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Efren Danao

Efren Danao

Stoic Filipino consumers should accept the claim of President Benigno Simeon (BS) Aquino 3rd that he could do nothing to stop increases in power rate. He’s telling them in effect: Bahala na kayo sa buhay n’yo. (Shades of DILG Secretary Mar Roxas!)

The 16th Congress is now on its sixth month but BS Aquino still has to tell the legislature what’s his legislative agenda. Oh well, Congress is supposed to be an independent and co-equal branch of the Executive branch anyway. In other words, bahala na ang mga senador at diputado sa kanilang buhay.
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Poverty, hunger and unemployment have increased under the Aquino administration. The President, however, may not be sympathetic to those suffering from economic woes. I could almost hear him telling those who would dare complain about their plight: Buhay pa kayo, di ba?
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The President has been ignoring criticisms of his lack of direction and leadership in critical times. More people may now be more critical of the administration now, and the people are supposed to be BS Aquino’s boss, but Malacañang will continue to be deaf even to their thunderous voices. Who’s president anyway?
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He’s called “Man of Steel” by adoring newshens. I’m sure he wants to gain more plaudits, not brickbats, despite his uninspiring performance. Sure, many more praises could be directed at him but before his head swells and he basks in glory at such praises, he should be reminded of the adage “Praise undeserved is slander in disguise.”
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Oh yes, the administration should be credited for the improvement in the country’s credit rating, gross national product and foreign investments. Since BS Aquino wants to hear only good news, I won’t mention here that despite these “sound” economic indicators, foreign investors still prefer our neighboring countries with lower growth rates and credit rating.
The infusion of $1.5 billion in foreign direct investments last year resulted in a 15-percent growth in FDI. Malacañang is making much noise about this but this becomes less impressive when compared to the FDI pouring into other countries in our region. A study showed the following FDI figures: Singapore, $54.4 billion; Indonesia, $19.2 billion; Vietnam, $8.4 billion; Thailand, $8.1 billion; Myanmar, $1.9 billion, and Cambodia, $1.8 billion.
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Perhaps, our enjoyment of blessings from the Aquino administration would have been greater if we stop comparing our lot with those of our neighboring countries, including supposedly less developed countries like Cambodia and Myanmar. Well, then let’s enjoy our bountiful harvest of gold medals in the recently concluded Southeast Asian Games, never mind that our seventh place is our lowest ever.
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Much hope and expectations have been reposed in the President since his election in 2010. Now, people will have to accept that they had elected him AS IS WHERE IS.
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Speaker Sonny “SB” Belmonte said the House was merely exercising its oversight function in seeking an inquiry into the use of the Judicial Development Fund by the Supreme Court. Former senator Rene Saguisag, now a Manila Times columnist, has been calling on the high tribunal to make a full accounting of the JDF, and I agree with him.

I remember that the alleged misuse of the JDF was one of the articles in the impeachment proceedings against then-Chief Justice Hilarion Davide Jr. If I remember it correctly, then-Speaker Jose de Venecia (belated happy birthday to you sir!) played the role of a fireman in the Davide case and Davide escaped unscathed.

While I agree on the need for transparency in the use of the JDF (although by no stretch of imagination could it be likened to the pork barrel of legislators and the President), I’m not convinced that the House probe is not a reaction to the SC’s voiding of the pork. Neither do I believe that it’s not a warning for the jurists not to declare the Disbursement Acceleration Program unconstitutional.

I guess SB has to look far and wide for people who’ll believe that the House is very zealous on the exercise of its oversight functions on the use of public funds. There’s a way, however, for the House to be more convincing in its stance: seek a probe on the use of the P40-billion Conditional Cash Transfer program after remittances were stopped for up to seven months in several places. It would also help the House’s stance of independence if it would look into the use of the DAP and of the lump sums in the budget by the President.


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  1. This Administration, Congress and the Senate will do everything para takutin ang Supreme Court not to declare the DAP unconstitutional. The DAP is even worse than the PDAF because their is no legal basis (written authorization) by the President or by the Legislative Branch of the Government. Hoping and praying the Supreme Court will not be cowed by this Administration.

  2. Mr Danao, to this day, I still do not understand why you think that the Phils govt (irrespective of who the incumbent president may be) has any leverage on the multinationational oil companies to force them to sell their oil products below the internationally set price! It is a simple principle of supply-and-demand. The Phils has a big demand for oil products and practically no local supply to speak which makes it almost 100% dependent on imported oil. So unless you or some other wise guys can come up with concrete alternatives on just to produce or procure oil at below mercantile prices, it is counter-productive to continue bashing the increasing prices of oil products. You may remember that Marcos tried to subsidize the price of oil during his martial law regime and even that did not work. Better why don’t you try to convince your family members who are residing in the US to petition their AMerican govt to subsidize the price of oil and let’s see what comes out of that futile exercise! Talk is cheap cause it is so easy to do – doing something constructive is something else.