Palparan’s prize

If anyone had any doubts where the President’s feelings lie, here’s your answer: General Palparan gets seat in National Security Council.

The Senate seems to be at a loss as to what to do (or what might happen), if the House calls its bluff. Not once, but twice.

A commenter says an upset Teddy Locsin says the armed forces should be appealed to intervene; but he also told me that there is also a strong case for the House argument concerning amendments. As Alvin Capino points out, even Alan Paguia can be trotted out in defense of the argument:

We asked Paguia about the argument of former Comelec Chairman Christian Monsod, who like Fr. Bernas was a member of the Constitutional Commission that drafted the 1987 Constitution, that the lack of specific wording for the two chambers of Congress to vote separately was just an oversight.

He said …: “If there is an oversight then the hands of the Supreme Court would be tied because the remedy would no longer be judicial construction but amendment to the Constitution. So, on that point they are construing something that is already clear. You are not allowed to do it… The question is: is there room for construction? There is none.”…

He said there is nothing that the Supreme Court can do since what is written in the 1987 Constitution is very clear. He cited the 1933 Tanada versus Yulo case where the Court was convinced, by reason of extraneous circumstances, that the legislature actually meant something else. The Court, however, ruled that the wording of the law should be followed, since it is fundamental that if the law is clear, there is no room for construction.

See Philippine Commentary’s constitutional sleuthing on these questions. the Citizen on Mars is willing to take a risk with the House getting its way.

In the International Herald Tribune, Donald Greenlees describes Philippine democracy as “shambolic,” and tells the story of someone campaigning for constitutional amendments:

Masajo’s parents had marched on the streets in the “people power” revolution that rid the Philippines of Marcos, after 21 years in office. They also attended the funeral of Benigno (Ninoy) Aquino, Marcos’s assassinated rival.

Yet none of this prevented Masajo, a journalism student and head of a national youth organization, from arriving at his own conclusion about the allegations of plunder and extrajudicial killings leveled against Marcos by his many critics.

“History has been quite unfair to President Marcos, primarily because we have only been looking at the bad side of his presidency,” Masajo said. “He did a number of substantial things for the country.”

For a generation of activists like Masajo, too young to have witnessed Marcos’s abuses of power, it is possible to see virtue in a period marked by colossal corruption, yet also relative political stability, when it is contrasted with the disorderly democracy that followed.

This is precisely the mentality that’s keeping the President in power, and which reduces every question to a “let’s be objective about this” defense of the administration -and its allies. For some reason, this argument’s considered a guaranteed way to lose, but really, it’s valid: would a German plead for history to be fairer to the Nazi party, because they gave Germany the autobahn and the Volkswagen?

A report from the Philippine Daily Inquirer indicates demoralization in the Department of Finance:

Thus, the shock waves were felt most keenly at the finance department…

Interviewed about the President’s controversial Executive Order No. 558, Finance Secretary Margarito G. Teves was hard pressed to justify the policy, stressing that the full implications of the order have yet to be digested.

“I still have to talk to the President about it,” he said.

Teves, who also heads the National Credit Council in his capacity as finance secretary, served as secretary general of the Economic Coordinating Council during the Estrada administration — the body that formulated the ban on cheap and behest loans, as a counterweight to some of the former President’s perceived cronies….

“Maybe something can still be done about it,” Teves said, or at the very least, safeguards can be imposed to prevent a repeat of past state-subsidized loan programs which, according to some estimates, cost the government around P40 billion in unrecoverable loans over the last 20 years.

According to sources in the National Credit Council (NCC), Teves’ unease over the policy shift is due, in part, to the fact that he was not consulted over the decision to revive state loan subsidies.

“In fact, he wasn’t even here when the [executive order] was signed,” said an official familiar with the NCC’s workings. “He was totally left out of the decision process here, perhaps because [Palace officials] knew that he would oppose it.”

The NCC, as a whole, was also left out of the loop.

Upon learning of the repeal of President Estrada’s landmark EO 138, its members promptly prepared a briefing paper outlining their concerns.

“Government line agencies may now directly undertake subsidized credit programs that will result in huge fiscal losses,” the paper said. It said GFIs, like the Development Bank of the Philippines and the Land Bank of the Philippines “may no longer concentrate on wholesale lending but instead do retail, [directly competing] with private financial

It also warned that private sector involvement in “credit delivery” might dwindle, worsening the problem or credit access.

So what’s the big deal?
The executive issuance that’s been scrapped represented a policy reform lasting close to a decade. If you take a look at the 2000 Annual Report of the Department of Finance, you’ll see that at the time, the government spoke glowingly of Executive Order 138 (dated August 10, 1999). The report described, in detail, the effort that went into setting up this pretty reasonable policy (see the section on the National Credit Council). Newsstand, in two entries here and here, delves into what’s worrisome about the President’s decision.

President: if you’re a doctor why not be a transcriptionist instead of leaving? Oh boy. Originally, medical transcription was viewed as a means for medical students to earn income while in school. It wasn’t supposed to be a substitute for a medical career. Oh, and it wasn’t exactly a gag order.

Don’t get delirious just yet about government’s news it has large reserves of foreign currency.

Interesting survey released by ACNielsen: people more optimistic, but unsure if jobs will last; also, Filipinos are next to Thais in having a high savings rate (defying the conventional wisdom that Filipinos don’t save; see this story on OFW’s and a UN report on how they’re unable to save, at least at the start).

Singapore enforces blacklist on NGOs. The World Bank and IMF unhappy. In Thailand, universities get rated, and a debate ensues. The Brits want Blair to go, but will his party boot him out?

See The People’s Daily Online takes a naughty look at a controversial BBC documentary that speculates on the consequences of assassinating George Bush, Jr. -and simulates it. Slate on the continuing fallout from Ann Coulter being fired from her job as a columnist -five years ago. Also, a splendid article in The Economist on modern-day gerrymandering in America.

Seriously, Slate’s Election Scorecard for the Senate, for the House, and for Governors is breathtaking. Imagine the tantalizing possibilities if the same could be done here. I’d like to see something like this map, from Wikipedia, but re-colored in terms of mid-term elections or a national referendum’s projected results!

In the punditocracy, mention of Mindanao by a 911 ringleader, continuing fighting there, plus official mention of Al Qaida, and confusion concerning a so-called terrorism expert, refocuses attention on terrorism. Fahmi Howaidy says, apropos of the War on Terror,

People don’t really need to do much investigating in order to see that the campaign carried out in the name of war on terrorism has been a colossal failure. The campaign was used to enlarge and generalize the terrorism circle. This is a very important point to highlight. It’s actually very puzzling how decision makers in countries which initiated the war in Iraq won’t admit this truth. They insist on pursuing the same policies that have made things worse.

Foreign Affairs has a roundtable on the War on Terror and whether it’s been effective.: read what James Fallows, Jessica Stern, Fawaz Gerges, and Paul Pillar have to say.

Take a look at Marvin Tort’s column on elections and the factors that erode their credibility. He wants “technicalities” set aside, because the country needs a clean election. Like the administration cares?

Mike Tan on how we lack an ethics-oriented culture. Speaking of ethics, JB Baylon reminds us of another Macapagal, another Secretary of Justice, and a now-forgotten cause celebre, the Stonehill case.

Also, are British and Thai parliamentary politics on parallel tracks?

A very -and I mean very- interesting rant in Poormojo’s Almanac(k) on YouTube, GoogleVideo, and where Web 2.0 seems headed.

In the blogopshere, big mango on the “terror expert” brouhaha -it doesn’t help, he says, to punish people for making a fool out of you.

OFW in Hong Kong on the travails of Filipino nurses in New York City (our consul in New York hails the nurses’ case). Meanwhile. caffeine sparks reflects on the Filipino-for-export phenomenon. As I said in a comment in her blog, look at Ireland. We are experiencing our Great Potato Famine. But a renaissance will come. It might take 100 years, but it will come.

[email protected] on the many kinds of outsourcing there is.

debatisa on why a two party system won’t work (my bias is against political parties, period: all political parties are, by their nature, tyrants-in-waiting).

Hat tip to Fool for Five for the Official Seal generator!

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

88 thoughts on “Palparan’s prize

  1. you burn candles studying chemistry and biology and dissecting those freaking frogs and sharks, only to end up with headphones and listening to latin–no not latin music–and gma calls that a promising medical career?

    confine her back to st. luke.

  2. My theory is that since in very important decisions like affirming or revoking the President’s declaration of martial law (sec.18 of ART VII), the Congress votes as a whole and not separately, then it might as well be similarly circumstnaced if the Congress had to decide on amendments or revisions to the constitution.

    Of course, this might be an absolute analogy and it might not be accepted but the syllogism can work in our attempt to determine the real intent of the framers of the 1987 constitution.

  3. President: if you’re a doctor why not be a transcriptionist instead of leaving?

    Can I be a medical transcriptionist even if i did not go to med school? maganda ba ang sweldo doon?

  4. THere is a problem.

    Article VII-Section 18. The President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of all armed forces of the Philippines and whenever it becomes necessary, he may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion. In case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, he may, for a period not exceeding sixty days, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law. Within forty-eight hours from the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, the President shall submit a report in person or in writing to the Congress. The Congress, voting jointly, by a vote of at least a majority of all its Members in regular or special session, may revoke such proclamation or suspension, which revocation shall not be set aside by the President. Upon the initiative of the President, the Congress may, in the same manner, extend such proclamation or suspension for a period to be determined by the Congress, if the invasion or rebellion shall persist and public safety requires it.

    But Article VI:
    Section 23. (1) The Congress, by a vote of two-thirds of both Houses in joint session assembled, voting separately, shall have the sole power to declare the existence of a state of war.

    So there are instances when both Houses come together yet still vote separately.

  5. Seriously, Slate’s Election Scorecard for the Senate, for the House, and for Governors is breathtaking. Imagine the tantalizing possibilities if the same could be done here. I’d like to see something like this map, from Wikipedia, but re-colored in terms of mid-term elections or a national referendum’s projected results!

    Agreed. PDI, PHilstar or Malaya should seriously consider a 2007 election scorecard for the House elections. Para maging guide ito sa mga political strategists kung sino sino ang vulnerable.

  6. President: if you’re a doctor why not be a transcriptionist instead of leaving? Oh boy. Originally, medical transcription was viewed as a means for medical students to earn income while in school. It wasn’t supposed to be a substitute for a medical career.

    To be fair, the context was doctors leaving and becoming nurses and not being able to practice medicine; not being able to be doctors. The subtext was, “If youre a doctor, why not be a medical transcriptionist instead of leaving? That way you could still serve in our country as doctors instead of leaving to clean bedpans.” Or something like that.

  7. debatisa on why a two party system won’t work (my bias is against political parties, period: all political parties are, by their nature, tyrants-in-waiting).

    Ikaw ba si Charles Barkley, Manuel? Yan rin ang sinabi ni Sir Charles eh.;_ylt=AsMBmsrNv9pevg0U5z7_BFi8vLYF?slug=ap-halloffame-barkley&prov=ap&type=lgns

    And he said he is an independent, not a Democrat as previously reported.

    “The Republicans are full of it,” Barkley said. “The Democrats are a little less full of it.”


    Barkley said he’s friends with a couple of people who made the leap from celebrity to politics — California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura.

    “They’re like `Hey man, this ain’t like you think it is,”‘ Barkley said. “These people, all of them, sold their souls to special interest groups. They’re not trying to do good things here.’

    “Then I say, `You know what, if I don’t try to do something, it’s never going to change.”‘

    He said all political parties should be eliminated.

    “You shouldn’t belong to a political affiliation. Everybody should be an independent,” he said. “The way it is now you’re hamstrung to a particular party. That’s not right.”

  8. Even transcriptionist will be a thing of the past. There are also legal transcriptionists who cater to lawyers and firms. But modern technology is fast catching up. There are software now which can transcribe for lawyers and doctors. The demand for transcripsionists is waning and soon will no longer exist due to these software. Companies have also sprouted making self-employment hard as they have direct contact with clients. Last I heard was one can earn at “least” P15,000 a month. But there are still US companies who for a $100 membership fee will include you in their list and recommend you to a client. Pay is about $3 per 10 lines.

    *Persons without medical background must undergo a seminar/short course program to familiarize them with medical terminologies. Training manuals and transcription programs are available online for about $175 – $280.

  9. It was easy for Slate, since there are at most three candidates to watch for every state and senators are elected by state. It might be easier for congress, since it is local in nature (even if there are more than 2 candidates per district).

    Maybe if pollsters will publish their data online, we can make a summary out of them.

  10. mlq3,

    The term ‘Constituent Assembly’ is a misnomer. It’s not found in the Constitution. It’s simply ‘a vote of 3/4 all of the members of Congress’ to change the Constitution. No need for any consent, action nor response from the upper house; no need for the Senate to agree to convene jointly with the lower house as a body before the votes are counted. The Lower House reigns supreme even over the Supreme Court which it can abolish just as easily as it can obliterate the Senate and take-over the Executive via a shift to a unicameral parliamentary system.
    It’s a ‘constitutional coup’ in more ways than one:1) it is ‘constitutional’ 2) it’s power-grab via charter change.

    “he also told me that there is also a strong case for the House argument concerning amendments.” notwithstanding:

    Rep Teddy Locsin was ‘coup deta-ed’ by Rep Jaraula’s devious ‘switching the envelope’ move. It’s the treachery of it all that shook the poor guy.

    “there is also a strong case for the House argument concerning amendments”

    ‘argument’? or are they just justifying a ‘crime’ they have already committed themselves to consummating?

    The Principle of Bicameralism ingrained (deliberately constituted) in all the other pertinent provisions is a stronger argument against USURPATORY unicameralism posed by self-serving intersts embedded in the lowest house in the history of the institution.

  11. Gloria is never lost for rewarding loyal Himmler-like disciples.

    A seat in the National Security Council is virtual immunity for Palparan; the seat ensures that he can snub summons by the legislature based on EO whatever on the pretext that anything he may say or reveal would or might endanger national security; he doesn’t have to answer any questions surrounding accusations of extra-judicial killings during his time as a military commander and most of all, he is vested with official powers to put down opposition to Gloria and brand oppositionists “red”.

    How very convenient!

  12. Not surprised. if she could have her way, the Punggok will even reward the devil for helping her, especially with the legions working hard to insure she is granted by the devil her heart’s desire amidst the miseries and hardships experienced by her fellow Filipinos under her bogus reign.

    Kawawang Pilipinas!

  13. John,
    I saw Barkley in an interview several years ago.

    He said his mother who is a lifelong Democrat wanted to know why he turned Republican. He said, “Momma, I’m rich now”

    His story cracked me up. But now you mention he’s turned independent so I can only guess his new explanation for that will be – “I’m now too rich for political parties.”

  14. BTW, on review of Article VII Sec. 18, it makes it easier for Congress to lift a declaration of Martial Law by the President. Congress acting as one body makes it easier to contest the Presidential action.

    Lifting martial law thus needs to hurdle only 1 body instead of 2 bodies. If the 2 Houses were to vote separately; 1 House by not achieving a majority vote can deny revokation of Martial Law. The idea is not affirmation but revokation via majority vote.

    It is only the extension of Martial LAw or extension of the suspension of the writ of Habeas corpus wherein the majority Vote of Congress voting as one body acts as a sort of affirmation by which the initial act must have already survived an attempt of revokation first.

  15. Gloria will not use EO 558 to finance anybody’s campaign. Those expenses will be covered by the re-enacted budget.

    I have no doubt that EO 558 ‘s fruits will go directly to the pocket of one ravenous lisping dwarf.

  16. first it was call center agents, now its transcriptionists? this process outsourcing fetish has got to stop, really. we are dumbing down an entire generation! Why bother to strive for greater things when you can work at a call center or be a transcriptionist? No offense to the people in these fields of endeavor, but government should try to match work to skill. Even its failure to do that creditably is no excuse for promoting underachievement this way.

    p.s. by underachievement, i mean having people perform work that does not maximize their capabilities, ok?

  17. manuel,
    maybe he beceme mature enough to stand on his own feet (not too rich for political parties). he became independent because he reached a point when he can stand by his own conviction and not be pressured by party members who most of the time vote along party lines which is more often than not dictated by the most powerful member of the party

    being independent i think is better than being a party member. you can do whatever you think is right for your constituent or for the country. you can vote for the liberals/demorcrats or for the republicans/conservatives, depending on the merits of the issues at hand. you are the king of your own actions/opinions, no one to blame or give credits for your failure or success but yourself. you and you alone is accountable to your constituents. if everyone is independent (which i think is hard to attain), then all issues will be decided by independent and hopefully intelligent minded people. maybe , just maybe all issue will be debated properly by endpendent minds before they come up with the right decisions.

    it will not be like what is happening now espcially in the lower house where members are mostly acting like robots when they junked the impeachement and pushed thru with the con ass proposals.

  18. yes antonio, filipinos should strive to match their qualifications with the job. phd should be scientist, bsmt should be medical technologists, bseed should be teachers, md should be doctors….well, lawyers are always lawyers and poticians, all the time.

    at least nowadays we can have transcriptionists and call center operators for bseed’s and not nunnys. well, arroyo is trying to keep it the old ways, super nunnys. there is an improvement there…SUPER!

    no offense to our kababayans, but that is what our officials are doing and they are getting away with it.

    so, patalsikin na, now na!

    eh walang mangyari, tulog pa rin ang ating mga kababayan. sino pa ang aasahan ninyo kung hindi kayo rin.

  19. excuse me,
    to be a medical transcriptionist, you need to have a working knowledge of the medical terms. Is that dumb.

    To be in the call center, you should have specialized knowledge in marketing, IT and other fields of specialization.

  20. excuse me,
    even with the introduction of new techonology, the medical transcriptionist job, the medical billing will still need human operator to do the job.

    As in legal industry, what was made easier by the new software was the formatting of the briefs for multi-branchlaw offices so that when they send the files, they can easily be read and
    rewritten without so much effort because it is standardized.

    Latest is the e-file of the documents to the court without having to transit volumes of transcripts thru mail.

    Still, it is a person who does this.

    Tme medical terminologies and their standard codes as set by the
    Medical Board are available in software but the classification of the disease and the corresponding activities done (e.g. surgery) depends on the person doing the transcription.

  21. so you mean:
    the Chinese officials should also be “patalsikin” because they send Chinese au pairs to US?

    The French government should be condemned because they send their students to work as au pair in the US.

    The British government should be condemend for putting up schools for household managers aka domestic helps and send butlers to work with affluent families.

    Think global boys. Napag-iiwanan kayo ng panahon because of your narrow views of the world. Politics is not only dirty, it gives you one side tracked mind.

    Still, it is a person who does this.

  22. yes cat, you can say it is dumbing down. we have medical transcriptionists here in our office who are high school graduates and with a few weeks of office work with us, became transriptionists and double with billing jobs. they are high school graduates here, but with a short course of training coupled with tight supervision for a fes weeks, they can do the job. of course , they are already adopted with computer works from day one since computer is common here as you, even in grade school.

    antonio is saying that i think, and i agree, because in our rp setting, i think most of the tranciptionists are college graduates ( four years in college education).so, what would you call a college graduate doing a high school graduate job? we just want to point out that what we need in rp is the right job for the right education and expertise. nothing wrong with that , i think.maybe a more politically correct way to say it is …underemployment of college gradautes. same banana but nice to hear for liberals and journalists.

  23. patalsikin dahil she is dumbing down our college graduates and trying to make them nunnys.

    that is only one of the reasons for talalsikin, you know the real major reasons. you know what is going on in bayan kong pilipinas. i am sure you still have your five senses plus the sixth sense hehehe.

  24. I agree with the comments of Juan Makabayan…I guess it’s time:



  25. hi Ca t. the gov’t is doing a really poor job of matching skills to work. and to compensate for this, we actively promote working overseas. nothing horrendously ogrish about that, but there has to be a better way, yes?

    and, super maids? nothing wrong with being in the ‘service’ industry, but really, shouldn’t our countrymen aspire to something more? i know you’ve heard about ‘sweet lemons’ – the antithesis of ‘sour grapes?’ Well, that’s what this government is doing. telling our people that a life of ‘bitter’ (as in lemons) hardship (bitter because of separation from family, subjection to racism, among other things) abroad as domestic helpers is ‘sweet’ (as in desirable and ideal). Kaso, hindi talaga sweet yun, Ca t. Napakahirap mamuhay sa ibang bansa bilang katulong ng mga banyaga. Malungkot, nangungulila ka sa pamilya, and in some case, namemeligro pa ang integridad ng pamilya: there are far too many cases of the disintegration of the family unit’s integrity because one or both parents are overseas workers.

    OFWs are a breed to be proud of, because of their courage, their resilience, and their determination to make a better life for themselves and their loved ones at great personal cost. But just because they are heroes, doesn’t mean we should be too eager to send them off.

    so no, i won’t condemn the chinese, or french – but mainly because how they treat their people is their problem. but i will criticize this government for not making staying in the country a more rewarding choice for our people.

  26. don’t know about law transription. however, in medical transcription, with the use of voice recognition device, you just talk to that thing and voila, whetever you said will be downloaded later to a PC or server. oh, before you dictate, you need to train the device with your own voice. by experience, according to techs, people with a little accent can train that thing earlier than the regular english speaking can later do whatever you want to do with it, edit, print, etc. the job of ten typists will be done by maybe one for editing and other related jobs. some programs are really automated and need the least manpower, a high school graduate can do (with computer knowledge).

    bottom line, medical transcription does not need a filipino college graduate. filipino high school grade on par with american hs grads will do the trick.

    people here say that filipino medical transcriptionists are better that in other countries, that’s why even ERAP’s ortho surg is trying to convince us to send ours to rp. he goes there 3x/year . he loves rp.i am not for erap or arroyo. i am for any filipino who really loves rp and will work for its improvement, maybe for my kabayan….MANOLO ( kailan ka baga kakandidatu? marami na kaming nag-iintay sa iyu ay. banat na!)

  27. tbl,

    hey, i’m not a fan of political parties. And for the same reasons that you mentioned. Like I said before, the only party I like is one with lots of booze, drugs, food, good music and beautiful company.

  28. Matching skills with work has to be driven by actual demand, not by supply. I see nothing wrong with the schools reorienting to be more responsive to the demand for nurses, transcriptionists etc. If the school system has to turn itself into one big export processing zone for Filipino labor, then so be it.

    I agree that our countrymen should aspire for ‘greater things’, but this is largely a matter of individual initiative, and a person can only do that if he/she is already financially secure. In the meantime, the country is better off exporting labor rather than having them hang around to compete with the growing numbers of unemployed or underemployed.

  29. hi cvj. looks like we’re at it again, eh? 🙂 ok. i totally agree with you that aspiration for greater things is a personal decision. but wouldn’t it be easier to aspire for greater things if greater things are within easier reach than they are now?

  30. tbl,
    short term courses that can lead to licensing are not popular in the Philippines, it has always been a four year college degree.Here in the States, there are city colleges where short term courses producing technicians in lieu of engineers, certified nursing assistants, in lieu of professional nurses, phlebotomists for medical technologists. But haven’t you hear that there is an increase in college enrollment in the US because of the offshoring of these jobs that are available for non-college graduates?

    Medical billing is already a profession that needs licensing because it is now being professionalized due to adoption of international codes.

    what you may be referring to are equivalent to accounting clerks in an accounting firm, where there is a CPA that takes care of the licensing requirement.

    Do you wonder why these jobs are being offshored aside from the financial consideration of course. Because of the human resources that they can get from the developing countries like India and Philippines. College graduates as against high school grads from the US, whom are you going to choose. In the job, it is not only the specific skills that give attention to but it is the pluses that they get from people with higher academic qualifications.

  31. antonio walang laban,
    it is not the government’s function to match the skills and qualifications. The demand for the skills is not in anyway under the control of the government. Whoever put this idea in your mind should be made to drink anti-diarhheal for the brain.

    The demand for the skills is dictated by the global economy. As there are new technological innovations, the demand for certain expertise is either increased or decreased.

    A system of education should be responsive to this demand. We can not stagante. education should be dynamic.

    Besides the matching cannot happen in one or two fiscal years.
    The nursing profession in the Philippines came to its lowest when the US Relief Nursing Act ended in 1995. Several graduates, no jobs avaiable. There was no hiring in the US because certified nursing assistants graduating from city colleges took over the nursing functions in the hospitals. Nursing graduates in the Philippines work in odd jobs until the Nurses Association in the US demand for the increase of the ratio of RN (registered nurses) to patients be implemented thus the opening of the recruitment of nurses.They realize that the short term course nursing graduates can not fully substitute for the professional nurses. The shortage is so acute that nurses are given green card to entice them to come since UK was also feeling the effect of the law that they implemented before (no hiring of foreign nurses) that they were competing in the recruitment of nurses from other countries. So the boom for nursing courses was expected.

    So now tell me, how can you match skills and jobs, if you were the President?

  32. antonio, i agree and i wish we could do just that. The question to me is how to operationalize this. Normally, students’ aspirations are shaped by their teachers or their parents. While there are inspiring teachers and parents around, there are not enough of them for us to trust that this process will be consistently replicable across the educational system. Another way to encourage large numbers of people to aspire for greater things is through the example of our leaders, but this avenue is not available given the present leadership. With these realities, i think it’s best to concentrate on equipping those about to enter the labor force with skills to make them immediately productive. Maybe when their time comes and it’s their turn to shape the youth’s aspirations, they would be in a position to do a better job.

    In the meantime, maybe a practical way to assist those who choose to continue their education or further skill up is by setting up more institutions for continuing adult education (apart from an MBA) as well as institutions that focus on Research and Development, building more libraries and the like. Unlike the mainstream schools for IT, Call Centers, BPO, nursing and transcription, these latter set of institutions would be more in the nature of boutiques catering to a smaller audience of eager scholars.

  33. cat,
    with regards to coding and billing which may or may not be part of transcription, i think there is no fancy thing about them. if you are in a low tech environment, you may do it by hand or in most cases in high tech environs, software progams will do most of the job. the employee would just be on the look out for flags. however, in both cases, by hand or by software, everything is lined up there per clinicians dictation or writing. no one except the md or his designee can change anything, they will just verify all the flags if there is a question. if there is a question, the md who is the ultimate responsible person for the patient will decide.

    all dx can be seen in op notes, dicharge summaries and for labs and ancillary services, they are all spelled out in the request and verified by the computer system within each site (lab info system/LIS or hosp info system/HIS).

    since dx are there in front of the employee…codes are just easy to find in the book/softwaqre and so with corresponding exact bill. most of the time, dx. is all you need and punch in the keyboard…everything will follow, just like a robot no questions asked if it match.( which often will do). just like i said a college degree is not required.

  34. cat, what we are discussing is the issue of unerdemployment aka dumbing down of professionals. of course if i am the employer i will hire the person who has the highest qualification if he is willing to work for it. that is the point, in our country, highly qualified employees are working in a lesser, i may say work environment. why waste their talents? why not the government and whoever is responsible make the philippine work environment commensurate with the qualificatons of the workforce? i am proud of the quality of filipino work force, i know i came from that work force many many years ago. i am just frustrated that we are just wasting so much talents.

  35. Mlq3, why not make a list of 101 uses for Gloria when she’s finally discarded (just like what The Times is doing right now for a discarded Blair!)

    Lemme start:

    1. Set up a finishing school so she can train maids to become super maids.

    2. Send her to Guimaras to help clean up the oil spill

  36. well, my friends, most of the issues we are discussing here..underemployment,dumbing down of work force, mismatch etc. mybe solved, hopfully in the near future by LADDERIZED EDUCATION SYSTEM. thanks to those people who initiated the idea. this must not be kept only as an idea. this should have been implemented a long time ago.

  37. ay mang jovito
    matutuwa ba ako
    sa iyong pag-reretiro?

    oo nga’t malaking parangal
    ang maging heneral
    kung ang tagapag-tangol
    ay gaya ni del pilar at malvar

    ang tawag sa iyo
    ay “berdugo ng mindoro”
    tanong po lamang ng makabayang
    tulad ko!

    dasal ko lang sana
    sa sinumang papalit sa iyo
    huwag sanang pamarisan
    itong si palparan

  38. hi again ca t. i totally agree with you that it is not the government’s job to match skills and work. absolutely. but it is the government’s job to create an environment where this kind of matching is possible.

    There was no hiring in the US because certified nursing assistants graduating from city colleges took over the nursing functions in the hospitals. Nursing graduates in the Philippines work in odd jobs until the Nurses Association in the US demand for the increase of the ratio of RN (registered nurses) to patients be implemented thus the opening of the recruitment of nurses. You said this; and this is exactly the problem that is looming for this country. What happens when big companies move their call centers to other countries? E di all these well-adjusted underachievers are left high and dry na naman. That is the trouble with the reactive sort of government that we have now.

    if I were president, hmmm. There’s a thought. When I have some ideas, I’ll let you know.

    BUT, my inability to give viable alternatives does not excuse the government’s failure to come up with viable alternatives either, does it?

    After all, ca t, I don’t have the resources of an entire government behind me. I don’t have access to economists, businessmen, academics, and whatnot. So, what’s the government’s excuse?

    Like I told cvj, i have nothing against these jobs being available. My gripe is that these jobs are being touted as very good opportunities for our youth, and are being offered as a sop to entice our professionals to stay. Some people may find nothing wrong with that, but I intend to keep on holding government to a higher standard than that.

  39. but he also told me that there is also a strong case for the House argument concerning amendments. As Alvin Capino points out, even Alan Paguia can be trotted out in defense of the argument

    Sassy Lawyer did some research on the 1935 and 1973 Consti:

    Let’s compare the above provision with its equivalent in the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions.

    [1935 Constitution] ARTICLE XV

    Section 1. The Congress in joint session assembled, by a vote of three-fourths of all the Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives voting separately, may propose amendments to this Constitution or call a convention for that purpose. Such amendments shall be valid as part of this Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification.

    [1973 Constitution] ARTICLE XVI

    Section 1. (1) Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution may be proposed by the National Assembly upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members, or by a constitutional convention.

    (2) The National Assembly may, by a vote of two-thirds of all its Members, call a constitutional convention, or by a majority vote of all its Members, submit the question of calling such a convention to the electorate in an election.

    In the 1935 Constitution, the meaning is so clear there is no room for doubt–the Houses voted separately. Ergo, the 3/4 requirement must be satisfied twice–3/4 vote among the Senators and 3/4 vote among the members of the Lower House.

    Why was the separate voting deleted in the 1973 Constitution? Simple. Because under the 1973 Constitution, we had a unicameral legislature–the National Assembly or the Batasang Pambansa. There were no two chambers to vote separately because there was only one chamber.

    Stupid thing about the 1987 Constitution is that it practically copied the provision in the 1973 Constitution despite the reversal to a bicameral legislature. The 1987 Constitution ushered in the return to a Congress with an Upper House–the Senate–and a Lower House–the House of Representatives. And yet the provision on amendments was written as though there was a unicameral legislature just like under the 1973 Constitution.

  40. mlq3 said: “. . . look at Ireland. We are experiencing our Great Potato Famine. But a renaissance will come. It might take 100 years, but it will come.”

    I agree. It was a long time wandering in the wilderness, actually almost 150 years. Immigration was a life-saving outlet for this downtrodden and much-maligned country. Yes, Ireland is now enjoying a renaissance of sorts. To a great extent, this is thanks to her being a part of the European Union, as this forced the country to modernize in order to be at par with the rest of Europe.

    In the meantime, until our “renaissance” comes, any chance for gainful employment is a plus. Medical transcriber, call center attendant, nurse, orderly, mechanic, whatever. Whether the work is here or abroad. To endeavor to dignify oneself through honest work is always worthy of respect.

  41. tbl, i think Ca T’s point is having ‘the government and whoever is responsible make the philippine work environment commensurate with the qualifications of the workforce‘ is putting the cart before the horse. The government, through its policies on education, can only adjust the qualifications of the workforce to the demands of the work environment (local or global). It has to be demand-oriented and responsive (aka ‘reactive’). Given its size, government of course can influence that demand somewhat (e.g. by spending more of our taxes on teachers’ or medical professionals’ salaries), but those who are in favor of “making government irrelevant” may voice their own set of objections to such measures.

    Antonio, i agree with you that the government has to worry about what to do in case the call centers move to other countries, but this should be done in the course of normal contingency planning and not in the context of helping the ‘underachievers’ find a job more suitable to their college training. It’s the same sort of contingency measures the government has to put in place to respond to the effects of labor dislocations due to the recent conflict in Lebanon, or future civil unrest in Saudi Arabia. Government policy should not be influenced by any preconceptions as to hierarchy or prestige of professions with highly trained professionals being privileged over call center agents or transcriptionists.

  42. Chabeli, thanks

    The line of battle has been drawn. The Constituttion must be upheld and defended. GMA is waging a war against our people, our institutions, traditions and our Constitution. The Philippines is virtually an occupied territory that must be liberated institution by institution. The crucial battle for our Constitution will determine the fate our beloved country and the survival of Filipinos for generations to come.

  43. mlq3,

    “In the International Herald Tribune, Donald Greenlees describes Philippine democracy as ‘shambolic,’ ”

    Philppine democracy? Isn’t it Philippine “traporacy”?

    With GMA, FVR and JdV in control, now is the ‘Golden Age of Philippine trapocracy’. From a ‘shambolic’ democratic republican to a ‘diabolic’ unicameral parliamentary, Philippine trapocracy is going from worse to worst.

    Down with trapocracy!

    The civil war will be fought between the forces of trapocracy on the side of GMA, FVR & JdV and the forces of democracy on the side of the Grand Coalition of Church people, Citizens movements and the Military.

    Ipaglalaban ko, ang Inang Bayan ko!
    Upang makamtan ang Tunay na Demokasya!

  44. Government policy should not be influenced by any preconceptions as to hierarchy or prestige of professions with highly trained professionals being privileged over call center agents or transcriptionists. good grief. i have said time and again it is not about the ‘prestige’ it’s about underperformance, or underutilization of skill, all synonyms of underachievement: you achieve far less than what you are capable of.

    put yourself in the shoes of an advertising graduate. would you rather be working in a call center – or in an ad company? where would you be more productive? now, let’s say you’re a high school graduate. no money for college, but smart enough. where will you find employment if all the call center jobs are taken by, or given to, advertising graduates?

    and we’re quibbling about context? i think not. I don’t care in what context government does it: it must look at the broader picture. it should improve the business environment here so that investors come in and bring jobs with them – jobs that our graduates have been trained for. it should make setting up businesses easier, thus encouraging entrepreneurship. it should do something other than piping this silly pied piper tune about call centers being the wave of the future.

    and of course this cannot be done in a year or two. heck, it probably cannot even be done in 4. but that doesn’t mean the government should just focus on promoting short-term benefits simply because the current administration won’t be around when the long-term benefits roll in. that’s stupid. and naturally, it won’t be easy, and of course government should have ‘in the meantime’ measures in place. but the problem is, cvj, that this government is aggresively pushing our youth like sheep into the cul-de-sacs of call centers. This creates the false impression among our youth that call-center work is the cream of all careers, and lulls them into complacency and a sybaristic existence within the cozy confines of dimly lit coffee shops.

    the only compromise i can imagine is that government balance its aggressive drive for call-centers with an equally aggressive drive to convince the youth that they should be looking forward to getting better jobs; that they should be more conscientious about saving up their call-center pesos in banks; that they should not rule out higher education.

    and just to clarify it once again, call-center jobs should be pushed for those with lesser qualifications (and again I mean that in a quantitative, not qualitative way); not for those who should be encouraged to enter the corporate world.

  45. The LADDERIZED EDUCATION SYSTEM has already been introduced by the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila more than ten years ago when it opened its City College in the university. It was patterned after the City College of San Francisco where associate degrees can be obtained in just a few semesters. But then, the students are required to be full time or are available for the day schedules. The City College of Manila was further developed by then Mayor Alfredo Lim , transferring the college from a small department at PLM to its own building in Escolta.

    The problem confronted by the graduates is with the industry which do not accept non-bachelors degree holder because the program merely awards a certificate for associate.

    It’s not the educational system which is at fault. It is the industry’s mindset of hiring college degree grads.

  46. I differ in thinking than the rest of you because I am not a political person. I look at the problem from the business point of view.

    Like, the supply. If you have an oversupply of nursing graduates, what are your options? A columnist like Quiros who is fond or recycling his articles would blame everyone the government, the OFWs and the Filipino people BUT HIMSELF.

    I would look for consumers which can absorb the oversupply. I will analyse if the excess in the supply is only in the local market. If it is, then I am going to export them. Why should I decrease the supply when there is still an unsatisfied demand.

    It’s only people who are narrowsighted who regard this phenomenon of borderless global economy as the fault of the government. Whoever the president is, this is the same course of action that he would take instead of asking them to stay and die of hunger because they listen to crap of some columnists who are still living in the Jurassic age.

    or to some bloggers who merely mouthed hatred for the president.

  47. “hatred” for THE president? which or what president?

    you mean the presidential candidate who talked to a comelec official about making sure that her votes were padded by a million? “‘yong dagdag, iyong dagdag!”

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