Friday, December 28, 2007

Editorial - December 29, 2007 ISSUE

Annual RP Health Missions
For Returning Physicians


FOR over 20 years, surgeon Domingo Alvear eluded the chilly American winter and warmed up in motherland Philippines by joining other doctors for weeks-long medical missions. December to February is the season for these US-originated medical, surgical, or dental missions to the Philippines.
But Alvear’s experience with annual health missions in poor communities in the Philippines is chilling his desires for improved health service delivery. “Since they’re one-shot services, these missions can only do so much,” said Alvear, founding president of the World Surgical Foundation, Inc. The doctors, most of whom are at the tail-end of their medical careers, agreed to transform their usual health missions into sustained community health interventions.
They want: less politics during missions, less stringent regulations governing medical practice and the entry of equipment, and more involvement from Philippine partners.
This wish-list is urgent because “age is getting to me” and other “veterans” in these health missions,” Alvear pointed out. “Take advantage of us when we are still healthy. If not, it’s over,” he told participants of an impromptu summit held at the sidelines of an annual convention of the Philippine College of Surgeons (PCS).

Politics and Tax Ills

SOME politicians like San Isidro, Nueva Ecija mayor Sonia Lorenzo acknowledged the concerns raised by Alvear’s group. Lorenzo admitted some of these health missions have been “politically exploited”, not pointing out her administration.
Former Southern Leyte governor Rosette Lerias cited that some medical mission doctors were forced “to keep their medicines in a hotel because they simply mistrust local politicians”. Lerias didn’t say if that occurred during her time as governor.
Other doctors complained of red tape in processing the entry of medical equipment they’re bringing in. Others experienced the same when processing their licenses for mission doctors to practice their professions during these visits.
Dr. Juan Montero, a 2003 awardee of the American College of Surgeons for volunteering, complained about taxing the recipient of donations. Taxing recipients of donations is a burden since the US government already taxes donors of these medical equipment, Montero said.
Worse, he said, district hospitals receiving these donations “see their budgets deducted to represent donees’ taxes for the donations received”.
Dr. Esperanza Lahoy is more concerned with post-operative care.
She is the PCS’s program (officer) on Surgery for the Underserved Regions for Education. According to her, no one is monitoring the progress of beneficiaries’ intake of medicines.
Pennsylvania, United States-based Alvear said, these are things that dampen the interest of doctors doing more health missions to the Philippines.

Cure Beyond One–Shot Deal

MEDICAL volunteer groups in the United States are weary of confronting these issues surrounding health missions to the Philippines.
One of these groups, the Daly City, California-headquartered Community Care Missions, took matters unto their hands and adopted the Rizal Medical Center in Pasig City in 2004.
The agreement cited the CMC would provide equipment as well as training hospital specialists while Rizal Medical Center would accommodate health missions from various groups.
CMC’s initiative was based on a 2002 study by doctors at the University of the Philippines College of Medicine on the conduct of health missions by local and foreign groups.
The study noted that some doctors, like those from the National Institute of Health, rated the conduct of these “temporary health care services” as highly effective.
However, they didn’t cite how effective these services are in the barangays where the missions were held.
“This may be due to the missions’ ‘inability to address the full spectrum of health care, or the total needs of their clients,’” wrote the study team led by Dr. Juan Pablo Nañagas.
Data from the Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino (LinKaPil) program of the state-run Commission on Filipinos Overseas showed that some P1.43 billion worth of cash and in-kind donations received from donors abroad went to health services.
LinKaPil also facilitated the conduct annually of some 40 to 50 health missions such as cataract extractions and cleft lip operations.
The missions were done in Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, the National Capital Region, Bicol, and in Western, Central and Eastern Visayas. These are areas perceived by mission organizers to be “safe” and “attractive” for its members.
As for other areas of rural Philippines, their near-absence from being served by these missions is “lopsided,” said PCS’s new president Armand Crisostomo.
According to Crisostomo, PCS will convene a working group to operationalize recommendations put forward by participants of the recent surgical mission summit, held December 5.
“We must begin to craft an understanding to upgrade health services delivery in the Philippines,” said Dr. Jose Yamamoto, another surgeon who heads the Gawad Kalusugan Foundation, Inc.
Ofelia Maristela, a pediatrician who’s also with CCM said, “it is painful to introduce reforms in health missions by Filipinos abroad, doing so could be a cure,” however.
“But we need to go beyond one-shot deals,” she said. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente

Merry Christmas To You
On Christmas day, December 25, EF received several text messages from readers, friends and relatives. The messages are so meaningful and touching that I believed are worthwhile sharing with you. Some of it are as follows:
1. Dr. Raphy Tayco
C – hrist gave
H – imself as a
R – eward so that
I – ndividual knows the
S – acrifices
T – hat He did for
M – ankind to
A – chieve the gift of
S – alvation.
Merry Christmas!

2. Boy Romano - Jesus is a Friend Who is so close beside us, anytime we’re feeling lost, His light will surely guide us and anywhere we go, His love will always reach us!

3. Alex Vidal - Safety! Blessings! Love! Peace! Happiness are my prayers for you and your family. Merry Christmas!

4. Benny Laserna - May joy, love and peace be with you and your family this Christmas! Good health and more success for 2008!

5. Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino - Jesus had no servant, yet they call Him Master. No degree, yet they call Him Teacher; no medicine, yet they call Him Healer. He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today. In chemistry, He changed water into wine. In physics, He disproved the law of gravity where He ascended into heaven. In history, He is the beginning and the end. In government, He is a wonderful Counselor, the Prince of Peace. In economics, He disproved the Law of Diminishing Return by feeding 500 people out of two (2) fishes and five (5) loaves of bread. Jesus is the reason for the season! A blessed Christmas to you and your family!

6. Engr. Remelyn Recoter - God always repays caring acts. It may not be with money or material things, but more often He repays with happiness, good health, friendship and love. Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

7. Allen Alcedo - Not all gifts are under the Christmas tree. Most of them are found in the heart! Merry Christmas!

8. Dr. Mona Maga-yanes - Time and things don’t last. What matters in life are the people we care about and the values we dare to live and share. May you have a great holiday season with your love ones.

9. Jun Aguirre - God wants us to live like the grass. Even if stepped on, crushed, burned and cut, it always persists and grows back even greener and stronger. Merry Christmas!

Transco Must Pay Rental Fee

In order to distribute electricity to various electric power consumers, Transco has constructed electric power lines passing over private lands. Transco has dug, put up posts and installed electric wires for electricity to pass through. It has cut productive trees like coconuts, mangoes and other fruit trees where it obstructed its ways. But Transco has neither paid the trees cut to the land owners nor paid rentals in using the land owned by private persons.
However, Transco by way of the monthly Akelco bills is collecting from all Akelco members – consumers electricity transmission cost. This is an injustice, greatly unfair to private land owners which portions of land are being used by Transco. Owners of lands which trees were cut by Transco are still to receive payments for trees and other crops damaged.
This use of private land by Transco is a clear violation of Section 9 of the Bill of Rights of the Philippines Constitution which states. “Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.” With the increasing real estate taxes, Transco must pay rental in the use of the private lands and pay the cost of damages to the trees cut and crops damaged.
May the new Akelco Board gives attention to this matter.

Calizo Hosts Christmas Party

Vice Governor Gabrielle V. Calizo for the third time, hosted a Christmas Party for the entertainment of members of the tri-media in Aklan. The affair was held at Nenette’s Garden, Andagao, Kalibo in the evening of Sunday, December 23.
There were more delicious foods and drinks, games, raffles, prizes and surprises. Indeed the party was well attended which enhanced bonding, camaraderie and understanding.
Vice Governor Calizo also hosted similar affair in years 2003 and 2004 in the same place while a congresswoman of the lone district of Aklan.
Indeed Gabrielle V. Calizo is a generous woman who understands the flight of the members of the tri-media.

Judge Suspends Arraignment of Suspects

Hon. Marietta Homena Valencia, acting presiding judge of Branch 4, Regional Trial Court (RTC), Kalibo, Aklan suspended and rescheduled the arraignment of the two suspects in the murder of Roland Ureta. Judge Valencia rescheduled the arraignment to January 10, 2008 after Jessie Ticar, 43, a suspect of Oyo Torong Street, Kalibo failed to appear in the Sala of Branch 4, RTC, Kalibo.
Ureta was program director of RMN – DYKR, a radio station in Kalibo. He died of multiple gun shots wounds in the evening of January 3, 2001. Ureta has just finished his radio broadcast at 9;00 o’clock in the evening. He rode on his motorcycle and proceeded to Lezo. Upon reaching barangay Bagto, Lezo, Ureta was ambushed by two unidentified motorcycle riding persons. He died on the spot.
After months of investigation by the PNP, two suspects were identified by a lone witness. Jessie Ticar however, denied any participation in the commission of the crime. He, however, voluntarily surrendered to the Kalibo PNP Chief Supt. Arnold Ardiente on December 18, 2007. Ticar was supposed to be presented to the court at 8:30 in the morning, December 20 but he arrived late at past 9:00 o’clock in the morning with his police escort, SPO4 Alfonso Manoba, Jr.
Amador Ras, another suspect was arrested in the morning, November 16, 2007 in front of the Numancia Municipal Hall. He was a Utility worker of that town at the time of his arrest by virtue of an Arrest Warrant issued under Criminal Case No. 8149. Ras is a resident of Badio, Numancia.
The two suspects, Ticar and Ras are now detained in Aklan Rehabilitation Center, Nalook, Kalibo. /MP

To all GSIS Members/Pensioners

The Government Retirees Organization of Libacao (GROL) is documenting all complaints against the GSIS such as the unpaid pensions, unaccredited loans repayments and premium remittances, and other complaints.
These complaints will be prepared and consolidated into one document. Should we gather sufficient complaints/evidences we will submit our document to proper authorities and concerned officials of the government for their immediate action. Our document will be submitted to:

1. GSIS management for action;
2. Congressmen and Senators for investigation in aid of legislation;
3. Administrative complain, and after exhaustion of administrative remedies;
4. File cases in court; and
5. The media entities, media personalities such as columns writers and broadcasters to generate positive responses.

Please call Tel. No. 265–3206 or 268–6238 and ask for Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente who will receive your reports/problems with the GSIS. /MP

Calizo Hosts Christmas Party

Picture shows Vice Gov. Billie V. Calizo with Lynette Relator Mendoza - RGMA-DYRU, and SP member Daisy Sucro Briones. Standing are Arnel Relampago - Kalibo Cable TV and Ralph Maypa - RMN-DYKR.

Vice Governor Billie V. Calizo played hosts to the Christmas party for tri-media members in recognition of their exemplary performance as members of the 4th estate of Aklan. The party was held in the evening of Sunday, December 23, Nenette’s Garden, Andagao, Kalibo, Aklan. Some 40 members of the Aklan tri-media who also attended the affair are not shown. Everybody present enjoyed the food, drinks, prizes and surprises through the generosity of Vice Gov. Calizo.

Picture above shows (SP Secretary Odon Bandiola, Hon. Daisy Sucro Briones, Hon. Selwyn Ibaretta and Vice Gov. Billie V. Calizo doing the twist.

12 Nights of Christmas In Balete

By Ambrosio R. Villorente

Picture above shows Mr. Raul M. Jimera, Balete DepEd District Supervisor delivering his Christmas message during the DepEd night of Pascua Sa Banwa

Picture shows some of the teachers in the Comedy Skit with Mayor Noemi C. Cordero.

The Municipality of Balete for the first time, observed Christmas as “Pascua Sa Banwa”.
According to its Mayor, Hon. Noemi C. Cordero, Pascua Sa Banwa was unique because of four things:
1. One Christmas tree – which symbolized the oneness of Baleten-on people notwithstanding their diverse religious and political affiliation, educational background and community social status;
2. Multi sectoral endeavor where several civil society organizations, private individuals and government agencies joined hands in the 12 nights of Christmas;
3. A new paradigm, a third look into the meaning of Christmas where the carolers were the ones who offered gifts, brought cheers and joys to the less privileged and the marginalized; and
4. La Mesa Sa Plaza – food festival joined by restaurants, LGU motivation to small time entrepreneurs.
The 12 Nights of Christmas started on December 13 and ended on December 24. Participating agencies, organizations and associations were assigned an evening to plan activities, implement the program and manage the affairs of each evening. /MP


Boracay Recycling Center
Helps Rid Garbage
By Venus G. Villanueva

In Boracay Island, a recycling center focusing on converting used styrofoam into other useful items is helping the island get rid of non-biodegradable garbage.
This recycling center melts used styrofoam and converts it into other items for other purposes in the island.
To convert used styrofoam into other items, the center uses a bio-reactor equipment the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) furnished, according to Provincial Officer Jairus Lachica.
The process said Lachica, is simple. Used containers made of styrofoam from fastfood centers, appliance stores and other business sources are melted in used oil. Then through a molder, the melted matter is turned into many items which could be used for many purposes.
Lachica revealed that one of the items fashioned out of the used styrofoam is tile, which a Boracay resort is using as materials for its pathwalks.
The recycling center, Lachica revealed, is being run by the local government of Malay, funded by the Department of Tourism in coordination with the Boracay Foundation Incorporated. The DOST provided the technology.
Besides recycling used styrofoam, Lachica disclosed that the DOST also aids the island by converting other waste matters into organic fertilizer as its waste-management support to the local government of Malay, Aklan and the country’s tourism thrust. /MP

Tapnaon Ro Pagpatuman It Amended EPPA

Ro pagsaka it pagsinueoktan sa koryente hay sandig sa Amended Electric Power Purchase Agreement sa tunga it Akelco ag Mirant/Global Business Power Corporation.
Pero sa pag-amyenda it orihinal nga EPPA hay ginlikom katon nga mga miyembro-konsumedor, ginpasa ag ginpatoman nga owa mag-agi sa naga-kaigo nga proseso it konsultasyon. Bisan ro pagpirma it kasugtanan hay idto ginhimo sa Metro Manila, ag sa pagpasa it resolusyon hay ginhimo daywang adlaw pagkatapos ko pagpirma it kasugtanan.
Klaro nga illegal, immoral ag ma-euib ro mga ginhimo it meyembro it Akelco board of directors. Sandig sa Section 5 (e) it by-laws it Akelco hay pwede nga pasakaan it kaso ro sin-o man nga miyembro it BOD, dahil sa andang aksyon ngara nga paghalit sa interes it kooperatiba ag ana nga mga miyembro–konsumidor.
Dugang pa, ro amended EPPA hay may probisyon nga ro Minimum Energy Off Take (MEOT) hay 4,000,000 kilowatt-hours kada buean. Bu-ot hambaeon, magamit man o indi it Akelco ro nasambit nga kantidad it koryente, pagabayaran rondaya it Akelco sa PhP2.10 nga dugang sa presyo it NPC, rondaya hay PhP8,400,000.00 nga dugang nga ba-eayran it Akelco sa Mirant/GBPC.
Rondaya nga dugang nga pagsinu-eoktan sa koryente hay owa it klaro nga basehan pero aton nga paga-abagahon sa sueod it biente (20) años.
Kapait-pait nga reseta nga pilit gid lang katon nga ginapatueon kapin pa kun atong painu-inuhon nga ro National Power Corporation hay matutum sa pagpasalig nga sarang sanda mag supply ku kinahangean nga koryente it Akelco. Sobra-sobra pa ngani suno kanda, ro ha-um kanda nga supply it elektrisidad.
Tapna-on ro pag-patuman it amended EPPA. Negosasyon it uman ro kasugtanan, ag ro negosasyon hay bukas sa miyembro–konsu-midor. Indi kita magsugot, ibasura ro amended EPPA ag ibalik kita sa NPC. /MP

Comment on the Blog

Barok has left a new comment on your post “Mayor Maming Denies Bandstand Demolition”:

The plan of the Mayor (Maming), if proven to be true is appalling and deplorable. The Town Plaza is a big part of our heritage. It is the centerpiece of Banga, and the main reason it won many awards for being the most “beautiful” in the country. It was not because of the roads, private houses, government buildings, market place or the Manduyog hill.

The overall design of the town plaza is ideal for a small town, and typical of the many beautiful old towns in the country. It is also similar to many old towns in South America that every country wants to preserve. In addition to the aesthetic and historical importance, it also has a sentimental value to many of us who have shared many cherished moments in that place during our youth.

To most of us, it may be the only sacred link to our past, the only place that can bring back good memories of our childhood. It may be the only place that will look familiar to most of us who have been away for a long time. In many parts of the world, there are agencies assigned to preserve or keep the original designs of the historic sites or buildings, if repairs are needed. Our country badly needs such an agency, if there is none in existence.

Mr. Maming should be remembered as the legendary figure that brought progress and significant improvement to Banga, not the infamous mayor who broke the heart and soul of our beloved town./MP

Comment on your “Entrepreneurial Farmer”:

It is good to learn that the good mayor categorically denied he will demolish the bandstand. As you reported he said the following:

1. He will improve it, make it more beautiful.
2. He will even construct a canteen.
3. He said to wait until he finished with the beautification project before those interested to give their criticism.

Let me respond point by point:

1. Improve. Make it more beautiful. These are all relative terms. Who defines the parameters to declare if the improvement is beautiful?
2. Construct a canteen. I hope there is an operations plan to maintain cleanliness in the place, at least the same as now. If we take the track record in cleanliness of eating places of LGUs, I am pessimistic if cleanliness can be maintained within the affordability of the Municipality of Banga.
3. Wait until it is finished. This is where the mayor is being challenged for transparency in governance. If what he has shown as improvements to be made are those seen on the drawings, then except for the roof, there are no changes in the bandstand. Where is the canteen he is talking about in the drawing? If those are not shown, then there are questions of Mayor Maming’s openness and transparency which will contribute to the lingering questions about the bandstand’s demolition/modification/changes.

We expect Mayor Maming to positively respond to these concerns as these are all for the greater good of Banga and also for his rightful and honorable place in the history of our town.

Mayad ayad nga Paskwa ag Malinong nga Bag ong Dag on sa Tanan.

Elmar M. Gomez

OWWA Fetters In Protecting OFWs

“Imbalanced services and weak state capacity are some of the factors fettering the Philippine government’s welfare fund in protecting the country’s economic heroes,” two Filipino analysts pointed out.
“In the Philippines, where one in 12 people is a migrant and where everyone is related to migrant in one way or another, managing institutions like the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) can be inherently difficult,” Dovelyn Rannveig Agunias and Neil G. Ruiz concluded in their paper “Protecting Overseas Workers: Lessons and Cautions from the Philippines”.
Agunias of the Washington, DC-based Migration Policy Institute and Ruiz of The Brookings Institution presented their 32-paged paper on December 18, 2007.
Based on their interviews with “several high-level government officials and migrants’ organizations, as well their analysis of several data on the welfare and protection services available to overseas workers,” Agunias and Ruiz said challenges remain in making a welfare fund like OWWA work.
“A welfare fund must find the right balance of services, create meaningful partnerships, build strong state capacity, and actively involve destination countries,” the authors recommended.
Based on OWWA data, the authors found the Welfare Fund Administration “tilted more toward achieving fund stability” than providing services. The bulk of OWWA spending last year was for repatriation of overseas Filipino workers and payment of insurance and burial benefits which formed nearly 14 percent of the agency’s spending last year or nearly P170 million. Payment of insurance and for burial benefits formed the second-largest bulk of spending at 12 percent or P155 million.
The OWWA’s revenue last year was pegged at P1.3 billion and had a total of 994,191 members.
However, the bulk of spending for repatriation last year benefited just above one percent or 10,834 OFWs of its total membership. On the other hand, spending for insurance and burial benefits went to less than one percent (1,122 OFWs’ claims or 0.11 percent) of the total membership.


AGUNIAS and Ruiz found that OWWA spent only three percent of its fund balance on services two years ago.
“OWWA may be spending less on services now so more is available for future services to future members. It may also mean OWWA is simply under-investing in services,” Agunias and Ruiz stressed.
According to OWWA’s latest audited financial statement, 644,373 individuals were cited by OWWA as having benefited from their revenue spending.
In that report, OWWA should have provided services to a total of 644,373 OFWs or members of their families of whom 2,177 are seafarers who were listed as having availed a training program.
The majority of these beneficiaries or 614,697 local and overseas workers were those that OWWA “assisted” by its 24-hour call center.
The OWWA however, did not cite how much it spent for 11,759 OFWs it “assisted” at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
The OWWA’s Financial Management System (FMS) “does not allow for itemizing the specific services spent on workers’ assistance.” Hence, OWWA’s total spending of P446.5 million (US$8.93 million at P50=US$1) last year went to 29,676 individuals or at P15,044 each on the average.


AGUNIAS and Ruiz described the OWWA as “essentially a single trust fund pooled from the mandatory US$25 membership contributions of foreign employers, land-based and sea-based workers, investment and interest income on these funds, and income from other sources.”
In the last five years, OWWA’s income averaged P1.9 billion (US$38 million) per year. Membership fees comprise the great majority of this income (73 percent) while the rest is from investments and other income, it was reported.
For four years, OWWA spent more than half of its average annual spending of P0.9 billion to salaries of its employees and other administrative costs rather than on programs and projects.
Categorized as a quasi-government entity, it is entirely self-funded. It receives no budget allocation from the national government. “OWWA serves a population of 3.8 million, highly mobile temporary workers scattered in over 190 countries, as well as the families left behind –an enormous task that few governments have even attempted systematically,” Aguinas and Ruiz pointed out.
In an interview with administrator Marianito D. Roque, he said, OWWA targets to reach a P10-billion income in 2007.
“Once OWWA surpassed that level, it will be able to spend more on services,” Roque said. While such goal makes sense, it has “compromised OWWA’s past and present ability to fund welfare services.”


Aguinas and Ruiz elaborated on their findings in a forum at the Coconut Palace in Manila on December 18, the International Day for the protection of the rights and welfare of migrant workers and their families, as designated by the United Nations.
Atty. Ildefonso Bagasao expected Aguinas and Ruiz to help local groups come up with “at least a consensus on action steps “regarding these issues that have tugged at us for quite a long while.”
Agunias and Ruiz proposed that other labor-exporting countries should also cull lessons from the OWWA experience as the matter of protection would rear its head in government halls around the world as “temporary migration continues to grow worldwide.” “Temporary migration presents countries of origin with the dilemma of ensuring the protection of their workers abroad,” Agunias and Ruiz pointed out. They pointed to OWWA as a way to address this dilemma.
“Once its limitations are addressed, OWWA can be a useful template for many developing countries as they face the mounting challenges of protecting workers abroad,” Agunias and Ruiz stressed.
“Welfare funds require effective institutions that allow for transparency as well as a way to represent the views of the dues-paying members themselves. This guarantees that services remain relevant to the needs of beneficiaries. It is a challenge to design a useful way to consult the beneficiaries, given that migrants are typically dispersed to many countries.” /MP

Christmas In Balete*

*Speech of Mayor Noemi C. Cordero delivered during the Lighting Ceremony of the Christmas tree atop the Band Stand at the Town Plaza, Balete, Aklan on December 3, 2007.

Mayad-ayad nga gabi-i katon tanan riya nga nagatipon makaron sa pagwitness (saksi) ku rayang lighting it aton nga Christmas tree.
Why one, singular Christmas tree instead of our traditional Christmas trees around the plaza?
Bukon it lipod katon nga rayang actividad kaibahan ro observance ku 12 Nights of Christmas nga maga-umpisa sa December 13 hay collective naton nga endeavor. With us in these events are the people behind agencies and organizations ranging from government, civil society and private sectors. There are the teachers, tricycle drivers, businessmen, PNP and fire personnel, barangay officials, government employees and private individuals joining hands to make this singular endeavor a meaningful event for every Baleten-on, preferentially the marginalized ones.
This Christmas tree then symbolizes our collective endeavor of sharing the joys and graces of Christmas to our fellow Baleten-on, the indigent families in our midst who we take as Mary, Joseph and the Child Jesus. With this observance, we are presenting a different paradigm: that Christmas is not about asking or expecting for gifts for us; that the season is not about caroling in return for some monies but of imparting to the least the message of love for which our lord was made flesh some 2000 years ago in a manger in an obscure town called Bethlehem.
Its lights will remind us of the challenge made to us by Jesus Himself for us to be the light of the world. “Let your good works shine forth for others to see that they may give Glory to God our Father.”
So be it. And thank you for going out your way tonight. /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ni Tita Linda Belayro

Pagbag-o Ni Juan Tamad

Juan Tamad, kilaea sa pagka matamad. Kon guina duyog imaw, una eon lang man matueog kun siin imaw abutan it kadueoygon. Pagkatapos it kaon, guina aywan nana ro kinan-an sa binit ag bahala mag limpyo ro kuring ag ayam. Parabil mamatay ro anang ina, guin bilin imaw sa anang maninay nga Ada.
Isaeang adlaw, nagbisita ro anang maninay nga Ada kay Juan. Haabutan imaw nga naga eogad sa saeog bangud ko gabii ngaron, natamad eon imaw maghat-hat it banig. Pag-abot it Ada, guin sugo imaw nga maglimpyo ko anang eogban, ka adyon agod idto imaw magkatoeog sa katre. Duro pa kana ro guin sugo. Kada sugo nga indi imaw magtuman, guina pasilawan imaw ko baston it Ada. Nagbangon si Juan. Owa imaw magtug-on tongod natamad ngani imaw. Nagtug-on imaw ag guin hugasan ro anang kinan-an. Dayon guin tumpok nana ro anang guin-uba nga eambong ogaling guin pasilawan eon man imaw, busa dali-dali imaw it pagpaligos ag mag-eaba.
Guinsugo imaw nga magbakae it mga groceria sa tindahan. Guin pa obra imaw it baraka agod ro ginansya imaw ro anang boe-an it anang pagkaon adlaw-adlaw. Guinsunod tanan ni Juan ro sugo ko anang maninay bangud nahadluk imaw nga pasilawan. Ko olihi, naanad eon si Juan ko mga oeobrahon ag hatun-an eon nana kon ma-uno magbaligya sa baraka.
Nagbahoe ro anang baraka. Nakakilaea imaw it mabuot nga babaye. Anang guin pangasawa. Nag-asawa sanda ni Loleng nga mananahi.
Ko olihi, naduea ro pangaean nga Juan Tamad. Ibang Juan eon ro hakita ko mga tawo. Isaeang ka Juan nga mahugod, mabuot ag abo eon it mga kakilaea. Bangud sa guinpakita nga pagbag-o ni Juan, guin obra imaw nga kapitan sa andang barangay. Si Juan Tamad nga hari it katamaran hay nangin Kapitan Juan eon makaron. /MP

Secure Permits: Ardiente Urges Peddlers

Kalibo police chief supt. Arnold Ardiente warned illegal and transient ambulant vendors to secure business permits or face apprehension by law enforcers.
According to Ardiente, ambulant vendors from nearby provinces of Negros Occidental and Iloilo are peddling their wares without the necessary permits from the local government unit of Kalibo, Aklan.
The drive against ambulant vendors without proper permits was renewed following the apprehension of street and sidewalk vendors last week in strategic places around the Kalibo Pastrana Park.
“The peddlers are common sight during the Christmas season and the Ati-Atihan festival where they display their wares, thus, blocking the sidewalks and vehicular traffic in Poblacion Kalibo,” Ardiente added.
He also directed his men to closely monitor ambulant vendors who sell their goods around the capital town of Kalibo during the celebration of the 796th Santo Niño Ati-Atihan Festival on the 3rd week of January next year.
“Ambulant vendors again sprouted in the streets of Kalibo to take advantage of the holiday season and the coming Kalibo festival, but those hard-headed vendors should obey existing laws before they are allowed to continue plying their trade,” Ardiente stressed.
Municipal Ordinance Officer, PO3 Bernardo Aquino is also on guard on ambulant vendors operating illegally without any mayor’s permit and business license, he added. (By Boy Ryan Zabal) /MP


The Publishers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PAPI) mourns the passing away of Adrian Cristobal, an outstanding writer whose brilliant works echo the passion of his nationalist sentiments in contemporary history.
“Witty, erudite and poetic, Adrian epitomized the creeds and deeds of a literary genius yet unrivalled as every writers icon in his advocacy for humanism and decency, “PAPI president Juan P. Dayang said.
“Cristobal is a great loss to the writing profession and whose memories will forever be etched in the minds of those who seek truth, justice and peace,” Dayang added. /MP

AKELCO Heavy Equipment Crew

Shown above is the heavy equipment crew of the Aklan Electric Cooperative changing the transformer along Dr. Gonzales Street, Poblacion, Kalibo by the side of the Kalibo Shopping Center. Notice the two linemen in the electrical post to change the 25 to 50 KV transformer. The heavy equipment crew is composed of six (6) men who are equipped with one bump truck and other engineering equipment capable to dig holes, change electric post and repair electrical lines.
The picture was taken at 10:30 A.M. on Thursday, December 27.


Health Awards For 5 Aklan Towns

Officials of SWA–ILHZ led by Makato Mayor Ramon S. Legaspi, Jr. (3rd from left standing) pose for souvenir picture after receiving their award.

Southwestern Aklan Inter-Local Health Zone walked away with the Outstanding Inter-Local Health Zone award. The award was given on December 17, 2007 at the Iloilo Grand Hotel during the 5th Health Summit and Regional Awarding for Stakeholders and Partners.
Organized on November 11, 2003 or four years ago, the Southwestern Aklan Inter Local Health Zone (SWA-ILHZ) is composed of the municipalities of Lezo, Madalag, Makato, Malinao and Numancia. It is being chaired by Hon. Ramon S. Legaspi, Jr. Mayor of Makato.
The Southwestern Aklan ILHZ is organized to ensure sustainable, effective, efficient and holistic health care delivery system in partnership with Local Government Units (LGU), Government Agencies (GA), Non Government Organizations (NGO) and the community.
In four years, SWA–ILHZ has established the best service delivery package and partnership, expanded health financing program, enforced national health regulations and promoted the mechanism to strengthen local health system delivery.
Not only that. The Municipal Health Board of Makato was also assessed and chosen as the Most Outstanding Health Board in Region VI. The award followed after Makato under the leadership of Mayor Ramon S. Legaspi, Jr., has innovated various strategies that effected full enforcement of ordinances on health related programs, constructions, accreditation and full operationalization of health facilities, expansion of Philhealth benefits coverage which exceeded up to 238 percent, hired health workers, promoted reproductive health program in various levels of society and initiated mass vaccination and neutering of dogs to eradicate rabies.
Moreover, Mayor Ramon S. Legaspi, Jr. was also awarded the Plague of Excellence as chair of the champion SWA–ILHZ.
Other officers of the SWA–ILHZ IB are Mayor Elverita T. Templonuevo of Numancia – Vice Chair; Mr. Josue T. Maravilla – Secretary; Malinao Mayor Dominador T. Ilio, Jr. – Treasurer; Madalag Mayor Rex T. Gubatina – Asst. Sec. Treas. and Lezo Mayor Victor L. Fernandez – Auditor
Dr. Rane L. Tabañar chairs the planning committee of the Technical working group. Other members are Dr. Michael Terencio, Dr. Myrtle M. Pelayo, Dr. Floriphez L. Yerro, Dr. Athena C. Magdamit, Dr. Josephine P. Ricamonte, Dr. Levens T. Maravila, Dr. Grace G. Tumaca, Ms. Filipina B. Mabasa, Ms. Grace B. Ureta and Mr. Lyle C. Ibabao. /MP

Friday, December 21, 2007

Editorial - December 22, 2007 ISSUE

State Insurance, No Security Blanket
For OFWs, More To The GSIS Members

Filipinos abroad, despite increasing risks in host countries and disasters in the Philippines, still feel safer that remittances stay in their pockets rather than put these in health and non-life insurance, a social security specialist bared in his report on social protection.
“Ironically, it is the remittances sent by overseas migrants that serve as social insurance for recipient households, shielding them from environmental risks,” Dr. Eduardo Gonzalez wrote for the 2007 global report of Montevideo, Uruguay-based nonprofit group Social Watch.
Gonzalez, a professor at the University of the Philippines’s Asian Centre, said these “shocks” include lack of access to health insurance, and damages to properties brought by natural disasters like typhoons.
Citing a study of the Filipino-American Dean Yang and Korean Hwa Jung Choi on OFW remittances and the use of these during hard times, Gonzalez wrote that changes in incomes of Filipino migrant workers’ households “lead to changes in remittances in the opposite direction,” and this runs consistent with migrant remitters’ “insurance motivation”.
Roughly 60 percent of declines in income in disaster-stricken areas are replaced by remittance inflows from overseas which serves as insurance in the face of aggregate shocks to local areas.
These shocks make it more difficult to access credit or inter-household assistance networks that normally help households cope with risk, stressed Gonzalez.
The Philippines, being an archipelago, is “already geographically at risk” in providing social security to citizens since typhoons and earthquakes frequent the country.
Tropical storm “Lando,” claimed 14 lives and injured eleven, with damages to infrastructure and agriculture estimated at P148.75 million, the National Disaster Coordinating Council data reveal. Overseas, aside from typhoons, Filipinos also work in high-risk countries such as Iraq and Lebanon. The Philippine government social security program coverage remain “incomplete”, Gonzales said.


GONZALEZ cited three government measures that “indicate some form of insurance coverage for OFWs”. These are the expanded program of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), the Social Security Systems’s voluntary social security coverage, and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). Of the three, the OWWA deals directly with OFWs who pay US$25 to avail of the services.
The OWWA, as of 2006, has 2,982,013 members who has spent some P3.036 billion over an 11-year period (1995 to 2005).
Gonzalez cited a Commission on Audit report that shows OWWA spent over three times more for its personnel and operations every year compared to the social benefits it gives out to overseas Filipinos.
A report by Filipino-Americans Dovelyn Agunias and Niel Ruiz for the Washington-headquartered Migration Policy Institute that OWWA has tilted the balance more towards achieving fund security than providing services to beneficiaries.
Since OWWA has been collecting this amount for over 25 years, its sum should be substantial. “Yet, its welfare assistance has been too little and too selective, leaving most overseas workers virtually unprotected while abroad and when they eventually come back,” according to Gonzalez’s report titled “Political Will is the Key to Social Protection”.
On the other hand, Social Security System (SSS) has a tax-exempt savings and pension plan for OFWs called the OFW Flexi Fund. But even if this Flexi Fund provided retirement, death and disability benefits to availees, only some 16,000 OFWs have availed of the Flexi Fund.
The SSS, the country’s largest social security fund for private workers, claims to have 515,762 OFWs as members.
PhilHealth, meanwhile, has an Overseas Workers Program that provides almost the same medical and hospitalization benefits to OFWs like what the agency provides to local workers.
Out of some 2,419,682 paid health claims, PhilHealth’s 2006 data show that OFWs as a paying sector only account for 0.02 percent or an estimated 48,000 paid claims of the total.
PhilHealth has an estimated 16.26 million members or 68.4 million beneficiaries, including indigents.
According to Gonzalez, “the program for indigents seems to be well-funded, receiving 2.5 percent of the expected government revenues from taxes on alcohol and tobacco for the next five years and 10 percent of the local government share in the expanded value-added tax.”


SOCIAL Watch considers social security “as resulting from policies geared to employment and to reducing inequality. It can be defended as necessary for governance and the very survival of a system that would lack popular support without it.”
It simply means public officials and elected leaders should fiercely lead in addressing poverty and the issues confronting the poor, the most insecure segment of the population.
The group’s compilation of reports, titled “In Dignity and Rights: Making the Universal Right to Social Security a Reality” wrote “social security is one of the internationally recognized human rights, and therefore is not only advisable but also a legal obligation.”
The Philippines is not wanting in social security programs nor did these began just last night. These programs, Gonzalez noted “have existed for decades… are categorized into social insurance, pensions and other forms of long-term savings, social safety nets, welfare and social payments, and labor market interventions.” But these programs’ coverage are “incomplete and delivery is diffused.” Like the Government Service Insurance System, its services are badly delivered to the members and pensioners such as loans and monthly pensions. Financing remains uncertain and is vulnerable to corruption,” Gonzalez added. He noted that the poor subsidizes the rich, especially in terms of health insurance, because of skewed policies. He cited PhilHealth as example.
“The reality for the vast majority of poor people is that social services are unavailable, or are skewed towards the needs of the rich, or are dauntingly expensive – and this drives up social inequality.”
Gonzalez challenges the government to do more work on Social Security Services and advises that political will is the key to reforming social security.
While Filipinos in 193 countries are providing the safety cushion on the country’s economy, they should be given their due, even on the matter of social security, stressed Gonzales.
“The will to reform is key to making social protection work —and to do this, the government must feel the heat,” Gonzalez said. (By Jeremaiah M. Opiniano) /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente

Cong. Pablo Garcia
Blocks Cheaper Medicines Bill

Congressman Pablo Garcia of Cebu has been blocking the passage of House Bill No. 2844 or the Cheaper Medicines Bill. Garcia has been propounding questions he thought of to delay if not block the passage of the said bill. According to Cong. Teodoro Locsin of Paranaque City and one of the sponsors of the bill, Cong. Pablo Garcia one time threatened to question the quorum during the plenary session.
Cong. Pablo Garcia attempt’s to scuttle the passage of the bill appeared that he is the lone medical representative of foreign multinational drug firms detailed in the House of Representatives. For almost one month, Garcia has been strongly blocking the passage of House Bill No. 2844. According to reliable information, Cong. P. Garcia is among the beneficiaries of “lobby fund” of foreign multinational drug manufacturers which wanted to kill the Cheaper Medicines Bill.
Multinational drug manufacturers are said to have raised much lobby fund to block the passage of the bill.
However, finally the House of Representatives has approved the said bill. The House Bill and the Senate versions will now be sent to the Bicameral Conference Committee which is composed of Senators and Congressmen charged to iron out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. After the Bicameral Conference Committee has approved it, the Bill will then be sent to the President of the Philippines for approval.

Paskwa Sa Banwa

The municipality of Balete, Aklan celebrates Christmas 2007 lead by Mayor Noemi C. Cordero, “Paskwa Sa Banwa”, 12 nights of celebration. The center of celebration is the Balete Town Plaza for the period December 13 – 24. However, it started with the lighting of Christmas trees within the bandstand area of the Balete Town plaza at sun-down on December 3 by Mayor Cordero with heads of agencies in the town of Balete. From December 13 – 24, every six o’clock in the evening, gift giving to the less privileged within the bandstand area is being done. Gift giving is accompanied with the singing of Christmas carols being done by groups, department and agencies. Gift giving is followed by food Festival with acoustic music in the basketball court in the town plaza.
On the 9th Night of Christmas, Friday, December 21, gifts were given to 30 deserving families. Before the gift giving, there was a program which started with prayer led by Ms. Julieta C. Eliserio, Pambansang Awit led by Ms. Leila F. Cuatriz. Mr. Raul S. Jimera – DepEd District Supervisor of Balete gave his Christmas message.
Teachers of Morales, Arcangel Sur, Arcangel Norte and Bangbang Elementary Schools rendered Christmas carols. The songs were followed by a Comedy Skit Fulgencio Norte and Feliciano Elementary Schools presented. The skit over, teachers from Aranas, Cortes, Guangko, Benitinan and Oquendo Elementary Schools sang another Christmas carols.
The program was punctuated with the presentation of the Tableau (Nativity) by the Balete Elementary School faculty and students.

Voyage of Mayor Rebaldo

Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo of Kalibo, Aklan has been going around seeing places not only in the Philippines but abroad. The last he visited was Vietnam just last week. Most of the Kalibonhons wish him good voyage and learn some ideas applicable for the continuing development of Kalibo.
Vietnam transportation system is dominated by motorcycles and tricycles. May he has learned its traffic management system and the proper construction and maintenance of roads. Kalibo traffic is so chaotic, not so friendly with disabled persons and senior citizens as sidewalks are occupied by vendors making pedestrians vulnerable to accident. Not only that, one will stumble down walking on the uneven elevations of the sidewalks.
But Mayor Rebaldo does not only visit places. He also invited officials of excellent managerial abilities. Just last November, Mayor Rebaldo was the host of MMDA chairman Bayani Fernando, former Mayor of Marikina City. Mayor Rebaldo could have learned and got ideas how Fernando transformed Marikina into a model city. But conditions in the streets of Poblacion, Kalibo remain the same as to the condition six years ago, if it has not gone worst.
Is it due to the refusal of the leaseholders in the Shopping Center to pay rental fees? Perhaps, the environmental condition in Poblacion, Kalibo will be improved as the leaseholders in the Shopping Center has started paying what is due to the LGU Kalibo. More so that the Barangay Chairman of Poblacion, Kalibo is Ms. Jean Acevedo Rebaldo, the beloved and dear mother of the honorable Mayor.

More Corrupt

Ms. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is more corrupt than the other former presidents: Ferdinand Marcos, Joseph E. Estrada, Corry Aquino and Fidel V. Ramos. This is the finding of Pulse Asia in its latest survey. The findings are consistent as the previous surveys revealed.

Banga Bandstand

Banga town Mayor Tony Maming has strongly denied he will demolish the bandstand in the Banga Town Plaza. He said, “I will improve it, make it more beautiful. I will even construct a canteen for the pleasure of those who will patronize it.” He said, “they must wait until I finish the beautification project before those interested to give their criticism”.
Do you agree with Mayor Maming? My sincere Merry Christmas wishes to you all. /MP

RC Kalibo Goes To Pampango, Libacao

By Ambrosio R. Villorente

Libacao Mayor Charito Navarosa posing with Sec. Vic Santamaria, PN Megs Lunn, Rtn. Leny Alcedo, PP Nonoy Macahilig, Ann Rencee Villorente, Pres. Becky Morier and “Handog Pamasko” recipients.

Picture shows Hon. Winston Sison, Brgy. chairman, Pampango, Libacao welcoming the Rotary Club of Kalibo during the “Handog Pamasko”.

Pres. More, Ann Rencee and PN Megs Lunn distributing gifts to Pampangon recipients.

For the first time, the Rotary Club of Kalibo went to Pampango, Libacao, Aklan to offer its labor of love: “Handog Pamasko.” The trip on Saturday, December 15 was a milestone in the 41 years history of the Rotary Club of Kalibo.
From Poblacion, Libacao, Barangay Pamapango is about six kilometers away, accessible by dirt, winding road cut by the mountain–sides along the river. But it is peace upon reaching the Barangay proper built upon a valley. It has a complete elementary school. There is a chapel. Facing the school is a stage and a multi purpose pavement where ba-rangay affairs are held.
Mayor Charito Navarosa, Vice Mayor Ramon Zapata, other officials of Libacao and jeepload of security officers joined our trip. Barangay chairman of Pampango, Winston Sison with other officials welcomed the Rotary Club officers and members who braved their way to Pampango. This writer with spouse Rencee loaded the 150 plastic bags of groceries in their L-200 Mitsubishi distributed to Pam-pangon households.
Pres. More Morier and spouse Becky, a native of Pampango drove their yellow multicab loaded with “ukay–ukay” and other gifts. Sec. Vic Santamaria brought his Toyota Adventure with PP Nonoy Macahilig, Rtn. Leny Alcedo and Rtn. Efren Abayon. PN Megs Lunn rode with us in the L-200.
Some 300 barangay people and children were there to meet us. The DepEd District Supervisor of Libacao, Mrs. Orbista with her teacher also joined the welcome group. A short program followed. Some 150 plastic bags with groceries and three sacks of “ukay–ukay” were distributed to the beloved Pampangon residents who for the first time were visited by Rotarians.
In exchange, the Rotary Club of Kalibo led by President More Morier and spouse Becky were offered sumptuous lunch of glutinous rice, “inobarang manok, binakoe” and other barangay products. Moreover, the Morier’s group were handed for take home high quality rice, vegetables like gabi, green onions, chicken and other products of the barangay. /MP

Sodusta Wins! AKELCO Board, District V

In an election for the Akelco Board member to represent District V of Kalibo and Numancia, Atty. Immanuel Sodusta got 2,170 votes. He was 651 votes more than his nearest opponent, Mr. Benny Laserna who got 1,519 votes. Atty. Sodusta is a practicing lawyer in Kalibo, Aklan. He was born in Dongon, Nu-mancia, Aklan. He is married to Angeles Sodusta. They have two children.

Results of District V Election
AKELCO, December 15, 2007

1. Atty. Immanuel Nolly Sodusta- - - 2,170 votes
2. Mr. Benny Laserna- - - - - - - - - - 1,519 votes
3. Dr. Emmett Custodio- - - - - - - - 1,177 votes
4. Jose Maria Parco- - - - - - - - - - - - 68 votes

Atty. Nolly Sodusta won. Congratulations!!!

Rizal’s Death Are The Filipinos Awaken Of It?

By Ambrosio R. Villorente

Dr. Jose Rizal with his defense counsel, Lt. Taviel de Andrade inside Cuartel de España bldg. in the morning, December 26, 1896 during a Court Martial hearing.

The Military Court which conducted the trial on Rizal, the accused who was tried by court martial composed of seven (7) members. They were Lt. Col. Jose Tagores Arjona – president, Captain Ricardo Muñoz Arias, Capt. Manuel Reguera, Capt. Santiago Izquierdo Osorio, Capt. Braulio Rodriguez Nuñez, Capt. Manuel Diaz Escribano, and Capt. Fermin Perez Rodriguez. Five (5) of them are shown in the picture above.

On Sunday, at 7:03 AM, December 30, 1896, Jose P. Rizal died at the age of 35 years, five months and 11 days. That was 111 years ago today. But until this day, those problems Rizal fought for are still persisting.
Economic deprivation, extra–judicial killings, corruption, diseases for which Rizal and other heroes fought against and died are still among the Filipinos.
Rizal on his way to Spain was arrested in the boat and held inco-municado in his cabin until it docked in Barcelona, Spain on October 3, 1896. He was imprisoned in Monjuich until October 6 when he was taken aboard M/V Colon and shipped back to Manila. The M/V Colon which was loaded with more Spanish soldiers arrived Manila on November 3. Rizal was accused of conspiracy to overthrow the Spanish government in the Philippines. The Spanish authorities fished for evidences against Rizal. They investigated many Filipino patriots like Dr. Pio Valenzuela, Moises Salvador, Jose Dizon, Domingo Franco and others. They were tortured, their hands screwed.
Rizal was investigated on November 20 before Judge Advocate, Colonel Francisco Olive. It was a grueling five day investigation.
Rizal was informed of the charges against him but he was never permitted to confront those who testified against. Some 15 documentary evidences were presented which were:
1. A letter of Antonio Luna to Mariano Ponce, dated Madrid, October 16, 1888, showing Rizal’s connection with the Filipino reform campaign in Spain.
2. A letter of Rizal to his family, dated Madrid, August 20, 1890, stating that the deportations are good for they will encourage the people to hate tyranny.
3. A letter from Marcelo H. del Pilar to Deodato Arellano, dated Madrid, January 7, 1889; implicating Rizal in the Propaganda campaign in Spain.
4. A poem entitled Kundiman, allegedly written by Rizal in Manila on September 12, 1891.
5. A letter of Carlos Oliver to an unidentified person, dated Barcelona, September 18, 1891, describing Rizal as the man to free the Philippines from Spanish oppression.
6. A Masonic document , dated Manila, February 9, 1982 , honoring Rizal for his patriotic services.
7. A letter signed Dimasalang (Rizal’s pseudonym) to Tenluz (Juan Zulueta’s pseudonym), dated Hongkong, May 24, 1892, stating that he was preparing a safe refuge for Filipinos who may be persecuted by the Spanish authorities.
8. A letter of Dimasalang to an unidentified committee, dated Hongkong, June 1, 1892, soliciting the aid of the committee in the “patriotic work”.
9. An anonymous and undated letter to the Editor of the Hongkong Telegraph, censuring the banishment of Rizal to Dapitan.
10. A letter of Ildefonso Laurel to Rizal, dated Manila, September 3, 1892, saying that the Filipino people look up to him (Rizal) as their savior.
11. A letter of Ildefonso Laurel to Rizal, dated Manila, 17, 1893, informing an unidentified correspondent of the arrest and banishment of Doroteo Cortes and Ambrosio Salvador.
12. A letter of Marcelo H. del Pilar to Don Juan A. tenluz (Juan Zulueta), dated Madrid, June 1, 1893 recommending the establishment of a special organization, independent of Masonry, to help the cause of the Filipino people.
13. Transcript of a speech of Pingkian (Emilio Jacinto), in a reunion of the Katipunan on July 23, 1893, in which the following cry was uttered “Long Live the Philippines! Long Live Liberty! Long Live Doctor Rizal! Unity!”
14. Transcript of a speech of Tik-Tik (Jose Turiano Santiago) in the same Katipunan reunion, where in the Katipuneros shouted: “Long live the eminent Doctor Rizal! Death to the oppressor nation!”
15. A poem by Laong Laan (Rizal), entitled A Talisay, in which the author makes the Dapitan schoolboys sing that they know how to fight for their rights.
The preliminary investigation over, the Judge Advocate General, Don Nicolas dela Peña who recommended to bring the accused to trial, imprison Rizal, attack the family property to the amount of P1 million, and Rizal be defended in Court by an Army officer.
On December 11, the information of charges was formally read to Rizal inside his prison cell. He was accused of being “the principal organizer and the living soul of the Filipino insurrection, the founder of societies, wrote periodicals and books dedicated to fomenting and propagating ideas of rebellion.”
During the trial, which started at 8:00 AM on December 26, Judge Advocate Dominguez explained the case against Rizal. The Prosecuting Atty. Alcocer arose, delivered a speech summarizing the charges against Rizal. He urged the court to give the penalty of death to Rizal, the accused. The Defense Counsel, Capt. Taviel de Andrade took the floor and delivered eloquently his defense for Rizal. He ended his defense with a noble admonition to the members of the military court: “The judges cannot be vindictive; the judges can only be just.” The admonition fell on deaf ears.
The defense counsel through with his defense, Rizal then read his own complementary defense as follows:
1. He could not be guilty of rebellion, for he advised Dr. Pio Valenzuela in Dapitan not to rise in revolution.
2. He did not correspond with the radical, revolutionary elements.
3. The revolutionists used his name without his knowledge. If he were guilty he could have escaped in Singapore.
4. If he had a hand in the revolution, he could have escaped in a Moro vinta and would not have built a home, a hospital, and bought lands in Dapitan.
5. If he were the chief of the revolution, why was he not consulted by the revolutionists?
6. It was true he wrote the by-laws of the Liga Filipina, but this is only a civic association – not a revolutionary society.
7. The Liga Filipina did not live long, for after the first meeting he was banished to Dapitan and it died out.
8. If the Liga was reorganized nine months later, he did not know about it.
9. The Liga did not serve the purpose of the revolutionist, otherwise they would not have supplanted it with the Katipunan.
10. If it were true that there were some bitter comments in Rizal’s letters, it was because they were written in 1890 when his family was being persecuted, being dispossessed of houses, warehouses, lands, and others and his brother, all his brothers-in-law were deported.
11. His life in Dapitan had been exemplary as the politico-military commanders and missionary priests could attest.
12. It was not true that the revolution was inspired by his one speech at the house of Doroteo Ongjunco, as alleged by witnesses whom he would like to confront. His friends knew his opposition to armed rebellion. Why did the Katipunan send an emissary to Dapitan who was unknown to him? Because those who knew him were aware that he would never sanction any violent movement.
The trial over, the military court held short deliberation and unanimously voted for the death penalty to the accused. On that same day, December 26, the court decision was submitted to the Governor General Camilo G. de Polavieja who approved and signed the decision on December 28.
In the morning of December 30, at 6:30 A.M. the trumpet sounded which signaled the death march to the designated place of execution, Bagumbayan. Rizal was dressed elegantly in black suit, black derby hat, beach shoes, white shirt, and black tie. His arms were tied behind from elbow to elbow. He walked behind the four guards. They walked slowly to the sound of drums. The place of execution was a grassy field across Manila Bay. Rizal bade farewell to those who saw him on the march, to all present and to the Filipinos.
A priest blessed Rizal and offered a crucifix to kiss. Rizal bowed his head and kissed it. He then requested the commander of the firing squad, that he be shot facing the firing squad. The request was denied. Rizal then turned his back to the firing squad and faced the sea. Dr. Felipe Ruiz Castillo feel his pulse and was amazed to find it normal. That proved Rizal was happy to die.
“Fire” command was heard. The guns of the firing squad barked. Rizal turned his bullet-riddled body to the right and fell on the ground dead, at 7:03 A.M., the face upward facing the morning sun. /MP

Entrepreneurs: The Lifeblood of Economy, Says Aklan Gov.

“If taxes are the lifeblood of the government, entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of the economy”.
This is Aklan Governor Carlito S. Marquez’ way of praising Aklan’s Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SME) when he gave his message at the opening program of the SME Forum held at the Gov. Corazon L. Cabagnot Tourism and Training Center, Buswang Old, Kalibo.
The activity was spearheaded by the Department of Trade and Industry under Provincial Director Ermelinda Pollentes. It was held in support of Aklan’s micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs).
The activity enabled the MSMEs to exchange ideas, discuss common concerns and be updated on issues or events affecting their respective industry sectors.
“The theme of the National SMED Week ‘Ang Galing Mo Pinoy! Go Negosyo’ was a very appropriate theme as it focused on SMEs which helps pave the way out from poverty to prosperity. SMEs are highly supported by the provincial government. No matter how small our budget is, there is always something for our Aklan SMEs”, Governor Marquez said.
He also told the group that the provincial government has started improving the trade fair venue at the Goding Ramos Park at the Provincial Capitol Grounds, so that in the forthcoming trade fairs and product showcases like the Ati Atihan, the area will be more convenient and spacious for the exhibitors. Marquez also reminded the entrepreneurs to be sincere and transparent in their dealings with their clients, and never violate the rights of others.
“We Filipinos have the capacity of starting small and ending big. There are many people who are models of entrepreneurship, including Aklanons. One I can cite is the departed former mayor of Batan, Mayor Herodutos Ramos, who started his venture as a cottage industry that became a plastics empire. As the economic backbone of the province, let us make Aklan progressive, and then we can say “Ang galing mo Aklanon! Go Negosyo!” Gov. Marquez enthused.
For her part, DTI – Aklan Provincial Director Ermelinda Pollentes reported the uptrend as far as SMEs in Aklan are concerned. She said the number of investments is up and growing; many Aklanons have jobs triggered by the SMEs, and many businesses have sought registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“The flourishing of business in Boracay island is a big advantage for Aklan’s SMEs, so products should always be upgraded, innovated and developed to compete with other SMEs from other provinces which also make Boracay as a market for their products,” advised Pollentes.
“We are also doing our best to make business in Aklan environment-friendly, together with other concerned agencies,” Pollentes assured everyone.
The SME forum was attended by SMED members coming from the different government agencies in Aklan, small and medium entrepreneurs and the local media. /MP

Reason & Concern

CHA – CHA Again?

By Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino

(Continuation of last issue)

Furthermore, a major change in the platform on which the majority party was elected cannot be carried out without a new mandate through election or a “safe” majority in Lower House. Moreover, although the legislative is elected for a definite maximum period varying from country to country, the representative character of administration is maintained throughout, because loss of popularity of those who run the country involves a change even before the term of office of the Lower House is completed. [Quezon Jr., Graphic, V. 30, pp. 10-00, May 18, 1966].
6. The present system is extremely rigid. [Briones “A New Constitution,” 3 The Law Review 375].
7. The presidential system is inevitably connected with the spoils system and the tyranny of political parties, and the conviction that the system entails frequent deadlocks and makes difficult and functioning of government. [Sinco, “A Return to Unicameralism,” 9–10 Phil. L. J. 2409;” The Need for Constitutional Revision,” The Defender, May 13, 1967].
8. There is the difficulty of electing an independent Chief Executive under the present presidential system, e.g. Osmeña vs. Roxas [Salvador Araneta, A program of Constitutional Reforms, p. 5].
9. It has been said that the greatest virtue of the presidential system is its stability. It is true that stability is generally a virtue but it is the result of continuous victory of the party in power that stability may ripen into dictatorship and that dictatorship may lead to revolution. [Kalaw, the Philippine Social Science Review, July, 1934, VI, pp. 214-247].
10. The very fact that the cabinet system tends to change governments more often that the presidential type should, under the circumstances, win us to its favor. Considering the fact that we have been so accustomed to supporting the party in power in our government, I do not think that we will change to the extent of upsetting the government on slight pretexts. Admitting the fact that all representative democracies on large scale must be governed by parties, I believe that in order to offset the evils that come from our characteristics party system, that form of government which facilities can easier change of power should be favored.
11. It has been said that we are accustomed more to the presidential rather than to the cabinet system, the contrary seems the more true. We have been more accustomed to the theory of cabinet responsibility, or personal union of legislative and executive functions, than to the other theory, e.g. Spanish governor-general was in a sense the lawgiver for the Philippines, for while laws at that time came from Spain, he was empowered with the advice of the Consejo de Administraction to make the necessary rules and regulations; the government of the Philippine Republic was a cabinet system; the Philippine Commission (1901-1906) was composed of the majority of members holding both executive and legislative positions.
12. under the presidential system, all departments of the government become partisan in nature from the office of the President down. There are really no non-partisan activities.
Under the cabinet system the titular head, although not a powerful factor in shaping the policies of the government acts as a check to purely partisan activities and is instrumental in preserving the national unity. [II 428-429 Kalaw, supra].


1. The presidential system is the system we know best. We have operated under it for more than 30 years. [Constitutional Revision Project, UP Law Center, First Progress report, p. 140]
2. We are emotional people; that trait is not a good basis for the parliamentary system, and is the surest indication that government under the system would be characterized by frequent cabinet changes, such as that we witness in France. And then, there is that major element of amorpropio which is manifested by a tenacious refusal on the part of government officials to leave their posts even if they have no more right to them; with this under a parliamentary system of government, we will have frequent dissolutions of the parliament of law-making body by prime ministers who cannot graciously accept a vote of lack of confidence. [Tolentino, “The Charter and the Citizen,” 8 FEU Faculty Journal, First Quarter, 1963-1964].
3. We are not ready for the parliamentary type because we have not devised an effective procedure for the conduct of honest and fraud-free elections without the aid of armed forces and the spirit of sportsmanship has not yet become energized in our elections, therefore, it is risky and dangerous to adopt the parliamentary system, with its frequent change of ministries and holding of elections. Such coming in and going out of government would upset our political equilibrium and foster chaos and uncertainty in the conduct of public affairs. [Aquino, “Proposed Amendments to the Constitution of the Philippines,” 5 Ateneo Law Journal 332, 1955-1956 (III 141)] . . .
Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year!

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ni Tita Linda Belayro
Ro Alila Nga Pispis

Nagapakita–kita gid si Ontoy sa anwang nga anang guina sakyan. Ka’t may hakita imaw nga kabahoe nga itlog sa kilid it bukid, anang guin pueot ag isueod sa kamalig sa likod ko andang baeay. Pagkataliwan ko pilang adlaw, may eain eon man nga sangag ro mabatian sa likod it baeay. Guin adtonan ni Ontoy ro sangag. Pag-abot nana, tumambad sa anang prente ro isaeang ka mabahoe nga tutugnon it pispis, bag-o eamang naka guwa sa isaeang ka itlog nga gin eom-eoman it ina. Nangin amigo ag alila ni Ontoy ro pispis. Guinasakyan ni Ontoy ro pispis kon imaw manindahan ag mag-pamasyar. Ogaling, umpisa nga una ro pispis, abu nga mga tawo nga nagakaduea. Abo guid sa tanan ro mga onga nga napiglit it pispis, samtang guina supae it pag sunlog ro pispis.
Abo nga naakig kay Ontoy. Tongod sa pispis, guina hambae nanda nga kampon ni Satanas bangud sa pispis. Guindaea si Ontoy sa plaza agod idto bitayon sa tunga it mga durong tawo. Umabot ro pispis, guin samad ro kulungan nga saesaeon. Nakabuhi si Ontoy. Halin kato, idto sanda mag estar sa bukid.
Tumaliwan ro an-um (6) ka buean, mabahoe eon nga mayad ro pispis. Paeangta eon lang naga pakita sa datag si Ontoy. Nalipatan eon haeos ko mga tawo si Ontoy.
Isaeang adlaw, may mga taga ibang lugar, sakay sa bapor nga dumungka runa sa lugar ni Ontoy. May mga daea nga baril ag pwersahan nga guin pangdaea ro andang mga alila nga hayop, pagkaon ag mga kadaeagahan. Ro mga nagsukoe hay guin pang sunog ro andang pamaeay. Hakita ni Ontoy ro mabahoe ag madamoe nga aso idto sa banwa.
Nageopad ro pispis sakay si Ontoy. Hakita nana kon mauno guin sunog ko mga tawong mananakaw ro andang mga baeay. Mingko may isip-tawo ro pispis ag anang guin pang dagit ratong mga maeain nga mga tawo. Guin bugahan pa it kaeayo ro iba. Ngani nga nagkaeasunog sanda. Guin huyop dayon ko hangin nga may kaibahang tubi ag napundo dayon ro kaeayo. Nag hugyaw ro mga tawo. Andang guin dayaw si Ontoy ag ro pispis.
Halin kato, nangin amigo ko tanan ro pispis ag si Ontoy. Guina taw-an nanda it pagkaon ro pispis. Kon oras it tigbaeaha, guina salbar sanda ko pispis paagi sa pagdaea kanda sa bukid. Nangin maeapit sa mga tawo ro pispis. Guin obrahan nanda it monumento ro pispis sa tunga it plaza bilang padumdum sa mga ulihing tubo kon ano ro mabahoe nga bulig ko pispis sa andang kabuhi. /MP


No. of Young Pinays
Marrying Aged Asians Is Alarming


(Editor’s note: The real identities of women in this story are kept confidential)

A 20-year-old Rita pointed to the words stretched on her tight-fitting mid-rib t-shirt her reason she’s marrying 66-year-old Endo: “Sweet Love,”.
“Love? Who is she kidding?” whispered a woman at the seminar on inter-racial marriages sponsored by a Catholic group where Rita, a former garments factory worker, spoke.
However, some who share similar state of affairs or maybe feel the same way as Rita nodded.
After a break, Rita saunters over to a group of women and admits “love” is the farthest reason for accepting the proposal of Endo, 46 years older than her.
“I don’t really love him. I want to work there (in Japan) and help my family here,” Rita whispered. That revelation brought her words of sympathy, quick hugs, and light squeezing of hands. She is not alone, as Rita and other Filipina brides-to-be admit that marrying foreigners is the easiest ticket for possible overseas work and settlement overseas, as well as income for the families they would leave behind.
Rita adds to the rising number of Filipino women marrying Asian nationals nearly thrice their ages.
The number of Filipino women marrying spouses of various nationalities is rising, admitted Director Minda Valencia of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (OFW). According to the commission’s 18-year data, there are now 309,745 Filipino spouses who have married foreign partners, 92 percent of them are women.
Valencia can’t count her lectures given to women like Rita, as required by her job in government.
Her agency’s data shows more Filipino women are marrying nationals of East Asian countries like Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea. They are much younger and less educated than their foreign spouses. This trend would continue in the next three years, Valencia forecasted.


THERE is “international marriage market,” Valencia, CFO’s Golda Myra Roma and demographer Nimfa Ogena reported in a paper last September.
And this market “appears to further expand (this) decade,” the authors said citing government’s recent years’ figures as basis for that view.
The authors point to record highs in the history of the government agency’s handling of permanent residents: 24,904 spouses registered in 2006 and 21,100 in the year 2005.
The year 2006 also had historic record-high numbers for spouses going to the United States (10,190), Japan (8,601), Canada (988), and the United Kingdom (619). The increase for Japan alone is 2,279 spouses from 2005 figures (6,322).
The rising number of Filipino women going to countries such as Taiwan, Japan, and Korea are “significant” and even reveal an Asian marriage migration rising trend, Valencia, Roma and Ogena wrote in their paper on marriage migration to the countries mentioned.
They also noted the gaps in age, educational attainment, and work status between the Filipino and the Taiwanese, Korean, and Japanese spouses. These gaps were culled despite the CFO data citing that many Filipino women have found foreign spouses of similar characteristics.
Based on the 1995 to 2004 data, the odds are high for Filipino women marrying Japanese and Koreans decades older than they are. Meanwhile, educational similarities among Filipino and Taiwanese, Korea, and Japanese spouses are “declining”.
In Taiwan, the odds of the Taiwanese spouse being less educated than the Filipina (called as “marrying up”) were nearly cut into half of the 4,862 registered Filipino women from 1995 to 2004. But for spouses who went to Japan and Korea, there is a rise of Filipino women who are less educated than the foreign spouses (called “marrying down”).
Most of those going to Japan and Korea are high school graduates and undergraduates, reported Valencia.

BEFORE, they were called mail-order brides due to the relationships and arrangements brokered through the traditional postal system.
Today, Filipino women are meeting their future foreign spouses through mobile phones, the number referred to by a friend of a friend, Internet-based chatting, and the facilitation of a relative overseas.
According to Valencia, everything goes back to motivations: of the Filipina for marrying a foreigner and the latter for marrying Filipino women.
Former entertainer Sharon, 26, asserts it was “love” that moved her to marry the 44-year-old taxi driver Hiroki.
Sharon, a hotel and restaurant management graduate of a central-Philippine college said, she also wanted to earn money her own way: going back to the nightclub in Hiroshima where she and Hiroki met. Sharon married the Japanese at a civil marriage in Quezon City.
Elizabeth, a 21-year-old lady was introduced by her cousin working in Seoul, South Korea to a 37-year-old Korean cab driver. After the introduction, the Korean went to their hometown of Nasugbu, Batangas. On the 11th day of his stay, Elizabeth and the Korean got married. According to her, she married him despite having been told by her husband that she cannot work in Korea and that she’ll have to go along with his family.
“I am amenable to that,” Elizabeth said.
Valencia, Roma, and Ogena deemed the decision of these women were of their own volition who said Filipino women choosing to marry foreigners capitalize on opportunities for overseas migration that they believe “could dramatically change their lives.”
The marriage situations of Filipino women such as Rita’s, the three authors contended, reveal “desperate moves of women who would rather risk settling in a foreign land (which they know little about), than cope with a future life in poverty, solitude or loneliness which come with a social stigma for being labeled as “non-marriageable”.
Even if she only had days-long acquaintanceship with Endo, Rita hoped to beat the odds of living in a foreign country and being a Japanese wife.


ONE odd to beat is language. Rita said she doesn’t know Nihonggo while Endo can’t speak Filipino. Both go by with sign language to emphasize some common English words or phrases to understand each other.
While Endo has been to the Philippines, Rita’s trip to Japan would be her first overseas sortie. She admitted she has yet to find out how things would go between her and Endo.
“I can learn to love Endo,” Rita admitted.
Her first step to that was participating in a discussion-forum by the St. Mary Euphrasia Foundation-Center for Overseas Workers, a project of the Roman Catholic Institution, Religious of the Good Shepherd.
In partnership with the CFO, the foundation requires Rita, Sharon, Elizabeth and other Filipino women marrying or has married foreigners to undertake these seminars that included tips on “surviving” the marriage.
One how-to is getting the marriage registered in the nearest municipal office in Japan. Another is divorce.
Pat Posadas, a counselor, told Rita and the women their husbands can do so just by making the wife sign a document that would be submitted to the nearest municipal office.
As of the year 2005, Japanese government data showed that 3,931 of the 10,242 Filipino women have divorced with their Japanese partners.
It’s another story when the marriage is to Koreans, social worker Jhane Lery Noche said.
“If you married a Korean, you are marrying his entire family. You (Filipina) are the hope of his family,” Noche said.
Noche and Posadas glossed over the differences that can come out from the age differences between these nationalities and their Filipina wives. They admitted they can’t do anything about it.
“It is the decision of the Filipina to marry this foreigner. The migration is marriage-related, but is in the guise of earning a living,” Noche said. /MP


Philippines Debacle in SEAG
By Ambrosio R. Villorente

The Philippines, with 41 gold medals, after 16 days of competition in Southeast Asian Games (SEAGs) placed sixth among the 10 nation participants: This is only 41 percent of the target golds of 100 before the games started in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
This 2007 performance of the Philippines is a complete turn-around of 112 golds won and the overall championship of the last (2005) SEA Games held in the Philippines as host. It is the second worst performance after her fifth place finish in the 1989, 1999 and 2001 games.
As to Thailand, she predicted 156 golds and yet got 183 gold medals. Malaysia projected to win 60 gold medals and got 67. Likewise, Vietnam estimated to win 60 gold medals and captured 64 Indonesia which was the champion in nine (9) of the 15 SEAGs got 56 gold medals and placed fourth overall.
A City State of Singapore with about 4 million people defeated the Philippines in the fifth place overall with 43 gold, 42 silver and 41 bronze medals at the end of the competition. While the Philippines’ total medal haul is 228 medals, only 41 of which are gold. This number of medals is the second biggest, next to Thailand’s 408 total medal but of lesser quality as Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore have more gold.
In simple term, our athletes are of lesser quality compared to our Asian neighbors whose people are working honestly, hardly and devotedly.

MIGUEL MOLINA: Best Male Athlete

The best consolation for the Filipinos in the SEAGs is the selection of Miguel Molina as the best male athlete in the 24th SEAGs. He was awarded 330,000 Thai bath or about P446,000 cash. Molina, 23 is a swimming scholar at the University of California – Berkeley. He is 5 foot – 8 inches tall and weighs 77.22 kilograms Filipino swimmer who won 4 gold and a bronze medals.
Molina’s female counterpart is a Thai who also won 4 gold medals in women’s swimming. /MP

Friday, December 14, 2007

Editorial December 15, 2007 Issue

Pinoy’s Heroic Life
As Modern-day Heroes

By Kristy Anne Topacio–Manalaysay

In Imus, Cavite, a former seafarer Rolando Sarno is riding on a new wave: that of the daily realities of managing a business.
Using a scoop from galvanized iron, Sarno pours rice into a plastic bag, his fingers deftly tying a knot to seal the top and keep the grains from falling.
Another happy customer leaves his wholesale and retail business which he put up after leaving a job tying sheep-shank and other types of knots on a ship in 1989.
“I had some money saved. It grew after five years so I had to choose between staying on a ship or running my own ship,” Sarno, 54 said.
“I decided to stay in the country and started our business.” Sarno is just one of the many overseas Filipino workers-called modern-day heroes because of their remittances. He now lives a life called “ordinary” in Cavite.
Cavite is dashed into the center of commemoration rituals for the national heroes’ day every November 30, but most of its denizens aren’t aware of the international day of migrants in the week before Christmas or on December 19.
The municipal government even has no program “specifically intended for OFWs,” according to the Mayor. But former OFWs like Valentine Veleña doesn’t care.
“I’m not aware of [what] the [local] government [does]; I’m not that concerned [anyway],” Veleña, a seaman for two decades, said. “What I care about the most is myself and my family.”
That, for him, is being “heroic”: performing a daily duty to his loved ones.
Thus, reveals the heritage of Imus in the southern part of Cavite that is traced to its people’s defeat of Spanish colonial army and the unfurling of the Philippine flag. The latter signaled the birth of this Republic whose eight million citizens a century later are in 190 other countries.


Today, Filipinos like Veleña, who comman-dered a ship as captain before retiring seven (7) years ago, provided the bridge to that heritage amidst the boom propelled by money sent by their modern counterparts.
Imus hosts shopping centers, banks, industrial zone, and other icons of commerce side by side the property sector’s rush to sell themed – houses and real estate projects.
“Things are different now, especially with the present situation in the Philippines,” Veleña said. “Before, we could live off even a small amount of money. Now, that’s not possible. Our standard of living is unbelievably higher, but I think OFWs like me have learned to adapt.”
The Veleñas live in a subdivision in Imus, where they had their three-door apartment constructed. They also own a grocery store, which Veleña said is for “something to get us through.”
Like Veleña, Judy Constantino is also captain of a business born out of saving her husband’s income as a seaman since 1976.
“She has been thinking of setting up a business for years now,” Constantino said who agreed that having a business instead of letting her husband continue working abroad.
But with today’s ballooning unemployment rate and stiff market competition, Constantino could not help but think of the risks involved, especially now that they are paying their daughter’s way through college.
“If he continued with his job as a seaman, we would be assured financially, but he would be away for at least eight months a year,” said Constantino. Should her husband decide to venture into business, they could stay together as a family, but with no sense of security that the business will prosper.
“It’s quite risky to venture into business with today’s political and economic situation,” said Constantino.


According to Saquilayan, Imus’s proximity to Manila is the main attraction for the municipality’s business environment.
“A lot of people have chosen to start their businesses in Imus due to the booming population, not to mention that a lot of Imuseños are highly qualified prospective employees,” Saquilayan said.
According to Saqui-layan, the local government is “open to help or assist them, just like what we are doing to other sectors of the society.”
Saquilayan is no stranger to the plight of OFWs. He left the country and his job as government employee in 1985 to work in Saudi Arabia. He returned after serving a two-year contract and worked as the municipal engineer for 10 years.
In the 2001 local elections, he was voted municipal mayor.
Former OFWs Rodolfo del Rosario worked as a mess man aboard international ships and Napoleon Monzon worked in construction projects in Saudi Arabia. The two were voted leaders in their respective barangays.
“Naliitan ako sa sweldo,” Monzon said. “I thought that it would be better for me to stay. Pareho lang naman [It’s just the same],” Monzon said of his decision to return in 1986.
The three consider Imus, once a battlefield for the country’s heroes in the 1896 Philippine Revolution, is now the sanctuary for “modern-day heroes” deeming reintegration, return, or retirement. “They are members of an estimated 93,620 OFW households in the province”, said Roberto de Vera, a researcher of Cavite.
This number constitutes some 9.5 percent of the overall global deployment of 981,677 in 2005, according to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.


Returning OFWs’ option to go into business rather than politics is seen as a natural path, surmised Antonio Valeriano, 68 who manages a small restaurant that has been operating for the last 24 years.
“I guess that business is becoming a path for OFWs, which is like a form of retirement,” said Valeriano who came home in 1982 to put up the restaurant after working as a secretary in Becthel Co. in Jubail out of the money he earned abroad.
Valeriano’s restaurant became famous when it was still situated at the Imus public market, which through the years, has undergone renovations under different municipal mayors.
Near Valeriano’s restaurant is Sarno’s stall. Sarno believes that he made the right decision and thinks that his present “job” is more rewarding than his work abroad in more ways than one. “I earn more and, at the same time, I am with my family,” he stressed.
Both credited their success in reintegration to themselves rather than to the absence or presence of an OFW-focused local government project.
Veleña added: “should the local government create programs for us, then that would be welcome, especially if it concerns medical assistance.”
Nonetheless, Veleña said OFWs should consider the timing whether they want to go into business or enter the highly – charged politics of Imus, Cavite. “Also, save first. That’s the most important thing.”
Indeed, according to them, saving is the most heroic thing they have done in their daily lives as migrant workers. /MP