-The length of time it took Sulpicio Lines to know of the new guidelines on ship travel which was revised in June 27, 2007. Edgar Go, representing the ship company said they were not informed of the revision that could have avoided the sinking of the Princess of the Sea. =0=
The amount paid by the Philippine government (P133 billion in interest and P198.53 billion in principal) on maturing debts from January to May, 2008 according to the Department of Finance. As of April 2008, the country has a trade deficit of $531 million (approx. P24 billion.)
-The monthly travel allowance of a Philippine congressman in trips, local and abroad. This taxpayer’s money could be the source of cash used by 59 representatives (1/4 of the entire Congress,) in accompanying Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo in USA on July 21 to 30, 2008, a junket which critics call “extravagant and insensitive.”
The overall percentage of improvement in the National Achievement Test (NAT) for grade 6 Filipino public school students—from 43% in 2003 to 2008’s’s 65%; DepEd’s Jesli Lapus eyes a 75% mark by 2010.
-It took the media to correct the misleading news about the “lost Amazon” tribe, not having contact with civilization (mentioned in mesiamd’s blog on 05/31/08: “The stonehenge’s secret revealed, a lost Amazon tribe discovered…) The disclosure brings to recall similar hoaxes woven around indigenous forest-dwellers, like the Philippine Tasadays whose made-up secrets were revealed after Marcos was driven out of the country.
-The number of millionaires in the world with an asset of at least 1 million dollars; representing 1/5 of 1% of the world’s 6.7 billion people; a rise of 6% from 2006 to 2007; a third of these millionaires live in America.
-Center for Disease Control (CDC’s) estimate on the number of Americans afflicted with diabetes, representing 8% of the total US population; based on a 2007 data; another 57 million have deranged (prediabetic) sugar levels putting them at risk to have the disease.
-The average home price in America. According to the US Department of Commerce, May 2008 home value dropped 5.7% from last year’s prices, dragging down the economy and firing fears of a recession.
-Today’s percentage point advantage of Barack Obama against John McCain in the US presidential race. This double-digit (06/25/08) lead may not hold until November’s election.
-The price of Claude Monet’s impressionist painting “Le bassin aux nymphéas,” or “Water Lily Pond,” an exquisite artwork auctioned off at a highest price so far by Christie’s in Europe (see photo by Lefteris Pitarakis, AP)