Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Lessons Learned from BPI Glitch

On this post, we will discuss about the lessons we can learn out from the BPI glitch.

On June 7, clients woke up in horror to find that their BPI ATM accounts are not in their normal state. Most found their accounts containing a considerably lesser amount than what should be, while some found their account having much more than it should have. But it was worst for BPI clients who had nothing at all. It was a collective, worrying question of “Where’d my money go?!”

BPI glitch
Credits: ABS-CBN News

To be fair, BPI claims that not all accounts where affected, and it seemed as though all were affected because of the noise that social media created. In fact, many people did not actually realize that something was wrong in their accounts until they read it on Twitter and/or Facebook.

In an attempt to calm down the generally panic-stricken account holders, BPI Senior Vice President Catherine Santamaria addressed the public in a news conference “Please do not panic…We will make sure that your money is there.” She even silenced suspicions on the possibility of hacking. She explained, “Every day, the system does batch processing and somewhere in that process between midnight and this morning, there was an error.”

However, though many were concerned with their balance, many more were alarmed at the fact that they could not withdraw their money because they absolutely need it at the moment. How could BPI possibly attend to this problem? The only route of action they could take was to extend banking hours until 7:30 p.m. to accommodate all the customers who wanted to but cannot access the ATM.

This event, which has been dubbed as the “BPI glitch” is not the first nor the last of its kind. Banks will have some glitches now and again. As to how widespread and how harmful it can be, nobody wants to stay and find out. So how can you have the confidence to walk out and say “Nah, I’m good” in situations like these?

Two things: Hide your gold in different locations, one of which must be your pocket. In other words, do not keep your savings in one bank and always have cash in hand.

Let’s go with the first one. It always pays to have plan B…and C. You can extend it all the way to Z if you want. But remember this: Plan A will not always work. Sometimes, bad weather strikes and you just have to find some other way. Distribute your savings among banks, so if one bank suffers from a glitch then you can always run to the other/s.

The second one? Make sure to have cash in your pocket. So that even if all the banks happen to suffer from a glitch (God forbid), then you can continue to walk without holding your breath in too much because hey, you still got some cash in your hand!

The BPI glitch may have been alarming to many, but at least it served as a great reminder for these two very important lessons for surviving in the modern world.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Angara Bats Special Assistance for Families of Fallen Soldiers in Wake of Deadly Marawi Clash

Senator Sonny Angara has renewed his call for the immediate passage of bills granting special financial assistance and benefits to uniformed and law enforcement personnel in the wake of intense firefights between government forces and the Maute group in Marawi City.

According to latest reports, the number of fallen government troops since May 23 has risen to 58, including 40 from the Philippine Army, 15 from the Philippine Marines, and three from the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Senator Angana Bill Financial Assistance and Benefits for soldiers

The Philippine Marines lost 13 troops in a single day on Friday during a clearing operation that lasted for 14 hours.

"As the siege by extremist groups continue to drag on in Marawi City, our brave soldiers need all the support they can get. It's unfortunate that this conflict has cost the lives of many of our troops. Nakikiramay po tayo sa kanilang mga pamilya," Angara said.

Angara is one of the authors of Senate Bill 1462 or the Uniformed and Law Enforcement Personnel Special Financial Assistance Act, and SB 1463 or the Uniformed and Law Enforcement Personnel Educational Assistance Act.

Under SB 1462, a special financial assistance equivalent to the average six months salary, including allowances and bonuses, will be provided to the families and beneficiaries of any personnel of the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) who is killed or permanently incapacitated while in the line of duty.

Surviving spouses or designated beneficiaries will be given priority in employment in government agencies and offices where their qualifications are fitted.

SB 1463, on the other hand, provides that all surviving children will automatically and without qualification be extended full scholarship from kindergarten to tertiary level. Such scholarship privilege includes payment of tuition and miscellaneous fees, allowance for books and school supplies, and allowance for food and transportation.

"Bilang pagkilala sa kanilang sakripisyo, mahalaga na masiguro natin ang kinabukasan ng kanilang mga naiwang mahal sa buhay. Upgrading the assistance and benefits of our uniformed personnel is long overdue. I call on our colleagues to prioritize the passage of such bills," Angara said.

Due to the slow delivery of benefits, the proposed measure further seeks to create a Dependents Welfare Office to expedite the grant of special financial assistance and benefits, which should be within three days from receipt of a written certification of the fact of death or permanent disability or incapacity.

If any personnel is injured or wounded in the performance of official duties, hospitalization expenses, including necessary medicines and medical equipment, will be shouldered by the government.

The proposed measure expanded the coverage of the special assistance to uniformed personnel of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

"Such special assistance befits the selfless service of our fallen heroes who have offered their lives to preserve peace, defend the dignity of the country, and ensure the safety of all Filipinos," the lawmaker said.

In addition, Angara has filed a bill that seeks to increase AFP's hazard pay to 25 percent of their base pay.

Currently, pursuant to Executive Order 201, members of AFP receive P540 in hazard pay.

"If our bill passed into law, we will see an eightfold increase in the hazard pay. Halimbawa, ang isang Private First Class na may monthly base pay na P15,600, ang hazard pay nito ay tataas mula P540 hanggang P3,900," the senator explained.

"Bigyan naman natin ng angkop na insentibo ang ating sandatahang lakas para sa kanilang kabayanihan at sa araw-araw na pagharap sa mga panganib," he added.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Does Liza Soberano deserve Darna role?

On May 2017, Liza Soberano was declared to play the much-coveted role of the iconic Darna. The announcement came amidst great anticipation among the fans of the Filipino superheroine, who were all taken by surprise when Ms. Angel Locsin had to withdraw from playing Darna due to health reasons.

A search for the next Darna ensued, and Liza emerged as the victor among other young actresses who were also being considered for the role – Kathryn Bernardo, Nadine Lustre, and Yassi Pressman to name a few.

Liza Soberano new Darna fan art

There was a mixed-reaction in the general audience when the announcement was made. Some expressed their dismay, saying that Liza is too young for the role.

Some said that she is too shy and soft-spoken to take on the role of a tough and daring superheroine. While others complained that it takes someone truly Pinay to portray a Filipina persona well-loved by practically every Filipino household.

However, the majority argued that Liza has proven her worth as an actress in her previous teleseryes “Got to Believe”, “Forevermore”, and “Dolce Amore”. Thus, she should be given the chance to show the world that she will slay this one.

Besides, her fans argue that Liza is a true Pinay, despite her being half-American, due to the fact that she embodies the values of a typical “dalagang Filipina”.

In fact, her credibility as a Pinay does not end there, because her face is described by the general audience to look more Asian than other mestiza actresses in the industry. Even Director Erik Matti said that “Pinay siya na maganda, pan-Asian.

Mahirap 'yung mestiza eh,” He even said that Liza’s face has a versatile quality to it, “You can do a lot of things sa mukha niya. Puwede siya mag-iba-iba ng itsura and she could still look really good” – which is a huge plus factor.

Regarding her “being too young to play Darna”, it should be remembered that Ms. Angel Locsin was just 20 years old when she portrayed Darna in the 2005 TV Series. Mrs. Vilma Santos was also the same age when she played Darna in 1973. Liza, who is 19 years old as of this writing, is just at the right age.

What does Ms. Liza Soberano herself has to say about her latest project?

She said in an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN news that “Sobrang na-excite po ako and siyempre I'm happy and I feel really honored to be able to don the iconic costume and to be able to embody what Darna represents”.

She even said that “Ang gagawin ko na lang po is I'll give my more than 100 percent sa project na ‘to,” There you have it folks!

She may be shy and reserved but she definitely won’t pull any punches on this one. She is obviously fired up for the role, and she is ready to prove any pessimist wrong, because she does want the role and she does want to slay.

So if anyone deserves to be the next Darna of this generation, Liza Soberano is “it”.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Push and pull: the state of tax reform in the Philippines

This article will discuss the latest tax reforms in the Philippines.

latest tax reforms philippines 2017
Credits: CNN Philippines

In a country that makes its citizens pay 30-32% in taxes while a majority is not earning enough, being taxed is a heavy burden for an individual. And the Philippines is one of the countries in Southeast Asia who puts a heavy burden of taxation on its citizens.

In their campaign trail for the 2016 Presidential elections, candidates promised a lower income tax as one of their campaign promises. Among the six, Rodrigo Duterte placed those who earn P20,000 as those who will not pay taxes.

Now that he won the elections, President Duterte is eyeing a comprehensive tax reform that would benefit the poor, while keeping the rich to pay taxes.

That was supposed to be the rationale of House Bill 5636, which calls for the comprehensive tax reform. The proposal was even named as the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN).

The bill is needed to be passed immediately into law, because, as Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez claims that not passing the bill would leave the country in an "unsustainable financial position" and "more vulnerable to fiscal risk."

The DOF estimated it would cost the country "an extra P30 billion in annual debt servicing, and P100 billion more in higher borrowing costs for the public."

The DOF and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said the lowering of income taxes and the subsequent increase in excise taxes like the Value Added Tax (VAT) among others would only have a “negligible” effect on the country’s inflation rate.

The DOF submitted its first proposal to the House of Representatives in September 2016. This initial package, the first of four, includes the lowering of the personal income tax rates and the reduction of value added tax exemptions.
The proposal was revised after immediate imposition of high taxes on fuel and cars was met by opposition from the public and private sectors. The removal of Value-Added Tax (VAT) exemptions for senior citizens and persons with disability were also met with criticisms.

The DOF submitted its amended proposal on January 17.

The proposed taxation stated that those earn P250,000 or less will be exempted from paying taxes. Bonuses like the 13th month pay will likewise be exempt. Only the 0.1%, the rich, will shoulder a hefty 35% taxation.

Should the bill be passed into law this will take effect in January 2018.

The obvious winner should be the poor and even the low-earning middle class sector. Unfortunately, the reform still has its con: it included higher rates on VAT, as well as other excise taxes, like the oil excise tax, tax on sugar and its other products, and automobile tax, among others.

This was met with further opposition in Congress. Bayan Muna party-list Representative Carlos Isagani T. Zarate said that with these taxes, expenses and basic commodities will significantly increase for most Filipinos.

Zarte said by imposing higher excise taxes on petroleum products, particularly on liquefied petroleum gas, diesel and gas, as well as sugar-sweetened beverages the tax measure will definitely hit the poor hard, because it would mean higher prices of basic goods and services.

While it is true that those earning P250,000 yearly are exempted from income tax, Zarate said the bill removed the previous personal-tax deduction, as well as the deduction to the medical and health insurance. It will also impose taxes on the fringe benefits of workers.

Using DOF data, independent think-tank Ibon Foundation calculated that the rich will be paying a collective Php178.3 billion from their personal and corporate income tax, estate and donor taxes, and capital income taxes. However, consumers will be shelling out a total of Php341.6-B from all the proposed excise taxes.

“The government stands to lose up to P152 billion in revenues by 2019 because of the adjusted income-tax structure, but the government is seen to earn at least P320 billion through complementary tax reforms, such as excise taxes and removal of VAT exemptions that would be shouldered primarily by ordinary citizens, especially the poor,” Zarate added.

Tax measures are mandated to originate from, and be passed in, the House of Representatives before it goes through Senate scrutiny, as per congressional rules. While the president certified the tax reform bill as "urgent," Congress hurriedly passed the bill on the third reading. It now awaits the Senate version, and the bicameral ruling, as well as the President’s signature.

Once the tax reform pushes through, however, it will be far from what Pres. Duterte promised in his campaign as a service to the greater masses.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Martial Law and President Duterte by John Gaisano Jr.

Hello fellow Filipinos here in the Philippines and those who are living/working abroad! In case you are doubful about President Duterte's declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao, please read this insightful blog post by John Gaisano Jr. entitled "Martial Law & President Duterte".

Martial Law & President Duterte
By: John Gaisano Jr.

Many fear martial law because of the experience many older people had before. Essentially what was it? No due process, anyone can be taken & disappear for life. Well, that was 40 years ago & the president was not Duterte.

Will Pres. Duterte do the same? I really don’t know. I bet most of the people in Davao also don’t know either. But what we know is that he wielded awesome power in Davao City. Is this an exaggeration? He does what he likes under a controlled environment to maintain peace & order. How do the MILLION Davaeno feel about this? You can ask many here & find out yourself. But I know for a fact, that many people actually like it. Because if we don’t like it here, he would not have won the presidential election. A million people would have talked about this. Consider for a moment, he was our mayor for 30 years, if there was anything we do not like with regards to peace & order, we should have known after all these years. 30 years is long enough for us to know him.

So, this should give us SOME idea of what he will do to institute peace & order in Philippines. I said in my earlier write-up that he enjoys dealing with peace & order problem. He likes to see that we can go around even in the late evening without fear of safety. And if something bad happens, he come with his full force. Hehe And sensationalize the capture &/or….whatever…send the criminal from temporal life to eternity without much waiting. Make sure it’s in the media. So what’s the impact? It scares many hence forth reduce the incidence of crime. Now, do you like that? He SCARES the hell out of them or else, to hell they may go.

He is obviously impatient. He is obviously decisive too. And he hates to lose. Now, what happens in Marawi as made known to us through media is indeed disturbing. What option do you think the president should take? Martial Law is the best option which will allow him to act quickly, decisively, with element of surprise, & to deal with people including those in government who are involved & supporting this group one way or another. (Tulfo wrote on this. Good read.) And of course, some mistakes will be made, but some mistakes against protecting thousands of our people, & against allowing this problem to grow & hurt more people? Is that a good exchange? Win more with small losses? The math is obvious! And this way, problem of rebellion &/or peace & order can be resolved/reduced quickly.

Now, should the president explain a lot of what he will do? Of course not! It will be crazy to win a war this way. Do you agree with our president? Or you have a better solution? Please share with us. SHARE THIS & share your mind so we may all learn & help each other to create a better place for ourselves.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Filipino Teachers In Demand Worldwide

All across modern civilization are hundreds upon hundreds of schools that mold and nurture the past, present, and future generations. At the heart of each school is the teacher, who drives the whole body of students to life. The teacher imparts the knowledge and moral values that the school aims to instill in its students. The thing is, there are millions of students who are eager to learn and grow their way into becoming the next pioneers of tomorrow, but there are not nearly enough teachers to sufficiently meet the needs of the ever-growing student population.
Filipino teacher teaching students

This is exactly the reason why, you dear teacher, are a much-needed presence all over the world. Precisely what countries, you ask? Well, there is Singapore, China, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Spain, New Zealand, and even the United States! Surprised?

What kind of teachers do these countries need? Music, Pre-school, and Physical Education teachers are in demand, but what is in even greater demand are English Teachers. English is the universal language, and it is very important to know how to speak the language in this age of globalization.

Filipinos are a treasure chest of teachers who are excellent English speakers. The Philippines is one of the top English speaking countries in Asia. In fact, Philippines is the 3rd largest English-speaking nation in the world – next to the United States and the United Kingdom. Therefore, Filipino teachers have an abundance of teaching opportunities abroad!

Requirements for Teaching Abroad

Requirements of teaching abroad vary from country to country. Some may demand a background experience in teaching, while others may not. Here is a short list of requirements that are frequently asked by many:

1) Teaching Experience

There are a number of schools that look to hire certified experienced teachers. This is especially true for schools in Singapore and Arab Emirates. But thousands of schools in countries like China, Spain, and Turkey don’t mind hiring inexperienced teachers, as long as they hold a TEFL certification to their name.

2) College Degree

Having a college degree is certainly a requirement for many schools in most countries. However, degree requirements still vary from school to school. Therefore, those without a four-year degree can still get a teaching position in some countries like Mexico, Costa Rica, Argentina, Russia, and China.

3) Age Requirements

People of all ages can teach English. But some may find it harder than others to teach professionally. For instance, teachers below the age of 20 will find it more difficult to earn a full-time employment. For teachers under this age bar, working part-time or working as a volunteer may serve as a good teaching experience to level up their reputation as English teachers.

There are millions of students who want to learn how to speak English, how to play music, and how to read. The world needs more teachers like you. Give the world a helping hand and teach the present generation how to become good pioneers of the future. More power to you!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Message to Non-Filipinos who hate Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte

Message to Non-Filipinos who hate Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte

This message was written by Orion Perez D.

This message is for non-Filipinos, particularly for Westerners who have long had a dislike for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.


The Philippines has long had leaders who spoke nicely but couldn't quite get a lot of the things they wanted to accomplish off the ground. It's unfortunate, but sometimes, people misconstrue a leader's "nice style" as license for them to dilly-dally or add confusion to the discussion and fudge it all up so that in the end, nothing gets done, or it all happens way too slowly.

We've lost a lot of time as a country because the fixation on saying things diplomatically has unfortunately meant more emphasis on how things are said rather than making sure to get things done.

Filipinos got really really tired of the old situation, and seeing this brusque/gruff no-nonsense guy who got things done and turned things around in his formerly chaotic city (which used to be a killing fields where armed groups/rebels once roamed) and turned it into an oasis of peace, order, and stability made everyone's heads turn and take notice.

It's reached a point where Duterte seems to actually be using such thuggish theatrics as part of his act to differentiate himself from the other "more conventional" politicians. Again, I don't condone tasteless/inappropriate jokes, but part of his effectiveness in getting things done seems to be derived from his "thuggish demeanor" which causes everyone to note that he means business. It's also why lots of criminals and rebels have surrendered --- he plays good cop/bad cop pretty well. When he vowed to lessen red tape and corruption in government, the improvements happened fast simply because everyone within the gov't hierarchy didn't want to get his goat.

The Philippines right now needs a character like him to do exactly all the clean-up tasks that no one else wanted to do or was capable of doing. And luckily, he has that rough, gruff, brusque persona to pull it off. Kind of like having a hero in a story whom the bad guys fear because the bad guys feel that he's credible as a bad guy himself --- except that he's a good guy. A "Good Bad Guy" --- The "bad guy" whom you want on your side, not someone that the criminals don't fear because he's too polished and clearly unfamiliar with how to deal with them.

As I said in a recent status-update, Duterte's role in Philippine History is to be the guy who would set things straight and take the smelly trash out that no one wants to touch much less haul out. AFTER Duterte does what he needs to do (do the clean up and fix the lousy system so we can have a much more meritocratic one), then we can concentrate on having presentable/polished leaders since the new system will, by then, facilitate the emergence of competent people at the top as opposed to the current system that has largely given us popular candidates with name-recall who often don't have the necessary competence.

Duterte isn't perfect, and he has made sure to deliberately push the idea that he is a flawed, thug-like character, knowing that these imperfections of his do cause the bad elements to fear him. Just the same, majority of Filipinos - including a huge number who didn't vote for him - now support him because we know he's exactly what we need at this point in our history.

He is actively pursuing a suite of solid economic and structural constitutional reforms that would improve the Philippines' job market and drastically improve its economy as the anti-foreign direct investment restrictions of the current constitution are to be removed, and the Philippines re-organized into a Federal-parliamentary system so that the rest of the country prospers and not just the capital, and so that our brand of politics shifts away from the old personality-and-name-recall system towards one that is much more rooted in parties, party manifestoes, and getting the most competent people to emerge on top.

Sadly, the Filipino oligarchs do not want these reforms to happen. They certainly do not want foreign investors to easily come in because the oligarchs treat them as competitors who can take away their monopolistic privileges. They don't want to shift away from a political system where they are already on top. That's why they will stop at nothing to destroy Duterte's international reputation by hyping up the deaths of criminals and blaming drug cartel killings on Duterte's government even if these kinds of things were already happening in even larger numbers during past administrations. (The numbers that have actually swelled due to Duterte's "carrot & stick" approach are the numbers of VOLUNTARY SURRENDERS by drug personalities --- and these people are alive and undergoing rehab and livelihood training.)

The point everyone needs to understand about Duterte is that he's a GOOD GUY who uses his rough/gruff "thug-like" image to be effective in getting things done.  Sadly, the oligarch-owned Philippine press will stop at nothing to feed wrong info to the foreign press in order fool the politically-correct people in the West to think he's a bad guy so that their own governments avoid dealing with him.

Then again, LKY  had bad press in the West in the 70's & 80's (and Mahathir continued to have bad press in the West in the 80's, 90's, and even early 2000's), yet that didn't stop investors from investing in both Singapore and Malaysia which turned both into the two most dynamic economies in the ASEAN region.


Yes, the rape jokes were bad. We all hated those jokes and wish he avoided making such tasteless jokes because frankly, it's hard enough defending Duterte in front of clueless Westerners who put cosmetics over and above real results, it's even harder when he makes a rape joke.

But we support him because if we compared him with all the other alternatives, getting rid of him just because of bad jokes would be like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. For Duterte is by far the most popular president the Philippines has had in the longest time, the only effective politician who is beyond reproach when it comes to integrity, simple living, and being corruption-free. The only politician in decades who has united Filipinos of all tribal origins, linguistic backgrounds, religious and political persuasions.

Only in Duterte have Filipinos from Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, Secularist, and Muslim backgrounds come together enthusiastically. Only in Duterte have Filipinos of Chinese descent enthusiastically joined in with indigeous and mixed-descent. Only in Duterte have I seen pro-Capitalism advocates, centrists, rightists, and leftists come together and seek common ground. Only in Duterte have I seen Ilocanos, Pangasinenses, PampangueƱos, Warays, Ilonggos, Karay-as, Cebuanos, Tausugs, Maranaos, Maguindanaos, and other Bangsamoros and Lumads come together enthusiastically.

NO OTHER PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT has been able to bring so many different Filipinos together. Not only in voting for him, but even in getting so many of those who voted for another candidate to support him all because of his ability to bring crime down, drastically reduce red tape, corruption, and inefficiency in many front-facing government offices, and so many other positive changes that he has done without even bragging about them.

No other Philippine President has been so enthusiastically supported by people of different orientations, be they Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Straight. Most of you might have thought that a gruff, rough, brusque thug-like guy who sometimes cracks inappropriate locker-room jokes would be anathema to the LGBT and the gender-equality crowd, but lo and behold, not only is Duterte responsible for placing in some of the most pro-LGBT and women's rights-friendly legislation in his home city of Davao, some of Duterte's most famous online defenders are from the LGBT community themselves.  These are dear friends and comrades of mine with whom I continue to collaborate. Why would they go for Duterte if he was bad for them?

This is the magic of Duterte. People who would normally be thought of as "marginalized" or "minorities" in Philippine society enthusiastically support and defend him.

So many LGBTs are so vocally supportive of him. Provincial rural "country-bumpkins" are extremely vocally supportive of him. Filipino Muslims/Bangsamoros are very vocally supportive of him. In fact, during the last election campaign in 2016, so many Filipino Muslim traders who run pearl-jewelry stalls and DVD shops in many cities in islands like Luzon and other places were known to have campaigned enthusiastically for Duterte. Friends of mine told me how Bangsamoro traders would offer huge discounts and freebies to customers who were wearing Duterte T-shirts and wristbands, saying "Thanks for supporting Duterte, brother."

Duterte's style has often been to talk a lot about fighting crime - because of the need to scare criminals into surrendering voluntarily and giving up crime through such hype, but when it comes to many of the truly tangible improvements his leadership has brought about, he rarely announces them and instead Filipinos end up talking about the great strides they've experienced first-hand through the grape-vine.

Those improvements in government processes, such as lessening inefficiency and cutting red tape were made known largely as the result of ordinary people just talking about their experiences of better service and shorter waiting times and the word spreading by word of mouth and via social media.

When Duterte first visited China and sweet-talked the Chinese into withdrawing from Scarborough Shoal, he didn't immediately announce that the Chinese would withdraw. He simply said that they've talked about it and they'll take action. He didn't brag about it. Just one day, fishermen tried going to Scarborough Shoal and then voila, the Chinese coast guard and other ships that guarded it during the stand-off were all gone. Filipino fishermen could easily fish at the shoal.

Ultimately, he just lets his accomplishments speak for themselves.

So yeah, he's got a potty-mouth, he's got more of the "Tommy Lee Jones" bad-guy look as opposed to the polished goodie-two-shoes type look that the elitists want in their leaders, and he cracks really bad and sometimes totally inappropriate jokes and wisecracks... But there's more to him than all those petty things that the prissy politically-correct "SJW" snowflakes don't like.

Truly, getting rid of him just because of petty imperfections (bad jokes) in light of all the other positive traits and achievements and the fact that a "good bad guy" like him is exactly what the Philippines needs right now really does smack of idiotically throwing the baby out with the bathwater. We don't want that. No one's perfect. We won't get rid of a really good leader - the type of leader we need at this point in our history - just because of some imperfections, considering the numerous sub-standard alternatives out there...

Please let us Filipinos progress with our chosen president at the helm. You've probably already seen the footage of the wild applause and cheers he gets from overseas Filipino communities whenever he visits.

So to all Westerners and foreigners who have this impression of Duterte as if he were a bad guy, sorry folks, you're totally mistaken about him.  He's a gruff, brusque good guy whose imperfections make him popular with the masses. 80-90 percent of all Filipinos support and defend him. We chose him to be our leader. Please respect our choice.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

PH rejects EU grant

The Department of Finance recommended to decline the European Union's (EU) financial assistance accentuating that the Philippines is supposed to be an independent nation and the grants would involve review of the country's adherence to law.

This was confirmed and approved by President Rodrigo Duterte as a new government policy to refuse grants from EU last May 18. Presidential spokeperson Ernesto Abella explains further that the EU grants may allow it to meddle with the government's internal affairs as it has been critical on Duterte's war against drug, noting it as brutal and denounce extrajudicial killings.

PH rejects financial aid from Europian Union (EU)

However, MalacaƱang clarifies that the refusal of EU aid would be on a 'case to case' basis and that humanitarian aids may still be accepted as long as it is "unconditional".

A huge amount of the 250 million euros ($278.7 million) grant generating to about was allotted to Muslim communities in Mindanao. The Mindanao Trust Fund is a facility where various donors contribute to the socio-economic recovery of conflict-affected communities of Mindanao with EU as the main contributor.

Rep. Teddy Baguilat of Ifugao warned that the administration’s resolution of rejecting aid just because of the EU criticism is as good as inviting a full-blown war against one of the largest trade, investment and development partners of the Philippines.

Being the country's eighth biggest source of aid, analysts say that even the EU trade is at risk. Bank of the Philippine Islands Vice President and lead economist Emilio Neri Jr. said that the President's decision may entail possible trade sanctions.

Meanwhile, Metrobank research head Marc Bautista does not eye negative impact to the overall economy. Losing the grants will hardly be felt. "We don’t see any adverse impact to the economy coming from it,” he added.

Land Bank of the Philippines market economist Guian Angelo Dumalagan said 250 million euros is 0.10 percent of the Philippine economy.

“Viewed in this manner, the amount seems relatively minimal, although it masks the fact that some poor Muslim communities will be negatively affected the most,” he said.

The chairman of the Senate committee on economic affairs Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said that the Philippines can afford to mislay the P13 billion worth of grants.

The senator however expressed belief that the decision does not mean that the Philippines will sever the economic ties it has shaped with EU over the years.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Anti- Distracted Driving Act (RA 10913) - Things You Need to Know

To promote road safety and discipline, Republic Act 10913 or the Anti-Distracted Driving Law was enforced yesterday by the implementing agencies - Land Transportation Office (LTO) with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and local government units bearing a hand.

Anti Distracted Driving Act -  Texting while driving
Texting while driving is a BIG NO in Anti-Distracted Driving Act
Distracted driving refers to the acts of using any electronic devices or gadgets as source of entertainment, computation and communication or any means of distraction such as mobile phones when the vehicle whether diplomatic, public or private is in motion or in temporary halt during traffic or at a stop light.

Here are the prohibited acts subject to apprehension under the Anti-Distracted Driving Act:

  • composing, reading and sending text messages (text-based communication) or receiving and making calls and other similar acts
  • using devices to play games, surf the internet, read e-books, watch videos and make calculations

These are the extent covered of the Anti Distracted Driving Act

Bicycles, "habal-habal", pedicabs and carriages, as long as it concerns public safety, like driving or operating in public streets and highway, are covered in the provision of this Act.

The use of wireless earphones, microphones, speaker phones and other hand-free devices is considered not distracting with the understanding that the devices' placement does not block or interfere the driver's line of sight; not attached on the steering wheel nor the car's dashboard.

Anti-Distracted Driving Law Exemptions

There are exemptions however that includes, but not limited to, emergency calls from health providers, fire department, law enforcing agency, if there are accidents or explosions and when personal security and safety is under compromise.

Those drivers who use devices with istalled navigational apps such as Google Maps and Waze can still use it as long as it does not interfere the driver's view. It is also advised when the driver is in need of finding traffic routes, he must pull over to the side.

With LTO's lead, the deputized enforcers such as the MMDA and LGU personnels have all the rights to apprehend violators and carry out enforcing affairs.

Penalties for Violating Anti-Distracted Driving Law

Every violation is subject for penalties. A fine of P5,000 for the first offense, P10,000 for the second and P15,000 for the third one plus a three-month suspension of the driver's license. Exceeding the third offense, violators are penalized with P20,000 and the revocation of the driver's license.