March 2012

TAYO Foundation launches the TAYO Summer Youth Camp 2012

Want to learn a thing or two this summer? This season of the sun, enrich yourself by jamming with youth leaders from various organizations nationwide for a three days full of fun, exciting and educational activities.

In celebration of  Ten Accomplished Youth Organization Inc.‘s 10th Anniversary, TAYO Youth Camp will be selecting a total of 120 campers from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao to discuss the country’s issues in an out of the box and fun way.

So if you are aged 15-25 and is looking for a different and productive way to spend you summer, dive into this one of a kind retreat to CamSur with TAYO!

Application is open until April 15, 2012.

Postscript: Expect for some good music so let your hair down and don’t forget to bring your dancing shoes.

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The TAYO Foundation is calling for participants for the 1stTAYO Summer Youth Camp to be held at CamSur Watersports Complex on May 3-5, 2012.

For nine years, the TAYO Search saw the Filipino youth’s living examples of heroism breaking the walls of poverty, lack of resources, and lack of opportunity. As TAYO celebrates its 10th year this 2012, we would like to raise the bar higher and provide more opportunities for growth and improvement for deserving youth leaders and youth organizations not only through the search but also through other activities. Thus, TAYO is launching the TAYO Summer Youth Camp.

It is the first of its kind in the Philippines. The TAYO Camp aims to gather youth leaders from different organizations in the country for a three-day camp where issues of the day are discussed in fun, creative, and dynamic ways. The Camp aims to inspire the participants to cultivate the DOer culture, to spread positive living as a way of life, and to encourage their fellow youth to make use of their talents, skills, and interests in addressing their community’s problems.

Different fields of interests compose the TAYO Camp: (1) Music & Dance, (2) Visual Arts, (3) Performing Arts, (4) Videography & Photography, and (5) e-Literature. Applicants will have the liberty to select which workshop they would like to participate into. However, in every field, only 24 campers shall be accommodated. The Camp will be selecting a total of 120 campers from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Application is open until April 15, 2012.

The Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) Awards Foundation is hailed as one the country’s premier organizations which recognize outstanding groups of young Filipinos who are instrumental in the development of the country through simple, worthwhile, and innovative projects meant to solve problems in their local communities, school, or workplace.

This project is made possible through the help of the National Youth Commission, Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines, and Lenovo Philippines. To know more about TAYO and the camp, and to download the application form, visit their website at www.tayoawards.net.

 

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Mulat Pinoy brings population and development awareness to youth in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao

In February 2012, 24 students from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao visited Manila to participate in Mulat Pinoy’s workshop, “Social NetWorth: The Filipino Youth on Social Media and Popdev.”  The workshop participants hailed from Manila, Quezon City, Calamba, Cebu, Iloilo, General Santos City and Davao, and were all college students and leaders in their communities.

Social NetWorth aimed to teach the participants about population and development (popdev) issues: in particular, how the population affects other things like the environment, employment and education. In addition, the participants learned about media and social networks, and how these can be used as tools to promote awareness of popdev.

During the workshop, the participants produced videos where they focused on a popdev issue and called the youth to action. These videos may be viewed on the Mulat Pinoy YouTube Account (http://www.youtube.com/user/mulatpinoy).

After the workshop, the participants returned to their communities to develop a Mulat Pinoy project of their own. The 24 participants were divided in pairs or groups, each with a cause, a vision, a mission and a blog.

The eleven (11) Social NetWorth Blogs are hosted by Mulat Pinoy, but completely managed by the participants. They produce all their own content, which aims to feature various population issues. One blog talks about street children, while another focuses on the unemployment problem. One pair is looking at environment issues in Davao, and a trio from Visayas is tackling the different ways in which poverty strikes rural areas. A pair from UP Diliman is exploring the pros and cons of sex education, while students from Miriam College are examining the question of overpopulation.

In addition to using these blogs as platforms for the discussion of population issues, the participants are using various social networks like Facebook and Twitter to invite other Netizens to join their discussions. To supplement the online discussion, they have also planned activities in their communities: forums and workshops to share what they have learned, debates, interviews, information campaigns and many more.

Visit the Social NetWorth portal at http://snw.mulatpinoy.ph to see how the SNW participants are talking about popdev in their communities.

Contact:

Regina Layug Rosero
Project Coordinator, Mulat Pinoy
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: (+632) 4330456

A classmate’s disappointment with CJ Renato Corona

Circulating in social media is a letter from a classmate of Chief Justice Renato Corona. Rene Santayana and Renato Corona were in the Ateneo 1962 elementary and 1966 high school graduating classes. Santayana wrote to his class e-group after he received an e-mail on the Newsbreak exposé regarding Corona’s embellished academic achievements. (Read in Rappler.com “Corona lied about academic honors?”)

An Atenean from a later batch summed up Santayana’s letter as a ” message that reflects the dilemmas that we face when we have to choose between doing good and protecting erring kin, friends, and classmates. In Philippine society, the greater good is subsumed to loyalty to the family, the class, the tribe, the fraternity, the organization.”

Below is Mr. Santayana’s letter to his classmates:

Dear classmates, 
 
The attached email (the Newsbreaak exposé) caught my eye because of its attachments (Corona’s academic resumé submitted to Malacañan in 1992 when he worked for the Ramos administration; a screen grab of Corona’s resumé in the Supreme Court website prior to its alteration in March 14, 2010; Ateneo commencement programs from grade school, high school, college, and college of law) and so I decided to briefly drop a line to this forum.  I imagine there is a
great deal of ‘talk’ about the on-going impeachment proceedings which is why I am forwarding this to the Yahoo group. 
 
Many of the attachments in this email will be familiar to you. Certainly, they were to me.  The heavy hitters in our batch were Edjop (Edgar Jopson), Bobby Jayme, Rhett Pleno, Jacques Schnabel, Inggo Diaz, Chito Gomez, Louie Hernandez, Dari Pagcaliwagan, and Benito Diaz.  I never saw nor do I recall the name of Corona having stood out in any honors list during our years in the Ateneo.  Do you? 
 
The point is … why lie about it?  There are more than a hundred of us classmates – surely a large number will recall what really transpired in school?  What a blatant display of arrogance and contempt!  This I take personally because it touches me and it violates whatever small personal unsullied space I can still cling to in this life.  I cannot stand idly by and allow myself to be made complicit in this. 
 
If we cannot trust a man in small things, how can we trust him in big things?  Grade school and high-school … who still includes those in a professional resume anymore?  Frankly, it’s not even worth mentioning, much less lying about.  Yet, some people choose to fabricate and weave untruths … and use it for self promotion.  Anyone who can lie about such small things can lie about anything – yes, even the biggest things. 
 
In this particular instance it is very difficult to show any support even for a classmate, unless you are prepared to compromise your own principles.  Personally I was reserving judgment and waiting for events to unfold.  It seems the wait is over.  This is an issue we are all familiar with.  This has nothing to do with Malacanang, nothing to do with the Senate, nothing to do with politics.  It has everything to do with principle, character and integrity. 
 
Regardless of the outcome, this early Rene Corona himself has shown me that he is unworthy of his position – or any other responsible position.  The cumulative weight of all those petty lies and belabored half-truths is crushing and it leaves him bereft of any moral ground to stand on.  He should just admit his guilt, resign immediately and hang his head in shame. 
 
It’s 2:17 in the morning.  More than 5 hours have gone by and still I cannot bring myself to press the ‘send’ button.  In the end I realize that I will have to – or suffer the loss of my own principles. But that does not make it any easier.  What an utter disappointment!  For all of us.

Tempest in a D(umb)cup

Arnold Clavio’s stupid commentary on the controversy between Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Match Commissioner Cristy Ramos and two Azkal players created a storm that diverted attention away from the real issue at hand: nabastusan si Cristy Ramos, binastos ba siya? Cristy Ramos thinks so and she filed the appropriate letter of complaint with the AFC Disciplinary Committee.

In the meantime, maybe the AFC can review its Regulations and Guidelines for AFC Match Officials. The book applies to “Any officials appointed by AFC, including but not limited to the Head of Delegation, Head of Administration, Venue Manager, Match Commissioner, Referee Instructor, Referee, Assistant Referees, Fourth Official, Media Officer, Security Officer, Medical Officer and Technical Study Group Officer.”

Simply put, the Match Commissioner is the highest official in an AFC match. All match officials follow an Official Program that contains a list of activities, itemized hour by hour, “which must be carried out by AFC Match Officials upon arrival until after the match.” Those activities include but are not limited to arranging transportation within the locale of the match, accommodations, meeting with team officials, security and media arrangements, suitability of venue and equipment, pre-match rehearsal of ball boys, eligibility of players, and practically anything you can shake a stick at.

The incident between Ms. Ramos and the two Azkal players occurred in connection with official duties included in the Official Countdown before a match:

    “14. MINUS NINETY (90) MINUTES BEFORE THE MATCH:

    1. Match Commissioner must receive the Player Selection List for the teams. For centralized qualification matches, this process must take place at the end of the TMM (Team Managers Meeting) (cf. Section D, Article 8.11)

    2. Once the Match Commissioner receives the list, he goes into the team dressing room with the 4th Official to check each of the player on the list against their eligibility card as well as the player’s equipment ensuring that the equipment is as per the AFC Equipment Regulations.”

All the AFC has to do is to remove or amend the clause “he goes into the team dressing room” because checking the eligibility card of the players can be done outside the dressing room. Besides, checking the players’ equipment can’t be done until they are suited up for the game anyway. So having both checks outside the dressing room will save everyone from having to teach gender sensitivity in dressing rooms to non-kayumanggi football players.

The comment on the cup size of Cristy Ramos was pambabastos anytime, anywhere and that cannot be corrected by a simple amendment of Official Countdown guidelines. It will entail a lot of sex education. However, the problem of a half-dressed player inside a dressing room can be eliminated by simply amending the procedure that seems to have been written before female Match Commissioners became common. As to Arnold Clavio, if you were to measure his brain in terms of bra sizes, he would be braless.

In defence of P-Noy

image taken from bloggers.com

He became a noun (“Aquinomics”), he became an -ism (“noynoyism”), but now he has become a verb (“noynoying”), and it is pretty, well how shall we say it? “An-noying.”

Just like the president’s love life, which he says he would like to keep off limits to the media, but which he himself cannot stop talking about, the phenomenon known as “noynoying” he says is not worth our attention, and yet the very act of saying so draws our focus to it.

Militant groups that hopped on to the “planking” phenomenon to paralyse traffic in the streets have shown just how savy they are propaganda-wise by adapting this into a new posture, that of noynoying, which is a form of idling, pensively sitting around doing nothing while propping one’s chin with one arm as a mutant strain of the “occupy” protest movement. This they say symbolizes the president’s passivity in the wake of repeated oil price hikes.

The palace’s ill-advised release of photos showing the president behind his desk working in earnest only seemed to fan the flames and breathe life into the story. This played into the hands of the left-leaning propagandists who took to social media decrying the government’s response as all spin and no substance.

Wittingly or unwittingly, this seems to dovetail nicely with the narrative coming from the Arroyo camp that the president dropped the ball last year on the economy allowing it to slip into a slower growth rate while sitting idly by. Similarly, in the case of Hacienda Luisita, the impeached Chief Justice wants to make it all about the Hacienda Luisita estate owned by the president’s relatives rather than himself and has garnered support from the representatives of farmers and progressive groups like Bayan Muna.

I find it rather amusing that anyone with a gripe or an axe to grind often falls into the trap of jumping on the bandwagon when a popular phenomenon sprouts up, just as in the case of noynoying. Those frustrated with the delayed passage of the reproductive health or freedom of information bills for instance, have flirted if not readily embraced this form of protest without distinguishing the issues involved.

It is so easy to mindlessly follow social networking trends these days without taking a considered view in my opinion. It is at this point that I would like to say a few things in defence of the president. Some might think this is “out of character” on my part, since lately I have been accused of being an Arroyo sympathizer and branded a Corona acolyte for my criticisms of the way President Aquino has handled many things in office: from his unintended fiscal austerity program to his overzealous pursuit “in the hunt” for Mrs Arroyo and her proxies.

So now that I am about to say something in defence of Mr Aquino, I expect to be labelled something else. Perhaps a flip-flop, or a “balimbing”. What my critics fail to appreciate is that I simply call things the way I see them regardless of which side of politics I offend. As a policy analyst, it is my duty I believe to speak the truth to power, to advise without fear or favour. So this is how I see this issue…

First of all, PNoy is not the only head of state who has had to grapple with this issue and responded to it in the way that he has. President Obama has also said that there is very little his government could do to affect oil prices. Now, the difference of course between the Philippines and the United States is that the latter at least has massive oil reserves and untapped resources. But, as President Obama has shown, even if he were to authorize drilling to occur even in the national reserves to go full steam ahead, the effect on the price of oil would be quite minuscule (about one percent).

Ironically, it has been conservatives on the right like Rush Limbaugh (not leftists) who have faulted President Obama for taking a laissez-faire approach. Republican Mitt Romney has recently called on Obama’s energy team to resign over their inability to influence gas prices. The public for their part do not seem to be swayed by such populist rhetoric. They seem to accept Obama’s premise that there is little he can do. For his part, Obama has faulted speculators for manipulating futures prices of oil for profit.

My point here is that if the leader of the free world, the most powerful man on the planet says there is nothing much even he can do, then what more can the leader of a developing economy like the Philippines do?

Secondly, just as in the case of the oil price stabilisation fund before it, the fuel subsidy to transport operators was in fact applied, but as we can see, there is really so much that government can afford to do. Unlike the situation in the 90s when gas prices spiked then returned to their normal levels, high oil prices today will become the “new normal”. This may be because we have reached “peak oil“, or it may be due to the rising demand from emerging economies thirsty for fuel and energy resources. Either way, we simply have to adapt to this new reality rather than try to artificially recreate the old one.

There is no such thing as an entitlement to cheap oil. It is not embedded in the Constitution as one of our human rights. Yet,  militant groups would have you believe that it is the role of the state–to guarantee the affordability of crude oil. That simply is a myth.

Thirdly, what the government ought to do in easing us into a new state of affairs, it is already doing with its energy policies focused on encouraging renewable sources of power and fuel. The distribution of electric public utility vehicles along with the auctioning of rights to build power plants which harness wind, natural gas, solar and wave technology is already progressing.

So as far as this goes, the government is not standing “idly by”. It has a considered program in place that seeks to guide our economy to a smaller carbon footprint and less dependency on oil. If anything, it is even being pro-active in pushing this agenda forward.

Of course the objection from transport groups will be that these programs don’t address their problems. Their position is understandable. They are indeed caught between a rock and a hard place, with the fares they charge to commuters regulated, while the cost of fuel is liberalized. This I think is the crux of the matter. At some point, their requests for rate increases need to be heard by an impartial body. The problem will be to contain the flow on effect this will have on wages.

But the thing is, regional wage boards will deal with that issue when the time comes. Their role is similar to that of transport regulators in that they have to weigh the interests of various stakeholders and temper the impact of any adjustment to society at large. The mechanisms for dealing with oil prices and wages are there and have been in place for quite some time.

Whenever the country is caught in the currents of global events, it sometimes takes all the energy of the man in charge  to maintain a level head and not directly intervene. There is in fact a time when “doing nothing” is the appropriate response, when the alternatives which may make him popular would be even more damaging.

That time I believe is now. In defence of the president, I believe he has seized it.

Ano ba talaga?

As of this writing Corona has produced five witnesses. His first witness testified on the provenance of the impeachment complaint, a topic that the Impeachment Court ruled off-limits two months ago. All of Monday and long minutes of Tuesday were wasted as the Senate tolerated his bellyaching over the late release of his pork barrel. Why did the Impeachment Court put up with him? Because senators are politicians and the witness is the kingpin of a vote-rich congressional district.

The next witness was a woman from the Supreme Court. She produced documents regarding Corona’s salaries and allowances. Two other witnesses, one from the Senate Electoral Tribunal and the other from the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal, testified on Corona’s allowances. What for? According to Corona’s chief counsel they were called to clarify issues regarding the source of Corona’s wealth. But a senator pointed out that there was no need to explain the source of Corona’s wealth since the Senate already granted Corona’s motion to drop all references to it. That’s four defense witnesses speaking on matters that are irrelevant and immaterial. Ano ba talaga?

The first defense witness to address the allegation that Corona mis-declared his SALNs explained why a property in Marikina that was in Mrs. Corona name belonged to him. He said he bought the property from Mrs. Corona 20 years ago but never got around to putting it in his name. He presented a deed of sale as proof of ownership. So a deed of sale is better proof of ownership than title to a property? Now comes Corona’s non-disclosure of a condominium unit in Makati. He said he did not own it despite a deed of sale and a title to the unit because he had not taken possession of it yet. Ano ba talaga?

Corona keeps repeating, “When I submitted myself to the Senate from the start, I trusted our senators that they will do their duty responsibly. Whatever verdict they will have, I will accept it.” But last February Corona petitioned the Supreme Court to stop the trial because the Impeachment Court acted “with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.” Ano ba talaga?

Corona claims he is not hiding his dollar accounts and will produce them in due time. But he petitioned the Supreme Court to prohibit the opening of his dollar accounts. Ano ba talaga?

Corona said he closed his multimillion peso account with PSBank on the day he was impeached because he lost his trust in the bank. But he opened a new account in the same bank with the money from his closed account. Ano ba talaga?

Corona pointed to money from a family firm he claimed his wife owned to explain how he was able to buy high-end condos and maintain several hefty peso and dollar bank accounts. And then Ana Basa and Sister Flory Basa raised questions about Mrs. Corona’s ownership of the family firm. Now Corona says any mention of the family firm is irrelevant to the impeachment. Ano ba talaga?

Corona says he will personally explain everything before the Impeachment Court. But he also says he will do so only if his lawyers allow him to testify. Ano ba talaga?

The truth is everybody already knows the truth and everybody knows what needs to be done. The problem is the doing will be done by 23 politicians, some of whom you would not trust with your pet cobra.

Schedule of 2011 PDAF releases to Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco

Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, acting as a defense witness at the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona, claimed yesterday that the release of the Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF)—more commonly referred to as “pork barrel funds”—allocated for his district was delayed as a result of his opposition to the impeachment of former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez. He testified that he received the first tranche of the PDAF on August 1, 2011.

Navotas (Lone District) Rep. Toby Tiangco
Courtesy of the Toby Tiangco page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/pages/Toby-Tiangco/185633641527060)

In the interest of discussion, we are publishing the schedule of the pork releases in 2011 to Rep. Tiangco as recorded in the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) web site.

2011 PDAF – Tiangco, Tobias Reynald M.

A Judd of whine

Interaksyon, the online news portal of TV5, reported that the Senate Impeachment Court found Corona defense counsel Jose “Judd” Roy III in indirect contempt for claiming in a hastily called press conference last month that “Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa was calling up senators and dangling a P100-million bribe to defy the Supreme Court decision against opening of dollar accounts allegedly owned by Corona.”

Not surprisingly, Atty. Roy’s reaction to the contempt citation was typical Corona.

“Why only me, it was a concerted efforts from us, why singling me out,” whined tough guy Judd.

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