Archive for the ‘2007 election’ Category

TB patients without treatment, lowered hunger rate & recent joblessness data

March 24, 2009


Tuberculosis, the chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis has reportedly gone down in prevalence in the Philippines, but there are an estimated 450,000 people still suffering from the disease. Of this number, a staggering 135,000 don’t seek medical treatment offered by the government. In spite of free diagnostic and treatment programs available, about 30% with TB choose to ignore the disease until the condition becomes complicated and hard to treat. Cultural barriers and stigma are reasons offered for the people’s refusal for TB treatment.

P11.3 billion

For the full automation of the 2010 national election, Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo signed the budget of P11.3 billion. Although it is unclear how the government will implement the modernization, the upgrade of the electoral counting system is hoped to prevent the rampant cheating in the election process. At the late hour of the Arroyo’s presidency, many still doubt her winning in the last ballot.


According to the SWS, 15% of Filipinos (2.9 million families) reported of being hungry for at least once in a period of three months. The survey taken in February 20-23 was an improvement from December’s finding of 23.7% (4.3 million families.) It is unclear what kind of food poor Filipinos eat with their meager food budget.

$280-290 billion

The World Bank estimates this amount of remittance to developing countries by OFWs—-gains from employment abroad. This is lower and less rosy than the expected amount of $305 billion—an effect of the global financial crisis. In 2008, 1.376 million Filipinos went abroad to work in more than 190 host nations. They sent back an estimated US$16.4 billion to the country, the highest in history so far.


The number of workers who lost the jobs, raising the unemployment rate to 7.7% in January, 2009, according to Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo. This adds up to the 2.9 million of jobless individuals which rose by 0.3% from last year’s data. As a cost-saving measure, the president announced the cancellation of the independence parade this year which costs P30 million to stage. (Photo Credit: =0=


Barry (Not The Manilow)

November 29, 2008

Just before the May 2004 elections, I paid a visit to a friend who was connected with an agency under the Department of Agriculture (DA). Asked him, “What’s up?”. “The DA is giving away fertilizers. The foliar kind at that. In summertime. Wala namang nagtatanim (Nobody is planting)”.

I shot back, “So?” “Parang pambili ng boto. Madaling ipamigay“. (It seems it would be used for vote-buying. Easy to distribute.)

Antaas ng porsiyento sa opisyales (A big percentage of the amount will go to the officials). 30 to 40%”. “Yung mas mataas ki Cito (Lorenzo) ang nagpapatakbo (The one more powerful than Cito is running the show). Si Bolante”.

Cito Lorenzo was then the Secretary of Agriculture. He comes from the prominent (in agribusiness and politics) Lorenzo clan. It struck that an Undersecretary is more powerful than the Secretary na kung saan yung Secretary di naman simple ang pinagmulan (the Secretary was well-born). And that was my introduction to the man who has a funny given name.

A year later, I again paid a visit to my friend. “What’s up?”. “I will have a visitor. Si Barry. Bagman ni JB”. That’s the first time I heard the name of the man named after a Rizal character. This time there are already talks about a fertilizer scam and then Sen. Ramon Magsaysay Jr. was starting his investigation.

Later I read Barry was covered by Gloria’s “executive privilege”. That was before the Supreme Court half-struck it down. Later I read the guy was already a vice-president in the Government Insurance Service System (GSIS). I said to myself, “What a rise!”.

Now it turned out that all he had was a Physical Education (PE) degree. When division managers in the attached agency are already required to have PhDs.