Budget delayed is budget denied – et tu, Senate?

COMES now Ernesto Pernia, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), sounding alarm bells over the resulting slower growth caused by the Senate-delayed transmittal of the General Appropriations Bill or proposed 2019 national budget to the President for approval.


NEDA DG Pernia (Photo by Manila Bulletin)

According to Pernia further delay will cause dross domestic product (GDP) growth to slow down “as low as 4.2 to 4.9 percent.” This is a far cry from the targets set by government economic managers which see the need for a six to seven percent growth for a positive and sustained overall economic and social impact. Continue reading

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Daikin Philippines marks 10 years of aircon technological advancements for energy efficiency and care for the environment

THE DAIKIN brand has been a force in air-conditioning in the Philippines for 50 years, primarily known for those huge three-ton office and company units.  But in the past decade that changed as it dove in head first in the country with a full-fledged Daikin Philippines and growing its market to the broad consumer segment, especially air-conditioning innovations for households.

In a market where window type aircons have dominated the household segment, Daikin continues to push forward with split-type aircon technology which are energy efficient and deliver cost savings in the long run. As presented in their 10th anniversary celebrations at the Marriot Hotel in Pasay City last February, Daikin Philippines hopes to revolutionize residential air-conditioning with marked improvements and innovations on a concept it had pioneered in the past decade: the aircon with multiple indoor units using only one condenser. This means you can install air-conditioning blower units in three bedrooms all linked to one condensing unit, a big energy savings and efficiency booster that having individual condenser units/ compressors for each room common is current split type and window type aircons.

Dubbed the Super Multi-S for multi-split technology, it likewise incorporates the latest inverter technology for more energy efficiency and operating cost savings.


The Daikin lineup during their 10th anniversary last February 2019 with emphasis for modern residential use such as the Super Munti S (center) and air filters for air quality improvement

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Compelling storytelling won over flashy designs and executions in 2018 National Digital Arts Awards

AMID today’s technological advances, flashy visual executions, and ultramodern graphic design renditions, judges for the National Digital Arts Awards (NDAA) 2018 were one in pointing out that it was compelling and creative story-telling that caught their eyes in choosing the winners in the various professional and student categories.

Among the judges for the 2018 edition of the NDAA were internationally acclaimed graphic and creative directors, designers, film directors and design educators such as Ali Silao, Avel Bacudio, Jobert Montreras, JM Matienzo, Vincent Arvin “Kadiboy” Belarmino, Jaime “Joel” Santos, and Alvin Tan


The awardees and leaders of NDAA 2018 at the PICC ceremonies last February 2019

They pointed out that a common theme in their selections was the effectivity of the stories told in the submissions because these were what captured the audience more than various techniques and executions which often mask substance of the messages. One even pointed out that some submissions has a watermark of the graphic software developer, indicating that the artist could only afford to use a free version of the software which should never be taken against the entry. Continue reading

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2019 National Budget stalled by Ping’s politics?

THE FIRST quarter of 2019 is almost done, yet the year’s national budget is still stalled due to the political bickering from Congress’ Senate side, specifically from Ping Lacson, who seems to have a beef with the leadership of the House of Representatives (HOR), specifically with its leader Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Of course, unlike in the United States where a stalled budget can – and has – actually caused the government to stop functioning, in the Philippines it means that the 2018 budget will be reenacted so 2019 will run as if it were 2018.

However, this remains problematic as key reform activities in the proposed 2019 budget will not be funded and may be stillborn.


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The Inconvenient Truth of Ma. and Maria

There was a time – as late as the 1990s, in fact – when Filipinos with the name Maria had some of their records with the abbreviated name Ma. Most women – and some men – of this predominantly Catholic country were baptized and recorded with the civil registry with Maria as primary or secondary name. While most had it in full in their birth certificates, many have found it in their names abbreviated in their other official documents as Ma. Hence, Maria Corazon became Ma. Corazon and Jose Maria became Jose Ma.



We don’t know how this started or the motives behind the act by those records clerks in government and private institutions – expediency or just plain laziness – but for sure the practice was culturally and officially accepted. In fact, the institutions that computerized personal data early in this nation’s history like the Social Security System (SSS) and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) found it necessary to do so because it fit in the eight-character format of their database fields. In fact, LTO does it until today because of space limitation in the driver’s license card.

The problem started with globalization, and with it the credibility of the Philippine passport. There was a time when our passport issuer – the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) – simply accepted the abbreviated names because the it was still the applicant’s name. The Birth Certificate basically attested to the name even if it was abbreviated. Besides, it was such a chore to fully spell out the names because the information on the passports were handwritten. Poor clerks.

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Don’t write off Bato De la Rosa’s Korean Mafia claim just yet.

MET WITH much skepticism – at least in my Facebook timeline – is today’s news of Police Director General Ronald “Bato” De la Rosa’s press conference yesterday that some Korean mafia is responsible for the slay by policemen of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo last October.

The Philippine National Police has suffered so much negative publicity through the decades that anything they do or say is always suspect, no matter how true or noble. From being used as a tool for suppression during the Martial Law days, to being employed as private security and goons by local warlords and vested interests, the country’s armed services – civilian or military – cops have been eyed by Citizen Juan and Maria with doubt and suspicion.


Ano Bato? The latest angle. Click here to read.

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A Storm Trooper’s Story in Martial Law

BINGE watching on Star Wars fan films at 4 AM, I came across this particular flick. The creators veered away from the usual Jedi Knight struggles with the dark side of The Force to the perspective of a Storm Trooper recruited to ensure the survival of The Republic.


It made me think hard about soldiers. Our Filipino soldiers.

It made me think of our troops mobilized to save the republic 44 years ago, in 1972, when Martial Law was declared.

It made me think of EDSA, the People Power Revolution, and EDSA Dos, and all those coup attempts in between, of how they were tormented, faced with choosing sides, following their immediate officers, thinking of their families.

It made me think about them watching their comrades fall while fighting the very people they’ve sworn to protect.

It made me think about looking at their worn out boots while reading the papers or watching television news about the excesses of their leaders and the political decision makers.

It made me think about our soldiers today, gallant, brave, underpaid, overworked — subjected to the whims of their Commander in Chief.

Just another Star Wars fan made movie on YouTube.

Watch. Enjoy.

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