Friday, June 5, 2009

My Notes on the 2nd ANC Leadership Forum, Live Blog, June 5, 2009, 7:00pm

5 June 2009    7:00pm

The 2nd ANC Leadership Forum has begun from the UP School of Economics Auditorium. 

Senator Panfilo Lacson is now reading a prepared statement announcing to the nation his decision to withdraw from the 2010 presidential race.  I saw his earlier interview with Linda Jumilla over TV Patrol and has made a quick post on his unexpected announcement.

7:07pm Lacson mentioned the "... extremely limited resources that I could raise" as the main reason for his decision to withdraw.  He ... pledged to "... continue my battle for good governance."

7:10pm "Hindi magnanakaw at hindi gagamitin ang kapangyarihang hiram para magpasasa sa sariling interes," Senator Lacson says this of the next leader that we should choose and whom he is going to support.

7:11pm Senator Legarda commenting on Senator Lacson's decision.  She sees reason in Senator Lacson's decision in a milieu where "impluwensiya at pera ang umiiral."

7:12pm "It's a pity that he has withdrawn because he's one of the most qualififed candidates," says former President Estrada.

7:13pm Ricky Carandang asks President Estrada if he will also be targeted like Senator Lacson, "Anything can happen in this administration, " Erap responds.

7:13pm Mayor Jejomar Binay when asked by Ricky Carandang says he is confident that he can win Lacson's support.

7:14pm Bayani Fernando says he believes in what Senator Lacson said and called him a "gentleman."

My thoughts on Senator Lacson's resignation:  I believe he made the right decision;  it will be good for the nation and for himself. Whatever the truth is about the Dacer-Corbito double murder case,  Senator Lacson's decision to withdraw will prevent a muddling of the issues that his presence in the race will create. 

7:22pm  Let's get to know our first guest: Former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, Walang Tutulong sa Pilipino kundi ang kapwa Pilipino.

7:23pm  "Tatakbo po ba kayo?"  asks Cheche Lazaro. "Wala akong sinasabing ganun."

7:24pm "Sinabi ko ba yun?" when asked to recall his past statement that he will not seek any government position anymore.

7:25pm  "You have consistently denied any wrongdoing?"  says Cheche Lazaro.  Erap insists he was illegally ousted citing a remark by former Justice Cecilia Munoz-Palma that the "rule of force" instead the rule of law was responsible for his ouster.

7:27pm Erap says he was offered twice and refused both times to be released, go anywhere and bring anything if he resigns in writing as President of the Philippines.  

7:28pm  "The leader did not see the root cause of the problem in the country," says Erap.  "We now have the longest insurgency in the world."

7:30pm  "I cleaned up Manila ... Senator Lacson helped me solve kidnappings ... negotiate with the MILF."  "Let me ask you..."  "No, let me finish," Erap says. "The MILF did not honor the negotiation ... that's the time I declared all-out war against them."

7:31pm  "How can that be when Bubby Dacer is my cumpadre?" says Erap when asked about possible involvement in Dacer-Corbito.

7:32pm  "Ano po papalitan n'yo sa Constitution?"  "The land ownership ... the CARP is a total failure."

7:32pm  Closest adviser?  "I believe that's an executive privilege," says Erap followed by laughter and applause from the crowd.

7:33pm You're using your charm offensive, says Cheche.

7:33pm Strongest influence?  "My parents ... very religious parents." 

Erap has shown remarkable wit.  He must have prepared well for this forum. 

7:36pm Senator Loren Legarda.  "Have you decided to run?"

7:36pm "There is a vacuum of leadership in our country."

What are your thoughts about running for president? 

"Ako'y handang tumulong ipang iresolba ang problema ng ating bansa.

"Goodd governance, transparency and accountability."

"Equitable socio-economic development."

"Environmental protection."

"Cultural renaissance.  Pride as a Filipino nation once again."

Will you be willing to step down (give way)?

"Yes.  Para namang hilo ang tao na magsasabi na siya lang ang makatutulong sa bansa."

"Walang atrasan ang paglilingkod sa ating bansa," "Emergency situation tayo ... whoever wants to be first must be last ... For the first time, it must be people first."  applause from the crowd.

"50 pesos isang araw ... pagbibigay ng tulong sa mga magsasaka at mangingisda ... agriccultural productivity is the key ... giving farmers farm inputs ... not pocketing resources."

Kultura natin.  

"Kailangang bigyan ng pokus ang ating kinagisnan ... Maganda ang ating kultura ... weaving, dance and rituals ... we are such a rich nation. .. we must take pride in that." 

"A cultural renaissance will give the youth pride right away in who we are."

"A change in men ... and a change in leadership."

"Lider na hinddi magnanakaw ... hindi gagamit ng kaban ng gobyerno para sa sariling kapakanan."

Very sensible and sensitive answer from the lady senator.

To my mind, Loren is scoring big here. We expect every presidentiable to tackle the problems of poverty and Loren has addressed that but putting a premium on protecting and promoting our culture is a big plus because it shows sensitivity.   This is the Loren Legarda that we have not heard from for a long time.

She talks about being a single mother.

"My staff calls me a 24/7 senator."

"I've been working since I was 15 years old ... I'm 49 now ... I'm proud of what I've achieved ... I have enough for myself and my children."
What's your net worth?

"I think it's  P40M, 40 plus."

Where do you place yourself in the political spectrum?

"Definitely in the opposition."

"I will continue to stay in the opposition." 

7:59pm Introducing Atty. Jejomar Binay, Mayor of Makati.

Are you running as a backup to former President Estrada?

"Kung yun ang desisyon ng  partido, mag-aasam asam na lang akong maging Vice President."

You're actually willing to slide down.

"If that is the decision of the party."

Will you still say that if you're doing well in the surveys?

Priorities as President.

"Strong local government ... "  big applause from the crowd.

Giving more power to the local governments.  

"Ganito ho kami sa Makati."

You succeeded in Makati without amending the Constitution.

What would you do as President?

"Government expenses -  82% is spent by the national government; 18% goes to the local government. Gawin nating 60 - 40."

"Decentralize government spending ... IRA ... 98% umaasa sa IRA ... pumupunta lang sa suweldo ng mga empleyado.  Growth and development through the local governments."

Corruption in local governments?

"Give the powers to the officials who are nearest to the people?"

How to make sure the local officials do not steal the money?

"Enforcement.  Ang problema sa gobyerno natin, selective justice." 

8:06pm How did you accumulate P40 million in 20 years?

"Ang tatay ko taga Batangas, nanay ko taga Isabela.  Masisipag ... matiyaga sa hanapbuhay... meron akong piggy bank ... Meron akong piggery business."

So you've invested your money in business?

"For all the time I was working with Insular Life ... tuwing tanggap ko ng suweldo ko, inihuhulog ko yung suweldo ko ... mapag-ipon ako ng pera at may kinita ako sa business ... at meron din akong minana sa mga magulang ko."

"Aasenso po ang bansa sa tamang pamamahala."  8:09pm

8:09pm MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando is now being introduced.  

8:10pm "Isang guwapong gabi sa 'yo, Cheche."

Bakit n'yo gustong tumakbo?

"Nakita ko na ang nangyari sa atin... Natagpuan ko ang paraan para harapin ang mga suliranin natin."

"Ang hindi mo magagawa sa Marikina, hindi mo magagawa sa Pilipinas."

Nag-complain kayo na ang Lakas, Kampi and CMD, tinitingnan ang ibang kandidato at hindi kayo?

"Si Senator Zubiri lang."

Do you feel left out?

No. "Palagay ko'y ako na ang karapat-dapat."

Let's go to your successs in MMDA.  People say you have misspent MMDA funds.

"You must be talking about the MMFF. Because I have no case in the MMDA."

"The ticket sales of the MMFF doubled ... "

MMDA contractors are from Marikina and there's no bidding.

"We have bidding ..."

You have defied 2 SC orders. 

"If I have disregarded any ruling of the SC, I should be in jail by now."

Does that say that you're above the law?

"I abide by the law."

Ang tatay n'yo daw ang piinakapobre ... kayo daw ang pinakamayaman.

"Ako'y nagsimulang pobre ... kamuntik ko nang makalimutang mag-asawa."

No money taken from the government?

"Yung suweldo ko ... tinatago ko."

"I'm for a Constitutional Convention ..."

"Noong araw ... the political parties were receiving public money for poll inspectors ... para maiwasan ang corruption."

Do you support administration moves?

"I know the good moves of this administration as well as the wrong moves."

"What are the wrong moves?" asks Che-che Lazaro.

"But the wrong moves are wrong decisions, not malicious. But, don't get me in trouble."

First 100 days.

"Communicate with the people on what we need to do."

Closest adviser?

"My wife."  8:20pm

8:28 Questions from the audience.  Question from Dr. Aleli Kraft. Migrants and unemployment. What are your thoughts on the lack of jobs here at home and continuing migration of Filiino workers abroad.

Binay:  Unemployment problem.  Develop growth sectors, IT, BPO, palakihin investments sa IT, BPO  ... marami nakakatapos pero hindi nakakapagtrabaho dahil may mismatch ... nagtayo kami ng institute of call centers ... ibigay sa local government yung pagharap sa problema ng unemployment." 

Legarda: "There is nothing wrong with migration. Migration is part of globalization... provide OFWs with social safety nets ... so that problems that about as a result of separation from families will not abound as a rule ... sapat na mga briefing bago sila umalis sa bansa ... we should implement an important law ... that is MSME law ... micro and small and medium enterprises law ... cover more than 3 million pesos and below who should  get the necessary capital to spur the rural economy ... collateral-free, interest-free."

Estrada: "We should focus on agriculture ... if we focus on agriculture, we'll be self-sufficient in rice so that there will be more jobs for our people especially in the countryside ... we should attract foreign investors to generate more jobs.  The OFWs are the saving grace of our country they're remitting P15 to P16B a year ... dapat yung mga mayayaman di na masyadong magdikta kung sino gusto ng mahihirap na maging Presidente."

Fernando: "Make local, buy local and export ... know jobs which are in demand and train our people in these jobs.  We have to know which jobs are in demand and train our people in those jobs ... "

Question from Inna Morillo UPSE Student Council:
What core quality do you possess that will make you win the youth vote and what platform? 

Legarda: "Competence (kakayanan) ay napakahalaga ... compassion (puso) ... being tenacious and unrelenting, ibig sabihin niyan hindi puwede yung saka na, kailangan "can do attitude" ... work ethic (disiplina)."  Edukasyon, we need to work on ... 40,000 kulang na classrooms, textbooks na may mga mali mga spelling, scholarship ng TESDA and CHED ... as Chair of Agriculture ... we should P100M para sa scholarship ng agricultural workers."  

Estrada:  "Love of God, love of country and love of family.  Along the way our love of country got lost.  I'm just reminding the youth, do not forget what our elders taught us ... iisa lang ang bansang ibinigay sa atin ng Panginoon, mahalin nating mabuti"

"Children in the countryside where millions cannot study ... so they become potential criminals ... potential prostitutes... During my time, I gave the highest per capita budget to our basic education when I was President, that I want you to know." Erap had to plead for extra time to complete what he had to say.

Fernando: "What I will give the youth, I will give to all and in the end bequeath to you a happy nation," I don't know if I quoted him correctly but Chairman Fernando seems to be reciting a poem and then he lost his train of thought because of the crowd's laughter. "Ang kinakailangan natin ay nasa ating harapan.  They are in our laws.  Ang suliranin natin hindi natin maipatupad ang ating mga batas.  Ipatupad natin ang mga batas ... tanggapin natin ang mga batas ay solusyon at magkagayon magagawa nating maligaya ang ating bansa." 

Binay: "Katulad mo rin ... I had my leadership training in the UP Student Council (applause from the audience). You should perform well ... competent ... provide leadership that is needed. Ganyan po ang ginawa namin sa Makati. (Laughter, applause) De kalidad ang aming eskuwelahan ... libreng maiinom na tubig.  Aming vaccination, 99%.  Education is the best social equalizer. Cradle to grave ... nagawa namin sa Makati, gagawin din namin sa Pilipinas."  8:45pm 

8:53pm Question from Marites Vitug
What is the most important quality  of a Supreme Court justice aside from competence?

Estrada:  "Integrity is very important ... Get a career appointee ... not somebody from the outside. I never talked to any Supreme Court justice about anything when I was President."

Fernando: "Integrity and he's got to be productive ... I will have to call on the IBP to help me out in choosing the right people for this appointment."

Binay: "I happen to be a lawyer by profession. Kaya n'ya pong ipagtanggol sa Diyos at sa tao ang kanyang desisyon. Maraming justices binabale ang tunay na batas ... because of loyalty to and upon orders of people in Malacanang.  Yun ho ang pinakamahirap na mangyayari."

Legarda: "Character ... unquestionable integrity, a work ethic that the job demands ... this applies not only to a Supreme Court justice but for every elected and appointed official in government."

Do you or do you not support the reproductive health bill?

Fernando:  I follow the precepts of my Church so I am not for modern contraceptions but I'm for natural ways of limiting the number of children to affordable level.  I think government should spend some money to educate our people in these natural ways."

Binay: Ang akin pong paniwala, firstly ay "freedom of choice," second, "right of birth." Kahit na isang segundo pa lang ang buhay, di dapat ma-abort. Dapat mabigyan po ng pagkakataon ang mga babae na magkaroon ng desisyon na tugma sa pangangailangan ... freedom of choice."

Legarda: "I am against any form of abortion ... but I am for informed choice for the women of our country, rich or poor. .. enlightened informed decisions about their body... what is in tune with their religion, their culture, their values. We must bring down the level of maternal mortality... it is growing because of lack of knowledge, lack of information."

Estrada:  "Sumasang-ayon kay Mayor Binay at Senator Loren Legarda." Applause. "Listen first...ha."  Marami pa kong karagdagan dahil sa aking eksperiensya ... (laughter) ... dahil sa aking ekspiriensya bilang naging Pangulo."

Malaking problema ng ating bansa ang paglaki ng populasyon ... 2.8% population growth ... that translates to 1,700,000 babies being born every year... Tatagalugin ko na baka yung iba diyan di nakakainitindi ng Ingles.  (Cheers and applause).  Bell.  

"Teka muna aapat lang kami ... kinukuha ko yung time ni Senator Laccson."  Gawa ng gawa ng eskuwelahan ... kulang pa rin ... sa madaling salita, malaking problema ang ating population growth ... hindi n'yo nakikita 'yan ... there are millions of malnourished kids ... children ... and there are millions of kids who have no chance to go to school ... grade 2, grade 3 drop out ... so in short we are creating potential prostitutes ... potential criminals due to no fault of their own ... because they were not given opportunities in life... the right size of family that they can afford."

Would you support a corruption investigation against Mrs. Arroyo?

Fernando: "Let the Court decide ... but I will never use the office of President to interfere for or against any person ... let the rule of law prevail.  (Good answer from Chairman Bayani Fernando).

Binay:  Mrs. Arroyo will have to answer all of these accusations ... tubig na naging fertilizer ... ZTE ... bakit siya nagpunta sa China sa madaling araw yung walang protocol ... dapat itong sagutin ... milyong pisong gastos pag daratiing ang halalan... kailangan  humarap siya sa hustisya at ipaliwanag ang lahat."

Legarda:  "Sa anumang kaso ... maski sinong tao  kung may ebidensiya dapat kasuhan ... litisin sa pinakamabilis na paraan... if there is clear evidence and we've seen so many 'smoking guns' here so cases must be filed and must be done expeditiously ... no sacred cow ... no such thing as an all boys club even in the Senate... it may be painful but it must be done if there's evidence."

Estrada:  "Nobody is above the law, ha?"

Legarda:  "Maski na kamag-anak, kapatid."

Estrada:  "Personally, I have forgiven the Arroyo family ...  (Laughter) "I'm not yet finished."  Quotes Mahatma Gandhi, "The weak cannot forgive but forgiveness is the attribute of the strong" (I'm not sure whether I captured that quotation correctly) ... 9:08pm

Former President Estrada's comment on how our rapidly growing population outpaces our resources as exemplified by the perennial problem of shortage of classrooms is a distinct service to the nation.  This is one problem we should face as a people without blinking.  

Our nation should confront this problem squarely in the eye and our youth, who would be mostly responsible for the babies who will be born in this generation, have to face this problem with the generation that came ahead of them. 

Last two questions:

Where will you put reallocated funds?

Estrada:  "Social services ... then to basic education."  Why?  "Because this is the pro-poor project ..."

Legarda:  "Agriculture so that we will be able to improve post-production facilities ... we have to fill the gap in education ... we're lagging behind other neighboring countries ... health services should get a bigger chunk of the budget so that hospitals can get more equipment and resources... gamot para sa mga maysakit sa probinsiya."

Binay: "Doon po sa Makati, education ... health and social services. Mabigyan ng best equipment ang aming mga estudyante ... health insurance ... meron kaming ospital and finally social services ... senior citizens di natin pababayaan.  VAT kailangan ma-amyenda na 'yan."

Fernando:  "Kung merong labis na pera ... una sa hanapbuhay, edukasyon, social services."

Napanood n'yo ba yung Hayden Kho videos?  Dapat bang imbestigahan or is this a private matter?

Legarda:  "Hindi ko pa napapanood yung video dahil wala akong panahon at wala naman akong interes na panoorin.  I'm not interested to watch it.  I did not attend the hearing I had other appointments ... it is important ... I am the author of the anti computer pornography act ...a pending Senate bill. Mahalaga ang internet ... hindi para sa paninira ng kapwa at sa kalaswaan ... we must hear it in aid of legislation so that bills related to computer pornography will not happen.

Binay:  "Ito ho ay reaction na lang ... sabagay, tama rin, how do you come up with a good law if you do not investigate?  But it must be a government that anticipates and not only reacts."

Fernando:  "Hayaan na muna sa mga korte natin ang mga bagay na 'yan." (Chairman Fernando's answer is the weakest answer in this round).

Estrada:  "Dapat 'tong si Hayden Kho mabigyan ng advice ... for adults only... Joking aside ... tutol ako diyan dapat i-ban 'yang mga ganyan showing of sex videos sa Internet ... concentrate on books and studies."

Legarda:  'Yan nga po ang gist nung ating itinutulak sa Senado?

Question: How many real estate properties do you own?

Legarda: "Home where I live ... another home in Makati and my home in Malabon is communal with my brothers ...  and a farm in Lipa and Tagaytay ... it's all in my statement of assets and liabilities ... most if not all were acquired before I became Senator."

Estrada:  Mas mayaman siya sa 'kin.. (laughter). Kidding aside..  You know, I've been a movie actor, superstar for a long time ... (cheers) my buddy FPJ learned a lot from our predecessors... we invested so much in real estate ... in the movies, we became producers of our own pictures ... invested in real estate .... apartments.  In short, I've acquired property ... yung kinukunan nung mga media nung araw nung ini-impeach ako ... now, to cut the long story short, I've no more property (laughter) ... because I diverted these in the corporations of the family.  Nakikitira na lang ako ngayon ... I said all the properties I diverted it in the family corporation of which I'm not even a stockholder."

Binay:  "Meron akong properties sa namana ko sa nanay ko Cabagan, Sto Tomas ... sa Batangas ... sa Alabang, sa Varias Realty ... meron akong property sa Tagaytay na ibinayad sa 'kin na attorney's fees ... meron akong property na pinag-ipunan ko yung bahay namin diyan sa Makati ... "  "Can you put a number to it?" pressed Che che Lazaro. I don't recall hearing an exact number from Mayor Binay.  

Fernando: "Marami akong pag-mamay-ari na commercial, industrial...pero isa lang ang bahay ko."  9:26pm

Last segment, final words from the guests.

Fernando: "Samahan n'yo po ako sa gawaing ito.  ... mga batas atin pong gamitin silang solusyon sa ating mga suliranin. 'Yan po ang aking karanasan ... sinubukan ko sa Marikina, ginagawa ko sa Metro-Manila, gawin natin sa buong bansa."

Binay:  "Nagbabasa po ako ng Biblia ...  sabi ho doon sa Daily Bread ... I hope that you graduating students will have more failures.  Why? Because it is from the failures that you will know what to do and will make you successful.  ... Ang atin pong pipiliin ay may karanasan at tama at tapat na pamamahala para umasenso ang bansa."

Legarda:  "For too long our leaders have betrayed the longsuffering Filipinos. We need a leader who will run ... not for personal gain ... not to expand a commerical empire ...not for partisan political gain ...  one who will give genuine and authentic meaning to what public service means. I think that is what the Filipino deserve then, now, and in 2010. Tao muna bago tayo!"

Estrada:  "I was incarcerated for six and a half years ... it bring me closer to God ... God has his own purpose for my being there ... when a man is down ... you lost your friends ... you lost your relatives ... I asked my wife if some people still cared for me ... I asked Dra. Loi to run for the Senate ... Dra. Loi won in the Senate ... and my son also won as Senator ... first time in history mother and son ... i have nothing more to ask from God ... marami pa ring nagmamahal sa 'kin ... gusto ko pasalamatan lahat ng ating kababayan ... sa huling yugto ng aking buhay ... wala akong ibang iniisip kundi kapakanan ng mahihirap ... dahil si Erap mamamatay,,, mabubuhay hindi makakabayad ng utang ng loob sa mga mahihirap.  

By 9:33pm, it's all over.  The 2nd ANC Leadership Forum is now part of history.

Erap joked his way all night but I think he also delivered the most realistic and unflinching assessment of one of the most formidable factors that we have to contend with in our country's problems which is the rapidly increasing population and the lack of opportunities for millions of poor children who, in his words, become potential criminals or potential prostitutes through no fault of their own but because they are not given opportunities. For all of his faults, his stint in prison must really have done President Estrada some good. I hope, win or lose, that he considers his presidential run a mission to do a final act of service to the Filipino people.
Mayor Binay gave a solid performance, one that is rooted in his local experience in Makati. As to whether he can translate his local success in Makati to the national scene is what voters will have to ask themselves.  Mayor Binay made a good case for more local government autonomy especially in the realm of finances and his ideas should be explored further.

Chairman Fernando has done Metro Manila some good but the brutal tactics of the MMDA and his seeming disregard for the rights of the poor has not endeared him to many.  His overarching reliance on the law to solve our problems — in a society where the wheels of justice turn very slowly, if at all, and where the balance of justice is tilted heavily in favor of the wealthy and the influential — sounds a bit unrealistic.  The deep-seated problems with our justice system need to be addressed first before his idea will have a chance to work and that is  the aspect that his answers have not addressed.

I think Senator Loren Legarda gave the night's best performance overall. It's high time that agriculture should get the government attention and funding that it deserves.  Micro credit to small and medium scale businesses is something that can spur the local economy.  

Her emphasis on preserving, promoting and enhancing our culture scores high points in a blog such as this one that was birthed by the need to defend the Bonifacio Monument in Caloocan City from desecration. Please read my blog post entitled May 10, 2009 is the 112th Death Anniversary of Gat Andres Bonifacio, National Hero of the Philippines — Does the National Historical Institute Care?

This is the link to the online petition which seeks to have the Monumento included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Sites.  As of June 6, 2009, 12:48pm, this online petition has been signed by 828 Filipinos around the world.  We need more.  By lending your signature to this campaign, you can help promote Filipino culture and defend Philippine national honor and dignity.  I hope that you can also help encourage our presidentiables to lend their support to this campaign. 

I just wished that Senator Legarda had addressed the issue of tuition fee increase moratorium. Napaka-importante ng isyung ito para hindi banggitin ng sinumang presidentiable especially any Senator who sits in the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture like Senator Legarda.  I hope she can enlighten us on this issue as soon as possible.  The same goes true for our other presidentiables.  

Sino kaya sa mga presidentiable natin ang tatalakay sa bagay na ito?

Kung nakaligtaan lang po nila, sana naman po ay sabihin nila sa atin na may malasakit sila sa milyon-milyon ring mga magulang na nagpapaaral sa private schools at bumabalikat ng tungkulin ng gobyerno na magbigay ng free elementary and high school education  sa ating mga kabataan. 

Isama na rin po natin ang milyon-milyong mga kabataan sa mga private colleges and universities at kanilang mga magulang. Lalo na ngayon na nasalanta na ng mga scam at government neglect ang pre-need industry at maraming educational plans  na pinagbuhusan ng dugo, pawis at luha ng pobreng mga magulang ang wala nang silbi.

Ako po mismo ay nakaranas dumalo sa isang so-called tuition fee increase "consultation meeting" kung saan sinabi nung Dean na nag co-preside sa meeting with the elementary and high school principal, "We don't need your approval, we're just informing you!"  Ugh!  

Nagtaas po yung school ng ng tuition fee noong April 1 pero yun pong application for tuition fee increase was filed by them with the DepEd NCR three weeks later.  At nung humingi po ako sa DepEd NCR nang kopya nung application, ang sabi, "Hindi pa ito public documents dahil hindi pa namin naipro-proseso."  Nakakuha lang po ako ng mga documents dahil humingi ako ng tulong sa office ni Senator Mar Roxas who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture. Ano na po ang nangyari sa pahayag ni DepEd Secretary Jesli Lapus na gusto niyang magkaroon ng tuition fee increase moratorium?!  Palabas lang?!

Nakikiusap po ako sa inyong lahat na sama-sama po nating sundan at matyagan ang isyung ito bilang test case na maaaring pagmulan ng pagbabago sa usapin po ng tuition fee increases sa Pilipinas.  Nakikiusap po ako sa mga student leaders na makipag-ugnayan sa mga parent advocates na tulad ko upang mapagsanib natin ang ating mga lakas upang maitaguyod ang karapatan sa edukasyon ng mga kabataan at tutulan ang di-patas at di-makatwirang pagtataas ng tuition fee.

Tuition fee is not only an education issue, it is a consumer rights issue and a human rights issue. Idulog po natin ang usaping ito hindi lang sa DepEd o sa CHED kundi pati na rin sa Commission on Human Rights because the right to education is a basic human right!   

Kung ikaw ay nasa kolehiyo ngayon, bagong graduate o ilang  taon pa lang nagtatrabaho, naitanong mo na ba sa sarili mo kung magkano ang tuition fee sa private elementary or high school ten years from now?  Will it be P50,000, P60,000? P70,000? Will you still be able to send your children to private school 10 or 15 years from now?  

I believe it is insensitive for anyone running for public office, let alone for President, to ignore the extremely important issue of rampaging tuition fee increases, especially in a time of severe economic crisis. Meron pa po bang pakiramdam ang mga kandidato natin na ang mga net worth ay nasa 8 digits, 9 digits, or 10 digits at merong mga bahay kung saan-saang lugar?!  Alam po ba nila kung gaano kahirap maghagilap ng pambayad ng tuition fee and other school fees? At ng mga librong pagkamamahal?  

If giant American companies like GM and Chrysler can file for bankruptcy, ano pa po kaya ang katayuan ng mga maliliit na Pilipino na matagal nang hinahambalos ng krisis?!

Sa ating mga kabataan at mga magulang, kung interesado po kayo sa pagbabago, meron po tayong puwedeng gawin bilang paunang hakbang. Maglunsad po tayo ng online petition to declare a people-powered moratorium on tuition fee increases upang mapilitan ang mga kandidato na seryosohin ang isyung ito.  If we get sufficient numbers, we can get the candidates' attention on this issue and the ensuing discussion and solutions will be for the good of our country ... it will secure a better future for millions of Filipinos yet unborn.  Wala po tayong mararating kung hindi po tayo hahakbang.  Ngayon na po, NOW NA! 

At hindi lang po sa education or tuition fee natin puwedeng gawin 'yan kundi sa lahat pa po ng mga importanteng isyu.  

I will appreciate seeing your comments here or you may send me email messages to rollyocampo@yahoo.com.  

Humihingi po ako ng paumanhin kung anuman po ang errors sa live blog na 'to ... pasensiya na po, tao lang. 

If you're reading this, thank you and please drop by again because I have a lot more to say about what was discussed during this second forum and the first ANC Leadership Forum on May 11 which I also covered in a live blog.  9:51pm

Thank you, Mabuhay ang Pinoy!

God bless the Philippines and God bless to all!  

6 June 2009,  10:34am, Manila time

Here are the the reports filed by Willard Cheng on last night's 2nd ANC Leadership Forum:

I have to run for a meeting with other parents on the pre-need industry and hopefully, tackle as well the issue of tuition fee increase moratorium.  

After  the last Senate hearing on the pre-need industry chaired by Senator Mar Roxas, I asked the new head of the SEC Non Traditional Securities Department to convene a pre-need industry stakeholders conference involving the SEC, the pre-need companies, the longsuffering planholders, the trustee banks, etc. so that solutions that will provide relief to planholders and plan beneficiaries can be put in place.  His response was positive and encouraging and I have every hope that the suggested conference will take place.   

I will appreciate if you can come back so we can expand the discussion of issues here affecting the life of our nation and the future of our children.  Thanks a lot!



1 comment:

  1. I was part of the audience I sensed that the reception for Mayor Binay was great. Mayor Binay eloquently and intelligently answered all questions raised before him. Mahusay na leader talaga. He has a chance for the presidency. What he needs is a massive campaign. Among the alternatives, it is the mayor who has the character, integrity and competence as far as governence and leadership is concerned. Maraming palakpakan sa audience ang natamo ni Mayor Binay.


If you encounter any problem posting your comment, such as the error message "Your request could not be processed. Please try again," the problem might be resolved simply by trying to resubmit the comment. Otherwise, please email me at rollyocampo@yahoo.com. Thanks a lot for visiting my blog. Have a nice day and God bless!

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