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The yearend celebration will be particularly poignant because of the recent calamities that hit the country. A big number of Filipinos are in mourning and hard put to look to the new year with hope. It is but fitting for those fortunate to be spared tremendous loss, whether personal or material, to respect those who have lost everything. They can start by shunning the ostentation—let alone noise, to speak nothing of risk to life and limb—of expensive firecrackers and fireworks.
By Solita Collas-Monsod
The electricity market has been in the news lately, with the huge spike in the price of electricity for the customers of Meralco (70 percent of Luzon). My knowledge of this market amounting to not much, I decided to bone up on it before adding my voice to the cacophony of opinions, and recommendations.
By Roberto F. de Ocampo
For a basketball-crazed country like the Philippines, the phrase “last three minutes” conjures up the feverish excitement of being able to put the finishing touches to an apparent march to victory or to come from behind to “snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.” Neither of these is easy to accomplish and both require steel nerves, intestinal fortitude, and calm yet decisive resolve. This imagery is analogous to the situation in which the present administration finds itself. Some would venture to say that for this administration, the halfway mark is at hand. I tend to view the situation with somewhat more urgency and thus think in terms of its approaching the last three minutes of the ball game.
In the span of 12 days, four journalists in four provinces were attacked by unidentified gunmen. Three of them died, and one was seriously injured. If this murderous spree does not set alarm bells ringing in the corridors of Malacañang, perhaps there aren’t any alarm bells in place? The spree started a week after [...]
For the second time in as many years, the Quezon City government has swooped down on the Manila Seedling Bank Foundation (MSBF) garden and padlocked it, preventing customers from entering. The timing is very unfortunate because it is during the Christmas season that many customers buy plants and flowers, especially poinsettias. The closure will mean [...]
By Amando Doronila
Panfilo Lacson, the Aquino administration’s overall “manager and coordinator” of the reconstruction of areas devastated by monster Typhoon “Yolanda,” took office on Monday, in the midst of a tumultuous controversy between the national government and local authorities over Manila’s slow-motion relief and rehabilitation assistance to the stricken communities. The discordant note not only threatened [...]
The signing last Sunday of the Annex on Power Sharing, the third of four annexes that will complete the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, is a welcome milestone.
By Peter Wallace
I visited Aklan last week on the invitation of Rep. Ted Haresco to witness the groundbreaking for a new concrete bridge. The new bridge is important not only because it will improve traffic from Kalibo to Caticlan and then on to Boracay but also because it signaled new life after the devastating effects of Supertyphoon “Yolanda/Haiyan.”
By Conrado de Quiros
Frankly, I don’t know why P-Noy didn’t go and join the other heads of state to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela.
Signs of renewed life are everywhere in Tacloban a month after the unprecedented disaster brought on by Supertyphoon “Yolanda.” Stores have reopened, banks are transacting again, the local government has re-mobilized, roads are being cleared of debris, and residents are rebuilding their homes with whatever materials they can salvage from the heap.
By Conrado de Quiros
I had thought of writing about it earlier, but it got waylaid by far more important things. “It” is the minor version of Pacquiao vs. Rios, which is the match between Juan Ponce Enrile and Miriam Defensor-Santiago. What waylaid it was the passing of Nelson Mandela, which put everything on hold, as it should. It’s not just that some things are more important than others, it’s that this was a case of choosing between the sublime and the paralytic. I chose the sublime.
By Neal H. Cruz
Senate President Franklin Drilon was the lone guest at the Kapihan sa Manila at the Diamond Hotel last Monday. Drilon talked about a lot of things: the 2014 budget (the biggest in the entire history of the Philippines) which would be tackled next week by the bicameral conference committee; the Freedom of Information bill which has already passed the committee and is now in the plenary; the parole for former governor Antonio Leviste (Drilon said there are rules in the grant of parole to prisoners, and it should be ascertained if these rules were followed); the proposed tax exemption to Manny Pacquiao (Drilon said he does not think that is the idea of Pacquiao and that he expects a statement from him rejecting the exemption); the rehabilitation of typhoon-devastated areas (Drilon said he thinks Lacson is the right man for the job), among other subjects.