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By Amando Doronila
Before the Aquino administration could consolidate its control of Congress following the midterm elections, the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) pressed the government to redouble its efforts in ensuring energy security if it wanted to attract more investors.
When I read the Inquirer’s Feb. 28 banner story on the Commission on Audit’s findings regarding the misuse of almost P200 million of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada and Sen. Bong Revilla, the immediate thing that came to my mind was the 2001 impeachment trial of then President Joseph “Erap” Estrada. If one may recall, in that trial, it was revealed that Estrada and his cohorts established the Erap Muslim Youth Foundation as a vehicle where they could stash dirty money collected from jueteng lords and other illegal gambling operators for “laundering.” As we all know, this exposé, together with many others, led to the downfall of Estrada and to his conviction of plunder.
We are members of the Coalition of Anti-Pork Advocates, a group of concerned Filipino citizens for good government. We would like to react to the Feb. 28 news story titled “COA: 3 senators’ pork went to bogus NGO.”
By Albert del Rosario
, Didier Burkhalter
On Jan. 28, the Philippine Congress passed the landmark law on the reparation and recognition of victims of human rights violations during the Marcos regime. President Aquino brought the “Compensation Act” into force by signing it on Feb. 25. Its passage reflects the high importance the Philippine government is devoting to the promotion and [...]
Much to the dismay and consternation of well-meaning and good intentioned sectors of Philippine society, the House of Representatives failed to pass the long-awaited freedom of information (FOI) bill.
The article “FOI: Waiting for the Hail Mary Pass” (Inquirer.net, 1/25/13) by Walden Bello was an informative piece clearly stating the advantages and the role of the freedom of information (FOI) bill in a democracy. I like the way he constructed his thoughts about the FOI, and its relationship to democracy and to our country’s bureaucracy.
By MANUEL F. ALMARIO
One of the biggest drawbacks to our economic development is the way our Congress allocates and distributes the “pork barrel,” now known as the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). Contrary to the general perception, our pork barrel system is unique in the world. It amounts to an “entitlement” to all members of Congress for them to determine individually how the national funds are to be spent in their particular districts or constituencies.
By Walden Bello
It was disappointing, the way the last session of the 15th Congress ended, with the Senate in turmoil over Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s gestures of feudal favoritism with the people’s money and the House of Representatives’ unconscionable failure to pass the Freedom of Information Bill. But its tragicomic last act should not bury the fact that this Congress had a bumper crop of progressive measures strengthening social, political, and human rights.
By Rina Jimenez-David
It might strike many, particularly supporters of the freedom of information bill, as mere “consuelo de bobo” (cold comfort) to say that the fate of this piece of legislation is but par for the course of many other bills making their way to enactment into law.
By Butch Hernandez
With the ratification of the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013—more popularly called the K-to-12 Law—by the Senate and the House of Representatives last week, the cacophony of voices weighing in on the Department of Education’s K-to-12 Program have finally begun to make sense.
Political dynasties and “turncoatism” are relevant issues that Congress should resolve before the presidential election of 2016.
By Peter Wallace
With a scant eight session days to go, Congress has much it can do. Let’s hope it acts, as there’s been too many bills pending for too long.
My interest, of course, is business and the economy because these underpin everything else and, hence, are what I consider the most important for the government, all branches, to focus on to give Filipinos a decent life. Filipinos can only have a decent life if they aren’t poor. They can only be not poor by having an income. Jobs, either in a small personal business or working for someone, are the only way to provide that income. So an 8-day focus on job- and income-creating bills is what Congress should do.