier, on October 15.

The energy released by the Visayas quake is equivalent to 951.5 kilotons of TNT, 796,214 lightning flashes, 30.16 million gallons of gasoline, or 1.90 billion sticks of dynamite according to the internet news site Rappler.

Following the quake, seventy-seven out of almost 2,900 aftershocks monitored by Philvocs were felt. The structural integrity of houses, buildings, including heritage churches still left standing by the quake are already severely compromised, sink holes began appearing as a result.

Last November 8, Super Typhoon Haiyan came blowing in from the eastern seaboard bringing winds howling at 235 kmh (147 mph), waves were reported to reach 15 meters (45 ft) and brought in 400mm (15.75 inches) of rain in some places.  This early, the death toll is expected to exceed 10,000 and for those that survive the devastation, there is little food, no electricity or clean water. Clean clothes and other provisions necessary for survival are scarce.

As we switch on Oplan Sagip Bayan, we are sending out an appeal to all our friends and allies, like you, in the hope that we can gather both food and non-food support intended for the Haiyan victims, specifically for Northern Cebu and three towns in Leyte or around 5,000 families.

 

Our ability to respond to this crisis hinges on how fast we can muster the needed support for the victims such as:

o       standard food relief packages for a family of six for three days consisting of the following items approximately worth Php 1000 (USD 25 ) :

6 kilos of rice                 ½ kilo of washed sugar
½ kilo of dried fish            ½ kilo of mongo beans
¼ kilo of iodized salt          3 canned of sardines

o       non-food items such as mosquito nets, sleeping mats, blankets, flashlights or paraffin lamps, rubber boots, drinking water, used clothes, etc.

o       medicines such as Paracetamol tablets and syrups, antibiotics, anti-allergies, cough and colds, water purification tablets, medical supplies for first aid such as alcohol, sterile gauze, plaster, Betadine antiseptic solution, etc.

o       Equipment for use of the Emergency Operation Centers such as radio transceivers, warehouses, vehicles, fax machine, photocopiers, cellular phones, generators etc.

 

You can also send your in-kind donations to this address:

•       Metro Manila: # 22 Domingo Guevarra St. Barangay Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City 1550

You can send your donations through the women sector account:

 

Account Name: Pagkakaisa ng Kababaihan para sa Kalayaan Inc. (KAISA KA)

Account Number: 106930026351

SWIFT CodeBDO-BNORPHMM

Routing No.:  021-000089

Name of the Bank:  BDO-Mandaluyong Libertad Branch

Address of the Bank Branch:  G/F Sierra Heights Place Domingo Guevarra corner Sierra Madre Streets,Mandaluyong City, Philippines, 1550

 

Help us help the Haiyan victims, now. For more information please call our office number 717-3262 or visit us at #22-A, Libertad St., Brgy. Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City and look for Mr. Fidel Fababier or Marie Guzman.

 

We will acknowledge all sponsors/donors and shall provide a concise report on the same.  Thank you in advance for yoursupport.

 

 

Respectfully,

 

Fidel Fababier
National Coordinator, Oplan Sagip Bayan

+639461115073 (Mobile)

kpdpilipinas@gmail.com

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[Event] National Conference on Peoples Energy -PMCJ

National Conference on Peoples Energy

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November 4-6, 2013, Balay Kalinaw Hall, University of the Philippines – Diliman, Quezon City
Convened by Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ)
In cooperation with Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC)

The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) is a national coalition of 103 national and local organizations, national networks, peoples organizations, community organizations and NGOs currently doing work in the National Capital Region, Central Luzon Region, Quezon, Laguna, Samar, Leyte, Catanduanes, Cebu, Iloilo, Negros, Misamis Occidental, CARAGA region, Bukidnon, Zamboanga del Sur, SOCSARGEN Region, and Davao, .

PMCJ LOGO NEW

Since its inception in 2009, PMCJ has been actively working on developing a national climate justice movement in the country. One of its aims is to build strong campaign centers and chapters in strategic regions across the country, to develop and escalate local, regional and national concerted actions on many climate related issues and key political moments in the country.

PMCJ’s work on addressing and contributing in solving the climate crisis requires a strategic shift in the balance of power, a comprehensive transformation of societies at all levels – local, national and global – and along the way winning urgently needed immediate and medium term victories that contribute in the overall goal of preventing catastrophic climate change.

A key element of its work is building strong national campaigns on transforming energy systems, as well as contributing in the regional (Asia Pacific) and international levels.

In 2010, PMCJ as a national coalition, started working on energy issues in the country. This year, PMCJ have focused on coal (mining and combustion), along with its alternatives, and launched its national campaign “Resist Coal! RE-Energize All!” to contribute in the fight against a particular dirty and harmful energy that the current government and coal corporations have been pushing heavily. Under this campaign, PMCJ last October 22, 2013 successfully organized a nationally coordinated action against coal and shift to renewable energy in 15 coal sites of struggles in 13 provinces across the country.

This year, PMCJ is also convening a national energy conference that aims to take stock of the current overall energy situation in the country and the government’s energy program and policies, and build consensus around a comprehensive Platform on Energy in light of:

1. Peoples’ right to universal access to energy and the obstacles to the fulfillment of this right
2. Issues and problems posed by dirty and harmful energy policies and projects
3. The urgent need to shift as quickly as possible democratic, equitable, renewable, clean and universally accessible Philippine energy system for people and communities
4. Facing the challenge of the climate crisis

The Conference is part of a collective effort to build and strengthen a Philippine movement resisting dirty and harmful energy, promoting peoples and community energy alternative systems, and linking energy campaigns to campaigns for climate justice.

Objectives of the Conference

The over-all goal is to lay the grounds for more intensive, larger scale and scope, coordinated and joint campaigning on energy in the country.

More specifically, the Conference will be an occasion for participants:
1. Gain an overview, exchange analyses and deepen collective understanding of the situation, critical trends and challenges in the energy sector in the Philippines; Examine the issues in the light of the climate crisis and the challenge of shifting to low-carbon, climate resilient, equitable and democratic development pathways and societies;
2. Take stock of ongoing local, national, including regional and global campaigns on energy ( against dirty and harmful energy; for peoples access to energy; for democratic governance of energy systems);
3. Build on existing unities and further develop a common comprehensive platform on Energy in the country, that also clearly addresses the climate crisis and is part of a broader Climate Justice platform;
4. Start developing a common action plan and mechanisms for pursuing coordination and collective actions
5. Put together movements and organizations who can serve as the active core that will drive and animate the process forward, reach out to others for broader, more inclusive convergences and collaboration in 2014 and beyond.

Conference Participants

The conference aims to gather about 50-60 representatives and leaders from PMCJ member organizations and allied organizations and networks working on energy issues from the different parts of the country.

Dates and Venue

The Conference proper will be held on November 4 to 6 at Balay Kalinaw Conference Hall, University of the Philippines – Diliman, Quezon City.

Resource Persons and Guests

Most of the resource persons will be coming from PMCJ, FDC and other allied organizations and institutions who have been working on energy for the past years in the country and who can also help update participants on national efforts and serve as resource persons on some of the topics.

Follow PMCJ @ https://www.facebook.com/ClimateJusticePH

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[Event] Global Month of Action Against Dirty and Harmful Energy -PMCJ

Global Month of Action Against Dirty and Harmful Energy

PMCJ

Join us as PMCJ spearheads the Philippine leg of the Global Month of Action Against Dirty and Harmful Energy on October 11 – November 11 2013, with Global Day of Action Against Coal on October 22, Global Days of Action Against Dams on October 12 and November 9, a Climate Justice Caravan on November 9-11 in Central Luzon and Metro Manila.

If you are interested to take part during the Global Month of Action Against Dirty and Harmful Energy please contact the PMCJ Secretariat at pmcj2012.sec@gmail.com or call us at (02) 9253036

pmcj logo

Reclaim Power! Global Month of Action on Energy
NO to dirty and harmful energy!
YES to renewable energy for people and communities!
October 11 to November 11, 2013
We face a planetary emergency and now is the moment to step up our efforts to transform our societies.
The Earth’s climate is destabilizing and the planet is in crisis. Climate change is already harming our food and farms, oceans and fish, our access to freshwater. It is causing the increase in frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events that lay waste to lives, homes and livelihoods.

All around the world people are rallying to respond to this emergency. We are harnessing our knowledge, our vision, our will, our compassion, and our solidarity – to fight climate change and its causes, and to build solutions that work for people and don’t destroy the planet. We are strengthening our communities for immediate and irreversible climate impacts and paving the way for new systems where all people lead lives of dignity and our planet is out of peril.

We need to do so much more — to reach and mobilize many more people and communities; to scale up and intensify collective actions; to strengthen the links between local and national struggles across all countries for powerful global actions — to address the causes and consequences of climate change and profoundly transform our societies.

http://reclaimpower.net/call-to-action

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[People] A Mission in Life By Fr. Shay Cullen

A Mission in Life
By Fr. Shay Cullen

We have to have a mission in life, to make it meaningful,with purpose and to live more fully.The mission can be to accomplish any good work,motivated by a spiritual value of compassion, love of justice, care of others,empathy and solidarity with the sick, the oppressed and lonely. These inner convictions and commitments can be the driving force of mission.

325-fr-shay-cullen

It can be caring for our family, helping the local community,dedicating ourselves to prayer,helping the poor in anyway we can or even going out to change the world and to help others without seeking to enrich ourselves or to gain from it.The more selfless and pure our motivation the better. Unable to be engaged personally on a mission to serve and directly save others many find a mission in sharing their surplus wealth in close partnership with a chosen mission or charitable work.

A mission in life is it own reward because it takes us out of ourselves toward others and it is a life of sharing and a life lived for others where we can find happiness, friendship and fulfillment. There is no better way to live as Jesus of Nazareth showed us. No greater love can anyone have,than to lay down their life for a friend.

I have been on mission with the Columban Missionary Society for almost 44 years. The Columbans made my mission possible from the beginning by sending me to the Philippines.Then the Holy Spirit took over and guided me the way I should go.

The latest chapter in my mission story happened a short while ago.I went with Preda social workers to get another youth named Miguel our of dehumanized prisons and to find his mother. His father had left them years before.

We got him out with a court order from the dirty infested prison cell ,a den of iniquity where innocent kids are treated like criminals.The minors are held pending an investigation of some allegation made against them, usually with little evidence to support it, It takes weeks or months in the Philippine system to have a child brought brought before a court. Meanwhile in the overcrowded cells the child is abused, molested, starved and even beaten by other inmates or cruel guards.

While the Preda social workers can save up to a hundred minors every year (some as young as 13) thousands more could be jailed and no one will know or help them. We have to change the system and get the juvenile justice law that forbids the jailing of minors under 15 be respected and implemented by the authorities.Those over 15 cannot be jailed unless the act was with discernment.But many are framed up. Changing that system is one mission I am on but it could take a life time.

Its in the Jail where we are called upon to look for Jesus of Nazareth to see him present among the poor ,the hungry naked and the unjustly imprisoned . On the day of Judgement St.Mathew tells us Jesus will call us to himself. `Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’Matthew 25:31-46 Then we will ask when did we do all that to you Lord? and he will answer, “so long as you did it to the poorest of my brothers and sisters you did it to me”. Its a powerful passage where Jesus identifies himself with the poorest of the poor ,the hungry,sick, lonely abandoned and unjustly imprisoned.

So from the jail I went to Paranaque in Metro Manila where there are millions of men women and malnourished sickly children living in the most unhygienic slums imaginable. I walked into a quagmire of filth, misery among the dwellers of the slums.Perverse poverty reigned supreme.

Its was not the first time that I visited a slum one of many.This was just a bit worse that the rest. They are the result of the great social equality in most modern societies where the wealth never trickles down to the poor. Where an estimated two percent owns or controls 70 percent of the national wealth. The revelations of many politicians stealing billions of pesos supports the point.

A great divide exists between rich and poor like that between Lazarus at the gate of the rich man Dives. Not even the crumbs that fell from his table could Lazarus get. The only creatures who had compassion were the kind dogs that licked his sores to try and heal him. What a condemnation of the irresponsible greedy rich. The children of the poor have to beg or steal to eat and then they go to jail.

To get to the shacks and shanties where Miguel mother lived we crossed a river thick smelly and as black as tar with the pollution nothing could exist there.Plastic bags and human waste floated there as the slums have no sewerage or toilets. The foot bridge was rickety, dangerous and made by the people themselves with scraps like their shacks and hovels.

They met. Miguel’s mother embraced her lost son in tears and something good and beautiful entered their impoverished world.

I looked up into the distance at the towering condominiums and skyscrapers of the super rich and wondered if there was a Zacchaeus among them who would have a change of heart and give back to the poor. End

(email : shaycullen@preda.org , http://www.preda.org)

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[Press Release] Teachers’ day demand: Teachers’ salaries over pork -TDC

Teachers’ day demand: Teachers’ salaries over pork

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) will join the DepEd-initiated celebration of World Teachers’ Day tomorrow at the Philsport Arena (Ultra). The whole day activity will be attended by some 7000 teachers from Metro Manila, Central Luzon and CALABARZON.

TDC

TDC will surprise the crowd with their flash mob, a synchronized upbeat dance of some 250 participants from all over Metro Manila with the theme of regaining the dignity and pride of the teaching profession.

“This time we will use dance to show the many faces of Filipino teachers and their prevailing condition. We will also challenge the authorities to prioritize teachers and public education sector especially in making policies for development and funding for social services.” Said Benjo Basas, the group’s national cahirperson.

TDC will use the songs “Sino ba ang Titser?” composed by educator-musician Bobet Mendoza and “Guro, Ilaw ng Dunong” regarded as TDC national anthem. This is the first time that a flash mob of teachers will be performed in a DepEd event.

“We join this celebration and festivities because we appreciate the National Teachers’ Month declaration, however we challenge the government to institute tangible programs for teachers and public education system.” Basas added.

Basas scored on the government which he said is putting more priorities to pork and other perks of those in power.

“While the budget department is putting very huge amount of funds for PDAF, DAP and other discretionary funds for executive and legislative officials, the resources for basic social services especially public education were left behind.”

Basas argued that for fiscal year 2013 and 2014 there is no increase in their salaries or incentives and their bonuses are tax deducted.

“If the government will keep on prioritizing the discretionary funds of politicians over teachers and education sector spending, the national teachers’ month declaration would remain empty and lip service appreciation.” Basas continued.
Reference: Benjo Basas- 09205740241

NEWS RELEASE
October 4, 2013

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[Press Release] Teachers ask DEPED to defer make-up classes -TDC

Teachers ask DEPED to defer make-up classes

logo TDC

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) appealed to the DepEd central office to consider deferment of the scheduled make-up classes in several divisions of Metro Manila, CALABARZON and Central Luzon. The group argued that the DepEd has yet to come up with a clear and uniform guidelines and the holding of make-up classes is contrary to its earlier pronouncements.

“While we recognize the authority of the schools division superintendents in imposing make-up classes, we would like to appeal to the DepEd Central Office to clarify the guidelines first for the purpose of fairness and uniformity.” Said Benjo Basas, the group’s national chairperson.

Basas said that based on the reports gathered by the TDC from the field, make-up classes differ in every school even those within the same district, division or municipality

“It creates confusion and comparison between and among the teachers in the field.” Basas continued.

Basas said the problem is due mainly to the policy of class suspension where the LGU executive has the authority to suspend classes in his jurisdiction while the DepEd field officials- from school heads, district supervisors, division superintendents and regional directors are empowered to impose make-up classes.

The group also asks the DepEd to clarify the use of buffer days.

“The school calendar since 2011-2012 up to the current school year declares 180 non-negotiable teaching and learning days or days where teacher is in full contact with the learners. It also sets aside buffer days for class disruptions, for SY 2013-2014, we have 21 buffer days out of 201 school days. How come that some schools and divisions are already having make-up classes? Are buffer days already consumed?” asked Basas.

TDC reiterates that make up classes may only be imposed once the 180 non-negotiable teaching days have been compromised. The DepEd in a statement on August 23 said, “The DepED annual calendar of around 200 school days already includes 20 days buffer for class disruptions. There may still be enough buffer days at this time of the school year so as not to require make up classes following the days lost this week.”

Basas said that th eDepEd is consistent with its position, in fact on October 24, 2011 press release on the clarification of semestral break, DepEd said, “Education Secretary Armin Luistro specified that the total number of school days shall be 202 while the total number of teaching-learning days shall be 180 days. The 22-day difference shall be for national and local events and celebrations, national, division and regional achievement tests and class suspensions due to calamities.

Basas reiterates that the scheduled make-up classes for tomorrow and on following Saturdays be defer until a clarification and unified guidelines from the DepEd Central Office have been issued.

“We believe that there may be a need for make-up classes would be necessary to cover the lost learning days of our pupils and students, however, we appeal to all the field officials of the DepEd to do it in a proper manner and the clarification from the office of Secretary Armin Luistro would be necessary.” Basas ended.

The group formally wrote to DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro to act on the matter immediately.

NEWS RELEASE
September 6, 2013
Reference: Benjo Basas, Chairperson- 09205740241

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[Press Release] Solons, top officials asked to lower pay to minimum wage -PM

Solons, top officials asked to lower pay to minimum wage

pmLogo1

The Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) challenged senators, congressional representatives and top executive government officials to lower their pay to the level of a minimum wage earner. “If our peak legislative and executive officials are in position for public service and not to wallow in pork then they should be amenable to a radical pay cut. Besides they can better craft law and policies beneficial to the masses once they experience the life of the ordinary worker,” asserted Renato Magtubo, PM chair.

The labor group issued this call as people mobilized today for the anti-pork barrel protest in Luneta and other key cities in the country. PM’s chapters in Metro Manila and Southern Tagalog are joining the Luneta rally this morning while its members in Cebu, Bacolod, Iloilo and Iligan are also participating in similar activities in the provinces.

PM is advocating an “Apat na Dapat” set of demands to address the pork barrel scandal. First, the abolition of all forms of pork barrel, principally the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), the Presidential Social Fund (PSF) and the special purpose funds. Second, the realignment of pork to fund universal social protection from Philhealth coverage to public employment. Third, people’s participation in the budget process from identification of programs and projects to evaluation. And last, the passage of the Freedom of Information bill to enhance transparency and accountability in government spending.

Magtubo said that workers are interested in the protest against pork barrel since through the system of withholding taxes, employed people are taxed on time and pay fully. “Even the informal sector of the working class—the urban and rural poor—pay more than their fair share of taxes since every good and service they buy has value-added tax,” he added.

“But workers do not just want to curb corruption by abolishing the pork barrel. We also want to curtail patronage by removing the discretion of politicians in the delivery of social services. Public services must be accessible to all Filipinos as a right without the need to beg for the indulgence of politicians.” Magtubo explained.

“Just to cite an example, realigning the proposed P25.2 billion PDAF in 2014 can pay Philhealth premiums for a year to 14 million Filipinos, a third of the adult population. The PSF and other presidential pork like the Malampaya funds can cover the Philhealth coverage of the rest of the population to ensure universal health insurance in one stroke,” Magtubo ended.

Press Release
August 26, 2013
Partido ng Manggagawa
Contact Renato Magtubo @ 09178532905

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[Press Release] Teachers join Luneta protest to leave legacy for children -TDC

TEACHERS JOIN LUNETA PROTEST TO LEAVE LEGACY FOR CHILDREN

logo TDC

Teachers under the banner of Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) call on their fellow educators to join the massive protest against the pork barrel system and the rampant corruption in government on Monday, August 26 at the Luneta Park in Mnaila. This despite the pronouncement made by President Aquino last Friday that he will soon abolish the PDAF.

“The pronouncement is just a ploy to weaken the growing unity and anger of the people against corruption in government. The crooks in the bureaucracy should be punished, regardless of their party affiliation, whether in Senate, HoR or the executive branch.” Benjo Basas the chairperson of the TDC said in a statement.

Teachers were enraged by the report that the JLN Corporation headed by the alleged pork barrel scam queen Janet Lim-Napoles paid less amount of taxes than the average public school teacher in the years 2009-20011.

“The people who keep the state operating thru their shares of taxes should be the recipients of the services from the government. Public funds should not be used for patronage politics and lavish lifestyle of the elected officials and their cohorts.” Basas explained. “Corruption-free governance would mean a better spending for basic social services like education, health, public transpiration, housing and environmental care among others.” He added.

The group called on the teachers and the people in general to remain vigilant and to denounce the corruption in all branches of the government at all levels.

“By marching on the streets on Monday, we could leave a legacy for our students and our own children that they will grow-up in a country free of corruption and thievery and would make them proud as Filipino people.” Basas ended.

The group’s central slogan is “Scrap the Pork, Jail the Crooks, Fund our Schools!” #
Reference: Benjo Basas, National Chairperson 0920-5740241/3853437

ADVISORY: Teachers’ Preparation for Rally

Tomorrow, Sunday starting 10:00AM, TDC members will prepare the materials needed for the rally on Monday- banners, placards, sound system, printed t-shirts and cultural presentation. Some leaders from Metro Manila are expected to come to their office to bring plain white t-shirts for printing.

White would be their color motif in solidarity with the protest movement in Luneta whose participants are expected to wear white shirts to symbolize purity and political neutrality. In Luneta, the group along with their respective families will share their “baon” for a symbolic picnic. However, TDC will bring their group banners for they will be joining the initial program of various groups in Liwasang Bonifacio at 9:00AM then they will march and join the “colorless” Luneta crowd before noon and will also join the march to Mendiola after the Luneta gathering.

Attached are the poster and the t-shirt design that will be used by the TDC in the protest.

Anti-PDAF tshirtTeachers Honest Taxpayers5 PINK white box

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[Statement] Isang Bukas na Liham para sa Lahat ng mga Mamamayang-Pilipino by Mario De Vega

Pahayag: Isang Bukas na Liham para sa Lahat ng mga Mamamayang-Pilipino

Ika-19, ng Agosto 2013 (Anibersaryo ng kapanganakan ng dating Pangulong Quezon)

Mario De Vega

Mahal kong mga Kababayan,

Nananawagan po ng pagkakaisang-loob ang munting liham na ito para sa ating lahat na mga tunay na mga anak ng bayan at sa buong mamamayang Pilipino hinggil po sa napakalaking isyu’t suliranin na kasalukuyang kinakaharap ng ating bansa.

Muli po tayong nahaharap sa isa na namang pagsubok na muli pong susukat sa ating lahat, hindi lamang po bilang mga Pilipino, kundi bilang mamamayan din ng daigdig!

Batid ko pong hindi lingid sa inyong kaalaman na ang tinutuloy ko pong problema ay ang malawakang nakawan, lantarang pandarambong, walang habas na paglaspag at sistematikong pagnananaw ng pondo at kaban ng bayan.

Ito po ang nakalaking problema hinggil po sa usapin ukol sa Pork Barrel, na sa akin pong paningin ay siyang isa sa ugat ng mga problemang tinukoy ko sa itaas.

Sa punto pong ito ay ibig kong kilalanin ang ambag ni dating senador Lacson hinggil sa usaping ito. Mula’t mula pa noon ay tutol na siya sa ‘prinsipyo’ at lalo na sa implementasyon ng Pork Barrel.

Lubha po akong sumasang-ayon sa senador na ang pork barrel ay isa sa ugat ng malalang korapsyon sa bansa!

Ngayon po, dahil sa masigasig na pagtugaygay ng mga kapatid natin sa midya at mga independienteng mga manunulat at mananaliksik ay unti-unti na po nating natutunghayan at nakikita ang kahindik-hindik, karimarimarim at lantarang kalapastangang gawa ng usaping ito sa buong bansa.

Ibig ko pong magpugay sa pahayagang Philippine Daily Inquirer na kauna-unahang dyaryo na naglunsad ng sunod-sunod na pagsisiwalat at masinop na pagbubulgar ng delubyong ito.

Sadya po talagang nakagigimbal ang kalunos-lunos na katotohanang ito na nakalulungkot man pong sabihin ay batid na din natin noon pa! Ngunit ngayon lamang po natin sadyang nalaman o unti-unting nababatid sa kabuuan ang lalim at lawak ng pinsalang dulot ng anomalya at korapsyong ito!

Isa pa po sa lalong nakapanlulumong impormasyon ang hindi mapapasubaliang katotohanan na hindi lamang po si manunubang Napoles (at kapatid niya) ang damay dito, ngunit lumalabas na kabahagi, katuwang at kasapakat din niya ang ilan (hindi pa po natin batid ang eksaktong bilang) ng ating mga Tongresmen, Senadogs, mga peke at di umiiral na NGOs diumano at gayundin ang ilang mga prayle.

Kasumpa-sumpa po ang mga hayop na mga baboy na ito sa kanilang gawi, kalabisan ng sabihin na sila po ay talagang mga masasamang-loob, walang mga kaluluwa at itim ang mga buto!

Sa turan nga po ng isang senadora: MGA BABOY TALAGA!

Hayaan po ninyong sipiin ko ang ilang mga pananalita mula sa isang talumpati ni senadora Miriam Defensor Santiago:

“If I die, it will not be because of my blood pressure but because of my enemies. Biro mo sa diyaryo, 5 senator ang kasangkot, persons of interest, sa isang P10 billion scam. Billion, hindi million, B as in baboy talaga…”

Kasunod po nito ay nanawagan din ang senadora sa kanya niya mambabatas na sangkot sa eskandalong ito na magsumite muna ng “leave of absence” hindi bilang pagtanggap nila ng kasalanan, kundi kanilang kortesiya sa publiko at mamamayang-Pilipino ng sa gayon ay maging daan ito upang makausad ng maayos ang proseso ng imbestigasyon at mabilis na mahalukay ang buong pangyayari ng sa gayon, kung magkagayon nga ay lumabas ang buong katotohanan.

Nanawagan din po ang senadora sa kanyang mga kasama na nasasangkot sa usaping ito na magsabi ng buong katotohanan sa taong-bayan. Ito ay sa kabila ng kanilang kabatiran na marami sa ating mga kababayan ang naghihirap at naghihikahos sa buhay!

Paano nila nagagawa o masisikmura ang bagay na ito?

Ayon pa sa Senadora:

“Naghahanapbuhay ang ibang tao, umulan, uminit, lalabas ka. Pag-uwi mo, dadaan ka pa sa battlezone, the classic problem in Metro Manila (traffic). Nakikipag-away ka. Kung ikaw naman housewife, mamalengke ka, halos lahat ng bilihin tumataas, wala kang magagawa. What do you have to say about this, niloloko tayo ng mga ito ah!”

Kalabisan ng sabihin, ngunit sang-ayon din ako sa maanghang na salitang binitiwan ng senadora na:

“I wanted to nuke the entire Senate building. That banner story is supported by affidavit, statements under oath. There is prima facie evidence against the senators. Prima facie means on the face. Mukha pa lang, makapal na.”

Mga kababayan, hindi po natin malulunasan ang suliraning ito sa pamamagitan lamang ng pagmura at pagtungayaw sa mga mga dayukdok at satanistang mga nilalang na kasangkot sa kababuyang ito!

Nutnutan na po ang kapal ng kanilang mga pagmumukha at sagad na po sa tigas ang kanilang mga apog!
Wala po silang konsepto ng dignidad o etika o konsiyensiya o moralidad o delicadeza o dangal! Sila po ay mga talipandas at mga animales na mas masahol pa sa pinakamaruming hayop!

Panahon na po na sila ay itakwil sa publiko at papanagutin sa kanilang karumal-dumal na krimen sa taong-bayan!

Kung kaya po, sumasang-ayon ako sa posisyon noon pa man ni senador Lacson na buwagin o ibasura na natin ang sistema ng Pork Barrel.

Inaanyayahan ko po ang ating mga kababayan na tunghayan po ninyo ang privileged speech ng nasabing senador na may titulong “Living without Pork”, na kanya pong binasa’t ipinahayag sa kapulungan ng Senado noong ika-11, ng Marso taong 2003.

Ako po ay umaayon din sa panukala, suhestiyon at payo ni senadora Santiago kay Pangulong Aquino na magtalaga ng mga retiradong Mahistrado ng Kataas-taasang Hukuman (Korte Suprema) tulad nila Mahistrado Amorfina Herrera at Flerida Ruth Romero na mga taong marangal at hindi makukuwestiyon o mapapasubalian ang karakter, pagkatao at integridad na tatayo at gagampan bilang mga ispesyal na taga-usig (special prosecutor) upang mag-imbestiga at mangalap ng mga ebidensya, testimonya at lahat ng dokumento na konektado sa usaping ito.

Ang ispesyal na lupon din po ng mga taga-usig na ito ay nararapat lamang na bigyan ng malawak na kapangyarihan at diskresyon upang magawa ang kanilang tungkulin. Kasabay nito, umaasa din tayo na sa lalong madaling panahon ay makapagsumite ng resolusyon at mga rekomendasyon ang nasabing lupon.
Ibig ko lamang din pong susugan o dagdagan ang mungkahi. Magalang ko pong ipinapayo na kung maaari ay gawing kasapi din ng lupon na ito ang Kalihim ng Katarungan.

Naniniwala din ako sa integridad, katapangan, kahusayan at kabutihang-loob ni Kalihim De Lima.
Karapat- dapat mong ang mga mararangal at mabubuting taong gaya nila ang umupo sa ahensyang itatayo o ilulunsad upang siyasatin at imbestigahan ang buong isyu at eskandalong ito!

Hamon sa Pangulong Aquino

Ginoong Pnoy, inihalal po kayo ng malaking bahagi ng ating mga kababayan sa ilalim ng inyong programa o plataporma na “daang matuwid”. Ngayon po ay nahaharap sa sangandaan ang ating bansa. Hinahamon ko po kayo, sa ngalan ng ating mga kababayan na patunayan po ninyo ang katotohanan at katwiran ng sinasabi ninyong “tuwid na landas” ng pamamahala. Patunayan po ninyo na hindi baliko o baluktot ang nasabing landasin! Patunayan po ninyo na hindi baku-bako o lubog sa baha ang tuwina’y tinuturan ninyong daan!

Magalang ko pong iminumungkahi na malalim po ninyong pag-aralan ang pagbuwag at tuluyang pagbasura sa pork barrel.

Kasabay po nito, huwag mo ninyong patawarin at palagpasin ang kababuyan at kalapastanganang ginawa; ito ay masakit man pong sabihin ay ginawa pa ng mga mambabatas na sa halip na silang unang tumalima at sumunod sa batas ay sila pang promotor at numero unong sumansala, bumaboy at yumurak di lamang po sa ating mga batas, kundi po sa karapatan at kagalingan ng lahat ng mga Pilipino. Binaboy din po ng mga hayop at talipandas na mga ito ang ating imahe at dangal sa paningin ng pandaigdigang komunidad!

Wala pong kapatawaran ang kanilang mga kahayupan at kababuyan!

Tulad nga po ng tanong ninyo noong inyong nakaraang SONA: “Saan po kayo kumukuha ng kapal ng mukha?”

Mahal na pangulo, pakitanong po itong muli sa harap ng kanilang mga pagmumukha!

Gamitin po ninyo ng maayos, noble at risonable ang lahat ng kapangyarihang ipinagkaloob sa inyo ng ating Saligang-Batas, upang maituwid ang karimarimarim na kawalanghiyaang ito!

Gamitin din po ninyo ng mahinusay, marangal at kaaya-aya ang lahat ng kapangyarihan ng ating pamahalaan at lahat ng mga institusyon nito upang habulin, papanagutin at pagbayarin sa harap ng batas at dalhin sa talampakan ng Hustisya ang mga salarin, halimaw, demonyo at mga dayukdok na ito!

Huwag po kayong matakot na gawin ang nararapat at makatwiran! Huwag po kayong mag-agam-agam o mag-atubili! Huwag po ninyong isipin ang kanilang magiging kontra-atake; kasama po ninyo kami, mahal na pangulo sa krusada at pakikibakang ito! Patunayan din po sana ninyo na kasama nga naming kayo!

Muli, sa ating pong mga Kababayan,

KUNG HINDI PO TAYO KIKILOS; SINO PA ANG KIKILOS? AT KUNG HINDI NGAYON; KAILAN PA?

Huwag po nating kalimutan na ang “payapang pampang ay para lamang sa mga pangahas na sasagupa sa alimpuyo ng alon sa panahon ng unos”.

Ibig po natin ng pagbabago, kailangan po nating kumilos upang magkaroon ng pagbabago! Sa atin pong mga sama-samang hakbangin at kolektibong pagkilos magmumula at bubukal ang pagbabago at transpormasyon ng ating lipunan!

Hindi po lahat ng panahon ay panahon ng pananahimik, sapagkat lahat po ng panahon ay panahon dapat ng pagpapasya! Hinihimok ko kayong lahat na gampanan ninyo ang inyong mga tungkulin, hindi lamang bilang mga mamamayan ng bayang ito, kundi higit pa, bilang mga mabubuti at mararangal na tao: lumahok at lumabas po tayong lahat sa ika-26 ng Agosto!

Magkaisa po tayo’t magbuklod, samahan at damayan po natin ang isa’t-isa upang muli nating ipakita sa pamahalaang na nasa atin ang Kapangyarihan! Na Tayo ang Lakas, na Tayo ang Lahat!

Panahon nang itakwil at ibasura ang Pork Barrel!

Sa lahat ng mga Baboy, Demonyo at Buwaya sa pamahalaan:

SA INYONG MGA BABOY AT SATANISTANG TONGRESMEN, SENADOGS, GAYUNDIN ANG ILANG MGA KASUMPA-SUMPANG MGA PRAYLE, MGA PEKENG NGOs, SA PANGUNGUNA NG PINAKABABOY NINYONG ITIM NA REYNANG NAPOLES;

MAGTAPATAN NA TAYO! SA NGALAN NG MGA MAMAMAYANG PILIPINO, DERETSAHAN NA: SA INYONG LAHAT NA MGA PUNYETA AT BABOY NA NILALANG KAYO NA MAY KINALAMAN AT KAUGNAYAN SA DEMONYONG PORK BARREL NINYO NA PERA NAMIN — MGA PUTANG-INA NINYONG LAHAT!

SUMPAIN KAYO NG LANGIT! HATULAN KAYO NG KASAYSAYAN!

SISINGILIN NAMIN KAYO! MALAPIT NA ANG PAGTUTUOS AT PAGLILITIS!

Muli po, mga minamahal kong kababayan, panahon ng itakwil ang kababuyang ito at papanagutin ang lahat ng mga baboy na bumaboy sa pondo at kaban ng ating bayan!

Sa Agosto bente sais (26), Anibersaryo ng ating Dakila at Magiting na Rebolusyong-Pilipino ng 1896, magsama-sama po tayo’t magkaisa; muli po nating ipakita di lamang sa manhid na pamahalaang ito at higit sa lahat sa buong mundo na nasa atin ang Kapangyarihan, na Tayo ang Lakas, na Tayo Mismo ang Lakas!

ITULOY ANG DIWA NG REBOLUSYONG 1896!!

Magalang pong sumasainyong lahat,

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Lekturer ng Pilosopiya
Kolehiyo ng Sining at Agham-Panlipunan
Politeknikong Unibersidad ng Pilipinas

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[Statement] Ibasura ang Pork Barrel! Pondo ng Bayan, Direktang Ilaan sa Serbisyo at Kabuhayan -KAMP

KAMP on Pork Barrel

Ibasura ang Pork Barrel!
Pondo ng Bayan, Direktang Ilaan sa Serbisyo at Kabuhayan

Kahindik-hindik para sa Kampanya para sa Makataong Pamumuhay (KAMP) ang patuloy na pagkiling at pagtatanggol ng Pangulong Noynoy Aquino sa taunang alokasyon ng 25 bilyong pisong pondo ng bayan para sa Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) o mas kilala sa tawag na “pork barrel” sa kabila ng umaalingasaw na anomalyang kinasasangkutan dito ng maraming mga mambabatas, kasama na ang mga kaalyado ng kasalukuyang administrasyon.

Malaking insulto sa mamamayan na hindi malaman ni PNoy kung paano at saan ilalaan ang pondo sakaling tanggalin ito sa kamay ng mga nagpapasasang konggresista’t senador. Nakapagtatakang may nakikita pa siyang kabutihang naidulot ng PDAF samantalang malinaw na hanggang ngayon ay nananatiling tatlo sa bawat sampung Pilipino o 27.9 porsyento ng kabuoang populasyon ng kanyang mga “boss” ay naghihikahos at nadagdagan ng 600,000 ang dami ng mga nakaranas ng gutom mula Enero hanggang Marso 2013.

Nasaan ang pakinabang at sino ang nakikinabang sa buwis ng sambayanan? Kapos na kapos ang serbisyong nararapat para sa mamamayan. Sa halip na gamitin ang pondo para sa pangkalahatang proteksyong panlipunang magtitiyak ng wastong pamamahagi ng kita at kayamanan ng bansa tungo sa makataong pamumuhay para sa lahat, pilit na pinanatili ni PNoy ang kalakarang nakasalalay sa personal na pagpapasya ng iilan kung paano gagastahin ang kaban ng bayan.

Wala raw pondo para sa pangunahing karapatang pantao

Noong Marso 2013, ibinasura ni PNoy ang mungkahing batas, Magna Carta of the Poor, na magtataguyod ng limang pangunahing karapatang-pantao: wasto at sapat na pagkain, disente at abot-kayang pabahay, trabaho at kabuhayan, de-kalidad na edukasyon at serbisyong pangkalusugan. Ang dahilan: walang pondo at hindi nailagay sa dokumento ang katagang “progressive realization” o papa-unlad na pagsasakatuparan ng mga karapatang ito.

Ang taunang 25 bilyong pisong alokasyon sa PDAF ay katumbas ng pabahay para sa 62,500 pamilyang informal settler (P400,000 bawat isa). Halos 30 porsyento ng 92 milyong Pilipino ay informal settler. Tatlong taon nang naghihintay ang 104,000 pamilyang mahihirap na nakatira sa mga peligrosong lugar sa Metro Manila para sa katuparan ng P50 bilyong pabahay. Pautang pa ito ni PNoy samantalang ang PDAF ay libreng ipinamimigay!

Sa 25 bilyong piso, halos 14 milyong Pilipino na ang libreng maisasali sa programa ng PhilHealth gaano man kakapos ang serbisyong ibinibigay nito. Kahit paano’y maiibsan sana ang mahigit 50 porsyentong gastusin sa serbisyong pangkalusugan na direktang nanggagaling sa bulsa ng mamamamayan (Philippine National Health Accounts 2011).

Marami pang katumbas ang perang ito. Labas pa ito sa pondong nakalaan para sa mga programang nakatakda na sa ilalim ng mga ahensya ng pamahalaan at sa mismong pork barrel ng presidente.
Buwis, i-direkta sa Serbisyo, hindi sa bulsa ng sira-ulo
Tama si PNoy nang sabihin niya sa panayam ng mamamahayag na si Maki Pulido na kung sira-ulo ang magmamaneho ng kotse, pwedeng managasa. Pero alam na nga niyang sira-ulo, bakit bibigyan pa ng kotse? Unang-una, bakit ka mamimigay ng kotse na hindi naman sa iyo?

Malinaw na hindi buung-buong napapakinabangan ng mamamayang Pilipino ang PDAF. Panahon pa ng namayapang konggresistang si Romeo Candazo, ibinulaga na niya ang karumal-dumal na kalakaran sa paggasta sa pera ng mamamayan. May “kick-back” ang mga konggresista na umaabot sa mahigit kalahati ng presyo ng bawat proyektong pinopondohan ng pork barrel.

Tama at napapanahon na alisin na ang pork barrel. Tama at makatwiran na imbestigahan si Janet Lim-Napoles upang mapalutang ang mga senador at konggresistang kasabwat nito sa karumaldumal na krimen sa taumbayan. Ngunit, mas makakamit ang tunay na hustisya kung ang PDAF ay direktang pakikinabangan ng mga mamamayan.

Nararapat na ito ay ilaan sa proteksyon ng mamamayan laban sa lumalalang kahirapan at inekwalidad. Pondohan ang pagpapalawig sa serbisyong pangkalusugan, makataong programang pabahay lalo na sa mga maralita, paglikha ng trabaho, insurance para sa mga nawalan at hindi makakuha ng hanapbuhay, nakabubuhay na pension at suporta para sa mga matatanda at specially o differently abled, tiyak at de-kalidad na edukasyon para sa mga kabataan.

Alokasyon at Paggasta ng PDAF, walang Partisipasyon ang Mamamayan. Desisyon ng presidente ang alokasyon ng PDAF. Personal na diskresyon naman ng konggresista o senador kung paano gagastahin ang pondo.

Sa kalakhan, walang mahigpit na koordinasyon ang administrasyong Aquino sa mga civil society organizations kaya nakalusot ang mga pekeng NGO na naging kasabwat pa ng ilang mambabatas sa korupsyon sa pork barrel. Tama lang na maging mahigpit ang mga patakaran para sa mga grupong tumatanggap ng anumang tulong na gagamit ng mga pag-aari ng publiko.

Pagdating sa mga konsultasyon, kalimitang isinasali ng administrasyong PNoy ay mga kaalyadong organisasyon. Kung mapasama man ang mas malawak na pormasyon, puro mabilisang pagpupulong lang at madalas ay isinasantabi ang mga mungkahi ng mga ito sa kadahilanang walang “accreditation”. Suwertehin man na maimbita sa mga limitadong konsultasyon, wala pa ring saysay ang partisipasyon kung walang pagkilala ng mga ahensya ng pamahalaan.

Maraming paraan, hindi lang sa pamamagitan ng pork barrel, upang tiyaking ang buwis ng taumbayan ay direktang magsisilbi sa interes ng sambayanan. Ang mahalaga, paigtingin ng gobyerno ang mga mekanismo para sa malawak at makabuluhang partisipasyon ng mga mamamayan mula sa pagbubuo ng plano hanggang sa implementasyon at pagsubaybay dito. Ang kagyat na pagsasabatas ng Freedom of Information Bill ay isang kritikal na hakbang upang matiyak na sinusunod ng gobyerno ang mga prinsipyo ng accountability, transparency at partisipasyon ng publiko sa mga desisyon at gawain ng pamahalaan.

Honor ng mga Aquino: puro pagbabayad ng ilehitimong utang?

“Honor all debts” ang isang pamosong slogan ng ina ni PNoy, ang namayapang Presidente Cory Aquino. Dahil dito naisakripisyo ang serbisyong panlipunan para relihiyosong bayaran ang mga utang ng Pilipinas na karamihan ay hindi pinakinabangan. Nangutang pa ang gobyerno para bayaran ang mga ilehitimong utang na pinagpasasaan lang ng pamilyang Marcos at mga crony nito.

Ngayon, “honor all political debts” yata ang nasa likod ng katigasan ng sampalataya ni PNoy sa PDAF—isang paraan upang patuloy siyang suportahan ng mga pinagkaka-utangan niya ng kanyang tagumpay sa eleksyon at mapasunod o makontrol ang mga mambabatas. At kung ang batas na kaniyang sinusunod ay tulad ng Automatic Appropriations Law on Debt Servicing na awtomatikong nagtatakda ng budget sa pambayad-utang nang walang konsultasyon sa mamamayang pumapasan nito, delikado ang sambayanan.

Sa ganitong klaseng kalakaran, walang ibang natitirang sasandalan ang taumbayan kundi ang sarili niyang lakas at kapangyarihang singilin at sipain ang mga tila nagpapanggap na lingkod-bayan.

Sa ika-26 ng Agosto, aangkinin ng mamamayang Pilipino ang lakas at kapangyarihang ito: Isang milyong martsa sa Luneta at Mendiola. ###

Ibasura ang Pork Barrel!
Makataong Pamumuhay Para sa Lahat!

Kampanya para sa Makataong Pamumuhay (KAMP)
Ika-21 ng Agosto 2013

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[Featured Photo] Rated PG at PETA Arts Zone: Love Does Not Hurt campaign launch

PETA Arts Zone: Love Does Not Hurt

Photo source: PETA Arts Zone FB page

Photo source: PETA Arts Zone FB page

The Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) wants to transform this culture of apathy to a culture of empathy. With creative workshops and a stage play toured in communities all over Metro Manila, PETA Advocate Right to Safety Zone for Children (PETA ARTS Zone Project) brings the art of positive discipline closer to the Filipino family by highlighting the benefits of disciplining children through positive ways without having to resort to violence — physical or psychological.

Follow and like PETA Arts Zone: Love Does Not Hurt campaign @ https://www.facebook.com/pages/PETA-ARTS-Zone-Project/543623689011834

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[Statement] End inequality! End vulnerability -PMCJ

SONA 2013:
END INEQUALITY! END VULNERABILITY

PMCJ SONA 2013

pmcj logo

We, members of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), a national coalition of national networks/groups and national formations coming from grassroots communities and basic sectors that are greatly affected by the devastating impacts of global warming and climate change, strongly urge the government of President Benigno Aquino to END INEQUALITY, END VULNERABILITY NOW!

INEQUALITY and JOBLESS GROWTH

On July 22, 2013 Pnoy will deliver his 4th State of the Nation Address (SONA). Like his past SONA he will pride himself of his administrations so called gains and achievements. His “bosses “will again hear about GDP growth which for ordinary Filipinos mean nothing since it has not stopped the rumblings of their hungry stomachs.

The ambitious Philippine Development Plan of 2011-2016 unveiled last 2011 serves as the main ingredient of the Pnoy administration’s “social pact” with the Filipino people and indicates where his “Tuwid na Daan” will lead us.

Now, halfway in its implementation, the Filipino masses are still plunged deep in poverty. The National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB) in its latest report announced that present national poverty rate only decreased by 0.7% since 2009.

The Social Weather Station (SWS) survey conducted from March19-22 this year reveals that unemployment rate is on the rise at 25.45% – equivalent to 11.1 million people – as compared to December 2012 data of 24.6% — equivalent to 10.1 million jobless individuals.

The high economic growth of 2012 and first quarter of 2013 and the series of favorable international credit ratings are not evidence of Pnoy’s success in poverty alleviation.

The President Aquino peddles the notion that high growth driven by private investment and consumer spending, coupled with handouts (CCTs). will eventually eliminate poverty – the classic trickle-down theory which has consistently been exposed as a big failure.

Social injustices and inequality worsen and persist because of elite ownership and control of economic resources combined with neo-liberal economic policies implemented by previous governments and continued by the Aquino government.

END VULNERABILITY!

Rising inequality and joblessness in the face of high economic growth is evidence that it is the rich and high income sectors that are mainly benefitting from the GDP growth. Impoverished Filipinos are experiencing not only worsening inequality and joblessness – these conditions make them even more vulnerable to the climate crisis.

In the past decade, the Philippines has been in the top 5 most vulnerable country in the world in terms of extreme weather events related to the climate crisis. The Philippines has been ranked first and fourth on the 2006 and 2012 German Watch Climate Risk Index and ranked 6th by Maplecroft in its 2010 Climate Risk Index. Metro Manila is second amongst vulnerable metropolis in the world in 2012.

While the current administration score some positive points in confronting climate change, including the passage of the P1 billion People’s Survival Fund (PSF) and the strong stance of the Philippine delegation in the international climate negotiations, these are overshadowed by the PNoy Governments culpability for continuation of policies that exacerbate the climate crisis and its impacts. For instance, destructive mining and logging operations continue largely unabated.

DIRTY and HARMFUL “DEVELOPMENT” TRACK

Under the P-Noy Administration, we have witness the continued push for a “development” track that is destructive of our rich but environment and eco-systems, weakens our people’s adaptive capabilities and fuels climate disasters.

Despite the new policy of P-Noy Administration on mining – EO 79 – devastating mining exploration and operations continue Though there are positive components of the current mining policy, it is largely unresponsive to the main issues raised by affected communities and perpetuates the plunder of our mineral resources under the Mining Act of 1995.

In the face of climate change the call for a shift to cleaner, accessible, affordable and renewable energy sources is fast gaining support, but the P-Noy government is pushing for more coal plants and coal mining across the country. Aside from the severe effects of coal plants on local populations and eco systems — coal burning comprises 60% of the total global carbon dioxide emissions.

Under the Philippine Energy Plan (PEP 2010-2030) of the government 26 more coal plants are already in the pipeline to be constructed. To supply the growing demand for coal resources, a total of 76 coal operating contracts were given. Like other mineral mining, environmental and social problems will most likely be a feature of this track.

Pagbabago ng Panahon, Panahon ng Pagbabago

Thus, PMCJ calls on the P-Noy Administration to take decisive steps to shift away from inequitable, harmful and dirty growth-fixated economic strategy. He has wasted the past three years of his administration; there is still time to take on a different path.

END INEQUALITY! END VULNERABILITY!
Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ)
July 22, 2013

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