Monday, September 27, 2010


The Tiyanak has been warning all about this -- AND IT HAS COME TO PASS!!!

(Reposted from

Despite the many calls for full disclosure and transparency in their “New Generation Currency Program”, the BSP and the Monetary board are proceeding and rushing the Implementation of the program, with grave consequences with respect to costs and to national sovereignty and secufrity in the printing of the the nation’s money.


Last August 31, 2010 the BSP conducted an official bidding for the printing of the New Generation Currency banknotes.

Put up for bidding was the printing of all six denominations of the new currency,

The printing will be for following notes and corresponding volumes:

20-piso -- 206 million pieces
50-piso -- 116 million pieces
100-piso -- 300 million pieces
200 piso -- 20 million pieces
500-piso -- 30 million pieces
1000-piso -- 30 million pieces

Total 702 million pieces

There were five private printers invited to the bidding
All from Europe:

Oberthur of France
G& D of Germany
Crane and Enschjede –letter of regrets
Orell Fusli of Switzerland
Delarue of United Kingdom
CEBS -- no advice, no show

Oberthur won the bidding for the printing of all six denominations
It posted a a bid of Euro 21, 371, 480 million (US$ 28.14 million). In pesos, this amounts to P1,257 billion

With the winning bid of 21 million Euro, security experts predict that the total cost of the new currency to the country will be Euro100 million or US$140 million or P6.1 billion. This is because The BSP will need 3.5 billion pieces of the new banknotes over a three-year period.

Significantly, Oberthur is the same currency printer that made the hideous mistake of misspelling the name of President Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo in its printing of the Philippine 100-peso banknote. It misspelled her name as “ARROVO.”

Delarue, which offered to originate for free the new generation currency and was commissioned by the BSP to do so, lost out completely in the bidding. It bid only for he printing of the100-piso banknote for EURO 12.672 million.

Delarue has been the subject of controversy and concern because of quality problems in the printing of banknotes. Its stock has fallen in the stock markets, and its CEO has resigned.


Most alarming, not a single banknote of the new cutrrency will be produced by the Security Printing Complex of the BSP, which was built at a cost of billions for the purpose of showing the sovereignty of the Philippines in the printing and minting of its money.

Because of BSP neglect in the upgrading of the SPC printing facilities and technology, the SPC will just be an onlooker while Oberthur makes billions from the printing of the nation’s money.

Who benefits from this appalling situation? Obviously the printers.
And those who have a vested interest in their business.

The country loses twice in this deal. We pay billions for the printing of our money. And we lose face in leaving this sovereign task in the hands of strangers and aliens.


With the new currency banknotes slated for distribution and circulation in December, the Filipino public, the private sector and the banking community still has to see what the new generation notes look like And to be told why it’s so necessary and urgent that the nation should rush a total makeover of its money.

The BSP started this new currency project only in March 2009.

In contrast, the US makeover of its currency and banknotes has been already ten years in the making.

Stephen Colbert speaks at US Congress for Illegal Immigrants

Comedian Stephen Colbert takes the cudgels for illegal immigrants like that blogger at Bayot Siete.

US apologizes for displaying inverted Philippine Flag

Apparently, President Noynoy Aquino and his staff failed to notice that the Philippine Flag was displayed with the red field above the blue field.

Section 10 of the Philippine Heraldic Code or RA 8491 states:

The flag, if flown from a flagpole, shall have its blue field on top in time of peace and the red field on top in time of war; if in a hanging position, the blue field shall be to the right (left of the observer) in time of peace, and the red field to the right (left of the observer) in time of war.

Recognizing the gaffe, the Unites States through its embassy here in Manila has admitted the mistake and apologized.

Statement of Rebecca Thompson, spokesperson of the US Embassy, on the inverted Philippine flag on display during the 2nd ASEAN-US Leader’s Meeting
[September 26, 2010]
This was an honest mistake. The U.S. treasures its close relationship and close partnership with the Philippines which were demonstrated this past week during President Aquino’s trip to the U.S., with the signing of the MCC Compact, the US-ASEAN meeting, and the meeting of our two Presidents that followed it.
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Hongkong official thanks Philippine National Red Cross

Jojo Roble
Manila Standard Today
17 September 2010

Not a lot of people are aware of it, but of all the organizations and agencies involved during the hostage crisis at Rizal Park last month, the Philippine Red Cross stood out one of the most quietly effective. This fact that has not escaped the Hong Kong Red Cross and the media in that city, who praised local volunteers for their good work when every one else was bungling their job or getting in the way.

Last Sept. 2, in fact, in an e-mail to PNRC Chairman Richard Gordon, Betty Lau, acting head for international relief services of the Hong Kong Red Cross expressed her deep gratitude for “the timely and much needed assistance rendered to the needy during the tragic hostage-taking incident in Manila.” In appreciation, Lau said her organization committed to raise $110,00 for the victims of typhoon Ondoy.

A Hong Kong couple that survived the hostage-taking also thanked the Philippine Red Cross for their safe release. In an interview with CNN’s Anna Coren, survivor Li Yik Bun said that it was Red Cross that facilitated his release after the hostage-taker was informed by his wife of his medical condition.

Philippine Red Cross social services staff also conducted the critical stress debriefing on the nine hostage victims released by the hostage-taker that afternoon from the commandeered tourist bus. The PRC also facilitated the transfer of the nine freed hostages from the site to the Manila Pavilion Hotel where they were staying.

And the excellent work of the Red Cross was even noticed by the Hong Kong press, most of whom lambasted the government for the fiasco. An article in the Hong Kong Economic Times praised the PRC for its humanitarian care and assistance to the victims of the hostage-taking.

The crisis played out while Gordon was in Hong Kong, of all places. But the former senator was in constant contact with PRC staff in the park and helped ensure that not everyone made a mess of things that fateful day.

In an interview on CNN the following morning (, Gordon commiserated with the victims and their families. “What is most important is that we express our deepest condolences and prayers to the families and victims, and I think I speak for the entire Filipino nation who don’t want this tragedy to happen.”

Saturday, September 25, 2010

President Noynoy Aquino: Spends Php25,000,000 and brings home $434 Million Millenium Challenge Corp. Grant


Well, this certainly beats that hotdog eating stunt and President Noynoy Aquino's flaccid speech at the United Nations this morning.
The $434 Million grant given to the Philippines, a grant that was reportedly denied to President Gloria Arroyo, is supposed to go to:

Of the total amount, $214.4 million will be used to rehabilitate 222 kilometers of the Samar Road. It will connect 15 towns of one of the country’s poorest provinces and reduce transportation costs for farmers, fishers and small businessmen who bring their goods to the markets.

“(The) investment will increase commerce in and between the provinces of Samar and Eastern Samar, and ultimately increase incomes,” the MCC said in a brief.

Some $120 million will go to the Kabisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Service project for building water systems, clinics and school buildings.

Approximately $54.4 million will be used to computerize the collection of taxes by the Bureau of Internal Revenue. The MCC said the project “addresses the need to raise tax revenues and reduce tax evasion and revenue agent-related corruption.”
I think the Aquino Administration ought to be extremely diligent in reporting how this money will be spent, sayang kung mananakaw lang.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Philippine plastic pollution ought to be tracked too..

I've been writing about plastic pollution and its impact on the Philippines.

Clearly, the solution is to have a retrieval and disposal system for plastic wastes generated by the products of Unilever, Procter and Gamble, San Miguel, Nestle, etcetera...

I'm rather happy this morning to learn about the Plastic Disclosure Project of the Clinton Global Initiative.  The PDP aims to get companies to report on plastic use in their operations and in so doing, perhaps determine their responsibility for plastic pollution.

The thing is, what happens when products in plastic packaging disappear in the US, they end up in countries like the Philippines and the onslaught of plastic pollution continues.

The country ought to have it's own plastic pollution reduction program, preferably one that is funded by the producers and users of these goods.

Project Aims to Publicly Track Corporate Plastic Use
By GreenBiz Staff
Published September 22, 2010
NEW YORK, NY — The Plastic Disclosure Project is taking a page from carbon and water disclosure efforts by asking companies to report on their plastic use and management plans.
The project was launched at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting and is focused on reducing the amount of plastic waste around the world. Modeled after the Carbon Disclosure Project's carbon and water programs, it will survey companies annually on behalf of the world's investment community.
Companies will be asked to report on plastic use in their operations and supply chain, as well as their plastic management plans and governance efforts.
The CGI hopes the project will spur investment firm managers and companies to use the reported information to think about how to reduce plastic use, how to redesign products and where money can be saved when it comes to plastic.
The survey will be organized by Project Kaisei, an ocean clean-up initiative, in collaboration with the Association for Sustainable & Responsible Investment in Asia and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, which will provide research for the project. The first survey is planned for the first half of 2011.
Credit Suisse has already committed to include plastic-related strategies and issues in its analysis of its portfolio companies' environmental and social impacts.
Read more:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lessons from Brian Gorrell remain relevant because they have gone unheeded

"I started my incredible blogging journey under the most dire of circumstances, when my Filipino ex lover Delfin DJ Montano fraudulently obtained my life savings (US70,000) leaving me with nothing and he eventually fled the Philippines for San Fransisco in disgrace. DJ tried to destroy my life even after having me kidnapped (with help from Celine Lopez) from my hotel room in Manila and enforced my interrogation in jail for a highly illegal amount of time. My story is somewhat epic and it's etched in everything immoral and corrupt that surrounded my ex boyfriend DJ Montano and that aspect of the Philippines HIGH Society which allowed him to commit crime after crime and walk away......."

The story of Delfin DJ Montano, Brian Gorrell, and the corruption makes up the very fabric of Philippine High Society has been forgotten and the lessons have been lost... Or has it?

Will legalizing Jueteng stop illegal gambling?

You might as well ask me if legalizing people falling off a building will make their inevitable impact less fatal.

There is a mass of hypocrisy surrounding illegal and legal gambling in the Philippines.

We all know that the Roman Catholic Church, Iglesia Ni Cristo, Islam and all forms of religion in the country consider gambling as a VICE that must be avoided.

And yet, well, a lot of them gamble.

The hypocrisy lies in the fact that some people will consider one form of gambling okay and another form of gambling not okay.

So, we can have a slot machine player thumbing his nose on a poker player, a sabungero calling a cara y cruz player an inveterate gambler, and so on and so forth.

The Catholic Church says that Jueteng and all illegal gambling is bad.  And yet some churches rake in generous donations from Pagcor and turn a blind eye to donations coming from KNOWN JUETENG OPERATORS.

Come on man!

If you want to all forms of gambling to stop, you have to focus on LAW ENFORCEMENT not LEGISLATION.

Remember Dick Gordon's DoT V-12 Program?

About seven years ago, the Department of Tourism introduced the V-12 or Volunteer 12 program under the leadership of then Tourism Secretary Richard Gordon.

The program was founded on the basic idea of turning each of our 8 or 9 million Filipinos abroad into promoters of Philippine Tourism.  What the program basically did was to encourage Filipinos living or working abroad to bring at least one foreign tourist to the Philippines.  Filipinos who brought home a tourist would get discounts on air travel, accommodations in hotels and resorts, entertainment establishments, and various goods.

When I was with the DoT back then, serving as a consultant under the Special Projects Office, there was a lot of excitement around the program.

The discounts weren't anything to crow about, but what really got people excited was that for the first time in the history of Philippine Tourism, Filipinos all over the world were being recognized and rewarded for promoting Philippine Tourism.

We weren't coming at the doorsteps of various countries selling sob stories of how poor we were, we were coming at foreigners with pictures of Boracay, Bohol, Davao, Vigan, Manila, etcetera.  This cut through all the crappy news about terrorism, bird flu, the Oakwood mutiny, etcetera and gave Filipinos everywhere something to be proud of and something great to promote.

What was even better was that people who signed up for the program right at the airport felt like part of some kind CHANGE that would directly affect the fortunes of their home towns and provinces.

Every tourist that they brought home, according to the calculations of the Department of Tourism back then, would spend an average of $1,500 for a two week stay.  That's foreign money injected directly into local businesses, from the foreign tourist's wallet into the palm of the tour operator, restaurants, taxis, jeeps, boats, stores, etcetera.

Tourist money, dollar for dollar, has a greater impact on the Philippine economy than billion dollar investments.

When I visited Hongkong in 2006 to shoot a documentary for a Philippine cable TV show, people who found out that I had worked for the Department of Tourism kept on asking about the V-12 program.  I had to be the messenger bringing bad news and had to tell them that it had been discontinued.

The thing is, if the government were to come up with another V-12 program and enhance it using New Media, I think it would make for an even more successful program.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Milk for Lean (Gatas para kay Lean)

Two nights ago I watched Kara David's story about a malnourished child in Camarines Sur and was quite disturbed with what I saw.

The child in Kara's report was nothing more than a bag of bones, being severely malnourished from a diet that consisted mainly of rice water or am and rice coffee (rice that had been toasted, ground up, and mixed with water).

Apart from being severely emaciated, the child's development was severely retarded.  He/she could neither crawl or even turn on his belly.  There were sores all over his butt, probably because of having to lie down on a hard floor all day.

Guys, I'm writing about this because I want to ask you all to help this kid out.  Get in touch with Kara David ( or visit her project's website, find out how you can help Lean and other children like Lean.

Neal Cruz will BYOB (Bring Your Own Bayong)

Good idea, but why stop at just plastic bags?

As I See It
Ban importation of plastic bags
By Neal Cruz
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 06:10:00 09/22/2010

I AGREE completely with the recommendation of the EcoWaste Coalition to ban the use of non-biogradable plastic bags. I would include in the ban the styrofoam containers and plastic spoons and forks used by fast-food outlets and restaurants. These are very cheap, convenient and practical for many uses, but they do not decompose and clog canals, sewers, esteros, rivers and other waterways, and cause floods. Also, they stay in the landfills for thousands of years so that we would soon run out of space to throw our garbage into.

There is now floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean a garbage patch the size of Texas. This patch is composed of plastic bags, styrofoam containers, rubber tires and other non-biodegradable materials. The patch gets bigger and bigger every year as more and more debris from land are carried by the ocean currents to this giant patch.

If you go from Manila to Corregidor or Bataan by boat, you will pass in Manila Bay a patch of floating plastics. They were either taken there by the currents from the esteros and rivers of Metro Manila or dumped there by garbage contractors hired by local governments to get rid of their waste.

Another environmental group has urged the government to ban the use of plastic bags by supermarkets and of styrofoam containers and plastic cutlery by fast-food outlets. But as long as we import plastic bags and allow petrochemical companies to manufacture them, I do not think we can successfully prohibit their use because they are convenient, practical and cheap. Convenient, too, for homeowners who use them to put kitchen waste in before throwing them away.

The trick is to ban the entry into the country of plastic bags as well as their manufacture here. Let’s promote the use of reusable cloth bags by having art work or beautiful pictures printed on them. In the US, paper shopping bags of department stores have famous paintings printed on them and are collected by homeowners. I am not saying that we should use paper bags because that may mean cutting down more trees to be processed into paper, although bags can be made out of recycled waste paper. Before the era of plastic bags, housewives went to market with reusable rattan baskets or bayong in which to put their market purchases. They have been immortalized in the pastoral paintings of National Artist Fernando Amorsolo, but they have now been made obsolete by the plastic bags.

Also, there are now bags, as good and durable and water resistant as plastic bags but made out of biodegradable materials such as corn stalk. They look like plastic but decompose just like any other organic material. We should use them instead of the petrochemical-based plastic bags.

The plastic bags we now use are a waste product of the petrochemical industry. They are a by-product of refining crude oil into gasoline, other fuels and lubricants. The oil companies have to do something to them so as not to waste them. But they can be used for other things instead of for making plastic bags and styrofoam containers.

Supermarkets and wet markets are the top dispensers of plastic bags and fast-food restaurants are the top users of styrofoam eating utensils. It is a reflex action of clerks and bag boys to put grocery purchases in plastic bags even if the shopper has brought her own cloth shopping bag. Security guards look at shoppers with suspicion if their purchases are not in plastic shopping bags. I have been accosted by supermarket and drugstore guards for carrying my few purchases in my hands instead of in plastic bags. I had to show them the receipts before they allowed me to leave. I think the first we have to convince to refrain from the use of plastic bags are the store owners. And I think environmental groups should talk to the supermarket and fast-food associations instead of just issuing press releases.

Also, they should propagate the use of more durable alternatives to plastic bags, such as attractive reusable paper bags, rattan and bamboo baskets, bayong and cloth bags. The Department of Science and Technology should pioneer the manufacture of biodegradable bags made out of corn and sugarcane stalks, cogon, talahib and rice stalks.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Remember Ondoy: Carlos Celdran to stop using plastic bags

On Facebook, Carlos Celdran swears off using plastic
bags in his store.  We wish others would do the same.

Carlos Celdran announced on Facebook that he will no longer be using plastic bags in his store and this announcement comes just right in time as we all revisit our memories of the Ondoy floods that hit us almost exactly a year ago.

Carlos, in a prior status update, also said that several provinces have banned the use of plastic bags.

Jarius Bondoc, one of Metro Manila's most read columnists, also related that the entire state of California has or will ban plastic bags.

Friends in congress have also informed me of a bill filed by Congressman Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara called "The Plastic Bag Recycling Act of 2010".

The explanatory note of HB 496 reads:

This Act shall be known as “The Plastic Bag Recycling Act of 2010” which seeks to reduce or minimize the use of plastic bags.
Plastic bags are easily carried by wind, escaping from landfills and garbage bins. Plastic carryout bags and film plastic are not biodegradable. These bags break down into smaller toxic bits that contaminate soil and waterways and enter into the food web when animals accidentally ingest those materials, and that these pieces can last for more than 1,000 years.
What’s wrong with plastic bags? Plastic bags are seen as a symbol of wasteful society as they are a form of packaging that is often not essential. As a single use disposable form of packaging, plastic bags are typically used for a short period of time but take hundreds of years to break down in landfill. Plastic bags are extremely visible and unsightly component of litter.
Salient provisions of this bill requires that retailers establish an at-store recycling program and to offer reusable bags (such as canvas or cloth). It is about time that we reduce the use plastic bags and encourage the use of reusable bags for the benefit of our environment.

This is the second house bill that I've been informed about that will, if enacted into law, help prevent the occurrence of another flood as bad as Ondoy.

Few people make the connection between plastic pollution and the Ondoy floods last year or the regular floods that we have in Metro Manila every time it rains.

Yes, the Ondoy Typhoon was powerful and it did dump an unprecedented amount of water on Metro Manila.  Yes, there is an absolute lack of urban planning in Metro Manila and this is the reason why our flood control systems (if it can be called that) is simply inadequate.  Yes to all the other factors that contributed to the Ondoy Floods.

However, one single factor that perhaps aggravated the whole mess that was Ondoy was that most of Metro Manila's drainages and waterways were clogged full of plastic.

The plastic that plugged most storm drains are not just from grocery bags or single use sando bags, but discarded plastic containers (sachets, pouches, etcetera).

The biggest producer of products in plastic packaging are companies like Unilever, Procter and Gamble, Nestle, and San Miguel.

It is estimated that Unilever ALONE produces some 16 square kilometers of plastic packaging and THIS IS ROUGHLY THE SURGACE AREA OF THE PASIG RIVER.

Can you imagine just how much plastic packaging is produced by all of these companies?

In his radio program, Jarius Bondoc said that in Europe, manufacturers of plastic products are MADE RESPONSIBLE for the disposal of the plastic wastes that their products produce.

In other words, the responsibility of these companies to minimize the environment impact of their operations ARE MADE TO EXTEND BEYOND THE GATES OF THEIR MANUFACTURING PLANTS.

This is why Unilever Philippine's crowing about how it cleans its plant's waste water is OF NO SIGNIFICANCE to the real task of CLEANING UP the plastic pollution it GENERATES. 

Are you thinking about money? Watch this video.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ang MORO-MORO ni Presidente Aquino at Reyn Barnido

Sus maria!

After all these months of trying to track down Reyn aka Rain Barnido para harapin niya ang mga estafa cases niya, bigla na lang palang lulutang na parang pigsa sa ABS-CBN, ANC, National Geographic, Animal Planet, at Cartoon Network.

Hindi naman siguro kaila na sangkatutak na entries na ang nagawa namin nila Chronicles of E, Dona Victorina, Brian Gorrel, at Kitty Go tungkol dito sa isang taong nagnga-ngalang Reyn aka Rain Barnido.  Paaano ka ba naman hindi magagalit dito sa taong ito, lahat yata ng tao sa opisina namin dati ay inutangan tapos ang pinambayad eh bayad pala para sa mga talents na kinuha ng opisina.  At maraming MASAHOL NA KABABALAGHAN ANG GINAWA.

Amiel, Eric, and I have been accused by Reyna Elena aka Edwina Jamora of being cyber bullies.  Then again, telling people about the evil things that Rain Barnido did to the people in our office is the farthest extent of what we can do.  Warning people not to lend or give Rain Barnido money is the best we can do.

Well, not really.  Cases of estafa were filed agains Rain Barnido and he hasn't shown up in court to face the accusations.

It's rather funny that after denying that he knows Reyn aka Rain Barnido, kara-karakang ipinangangalandakan ni Reyna Elena aka Reyn Barnido friends pala sila.  He makes it appear that he only knew of Rain Barnido through his Facebook Note, when in reality, MATAGAL NA SILANG MAGKAIBIGAN.  (Mr. Jamora, huwag mong pauutangin si Rain aka Reyn hah!)

Si Reyna Elena aka Edwin Jamora ay umaasang magkaka-trabaho sa administrasyon ni Pangulong Aquino.  Isang malapit na kaibigan na ka-chat ni Jamora ang nagsabi na umaasang si Jamora magkaruon ng posisyon sa burukrasya ni Noynoy.  Ipinagmayabang pa na kesyo naging consultant ng FBI at isa siyang forensic accountant.

Ewan ko na lang kung kaninong idea ito, pero OBVIOUS na OBVIOUS na MORO-MORO ni Reyn Barnido at Presidente Aquino.


Ganito yan kasi mga ineng at totoy... Matagal nang gimmick sa PR ang Moro-Moro.  Pang-generate lang ito ng publicity para sa mga kliyente at nagsimula ito sa larangan ng showbiz.  Hindi ko masabi na bading ang nagpauso nitong style na ito pero, well, usually card carrying member ng third sex ang mga showbiz reporter.

Simple lang ang script ng MORO-MORO: Una, mayroong magsasabi ng hinanakit. Tapos, may sasagot.  And then, magkakabati ang dalawa.

Sa unang liham ni Reyn, sinabi niya na sinuportahan niya si Presidente Aquino at sumama ang loob niya dahil sa mga kapalpakan niya.  Mga parekoy, kungdi niyo alam at malamang hindi niyo nga alam, WALANG BIRTH CERTIFICATE SI REYN BARNIDO at HINDI BUMOTO NUONG 2007, HINDI ITO REGISTERED VOTER.  Kaya hindi niya masabi sa liham niya na I VOTED FOR YOU.

Sinagot ito ni Presidente Noynoy na puspusang nagsumamo kay Reyn, "Please huwag mong bawiin ang iyong suporta sa akin... Huhuhuhu!"  At sinagot naman ito ni Reyn, "Hindi kita iiwan, labs na labs kita."


Talaga nga naman O-o... Ano ba yan?  Pangit na nga ang performance mo Pnoy, NANLOLOKO KA PA!


Pag-IBIG: GA was not given P6.6 Billion, no special treatment

No special privileges given to developer - Pag-IBIG
(The Philippine Star) Updated September 14, 2010

MANILA, Philippines - Officials of the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) or Pag-IBIG Fund told the Senate banking and finance committee yesterday that Globe Asiatique or its owner, Delfin Lee, did not get any special privilege from the agency.

Tessie Gonzales, officer-in-charge of Pag-IBIG Fund, and Sergio Andal Jr., deputy chief executive officer of HDMF Regional Clusters, led other officials of the housing lending agency to debunk claims that Lee or his Globe Asiatique are favored clients. Pag-IBIG Fund’s head Jaime Fabiana is on leave.

Gonzales told Sen. Serge Osmeña, who asked what “sweeteners” were granted to Globe Asiatique’s Xevera projects in Mabalacat and Bacolor, Pampanga, that Pag-IBIG Fund did not loosen guidelines and did not give any letter of credit or loan guarantee to Lee’s company, unlike others.

She said Globe Asiatique was given only an assurance that Pag-IBIG Fund has money to the tune of P5 billion for members wishing to buy units, but this is “nothing special” as it is also given to other developers and is subject to its regular terms, like the loan application of qualified member is approved only upon completion of the desired housing unit.

Gonzales said the only difference in that funding assurance is that Globe Asiatique volunteered to give a five-year buy-back guarantee, instead of the usual two years, to protect the money of Pag-IBIG Fund in a risk sharing scheme.

“It is not a concession,” Osmeña admitted. “It is a heavier load on the developer (Globe Asiatique).”

She also stressed that Globe Asiatique is only one of the 166 developers which were allowed to use the Window I or the express lane of Pag-IBIG Fund in which housing loans are granted in seven days.

Andal reiterated Pag-IBIG Fund’s August 2010 report that Globe Asiatique has almost perfect paymentscore of 99.98 per cent. Despite this, however, Pag-IBIG Fund has not released any more money to Globe Asiatique since more than two months ago, he said.

The Pag-IBIG officials said there is pre- and post-inspection of housing units to be bought and the evaluation to determine the qualified borrowers and the approval of their housing loan has always been with Pag-IBIG even if Globe Asiatique was deputized to give interested Pag-IBIG members a loan counseling, which is a short seminar on the responsibilities of the borrowers.

Andal, on question of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, said that Globe Asiatique started the Xevera projects in 2008 but the reported problem of spurious borrowers of about 1,400 among 10,000 started to crop up only late last April and this is being investigated now.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

President Noynoy Aquino responds to Facebook Note written by man charged with 9 counts of estafa

Oh well, I am sure the Ampatuans, Mayor Antonio Sanchez, and other jailed politicians have their own opinions to share with President Noynoy Aquino.  I hope the President's communication team also considers their opinion too.

Reyn Barnido aka Rain Barnido wrote "Mr. President, Something In You Has To Die" and I wondered if this former officemate of mine was actually threatening to kill President Noynoy Aquino.

Much to my relief, this FORMER OFFICEMATE OF MINE was referring to a figurative and partial death.

But, there was actually a time when he did NOT SO FIGURATIVELY threaten an accountant in our office with physical harm.  It was during those days last year when it became apparent that he had been taking money from clients and using it to pay debts he owed to people in the company.

Money meant for the payment of a model's talent fee was taken from a client and given as payment to settle his personal obligation.  Money meant for the payment of a DJ's talent fee was similarly teased from the check book of another client and given as payment for another personal obligation.

Each time that he was successful at NOT getting caught, he became even bolder.

There were instances where he actually filched a receipt from the office of a cosmetic surgeon and faked it to make it appear that a breast augmentation procedure for a friend had been paid.  And, in fact, it was paid -- with a bouncing check from a lawyer known for extortion.

There were even accounts where he and others had schemed to milk a famous name in cosmetic surgery of some P50 Million, in exchange for stopping the negative publicity and dropping a suit filed against the woman.

There are other tales about Barnido, this one comes from Eric who was also an officemate of Rain Barnido:
Everytime Rain will appear in a place his press release is always "I lost my bag and wallet with all my money and ID" and with that he would say "pautang naman, my sister ako padadalhan ako ng pera bayaran kita agad".
I have talked to some of his friends and I noticed his pattern. He kept saying that her "sister" will send her momey to pay and all but nobody even saw or knows her sisters name.
I also heared from a group of nuns or convent-flock of penguins (i dunno what you call them) where Rain lived and worked before that when they met Rain, he has nothing! Absolutely nothing! No ID, No money-like he just appeared on their doorstep! In fairness to Rain, he worked his ass off for the nuns but eventually he started charging the nuns for everything that he does and not even taking to consideration that the nuns provide him free meals and a roof under his head.
Moving forward, we found out that Rain forged the signature of a mother superior for a contract. when the Nun heard about it she was shocked and mad! All of a sudden, the Nuns has a whooping debt in an advertising agency. 
We also found out that the nuns made payments to the company where Rain worked for but Rain did not remit their payment to accounting. As a matter of fact, he kept telling the accounting manager that the nuns were out of town and that they haven't paid yet. When nuns demanded for a recipt Rain kept stalling
Rain also worked for an NGO, same story: he lost his wallet so no ID, no permanent address. Then he handles an event, collects the money and then poof! Vanishes without a trace.  
After all the trouble he caused (the company he and I used to work for lost hundreds of thousands of pesos), several cases of estafa were filed against him.

ABS-CBN and ANC recently ran a report about Rain after President Noynoy Aquino (or was it Manolo Quezon III) sent out a response to his letter.

A friend brought up the issue of Rain Barnido's shady past with the producers of the shows that carried the report.

"Could you please pass on the message to the person who wrote the entry, Pretty unfair I think, but we're all entitled to our opinions."
called my attention to an entry on your blog where you crticized Anc's anchor for discussing the letter of Reyn Barnido on the show. I can understand your disappointment, especially since it was "Dona Victorina" who filed several cases of estafa against Barnido. However, I disagree with what appears to be your view that Barnido has no right to write the President just because he is facing estafa charges. Even people convicted of bigger crimes have rights. I see nothing wrong with the President's response, no the fact that we discussed this on the show, especially since we focused on facebook as a means to communicate with the President and Vice Versa.
Oh well, I am sure the Ampatuans, Mayor Antonio Sanchez, and other jailed politicians have their own opinions to share with President Noynoy Aquino.  I hope the President's communication team also considers their opinion too. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Caring for the environment is just one of those corporate buzzwords that eventually reveal the hypocrisy and schizophrenia of its corporate communications.

Well known beauty product maker, Unliever, makes a big deal about its beauty products but denies that the plastic wrappers and containers its products come in UGLIFY the environment.

Procter and Gamble, Nestle, and other companies market sachet products intensively, even sponsoring some running events to "SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT" while the discarded sachets of the products they make end up blocking storm drains and water ways -- even littering beautiful natural scenery all over the country.

Anyway, here are some basic concepts about PLASTIC POLLUTION.

This comes from Plastic Pollution Coalition:
Plastic is forever
Plastic is a material that the Earth cannot digest. Every bit of plastic that has ever been created still exists, except the small amount that has been incinerated, and has become toxic air and particulate pollution.

Plastic is poisoning our food chain
In the environment, plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller particles that attract toxic chemicals. These particles are ingested by wildlife on land and in the ocean, and contaminate our food chain.

Plastic affects human health
Harmful chemicals leached by plastics are already present in the bloodstream and tissues of almost every one of us, including newborns.

Single Use plastics and Disposable plastics are the main source of plastic pollution
Consumption of single use and disposable plastics has spiraled out of control. They are used for seconds, hours, or days, but their remains will last hundreds of years.

Recycling is not a sustainable solution
Unlike glass and metal, recycling plastic is costly and does not stem the production of virgin plastic product. Most of our plastic waste is landfilled, downcycled or exported to other countries.

The oceanic gyres
Patches of plastic pollution cover millions of square miles of ocean in the North Pacific and in the North Atlantic. Scientists expect to find similar accumulation areas in the remaining oceanic gyres. There is no known way to clean up the plastic pollution in the oceans: the plastic particles are very small and circulate throughout the entire water column. The amount of plastic pollution in the oceans is expanding at a catastrophic rate.

It is “plastic pollution”, not “marine debris”
We believe that the term “marine debris” (used consistently by the plastics industry) is euphemistic, vague, and ineffective. We are here to talk about plastic pollution in the oceans, plastic pollution on land, and plastic pollution in our bodies. Let’s call it what it is.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Former VP De Castro: Globe Asiatique in the clear, NO PHONY BORROWERS

And so, now it becomes apparent that Philippine Daily Inquirer TWISTED facts. What a SHAME!

Noli virtually clears Globe Asiatique in housing loan scam
(The Philippine Star) 
Updated September 07, 2010, 12:00 AM Comments (2)

MANILA, Philippines - Former Vice President Noli de Castro, who was former Housing and UrbanDevelopment Coordinating Council (HUDCC) chairman, has practically cleared Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Corp. and blamed the Pampanga office of Pag-IBIG Fund for the alleged bogus loan borrowers.

De Castro, who was also former chairman of Pag-IBIG Fund (Home Development Mutual Fund), in a radio interview with dzRH’s, clarified there were no phony borrowers, but applicants who have not completed all the requirements but were qualified to get housing loans in Pampanga.

He said he ordered an investigation into this in Pag-IBIG Pampanga last March, noting that these applicants with incomplete papers might have availed themselves of loans for housing units in Pampanga not just of Globe Asiatique but also of other realty developers.

De Castro said the inquiry got nowhere because of the elections but he tried to keep in touch with officials of Pag-IBIG Fund about the problem even after the new administration took over.

He said that the problem might have arisen because of the directive of then President Arroyo to avoid red tape, resulting in the reduction and the loosening of requirements to avoid graft and corruption and fasttrack solution to the housing backlog.

De Castro volunteered to testify in the proposed House inquiry and to meet with Vice President Jojo Binay, the incumbent HUDCC chairman, so he can explain how one becomes a Pag-IBIG member, how one gets qualified to get housing loan, and how this problem could have arisen.

He noted that Globe Asiatique, just like any private national shelter partner, merely processes housing applications based on certification issued by Pag-IBIG Fund. In the case of Globe Asiatique, it has already built all the housing units using its own funds before they were sold to Pag-IBIG members.

De Castro said there were instances when some loan borrowers fail to pay their loan amortization but Pag-IBIG tried to understand their financial plight and made arrangements with the developers so that they were eventually settled.

He stressed that all housing developers issue a two-year buy-back guarantee, with Globe Asiatique even giving a five-year guarantee, making sure that the money of Pag-IBIG members and of the government is safe and protected.

De Castro said Pag-IBIG Fund has allowed the so-called non-formally employed, like the self-employed market vendors and the overseas workers, even during the time of President Ferdinand Marcos, but this was made into a law recently and is availed of, not just by Globe Asiatique, but also by other developers.

He decried the sensationalized media reports, which he said, will only destroy good working relations of Pag-IBIG Fund with housing developers, including Globe Asiatique, and this will cause a setback in the government’s effort to provide affordable housing.

Monday, September 06, 2010

@noynoyaquino Reghis Romero's P4.46 Billion Smokey Mountain housing project could end up killing its poor beneficiaries

Inasmuch as Vice President Jejomar Binay has sworn to rid the government shelter sector of corruption, perhaps it should train its guns on Reghis Romero and the controversial Smokey Mountain Project which involves P 4.46 billion.

The money was apparently wasted on low cost housing units that were built so far way below standard that it is now crumbling and POSES SERIOUS THREATS on the lives of the poor people living in them.

Here's reference to it from a previous column of Ducky Paredes:
A letter to the editor was sent to me: “By now, most people already know that the ‘midnight deal’ had been paved by De Castro when he asked President Arroyo last May 25 to release P4.46 billion to be used in paying the claims of Reghis Romero in relation to the controversial Smokey Mountain Project.
“But what Mr. Paredes shone a light on was the apparently long-standing complaint of the ‘beneficiaries’ of the Smokey Mountain housing project undertaken by Romero with the National Housing Authority (NHA) and the Housing Guaranty Corp. led by De Castro as housing czar.
“Citing complaints by the Alyansa ng Mamamayan sa Smokey Mountain and the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap or KADAMAY, the housing units turned out to be of substandard quality so much so that many are already crumbling, even threatening the lives of those who lease them.
Likewise, the leaseholders had pointed out that at least seven more housing buildings had been left unfinished by Romero’s R-II Builders, a clear case of breach of contract.
“It’s a wonder how the National Housing Authority and the Home Guaranty Corp. under De Castro had anything to do with a project that is not only overpriced but is also substandard. I mean, didn’t the DPWH even check on the units before they were turned over to the poor former settlers at Smokey Mountain?
“The government officials behind this project, past and present but especially the current ones, should be jailed for this travesty and clear case of corruption bedeviling a government project.
“De Castro should be ashamed of himself.”– Fiona Marie Vallejo Filinvest East, Marcos Highway, Antipolo City
More recently, a Quezon city judge has thrown out Reghis Romero's petition to muzzle two newspapers by keeping them from accepting advertisements appealing to President Aquino to investigate the Smoke mountain project.
QUEZON City Judge Evangeline Castillo-Marigomen threw out a temporary restraining order (TRO) petition filed against two broadsheets by real estate developer Reghis Romero and his company R-II Builders.
The TRO would have stopped the publication of advocacy advertisements asking President Aquino to investigate the Smokey Mountain project and the aborted payment of billions of pesos to R-II.
The judge ruled that what Romero wanted goes against the policy of government to make public projects more transparent and open to the scrutiny of the people.
After all, it is taxpayers’ money that R-II wanted as payment -- P3.17 billion for a project for which it once admitted accomplishing only P211 million worth of actual work done.
Also, the court noted that granting the TRO would amount to the imposition of prior restraint on media. Censorship, said Judge Marigomen, has no place in a democracy. Her decision stated: "The TRO sought by R-II has no place in a democracy like the Philippines because it sought to stop media from fulfilling its mandate to present all sides of a story."
R-II should not take media to task for just doing its job of providing balanced views on a particular issue because the ideal is for all parties to an issue to be given a fair chance to be heard.
It should be pointed out that the same papers had been running countless ads that can be reasonably assumed to be coming from R-II or from its allies. The ads have been defending if not praising to high heavens the Smokey Mountain project.
Now, how can R-II ask P30 million in damages from the same papers who just balanced the many pro-R-II and pro-Smokey Mountain project ads with but a few contrary ads?
Since when did it become wrong for taxpayers to ask government to ensure against the overpricing of public projects? Isn’t that the very essence of fighting corruption, a self-imposed crusade of President Aquino?
At the end of the day, R-II must justify every centavo of the billions of pesos it is seeking from taxpayers, while accounting for the rentals and profit share of the government from Manila Harbour Center, which it has not been remitting remit for the last 10 years.
These are very valid issues, which members of media have the duty to dissect and bring before the people.
The "Dear Noynoy" ads asked for a full-blown investigation on, among other things, why R-II was to be paid P3.17 billion for a project for which it admitted in court having actual accomplishments amounting only to P211 million.
The P3.17 billion was part of the P4.4 billion whose release under a "compromise agreement" involving R-II and the Home Guaranty Corp. (HGC) was endorsed to Malacañang by former Vice President and housing czar Noli de Castro before he stepped down from office.
The "compromise agreement" would have been signed before President Aquino took his office last June 30 had it not been exposed in media as overly lopsided in R-II’s favor.
The ad also questioned R-II’s control of the 79-hectare Manila Harbour Center, as well as its non-remittance for 10 years now of government’s share from the rentals and profits generated by the government-owned land.
The Kapisanan Kontra Korapsyon (KKK), which paid for the ads, says of the judge’s decision:
"This is a victory for the people in our fight against corruption and the imposition of prior restraint and censorship on news media." In her order dated August 13, Judge Evangeline Castillo Marigomen said the court could not grant the TRO because it would transgress a "policy of government with respect to the transparency of government contracts as well as prior restraint."
"This is a press freedom issue, as what are really harassment charges filed against journalists, media outfits and crusading citizens should be promptly thrown out by our courts," KKK said.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

VP and HUDCC Chairman Jejormar Binay to go after corruption in Pag-IBIG Fund

Gantihan blues

My, my, my.... How times have definitely changed!  The wheel of fortune has definitely turned on its axle and now the accused has become the accuser.

There was a time when Vice President Jejomar Binay's political future seemed severely threatened by the administration of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.  Now that the wheels of fortune has turned, Binay may as well be in a position to see if Gloria can take what she had dished out to him.
As ever, politics in the Philippines are in flux. The beleaguered and scandal-hit administration of President Arroyo (which has also faced a coup attempt this year) has been accused of seeking to remove unsympathetic mayors in the run-up to the May 2007 congressional and municipal elections. In addition to banning all 'unauthorised' demonstrations under a presidential decree, in October 2006 the Department of Interior and Local Government issued a suspension from office for Binay and several senior officials following an accusation of false accounting at city hall, a charge resisted by Binay, who secured a 60-day appeal against the order in the courts.
Binay and his family, as well as hundreds of supporters, holed themselves up in his city hall office in anticipation of forced removal and possible arrest and even the country's military were warned to remain impartial in the dispute (Binay is also a marines colonel in the reservist forces). Following the court's revocation of the government's order, thousands of supporters took to the streets of Manila to demonstrate their approval of the mayor, who is also backed by former presidents Aquino and Estrada, though the Arroyo administration remain determined that Binay will be suspended from office as part of its efforts to eradicate local corruption.
In October 2006, Binay was suspended from office following claims of 'ghost employees' on the city payroll by the former vice mayor. It was claimed this action was part of a government-sponsored drive to root out corruption ahead of next year's local elections but critics claimed it was designed to distract attention from the government's own scandals around vote-rigging and to neuter opposition-held mayoralties. The suspension was temporarily lifted less than one week later by the courts but remains active and sought by the government.
Now, he is facing tax evasion charges filed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue. Binay allegedly failed to remit the taxes withheld from Makati City Hall employees' income. The amount involved is pegged at One Billion Pesos. Binay has yet to explain what happened to this amount.
Of date, the Bureau Of Internal Revenue has issued a Writ of Garnishment freezing Makati City assets and those belonging personally to Binay.
Binay is also one of the co-respondents, among whom was his own wife, in corruption charges pending before the Office of the Ombudsman due to the supposed "Rockwell Bridge Scandal" 
Beyond these stories, there still is a lot of barbershop talk about how Binay is one of the biggest land owners in Makati and how that came to be is the subject of other stories which has Binay asking developers in the Premier City for units in exchange for the speedy approval of construction permits and licenses.

Well, now that the shoe is on the other foot, one wonders what wonders will happen.

The HLURB is the agency that gives out permits to developers.  The NHA basically tends to the housing needs of informal settlers or squatters.  The HGC, NHMFC, and Pag-IBIG Fund basically finance and insure low cost housing projects. 

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Prospects for automating the Philippine elections in 2013 and 2016

Given the turnout of the Philippine's first automated elections in 2010, some would assume that the national and local elections in 2013 and possibly 2016 will likewise be automated.

Suppliers of the automated election system used in the Philippines seem to have a lock on again supplying the country with an automated election system.  

Even as it eyes bigger projects around Asia, Smartmatic may be busy trying to lock the government in to buying the automated counting machines the Philippines used and thereby be somewhat guaranteed of becoming the provider for the automated elections in 2013, since the PCOS and CCS will not work with any other system.

Despite having somewhat helped President Aquino achieve what is touted a mostly clean win, there are senators and congressmen who are still looking at some crucial project implementation issues that cropped up on the eve of the Philippine May 2010 elections.

One was an error in programming the Compact Flash Cards which, during a test run, produced error laden results -- being programmed to read forms with coordinates in double space, rather than single space.  

Another issue that cropped up was that the machine's time date stamp, apparently, could be reprogrammed or reset on election day.  This somewhat wrought havoc on the documentation it was supposed to generate, making the time and date stamp on the reports it printed subject of much doubt and raised the bogey of possible automated cheating -- since the printed records it generated, being erroneous, could not be used for any legal contest that could ensue in an electoral protest.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

New Blogger Blogspot feature: Stats Tab

What can I say? I've fallen in love with Blogger all over again.

Not only does it now have Pages... Not only does it have an alternative to Google Adsense monetization... Not only does it have a Design tab which allows you to customize the look of your blog at will... Not only these things but it now has... a STATS Tab!

Hurray for Blogger!

Don't blame Aquino

Blame yourself.

I wanted to write a longer reaction to Billy Esposo's article on the Philippine Star yesterday but something better got in the way and that was an hour long massage at the Holiday Spa on D. Tuazon, Quezon City.  (If ever you do get your muscles tied up in a knot from the news, you should try their Hilot Massage which lasts for an hour and a half.)

Honestly, I had decided yesterday that I had written enough posts on FB, Twitter, and blogger about the Quirino Grandstand hostage taking.  I mean, what else can be said about it that hasn't been said already?

Apparently, knowing how easily inundated the average Filipino mind is, it seems all media is focused on an endless blame game so comprehensive and convoluted that it appears blame will eventually be pinned on the Hongkong tourists who were held hostage on August 23.

I think that the game here is to accelerate the news cycle and get people so fed up with news about the August 23 Hostage rescue blunder that they'd shoot themselves in the head if it ever came up in another conversation.

Anyway, Mr. Esposo should be pleased with himself for actually getting a rise out of a number of people. I actually put off writing about his column because I was so pissed off.   Re-reading his article again, I came across this paragraph:
So how come Philippine media sensationalized all the negative aspects of the Hong Kong issues without as much as citing the facts governing these? What kind of journalism is that? It was as if our media was on the payroll of Hong Kong masters — buying and disseminating every line Hong Kong throws at us and our government. This goes beyond the issue of corruption in media and simply borders on treason.
Mr. Esposo's line actually cleaves to the line of another Aquino Apologist during the campaign season and that is, anyone who openly criticizes Aquino must be a paid hack.

Except this time, Esposo improves on this by saying that pointing to the President's lack of discernible leadership during this crisis is now tantamount to betraying your country.

Putting it in more simpler terms, Esposo is telling the media (of which he is part of) to shut the fuck up about whatever went wrong on August 23 -- just a few meters from where his master Noynoy Aquino took his oath of office as the 15th President of the Philippines.

The fact is, Mr. Esposo, I've been to Hongkong several times and each time I've come away with pretty good memories of that place.  

Hongkong is what Makati and even Taguig dreams of becoming.  It is a beautiful city where tourists can do dozens of things without any fear of being molested, robbed, or heaven forbid, held hostage because there is almost always a policeman nearby.  If ever something goes awry, it happens despite all conceivable measures to keep such things from happening and I wish the same can be said of the Philippines.

The point is, they KNOW how to treat their tourists and how to make absolutely sure that their tourists are, at the very least, safe.  I'd say, if you used a more mature mind to consider things, you would have to agree that we Filipinos have dozens of things to learn from Hongkong and its tourism industry -- so when they give us a tongue lashing about the cold blooded killing of 8 of their citizens, we ought to listen.

One lesson Aquino ought to learn, Mr. Esposo, is that a "stitch in time saves nine" and after mucking about in indecision during the crucial hours of the crisis, Aquino lost the opportunity to save the situation before it concluded in the killing of the hostages.  So, after the death of the Hongkong tourists, there is really nothing more that Aquino can do except to apologize and bend over backwards -- no matter what Aquino does to assuage Hongkong right now, it will scarcely be enough to repair the damage that has already been done by his indecision and inaction.  

Esposo writes:
The fact is the Hong Kong officials have been exceeding their limits on what they can say and do under diplomatic protocol. The fact is that the Hong Kong Journalist Association erred when they cited P-Noy for allegedly blaming media for the tragedy because P-Noy did no such thing — but merely mentioned that media (specifically broadcast media) added to the problems. The fact is the national government had nothing to do with draping the Philippine flag over the casket of Captain Rolando Mendoza.
And I suppose Esposo would know better about the limits that journalists ought to abide by? Right? Anyway, by his journalistic standards, the limits are delineated by how it positively or negatively Hongkong Journalists write about his idol Noynoy Aquino.

Anyway, "mentioning" or "blaming" the media for their role in the fatal conclusion of the Quirino Grandstand hostage taking is all semantics -- probably the lowest form of argumentation.

Esposo goes on: 
Did a Chinese official apologize to the Madrigal family, the Philippine government or the Filipino people for their failure to protect Filipino tourists in one of the most visited sites in their capital? Was there even an official expression of regret from the Chinese government for that failure to protect visitors in what is expected to be a well secured area? Where then do they get the gall and the temerity to disrespect us and our president due to a similar incident?
Granting that this sort of argument could even be used, where does that lead us?

Perhaps, Hongkong can say, well how many foreign tourists have been to Hongkong and left unscathed? How many foreigners have visited the Philippines and gotten robbed, held hostage, or killed?

The FACT is, MR. ESPOSO, from this point onwards until the end of his term, the WHOLE WORLD will be counting the number of tourists that get robbed, kidnapped, raped, or killed in the Philippines UNDER THE AQUINO ADMINISTRATION.

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