A stranger's thoughts
of a place in her country
By DIANNE MARIANO, AHRC
As a Filipino, born
and raised in Manila, it is a shame to say that on my first trip to
Mindanao I felt mixed emotions. I was happy because I had the
opportunity of travelling to this part of the country, but I was also
worried due to the stories of war in that land we called, the Land of
Promise; at that I could not expect protection from the government on
my trip there.
perception is that Mindanao is a violent place where there are
conflicts between soldiers and the rebels and also the terrorist. This
is what newspapers, radio and television usually report. Most the
stories though are exaggerated and sensationalized but these were the
images I had in mind: the island of Mindanao is a violent place.
While on the plane, I
could not help but worry about my travel to the island. However, I
realised that I had to set my worries aside and prepare myself for a
worst case scenario. Questions were flooding my mind mixed with
concern. What should I expect from the places where I will be going?
Will I learn something from them? What can be done?
As I was deplaning, I
just follow the other passengers. Apart from the soldiers near the
gate the airport in Davao City is no different to the one in Manila. I
saw a crowd of people taking shelter from rain in a tent while waiting
for a ride. Later, a man approached me and asked me something but I
could not understand anything. But a colleague told me the man was
merely asking where we were going and whether we already had a car. I
felt awkward. I thought to myself, we are both Filipino but I could
not understand a very simple question from this man. I felt awkward. I
felt as if I was a stranger in my own country.
It was a long day. We
spent the whole day travelling. Later I went out looking for a place
where I could take my breakfast and found myself in a small shop
selling food that hardly had any customers. A girl, who was probably
around 13 years of age, served me food, while her mother cooked. I
just told her the food that I wanted to eat. It was my first time to
taste dried anchovies with cucumber, tomatoes and vinegar. I never
thought it could be very tasty. Few minutes later, my attention was
drawn to the girl. I thought to myself what I was doing at her age. My
memories were coming back.
I could still remember
that I was playing and going my friend's houses. But my mother, who
was working abroad, was not with us. She was working abroad to serve
foreigners in order to earn money. I envied the girl because she was
with her mother. Even if she was not with her friends playing or
visiting their houses, she and her mother were together. They were
working together to make a living.
After eating, I went
around walking, again. This time I saw a mother carrying her baby. At
the corner dirty and barefoot children were playing. I could not
believe in what I have seen and asked myself, "Am I really in
Mindanao or in
Manila?" This is the
usual scenario that I see in
children and the elderly begging money to buy food to eat. The people
call them "Badjao". From what I know, the term "Badjao" is the name of
the place where they come from and that they had to live for reasons I
do not know.
On the same day, we
travel to Samal (island). The air was fresh at the
Island and the way of life is very simple. Most of the people there
knew each other. Shortly, a young man approached us. He was a tattoo
artist. He was using skin paint for temporary tattoos. He has many
different designs for those who want to pay to have one done.
While my colleague was
having his tattoo, they had the opportunity of talk about their life.
The young guy mentioned that if he has no class, he is usually at the
beach to offer tattoos to beach goers. He financially supports his own
study in Architecture from his tattoo service. I admire the young
man's determination to finish his study and given the need for school
projects and equipment for his course would not be that easy.
As I was observing the
surrounding, I noticed men who were also playing basketball at the
nearby court. They were playing in a half-court basketball court I
thought they themselves had constructed. It was fun to see them
playing. It gave me a different sense of happiness while I was
watching them. I could see from their faces the happiness and
contentment in what they were doing. They were enjoying the game with
their friends and their family as well -- simple things that I had
Lessons I learned
We went to many other
places after our Samal trip. In few days, it seems that we had nearly
travelled through most provinces in Mindanao. Our trip had showed me
something that most of us had not paid attention to before.
The mother and her
child at the shop had taught me that had there been sufficient
opportunity for employment in our country her daughter would not have
to earn a living as well at that very young age. She could have
focused her energy in her studies and have time to play. That is what
OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) should have been able to do (in the
country as well) like what my mother did many years ago. Filipinos
would not need to be separated only to get a job abroad, which is
often dangerous, to feed their family.
It did not escape my
attention also that if life in urban areas is difficult, it is similar
to what the people in the urban areas are also experiencing. It
illuminates to me that virtually the policy of the government for
adequate housing, health and other public services could hardly do
anything for the needy.
The story of that
young man doing commercial tattoos had given me hope that we could do
something if we work hard for it. I thought his parents were lucky to
have a son like him because he was the one who thought of the need to
earn money to support his studies. However, there is also anger that I
feel inside because had our government allocated sufficient budget for
education each youth would have had to the opportunity to focus and
excel from their studies. They would not have to worry that the
following day they could not go to school anymore because they no
longer have money.
Now I thought I had
given more value to simple and small things that I usually did not pay
attention to; the simple things that give us happiness. My experience
had taught me the simplicity of the way of life of the people of Samal.
I realised this is what the people in urban areas were deprived of
because they work so hard to earn a living they hardly find time for
At the end, I had mix
emotions from that trip. It was both happiness and concerns which were
gradually overtaken by my determination. It is a determination to help
others and fellow Filipino in order to inform the authorities as to
the realities of my people.
About the author:
Dianne Mariano is a former intern of the AHRC. She wrote this article,
originally written in Filipino, following her recent trip in Mindanao
as part of her exposure programme.
On Senator Sotto’s
abortion bogey and the role of IPPF and FPOP
A statement by Family
Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP)
September 6, 2011
Senator Vicente Sotto
III, yesterday once again mentioned the International Planned
Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and the Family Planning Organization of
the Philippines, Inc. (FPOP) in his interpellation for the RH bill.
He cast IPPF as an organization providing abortion worldwide. His line
of questioning seemed to suggest that since FPOP is an affiliate of
IPPF, ergo FPOP is also an abortion provider in the Philippines. All
these tended to put doubt on the legal existence of FPOP as an NGO and
the integrity of this organization.
For the benefit of Mr.
Sotto and some members of the public who might have been misled by his
revelations, IPPF is a global service provider and a leading advocate
of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. It has 153
Member Associations in 170 countries, proof that it is recognized and
welcomed by governments and supported and patronized by peoples across
the world. It is recognized by world leaders and its voice and
advocacies are heard and respected by the United Nations and many of
IPPF provides access
to family planning and a constellation of reproductive health services
especially targeting the poorest, marginalized, socially excluded and
underserved populations in all of the countries where it is present.
In 2010 alone, approximately 33 million clients, including Filipinos,
were able to enjoy IPPF’s services that include counseling,
gynaecological care, HIV-related services, diagnosis and treatment of
sexually transmitted infections infertility services; mother and child
health, family planning, youth-friendly services, contraception,
emergency contraception; and abortion-related services.
It is true that IPPF
promotes safe abortion (as contrasted to unsafe abortion). But it does
so only in countries where abortion is legal. In other words, it does
not perform abortion where it is not legal.
FPOP is a proud
member, in fact a very proud member, of IPPF because only one
organization per country earns the distinction of becoming its member
despite many applications to become such. We also have a proud history
being the largest and oldest non-government organization that provides
continuous and consistent family planning and reproductive health
information and services in the Philippines. This we do even in
difficult times and in the face of government’s hemming and hawing if
to fund these services such as during the Arroyo administration.
We have legally
existed since 1969 and have served millions of mostly poor Filipinos.
We preceded even the establishment of the Commission on Population and
other family planning and reproductive health related programs of the
government. We were founded by highly-respected medical leaders and
practitioners at that time such as Dr. Jose Katindig, Dr. Josefa Ilano,
Dr. Gregorio Lim, joined later by Dr. Juan Flavier, who later became
DOH Secretary and Senator, and other personalities with Catholic and
At present, FPOP has
25 chapters all over the country and runs 28 clinics. We have hundreds
of volunteers many of them doctors, nurses, midwives, teachers,
lawyers, ranking government officials and politicians backed up by
community leaders and ordinary folk – mostly women – who serve as our
frontline service providers. To refresh the shortened memory of Mr.
Sotto, he enthusiastically helped inaugurate one of our clinics, the
Tandang Sora Community Health Care Clinic, when he was still an
intrepid young Vice Mayor of Quezon City many years ago.
In his interpellation,
Senator Sotto raised the abortion bogey obviously to muddle the issue.
For his information, on no occasion has FPOP been hailed to court nor
any of its volunteers and practitioners to prison for an abortion
offense in FPOP’s 42 years of service. Our only record is an
impeccable one and that is our record of providing FP and RH services
to those in need, oftentimes for free.
We do not intend to
hide the fact that FPOP provides abortion-related services aside from
our main service components on access to family planning and
reproductive health services, young people’s sexual and reproductive
health, HIV and AIDS and advocacy. For the education of Mr. Sotto and
for the satisfaction of our countless supporters, we cannot remain
blind to the reality that there are 575,000 abortions occurring
annually mostly in unsafe conditions. About 80,000 of them end up in
hospitals after developing complications, which sometimes result in
death. Family planning and abortion counseling, our principal
abortion-related service and deterrence to unsafe abortion, have the
capability to prevent unintended pregnancy that result to induced
abortion by up to 25%, according to many studies. Prevention and
management of abortion and its complications is a recognized
abortion-related service and is being implemented also by the
Department of Health and other health NGOs like us.
To bolster Mr. Sotto’s
abortion scare, he sought to associate IPPF and FPOP to the
controversial advocacies of Margaret Sanger conveniently setting aside
the fact that she is recognized as one of the leading figures in the
struggle for women’s emancipation and of sexual and reproductive
health and rights. The good Senator’s attempt to disqualify the claims
of our courageous Senate and House sponsors and advocates of the RH
bill based on the history of one of its founders is an attempt to veer
the public’s attention away from the more contemporary and equally
noble cause that is the promotion of men’s and women’s rights to
self-determination, information, health, and life.
At this juncture, the
dismal maternal and child health situation in the country is more
important than our own individual perceptions or opinions of history,
much like our belief in Christianity and the Roman Catholic Church
remains unaffected despite our knowledge of the Crusades that claimed
the life of those perceived as heretics in the 16th century.
“Rain as grace”
By JUAN L. MERCADO, firstname.lastname@example.org
“A man will fight over
three things,” the late Senator Barry Goldwater mused. “Water, women
and gold – usually in that order.” That sequence resonates in House of
Representatives’ Resolution No. 1573.
Filed by party-list
legislator Rep. Arnel Ty, it urges government: Revisit its massive
failure to implement the 22-year old law titled: “Rainwater Collection
and Springs Development Act” approved in March 1989, RA 6715 requires
rainwater be saved.
flopped in implementing this law. “The law hath not been dead, though
it hath slept,” Shakespeare wrote in “Measure for Measure.”
Unsaved rain often
turns into rampaging floods. And people will murder for wells, during
droughts. ”Where there is no water, guns are everywhere,” UN Secretary
General Ban Ki Moon wrote. Few remember that prolonged dry spells
sparked the Darfur massacre where 200,000 died in South Sudan, he
Intense rainfall, half
of the year, now alternates with searing droughts in the other half.
Floods trigger landslide that morph by into fields baked by dry
spells. Between 68 to 90% of land, in 19 provinces are “susceptible to
landslides”. So is 73% of Metro Manila, warns a Department of
Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) study.
threatened areas. Here are some (figures rounded) current estimates:
Misamis Occidental (90%); Quirino and Bulacan (87%); Basilan and
Bukidnon (85%) percent); Surigao del Norte (83%); Quezon (82%).
Include Camarines Sur
(79%); Lanao del Norte (78%); Camarines Norte and Zamboanga
del Norte (77%);
Northern Samar and, Pampanga (74%); Pangasinan (71%t); Davao Oriental
Aurora (69%) followed by
and Sulu (67%percent).
“Issue a ‘writ of
kalikasan’,” Magsaysay Awardee Antonio Oposa and concerned citizens
earlier asked the Supreme Court. If granted, the writ would compel
respondents – government units, provinces, even the new Commission on
Climate Change – to implement RA 6716. “When the well's dry, we know
the worth of water.”
Clean adequate water
ensures life and growth. In the
66 out of every 100, lack safe water. Many die from tainted water.
“The most fractured human right is that of a child to celebrate his
first birthday”. These preventable deaths are an obscenity.
People consume water,
discard it, poison it, waste it,” writes Marq de Villiers. “(They)
restlessly change the hydrological cycles, indifferent to the
consequences: too many people, too little water, water in the wrong
places and in the wrong amounts.”
Yet, solutions are
doable. Take building a rain cistern. Or sealing leaks in water system
pipes. Capiz province, in 1989, used a Canadian International
Development Research Centre grant, to build 500 rainwater storage
tanks. Made of were wire-framed ferro-cement, tank capacities ranged
from 2 to 10 cubic meters. This was no free lunch. Loans of US$200,
repayable over a three-year period, covered not only the cost of the
tank but also one or more income generation initiatives, like rearing
of pigs. “This mechanism for financing rural water supplies avoided
costly water resources development subsidies.
and Davao City have such ordinances. Iloilo has drafted a similar
measure. “Between saying and doing many a pair of shoes is worn out”,
an Italian proverb says. Implementation has been flabby. And there is
a little recognized hurdle: Water districts which do not think beyond
Take Bulacan’s Water
District. Like Cebu, it is bugged by more deep wells that spew
brackish water, as the “saline edge contaminates underground aquifers.
Both are over-dependent on aquifers ground water – which is not
sustainable. An increase in rainwater use would result in savings for
family budgets – but a drop in water district revenue,”
“At first, Bulacan was
excited about harvesting rainwater,” recalls a water speciatist. What
about income to pay off loans?, finance people asked. “And that was
the end of the planning. Mayor Ed Hagedorn wanted rainwater
harvesting for Puerto Princesa. He, too, ran into a similar
Today, water use is
increasing at twice the rate of population growth, International
Herald Tribune reports. But, 58% of our groundwater is contaminated,
Asian Development Bank finds. Untreated domestic and industrial wastes
poison reservoirs. Here, you can drink from only a third of our
rivers. The rest are cesspools. By 2025, water availability will be
marginal in 8 of 19 major river basins and most of the cities.
Providing clean water
can save most of 1.8 million children who die yearly from diarrhea,
says the UN study: “Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty and the Global
Water Crisis.” Installing a flush toilet in the home, increases by 59
percent a child’s chances of surviving. “Not having access to clean
water is a euphemism for profound deprivation,” UN says. “The crisis
in water and sanitation is above all a crisis for the poor.”
Not one of the 16
unqualified towns, that became cities, thru a flip-flopping Supreme
Court decision, will use their Internal Revenue Allotment for water.
Mindsets must be overhauled to recognize rain as a primary source of
water. What keeps rivers flowing and stores water in catchments or
watersheds is rain. “Rain is the sky condescending to the earth,” as
John Updike wrote…”Rain is grace.”
Medical practice – the
poor are likely to die
By DANILO REYES, AHRC
The common phrase that
the poor suffers the most, in all aspects of life, is not difficult to
comprehend. But no one could ever grasp the depth of the poor's
suffering in a life in which he was conditioned to live. It is not
like an experimental exposure where a person can immerse himself in a
situation in order to get a feel, knowing full well that he can simply
step out of it when it becomes too much for him.
The experience I had
as to how the disadvantaged suffer from the poor state of the medical
practice in the Philippines is limited to me, my family and my
relatives. I could articulate the experiences of the others but it
would be broad and in an abstract idea as to how they have suffered;
and my evidence to those experiences are anecdotal.
Yes. If you are poor,
you have no political connection, you are not known to the medical
service provider and if the latter thinks you have no education, you
are likely to die.
Recently, I took my
family for a holiday in my wife's hometown, a remote village in the
southern part of the Philippines. After having been away for over two
years, I thought of our travel as good experience for our two
children, the eldest of which is five; and youngest, two. The latter
was born in Hong Kong and has not been seen by our relatives since he
A few days after we
arrived, both children fell ill. One eldest had fever and was
vomiting; and the youngest had loose bowels. In the village there are
no taxis; there is an ambulance service but there is no way to contact
them. In an emergency the villagers take the patients, some of whom
are even dying, to the hospital by themselves – if not on foot, on a
public bus or passenger jeep at the highway. These means of transport
are only available about ten to twenty minutes walking distance from
the house were we stay.
It was high noon, I
carried my eldest and my wife our youngest to the highway to go to the
hospital which was almost an hour away from where we were staying.
After waiting for the passenger jeep to arrive we then had to wait
until it was full as the driver was reluctant to leave without a full
For me it was an
emergency. Try to imagine the scene inside the jeep: I was carrying a
plastic bag for my daughter to vomit in; and my wife, who was carrying
our boy, was making sure the contents of the malfunctioning diaper of
low quality (the best available) did not spill out of his pants. We
waited in agony of despair for the jeepney to leave for the nearby
town where the hospital is.
Finally we were there.
We immediately went into the emergency section of the provincial
hospital. Here, I saw an ambulance parked by the door and I wondered
how it might be possible to contact the service. I did not see any
sign or instructions on how to contact the ambulance service. At that
time, I did not bother to find out. I had my two children with me
right at the door to the emergency room. It had taken an hour and now
we were just as worried and clueless as no one was telling us what to
Along the hallway, a
hospital staff (probably a nurse), who did not bother introducing
herself, asked us why we were there. She didn't stop to talk to us and
we had to walk along with her. I had always assumed that in an
emergency room where the lives of patients are at stake you do not
waste time. Surely, no one would go to such a place unless it was a
genuine emergency. Was it necessary for this nurse to ask such an
obvious question? Apparently it was.
In an emergency
situation the first duty of the hospital staff is to ascertain the
immediate situation of the patient. However, without making any such
inquiries the nurse arrogantly asked why we did not bring our sick
children earlier. Before I was able to answer she told us that if we
wanted to have our children attended to by a doctor, we would have to
choose between submitting them for admission or just go away.
She then arrogantly
demanded to know as to why we were unaware that the doctors at the
provincial hospital only serve patients half day every Saturday. Thus,
even if we admitted our children they would not be attended to by a
doctor until one or two days later.
It was only after I
told the hospital staff that we lived in
Hong Kong and were staying at a nearby town, that she took the time to
explain to us properly how we could get treatment at the hospital;
something that should have been a part of her normal duties. My
siblings and friends has told me that we were only likely to be
accommodated by government employees, such as hospital staff, if they
thought we had money, or were a professional and, most importantly, if
you arrived at the hospital in a private car.
In this instance all
we had was this arrogant woman to deal with. There was no one dealing
with newly arriving patients, their conditions being an emergency or
There was no apparent
system or mechanism. I did not see any instructions on what the newly
arriving patient should do to get registered and treated; that they
are only open half days on Saturdays; that a patient could be admitted
without being examined by a doctor; that patients have to wait until
the doctors are available. There were no instructions, only posters
from the health department on general public announcements.
When I realised this,
what came to mind was not me and my two sick children, but how
terribly the poor and ordinary person might suffer daily when they
seek treatment from that government hospital in an emergency. Our case
was vastly different. At least I had an idea of how to deal with
government employees and we, at least, could also afford to go to a
private doctor and hospital.
I was told how
patients were refused treatment in health centers and hospitals for
very petty reasons. My sister-in-law told me a story about an
indigenous child, who came down with a relative from a far flung
village in the mountains, sent away by health worker in the village
because he did not carry proof that he was a resident there. The
patient, whose foot was badly swollen was in pain, was refused
treatment by the health center. The boy and his relatives had to leave
the health center without being treated.
In the remote and far
flung villages, villagers do not bother securing referral letters or
any documents to prove that they are residents of that village. Most
villagers know who live in their village regardless of how far a
distance neighbor's house is from the other. The indigenous people,
unless they could not remedy the illness in their own, also prefer to
treat their patients on their own because – firstly, hardly any of
them had any experience of getting treatment from medical services;
secondly, hospitalization and medication means you need a lot of money
which they do not have.
Even if you can afford
to pay or are covered by health insurance in private hospitals, the
doctors and hospital staffs make money from you in their own way.
Unlike in Hong Kong,
the doctor's fee when you go to private doctors and hospitals in the
Philippines is only for the consultation. Medicine is not included.
The doctor would prescribe a medicine for you to buy at the private
pharmacies outside. The prescription of medicine is where the doctors
get money or commission from medical representatives (MedRep). The
medical representatives are persons selling medicines for doctors to
prescribe. They also have their own way of checking at pharmacies as
to whose doctors prescribed what medicine.
Thus, when my wife and
I fell sick few days later, the medicines prescribed by a doctor at a
private hospital, which could possibly be cheap had it been prescribed
as a generic brand, were very expensive. Usually private doctors in
private clinics asked the patients what they do for a living (which
has absolutely nothing to do your sickness) before prescribing
medicines. The medicine that the patient would get depends on the
patient's response – depending on the doctor's judgment as to whether
the person can afford or not.
At the private
hospital where my wife and I went, I could hear a female patient who
was sitting next to me, trying to explain to a hospital nurse (who was
attending to three to four patients at once) that she be admitted for
treatment. The nurse refused to register her because she had no money
to pay and she could also not produce a document showing the bus
company would cover her hospital expenses. She was being a victim of
the bus accident. The patient had not been admitted even after we left
Doctors are subject to
rules and regulation by the law and the medical profession. To refuse
treatment to needy patients is illegal; however, hospitals and health
centers gets away from it by not putting them on record in the first
place. They do not have any liability or any responsibility to any
patient where they do not have any records of them.
Talumpati para sa Araw ng Samar
delivered by 8ID chief MGen. MARIO F. CHAN on the occasion of the 15th
Samar Day Celebration on August 11, 2011 at the Capitol Grounds
Ang pagdiriwang ng
kaarawan, tulad ng ginagawa natin ngayon ay isang pagkakataon upang
tingnan, lasapin at tasahin kung nasaan na tayo at kung ano ang mga
pagbabagong naganap mula noon hanggang ngayon. Ito po ang ibig sabihin
ni Gat Jose Rizal.
Para marating natin ang gusto nating marating, kailangan pong
balikan natin kung saan tayo nanggaling at kung papaano tayo tumatawid
Sa pagkakataong ito,
gusto kong magsalita, hindi lamang bilang isang Heneral ng Philippine
Army, kundi bilang isa ring mamamayan na tulad ng nakakarami,
nangangarap ng isang lipunang tunay na masagana at mapayapa. At tulad
din ng nakararami, kailan man ay hindi ako nagsawang mangarap na
baling araw giginhawa ang mamamayang Pilipino at magkaroon ng
kapayapaan sa bawat tahanan at pamayanan.
Ang isla ng Samar, at
ang mga lalawigang nasa loob nito, ay kasama sa mga tinaguriang mga
mahihirap na pamayanan. Ayoko nang banggitin kung pan-ilan tayo sa
listahan ng mahihirap na lalawigan. Sapat na para maalaala natin na
kasama tayo sa listahan.
Sa totoo lang, may
staitistics man, ot wala, ang pang araw-araw na karanasan ng mga
Samarenyo ay sapat upang ipahiwatig sa atin na matindi nga ang
kahirapan sa lugar natin. Kaya siguro nakakapag recruit ang CPP-NPA
para sa kanilang armadong pakikibaka ay dahil sa kalagayang ito.
Kung kahirapan ang
nagtulak sa iilan sa atin upang sumanib sa armadong pakikibaka ng
kilusang komunista, di po ba’t ang dapat nating gawin ay paunlarin ang
kabuhayan ng mga mamamayan upang wala nang sasama pa sa kilusan nila,
at maging ang mga nasa loob ay aalis na at iwanan na nila ang kilusan?
Pero paano po ba natin
paunlarin ang Samar at ang pamumuhay ng mga mamamayan dito? May
formula ba na kailangang malaman upang mangyari ito? Bakit mistulang
napag-iwanan tayo ng ibang mga probinsiya sa loob ng rehiyon? Ano ang
meron sila na wala sa
Sa paniniwala ko po,
sapat na ang mga umiiral na batas upang magamit bilang pamantayan sa
pagpapaunlad ng buhay at kabuhayan ng bawat pamayanan. Sa saligang
batas po ay malinaw na isinalarawanang mahigpit at dinamikong ugnayan
ng arikultura, repormang pansakahan at kaunlarang industriyal.
Upang magkaroon ng
batayan sa pag-unlad ng mga industriya, kailangan palaguin ang hanay
na agrikultura. Upang makamit ang sabay-sabay na pag-unlad ng
kanayunan at kalunsuran, kailangang iangat ang antas ng produktibidad
sa kanayunan at ang isang napakahalagang kailangan gawin dito ay ang
lutasin ang problema sa monopoliyo sa lupa sa anyo ng repormang
agraryo at repormang pansakahan.
Kung ito rin lang ang
pag-uusapan, matagal ng nailatag ng gobyerno ang mga batayang
pundasyon upang magawa ang lahat ng ito.
Ibig sabihin na ang
mga kinakailangang mga patakarang legal upang makamit ang panlipunang
kasaganahan ay nandiyan na. Kailangan na lang nating gawin.
Pero paano nga natin
paunlarin ang Samar?
May batayan ba kung
sabihin natin na paunlarin natin ang turismo? Kung may batayan, may
mga plano at programa na ba para dito?
May batayan ba kung
sabihin natin na paunlarin natin ang agrikultura sa kabila ng
katotohanang ang Samar ay madalas dinadaanan ng bagyo? Kung may
batayan, may malinaw ba na plano at programa para dito?
May batayan ba kung
sabihin natin na paunlarin ang industriya lalo na ang sector ng
manufacturing? Kung may batayan, may mga plano na ba at programa para
Kung inyo pong
napansin, lahat po ng kailangang gawin upang paunlarin ang isla ng
Samar ay magmumula sa isang malinaw na plano at programa – isang plano
at programa na angkop sa kalagayan at pangangailangan, at malinaw kung
sino ang makikinabang: ang totoong bayan.
Dito po mahalaga ang
usapin ng pamumuno at pamamahala o leadership and management.
Pasensiya na po kung sabihin natin na ang kailangan dito ay
political will. Kung meron man pong politically-relevant phrase na
masyado nang naabuso, political will po yun.
Ang gusto ko lang
sabihin na malaki ang hamon para sa mga namumuno at namamahala ng mga
probinsiya sa isla ng Samar. Pangunahin po dito ang mga namumuno sa
mga pamahalaang local. Pero kasali din po dito ang mga namumuno sa
iba’t ibang ahensiya ng pamahalaan, at maging ang mga pangunahing
seksyon ng lipunang sibil o civil society at pribadong sector.
Sa panahong ito,
mahirap na pong kumilos na nag-iisa. Di po kakayanin kung paisa-isa
nating solusyunan ang mga problemang kinakaharap. Di po okay kung
kanya-kanya. Kung ang mga suliraning panlipunan ay magkakaugnay sa
iba’t ibang anyo at antas nito, di po ba’t ang kailangang solusyon ay
magkakaugnay na gawain at magkakaugnay na mga tunguhin?
Kung gusto po nating
lutasin ang matumal na kalakalan sa kalunsuran, iangat po natin ang
kakayahang bumili (purchasing power) ang mga tao sa kanayunan.
Para po mangyari ito, kailangan lumawak at umangat ang
produksiyon; kailangan pong itayo ang mga kinakailangang imprastuktura;
kailangan pong magbuhos ng mga suportang serbisyo para sa maunlad na
produktibidad. At dito sa layuning ito, maging ang inyong mga sundalo
ay may papel na dapat gampanan.
magkaroon ng trabaho ang mamamayan – mga trabahong dito mismo sa
Samar natin ibibigay at hindi sa Metro Manila, sa Hongkong, o sa
Dubai. Sa totoo lang, humihina ang ekonomiya sa daigdig.
Tumitindi ang krisis sa Estados Unidos. Tumitindi po ang krisis sa
Europa. Kung meron mang ekonomiya na umaanagt ngayon, halos Tsina at
India na lang
po, kung ang pagbabatayan ay ang GNP ng mga bansa. Maging ang welfare
states sa Europe tulad sa mga Scandivian countries ay matindi ang
kinakaharap na mga problemang pang-ekonomiya. Kinakaharap po ng
pandaigdigang ekonomiya ang mga phenomenon na kung tawagin ng mga
ekonomista ay yugto ng decadence na ang pangunahing katangian ay ang
magkakasunod na economic recession sa iba’t ibang panig ng mundo. At
hirap po ang lahat na hanapin ang solusyon para dito.
Ibig pong sabihin, sa
darating na mga taon, hindi na po natin maasahan ang export ng lakas
paggawa upang maibsan ang problema sa kawalan ng hanapbuhay sa bansa.
Kailangan na pong pag-isipan ng maigi kung papaano tayo makalikha ng
mga oportunidad para magkaroon ng hanapbuhay ang taong bayan dito
mismo sa atin.
Kaya ko po sinasabi
ang lahat ng ito ay dahil na rin sa malinaw na ugnayan ng kaunlaran at
kapayapaan. Hindi po natin makakamit ang kapayapaan hangga’t hindi po
malinaw kung papaano natin pauunlarin ang kabuhayan ng mga mamamayan.
At para po sa kagaya
kong may mahalagang papel sa pamumuno at pamamahala, huwag po nating
sabihin na para umunlad ang Samar ay kailangang magsakripisyo ang mga
mamamayan. Sa totoo lang, ang kahirapan po ay isang malaking
sakripisyo kaya ang mamamayan natin ay matagal na pong nagsasakripisyo.
Baka po sa panahong
ito, tayo ang dapat magsakripisyo. At isang sakripisyo po na kailangan
nating gawin ay ang unahin at laging isaalang-alang ang interes at
kapakanan ng taong bayan. Huwag po nating hayaan na ang ating interes
ay maging balakid upang matugunan ang interes ng nakakarami.
Naniniwala ako na kaya
ng Samar na umunlad gamit ang mga likas yaman na nasa
Samar. Pero mangyayari
lang po ito kung magpupunyagi ang lahat lalong-lalo na ang mga
namumuno at namamahala. Makakamit po natin ang isang tunay na
masaganang lipunan kung susunod tayo sa matuwid na daan na
siyang isinusulong ng ating mahal na Presidente.
Pero maliban sa
matuwid na daan, kailangan po nating isulong ang mga proyekto at
programang pangkaunlaran na nakabatay sa ating kakayahan at kakkayahan,
at tumutugon sa pangangailangan ng ekonomiya at pamumuhay ng taong
bayan. At magaggawa ang lahat ng ito kung tayong lahat ay
Ito po sa tingin ko
ang panimulang hamon para sa ating lahat. Kaya ba nating magtulungan
ng buong puso upang itaguyod ang panlipunang kaunlaran? Kaya ba nating
isantabi ang pampulitikang dinamismo na kontra-produktibo sa pag-unlad
ng taong bayan?
Ako po ay isang
sundalo at isang mamamayan. Naniniwala po ako na hangga’t hindi tayo
nagtutulungan, wala pong mangyayari`sa ating mga matatayog na pangarap.
Bilang isang sundalo, nakahanda akong gawin ang lahat ng aking
makakaya upang maitaguyod ang interes ng nakakarami para sa isang
maunlad at mapayapang lipunan.
Sa paniniwala ko, ito
rin po ang hamon ng bawa’t isa sa inyo. At alam ko na kasing tayog ng
mga pangarap ko ang mga pangarap ninyo para sa bayan, para sa SAMAR.
natin ng ARAW ng SAMAR ngayon, gawin po nating handog sa kanya ang
panata para sa pagtutulungan.
Leave benefits as
explained by CSC provincial director Eamiguel
By CHITO DELA TORRE
Male parents who are
government employees are entitled to go on a paternity leave. Yes, if
female employees can enjoy their maternity leave, males also enjoy
their own, and that is called, paternity leave. Adoptive parents –
those with adopted children – can also enjoy all the benefits which
biological parents are entitled to. As for the latter case, Section
34 of Republic Act No. 8552 or the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998
provides, in part, thus: “Maternity and paternity and other benefits
given to biological parents upon the birth of a child, shall be
enjoyed, if the adoptee is below seven (7) years of age as of the date
the child is placed with the adopted parent through the Pre-Adoptive
Placement Authority issued by the Department “(of Social Welfare and
This is what male
teachers and non-teaching personnel at the Basey National High School
learned from the recent visit to their school by provincial director
Cyril Nathan SM. Eamiguel of the Civil Service Commission Samar
provincial office. (By the way, Dir. Eamiguel may become a lawyer one
day. That’s one of his biggest dreams.)
According to director
Eamiguel, a paternity leave is a privilege granted to a married male
employee allowing him not to report for work for seven (7) working
days while continuing to earn compensation thereof, on the condition
that his legitimate spouse has delivered a child or suffered a
miscarriage. This leave type, he explained, may be enjoyed either in
continuous or in an intermittent manner by the employee on the days
immediately before, during and after childbirth.
Paternity leave is
subject to three conditions, as follows: (1) Every married male
employee is entitled to paternity leave of seven (7) working days for
the first four (4) deliveries of his legitimate spouse with whom he is
cohabiting; (2) the first four deliveries shall be reckoned from the
effectivity of the Paternity Leave Act (Republic Act No.8187), which
is July 15, 1996; and (3) married employees with more than one (1)
legal spouse shall be entitled to avail of paternity leave for an
absolution maximum of four deliveries regardless of whichever spouse
Application for a
paternity leave must be filed within a reasonable period prior to the
expected delivery of a child, except in cases of miscarriage and
abnormal deliveries. The male parent applicant may be required to
furnish a certified true copy of marriage contract, birth certificate
of newly born child, or medical certificate with pathology reports in
case of miscarriage, signed by attending physician or midwife with
date of childbirth/miscarriage. In addition, approval of the
application leave is mandatory, unless the services of the male
employee are urgently needed to preserve life and property, in which
case, he becomes entitled to overtime pay.
In the case of
adoptive parents, there are four general guidelines to observe: (1)
Applications for maternity and paternity leave of absence by adoptive
parents should be submitted to the proper head of
agency/department/office, for appropriate action; (2) such
applications should be accompanied by an authenticated copy of the
Pre-Adoptive Placement Authority issued by the Department of Social
Welfare and Development if the leave of absence will be availed before
the grant of the petition for adoption; (3) if maternity and paternity
leave benefits are availed after the grant of the petition for
adoption, the applications should be accompanied by authenticated
copies of the Decree of Adoption issued by the proper court; and (4)
the grant of leave of absence under this Resolution shall be available
to adoptive parents only once during the whole adoption process,
provided, the adoptee or adopted child is below 7 years of age as of
(a) the date the child is placed with the adoptive parents through the
Pre-Adoptive Placement Authority, or (b) the date at which the
application for maternity or paternity leave is made.
Apart from these leave
types, there are also so-called “special leave privileges”. These
refer to a leave of absence of officials and employees that may be
availed of for a maximum of three (3) days annually. The special
leave privileges are “over and above the vacation, sick, maternity and
paternity leaves”. Director Eamiguel said the special leave privilege
allows an employee to mark personal milestone and/or attend to filial
and domestic responsibilities. Additionally, this privilege is
non-cumulative and non-commutative or non-convertible to cash.
The young CSC
provincial chief said that an employee can still avail of his birthday
leave or wedding anniversary leave if such occasion falls on either a
Saturday, Sunday or Holiday, either before or after the occasion.
Employees applying for
a special privilege shall no longer be required to present proof that
they are entitled to avail of such leaves.
however, clarified that each employee is limited to only three days
each year for his or her special privileges.
Special privileges can
be availed by officials and employees with or without existing or
approved collective negotiation agreement (CNA). These, however,
cannot be enjoyed by teachers and those covered by special leave laws.
Apart from being
granted to enable an employee to attend personal milestones, including
death anniversaries, a special privilege may be granted for a leave to
attend to parental obligations, such as attendance in school programs,
PTA meetings, graduations, first communion, medical needs, among
others, where the child of the government employee is involved.
The other four
conditions for availment of this special leave privilege are as
1) filial obligations
to cover the employee’s moral obligation toward his parents and
siblings for their medical and social needs;
emergencies such as sudden urgent repairs needed at home, sudden
absence of a yaya or maid, and the like;
transactions to cover thee entire range of transactions an individual
does with government and private offices such as paying taxes, court
appearance, arranging a housing loan, etc.;
4) calamity, accident,
hospitalization leaves pertain to force majeure events that affect the
life, limb and property of the employee or his immediate family.