Sunday, March 20, 2011

Operation Odyssey Dawn

Operation Odyssey Dawn

So it is that the coalition mandated by the UN Security Council to protect Libyans from what France called "Gadhafi's murderous rule" has begun.
The goal is to clamp a no fly zone over Libya.

France began 'Operation Odyssey Dawn' overnight with fighter planes targeting Gadhafi's military assets on Libya's northern coast.
Now the USS Barry used Tomahawk cruise missiles at up to 20 surface-to-air missile batteries plus command-and-control sites.

Despite being demure about it, Odyssey Dawn is US led.
Resolution 1973 was itself drafted by the Americans.
To their credit, even the Arab Cooperation Council itself sought the no fly zone.
The coming days will show whether Gadhafi will be ousted.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Return

My apologies for being away. My home site has become locked and so much else has happened, both happy and sad.
But my commitment to try to make sense of events the impact our lives has not wavered.
I focus more now on the fate of OFWS and global events.
you will find my most recent writing on the Facebook page of FilipinoVoices.
For this 'homecoming' post, two items:
it looks like Gadhafi is dithering to buy time and even set up a blockade of Benghazi.
The UNSC coalition cannot pussyfoot. Enforce the no fly zone without delay.
On local matters. our government should accelerate help for our nurses here and abroad who continue to be exploited and discriminated against.
Failing to help them is a monumental disservice.
Civil society. the Philippine Nurses Association in particular cannot shirk from the moral obligation it has to our nurses and the whole of Philippine society.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


The Aquino administration, PAGASA in particular, deserves every Filipino’s gratitude for the disaster mitigation efforts against mega typhoon Juan.

The damage it wrought on public and private is running upwards of P200 million and the death count is put by latest reports at 12, considerably lower given our horrendous experience from typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.

As our officials see it:

Science Undersecretary Graciano Yumul (PAGASA OIC):
I think we were able to prove them wrong. The government’s preparedness and the people’s cooperation helped minimize the losses from Super-typhoon “Juan” (international codename: Megi), which made landfall in Isabela province on Monday. I think Typhoon Juan showed you Team Philippines. “The good thing about this is you saw a tremendous typhoon entering the country but the loss of lives—considering this is the strongest in the world—was basically minimal. The coordinated responses by the national and local governments and civil society to respond to the storm but also by individuals and families on the ground. They really made the difference.

President Benigno Aquino III:
I am very happy to report to the public that everyone has delivered. The thorough preparations of all concerned agencies are in marked contrast to the official helplessness of the past, and at present, we haven’t had to ask the public to contribute outside resources. To date, the needs of affected communities are being met. The damage and loss of life could have been much greater had we not prepared for the storm.
The damage and loss of life could have been much greater had we not prepared for the storm. The actions of the government and the people themselves shows what can be accomplished when we all cooperate to anticipate the needs of our people.

Following this success, there are suggestions that the government instead use the P600-M it was allocated for additional Doppler radars for other social services.

It will be a big mistake to do this.

We should not be lulled into the legendary Filipino ‘ningas cogon’ and ‘put-off-for tomorrow’ mindset.

Let’s build on this new-found ‘can do’ posture of PAGASA and fully develop it as a top caliber weather agency.
Equally misguided is a proposal for local government units to pool their calamity funds into interest-bearing mutual funds.

We can almost hear the flapping wings of money-hungry vultures at the ready to steal those public monies.

It is way too early to become complacent yet again.

Too much remains at stake.

Who Will Save Us From Underserving Telcos And The NTC???

What’s almost as worse as having your home submerged underwater while being huddled, feeling cold and hungry this typhoon season?

For Filipino netizens, it’s being left high and dry by the Philippines’ scandalously rich telcos whose underdelivery of broadband data services conk out at the first heavy downpour!!!

A petty middle class worry?
Certainly not if such isolation from the information superhighway leaves you crippled and blind about how your loved ones are coping.

Not when your productivity becomes grossly impaired along with access to vital information in real time.

What compounds your hardship is after suffering the ordeal, you end up getting demand letters and threats of disconnection from the very same rapacious telcos!!!

Oh yes, there’s actually a government entity that’s supposed to protect us hapless working folk.

It’s called the National Telecommunications Commission.

However, don’t be deceived.

The NTC is famously insensitive to public complaints not to mention being graft-ridden.

You need only to consult broadcast industry engineering insiders to know how deals for radio frequency assignments are awarded along with Certificates of Public Convenience of fly by night radio stations despite the lack of congressional franchises.

Equally insidious is the way NTC regulatory powers have been used in the past for political arm-twisting to favor allies of those in power and harass enemies.

When will the war versus corruption and agenda of good governance make landfall at the NTC and stem the abuses of the telcos???

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Super Typhoon Juan: Will PAGASA Now Mean Hope?

The next three to four days will be the proverbial acid test for our ‘re-energized’ PAGASA – the Philippine Astronomic Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration in the aftermath of last year’s typhoon disasters that left more than 700 people dead, misery to millions and material damage from floods, and mudslides.

The accuracy of its tracking and severe warnings for super typhoon Juan with its center winds in excess of 200 kilometers per hour may very well signal PAGASA’s emergence from its Jurassic image if not the awakening of a sleeping giant as far weather forecasting capability goes.

For the first time, Filipinos are learning how dangerous storming warning number 4is as far as the amount of water may get dumped in the areas long it path and how it
augurs well for our water-starved dams.

There’s nothing we’d like more that to now associate PAGASA with hope rather than desperation and inefficiency.

One of the most important legacies the Aquino administration build during the next 28 months of its governance can surely be the weather services manned by properly compensated who will be the envy of our neighbor countries both for their expertise and the facilities are their disposal.

Filipinos deserve nothing less.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Immigration Cards As Vicky Belo Discount Cards???

We are supposed to be starting on a brand new “matuwid na daan.”

But nothing best exemplifies the tough work still ahead for the Aquino government than this hare-brained commercialization of our immigration departure and arrival cards which have been converted as 10% discount cards for the cosmetic services offered by Dra. Vicky Belo.

Particularly galling is the flimsy excuse that the printing and distribution of the 30 million cards was resorted to because the Commission on Immigration and Deportation is in dire need of funds.

What were you thinking, ‘honorable’ ex-congressman Marcelino Libanan???

The firm which was given a long term contract allowing it to solicit advertisements for cards even tried to ingratiate itself with the new administration by printing President Aquino’s mug in the first edition of 30 million cards!!!
Mr. Aquino had the good sense to reject the stunt.

But lo and behold, the Belo edition rolled out days later.

I will bet you that there will now be an attempt to sweep this patently distasteful and illegal misappropriation of an official government form under the rug!!!

Who exactly made under the table mullah from the deal?

Will the crooks ever be prosecuted?

What say you ex-commissioner Libanan???

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Padre Damaso And The 'Condom Summit'

So the 'Philippine Condom Summit' has begun minus the acrimonious language from the embattled Catholic Church leaders who threatened to excommunicate the President and defy the legal program to give Filipinos freedom of choice in planning their family size.

The agreement forged at the condom summit's low profile start was for Church and State to keep communication lines open.

Their positions are not necessarily poles apart but with Philippine population ballooning, and Filipinos unwilling or unable to use the Church mandate for natural family planning (limiting sexual contact based on the female spouse's fertility cycle) the use of condoms by men and IUDs or birth control pils by women simply cannot be banned by the Church.

The Catholic Bishops Conference Of the Philippines that it cannot afford to be friar-like and intractable lest it become further alienated from the people.

The long sought Reproductive Health Bill is almost sure to be enacted in the 15th Congress and it will do good for the CBCP to actively participate in harmonizing the bill's five versions.

Many believe that even the passage of a divorce law will come sooner rather than later... and further into the future - legal abortion.

These weightier issues will surely be hard-fought and socially divisive.

For now, the Philuppine Catholic Church must regain the trust and confidence of its flock by actively helping fight poverty, and corruption.

This includes dipping into untaxed coffers to fund shelters for street children, broaden access to its exclusive schools and owning up to the immorality and other abuses of some of its own priests.

The stigma left by Padre Damaso must be erased for the Catholic Church to be embraced anew by its flock.