A crime but no criminals

Today’s news of course continues to focus on the Ombudsman’s decision not to do anything. Newsbreak gives a brisk digest not only of the issues, but of reactions, including those of former Senate President Jovito Salonga and Gus Lagman (a co-member of the Black & White Movement, by way of full disclosure to readers). The PCIJ Blog also breaks down the issues and why the Ombudsman’s report has raised hackles.

See the Supreme Court’s decision in Information Technology Foundation of the Philippines vs. Comelec etc.:

Once again, the Court finds itself at the crossroads of our nation’s history. At stake in this controversy is not just the business of a computer supplier, or a questionable proclamation by Comelec of one or more public officials. Neither is it about whether this country should switch from the manual to the automated system of counting and canvassing votes. At its core is the ability and capacity of the Commission on Elections to perform properly, legally and prudently its legal mandate to implement the transition from manual to automated elections.

And the Supremes’ resolution instructing the Ombudsman to do something and report every three months, the first deadline having been September 30, followed by December 31, etc.

As for the Ombudsman’s report to meet the first (September 30) deadline, which has caused all the buzz, I haven’t been able to download the report, but apparenty reader CJV has, and weighs in with his thoughts; jamesjimenez at the Comelec begins to dissect the report.

In an email, Leah Navarro reminded friends of the implications of the funds involved:

As a couple of friends have asked – what can Php2.3B buy you? Here’s a little help – at least 20,000 two classroom schools (Fe Hidalgo would be DepEd Sec now), 800000 mobile phones (cheapest go for Php2500), over 200000 Gawad Kalinga Homes.

Which is why, the refrain from months ago keeps getting new life. Bastusan na? Matagal na!

In other news, the nursing exam controversy is proving difficult for non-nurses to digest. I asked a colleague last night why there was such a fuss. Most anyone who’s gone to school knows that when an exam is marred by cheating, the only recourse is for everyone to retake it. My colleague said that the nursing graduates affected by the order are adamant, emotional, and unrelenting in their opposition. All of them, I asked? A vocal minority, at least, my colleague replied. But why, I inquired. Because, speculated my colleague, some are afraid they’d fail a retake, others are already working and don’t feel a retake’s necessary, and anyway, foreign employers don’t look at that particular exam.

The ferocity of commentary by those affected is really surprising to me, but is it just me who can’t get the nurses’ point of view? My colleague assures me opinion is firmly divided between nurses and non-nurses, with non-nurses favoring a retake (see An OFW in Hong Kong, for example) and the nurses having the opposite view.

Also, President acts to head off a poultry emergency.

Business Processing Outsourcing industry unaffected by the typhoon.

In the punditocracy, news that opponents of the so-called “people’s initative” have a limited time to question the documentation (though not the actual verification of signatures, as Toots Ople points out in a comment) has Dan Mariano focusing on the case. Supreme Court says it will hand down a decision in 30 days.

The Speaker’s attempt at shuttle diplomacy with OFW’s has Manuel Buencamino making some clever puns and coming to a sobering conclusion -advocates of parliamentarism are a pretty fickle lot:

De Venecia is not the only one who changes parliamentary models at the drop of a hat. Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo displayed a similar tendency during her visit to Belgium last month. Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye reported that Mrs. Arroyo told the Belgian parliament “there could be no better model than the Belgian parliament where the House and the Senate share equal footing.”

All along I thought Mrs. Arroyo organized and funded the Abueva Commission and the Advocacy group because she was committed to a unicameral parliamentary system. I never imagined the Belgian model could make her waffle.

But seriously, unlike de Venecia, Mrs. Arroyo does not care what form of government her constituent assembly will create as long as they give her a constitution that will allow her to do what she’s not allowed to do under the present one-rule by decree.

Bong Austero points out thievery helped extend the misery caused by the recent typhoon.

Christopher Hitchens on an ongoing debate in American political and military circles on chaplains and public prayers. Olbermann blasts the Republican propaganda line that Bill Clinton is responsible for 9-11. Brilliant.

In the blogosphere, Susan Ople explains what will be done as critics set out to probe the Legion’s labors:

Within the 15 day-period, we were given the chance by the Supreme Court to look at documents submitted by Sigaw ng Bayan. From Wednesday to Friday, the legal team will be at the Comelec premises to examine some of these documents and question the procedures behind this entire process,” Monsod explained.

One Voice said the legal panel, composed of lawyers representing the different groups opposing the Sigaw ng Bayan petition, would give special attention to certain documents submitted by Sigaw ng Bayan, particularly those covering some 6 districts where the signature drive failed to meet the 3% requirement.

The legal counsels opposing the petition pointed out that the Comelec did not notify the public and all interested parties about the verification process undertaken by election registrars at the local levels.

Blurry Brain, one of the blogs I respect most, has had two extremely troubling entries: Trade and the elite and Back to work. With regards to the former, his repudiation of the oligarchy is a condemnation of the past, but does not see how that oligarchy has changed, and the achievements limited as they were, were able to achieve. Around that oligarchy was built a modern professional and entrepreneurial class. By the 1950s and 1960s the more forward-thinking had diversified into machinery, manufacturing, navigation, communications, and armaments. By the 70s they were squeezed out, and whatever their achievements subordinated to the prestige of the dictatorship. Whether or not it made any rational sense.What the war didn’t wipe out, martial law did, in terms of their influence or even wealth.

In his other piece, he says,

I still refer readers to my entry below on Trade and the Elite regarding this matter. In addition, I am getting more and more convinced that the Marcos/Ninoy, Erap/GMA thing was simply a case of relatively “newer old money” versus really “old money”. It’s a perverse political rigodon. If it were really about democracy how come after all the People Powers that came and went we’re still in this muck of corruption and ineptness? You can’t blame the masses for this. Blame the people in power. And the people in power are all essentially cut from the same clothe.

The seductiveness of this kind of relativism born of resentment and despair improperly channeled, is, ironically enough, exactly the propaganda line of the administration married to that of the New Society and its ilk: they are all the same, so why respect the niceties of democracy? throw it to the people, but all at once without evolutionary change -thus, revolution. The result of revolution isn’t rebuilding, it’s destruction, whether creative or not merely the luck of the draw, the roll of the dice. It’s end result is nihilism.

True enough, the country has faced a crossroads on several occasions since the end of the war; it picked the right path in 1946 and 1953, making the transition from the senior to junior prewar leadership, then from the prewar leadership to the wartime generation. In 1969-72 it made a wrong turn to dictatorship and achieved neither evolution, nor revolution -only the squandering of whatever moral and intellectual capital had been built up. There was another chance after 1986, but putsches killed the economy, a restored premartial law leadership alienated the middle class, and the masses restored the New Society in 1998. The old society and the middle kicked it out in 2001 but achieved neither efficiency nor growth -certainly not stability. The crossroads in 2004 was trudged along opposing paths until it was alleged that one path was wider, safer, shorter than the other. So we have she who rules us now -because the thick, gooey, tentacles of relativism from the “tet’s move on” brigade.

Whether leaders or the led, they only change -or can hope to change- if the environment is conducive to experimentation and the boldness that only comes with a genuine mandate. No mandate means paralysis and reactionary policies at their ugliest.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

44 thoughts on “A crime but no criminals

  1. I totally agree with Blurry Brain’s analysis and prescriptions in the two links above. Given the current configuration, a possible scenario in front of us once the people get tired of the current Oligarchy-led administration would consist broadly of a ‘Nihilist’ phase where the current elite is purged along with a lot of innocents (analogous to the experiences of Vietnam with its boat people or Cambodia with its Killing Fields). Once that’s over and done with, it will be followed by a period of socialist-style wealth redistribution and then capitalist growth that comes with free-market reforms. It would take wisdom, reciprocity and forward thinking on both sides to avoid an outbreak of nihilism and skip forward to the redistribution and growth phases which will save us a few decades. Unfortunately, the “let’s move on” crowd does not possess that kind of wisdom and, as you mentioned previously, has ‘bet the farm’ on Arroyo. An alternative scenario would be the country’s fragmentation as a result of the oligarchy’s attempt to hold on to power by fanning ethnic aspirations and as supported by outside superpowers like the US and China.

  2. While I don’t agree with all of Blurry Brain’s assertions, l guess that substantially, the end result is as you indicated, though I’m still not convinced it would end in a big bang, but rather, a slow but steady decline into anarchy.

  3. mlq3,
    Re: 2006 nursing controversy
    1.Please, let me clarify that only a vocal minority of nursing board passers favors a “no retake”as your colleague intimated. Remember that the PRC as a compromise allowed retake as an option and a handful took it.
    2.Why not let the nurse passers decide for themselves? Make it their choice. Let them suffer the consequence.
    3.Why make them suffer for a decision that is not of their own making?
    4.Why collectively condemn them? Why not give them due process? Why not presume their innnocence until a proper court overturn the decision of the mandated body, the PRC.

  4. There was a chance at rebirth in 1986. But we put in the “outs” of the oligarchy who were ravenous after being on the outside looking in for so long. The result? Politics and business as usual. The old trapos of pre-martial law days came back with a vengeance and the trapos that had sworn allegiance to the deposed dictator simply turned around and switched allegiance to the new set of oligarchs. So we had Chavit, the Josons, the Dys, the Enriles, the Villafuertes, the Dimaporos, the Danding Cojuangcos and even the Marcoses themselves, all back in the saddle. Worse, these old predatory families were now joined by new predators (some making a comeback): the Peping & Tingting Cojuangcos, the Aquinos, the Mitras, the Binays, the Osmeñas, etc. Result? Nothing changed. Same banana with a different color. It has been more than 20 years since then and we still haven’t moved forward.

  5. What I don’t like in this “nursing exam leakage” controversy is it seems that the focus of solving the problem is on the examinees. Actions should be taken immediately on those responsible. The actions taken by the PRC (releasing the results and swearing in hurriedly of the those who passed, etc.) are really unacceptable.

    The examinees should accept the retake as a form of helping the institution regain its credibility. That is why I wish that the leadership of these institutions should do their part as well.

  6. Carl, my only objection is we’ve moved forward a lot. I don’t see how anyone can suggest we’ve been stuck in a kind of limbo. What we have failed to do is move forward with the speed and vigor we should have, on a sustained basis. We were optimistic even as late as 1997. Since then, we’ve stumbled and kept stumbling.

  7. Retaking the exam is for the benefit of the nurses. They can claim that they passed it fair and square. Cleaning up house in the PRC is another matter that won’t be mended by a re-take. (IMHO).

  8. It’s a bit of an oversimplification to say the ‘nothing has changed’. As Arroyo herself has pointed out, our GDP per capita has climbed back to USD 1400 afer the economy’s collapse in 1983 to 85. We should build on that. The basic mistake that the people made is to withdraw into private concerns after the two EDSAs in the same way that many have chosen to ‘move on’ even after Hello Garci.

  9. I agree with the observation that fear of failing the re-take is a big reason for not wanting to re-take. One nurse that I know said that luck played a role in her passing the licensing exam because what they reviewed at school and review center didn’t help a bit. It’s like Russian roulette! So if those who are protesting against the re-take feel that they got lucky only that’s why they passed, then we see where the fear comes from, right? They might get unlucky the second time around!

  10. GLORIA SUCKS !!! – The recent disaster that hit our nation is a sign from GOD that GMA should not ignore …

    Call for a SNAP ELECTION NOW !!!

  11. Are those opposing the retake saying they prefer to leave in a cloud of doubt?
    If they passed it the first time what problem can there be taking it a second time? or perhaps their brains have an ‘expiration date” of retaining what they studied?

    cvj, yes i agree w/ you. I think certain people oversimplify things.I think there have been changes,
    perhaps our greatest pitfall is being slow to build on the positive & always being completely distructed from the more important things.
    The inability to focus.
    We are more of a bamboo republic that goes where the wind blows.
    so much more change can take place but there is so much resistance to change.
    Sometimes, concepts of “change” are limited to partisan interest & just sugar coated w/ some sort of nationalistic pretentions.
    We seem to limit the “idea” of change fron one edsa to another.
    Certain people talk of change but are so terrified by just holding a simple referendum to ask the people directtly. The funny part is they have for a motto “we don’t need charter change but we need complete change”. But in reality they are just using fancy words that mean nothing really. They “utter” the words “complete change” kuno but their ways are no different from any other.
    Can anyone pls. tell me what is wrong w/ asking the people directly what is it they really want?
    Instead of the people, whoever this people are having to be represented by a certain ‘elite’.
    Manolo, & you say we keep on stumbling.
    Why not ask yourself also who is blocking the momentum to change w/ all sorts of fancy reasons that are only keeping the entire country in the status quo?
    and I always go back to asking what is so complicated to asking the people directly what is it they really want?
    Why all the road blocks?
    Why do certain mayors have to make it close to impossible for sigaw to get their signitures.
    Why are those who “utter” the words “complete change” kuno deadma on this things?
    Are the “elite” terrified of what they have comming & can’t no longer pretend to talk for the people?

  12. joselu, “road blocks” exist for a reason. that reason is why the marcos “pancit or fried chicken” showing of hands in 1973 could never convincingly replace the strict requirements under the 1935 constitution for a referendum. it’s why the president continues to be under a cloud of doubt because of “noted, noted” in 2004, and why efforts to establish a one-party state have to be opposed, because the substance of democracy entails both delay and debate.

    but really, if you want win-win we can ask the people to decide on charter change if they can also decide on whether to keep the president or not. but of course the palace will never agree, for “fancy reasons” of its own.

  13. My real problem with those who are always pushing the “move on” approach is that, as always, we are compromising the efficiencies of our institutions to the welfare of the current administration. What we should do is to strengthen these institutions and build up from it the foundation of improving the leadership or those who will be running our government.

  14. Re the nursing exam retake, could it be that its oppositors find spending for review classes all over again an unappetizing prospect?

  15. “The basic mistake that the people made is to withdraw into private concerns after the two EDSAs in the same way that many have chosen to ‘move on’ even after Hello Garci.”

    korek ka dyan. like as if governance is the exclusive domain of only those in power. or if it only involves them.

  16. manolo,

    thank you for your views, which i highly respect as well. at the least, these views are out in the open and it’s best we examine objectively all the sides even though some of these views may be repulsive to some. all of us have the same objective and desire: a better country.

    carl, cvj, and the rest of the readers, thank you as well. it’s nice to have one’s analysis dissected and in the end better thinking benefits us all.

  17. mlq3, I would agree that some sectors, the OFW’s in particular, have had their lot improve in the past five to ten years. Given the number of Filipinos now abroad, that is a significant sector. But the farming sector and the rural sector at large, for the longest time, was stuck in a rut. In the past two years, thanks to better prices for coconut products, corn, sugar cane and most food items (except rice), there has been some improvement in their lot.

    The mid-1980’s were a nadir, with the coconut and sugar monopolies sapping the life out of the countryside. But so were the early 1990’s, with the power crisis and all the instability brought about by incompetence, corruption and political infighting. Things got better in the mid-90’s. But after the Asian financial crisis in 1997, things went spiraling downward again. While Thailand, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia were also badly hit, they managed to turn things around by 2001. We,on the other hand, because of mismanagement and political infighting, continued to drift. It has only been in the past year that some improvement has been felt. This can be seen not only in the strength of the peso, but also in the stock market. But all these things can evaporate very quickly as soon as political instability starts to take place.

    I still go with Blurry Brain. The elite in our country are much more clever at perpetuating and improving their own lot instead of creating opportunities and rewards for others. Our elite are afflicted with a myopic selfishness and an overpowering desire to preserve, for themselves and their own kind, what they believe are their prerogatives and entitlements. In Blurry Brain’s words:

    “It must be emphasized here that the point is not to put a number of people down but rather to open up opportunities (not guaranteeing better lives, mind you, which is foolish and naive) for the greater number of our people, to create a system that rewards effort, hard work, and honesty.”

    We have to get out of a mindset where an important surname counts much more than talent and perseverance. As the old saying goes: “it’s whom you know, not what you know”. And, as Blurry Brain says, before we try to find solutions to this problem we must first take cognizance of the problem with a narrow-minded, self-indulgent, self-important and uncaring elite.

  18. Carl, unless i’m mistaken, GDP per capita increase reflects the improvement (on average) of the domestic component. It does not take into account the betterment of the OFW’s which would be (partly) reflected in GNP per capita. So whatever has been achieved in terms of increasing GDP is a reflection of improvement of the lives of the Filipinos who have remained. Also, (as someone commented in the PCIJ blog) the Gini coefficient which measures inequality has been improving somewhat since 1997 which is movement in the right direction towards more equality. I haven’t checked, but you’re probably right in your account of the farming sector since the bulk of this per capita income improvement may have come from the Services sector.

  19. “When Mercy seasons justice….” ( “Merchant of Venice” with apologies to Shakespeare)

    Can the Supreme Court review the findings of the investigating panel of the Ombudsman and affirm/ reverse it?
    The process at the Ombudsman’s level is not yet done because Merceditas has to approve those findings. The Ombudsman usually just signs a reference slip approving the findings, or if it is a disapproval, the Ombudsman can also sign a reference slip and check the box that says “disapproved” in which case he/she again tosses it to another investigating panel. In the case of Aniano Desierto, there had been times when he did not even deign a small paragraph explaining why he was reversing, he would just tick off “disapproved” and assign another investigator.
    The Supreme Court at its en banc might choose to wait for Merceditas to sign the investigation report (and that was why she has kept quiet.).
    Why has Mercy been too merciful on those who paid off P1.2 billion in public funds on machines that cannot now be used? Since the Supreme Court two years ago had ordered an investigation to find criminal liability, you can be sure that the highest court of the land would have her back if she touched the untouchables, and would back her up if she finds probable cause against the biggest in the Comelec. If the Supreme Court is backing you up, what are you afraid of?
    What is Mercy afraid of?
    But maybe it is not fear but ambition. Lawyers in the prosecutorial arm of government are career officials, and apparently, Mercy, having come from that mode, is still more keen on career advancement rather than being merciless on crooks. And those on the career path, whether they are in the Sandiganbayan bench or the Ombudsman’s office, are looking at a career in the highest levels of the judiciary, or, eventually, the Supreme Court. Where else will they go? They’re not inclined to run for office and be like the politicians they should be prosecuting. It is no secret that the Sandiganbayan justices and Ombudsman Ani Desierto had themselves nominated in the JBC to be shortlisted for the Supreme Court. (in the case of Ani, some smart aleck lawyer found out he was disqualified

  20. (continuation.sorry)
    (in the case of Ani, some smart aleck lawyer found out he was disqualified on account of, I think, age or years or service or retirement. )
    And it is Gloria who appoints and she’s there till 2010.
    Who knows, the Supreme Court justices today might find themselves seated next to Mercy in the bench in the not too distant future.

  21. cvj, I suspect that under all the unhappiness is one statistic — unemployment and the equally-demoralizing statistic of underemployment. “If I’m that industrious and qualified, how come I don’t make the money I deserve?” is a demoralizing question to face.

  22. “It must be emphasized here that the point is …to open up opportunities (not guaranteeing better lives, mind you, which is foolish and naive) for the greater number of our people, to create a system that rewards effort, hard work, and honesty.”

    Jemy is talking about job-creation. Even Mainland China has bought into the fact that job-creation thru patronage is NOT the way to go (as evidenced by the selling-off of government-owned enterprises), so the job-growth has to come primarily from private enterprise — small-sized, medium-sized and large-sized companies. Maybe the Filipino psyche just is not risk-taking enough. Better an employee with a “guaranteed” salary at least 4 months into the future, than betting my retirement income of a millionaire-of-a-business idea.

  23. re: nursing exams retake..do we have to believe here, that this is the only anomaly in our licensure exams process or just the one that got exposed?

  24. vic… keep up that thought and you become an enabler for foreign bosses/supervisors to discriminate against degree or license-holding Filipino OFW CPA’s, seamen, programmers, teachers and nurses (because, as you suggest, there are still-undiscovered anomalies in licensure exams).
    I hope that that is not how Canadian bosses/supervisors behave. Or does Canada only value graduates from Canadian schools?

  25. UP Student, i think you’re right about the demoralizing effects of long term unemployment and underemployment. As for not betting one’s retirement income, i think that is a rational bet considering that most businesses fail. So sometimes, it pays not to be too rational.

    Incidentally, the aversion to entrepreneurial risk-taking (to the extent that it’s true) is something we share with Singaporeans. One successful entrepreneur over here lamented that, typically, the first thing a Singaporean who wants to enter into business does is to look for a course on the subject matter.

  26. “i smoked but i did not inhale”…reminds me of the good old days when the United States was not yet considered a pariah nation.

  27. I keep hearing the peso is strong.

    reason #1. the dollar is weak. Most of the world’s currencies are going up because the dollar is going down.
    #2. the demand for dollars is low. That could mean our local economy cannot digest all the OFW and the hot money coming in. And that in turn could mean our economy is not growing fast enough.

    An economist explained it this way – a strong economy means a strong currency but it does not follow that a strong currency means a strong economy because a strong currency could be the result of many factors other than the two I enumerated above

  28. i think it was a wise move that singaporean did. after all no one does anything blindly. if the cousrse is the best place to know the pros and cons, to know the risks, to know at least the basics, a rational man should take it.

    re nursing exam…i really don’t see the reasons why the examinees are against this except for one thing, they are afraid to flank the re-exam. but why would they be afraid to flank if they were taught nursing course properly by the schools, if the students really studied the way they should to be real nurses? i think if they were qualified for grauation and really earned their diplomas, they can pass any test anytime, any place, even without the review courses.

    to clear the name of the entire batch, everyone should take the exam. in this days and age of fax, e-mails and cell phones, a leak in one site will spread like a wildfire. another thing, are those the only subjects with leaks? how do we know the others were not leaked?

    statisticinas may have all the clues, just like looking for clues in an epidemic wwhen epidemiologists, biostatisticinas compare notes and pinpoint the source within days….otherewise if they don’t, epidemics will wipeout the entire population. prc should borrow the services of these people asap.

  29. I find Blurry Brain’s diagnosis about the failure of the Philippine oligarchy to be quite thoroughgoing (it appears to coincide with the many critical observations of Carl and cvj here, and indeed with mine too somewhere), but his prescription – free trade – is a bit NEOCONish, I think.

    I’m not sure however if BB (as mlq3) is ready to call our system an oligarchy instead of democracy. I prefer to call it an “elitist democracy” or “democratic elitism,” which is maybe a play-it-safe middleground.

    Now, judged against its own performance, I guess mlq3 is right to say that the Philippine oligarchy has not been so appreciated for some meaningful “changes” it has brought about; but against the solid accomplishments of their counterparts in comparable jurisdictions in the region (just take Thailand and Malaysia for now) those changes if at all have really nothing to show but laggardness.

    This state of ineptitude on the part of the Philippine oligarchy (the “economic elites,” in particular) gets disguised or obscured when our attention is deflected from it towards what Carl would regard as “political infighting” among the political class, a perpetuating episode in the national psyche that’s bannered a daily basis. My sense is that with the politicians (or other causes in the abstract as cultural traits or the form of government) as scapegoats, some brainy diagnosis otherwise plausible could become really blurred.

    Carl phrased it more fittingly: “The elite in our country are much more clever at perpetuating and improving their own lot instead of creating opportunities and rewards for others. Our elite are afflicted with a myopic selfishness and an overpowering desire to preserve, for themselves and their own kind, what they believe are their prerogatives and entitlements.” In rather blunt political terms, this is no less an indictment of negation of patriotism, or lack of a “sense of country,” as Condrado de Quiros puts it.

    No frills, UP student is right on target: “If I’m that industrious and qualified, how come I don’t make the money I deserve?” is a demoralizing question to face (unless of course he/she opts out to become an OFW like cvj). This is however a question addressed to the “people in (economic) power,” because, ultimately, if they are “not risk-taking enough,” (like when content only with building Mega malls or condominiums to cater to beneficiaries of OFW remittances or balikbayan retirees) how would they “open up opportunities . . . for the greater number of our people” who are “industrious and qualified.”

    The “people in power,” not “people power” has to take the lead for real transformation to avoid the “roll of the dice” into anarchy. But if only all sides agree, isn’t coercion even unnecessary?

  30. up graduate,
    Canada’s professions are self-regulated and they have their own standards and it’s quite hard to qualify, unless the said profession is needed or in short supply in the marketplace. Like in our case, we have to do a lot of upgrading to meet their requirements, that my sister and brotheer-in-law have to take advantage of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to find medical interships in the U.S. instead. Now, my bro-in-law is already a Nuclear Medicine Specialist in New York, while my sister settled for nursing, a training she took while waiting for their chances here in Canada. Filipino nurses here have to take at least a year of more of upgrading before, the College of Nurses qualify them for R.N. licensure, almost like taking the whole course, considering that it only takes 3 years for the whole nursing training here. I have been meeting new immigrants with vast experience as enginers working at Walmart; our new Dept. manager is a Very Brilliant Engineer, although happy with his situation, but he would have wish his profession is somewhat recognize here. Again Canadian professionals are all self-regulated and the professional licenses issued by Licensure Bodies over there don’t mean much to them. They rather look at the candidate’s educational resume and the institution where they got them. A little easier in the U.S. though or maybe in some Provinces.

  31. just curious, i keep on encountering the word “elite”, “elitist” and “elitism” in every blog that i read. can anyone enlighten me on this matter? who are these so-called elites we are talking about? are they the ones who are graduates of the “fancy” schools of our country? are they the “moneyed” people in our society? is mlq3 not considered one of those elites despite being a quezon?

    are the wealthy politicians considered elite? if so, how are we going to compete with them when they are the ones who are controlling the economy/business and its laws/policies at the same time?

  32. Actually, I like cvj’s response to “if I’m that indusrious and qualified, how come I’m not making the money I deserve?” I like the OFW’s response to the same question — to take a risk, to fy into the sun with a belief that the wings I have (from the educational system and licensing system that the Philippines has) is competitive (and whatever I need, I will learn as I flap my wings).
    Courage is not part of the curriculum inside the four walls of the classroom, but Filipino kids learn them, anyway. Must be from cable-TV.

  33. mlq3,
    Only en da piripins!
    The majority SC decision said:
    MPC contract is null and because Comelec gravely abuse its discretion by awarding to MPC who is not qualified as a joint venture and technically as a bidder.It then instructed OMB to find probale cause to criminally charge comelec and bidder officials.
    OMB SR says:
    Charges againts Comelec and MPC dismissed because MPC qualified as joint venture and its bid technically accepted.

    Simple Arithmetic: One is not equal to one. It is equal to zero. OMB adopted the dissenting opinion re acceptability of MPC as joint venture and rejected majority decision. Ergo, no grave abuse of discretion.
    Just further comments on technicality.
    Bid is two envelope/ two stage system. First envelope, technical and business qualification on a pass/fail system.
    MPC fails in 8 points but declared minot items for subsequent correction?Is this possible?
    Another item is that the MPC machines are useless unless their is an accompanying working software. It is simply similar to our PCs. We first choose the hardware, INTEL or other CPUs. Then the software, windows or linux. These have to go hand in hand. You cannot have without the other. The bid actually called for a use specification and not a machine or generic specification because these type of equipments are customized.
    The problem with these MPC machines is that these may not work with the incoming software. In this case everything has to be rebidded. Sana huwag mangyari.
    Puro tayo sakit ng tyan! Reactive not reactive. Pwede ba let us avoid another PIATCO. Can we not make these machines operation. Let a panel of unbiased experts take a look while we are untangling the legal issues.

  34. cvj said: “I haven’t checked, but you’re probably right in your account of the farming sector since the bulk of this per capita income improvement may have come from the Services sector.”

    The farming sector is subject to many variables. Among these are weather & climate changes, commodity prices, changes in consumer sentiment or preference (outbreaks of bird flu, hoof & mouth, red tide or salmonella can make produce or catch unmarketable) etc. However, unlike our Southeast Asian neighbors, the Philippines has the distinction of doing the least to develop the rural sector. Instead of promoting “self-help” through good rural infrastructure, post-harvest facilities, reliable market mechanisms, credit, etc. all administrations have relied on “dole-outs”, which basically boil down to patronage politics. Those fertilizer and pesticide scams have been around for a long time under various programs and disguises. It is more convenient for our politicians to make farmers dependent on their handouts instead of making the rural population financially independent and self-reliant. It is all linked to the desire of the status quo to perpetuate themselves.

    The neglect of our rural sector is typical of the myopia and selfishness of our political and business elite. While other countries see the uplifting of the rural sector as a vital step to industrialization by transforming them into an important class of consumers, we see them only as a source of cheap labor, a source of cheap househelp, a source of prostitution, easy marks for jueteng and gambling, an indiscriminating market for our mediocre entertainment industry, a source for cheap food, etc. While all these provide interim expediency, we fail to see the big picture. I am not necessarily accusing our elite of deliberately conspiring to perpetuate poverty and ignorance, but a look at our history and a comparison with other countries would point out a pattern. This pattern could be the result of short-sightedness or lack of imagination, not necessarily out of malevolence. But, to quote Mr. Abe Margallo:

    “. . . against the solid accomplishments of their counterparts in comparable jurisdictions in the region (just take Thailand and Malaysia for now) those changes if at all have really nothing to show but laggardness.”

    As for improvements in per capita income due to the service sector, I must include the recent call center phenomenon, skeptical though many may be of it, as having contributed to incomes. We should also take note of the multiplier effect of OFW remittances. This has contributed greatly via the housing boom (more jobs, more need for construction materials), increases in real estate values (thus bigger commissions all around), increase in consumer activity, etc. It has certainly been a key factor in the improvement of our economy.

  35. artz, there are various ways of defining what constitutes a member of the elite depending on what factors to admit (e.g. income, assets, lifestyle) as well as what cut-off point to assign within these chosen set of values. I believe most, if not all, of these definitions would admit mlq3. However, instead of material factors, my main consideration would be on the attitude. I would define an elitist mindset to refer to those who take the view that certain people, because of their status or attributes, should be excluded (partially or totally) from participating in making decisions when it comes to public concerns. An example would be the people who push for a parliamentary system so that actors or other celebrities will not be voted in by the masa. Another example is those who believe in putting up certain qualifications (e.g. high or college school diploma, paying taxes) as a prerequisite to being able to vote or run for office. On the Left, this would include those who favor a ‘Transitional Council’ or some self-appointed group to run the country for 1000 days or something along those lines.

  36. mlq3, i remeber when fvr first pushed the idea of charter change he was demonized to the hilt.i don’t think there was a cloud of doubt on him then for any scandals and the like.but the fact is that the change he proposed was blocked.
    yes your right, “road blocks” exsist for a reason.
    so what do you really think are the reasons?
    who is protecting what?
    who is being threatened?
    so what is being protected & defended in this “feudal” society of ours?
    honestly, i would not go that far back to the marcos era and use it as an excuse to go no where today.
    my point is can’t you focus to what is challanged today.
    because the challange is today.
    the challange is about forcing ourselves to focus on the issues.
    are you saying that what we have today is perfect & you would not settle for anything else?
    are you that facinated w/ democracy according to how you see it in the others and in books & theory that you don’t fill the slitest need to evolved and change?
    what is wrong w/ rewarding a party that can perform & deliver?
    as if anything outside of a presidential system is completey out
    as if if you don’t get to elect your president directly the world will stop turning.
    what are you trying o sell, a “form” or substance”?
    has the present system brought us progress?
    so what is wrong about trying another formula?
    i think that you show a great weakness by be incapable to separate the issue between charter change and the certain personality.
    personaly, i think it’s sad that others peoples incapacity be a factor or a “stumbling block” for a greater majority to have a chance in life.
    it seems you are confussing the issues yourself.
    that is why manolo pls don’t use the word “change” na lang cuz your position is so rigid and narrow that even w/o wanting,you seem to be that “road block”.
    honestly, i find it so hard to beleave that you express what a greater part of the country like.
    what exposure do you reallky have except a lot of theories & what other people say.
    how in contact are you w/ the “real” people?
    there are simply so many factors needed to be credible.
    manolo, the issue is not about keeping the president.
    pls. naman don’t twist the issue.
    the issue is about the form of goverment.
    the issue is about the people wanting to fill the presence of the goverment.
    the issue is to lessen the gridlock that is a stubling block to goverment service.
    the issue is to didramatize the cost of getting elected to the point of being beholden to so many interest to protect.issue is about electing official on the bases of “real program of goverment” & not “song & dance” numbers.
    it’s sad that you can’t seem to face the real issues.
    natatapilok ka na in other things.
    there seems to be a disconect somewhere.
    you seem to have the tendecy to decide for the others.

  37. It still boggles the mind how the Ombudsman can go against the SC! I read maybe 60% of the SC’s decision, and the ombudsman did not really explain why the SC was wrong. It also makes me wonder where the Ombudsman came up with the theory that what the SC did was for “civil” liability and the Ombudsman’s was for “criminal” liability! Give it to lawyers to muddle things up…

    Here’s the link for the SC’s decision

  38. As long as you have prosecutors who do not seem to know that they are not supposed to connive with the criminals, justice in the Philippines will never be served well, not with all the relatives, friends and cronies of the wannabe permanent squatters of the palace by the murky river sitting in the Philippine courts more as court jesters! 😡

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