Thursday, July 10, 2008

Diwalwal National Treasure Instead of VAT

Most, if not all of the people involved or interested in Mining, know that the management and development of the 8,100 hectares Diwalwal Mining Reservation in Compostela Valley was assigned by the government to the Philippine Mining Development Corporation (formerly Natural Resources Mining Development Corporation), a 100% government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC).

After five (5) years of PMDC's corporate existence, what has it accomplished so far?

PMDC (NRDC) concentrated its efforts during the first three (3) years in core drilling and other spade work (dewatering, repairing roads and tunnel, etc.) to find out for certain what's down there – and establish in certain terms the values of the mineral deposits – particularly its gold ores therein. After all, the biggest risk in mining is whether or not there are enough valuable minerals down under – and determine that the prospect is commercially viable. More than 91% of its capital seed money have been spent for this purpose, amounting to about PhP200 million.

EUREKA! Now it has been established that in the 779 hectares alone – there are more than enough minerals to start a commercially viable mining operations. And more than that, the 8,100 hectares could yield revenues for the government enough to pay its external debts/obligations, with some substantial money to spare to contribute to the national economy. A truly (not only figuratively) NATIONAL TREASURE!

Only about PhP500 million is needed to start the ball rolling – including the cost of the processin gmill (as estimated by the Planning Managers).

Even as this is being written, DBP has already approved a PhP450 million loan for this purpose. But to assure full operation and development of the entire (8,100) area, more local investors and financiers and needed.

In sum, Diwalwal project is now ready for FULL DEVELOPMENT. PMDC should not lose sight of its original Mission and Vision: TO MAXIMISE ITS EARNINGS FOR THE GOVERNMENT – and thus accelerate our country's ECONOMIC PROGRESS.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Privatization of Government Performing Assets

Proclamation No. 50, the original privatization law, states the rationale behind the program:

"Article I. Section 1. Statement of Policy - It shall be the policy of the state to promote privatization through an orderly, coordinated and efficient programs for the prompt of disposition of the large number of non-performing assets of the government financial institutions, and certain government-owned or controlled corporations which have been found unnecessary or inappropriate for the government sector to maintain."

It is clear from this provision that NON-PERFORMING GOVERNMENT ASSETS are primarily the target of the law. The privatization law is the offshoot of Executive Order No. 5 (1986) creating a new agency the purpose of which is "to promote an orderly, coordinated and efficient privatization of remaining government corporation, assets, activities and idle properties."

The following PERFORMING ASSETS have been privatized: PNB, PETRON, PNOC-EDC, TRANSCO. Why? Are not these clear violations of the above stated policy?

The proceeds of these dispositions are supposed to be remitted to the national treasury of which 60% is for the Agrarian Reform Fund and 40% to the General Fund. For GOCC's, 50% of the proceeds is to be remitted to the government. Is this being followed?

Saturday, May 3, 2008

A Public Servant's Stations of the Cross

Public servants presently in government service or about to serve the government should expect the following Stations of the Cross if he/she intends to be faithful in the discharge of this public trust:

First Station: The Last Supper (The Moment of Decision)

This is the crucial moment when one decides to enter government service knowing fully well that a government career is not a financially rewarding career since government employment is supposed to be service - and service means sacrifice!

Second Station: The Agony in Gethsemani (Agony on the Kind of Servant One Will Be)

As he goes about performing his duties, he will be guided by a mission to serve for the greater good to the greatest number or will he be motivated primarily to advance his self interests or to acquire greater power, prestige and material and financial gain? Thus, the agony of deciding what kind of a public servant one will be.

Third Station: Jesus Before the Sanhedrin (Condemnation without Trial)

A public servant who does not succumb to undue pressure from the person or group of persons interested in upholding their self-interest, when presented or brought to the attention of the person in authority over the public servant, will be condemned without trial and to face the consequences of such condemnation either by suspension or even dismissal from the service and/or suffer other penalties and punishment or thrown to the mercy of his tormentors.

Fourth Station: The Scourging and Crowning with Thorns (Criticism, Unjust Accusation, Ridicule, Condemnation, Even Persecution For Upright Public Servant)

Expect all these as one pursues good governance, upholding of truth and transparency and doing what is just and right – coming from those who are adversely affected by the public servant's adherence to their virtues and ideals.

Fifth Station: Jesus Receives The Cross (The start of Unjust Punishments and Penalties and Other Consequences of the Upright Public Servant)

Upholding one's principle and what is just and right could result in the imposition of unjust penalties and punishment- and even unfair public condemnation as a result of trial by publicity. Evil, at least temporarily, triumphs. He receives and starts to carry his cross.

Sixth Station: Jesus Falls Under the Weight of the Cross (The Public Servant Falls the First Time)

True to the unjust penalties and punishment to be imposed on him, he falls for the first time and succumbs to the undue pressure – and allows and tolerates activities which are not in consonance with good governance and for the greater good to the greatest number.

Seventh Station: Simon of Cyrene Carries the Cross of Jesus (Some Friends Come to the Rescue)

To somehow alleviate and mitigate the punishment and penalties and of his adverse consequences imposed on them, some friends come to the rescue of the temporarily fallen public servant. But their efforts are not enough to escape from the unjust punishment, penalties and other consequences being imposed. It only temporarily lightens the heavy burden of his cross.

Eigtht Station: Jesus Meets the Pious Women of Jerusalem (Additional Help and Assistance is Given By Some Women of Good Will)

Because of the righteousness of the condemned public servants' cause, some women of good will rise in defence of the unjustly condemned one. But again, because of the power and influence of his tormentors, this is not enough to exonerate the fallen crusader.

Ninth Station: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross (A Just Public Servant is Unfairly Condemned/Convicted)

The tormentors of the upright public servant finally succees in upholding their personal interest to the prejudice of good governance and “the greater good of the greatest number” - and in the process he further suffers a “nailing to the cross” before the public through trial by publicity and exposition of any “defects” or trivial sins he may have commited in the past.

Tenth Station: The Repentant Thief (A Justly Convicted/Condemned Public Servant Is Saved Because of his Sincere Repentance)

Some justly convicted/condemned are rehabilitated due to sincere repentance and are therefor saved -and even repairs his good narme and reputation. There is hope even for justly convicted/condemned public servants!

Eleventh Station: Mary and John at the Foot of the Cross (Persons Closest to the Unjustly Condemned Public Servant Publicly Defends Him)

Additional efforts are exerted by the persons closest to the unjustly condemned public servant proved futile and an exercise in futility and the public servant's torment continues.

Twelfth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross (The Public Servant Gives Up His Crusade)

Seeing the Futility of his crusade and the seeming hopelessly of succes in bringing about good governance towards the greater good to the greatest number, the public servant gives up on hs mission.

Thirteenth Station: Jesus is Laid in the Tomb (The Silence of the Tomb)

The silence of the tomb engulfs the air. The public servant after being “laid to rest”, now remains silent to contemplate what to do with his mission as a dedicated public servant.

Lord Jesus, hearing his/her meditation, please enlighten him/her and send forth His Spirit to guide him/her what to do.

Fourteenth Station: Jesus Rises from Death (The Dedicated Public Servant Rises Once Again)

Jesus rose from the dead three days after his death. Will the public servant rise again from his/her death to pursue his/her mission for “the greater good to the greatest number” ?

Dear Jesus, we pray that this dedicated servant will not abandon his/her mission, even if already out of public service. Give him/her Hope that somehow, sometime, soon, he will “rise again from the dead!”

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Peaen To The Sunvalley Ladies

Way back in the late 60's an intrepid group of Sunvalley ladies, headed by the late Jojo Javier, a Pro-Patria Awardee, trooped to Cardinal Sin to plead for the establishment of a parish in Sunvalley. The were inspired by Fr. Quaranta who said (at the time he brought over the image of the Lady of the Most Holy Rosary to Sunvalley) : THIS LADY WILL UNVEIL A MIRACLE FOR SUNVALLEY.

True enough, OLMHR parish soon became a reality and a Church built from generous contributions of the people. A MIRACLE indeed! The prime mover: the ladies of Sunvalley then known as THE LADIES AUXILIARY of the Sunvalley Homeowners' Association.

Through the years, the Sunvalley Ladies spear headed the development and beautification of Sunvalley under the auspices of the Association.

The Ladies' Auxiliary meta morphed to what is now known as THE GARDEN CLUB. Largely thru their efforts, these ladies have left our subdivision clean and green thru the years.

Their latest accomplishment: THE 14 STATION OF THE CROSS.

Their ultimate mission/vision: to develop Sunvalley so that it will be known as the FLOWER AND GREEN VILLAGE of Metro Manila!


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Food For Thought For All Seasons


VOLUNTERISM should be the underlying motivation for joining any organization, civic, religious, political, NGO's or homeowners' association or any group activities for that matter. One joins an organization to accomplish a goal/mission for the greater good to the greatest number.

VOLUNTERISM means service. Service means work. And work means SACRIFICE!

VOLUNTERISM in religious organizations does not mean: "pagkatapos ng Misa, tuloy sa LAMESA!" It does not mean gaining POWER/PRESTIGE, above things, RECOGNITION. Or any other physical advantage. It means serving the community- an in so doing, serving God. Especially the poor. For as long as you did it TO THE LEAST OF BRETHREN YOU DID IT TO ME!

VOLUNTERISM in civic/NGO's/HOMEOWNERS Association, also does not mean power, pretige, money or other material things. It does not mean enjoying free food, drinks and transportation for attending meetings, running errands or any other activities in behalf of the organization. It means service for the greater good to the greatest number.

VOLUNTERISM in political organizations does not mean public exposure to gain political advantage. It means expressing issues for the good of the public and the community at large and the nation.

Unfortunately, however, VOLUNTERISM is dying, and in some sectors, dead! Like the "bayanihan" of the old.

How do we revive this laudable culture of volunterism?

The ANSWER: Back to BASIC TEN (10)! The universally accepted tenets of MORALITY given by our God, our Lord and Master- our Creator. The basic lessons of which are LOVE, SACRIFICE, SHARING - and VOLUNTERISM!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Moral Discipline


(Quoted from Prof. Emmanuel Q. Yap's book "Let Us Build A Strong Nation", 1st Edition, 2003).

The late former President Ferdinand E. Marcos came out with a similar slogan thus:

"SA IKAUUNLAD NG BAYAN DISCIPLINA ANG KAILANGAN" (For the nation's progress discipline is needed)

The big difference though between these two (2) slogans is the omission of the all important word "MORAL" in the latter. Consequently, during dictatorship, we were subjected to all kinds of disciplinary actions, moral or immoral, to attain the ends of the dictator.

There is no question though that "moral discipline" is the only sure way to national greatness.

How do we acquire as a nation and as a people, this moral discipline?

As early as 1939, then President Manuel L. Quezon formed a Moral Code Committee (composed of Chief Justice Ramon Avancena as Chairman, Dr. Jose P. Laurel, Manuel A. Roxas, Jorge C. Bocobo, Norberto Romuladez, Members). Adopting the report of this Committee, President Quezon issued Executive Order No. 217 (Moral Code, 1939), the principal provisions of which reads:


1. Have faith in Divine Providence that guides the destinies of men and nations.

2. Love your country for it is the home of your people, the seat of your affections and the source of your happiness and well-being. Its defense is your primary duty. Be ready at all times to sacrifice and die for it if necessary.

3. Rspect the Commission which is the expression of your sovereign will. The government is your government. It has been established for your safety and welfare. Obey the laws and see that they are observed by all that public officials comply with their duties.

4. Pay your taxes willingly and promptly. Citizenship implies not only rights but also obligation.

5. Safeguard the purity of suffrage and abide by the decisions of the majority.

6. Love and respect your parents.

7. Value your honor as you value your life. Poverty with honor is preferable to wealth with dishonor.

8. Be truthful and be honest in thought and in action. Be just and charitable, courteous but dignified in your dealings with your fellow men.

9. Lead a clean and frugal life. Do not indulge in frivolity and pretense. Be simple in your dress and modest in your behavior.

10. Live up to the noble traditions of our people. Venerate the memory of our heroes. Their lives point the way to duty and honor.

11. Be industrious. Be not afraid or ashamed to do manual labor. Productive toil is conductive to economic security and adds to the wealth of the nation.

12. Rely in your own efforts for your progress and happiness. Be not easily discouraged. Persevere in the pursuit of you legitimate ambitions.

13. Do your work cheerfully, thoroughly and well. Work badly done is worse than work undone. Do not leave for tomorrow what you can do today.

14. Contribute to the welfare of your community and promote social justice. You do not live for yourselves and your families alone. You are a part of a society to which you owe definite responsibilities.

15. Cultivate the habit of using goods made in the Philippines. Patronize the products and trades of your countrymen.

16. Use and develop our natural resources and conserve them for prosperity. They are the inalienable heritage of our people. Do not traffic with your citizenship.

Seventy-nine (79) years have passed since this "Moral Code" was formulated. Today, in the year 2008, we are facing the same, and even more serious social, political and economic problems far more urgent that confronted our nation in 1939.

It is submitted that to make this "moral discipline" concept more readily understood. We should go back to the BASIC TEN (10)- the universally accepted moral code coming no less from our Creator and Lord and Master- God.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Under the Graft and Corrupt Practices Law, government officers and employees are prohibited from accepting any gifts, regardless of the value. In other words, the prohibition is ABSOLUTE.

This prohibition runs counter, however, to the Asian culture known as GUANXI. As explained by an internationally credible strategic forecasting outfit, one's relationship obligations require that "gifts" be provided in return for certain favors. In China, for example, this practice is quite acceptable under "guanxi". Not only is this considered ethical but the Chinese legal system would have trouble seeing this action as violating the law of China.It is culturally understood that the written law - like Anglo-American common laws- makes room for guanxi.

"GUANXI CULTURE" seems to be acceptable in our jurisdiction too, despite the clear prohibition in our law, particularly the prohibition involving government officers and employees.

Granting that "guanxi" culture is now part of our culture, what are the limits of gift giving? Will P50,000 or even P500,000 be an acceptable limit under guanxi?

Our lawmakers need to re-examine this particular afore cited provision of the law, to clearly define the limits of this "guanxi" culture.