Voting for overseas Filipinos starts tomorrow

Apologies to you, gentle reader, as the comment thingamajig went kaputt again.

After a period of initial optimism, the recovery of the President’s husband seems to have “slowed down,” leading to renewed speculation as to what his prospects are. However, the President will still make a (truncated) visit to China. The blogosphere has responded to the situation: My Cuddly Face of Blogging calls it hype; littleprincessdiaries is frankly hostile; Far From Neutral Notions is indifferent; The Bunker Chronicles points to what some might consider a jinx at work; Daily Musings points to negative bias in (some of the) media; but to me, the most interesting response comes from a Filipino doctor, Bubbleman.

Ricky Carandang in an exclusive for reports the GSIS sold its stake in San Miguel Corporation. This at the heels of a reported inflow of hot money into the stock market, which at first left but is returning, according to the Central Bank. This, as concerns over a Fed rate increase led to a dip in the market.

In campaign news, some administration candidates are irked over the “town hall” meeting strategy and some are refusing to follow it.

Tomorrow, voting for Overseas Filipino Workers begins. Filipinos overseas can vote for 12 senators and 1 party list. If you’re a Filipino overseas and intend to vote, see the Committee on Overseas Absentee Volting website to see polling places, or conduct a search to check if you’re entitled to vote. Her’es more information from an email I just received:


Those registered under the jurisdiction of the following Posts may go to the Philippine Embassy/Consulate or Labor Office to cast their votes:

Riyadh PE (Saudi Arabia)
Jeddah PCG (Saudi Arabia)
POLO Al-khobar (Saudi Arabia)
Dubai PCG (United Arab Emirates)
Hongkong PCG (Hongkong)
POLO Macau (Macau)
Athens PE (Greece)
Saipan PCG (Northern Marianas Islands)
Kuwait PE (Kuwait)
Beijing PE (PROC)
Guangzhou PCG (PROC)
Shanghai PCG (PROC)
Xiamen PCG (PROC)
Hanoi PE (Vietnam)
Tripoli PE (Libya)
Beirut PE (Lebanon)
Vientianne PE (Laos)
Yangon PE (Myanmar)
New Delhi PE (India)
Port Moresby PE (Papua New Guinea)
Amman PE (Jordan)
Manama PE (Bahrain)
Muscat PE (Oman)
Doha PE (Qatar)
Koror PCG (Palau)

Verify the schedule of voting at your respective Posts. If your name is in the CLOAV, bring any identification card bearing your signature and photograph. A voter’s ID may be presented for purposes of identification but it is not a requirement for you to be able to vote.

Voters who are not residing in the above-mentioned countries and not under the jurisdiction of the cited Posts will vote by mail.

You will receive a mailing/packet envelope that contains the ballot and the envelopes to seal and send/deliver the ballot. It also contains the Certified List of Candidates and Instructions which provides the step-by-step procedures on how you will be able to cast your vote.

Please note that the Outer Envelope should bear your printed name and the signature that you used when you registered as an overseas absentee voter. As well, use only the envelopes provided by the Commission.

Finally, make sure that the accomplished ballot reaches the Post on or before 3:00pm (Philippine Time) on May 14, 2007 to ensure that your votes will be counted.

For overseas absentee voters underline jurisdiction of the following Posts, namely:

Rome PE (Italy)
Holy See PE (Italy)
Milan PCG (Italy)

Your mailing/packet envelopes will be sent to these Posts. You may pick them up personally and cast your votes at the Embassy or the Consulate, as the case may be. Check also if the Posts will establish pick-up points where the Post personnel will bring the mailing envelopes to an identified place near the place where you reside.

Seafarers may vote at any Post adopting personal voting (see above). Additionally, you can also vote at the following Posts adopting voting by mail.

Caracas PE (Venezuela)
Brussels PE (Belgium)
Ottawa PE (Canada)
Vancouver PCG (Canada)
Hamburg PCG (Germany)
The Hague PE (Netherlands)
Wellington PE (New Zealand)
Stockholm Pe (Sweden)
MECO Kaohsiung (Taiwan)
London PE (United Kingdom)
Los Angeles PCG (USA)
Washington PE (USA)
San Francisco PCG (USA)
Brunei PE (Brunei)
Seoul PE (South Korea)
Singapore PE (Singapore)
Tokyo PE (Japan)
Osaka PCG (Japan)
Canberra PE (Australia)
Sydney PCG (Australia)

From time to time, do check our website for field voting schedules that will be conducted by the Posts concerned. Under this scheme, the Post personnel will be bringing the mailing envelopes to the port or the vessel so that you will be able to vote.

The Singapore PM is apparently facing the unthinkable: pressure from public opinion on official salary increases.

In the punditocracy and the blogosphere: John Nery in Inquirer Current says columnist Tony Lopez is dead wrong when it comes to surveys (to be precise, he’s mentally dishonest). See what Rasheed Abou-Alsamh has to say on the surveys, too.

See The Head Heeb on the Nigerian elections and In Asia on the East Timor elections. The Korea Herald editorializes on why the President of South Korea should drop proposals to amend the constitution. James Wolcott on how Rush Limbaugh has “blinded millions of Americans to the climate crisis.”

As you know, I’m a great fan of Adam Curtis and his latest documentary, The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom is a must-see. Watching it, and the thoughts of some bloggers, led me to writing an entry titled “Cult of the Market” in Inquirer Current on the documentary, and the question of why it is, that our focus on politics has shifted to the assumption that the market can solve everything better than politics can, and the clash between our (in many ways) highly traditional culture, and the dissatisfaction, even impatience, those who consider themselves inclined towards modern thinking feel (with regards to politics, first and foremost).

big mango writes on the greatness of leaders and how that greatness, to his mind, is premised on the idea of sacrifice.His entry reminds me of a quotation from Theodore Roosevelt that often makes it to yearbook entries, among other things:

It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

“Citizenship in a Republic,”
Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

Which serves as a splendid rationale for involvement in the public arena. But as Curtis points out in his documentary, for decades now, the assumption in the West (and by extension, anyone affected by whatever is intellectually in vogue in the West) is that no one in public life is really after the public good; the result being the assumption that politics is not, because it can never, ever, be, a positive activity; that instead, what can make life better is to leave the market as unrestricted and unfettered as possible, in itself an attitude unprecedented in human history.

This belief has affected those in a position to have an impact on society to an extent others can only aspire to: the middle and upper classes and that portion of the larger whole who claim to speak for the downtrodden majority (but who are themselves an elite, too). Iniibig ko ang Pilipinas! who has had experience in radical causes, points to this in his latest entry. And a very thought-provoking (and perceptive) case he makes, indeed. By taking a look at what he believes to be the flaws of Ang Kapatiran, he also points to the assumptions that group is fighting, when it comes to those who share the same milieu, though no longer, sense of politics as a useful public mission.

An interview with Kurt Vonnegut, courtesy of Open Culture; while Poor Mojo Newswire takes note of his passing; read The Guardian obituary.

Read the Military History Carnival. In The Politico: remembering the day Harry Truman found out he was president.

TV Squad on noises only young people can hear.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Manuel L. Quezon III.

100 thoughts on “Voting for overseas Filipinos starts tomorrow

  1. No matter what some people want the outcome of Pacquiao’s fight in the ring, CONGRATULATIONS Manny!

  2. That ‘old-fashioned’ item called gonorrhea has transformed itself into the new SuperBug. The old antibiotics won’t work anymore.

    dito sa ‘Pinas matagal nang resistant sa fluoroquinolones ang gonorrhea. sa katunayan, ayon sa CDC, noon pang 2002 sa STD guidelines nila…contraindicated na ang fluoroquinolones sa Asia-Pacific region. ito’y dahil sa BACTERIAL RESISTANCE dulot nang di maayos na paggamit ng antibiotics.


    …bottomline in dealing with sexually transmitted infections is prevention, one of which is to avoid having multiple sexual partners.

  3. MB,
    If medical care and education were human rights as you claim, then how come hospitals and schools can charge MONEY for delivering them to human beings?

    The Canadian Constitution is also being stretched beyond any credible interpretation here. It’s the old confusion between equality of opportunity and a perfervid desire for a guarantee of results, which I often refer to as totalitarianism. It got blown out of the water with the implosion of the old Soviet Union.

    Anyone is free to exercise charity, but you can’t impose such generosity on everyone without violating REAL human rights, like the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, freedom of expression and religion, private property, etc.

    These distinctions are not merely academic either, because it is these deluded idealisms that led directly to the fascist and communist debacles for humanity. Without private property rights for example, we fall directly into the pit of called the Tragedy of the Commons, which hvrds and others seem to mistake for that much vaunted Workers Paradise of Marx, Lenin and Mao.

  4. “If medical care and education were human rights as you claim, then how come hospitals and schools can charge MONEY for delivering them to human beings?” – DJB

    Because slave labor has been outlawed. The people who deliver those services need to get paid. However, this does not negate the basic rights to medical care and education.

    “the old confusion between equality of opportunity and a perfervid desire for a guarantee of results, which I often refer to as totalitarianism. It got blown out of the water with the implosion of the old Soviet Union.” – DJB

    Strawman alert. How can you have equal opportunity if you a born with a handicap, through malnutrition or poor education? We’re not even talking of ‘guaranteeing results’. At this point, it’s all about giving our kababayans a shot at a decent life.

  5. CVJ,
    So how much education and how much medical care are each and every human being entitled to, by right, according to you? (I know what the constitution says, but I’m interested in your interpretation.)

  6. US hospitals will deny you preventive medicine if you can’t pay; hospitals can not deny you emergency care (stitches and casts, even an angioplasty if necessary

    US hospitals are not going to deny emergency care but after all is well and done, they are going to exhaust all your resources even to the extent of going over your cash in the bank.

    Even the 911 ambulance is not free. The fee depends on the
    severity of the medical situation.

  7. So, where’s the right to life when millions are dying, i.e., being deprived of life, because they have no access to medical care?

  8. Shaman,
    Every single person WILL die. Surely you don’t think the “right to life” is the same as “freedom from death” do you?

  9. DJB, enough education to allow them to function as productive members of contemporary society. That would cover primary, secondary and either the first two years of College (general liberal education) or a complete Technical/Vocational course. Medical care includes emergency room services and universal health insurance. It does not have to be free (ultimately, nothing is). For education, we need to set-up a the proper incentive/reciprocal control mechanisms and pay-it-forward schemes and, in the case of medical care, the right safeguards to avoid or minimize moral hazard and adverse selection.

  10. CVJ,
    Who gets to decide what “enough education” means? You? Me? The State? Would you make such education compulsory to make everyone a productive member of society. Suppose my concept of happiness is being a bum? Would you force me into school, or is this something purely optional. Aren’t human rights inherited by members of the species as a result of being homo sapiens. Or are we to accept your concept of productivity? If human rights are not free and must be paid for, who must pay for them? You? Me? The State? How can I have the right to something that must be paid for? You’re just plain wrong aren’t you? What in God’s name constitutes the “proper incentive/reciprocal control mechanisms” for the exercise of your human right to education and medical care? Are you really Fidel Castro in disguise?

    I submit that you have not thought this matter through well enough to answer these “Strawman Questions.” Seems to me you are for a guarantee of results. That is not what democracy is about. Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite are very different from Marxism Leninism Hillary Rodham Clinton Thought.

  11. “Who gets to decide what “enough education” means? You? Me? The State?” – DJB

    Ultimately, the policy will have to be decided upon and implemented by the State, but the decision will have to be arrived at via inputs from the public sphere (that includes you and me).

    “Would you make such education compulsory to make everyone a productive member of society. Suppose my concept of happiness is being a bum? Would you force me into school, or is this something purely optional.” – DJB

    Depends on who you refer to by you. If it refers to Filipino children, the yes, education should be compulsory. You, on the other hand, are free to be a bum.

    “Aren’t human rights inherited by members of the species as a result of being homo sapiens. Or are we to accept your concept of productivity?” – DJB

    Why the artificial dichotomy? What we consider human rights are a reflection of what we value as a society. Productivity is a prerequisite for prosperity.

    “If human rights are not free and must be paid for, who must pay for them? You? Me? The State? How can I have the right to something that must be paid for?” – DJB

    There is no conflict between human rights and the need to pay for their exercise. The former is a matter of values, the latter is a matter of logistics (as well as regard for other’s rights).

    “What in God’s name constitutes the “proper incentive/reciprocal control mechanisms” for the exercise of your human right to education and medical care?” – DJB

    “Reciprocal control mechanisms” for those who’se education is paid for, have to do with incentives for a student not to slack off in one’s studies. It would also consists of mandatory service to the country for a certain amount of time (before they choose to leave for abroad to work as OFW’s). “Pay it forward” may mean a scheme for graduates having to fund the next generation of students via a tax.

    “That is not what democracy is about. Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite are very different from Marxism Leninism Hillary Rodham Clinton Thought.” – DJB

    Your knee jerk tendency to conflate liberal notions of social justice with communist thought speaks for itself. I would certainly not rely on the resident aristocrat/neocon to elaborate on the French revolution-inspired concepts of ‘egalite’ and ‘fraternite’.

  12. djb and cvj: it is my conclusion that the framers of the Philippine 1987 constitution actually gave more than cursory thought to this “right to medical care”. The 1987 Constitution CLEARLY states “…No person shall be imprisoned for debt…” as well as “…Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation”/ But for medical care, there is no mention of FREE nor universal vaccinations, only for The State to exert effort:
    “The State shall adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to health development which SHALL ENDEAVOR to make essential goods, health and other social services available to all the people at affordable cost.”

    For now, the State guarantees Property Rights more than it guarantees right-to-medical-care.

    If you move for it, GMA will likely agree to a con-con or con-ass to discuss changes to the constitution.

  13. The right to life does not specifically refer to medical care.

    Right to refers to:

    1. the right to be born-so the ongoing debates about abortion, pro-life, pro abortion continue.

    2.the right to maintain one’s life-
    this does not mean however that people have the right to rob other people because they are hungry neither demand from the State or the employers health insurance coverage because they are diabetic or have disabilities that need life medical maintenance.

    3. the right not to be killed-
    even the worst criminals are given days in court to save themselves from capital punishment which has been Globa l issue. Sadam was executed not because of WD but because of killing people.

    4. the right to have one’s life saved- self defense is a
    good defense in court.

    5. the right to terminate one’s life-the will stating that there will be no more CPR, no more life-saving/prolonging
    machines just in case the person goes comatose.

    6. the right to have one’s life terminated- even this is a myth. Kevorkian was convicted in aiding suicides for his patients.

    Pray tell where do you find the right to medical care?

  14. Shaman,
    I think the right to life means no one has a right to kill you except in self-defense. It is the effect of accepting the Mosaic Law: Thou Shalt Not Kill!

    But there is no right to good life, or even a productive one as CVJ insists. That you have a totally free and guaranteed right to life only means you have the opportunity to have a good life, through another right, the pursuit of happiness. She however believes we are entitled to a life made good by education and medical care as provided by Big Sister. She would even make education compulsory for Filipino children, paid for by the State, and probably dictated by that Gang in Pasig. She favors the Cult of the State rather than the freedom of markets and people determine their own fate, because she believes “liberal notions of social justice” are good for everyone, even if, historically speaking that is precisely what led to totalitarian states full of coercion and injustice and poverty, both material and spiritual.

    We cannot be free to succeed and be happy, if we are not likewise free to fail and be miserable. That is exactly what I mean by the lethal idealism of wanting to guarantee results for everyone. It only results in guaranteeing them for no one but the Politburo or whoever gets to decide what is good for everyone.

    These notions are fundamental to democracy and humanity. They are not trivial matters of personal opinion. Most of the 20th Century was spent exploring the fallacies that are apparently still alive and well in some. The need for education will be perpetual because generational amnesia is apparently a part of the human condition. The subtleties of Liberty and the technologies of personal responsibility are too often lost in the false certainties of ideology which are mere masks for the moral cop-out that liberals actually find in wringing their wrists and saying they care about the unfortunates and underprivileged. But what really matters is what really works, not what makes us feel and look good by sounding like saints of charity and generosity.

  15. Shaman… you have to do your own research for the definition of “right to life” because there exists more than one. For example, some nut-practictioners of other religions put very little value on you/Christian-you and your right to breathe air.

    If you can blog, then you can google-search. And by all means include the Chan Robles site which contains stuff on Philippine laws.

  16. Most fundamental rights are basic, some are granted by the state. Like in other countries the right to bear Arms is just a pipe dream whereas in the USA is a constitutional right. Freedom from fear is stranger even in the Philippines, when that right is taken for granted somewher else. Right to Medical care is not a privilage or has to be earned in the some European countries and it is one of ours and so an Education. In Province of Ontario a law penalized anyone under 18 to leave school or without alternative training under the Truancy Act with fines and probation and suspension of Driver License if one has one. (license is granted to l6 and up).

    That is only made possible by having secondary education publicly funded and universities and colleges subsidized to 50% and availability of student loans to all. Some rights are your by birth, some are granted…

  17. something to lighten up the discussion…something from The Sopranos..

    Tony S: “You know we’re the only country where the pursuit of happiness is guaranteed in writing? Do you believe that? A bunch of fucking spoiled brats. Where’s my happiness then?”
    Dr. Melfi: “It’s the pursuit that’s guaranteed…”

  18. DJB, one thing that we’ve learned about Capitalism after the IMF’s failures in 1990’s Russia is that the market works best within the framework of healthy institutions. As i’ve said above (April 14th, 2007 at 1:19 pm),it is not a question of the Cult of the State or the Cult of the Market. Markets and Institutions (including the State) reinforce each other. As for the right to a good life, probably not to the extent that aristocrats like you and UPn Student enjoy. However, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (adopted on December 10, 1948), does include the following:

    Article 24: Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

    Article 25: (1)Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. (2)Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

    Article 26: (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shalll be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall proomote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for maintenance of peace. (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

    48 countries (included us) approved, none opposed, while 8 abstained (including the Soviet Union, South Africa and Yugoslavia).

  19. cjv,

    And the Principal Drafter of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was John Peters Humphrey (l905-l995) a Canadian legal scholar, jurist, and human rights advocate.

    He was also responsible for many of our Human Rights Legislation and advocacies and had served the U.N. for 20 years. So much so that our Human Rights Law looks similar to that of the U.N. And so our Charter.

  20. cvj: That’s as good a good master’s thesis topic as any — to determine “scientifically” if the world believes that Canada is a more humane and just society than the US. One quick metric, of course, is via interviews (and you pass even if you restrict your survey only to metro-Manila University students). Another is to determine how people voted with their feet and check out immigration numbers, e.g. number of Americans taking on Canadian citizenship versus Canadians taking on USA citizenship. [I only personally know one American citizen who has taken on Canadian citizenship, and it was DubyaBush, not Canadian social security safety net, that was the reason. I know 4 Canadians — all young professionals — who have taken on USA citizenship.]

    I know 3 Filipinos who were Canadian landed immigrants who moved to the US instead. All 3 mentioned “too cold”, “too much racism” in the same breath. Vic will surely know Filipinos who were US-greencard holders who are now firmly-planted Canadian citizens in Toronto.

    And of course, there is a large number of Filipinos (retirees as well as working-age still) who, even with their US or Canadian immigrant or citizenship status, are committed to spending (as much of) the rest their lives in the Philippines.

  21. UPn Student, i think polls along similar lines have been conducted. Here’s some of them (both dated 2007):

    Among Americans:
    The latest Pew Research poll on political attitudes and core values of Americans indicates that while there is an increasing amount of support for a government-supported social safety net, Americans are less confident in the country as a whole.

    Among the rest of the world:
    According to a recent BBC World Service poll of 26,000 people in 25 countries (mostly non-Arab), just 29 percent now feel the United States exerts a mainly positive influence on the world. That compares with 36 percent who felt that way a year ago and 40 percent two years ago.

    The above would be hard for the Canadians to beat.

  22. The increasing support among Americans for a govt-sponsored social safety net is music to Hillary Rodham’s ears. [So maybe Hillary becomes next President if enough Americans believe the benefit (safety net) overrides the cost (taxes and a bigger government)… and a lot depends on how Hillary’s proposal for Iraq is received.]

    And it now occurs to me that the metric of immigration is different from surveys about “positive influence”.

  23. manny villar’s bill…

    SECTION 4. The Rights of Patients – The following rights of the patient shall be respected by all those involved in his care:

    1. Right to Medical Care and Humane Treatment
    Every person has a right to health and medical care corresponding to his state of health, without any discrimination and within the limits of the resources available for health and medical care at the relevant time.

    The patient has the right to health and medical care of good quality. In the course of such care, his human dignity, convictions and integrity shall be respected. His individual needs and culture shall be likewise respected.

    If any person cannot immediately be given treatment that is medically necessary he shall, depending on his state of health, either be directed to wait for care, or be referred of sent for treatment elsewhere, where the appropriate care can be provided. If the patient has to wait for care, he shall be informed of the reason for the delay and the estimated waiting time.

    Patients in emergency who are in danger of dying and/or may have suffered serious physical injuries shall be extended immediate medical care and treatment without any deposit, pledge, or mortgage or any form of advance payment for the confinement of treatment.

  24. UPn, there is no need for either citizen of the U.S. or Canada to apply for another country’s citizenship or permanent residency to work or reside in each other. Or if one decides to have both citizenships it’s perfectly allowed. Check my site and the latest entry and you will find that one of the DJ of The world’s first commercial Gays FM station is an American ex-pat.
    And also the Blue Jays play by play broadcaster Jerry Howart is also a dual American and my eldest sister who was a u.s. greencard and now a retired Canadian nurse.
    But you are right, the ratio is more Pilipinos still Love the USA than any other country and that’s the fact…

    For Filipino Professionals the better options is the U.S. because of the acceptance of our Professionals Accredition. Actually my sister and her husband, both Canadians moved to the U.S. because they both have a hard time getting their medical license here (Philippines Graduates). And of course for a good paying job a country or location would not matter to anyone. And for gainfully employed individuals, the U.S. is also a very good place to live and raise a family. All the other members of my family are in south of the border. My youngest sister and family just immigrated in 2005 and my nephew and wife and kid ,both nurses also immigrated 3 years ago.

    But go around the U.S. and ask the poor and the marginalized, the sick and those who need medical care the rest of their lives, the mentally and phycically disabled and tell them that in this part of the world these group are looked after by the governments and the taxpayers and they will ask you back, is that so?


  25. Baycas : I read the entire “Villar Bill” — it explicitly mentions peso-amounts for penalties to the directors of hospitals who fail to provide immediate medical care to Patients in emergency who are in danger of dying and/or may have suffered serious physical injuries. But the Villar Bill does not state how much the Philippine Government will compensate hospitals for providing charity medical care.

    For the US-of-A experience, wikipedia states:
    “…the federal government and the state governments have never fully compensated both public and private hospitals for the full cost of such emergency charity care. As a result, innumerable private hospitals have gone out of business since 1986. Others have raised prices on those that can pay to avoid going out of business. The hospitals do attempt to bill uninsured patients directly under the fee-for-service model, but most such people cannot pay their hospital fees, and escape into bankruptcy when hospitals seek legal process against them.”

  26. Thanks for finding my blog post interesting. One positive thing about this is the education of common people about the serious effects of aortic aneurysms.

    I can see that the discussion has veered towards the concept of universal health care coverage. There is also talk about emergency care being denied.

    The fictional patient was given initial emergency care in the ER. Definitive care, a repair and graft, is a delicate surgical procedure and requires expensive medical supplies. Our government hospitals do not supply these due to the expense.

    We could nitpick on constitutional guarantees and efficiency of health care delivery, or we could look at the fact that we spend a pittance on health care delivery than on foreign debt servicing.

    If we only could rally behind a common cause, that of increasing hospital budgets frozen for the past decade, and increasing hospital staffing levels frozen for 2 decades, we would see less of the sad stories in government emergency rooms and more success stories.

    There are many more Filipinos dying of TB, literally coughing out glasses of blood, because of their inability to obtain the drugs that they need.

  27. Rego,
    I actually enjoyed the fight, even if many commentators say Jorge Solis was a pushover since he’s never actually fought anyone of major consequence. What was gratifying is that there are a large number of people who agree he’s a fathead and that we will now be plagued by his hubris. But congratulations to him for a victory won on skill and talent. Let’s just hope he can keep it up when he gets a real challenger and when his character as a fighter and person will become important for victory, rather than having a weak opponent.

  28. oh yes ,DJB, even roach was saying that he was not really that impress about manny performance. So I believe the end of his reign is near. That is why I believe running for congressman now is a good decision. This is the right time whiel he is still on top of his celebrity status.

    Come to think of it, Manny is enjoying the “limelight” so much. He is verymuch into it. And when is career si over he really have no place to go but politics. I believe he just deserve all teh adulation that he got rightnow. He work so hard for it. He can even be get killed by doing so. Sabi mo nga let the people decide on Erap. So why not let the peopel decide aslo if they want Manny for congressman too!

    Now what ever he does with what he got is his business alone. He seem to be an independent person any way. And I believe no one can control him without hus consent. But at the end of the day it was is sole prerogative and not of our business .

    Come to think of it. Wasn’t Leah Salonga was called a fathead too? And oh even his mother was even considered a bitch by many? I remember this becaus it was such a very long thread in our yahoo group way way before.

  29. I once helped a President of a medical center in the Philippines in evaluating the acquisition of a very expensive equipment costing several millions of pesos.
    The mathematical cost and benefit analysis showed that the payback is more than twenty years, long past his tenure as the CEO. One of the alternatives was to charge very exhorbitant fee for the service which was impractical.

    Another alternative was to share the use of the equipment with other hospitals thru referrals.

    It is from this President that I came to know that every private hospital is required to provide for charity wards, the expenses of which are reimbursed by the government.

    I wonder how this is now being implemented.

    Here in the States, there are also charity wards for private hospitals which are funded from government subsidies and donations.

    The reason for the requirement of big cash balance when one applies for tourist visa is to assure the government that just in case something happens to the tourist, the state does not shoulder the hospital expenses.

  30. Ca t; Remind me of an incident March of 2006 on my way back from the Bay Area, I met a Filipino Couple Toronto bound to facilitate the return of their sister who had been treated for a very serious illness while on “tourist” visa. Actually they told me she accompanied her brother who was in some kind of business conference and had to go home ahead.

    The Hospital had to release her and to continue her rehabilitation in the Philippines, without any means of collecting her bills for more than two months of hospital stays and treatments. She had no travel insurance..

    The doctors and hospitals billed the Government Health Plans for the services, and the health plan just told the Woman that they will just forward the bill to her Philippine address. And I told the family not to worry about it if they can’t afford to pay it. And it was a lot.

  31. UPn, I asked DJB for his definition of right to life because I wanted to find out if we are talking of the same thing. We are not. Please learn not to shoot off your mouth prematurely.

    When the Constitution guarantees the right to life, it is a mandate for the Government, the State, if you will, to protect and preserve the citizens’ individual lives. The Government carries out this responsibility by keeping peace and order (the police), implementing safety laws, e.g., occupational health and safety regulations and traffic rules (various agencies), and providing universal basic health care (health department). Without these basic public services, the right to life becomes meaningless.

    The right to life, therefore, presupposes the right to police protection, the right to protection against hazards in the workplace and other public places, and the right to basic health or medical care.

    To allow millions of poor people to die for lack of access to basic medical care, because the Government would rather spend billions of pesos for lamp posts costing P220,000 each, is criminal. To shrug off the death of these millions with the statement “Every single person WILL die” is the height of callousness.

    Put yourself in the shoes of a father whose 7-year old son had just died because the family is too poor to afford medical care. Now, here comes DJB and tells you, “Every single person WILL die.”

    Is the right to life only for the rich? And for the poor, only the right to die?

  32. Rego,
    I am a great believer in heroes–those few individuals who can inspire the mediocre many to greatness, or at least greater effort. What I don’t want to happen is for Manny Pacquiao to fail at BOTH politics and boxing, which will certainly happen if and when he fails at the latter, which is the “talent” that God gave him. Of course he is free to enter politics as a matter of civil right, but it’s really too bad that he may not be that rare hero whose heroism is humility and dedication to what he is truly good at. I don’t begrudge him his good fortune thus far, but I can already mourn our loss…

  33. DJB,

    Ganun naman pala eh. So there is no need for you to write that entry.

    Everybody knows that a career like boxing is not really long term. It is already given that Manny will soon stop being a champion just like the other boxing champion or any other champs that we had. There is really no need to wish them ill while they are still there. Ther is really no need to destroy them other than being beaten by their opponent and took the title from them…..

    Sa tooto lang, I find you to be a hypocrite!

  34. Shaman… I’ve already posted what I saw in the 1987 Philippine Constitution about health care. I know you use the word “guarantee” and in contrast, the Constitution has the words “…SHALL ENDEAVOR to make essential goods, health and other social services available to all the people at affordable cost.”

  35. Shaman… if one just sits down calmly and think about, one has to reach the conclusion that the Philippine Government, for the next 20 years does not collect enough in taxes to provide a health delivery system that matches the current capabilities of the US (15 in 100 Americans do not have health insurance coverage; 11 in 100 American children do not have health insurance coverage; US (among the “first world”/strong-economies countries) has one of the highest infant mortality rate).

    The first lesson (in my opinion) for any working-age person is to further improve their financial situations and set more pesos/dollars aside for future health needs. [I don’t think GSIS- or SSS-benefit pesos were used when John Marzan underwent some medical procedures in the US, and the pesos not used for John becomes available for use by a farmer in Bukidnon].

    A second lesson is to get people elected into Malacanang and the Congress who work towards the health-delivery/government economics that you believe in. I know you (as well as Candidate Doc Bautista) believe in reducing payments to the country’s creditors. In contrast, GMA (and many of the presidential candidates for 2010) disagree. Even some newspaper columnists write that:

    “…Even the assassination of former Sen. Benigno Aquino did not immediately lead to Marcos’s downfall. What did, according to Gatmaitan, was the Philippine government’s decision in 1985 to declare a moratorium on its debt payments, which caused the value of the peso against the US dollar to plummet. The moratorium succeeded in making the economy grind to a halt. ”

    Then hopefully you get the people into Malacanang/Congress who believe in your economic-prioritization, and that the people you get elected into the Congress then deliver on the promises that they made.

  36. UPn,
    I only have one more question to ask here. Is everyone paying his/her fair share of taxes? The very reason why we, even with 1/10 of tax base compares to the U.S. (32 millions to 330) and lower per capita, we allocated a total of more than 60 % of our taxes to Health care and Education alone and we pay the highest rate of taxes among the first world economies and we pay them just as religiously as we enjoyed the benefits back. Of course we don’t expect the Phil. to match the services of the developed countries, but take away the rampant corruptions, collect the taxes fairly and dispense them efficiently and I believe that there will be enough to provide the basic, the very basic health care and education to all…

  37. vic… I believe that Filipinos (and Americans and Brits and Canadians) pay their taxes as specified in their different tax codes. Saudis, too (but there is no income tax in Saudi Arabia… nor Oman, nor Monaco).

    A report to World Health/Genava (presented last month) highlighted the DISTRIBUTION PROBLEM which is shared by Canada, the US, the Philippines, all countries. This report identifies that 85% of the hospitals/clinics/ health-professionals are in the urban areas which leaves practically-zilch health services provided to the Inuits in the Northern Territories, the American Indians in their reservations, the Ifugaos and the Maranaws and the people (be they poor or rich) who live far away from the cities. This same report also shows that the number of unemployed doctors and nurses who live in the cities is practically the same number of health professionals needed in the remote barrios/islands.

  38. By the way… that same report shows that the need for doctors in the United States is escalating. First, the baby boomers will need more medical services. Second, the doctors among the baby boomers are retiring. Third, the US economy still chugs along on its growth, so more $$$ gets available to spend on health services to 50-year-olds and younger. Expect increased importation of doctors into the US starting 2009 — a Filipino doctor-turned-nurse who makes it into the US should do what’s needed to get certified to pratice regular-MD-medicine in the US.

  39. The Provincial Government here has already prepared a program for giving accreditions to foreign graduates to qualify for license here and it has to sort this out with the Regulatory Body, the College of Medicine and Surgeons.
    And also we are addressing the shortages of medical staff in remote areas by accepting new immingrants on condition of settling for a specified time in those areas and give more incentives to some practitioners to relocate and requiring new graduates to do community services. we realized this problem that pretty soon the baby boomers will be a burden to our health care (i’m there in just a few years) as our seniors are covered 100% with the medical and universal pensions on top of their own plans. And if necessary my siblings can always come back here to practice. but I think they love the US, lower taxes, and they are still Canadians and still entitled to the health benefits after a few months of residency… again….

  40. UPn,

    Whether it’s to “guarantee” or “endeavor”, still the Government has the constitutional mandate to protect the citizens’ lives by providing them, among other things, at the very least, basic (I’m not asking for “state-of-the-art”) health care. The important thing is for the Government, and the taxpayers themselves, to recognize that health services should be high on the agenda. For how could people even start to improve the quality of their lives if the only outcome of sickness is certain death? Even in our families, medical care comes before anything else.

    Of course, it’s unrealistic to expect the Philippines to have a health care system comparable to that of America’s or Canada’s overnight. But with health care given top priority, we will eventually get there.

  41. baycas and Shaman… I just saw a post by nursing98 on the “mbautistamd.blogspot” site, and the idea makes better sense regarding health care delivery. She (or he?) was hoping for a PHILIPPINE HOSPITAL INFRASTRUCTURE law which obligates the government to provide a minimum level of public hospitals and clinics across the Philippines. And unlike Villar’s MagnaCarta bill (which does not mention who pays for hospital operating costs), nurse98 wants it illegal if the government spends less than so many billion pesos a year for public hospitals/clinics operating costs. Also that the government should (be required by law to) build at least 20 new mini-hospitals a year for the next many years.

  42. The nurse98 proposal makes sense. If there is a law that specifies the budget-percent to be allocated for debt service, there should also be a law that specifies how much to go towards health infrastructure.

  43. UPn,

    Any idea, including that of nursing98’s, that gives health care high priority in the national budget is most welcome.

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