Archive for the ‘Legislation’ Category

Mga Tuntunin ng Senado—-mungkahi ni Sen. Lito Lapid, babasahin kaya ng tao?

February 5, 2009

Masaya na si Sen. Lito Lapid na itinagalog na ang “Senate Rules of Procedure.” Mas ma-iinitidihan na ng artista na HS gradweyt ang procedimiento ng senado na kanyang kinakasapian mula’t mula ng siya ay nahalal sa pwesto. Nakasulat na sa wikang Pilipino, ang Lapid Resolusyon Numero 19 na nagmungkahi na ang mga reglamento sa Senado ay i-lagda sa Tagalog para madali daw “magkaintidihan ang senado at mga tao.” Ang pagsa-Tagalog mula sa Ingles ay ginawa ng Komisyon ng Wikang Pilipino.

Pero di tiyak kung bibigyan pansin ng mga taong basahin ang nasabing “Mga Tuntunin ng Senado.” Isang senador na si Juan Miguel Zubiri ang nagsabi na ito’y isa lamang ng “reference material” at di gagamitin sa kamara. Wikang Ingles o Taglish ang ginagamit sa pang-araw-araw ng Senado.

Si Sen. Lapid ay nagpapasalamat sa kanyang tagumpay:

“Para maintindihan ng ating mga kababayan, isa na ako roon (So that our countrymen, and I myself, would understand),” he told reporters. “Kasi Inglesan ng Inglesan dito. Matagal na rin ako dito pero marami pa rin akong hindi maintindihan na matataas na Ingles (That’s because English is widely spoken here, and I’ve been here for some time now but still don’t understand those high-falluting terms),” Lapid said. —-Inquirer (02/05/09, Avendano, C)

Mahirap talaga ang may kapansanan sa lenguaje—-lalo na sa legislatura na kailangan ang bokadura at malawak na pagka-initindi sa pasikot-sikot komo senador. Ang artistang si Lapid ay isa sa mahigit sa 20 lamang na nahalal na mga taga-gawa ng batas ng Pilipinas— kung mahina siya sa pag-intindi o pagsalita sa mga debate, malaking lugi ito ng bansa.

Di matiyak kung ano ang mga nagawa ni Lapid sa 4 taon na siya ay senador. Kaunti ang nakaka-alam kung ilang pelikula ang nagawa niya habang siya’y nasa kamara. Wala naman reklamo ang mga tao sa di-pala-imik na senador. Sabi ng iba, mabait at guapo daw kasi si Lapid. (Photo Credit: Tatlong Hari) =0=


“To make a man and prepare him as a good citizen” in a Bicol town, circumcision is required

January 24, 2009

In Camarines Norte, there was laughter during the deliberations of the “Tunay na Ulirang Lalake Ordinance” aka TULI or Real Model of Manhood Ordinance.

The piece of legislation was on its second deliberation to make male circumcision in that place mandatory. It was uncertain whether those considering the ordinance were serious or just joking.

According to its author, Provincial Board Member Joeffrey B. Pandi, the circumcision law is important “to enhance the physical well being of a boy or pre-teen, preparing him for early manhood and as a good citizen of his community.”


There is practically no dissenting opinion against Pandi’s odd proposal. The ready acceptance is a reflection of how we regard circumcision today. Many of us still adhere to the old tribal idea that the surgical removal of the prepuce covering the glans penis is a passage to manhood. Without acrimony, we accept a parochial belief that the uncircumcised deserves to be a butt of jokes, short to being a subject of continual humiliation. In our town, to be uncircumcised is to be identified as “half a man.” As a result, many children grow up in trepidation, believing the myth which their families and friends hand down to them.

Our society to this day still exerts strong pressure against being “supot” (uncircumcised) even if it infringes on our freedom to decide on what to do with our bodies. The TULI ordinance perpetuates myths, indirectly encourages intolerance, and curtails our right of choice even if we fail to see it that way.

How will the law be enforced? What punishments will the lawbreakers get? Who will pay for the procedure? Are we ready for the physical and psychological complications which go with surgery?

There are many conflicting justifications for or against the penile operation. An ordinance to force boys to have the procedure disregards the contrary arguments against it. The minor cutaneous surgery comes not without risks; complications like bleeding, tetanus, infections among others do occur in circumcision. Fortunately, the risks are minor compared to the benefit of keeping genital cleanliness (hygiene,) the usual valid reason for the operation.

It has been argued that circumcision lessens the incidence of HIV, HPV (warts,) and penile cancers. The skin removal is part of the religious traditions of the Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Upon the introduction of the “germ theory” at the turn of the 20th century, the Western World adopted circumcision to keep infections away. Primitive tribes in the Africa and the Pacific, consider it an important cultural milestone towards manhood.

So we know the myriad reasons why most of us agree to circumcision. We consider factors like hygiene, medical reasons, religious beliefs, cultural norms, and individual choice in our decisions. A personal matter which causes no harm on others, the minor tampering of our sexual organs is OK. It goes without saying that going against it is also OK.

But the lawmakers of Camarines Norte might be half-serious. The TULI ordinance unwittingly undercuts our basic liberty to choose. Although it appears, the ordinance gets easy support from the community, I don’t think the “funny” ordinance will benefit us in the long haul. Photo Credits: The Passing Strange; Snaphappy4)=0=


Menstruation bill and catamenial holiday that make socialists think

August 20, 2008

Party-list representative Narciso Santiago filled House Bill 4888 aka Menstruation Leave Act of 2008 which provides for a one-day holiday each month for working women going through menstruation. Hailed by feminists, welfare adherents, socialists, and hordes of supportive Filipino women, Santiago proposed a half-day salary for the catamenial holiday and violators are threatened with a fine of P30,000 or a jailtime of 30 to 180 days.

Finding inspiration from similar legislations in Korea, Japan and Indonesia, Rep. Santiago makes many Filipino women happy. After all, a large percentage of them suffer from some form of menstruation-related discomfort, a leading cause of job absenteeism in their ranks.

More than 50% of menstruating women experience pain (dysmenorrhea,) most of which aren’t serious though and are treatable by medications. Others suffer from menstrual irregularities—from lack of monthly shedding to excessive flow or more frequent periods accompanied by non-specific complaints of headaches and emotional tensions.

However, about 10% of these women may experience manifestations that can be debilitating. Aside from pain, they harbor signs and symptoms of varying severity—-mood changes, fatigue, and signs of some underlying conditions such as infections, endometriosis, endometrial hyperplasias, ectopic pregnancy, genital tract malformations, cervical, uterine and ovarian tumors.

Menstruation, the time-honored monthly shedding of the uterine lining (endometrium) is a physiologic process. It occurs once a woman starts menarche at puberty and ends at menopause. A normal part of the female function, menstruation is not a disease. For this reason, medicalization of menstruation and allowing catamenial leaves on the job deserve more thinking and consideration. Menstruation holidays raise the questions of medical necessity and it opens up the possibility of indolence, slowing, and discrimination in the workplace.

The intention of the Menstruation Leave Act of 2008 is good, but this may not be beneficial for the country in the long run. With about 50% of Filipino females in the labor force, the budget to pay for a monthly menstrual holiday is enormous. This lowers work dividends and increases the overhead cost of employers. Paid menstruation leaves make women’s productivity lesser than that of men and these can spawn a backlash in the hiring of females in the workplace. The Menstruation Leave Act can drive small businesses into bankruptcy if employers have no money to pay for them.

In South Korea, after the government left the discretion to compensate menstrual leaves on the employers and companies, the courts have been deluged with protests and lawsuits because many have been refused payments. Labor unions fight with the workers for benefits. And employers start investigating who among those who skip work is truly menstruating and who among them have reached menopause which leaves them ineligible for benefits.

In Japan, the decision to request for menstrual leave is left on the worker. According to Japan’s Labor Act, female workers can request for catamenial leaves when menstruation makes it extremely hard for them to function in their jobs. Doctor’s certification may not be necessary.

Following the belief that the government and businesses must provide for most comforts of its citizens, the paid menstrual leave package in Indonesia boggles the mind of capitalists and socialists alike. With a floundering and corrupt economy, Indonesia has generously added two days’ paid leave for parents who have their children baptized, two days’ leave if their children marry, and another two days’ paid circumcision leave for the parents, not for the son. Aren’t all these labor perks wonderful? They are good if governments and employers can afford the expense. Sometimes, the law and reality don’t easily come together that easy. =0=

Safety standards required for RP’s first human milk bank

August 15, 2008

If we have blood banks, why can’t we have milk banks as well? That’s exactly what the launching of the first human milk bank in the Philippines is all about. Some 200 mothers in Makati, Metro Manila lined up in Guadalupe Nueva barangay hall to donate milk for babies whose mothers are unable to give them. The collected milk will be sent to Fabella Memorial Hospital in Manila where a pasteurization machine and freezers are available to preserve milk up to 6 months. ABS-CBN (08/15/08)

The human milk donation project supports Bill 1696 called Expanded Breastfeeding Act,” which encourages the founding of lactation areas in government offices, public and private places to help mothers continue breastfeeding after they resume work after delivery.

“By the beginning of the twenty-first century, human milk feeding was once again the recommended method of infant feeding. Experts recommend breastfeeding exclusively for six months and the introduction of age appropriate foods with breast milk to remain in the diet for two years and beyond. When maternal milk is inadequate or lacking particularly for high risk or premature infants pasteurized donor milk is the next best option. Donor milk banking plays an important role in meeting these recommendations.”
—Human Milk Banking Association of North America

The idea of donating milk is a good one. Yet, just like blood, it has safety concerns that must be addressed. Human milk is perishable and care must be followed to keep it fresh while preventing it from spoiling. Since human milk has the potential to transmit diseases and carry maternal medications that can be harmful to the babies, screening of donors by interviews, physical examinations, and laboratory tests are needed.

Newborns particularly those who are born premature, don’t have fully developed disease-fighting immune systems, making them susceptible to milk-borne illnesses. Therefore, there must be standards and safety guidelines to follow for both milk donors and recipients. Taking safety as a priority, the collection, milk-shedding campaign, storage, processing, preservation, and distribution of donated milk must be monitored and regulated. =0=

Related Article: Poured into Kids, Milk and Dairy Products Build Better Bones
BOSTON — There’s new evidence that kids who drink milk and eat other dairy products throughout childhood have stronger bones later in life. full story at: