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Aug 02

Emergency powers

The big news for today’s yet another case of that favorite presidential trial balloon, the possibility of emergency powers: Palace hints at emergency
powers on water, energy
.

It’s been provoked by comments like this: NDCC exec: Arroyo may need emergency powers. a senator asks, First Family now into mining, power? This was something Sunday’s Inquirer editorial had brought up. Blogger The Philippine Experience calls the President’s family acting as gatekeepers on energy and natural resources the “Three Mouseketeers.”

Oddly enough, Weather flip-flop: Rain after dry spell. Might as well ask for emergency powers in response to expected flooding. Or declare a permanent state of emergency, since, as Tony Lopez says, various studies conclude recurring shortages and high energy prices will be par for the course globally.

Teves says fiscal performance back on track: Customs, BIR meet July collection targets. Still, something to moisten Teve’s parade: Privatization not a good way for closing deficit.

However happy the Finance secretary is, his having clashed with the Neda Director-General was a casualty of a policy clash. In his column, Fel Maragay says this is an administration habit. No “let a hundred flowers bloom” welcome on the premises:

…Dante Canlas suddenly found himself being relieved as director general of the National Economic and Development Authority…

Canlas couldn’t exactly figure out the reason for his removal from Neda. But there was a strong suspicion that his transfer stemmed from his disagreement with the Palace over the move to void the contract of the nearly-completed Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal-3 that had been awarded to the Philippine International Air Terminals Co.

Now, Neda director general Romulo Neri finds himself in a somewhat similar situation. Neri has been given a new job, that of chairman of the Commission on Higher Education.

When asked by mediamen why President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo had decided to put him in place of Ched Chairman Carlito Puno, Neri replied: “I, too, was surprised.”

…But now that Neri is being moved to Ched, the reason being given for it sounds vague.

Neri himself confided he had been told his services were badly needed at Ched, particularly in addressing the problem of mismatch between college graduates and the manpower requirements of industries and businesses…

Another reason cited for Neri’s transfer was his disagreement with Finance Secretary Margarito Teves over the projected budget deficit and tax collection this year. The outgoing Neda chief predicted that the budget deficit would exceed P100 billion due to shortfalls in the tax yields of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Customs. This piqued Teves, who insisted the P67-billion programmed budget deficit would be met.

In what look like a thumbs-up for Neri and a rebuff to Teves, the FitchRatings, an international ratings agency, subsequently predicted that the budget deficit will shoot up to P125 billion “due to disappointing shortfall in tax collection.”

Knowledgeable quarters say that this is a plausible reason for Neri’s “demotion.” …

There is a third reason that has surfaced for the latest Cabinet movement. Former Iloilo Rep., and now Vice Gov. Rolex Suplico says the ax fell on Neri for opposing the government’s national broadband network contract with China’s telecommunications firm, ZTE Corp. to be funded by a $329- million loan from China’s Export-Import Bank.

Citing transcripts of a Cabinet meeting on the Cyber Corridor Initiative held in Malacañang in November last year Suplico says Neri recommended to the President that the NBN project “be implemented by the private sector at no cost to the government” through the build-operate-transfer scheme. Because of this, Neri was allegedly taken out of the loop on the NBN project, which was being pushed by the Department of Transportation and Communications.

That ZTE deal won’t go away: Junk $330M telecom deal, SC asked.

Tit for tat: China finds RP banana chips with ‘excessive’ sulfur dioxide. Meanwhile, China’s new appetite for milk forces price rise in Germany (see the Business Mirror editorial for today, on why China isn’t an appropriate growth model for the Philippines).

Arroyo names CA chief Ruben Reyes to SC while Denied SC seat, Ong brings citizenship case to Pasig court.

Most unbelievable denial of the day: Palace says GMA not involved in Senate activities.

In the ongoing saga of the Marcos billions, Lawyers of Tan, Marcos clash at Sandigan although Tan camp stops Bongbong from testifying. But still, Rep. Marcos, gov’t win 1st round. Poor Alex Magno, he seems conscience-struck by the emerging government-Marcos alliance. Ricky Carandang thinks that government’s thrown in the towel, but wonders what the government’s got to gain from doing so.

Overseas, The hidden costs of biofuels production.

My column for today is Judicial limbo; see John Nery in Inquirer Current,, for another view.

News like this ,Surrender talks bar soldiers from pursuit, serves as a good introduction to set the stage for Gail Ilagan, who quotes a general’s opinions on peace-building in Mindanao; she’s thankful cooler heads have prevailed in Basilan; and she is critical of the Philippine Marines.

The President should give Geronimo Sy a medal (or at least, a cracker).

Tony Abaya explains why he thinks the anti-terror law is a joke.

In the blogosphere, you can’t have as contrasting a take on the same story -allegations that Joseph Estrada did a deal with the administration to split the opposition- than the views presented in The Sassy Lawyer and in The Purple Phoenix Talks About Philippine Politics.

Even as Watchdog to gov’t: Where’s big fish? leading Palace denies big-time graft on the rise, concern remains. Money Smarts points to Transparency International saying petty corruption is actually down, in the Philippines, but is on an upswing in terms of big government deals, which is why they ask.

Katataspulong goes into detail why he opposes the division of Quezon Province,

August is Language Month (see my ongoing official calendar project). Filipino Librarian points to some language-related articles. A related article’s in Bahay Kubo.

Philippines Without Borders recounts being a guest on The Explainer, and then, why he blogs.

This made me laugh: La Vida Lawyer presents his top ten Starbucks aliases.

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71 comments

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  1. Devilsadvc8

    this is informational

    http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/talkofthetown/view_article.php?article_id=80613

    and Manolo, a lil help abt Magno’s link. it’s dead. im really quite curious abt it. unfortunately Phil Star’s site does not archive, or if it does, i can’t find it.

  2. BrianB

    “Just a few months ago, the Batanes crop area was devastated. The absence of rain tolled heavily on the crops and just when storms appeared on the horizons to bring much needed fresh water; it veered away and instead it’s winds brought salty sea mist on the area which further decimated what was left.”

    Buti na lang naka invest ako sa grain market. Naka latag ngayon sa cemento ang palay, ilang kilometro ang haba. Sana hwag umulan.

  3. justice league

    BrianB,

    “Buti na lang naka invest ako sa grain market. Naka latag ngayon sa cemento ang palay, ilang kilometro ang haba. Sana hwag umulan.”

    Well I wouldn’t know when harvest time in your province is but good for you then.

  4. Karl Garcia

    Hello to Rego and Bencard,

    Wala lang!

    Ilang buwan na ako nawala, sa tingin nyo pa din it is just a matter of fault finding and namecalling…

    partly true, but not you still don’t know the reason why until now???

  5. Karl Garcia

    To prove that I am back,just check the typos…

  6. vic

    justice league, your comment on fast food not using re-usable utensils (cups and plates) as much as possible make a lot of Big Sense. But responsible Big Players in these field don’t need any prodding and not even legislation, but should do on their own.

    Tim Hortons, Canada largest fast food and Coffee Chain (67% to Starbucks 7 %, now surpass even mcdo.)is one example of a very responsible corporate biggy. stay in customers are encouraged or served in re-usable cups and plates, although over half of its customers are take out, it tries to do as much as even sponsoring clean ups and using recyclable as much. And its Coffee, just regular or decaf and Good, maybe the Best….

  7. BrianB

    “Well I wouldn’t know when harvest time in your province is but good for you then.”

    JL, a joke. I have a dark sense of humor.

  8. cvj

    Karl, welcome back! BTW, what happened to your blog? It just keeps asking me to enter verification codes.

  9. vic

    And also with CJV welcoming Karl Garcia back to our blogworld.. welcome back Karl and we are (I am) familiar with the typos and looking forward for your thoughts and commentaries… vic

  10. Janey

    If there were only 30 million Filipinos, I think this would not happen. Masyadong maraming naghahati-hati sa tubig na nasa dam, kaya ayun, walang pang-irrigasyon kapag tagtuoy.

  11. Karl Garcia

    Vic,CVJ

    Thanks very much!
    Re:my blog
    I deleted it,I had no time blogging kasi sa line of work ko,call center agent.

    I know CVJ ,you are in the IT field and you do work at night shift,but I don’t have the luxury of doing so…You must be a boss there in Singapore.

    Now,i amin betwen jobs again..waiting for an opening in the staff of a senator,who might have to go to the supreme court just to attend the senate sesions..

    Basically, I think it isabout time to help my dad,who is not getting any younger.

  12. cvj

    Karl, i hope the next job you get will allow you time for blogging. BTW, Anna also asked about you when i visited her in Europe.

  13. tagakotta

    ‘Emergencies’ have always been the pretext on

    which the safeguards of individual liberty have

    been eroded – and once they are suspended it is

    not difficult for anyone who has assumed such

    emergency powers to see to it that the emergency

    will persist.”

    Friedrich A. Hayek, in Law, Legislation, and Liberty, Vol. 3

  14. Karl Garcia

    Thanks,Vic!

    Will try to vist Anna’s site!

  15. tagakotta

    I hope Ate Glue and her courtiers in the Palace who are asking for emergency powers to bring in the rains learn from this story:

    One day he was walking by the seashore, and his officers and courtiers were with him, praising him as usual. Canute decided to teach them a lesson.

    “So you say I am the greatest man in the world?” he asked them.

    “O king,” they cried, “there never has been anyone as mighty as you, and there never be anyone so great, ever again!”

    “And you say all things obey me?” Canute asked.

    “Absolutely!” they said. “The world bows before you, and gives you honor.”

    “I see,” the king answered. “In that case, bring me my chair, and we will go down to the water.”

    “At once, your majesty!” They scrambled to carry his royal chair over the sands.

    “Bring it closer to the sea,” Canute called. “Put it right here, right at the water’s edge.” He sat down and surveyed the ocean before him. “I notice the tide is coming in. Do you think it will stop if I give the command?”

    His officers were puzzled, but they did not dare say no. “Give the order, O great king, and it will obey,” one of then assured him.

    “Very well. Sea,” cried Canute, “I command you to come no further! Waves, stop your rolling!. Surf, stop your pounding! Do not dare touch my feet!”

    He waited a moment, quietly, and a tiny wave rushed up the sand and lapped at his feet.

    “How dare you!” Canute shouted. “Ocean, turn back now! I have ordered you to retreat before me, and now you must obey! Go back!”

    And in answer another wave swept forward and curled around the king’s feet. The tide came in, just as it always did. The water rose higher and higher. It came up around the king’s chair, and wet not only his feet, but also his robe. His officers stood before him, alarmed, and wondering whether he was not mad.

    “Well, my friends,” Canute said, “it seems I do not have quite so much power as you would have me believe. Perhaps you have learned something today. Perhaps now you will remember there is only one King who is all-powerful, and it is he who rules the sea, and holds the ocean in the hollow of his hand. I suggest you reserve your praises for him.”

  16. justice league

    BrianB,

    Ok.

    Vic,

    Well I wish we could leave it to them to be responsible, but I do realize there have been some bright spots.

    Jolibee used to serve much of their chickenjoy in styros before. They then shifted to those chickenwire baskets with used minimal wax paper. Now, much of their chicken order is in re-usable plates. That was quite an improvement.

    Though I can’t say much of the same for their foreign counterpart.

    Shakey’s and PizzaHut, Sbarro serve customers with re-usable plates, glasses, and utensils. But Yellowcab serve their customers with styroplates, plastic cups, spoons and forks which is surprising given the price of their pizza which on the other hand shouldn’t be surprising for Greenwich if they do.

    (Well all of that eating out sure is a load to one’s waist but such an “unload” to one’s wallet)

  17. Bencard

    tagakotta, i think you are a bit misrepresenting the facts. your “ate glue” is not asking for emergency power to bring in the “rain” (who are you trying to fool?). even if one can give that, nobody can fool mother nature – any half wit knows that.

    but she needs emergency power to ration what is available for the good of everyone. why are you people so afraid of that? btw, your “king canute” citation reminds us that you can’t blame the president for things that are beyond human control, which people like you often do.

  18. BrianB

    They asked for rain and God gave them rain. Poor Pinoys. Why didn’t they just ask for bottled water…

  19. Devilsadvc8

    nawalang parang bula ang mga doom sayers ng drought. baha. baha kahit saan tapos sasabihin nilang tagtuyo?

  20. journeyist

    maybe its time now for the presidential apologists to lobby for emergency powers for the president for her to be able to effectively address the problems wrought by heavy rains?

  21. PEEWEE

    ginoong manolo quezon

    kumusta po?

    HINDI PO NAMIN LUBOS NA MAUNAWAAN KUNG BAKIT MAY TAONG NAGPUPUMILIT NA HATIIN ANG LALAWIGAN NG QUEZON.

    KAMI PO AY NANINIWALA NA HINDI PO SAGOT SA KAHIRAPAN ANG PAGHAHATI NITO.

    POLITICAL INTEREST BA ANG DAHILAN?

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