Archive for the ‘GMA’ Category

GMA’s ditch-low approval rating, her kiddie “payback package" for OFW’s & a big store in Naga City rises

December 17, 2008

Negative (-30)

President Gloria M. Arroyo gets the lowest satisfaction rating in 2008, much lower than the (-)9 she got the year before. The Social Weather Survey (SWS) result from the 4th quarter poll at the end of November is thought to be bad. It attests to the unpopularity of the administration that’s wracked by corruption and nepotism, believed to be worse than that of Ferdinand Marcos.

Unresolved issues like joblessness, floundering economics, the Bolante fertilizer scam, Euro generals money laundering case, unabated maritime disasters, journalist killings, charter-change controversy, poor education and healthcare, Mindanao secessionist problem, CARP extension, unimplemented cheap medicine law, and the big C (Corruption) noticed by watchers abroad are in the long list of problems that stun the public.

P1.4 trillion

It’s the 2009 national budget which is approved in the second and last deliberation in the senate. Notable in the budget are less allocations for the Department of Agrarian Reform by P3.1 billion, Energy P61 million, Finance 13 million, Local Governments P436 million, Justice P215 million, Armed Forces P75 million, Public Works P3.4 billion, Social Welfare P243 million, and National Economic Development Authority by P25 million. The budget cuts on certain services are allocated in other areas. A P10 billion economic fund is being considered, but no appropriations are set aside for the Office of the Press Secretary, the Philippine Tourism Authority and Kilos Asenso.

4,000

SM, the large monopolistic mall-chain owned by business mogul Henry Sy, Sr. in the Phiippines, is making preparations to open its outlet in Naga City on March 2009. About 4,000 job-seekers are needed in the operation which is estimated to generate $12 million in wages and P40 million in taxes. Expected to compete with small stores of the area, SM may draw shoppers in neighboring towns.

The exact effects of such a huge business in the city of 160,000 people aren’t completely known. Will there be congestion in the city? Will money windfall benefit the Bicolanos? Will profits be carted away from the area and render the mom-and-pop stores struggling to survive? Did the Naga City officials do a thorough study on the cost-benefit of approving an SM store?

50,000

As a result of the global economic crisis, the number of Filipinos abroad expected to be laid off has increased. Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo has laid out a “payback package” assistance for retrenched overseas foreign workers (OFW’s,) a tepid offering of skills training, scholarships, and measly P10,000 ($200) to start a “business” upon their return to the country.

15,000

Participants of the Manila’s anti-charter change (cha-cha) rally were larger than expected, according to Makati mayor Jejomar Binay, the president of the United Opposition. More protests against Cha-cha and other frustrating issues are on the works with broadened support from various organizations. (Photo Credits: gmaresign; doublefault2; arty; gmaresign=0=

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Big Mike Falls Sick: Bad Omen

November 24, 2008


Sportsman Big Mike recently fell ill while accompanying his wife on an official mission to Peru. The plane had to be diverted to Tokyo to unload Big Mike, causing Madame Gloria to miss the opening ceremonies of the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation). Anyway, Madame Gloria got a consolation in the form of US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice’s consuelo de bobo : “You are US’ best friend”. I do not know if this is an assurance that the US will not back any moves to oust Madame Gloria. I also do not know if this is an indirect message to those pushing the impeachment case as in, “Back off!” Is this an endorsement for “Cha-cha” (Charter change) so that Madame Gloria will have the chance to stay beyond 2010?

But anyway, these are all empty gestures by now. In two months time, Bush jr. and Rice will be out of office (no “Cha-cha” in the US; they do not dance that “tune”). So I do not know if the meal served to Madame Gloria was “siopao bola-bola“.

But the Chinese will say that in feng shui that incident falling ill denotes bad luck is coming for the GMA (Gloria and Mike Arroyo) administration. This is what they said when then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher fell off the stairs after a testy meeting with Paramount Leader Deng Xiaoping. Immediately, Hongkong’s Hang Seng Index fell. The Chinese thought that incident meant Britain will soon bite the dust.

In Asian warfare, great importance is placed on the defection of former top lieutenants. In the West, a defector only has tactical value in the sense that some sensitive information can be gleaned. To Asians, it is more than loss of face or loss of legitimacy. The desertion of top lieutenants also signify that a dynasty is coming to an end. Good that JDV and FVR are not crying plots of assassination like the Bolantic Joke-Joke.

Does the failed Moscow caper of the “Euro generals” foretell the crumbling of one of the GMA administration’s pillars?

“It was only diarrhea”. It seems some system purging is coming.

The Goalkeeper and Sweeper of Malacanang

November 20, 2008



In soccer the task of the goalkeeper is to stop the opposing team from scoring goals, hence preventing them from scoring. Failure to score in soccer means the opposing team cannot win. A goalkeeper has many tools in his arsenal to keep the other side from winning. He can dive for the ball to secure it or block it with his body. Or he can punch or kick the ball out to prevent an attacking sequence. If needed, he will throw in his body just to keep the other side from scoring. Indeed, goalkeepers are heroic.

Of course, to make life easier for goalkeepers, other defenders will help in screening, blocking and tackling the attacking opponent. Probably the most important of defenders in soccer, apart from the goalkeeper, is the sweeper. In Italy, it is called the libero. The sweeper “sweeps up” the ball when the opponents breach the last line of defenders.

The word ombudsman is originally a Swedish word but it has already been integrated in the English lexicon. In its Nordic origins it is supposedly a government official tasked to investigate complaints of citizens against government officials and its functionaries.

In the Philippines, especially under the rule of Gloria and Mike Arroyo (the true meaning of “GMA”), the role of the ombudsman is the same as that of a soccer goalkeeper. That is, to prevent the people or the opposition from scoring “goals”. The Philippine “goalkeeper” has also “tools” like sitting on complaints, filing weak cases, throwing the complaints out or simply finding that there is a violation but there is no culprit. Of course, like a goalkeeper, a GMA “ombudsman” should be able to throw in everything to keep any cases from prospering.

In the current “match”, a new sweeper or libero was recently fielded by the team’s coach who happened to be a self-anointed sportsman. Though rusty from a two-year “forced suspension” he was immediately fielded into the fray after a two-week “conditioning program” at the SLMC. Having been pronounced physically fit by the SLMC, he is now assisting mightily the “goalkeeper” in preventing any goals. Indeed, right in the first play, he immediately showed his “defensive prowess” by sweeping the ball out while at the same time shouting “No scam, no scam!”.

Yes, how “heroic” indeed. From the corner of my eye I thought I saw his “coach” grin and nod to signify how well his favorite defender “performed”.