Manny V. Pangilinan

Famed writer Yuson dropped from GMA News Online

Following a thorough investigation by an ethics committee into charges of plagiarism against famed writer Alfred “Krip” Yuson, his contract as editor at large for GMA News Online, which reportedly expired mid-April, has not been renewed. In a statement, GMA Network management explained that, “The decision not to renew the services of Mr. Yuson is consistent with the policy of GMA that personnel do not plagiarize or copy other people’s work.”

The issue of plagiarism was first raised by blogger Jaemark Tordecilla of Fire Quinito, who noted strong similarities between an article by Yuson published in Rogue magazine, and an earlier piece written by GMA News Online sportswriter Rey Joble. Yuson, in a response to Tordecilla, admitted that he had lifted portions from Joble’s article, but said that he had been under deadline pressure. He also said that he thought he had co-authorial rights, given that he had edited Joble’s work before it was published by GMA News.

The controversy drew a flurry of outraged reactions from the blogosphere, including Ina Stuart Santiago, James Cordova of Asian Correspondent, and Interlineal, a content partner of ProPinoy.net. After Yuson, in his weekly column for The Philippine Star, said that “it is hardly of any consequence that the usual lynch mob that marauds through social media is having such a fun time indulging in vituperation”, Tordecilla had strong words for the multi-awarded wordsmith. The Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) slammed Yuson as well, saying, “An apology would have sufficed; making excuses is just too much.”

Yuson is a significant figure in Philippine letters. The author or editor of several books, he is a member of the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature Hall of Fame, probably the most prestigious literary distinction in the country. He has also won many other prizes locally and internationally.

As of this writing, Rogue has yet to issue a statement on the matter. Ateneo de Manila University, where Yuson is listed as a member of the Department of English, has similarly made no comment.

The university has been involved in previous plagiarism disputes that erupted around business tycoon Manuel “Manny” V. Pangilinan, a former member of the Ateneo board of trustees, and Supreme Court Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo, a graduate of Ateneo Law School.

Editor’s note (May 2, 2011; 7:45 PM): This article was first published in slightly different form. It has since been revised to better comply with the editorial standards of The Pro Pinoy Project. Our apologies.

People Power to provide poor with sustainable livelihoods

Business leaders, microentrepreneurs, and NGO workers will gather at the NBC Tent, Fort Bonifacio, Global City from Feb. 22-23 to celebrate the work of the private sector in providing poverty-stricken Filipinos with livelihood opportunities, and to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the People Power Revolution.
The “People-Powered Markets” exhibit will also serve as venue for the participants to discuss and plan how to build on the work of companies and microfinance institutions in engaging enterprising Filipinos in poor communities and empowering them with funds, training, and outlets for their products.
The exhibit will be opened by President Benigno Aquino III.  Among the business leaders who will attend the event are Philippine Long Distance Company chair Manny V. Pangilinan,  Philippine Investment Management, Inc. president and chief executive officer Ramon del Rosario,  and renowned accountant-philanthropist  Washington Sycip.
“We seek to bring about a People Power to transform the market into an instrument for shared progress for all Filipinos,” said Dan Songco, president and chief executive officer of the PinoyME Foundation, a key organizer of the exhibit.
“I am inviting all Filipinos who believe that we can bring growth to our lives and to society through hard work and unity. The exhibit will not only show models on how we can participate in supporting microentrepreneurs, but also share knowledge and encouragement for people to start their own microenterprises,” said Rapa Lopa, the favorite nephew of former President Corazon Aquino and president of the Ninoy and Cory Foundation, a partner in organizing the exhibit.
PinoyME
People-Powered Markets also marks the 5th Year Anniversary of PinoyME, which was started by Cory Aquino in 2006 with the aim of reducing poverty by championing microenterprise and microfinance. In one of her last speeches, the People Power icon urged Filipinos to join PinoyME in its mission.
“Over the past year, I have been inspired by the noble work of microfinance institutions which have reached out to the entrepreneurial poor, giving them the means to uplift their lives through honest and hard work. To many of us, livelihood loans of P1,000 to P10,000 may not mean much, but to those outside the fringes of the mainstream economy, these are vital in tiding them over from day to day. The small but steady income from their micro-enterprises makes it possible for them to eat decent meals, to  send their children to school and to nurture dreams of a better life,” Aquino said.
In a mere five years, PinoyME has established itself as a driving force in different microfinance and microenterprise areas.   Today, it is more than a source for funds; it has stimulated more academic research on microfinance, gathered information experts to help automate microfinance institutions, and helped microentrepreneurs find outlets for their products. Not surprisingly, its growth has coincided with the advancement of microfinance in the country. Microfinance now reaches more than 5 million Filipinos through the services of 500 microfinance institutions with a combined portfolio of P12 billion.
Value chains that work for the people
PinoyME has not been alone in efforts to promote microenterprise as poverty reduction tool. There have been various allies–from companies and universities to microfinance institutions and consolidators. The unity of these institutions to support microentrepreneurs will be showcased as  “value chains that work for the people.”
A value chain is a physical representation of the various processes that are involved in producing goods. For instance, there is a chain between Jollibee Foods Corporations and farmers from Nueva Ecija and Bukidnon. Jollibee partners with the farmers for its requirement of fresh ingredients like onions and bell peppers. However, the two would not have been able to transact without the collaboration of The Catholic Relief Service Philippines (CRS), which promotes market-driven strategies to facilitate farmers’ participation in the mainstram market, the National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC), a government corporation mandated to provide for the credit needs of farmers, and the Alalay sa Kaunlaran, Inc. (ASKI), a microfinance insitution that directly delivers the funds to the farmers cooperative. The chain hence is not merely between Jollibee and the farmers, but also includes CRS, NLDC, and ASKI.
Labeled by Lopa as a “reverse trade fair”, the exhibit is innovative in the sense that it allows microentrepreneurs to learn of ways of doing business with established companies by being part of their value chain. This is an inversion of the traditional trade fair wherein microentrepreneurs market their goods to the companies and to consumers.
“On the other hand, businessmen can learn from these models and say ‘I want to use this model to meet my requirements and also help out the people in my community. Or a NGO could say ‘I want to be part of this value chain and organize people into a cooperative so they can meet the delivery requirements of a company’,” said Songco.
“These are not just value chains but models of People Power. In a sense that is what we are celebrating and what we want to bring about more–People Power that has transcended the political and that makes a direct impact in the lives of people,” Lopa added.
People-Powered Markets will also feature product development clinics on niche marketing and seminars on how to partner with companies by being part of the value chain. Admission is free. For more information on PinoyME, please visit the website http://www.pinoyme.com/.