MANILA — The Department of Justice has asked the Department of Finance to hold off payments worth more than P82 billion to two major water concessionaires which are claiming indemnification or reimbursement from supposed losses over new policies adopted by Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), the government regulating body.
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima sought the DOJ’s legal opinion on whether or not the Manila Water Company Inc. However, the DOJ, in a five-page legal opinion signed by Chief State Counsel Ricardo Paras dated May 5 and released last Friday, pointed out that both Maynilad and MWCI have been facing at least five suits before the Supreme Court regarding water rate hikes and controversial provisions of their contracts. The high court has been asked to rule on whether or not MWCI and Maynilad are public utilities, whether or not the the two companies are entitled to recover from the consuming public their corporate income taxes (CITs), whether or not the performance undertakings issued by the government were valid, and whether or not the claims are covered by the undertakings, according to Paras.
The identical performance undertakings issued by the government to Maynilad and MWCI state that the two companies shall be indemnified for loses in case the MWSS or its regular office will reduce standards rates below the level provided in the concession agreements or defer the implementation of increases beyond the schedule set in the contracts. The two companies have claimed that MWSS is the public utility and they are just agents or contractors of the MWSS. But according to Paras, the public utilities issue is the subject of cases filed before the Supreme Court from 2013 to 2015 by the Water Watch Coalition, Water for All Refund Movement, Virginia Javier, Abakada Guro Partylist and Bayan Muna Representatives Neri Javier Colmenares and Isagani Zarate. The payment of the claims and validity of the arbitration proceedings were raised in the Bayan Muna petition, Paras pointed out. Paras issued the opinion for the DOJ since Acting Justice Secretary Emmanuel Caparas inhibited by virtue of his being a former member of the MWSS board of trustees and the the agency’s chief regulator. DAVAO CITY – Suspected New People’s Army rebels simultaneously attacked the municipal hall and the police headquarters of Governor Generoso town in Davao Oriental on Sunday evening. Batchar said government forces have been fighting back and have been trying to push the rebels out.
The province of Davao Oriental is a known hotbed of the communist insurgency in the country and is one of the focus areas of the military’s counter-insurgency operations. Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte earlier vowed to pursue and accelerate the peace negotiations to finally put an end to the conflict. Duterte said that the ongoing conflict has already caused too much damage not just to the military and the rebels but also to the civilians.
Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. DAVAO CITY-Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte has announced he will issue a safe conduct pass to exiled communist leader Jose Maria Sison so he could return to the country and join the peace talks.
Duterte said he would ask Silvestre Bello, whom he earlier appointed as chief peace negotiator with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, and presidential adviser to the peace process Jesus Dureza, to hold a preliminary dialogue with Sison in Oslo. Human rights group Karapatan has documented at least 543 political prisoners, including 18 NDF consultants, all over the country.
Duterte earlier said the confidence has been high between the two parties, saying he had no other agenda in pursuing the talks other then resolving the conflict. In the Hague Joint Declaration in 1992, both parties agreed to tackle substantive agenda including human rights and international humanitarian law, socio-economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms, end of hostilities and disposition of forces. In March 1998, both parties signed the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). The government and the NDF panels have already formulated their drafts for the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (Caser) but the process has not made any progress after the talks hit a snag. POZZALLO, Italy — The UN refugee agency says over 700 migrants are feared dead in three Mediterranean Sea shipwrecks south of Italy in the last few days as they tried desperately to reach Europe in unseaworthy smuggling boats. Carlotta Sami, spokeswoman for UNHCR, told The Associated Press by phone Sunday that an estimated 100 people are missing from a smugglers’ boat which capsized Wednesday. She said about 550 others are missing from a smuggling boat that capsized Thursday morning after leaving the western Libyan port of Sabratha a day earlier. In a third shipwreck on Friday, Sami says 135 people were rescued, 45 bodies were recovered and an unknown number of people — many more, the migrants say — are missing. Italy’s southern islands are the main destinations for countless numbers of smuggling boats launched from the shores of lawless Libya each week packed with people seeking jobs and safety in Europe. DAVAO CITY – Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte said on Saturday night he still had no Cabinet post to offer to Vice President-elect Leni Robredo. But Duterte announced that he was offering the education secretary post to University of the Philippines professor Leonor Briones.
Vice President-elect Leni Robredo attends the Sagrada Familia fluvial procession in Camarines Sur on May 28, 2016.
Duterte also defended his choices of people who will be part of his Cabinet, saying these were his own decisions. Duterte said he could have chosen from “a large portion of the population,” but he could only choose among people he personally knew, whose personalities and characters he understood. DAVAO CITY, Philippines—President-elect Rodrigo Duterte said on Sunday that some of the remaining vacancies in his Cabinet would be filled by Tuesday, a day after his proclamation in Congress. Duterte said that he will announce the names of his nominees for the departments of Defense and the Interior and Local Government, Bureau of Customs, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Bureau of Internal Revenue and Land Transportation Office. Duterte recently asked former national treasurer Leonor Briones to head the Department of Education  and former budget chief Benjamin Diokno to lead  the Department of Budget and Management.
Senator-Elect Manny Pacquiao, Peace Process Adviser Jesus Dureza, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano sit beside together President-elect Rodrigo Duterte as he grants the media a late night interview in Davao City. DAVAO CITY –President-elect Rodrigo Duterte said on Sunday that people should not worry if something bad happens to him because of his refusal to be guarded by his security escorts.
Duterte gave this scenario as he maintained that despite the security risks, he would not bring members of the Presidential Security Group with him in his daily flight from Manila to Davao and back when he starts working in Malacanang. Duterte said he sees no risk in travelling daily on a commercial flight with only his executive assistant Bong Go and another staff. He recalled a time when he tried to send home PSG members guarding his house in Davao City.
After that incident, Duterte said a PSG official asked for his consideration and explained to him that his security escorts must do their job as mandated by law.
DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Malacanang employees won’t have to get up too early as their incoming boss—President-elect Rodrigo Duterte—will start his day at 1 o’clock in the afternoon. Duterte said he does not care whether his schedule would have an impact on government and corporate offices, which have business hours from 8 a.m. Duterte said he wants to pore over the several documents in his study room, which could take him until midnight, before he signs them on behalf of the entire country.
Another factor would be his plan to commute back and forth from Manila to Davao City every day until he has adjusted to living in Malacanang. For the government not to spend too much on his travels, Duterte said he would not bring his security escorts with him, only his executive assistant Bong Go and another person. Duterte, who has served as a mayor of this city for over two decades, said he was also not comfortable living in Malacanang Palace, the official residence of the President of the Philippines. Asked why he met with the Ilocos Norte Governor, Duterte said Marcos paid him a visit while she was in the province to attend a social commitment. Philippine police have killed three drug suspects in a shootout, officials said Sunday, the latest such deaths after the election of tough anti-crime firebrand Rodrigo Duterte as President. A spate of recent criminal killings by police has spiked fears of an extra-judicial crackdown in the country after incoming leader Duterte vowed to stamp out crime by all means necessary. Police were called to the home of a suspected drug dealer on the tiny island of Banacon in Bohol before dawn Saturday when gunfire broke out between the suspect and police, leaving the accused and three associates injured. The accused drug trafficker Rowen Secretaria and two unidentified men were pronounced dead after being taken to hospital, while the fourth was treated for gunshot wounds, local police officer Roel Lagora told AFP. Police have killed 12 other drug suspects across the country in the past week, while unknown gunmen murdered two other men linked by police to illegal drugs. Duterte has warned security forces will kill tens of thousands of criminals and ignore human rights, part of a campaign pledge to eradicate the scourge of drugs that many voters rated as their top concern. The soon-to-be leader, who is also the sitting mayor of the southern city of Davao, has been accused of backing vigilante death squads that have murdered more than a thousand people in Davao, including more than 100 minors.
Civil rights groups have criticized Duterte for his threats, describing his proposed methods as illegal and unconstitutional. Police have denied suggestions they are implementing Duterte’s campaign promises before he takes office on June 30, insisting earlier this month that the first eight suspects were killed in self-defense.
Banacon lies about 20 kilometers (12 miles) off the coast of Cebu, the country’s second-largest city after the capital Manila. The newly elected Cebu mayor, Tomas Osmena, told AFP earlier this month he would pay police bounties of P50,000 ($1,060) for each criminal they killed, and 5,000 pesos for wounding them. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said on Sunday that a thunderstorm is affecting parts of Metro Manila and nearby provinces. Residents from Cavite, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija and remaining parts of Metro Manila can expect thunderstorms in their areas within the next two hours.
Baron Pierre de Coubertin and the last of his disciples, Avery Brundage, must be turning in their graves. This year, boxing, the last amateur holdout of the major Olympic sports, surrendered; it opened its competition to pros, unable to resist the prospect of marquee names like Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather slugging it out for three rounds in the welterweight or light welterweight final in Rio. The International Amateur Boxing Association (Aiba), the world’s governing body in amateur boxing, has removed the “A” word from its name and is now known as the International Boxing Association, with the same acronym. Aiba president Wu Ching-Kuo of Taiwan appears willing to bend over backward to accommodate pros in the Rio Olympics.
Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson thinks it’s a ridiculous idea, not only because he’s afraid that pros might eat amateurs alive, but also because of the strong possibility that amateurs might embarrass pros. Even Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s longtime promoter, bucks the idea of his ward fighting in the Olympics—probably because there’s no money to be made there.
A president chooses his or her official family according to his or her personal standards for vetting who can best help transform his or her thoughts and dreams into reality. To be sure, many of them have served in previous administrations or have been involved in high-profile happenings.
Setting aside their prior association or celebrity status, what is critically important is that Duterte trusts them and believes in them.
Under the doctrine of qualified political agency, their acts are deemed to be the acts of the President unless rejected or altered by him. Remember that it was Duterte’s unpredictable persona and unorthodox utterances that catapulted him to a landslide victory. Understandably, the incoming chief executive would want his Cabinet members to be like him—strong-willed, decisive, daring, transparent, unorthodox, and able to deliver on his grand promises. The confirmation of department secretaries by the Commission on Appointments is not a cakewalk either. The Constitution bars Cabinet members from holding any other office or employment during their tenure.
They would be well advised to be familiar with the Constitution, the Anti-Graft Law, Ethical Standards Law and relevant portions of the Administrative Code. The 2016 elections encountered a disillusioned electorate that deeply sought what it believed to be genuine change. I remember a story about a 10-wheel truck that got stuck in an underpass because the driver ignored the vertical clearance limit. Let us learn from Mary, who, through it all, continued to listen and to obey her Lord and Master.
Most political analysts have no problem in saying that the winner in the 2016 presidential election, Rodrigo Duterte, has earned a clear mandate.
Duterte did not win by a majority, but by a simple plurality of just over 39 percent of the total votes cast for president.
Yet, to many Filipino voters, majority support is not as important as winning by a “landslide.”  The focus is on the margin by which the winner has defeated his or her closest rival. But, beyond these ambiguous statements, what was said during the campaign can hardly serve as a guide for determining what the people’s will is on a lot of important issues. Were the Filipino voters rejecting democracy and expressing a preference for strongman rule when they chose Duterte? If a mandate is a command given by the voters, what exactly is the content of this command?  I don’t think anyone knows.
Knowledge, in this context, would have to assume a deep understanding of the reasoning that went into every vote, the contingencies that determined the candidates’ messaging and shaped media reporting, the role of campaign finance and machinery, etc. There’s a saying, “It’s all over but the shouting,” and it is as true for elections as it is for any hotly-contested affair.
But apart from this nail-biting fight to the finish for the vice presidential post, it’s widely conceded that the 2016 polls were generally clean, peaceful and orderly, and therefore credible. One big reason that the voting public has generally accepted the results of the voting is that the Commission on Elections heeded a Supreme Court order to reinstate the voter’s receipt, which it had earlier scrapped on grounds that it would delay the voting proceedings. Gordon is familiar with automated elections because he authored the Automated Election Law during a previous Senate term. Because of dilly-dallying on the part of the Department of Education and Education Secretary Armin Luistro, the school-based immunization program for the HPV vaccine, which protects girls from developing cervical cancer, has been scrapped.
At a recent media forum, Garin said providing the HPV vaccine as part of a school-based program (initially in the 20 poorest provinces but now expanded to 47) would have been ideal since it would “capture” the young girls (at least nine years old) most in need of it.
But Luistro expressed reservations about including the HPV vaccine in the school-based immunization program, citing the fears of conservative elements that protecting girls from cancer at an early age would give them “permission” to be sexually promiscuous later in life. Since May is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, Garin urged parents to bring their eligible daughters to health centers to have them immunized, since the HPV vaccine protects girls from other diseases like genital warts and vaginal and anal cancers.
Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of death among Filipino women, next only to breast cancer.
The tax imposed on alcohol and tobacco products had a double purpose, aside from collecting more taxes.
Thus, there is also a public health reason for law enforcement agencies to ensure that the “sin taxes” are imposed and collected properly.
In fact, the Bureaus of Customs and of Internal Revenue, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the Philippine National Police have been engaged in a nationwide campaign against fake cigarettes since last year, with raids on stores selling such contraband.
After all, it’s not just the foregone income of legitimate cigarette manufacturers at stake, but also the health of the nation at large, given the programs that the collection of “sin taxes” has made possible. Beyond endangering lives, more frequent and stronger storms could cost many billions of dollars, owing to infrastructure damage and lost revenues from farming, fisheries, and tourism.
With the human and the financial costs of climate change attracting more attention than ever, now is the time to shift resources toward risk reduction. Coastal and marine ecosystems have considerable potential to mitigate the effects of storms and other risks, especially when combined with traditional built infrastructure.
At the national level, some of the most at-risk island countries are taking important steps. Even the insurance industry—comprising what may be the most risk-averse companies in the world—sees the potential in natural solutions.
According to one Swiss Re study, Barbados loses the equivalent of 4 percent of its GDP every year to hurricane-related costs. In the face of rising climate and disaster risk, investments in nature-based solutions can protect lives and safeguard prosperity in a cost-effective manner—all while preserving imperiled natural ecosystems worldwide. This patriarchal nation is so obsessed with blaming the woman whenever she becomes a victim of sexual harassment. I’d like to believe that I belong in a progressive nation that sees men and women as equal counterparts, no double standards. Since then I have not celebrated a birthday again, not even when I turned 18, which should have been a huge deal for a girl who is entering womanhood.
My birthday means having a decent amount in my savings account when all I have is just enough for my daily sustenance.
Fourth, leave the situation that does not make you happy, whether it’s a job or a relationship. Right now I am assigned at the intensive care unit and almost every day, lives are taken away. I’m no fan of birthday celebrations, but I’ve promised myself that from now on, birthdays will be about optimism and hope for the days ahead. RELEASE OF POWS Five police officers captured by the New People’s Army in Paquibato, Davao City on April 16 were turned over to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on April 25 on orders of the communist-led National Democratic Front. It is likely that the less trumpeted yet long-awaited peace agreement between the Philippine government (GPH) and the National Democratic Front (NDF) may be achieved by the next administration sooner than we all expected.
Yet, forging an agreement and making an agreement stick are two separate challenges, of which the latter is doubly difficult.


A durable agreement will require an outcome that is inclusive and a process that employs out-of-the-box approaches and solutions distinct from previous peace negotiations with both the NDF and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The resumption of the peace process started even before the new administration was sworn in. The latter quickly secured a face-to-face meeting with the incoming President, albeit through Skype in contrast to the meeting between President Aquino and MILF Chair Murad Ebrahim in Tokyo. Duterte likewise announced that he was open to a ceasefire and the release of all political prisoners to enable their direct participation in the negotiations. Here was the olive branch being offered to the NDF devoid of the usual anticommunist rhetoric and the call to surrender, and free from the worn-out “talk-and-fight” parameters of the past that prevented the achievement of a durable peace.
Trust is a critical ingredient and previous negotiations collapsed because of the lack of it. In this case, the enormous social capital between Duterte and the CPP-NPA-NDF (CNN) will certainly be an important and crucial factor. Additionally, Duterte possesses the status and confidence that many in the insurgent hierarchy, including the rebel-commanders on the ground, recognize and respect. A peace agreement that excludes powerful segments in society can actually reinforce rather than reduce violence. A robust and inclusive process is necessary at the outset to secure the widest possible buy-in from strategic stakeholders in society.
The inclusive approach instead means that those who wield power and are vital in cloaking a peace agreement with legitimacy and authority must be brought into the negotiations at the first instance. It is necessary to turn the current negotiations into a genuine political settlement that shapes how the central state deals with polarization, dissent and violent challenges to its rule. An enabling environment must also be created based on honest and credible commitments and the willingness to accept the risks that abound on both sides of this conflict. The immediate reconstitution of the Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig) is central to testing this commitment to each other. In the previous round of negotiations, the work of the peace panels was dislocated by the arrest of CNN personalities and the refusal to release these personalities because of the so-called inability to verify the identities of NDF staff and consultants. Instead, the impasse from the Jasig contaminated the rest of the talks, including prior agreements reached with previous administrations, such as The Hague Joint Declaration. An enabling environment must, therefore, include a provision for prisoner releases, whether wholesale or partial and calibrated, and the requirement that released prisoners directly participate in the GPH-NDF peace process.
It further includes directing government prosecutors to stop the filing of criminal cases for political and rebellion-related offenses, to swiftly release prisoners as ordered by the courts and to back-pedal on outstanding criminal cases already filed—an incentive that whistle-blowers often get. Finally, creating an enabling environment must include the herculean effort to undertake a constitutional reform process that marches in step with the peace processes. Back-channel processes often precede formal discussions to speed up the process and facilitate a settlement. In this regard, the simultaneous, rather than sequential, working of all the relevant panels on social and economic reforms (Caser), political and constitutional reforms (PCR), and the end of hostilities and disposition of forces (EH-DOF) is important. The search for safe spaces here and abroad and a more active engagement with the Norwegian third-party facilitator, including allowing the NDF to harness as many consultants and staff as possible will help to turn the process into an effective mass movement for peace. Studies on conflict suggest that working toward scheduled or indefinite ceasefires can deflect the attention of the panels from the root causes of the conflict and exhaust the available goodwill even before the substantive issues are addressed.
However, working on the root causes should not delay the delivery of immediate economic and political benefits to those yearning for an end to violence and instability in their lives. A central issue here is an agreement for an indefinite ceasefire that can help get the wider public engaged in the process. Both sides need to be aware and must regularly monitor the human and economic costs of the conflict. In the southern region of Mindanao alone where the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the New People’s Army (NPA) are at loggerheads, per-capita and per-kilometer conflict incidence plus the total human costs in terms of deaths, injuries and displacement are more than double those registered in the five provinces of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, according to the Mindanao conflict databases of International Alert UK. The lack of knowledge about the scale and magnitude of violent conflict partly explains why a narrow constituency exists for the GPH-NDF process in contrast to the GPH-MILF process. Getting reliable information on violent conflict is also crucial in dealing with issues of transitional justice after a settlement is secured.
This must be taken to heart because it underscores the essentially fragile nature of peace processes in which the fate of the whole nation is placed in the hands of a few negotiators and their principals. We only need to look back at the experience of the GPH-MILF peace panels following the Mamasapano tragedy to realize the fragility of political settlements—whether these have been institutionalized into law.
Worse, a failed experiment that raises the highest expectations normally leads to bloodier outcomes and deeper cleavages in society as evidenced in the conflict-insensitive and hate language that greeted Muslims following the incident.
Indeed, the contagion effects of a failed process is clearly evident in the Mamasapano case when the GPH-NDF peace process became one of the costliest yet unrecognized casualties of the bloodshed. Communications work is central to avoiding the same pitfalls and perils in the case of the GPH-NDF peace process.
Already, the intramurals in this peace process are being covered extensively in the media, with both sides communicating directly with each other.
However, when the President is sworn in, Congress is convened, the first formal negotiation is undertaken and the early days are over, both panels must start communicating with the broader society as well.
Most of us have probably given up on the thought that the communist insurgency would end in a lasting peace during our lifetime.
The British-American political activist and revolutionary Thomas Paine once remarked that he would rather deal with violent conflict himself in his time, rather than to have his children inherit war and live with it. This rather hopeful yet pessimistic account of a lasting peace was shattered in the past two weeks. Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, right, with his daughter, Holly Branson, tour the grounds of the Los Angeles Amity Foundation with its vice president, Mark Faucette, middle, in Los Angeles on Nov. British billionaire and philanthropist Sir Richard Branson was back in Manila last week after two decades to speak before 800 people, composed of the country’s business elite.
Branson goes by the belief that having an idea that you think will change the world is enough reason to go out there and do it. The eccentric businessman’s current radical endeavor is Virgin Galactic, a pioneer in space tourism, which he hopes can make commercial space travel safe and affordable.
Without a lot of capital, Branson needed to “use himself” and his crazy antics to make sure Virgin got on the front pages of the newspapers.
Two years after, Branson attempted to break another record to get Virgin on the map — to be the first to cross the Atlantic in a hot air balloon.
For the business magnate with more than 400 businesses under his belt, there is no better way to learn than by trying and failing. If you’re looking for the secret sauce to Virgin Group’s multitude of successful businesses, it’s quality product. Besides being an entrepreneur, Branson is also a humanitarian, which is evident in his leadership style of putting people first.
Giving a few company policies as examples, he states, “When people want to go on holidays, they can, they take as long a holiday as they want. Branson, who is part of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, along with several former world leaders, including Kofi Annan, insists that a business can be more than “just a money-making machine.” With their reach, resources and impact, businesses can make people’s lives better and be a force for good by putting people and the planet at par with profit. DAVAO CITY—Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte warned local power companies he would open the market to foreign firms to bring cheap and stable power supply to the country if the local utilities didn’t shape up and deliver better services to consumers.
Duterte said he would ask foreign investors if they would be interested in building power plants in the country. Duterte said he would keep power facilities owned by the government in the hands of the government.
Among these are the Agus hydropower plants in the two Lanao provinces and Pulangi hydropower facility in Bukidnon province. Duterte said plans to privatize these government facilities “should not be applied yet at this time” because private power firms cannot even provide a sufficient supply of electricity. Earlier, Duterte said he was amenable to the idea of amending the Constitution to remove the restriction on foreign ownership of companies in the Philippines. Duterte said opening the country’s power sector to foreign investors would be more beneficial to consumers than selling government-owned power assets. The Aquino administration planned to sell Agus and Pulangui to private investors in accordance with a provision in the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001, but it was met with opposition from several sectors in Mindanao, including electric cooperatives. I wish I had the answer to keep my parents alive for another 34 years (they are both 66 years old).
You cannot help but get thoughts like this when cancer pays your family a visit and overextends its stay.
By November 2014, after undergoing eight sessions of a procedure called R-CHOP under the supervision of our genius doctors at Makati Medical Center (Dr. Therefore, by settled policy and practice, the DOJ was constrained from rendering opinion or giving legal advice on the matter under the “sub judice” rule.
The Italian navy took horrific pictures of that capsizing even as it rushed to rescue all those thrown into the sea from the boat. She says refugees say that boat, which was carrying about 670 people, didn’t have an engine and was being towed by another packed smuggling boat before it capsized.
I have not considered anything for her because I’m more worried about where I would place the friends na nagkautang ako ng loob (to whom I owe a debt of gratitude),” Duterte said in a press briefing late Saturday evening.
I’m ready for them,” Duterte told reporters when asked when he would reveal the names of his prospects for the remaining vacant Cabinet posts. Kaya nga tayo may vice president, kapag nahulog ‘yang eroplano ko, meron tayong reserba,” Duterte said in a late Saturday briefing here after his two-hour meeting with Senator-elect Manny Pacquiao, and Senators  Alan Peter and Pia Cayetano and siblings, among others. Maniwala kami ikaw ang Presidente pero ang trabaho namin hindi galing sa inyo, galing sa batas and we have to guard you kasi ‘yun ang gusto ng batas. The last bastion of amateurism, which they nurtured and so jealously guarded in the Olympic movement for more than a century, is about to collapse. Some say it was the French aristocrat’s way of keeping the “working class” out of the Games.
Much to the chagrin of the purists in sports, the self-anointed and self-perpetuating guardians of the Olympic spirit opened the Games to all professionals starting in 1992. He is said to have dangled a “wild card” invitation to lure Pacquiao into his Olympic trap. But this wheeler-dealer’s argument against pitting pros against amateurs remains valid: “The idea that Manny Pacquiao would face off against some 17-year-old kid who has no professional experience is not only stupid.
For this reason, if for no other, incoming President Rodrigo Duterte deserves sufficient leeway in choosing the members of his Cabinet. Critics have been too picky with his announced choices, undercutting them even before they have taken their seats. I am referring to Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez, Silvestre Bello II, Perfecto Yasay Jr., Hermogenes Esperon, Vitaliano Aguirre II, Salvador Medialdea, Art Tugade, Alfonso Cusi and Salvador Panelo. Given all these, and the resulting extraordinarily high expectations of our people, his Cabinet members will be intensely scrutinized every moment of their incumbency.
Daily, they will be headlined, columnized, broadcast, texted, Twittered, YouTubed and Facebooked.
They shall not, directly or indirectly, practice any profession or participate in any business.
They must be ready to explain how they acquired their homes, how they can send their children to expensive schools, and how they spend for their vacations abroad. They might as well carry with them copies of these documents or digitize them in their iPads or iPhones for instant reference. Having said all that, I would like to stress—on a more positive note—that it is precisely because of the credibility created by the peculiarities of the victory of the incoming administration, and because of its clarion call for radical change, that the best and the brightest who have been wary of joining public service may find themselves in the perfect scenario for sincere and selfless public service. People were willing to gamble on someone they believed to be the answer to this aspiration, a catalyst of real and meaningful change, even as news about his faults and shortcomings came out. On their shoulders rest the people’s trust that they will help him carry out his mandate to effect the meaningful change they long for.
One of them suddenly started drilling a hole under his seat, and water began to come into the boat.
9, 11b-17), the disciples of Jesus tell Him to dismiss the crowd since they cannot possibly provide the people who have assembled with food and lodging in a deserted place. Many technical steps were aired on how to solve the problem, until a child made a simple suggestion: Deflate the tires! The spirit of giving, not hoarding, must be our guiding principle in all that we say or do as members of the Body of Christ.
If our faith is an upgrade, a power bank, a convenience store, or just a decoration, then we have not really understood and embraced the cross that is central in our faith. Yet, they will probably disagree with one another as to what this mandate instructs him to do. This means that 60 percent of the voters—the majority—did not choose him as their president. Should we take his decisive victory as a mandate to change the form of government, to invite the armed Left to sit in government, to rehabilitate the image of Ferdinand Marcos in our nation’s history, to restore the death penalty, etc.—just to name a few of the topics on which he has pronounced himself while waiting to be sworn in as the country’s next president? Then, how do we explain the triumph of Leni Robredo over the son and namesake of the late dictator in the vice presidential race?  Were the voters communicating an intense rejection of the administration by not choosing its candidate, Mar Roxas? By making extreme statements on a wide range of issues, later revising these or even taking them back as jokes, he has been able to see how far he could go in changing the national policy agenda. With the close of the canvass by both chambers of Congress, it can now be said that the country has hurdled the final stage of the 2016 electoral process and we can all move on from the strife of the campaign to the task of nation-building. Then senatorial aspirant Richard Gordon persisted in pursuing his earlier efforts to have a “paper trail” instituted by filing a petition at the Supreme Court.
Perhaps his championing of the reinstatement of the voter’s receipt in the face of Comelec opposition, along with his record in public service both in the government and out of it (as Red Cross chair), brought him back to the Senate where he is expected to perform as credibly as before.
Instead, said Health Secretary Janette Garin, the HPV vaccine is being offered in government health centers, where parents have to bring their daughters to get their double doses of protection.
Older women, meanwhile, should go for regular screening either through a pap smear or VIA (visual inspection with ascetic acid).
First is the expectation that the higher taxes (and prices) on these “sin” products would result in reduced consumption and, thus, better health outcomes among Filipinos. Part of this drive is going after cigarette smugglers, and manufacturers, distributors and traders of fake cigarettes bearing the labels of legit brands. As climate change exacerbates the effects of storms, flooding, and erosion, the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of those people will be at risk. And, as the Harvard Business Review recently noted, the projected cost rises with each new study. As Rebecca Scheurer, director of the Red Cross Global Disaster Preparedness Center, put it, “We spend millions of dollars on the response side, and were we to invest more of those resources on the front end we’d save more people.
Doing so will require national governments, industry, aid organizations, and other NGOs to make the most of their investments. A 100-meter belt of mangroves, for example, can reduce wave height by up to 66 percent and lower peak water levels during floods. But leaders increasingly recognize their importance, and are beginning to take action, including on the international level.
For example, last year the Seychelles announced a first-of-its-kind “debt for nature” swap with its Paris Club creditors and The Nature Conservancy.
Engineering firms like CH2M are working with coastal communities in the Gulf of Mexico and beyond to find hybrid solutions that combine traditional and nature-based approaches. Over the last decade, insurers have paid out some $300 billion for climate-related damage, often to rebuild the same vulnerable structures. But every dollar spent to protect mangroves and coral reefs saved $20 in future hurricane losses. A Red-Cross-led mangrove restoration project in Vietnam not only reduced damage to dikes and other built infrastructure, but also resulted in higher aquaculture yields and thus more income for the local communities. It is time for governments, business, and NGOs alike to recognize that when it comes to fighting the effects of climate change and protecting coastal communities, preserving and restoring nature may be the smartest investment we can make. It is not my fault that I am an independent and liberal female able to make decisions for myself. The last birthday that I celebrated was my seventh, with a party thrown by my parents at a branch of a popular fast-food chain. I thought having a debut was an overrated prospect, and was just another form of pressure from society that you should spend a lot of money on one night even if you can’t afford it.


In fact, I remember filling out every single slum book about my dreams and aspirations, not knowing that life can never be planned.
I had my 25th birthday on the 22nd of April, and spent it in the government hospital where I work.
I am at a point in my life where I question every decision that I made in the past; the what-ifs, how-comes and whys are like jabs to my gut. Find a core group who knows who you really are and who will not judge you for the amount of money in your wallet.
The anthem of twentysomethings is “moving forward.”  Fifth, find out what motivates you and redefine success. Don’t waste your time stressing on things that you missed to own; rather, be thankful and make the most of the blessings you are receiving. As the writer Junot Diaz says, “The whole culture is telling you to hurry, while the art tells you to take your time. The incoming President Rodrigo Duterte started the process when he announced that he would bring home at the soonest possible time his former instructor and chief NDF peace consultant Jose Maria Sison.
Finally, a bewildered NDF was offered important government positions even before it asked for any post, casting the public imagery of a de-facto coalition government. Forget for a moment the contested Cabinet announcements and ignore the verbal clashes with the Church and other business groups. To bring about a final agreement, an even higher level of confidence and trust is required to break the impasse and speed up the process. It is widely known that Duterte established a peaceful and stable arrangement with insurgents in his own backyard since 1986. This empathy is unmatched by any local or national government official in the country today and it will be an important ingredient in ensuring wider flexibility, an openness to criticism and a willingness to try out new approaches without motives being questioned. Worse, it can jeopardize lives on both sides of the conflict and can cause the country to slide back into a state of revenge and retribution or a more intense civil war than we face at the moment. However, inclusiveness here does not only refer to the grassroots and participatory framework that pervades NGO-speak. The strategic role of economic and political elites is emphasized here not because the poor are unimportant, but rather because only the former possess the resources and political clout to make or break an agreement and undermine the state.
A genuine settlement needs to rally the elites around a political bargain that reduces their uncertainty and fears, and mobilizes their contribution to consolidating the peace and pursuing development in conflict-affected areas. All peace processes run the risk of diluting the power and authority of both sides over their respective constituents.
This could have been resolved easily by reconstituting the Jasig list and embedding a better system for identity verification. Yet, how could we honestly expect a free discussion and a secure and unhampered process when the partner across the table cannot be assured of their physical safety?
Charter change provides an important platform and a marketplace of ideas where delicate and unresolved subjects in the negotiations can be thrown into the wider public debate and consensus-building process.
Both tracks must move in parallel and actors need to move quickly and decisively to prevent spoilers from consolidating an effective and vigorous opposition to any agreement. The ceasefire continues to hold in the case of the MILF and several agreements were smoothly achieved because of the cessation of hostilities. Efforts must be made to frequently communicate the rising costs of violence brought about by constant delays in achieving a settlement.
Media often focus on sensational crimes and violent extremism, suggesting that peace building to address the rebellion in Muslim Mindanao is the only determinant for securing a lasting peace in the South. This is dramatized by the intensifying bloodshed arising from the two-sided campaigns to win the hearts and minds of the lumad in the latter part of 2015 when both the formal and informal talks were ended.
Communication offensives in the mainstream and social media must be undertaken to ensure that expectations are more sensitive and realistic.
For Sir Richard Branson, it was last-minute flight cancellations that caused him to start Virgin Airlines.
Reminiscing about his early days as an entrepreneur, Branson recalls, “I was at school when the Vietnamese War was going on.
In 1985, he set out on the Virgin Atlantic Challenger I to break the record for the fastest crossing of the North Atlantic.
Branson cites the reason Virgin has lasted so long, despite British Airways’ efforts to drive it out of business, was because its quality was on a completely different level. Branson claims the Virgin brand was outselling both Coke and Pepsi in England, yet they were ultimately outmatched by the beverage giants because “[Virgin Cola] was not that much different than their drink.” He equates the experience to “taking on a bleeding competition with a blood bank,” with Virgin Cola disappearing from shelves worldwide.
He asserts, “the best-run companies are run by people who genuinely care for all the people who are working with them.” The Virgin Group abides by this mantra as they go out of their way to put the health, happiness and wellbeing of their employees above all. He encourages all businesses to adopt a problem plaguing the world and to go out and solve that problem. My dad—Ephraim to friends, Superman to me—was diagnosed with Stage IV B-Cell Non-Hodgkins lymphoma two years ago. About 25 people from the capsized boat managed to reach the first boat and survive, 79 others from it were rescued by international patrol boats and 15 bodies were recovered. They must be surveying Rio de Janeiro with horror, scandalized by the prospect of professional boxing champion Manny Pacquiao ripping apart teenage simon-pures en route to the Philippines’ first ever Olympic gold medal. Led by the celebrated Michael Jordan and US basketball’s Dream Team, the pros have since dominated the Olympics and ensured its commercial success. Fortunately for his potential victims and for the Olympic movement as a whole, Pacquiao did not bite. They mirror his advocacies, leadership qualities, vision, election promises and deeply-held beliefs.
Indeed, his very slogan, “change is coming,” is laden with manifold unspoken but forceful promises. Past activities, income tax payments and private ventures will all be dug into, not necessarily to probe their suitability for the job, but at times to be able to horse-trade political and personal favors. They must disclose their assets and liabilities, as well as list their relatives, whether by blood or by affinity, at the beginning of their terms and every year thereafter. Let’s all do our very best, but let us remember that we do it best when we do it together, when we give our due respect to one another as well as to the institutions that have been there before, and which will still be there long after we are gone from this world.
We should not be threatened or be afraid to dialogue, listen, and be in communion with the realities of the world in which we live. To belong to the Body of Christ means to share in His suffering, and not just in His glory. In other countries with a runoff system, an electoral outcome like this triggers a second round, in which voters would be asked to choose the next president from the two front-runners.
If so, how come 7 out of the 12 winners in the senatorial race were from the administration slate?  If the vote for Duterte was truly a vote against oligarchic rule, how do we make sense of the fact that in the last elections, except in a few places, political dynasties easily kept their grip on local power? He has seen the opportunity, and there is no doubt he will seize it to challenge old ways of thinking. Bongbong Marcos is quite slim—just 263,473 votes—so that it’s almost a given that the Marcos camp would pursue all recourses left to it to have the count reviewed, if not reconsidered fully. He argued that the receipt would allow every voter to confirm whether the vote-counting machine had read his or her choices correctly. In fact, once a vaccinated girl becomes a sexually active woman, she should go for screening, too, just to make sure that she has not been infected with the small percentage of viruses not covered by the HPV.
Second, by law, much of the income derived from the “sin taxes” would go to fund health programs, to address not just the diseases arising from alcohol and tobacco consumption, but other programs as well, including the expanded immunization program.
In fact, the latest edition of the World Economic Forum’s World Risk Assessment Report names failure to adapt to the effects of climate change as the single greatest risk, in terms of impact, to societies and economies worldwide.
Yet the international community currently spends on risk mitigation less than one-fifth of what it spends on natural-disaster response.
And some of the most effective and cost-effective solutions are already available in nature. A healthy coral reef can reduce wave force by 97 percent, lessening the impact of storms and preventing erosion. The Paris climate agreement, reached last December and signed last month, not only established a consensus on the importance of addressing climate change, but also explicitly affirmed that ecosystems play a role in capturing greenhouse gases and helping communities adapt to the effects of climate change. The swap will allow the country to redirect $21.6 million of its debt toward investment in a comprehensive approach to ocean conservation that will bolster its resilience to climate change.
It is not surprising, then, that the reinsurer Swiss Re has conducted studies on mitigating the costly risks of hurricanes to coastal communities. Given such findings, it is no longer inconceivable that insurance companies might one day write coverage for wetlands and other natural infrastructure that offers protection for coastal communities and economies. A mangrove and coral restoration project in Grenada—a joint effort of the Red Cross, the Nature Conservancy, and the fishers of Grenada’s Grenville community—has also shown great potential to increase resilience. Such collaborative efforts are vital to the development and implementation of more effective preventive strategies.
I walk because in a city where people have become desensitized to the traffic situation, I choose not to sit in a car wasting precious time. I refuse to live in fear thinking that at any given moment, I may be raped, groped, or verbally harassed by men.
I remember wearing a birthday hat and a nice dress which I stained with spaghetti sauce, and barely smiling because of a missing front tooth and newly healed chicken pox scars on my face. I do not announce my birthdays, not even on social media, but then my colleagues found out anyway and I ended up spending my “accidental birthday” with them. The unhealthy pressure of being successful and figuring things out is just too much for me. Let this major transition terrify you a bit; it just means you care about your life and where it is heading. Ask yourself questions like “If I have a lot of money to burn, will I be genuinely happy?” Look around you and find what really matters to you, like your family, friends, significant other. In contrast, the offers made are so daring and counterintuitive that it successfully conveyed the first real signs of change that all presidential candidates promised in the 2016 campaign. His ability to secure a local political settlement led to an arrangement that helped turn Davao City into a haven for peace, security and development. Aquino enjoyed the same level of trust with the MILF that turned out to be insufficient in securing the Bangsamoro Basic Law. Big business and the private sector must be harnessed to inform the negotiations and underwrite the costs of an agreement, and to eventually provide the sort of jobs to former combatants that will not require them to ever hold guns again.
In these instances, credible commitments mean that each side should be prepared to cover the other’s back. In Colombia, no ceasefire was called but an agreement to suspend narcotics production and decelerate the drug trade, including forced payoffs from businesses while talks were ongoing, was also part of the discussions.
He attributes his foray into the airline business to an inconvenience he experienced flying with another airline.
I thought it was an unjust war and I wanted to start a magazine so that young people could campaign against the war.” This personal and professional motto has also led him to go head-to-head with the big leagues, like the British Airways and Coca-Cola. Citing one of his own experiences, Branson explains, “One of my main reasons for leaving school was to run [my] magazine and I had to get enough advertising to pay the magazine and the printing. They can work at home on Fridays and Mondays if they want… They don’t have to be treated like children and ask permission all the time.” These forward-thinking, employee-centered initiatives are respected, not exploited, by employees and, as a result, everyone, from the customers down to the shareholders, is happy. When we discovered it, after two years of going in and out of the hospital being told all he had was a viral infection, the tumors had already invaded his bones.
The “miracle pill” that Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago talked about during her presidential campaign exists.
Mayweather lost a close fight in the featherweight quarterfinals and settled for a bronze in Atlanta in 1996.
Now that the line separating amateur from professional has been blurred to make way for “open boxing,” the Olympic sport has shed its amateur pretensions. His recent election to the Senate seems to have tempered his lust for an Olympic medal to go with his unmatched eight division titles. In the amateurs, each landed punch carries the same weight, no matter how hard it hits or how much damage it inflicts. This may be one reason a very qualified person, Peter Laurel, declined the education portfolio: His family is deeply involved in education and in business.
You will sink the boat, and we will all drown!” The man replied: “What concern is it of yours? How often have we “dismissed the crowd” because they threatened and disturbed our comfort zones? And as bread is broken, neither should we fear persecution, for it is a part of discipleship to be misunderstood, judged, condemned and, yes, persecuted because of our faith.
I can imagine how affirmed he must feel to see members of Congress lining up to join his party even before he has assumed the presidency. Worship the Constitution!”  I don’t know what prompted him to say that, but I take it to mean he will welcome being told if he’s overstepping his mandate. The receipts, said Gordon, would also allow for the easier audit of the election results by a simple comparison of the electoral returns and the receipts. These and other coastal ecosystems are the first line of defense for many cities worldwide, from Miami to Manila.
Just 30 meters of reef and coral have been shown to increase substantially the population of lobster, conch, octopus and urchins. The World Bank, the Nature Conservancy, and partner researchers (including ecologists, economists, and engineers) have recently published a report offering guidelines for such cooperation. When new acquaintances find out how close my house is to my office, I normally get the “Wow, sosyal!” comment.
Indeed, a surfeit of trust can also lead to tunnel vision and a tayo-tayo mentality that excludes others.
On his way home to the British Virgin Islands after three weeks of being away, Branson’s American Airlines flight from Puerto Rico was cancelled, leaving him stuck in the Caribbean territory for another day.
When Virgin started in the airline business, it didn’t have a lot of money and had only one second-hand Boeing 747, when their main competitor had 300. That’s not so in the pros; it takes just one haymaker to maim, disable and destroy an opponent. The hallowed arena of the Olympics should never be the stage for a massacre of the innocents. And so, I am not surprised that he selected Cabinet officials who, like him, are unconventional and sui generis. Please remember that living life is not a matter of who is right or wrong, who  is richer or poorer, or who is a saint or sinner.
Aquino III won convincingly and, at once, claimed the mandate to clean up government and solve poverty. Specifically, the report recommends calculating the value of coastal ecosystems in terms of protected capital and infrastructure, based on approaches commonly used by the insurance and engineering industries. An intrusive “Hi, miss!” A whispered “Ganda mo, ate.” My daily societal interaction on the road has been a hefty serving of sexual harassment from men—old, young, rugby-sniffing, deranged, jeepney drivers, motorcycle riders, porters, vendors, name them. But at some point, I realize that something has to be done, that I need to stop making excuses and find ways to make things better. Being away from his wife for three weeks, he couldn’t wait a moment more to get home so the then 28-year-old Branson hired a plane and went around the airport selling $29 tickets to all his fellow passengers who were bumped off. Their mission of creating an airline people will love, and the crazy antics that accompanied it, transformed Virgin into a single-plane business to one that could compete with the likes of British Airways. With protective head gear no longer used in amateur boxing (they were deemed to have caused more concussions among boxers), amateurs will be in great danger of serious injuries. I become furious every time it happens, wishing that I can just jump at the man and beat the life out of him. I run and play basketball in my free time; these give me a sense of fulfillment and an immense reserve of endorphins that I can use for the rainy days.
The rule of thumb: For the sake of the common good, we must be ready and willing to sacrifice.



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