Monday, May 13, 2013

The World I Want has a Better Healthcare for All!

Yes, I know! Its been four years since I posted in this blog and soon I shall be starting a new one to stay for good. I recently got interested in the health advocacy and what a better way to promote it than start a blog dedicated on the issue. This blog will be incorporated in my new blog because I believe that working on advocacies are part and parcel of being healthy, particularly ensuring the health of our souls. 

Therefore, when I came across the United Nation's Global Survey for a Better World announcement from a fellow freelance writer, I immediately grab the opportunity to put a word or two about my health advocacy and express how important it is to have a healthy citizenry to achieve economic development and progress. In the meantime, while my health blog is still under construction, I can make use of my old blog to promote UN's My World 2015 Global Survey.

The United Nations (UN) is an institutional beacon for civil society participation, which what this blog is all about. I want the Filipino people to realize that they are not so helpless after all and that they have a big say in the future of the Philippines or even of the world. The purpose of my blog is to guide civil society to participate -- what mouthpiece to use, how to make a difference, who can amplify their voices and how to pursue the necessary actions. 

My World 2015 Global Survey is a part of the UN's efforts to listen to what concerns people the most. Results of this survey will be the content of the post-2015 goals after the Millennium Development Goals have been fulfilled by 2015.

I already participated in the survey and below are the results:

I also shared in the survey why I voted for these six (6) priorities. Of course, my number one is better healthcare and my second is affordable and nutritious food. This is so because in My World, I want an effective disease prevention program that is accessible to all people. And the better way to do prevention is making nutritious food accessible. Having a clean and safe environment is also important in maintaining health. So the actions taken by government on climate change is critical in My World. Good education, better job opportunities and a reliable energy at home are crucial ingredients as well in having a healthy citizenry because they keep people happy, their stress level low and give them a sense of well-being.

The survey also shows how the rest of the people of the world voted for the same priorities I chose. 

When you refer to the result graphic above, as of date, 15,086 Filipinos already made their votes. The bar on the right side are the top 10 priority concerns in the Philippines. 

So if I were you, be an active citizen! Let the UN hear your voice and tell them what kind of world you want. Visit My World 2015.

Also, like The World We Want Philippines in Facebook and Follow them on Twitter for more updates in the next days to come. 

Monday, December 14, 2009

To Conrado de Quiros, about Noynoy Aquino...

For those who are head over heels crazy about Nonoy's Presidential candidacy, please check out this article addressed to Mr. Conrado de Quiros. I hope everyone who is into this illusion pick up some good lessons on this article <>.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Petition for Debt Moratorium and Repudiation, Reparations

To all friends, readers and partners, please read our petition sponsored by the Freedom from Debt Coalition and hopefully you will see the urgency of this matter and of course your support to this campaign. It is not only us who will benefit if the government responded but of course the nation. This will only take you less than 10 minutes of you time. It would be better too if you can spread the word to your friends and family so that they can also sign up. This way, we can reach our goal of 10,000 signatures or even more fast. Click on this link to read the petition and sign on -

I also suggest for those bloggers out there who may happen to read this message, please post our petition on your sites and in other message boards. We solicit every Filipinos support.

Thank you very much!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Response to 'Stimulus measures must not peter out ' editorial

My organization's (Freedom from Debt Coalition, FDC) response to the editorial piece written by The Manila Times on our calls for debt repudiation abroad. Can't pass the opportunity to spread the news and our response to more people.


The Manila Times

24 October 2009, Page A-4
http://www.manilati php/opinion/ 4581-response- to-stimulus- measures- must-not- peter-out- editorial-

Response to ‘Stimulus measures must not peter out’ editorial

This is in response to your editorial of October 22, 2009 with the title “Stimulus measures must not peter out.” First, we would like to commend the editorial staff of The Manila Times for discussing important issues surrounding government spending, the proposed P1.54-trillion national government budget and the unresolved question of the national debt especially in a time when the country is suffering from fiscal and climate crises.

We, from the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) agree with many of the views shared by the editorial piece especially its scrutiny of the 2010 budget and its seemingly anemic budget allocation to capital outlay with appropriations amounting only to P183 billion compared to debt servicing which has total appropriations of P340.812 billion, or 22 percent of next year’s national budget. We also agree that in a time of an enduring economic crisis, the government must instead increase social and economic spending in order to maintain liquidity, widen the fiscal space and create more jobs. This proposal has been asserted by FDC numerous times under the Arroyo administration amid the backdrop of a then looming global economic crisis which was slowly manifesting itself within our domestic economy.

However, we would also like to take this opportunity to clear our position on the non-payment of debts or the call for debt repudiation which the editorial piece seems to disagree with. We strongly diverge with the opinion that debt instruments even if vastly overpriced and tainted with corruption should and must be “humbly and sacrificially swallowed as a bitter pill by succeeding administrations and the people.” We believe such an opinion is misplaced if not outrightly masochistic as it subscribes people to a slow and painful death transcending generations and governments.

We have witnessed the result of the decades-old policy of religiously servicing the debt over and above social and economic spending. Due to underspending, actual expenditures were lower than was programmed. In fact, health spending per capita from 1980 to 2007 never exceeded P100 while basic education spending per capita from 1980 to 2004 never surpassed P3,500, or less than a $100 dollars.

This year alone, actual spending (P355 billion) for the first quarter is P6.8 billion lower than the programmed (P361.9 billion). As such, the idiom “to swallow the bitter pill” to describe the government’s alleged unpleasant but necessary decision to service all its debts is an understatement. The truth is, we are not being forced to swallow small bitter tablets of medicine to cure particular illnesses, rather, we are forced to ingest ill-prescribed medicine that exacerbates our insatiable debt addiction.

Second, such a perspective brings out the worst in supposedly noble and admirable Filipino values such as utang na loob, delikadesa and palabra de honor. In an effort not to be seen as balasubas and a swindler in the eyes of the global community, even under the threat of extreme poverty, hunger and economic degradation, we would be chivalrous to a fault rather than be merciful and charitable to ourselves. This now becomes a case not of a virtuous assertion of values but a tragic affirmation of feudal ethical moorings mixed with plain and simple machismo. We would rather sacrifice our children and the future of their children than default from an obligation which was not of our own making alone. Where are the values, decency and dignity in that?

This brings us to the issue of accountability and responsibility. While we do agree with you that our national leaders are culpable for bringing us in this mess and must be replaced and held accountable for their transgressions, international and regional lending institutions are not so innocent as they want themselves to be perceived.

Again, we stress that the country’s debt problem must be understood from a broader historical, political and economic context to determine how they are used by creditors as instruments in distorting our economy as well as the exercise of power, and the use of this power against the interests and welfare of the people. Through this, we determine not only the unacceptability and unfairness of our debts or whether all debts are in fact “institutional,” we also extract responsibility and accountability from our lenders.

Furthermore, the debts which FDC wants cancelled and/or repudiated are debts which are, by their own merits, have been found to be evidently illegitimate due to lack of due diligence on the part of the lending institutions and the government. In fact, no less than the Senate and House of Representatives themselves recognized this and refused payments for such obligations during the 2008 and 2009 National Government Budgets. Sadly, the President, subscribing to the idea of “honor,” vetoed this.

Hence, our call for the repudiation and/or cancellation of all illegitimate debts are both addressed to our government and the international lending community. In the final analysis, while debtor countries’ governments must be held accountable for the acquisition of illicit, negligent if not illegitimate debts, lending countries and institutions must likewise acknowledge and accept responsibility for contributing in the making of such debts.

Now is the perfect time.

Secretary General
Freedom from Debt Coalition

Note: Original editorial piece posted below.


The Manila Times
22 October 2009
http://www.manilati php/opinion/ 4433-stimulus- measures- must-not- peter-out

Stimulus measures must not peter out

On today’s front page there’s a story about the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warning Asian countries against prematurely slowing down their fiscal stimulus measures. The IMF thinks the signs of global economic are still too obscure. People must not discount the possibility of the recovery coming to a halt. The IMF had to issue its cautionary remarks because some Asian countries—mostly the richer, export-dependent economies that have suffered much more than the poorer economies—taking an overly optimistic view of the faint signs of global recovery now plan to stop their stimulus measures next year.

“These plans should proceed cautiously until the recovery seems assured,” Deputy IMF Managing Director John Lipsky warned.

The IMF message is directed largely to countries starting from relatively high debt levels, such as Japan, India, and Malaysia, and those empty-cradle countries beset by aging-related fiscal pressures, such as Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

But the message to continue taking strong measures to stimulate the market and trigger more consumer spending applies to us Filipinos as well.

Yet, our economic managers seem to have decided to be so sanguine about the global recovery and the resiliency of our economy that they do not find it wrong to spend less on capital outlays next year than what is budgeted for the present year.

Out of the P1.54-trillion budget in the 2010 General Appropriations Act, which is 8 percent bigger than this year’s budget of P1.44 trillion, the Arroyo administration plans to spend only P183 billion on capital outlays—infrastructure and other big ticket items. These capital outlays, on roads, bridges, ports, schools, etcetera, provide employment and therefore salaries and wages that give workers’ families money to spend and keep our consumer-driven national economy humming.

Where will the bulk of next year’s P1.54-trillion budget go? The money will go to increase the salaries of government employees, which is normal in an election year. The salary increases will also end up being used by families to buy what they need. Therefore they will contribute to market activity, which will help improve Gross Domestic Product statistics.

But an even bigger chunk of the 2010 budget will go to debt servicing—or payment of loans that are maturing next year. The debt-payment share of the budget will be the same or bigger than this year’s share, which is 22 percent of the entire national budget.

The reduced capital outlays and the huge debt servicing budget made several congressmen, albeit ones known not to belong to the massive majority of Palace allies in the House of Representatives, call the administration’s priorities in the budget “weird.”

Rep. Walden Bello (Akbayan) says those who drafted the 2010 General Appropriations Act seemed to have been wrongly convinced that the global recession has ended or will surely end in 2010. But, most cautious economists would recommend caution (which the International Monetary has done).

“We will still need to resort to counter-cyclical spending,” Bello explained. “The public sector, meaning the government, needs to intervene in the economy in order to counterbalance private sector collapse.”

Basically Keynesian counter-cyclical policy means government should always be ready to counteract the bad effects on the population of the boom and bust cycles of an economy. So, government should encourage spending, and in fact do a lot spending, during downturns but tighten credit and restrict the money supply during inflationary periods.

Especially with our economy having been badly hurt by Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng and the horrible floods in Central Luzon, particularly Pangasinan, and in Metro Manila, and the destruction of farms in Northern Luzon, the government must spend billions to stir the economy back to life. But the Arroyo administration will be taking the opposite tack in 2010.

The budget cut on infrastructure spending next year “is a suicidal move,” Bello says, “for our fragile economy is projected to grow by only one percent this year.” And “the international economy . . . is still in crisis.”

Bello describes the capital outlays that the administration is reducing next year as “the very element of the budget that has the greatest multiplier effect.”

Postpone debt payments

We do not necessarily agree with the Freedom from Debt Coalition when it calls for the repudiation of debts abroad, especially those that are for projects that are vastly overpriced and tainted with corruption.

When a Philippine government signs a debt instrument, even one that gives a huge kickback to the president or some economic manager or another, it must be humbly and sacrificially swallowed as a bitter pill by succeeding administrations and the people. These debts are institutional. And we cannot make cafeteria choices of the obligations the Philippine government is saddled with. It is our, the people’s, fault for having placed in power crooks to handle our government. If we do not want them to continue office because they are corrupt and will incur debts we don’t want to acknowledge, then we must revolt or in other ways boot the rascals out.

But there is a middle way. Especially in times like these—when we have been affected, though not severely, by the global recession and are still laid low by Ondoy and Pepeng, and now face the prospect of, God forbid, more disastrous natural calamities—why don’t we make a strong case with our creditors for postponing our debt payments. The World Bank and the IFC have made some happy noises about possibly agreeing to a deferment of payments from damaged economies.

The administration should not hesitate to take that route.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Face of Climate Change in Manila

Photos collected from the extreme rain and flood that hit Manila last September 26, 2009.


Monday, September 28, 2009



You may direct your donations here:

1) FDC office is accepting donations in cash or kind. you can reach us @ 9211985 or 09209093242, tulungan po natin mga kasama naapektuhan ng bagyong "Ondoy"

2) AKBAYAN is organizing a relief drive for Marikina, Cainta, Malabon, Pasig, Escopa and Tatalon.

The following items are badly needed:
- Ready to eat food (cooked rice, boiled egg, bread, easy to open canned goods)
- Water (bottled, or in 10-gallon containers)
- Blankets and towels- Clothes

Volunteers are also needed to help pack and deliver the items.
If you wish to help, pls call or txt: 925-58-43/ 09175381816 (Bayantel lines down so use these numbers). Akbayan office address:
#36 b madasalin st sikatuna vill quezon city. Tulungan natin ang isa't isa, at buhayin natin ang diwa ng bayanihan.

3) Other authorized relief centers:


This is the list of verified relief centers where people can drop off their donations for the victims of "Ondoy:"


UP College of Arts and Letters Go to: College of Arts and Letters (CAL) University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City Hotline: 09296454102 (Prof. Roselle
Pineda) Look for: Guard on Duty (in UP CAL) Operations: 24 hours until Wednesday tentatively You can: # Donate medicines, clothes,
blankets, food to be distributed by Citizens’ Disaster Response Center.
Erica Paredes Go to: Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City (Call or text contact number for complete address) Contact #: 09174741930 Look for: Erica
Paredes Operations: Throughout the week tentatively, from 10 am to 6 pm You can: # Donate ready-to-eat foods like hard-boiled
egg, bread, packed juice, sandwich filling # Volunteer to prepare sandwiches and distribute goods

NoyMar Relief Operations – QC
Go to: Balay Expo Center, Farmers Market, Cubao or in White Space, Pasong Tamo Ext., Near BMW, Makati Look for: Clare Amador or
Jana Vicente Hotlines: 09285205508, 09285205499, 0908-6579998, 0939-3633436, 9137122 Operations: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
throughout the week until further notice. Website: You can: # Donate drinking water, old medicines, clothing,
blankets, canned goods, noodles # Volunteer to man stations and repack food.

Miriam Quiambao and World Vision Development Foundation
Go to: One Orchard Road Building in Eastwood or at the World Vision office at 389 Quezon Avenue, corner West 6th St., Quezon City
Hotline: 0917-8623209 Look for: The guard in the lobby (on One Orchard Road) Website:, Operations: Until Sept. 28, 2009 (Monday), 24-hour operation You can: # Donate goods like clothes,
blankets, canned goods, crackers, mattress, hygiene kits, noodles, bottled water, oatmeal, instant coffee, sugar (for relief pack to
be distributed by World Vision) # Volunteer to help repack relief goods for World Vision starting today at 7pm # Deposit cash
donations to World Vision Development Foundation, BPI savings account number 4251002415 and BDO savings account number

Philippine Army
Go to: Philippine Army Gym inside Fort Bonifacio, Makati or General Head Quarter’s Gym in Camp Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, EDSA,
Quezon City Hotline: 892-3417 (direct line), 845-9555 (trunkline) local. 6464 and 6466 Look for: Any personnel on duty
Operations: Ongoing everyday for 24 hours until further notice You can: # Donate relief goods (no cash) # Call hotline for rescue,
evacuation or relief assistance. # Call to report missing persons

Papemelroti Gifts and Decorative Accessories
Go to: 91 Roces Ave., Corner Scout Tobias, Quezon City or mall branches in Ali Mall Cubao, SM City North EDSA, SM Fairview, SM
Megamall, Glorietta 3 in Makati, SM Centerpoint, SM Southmall Hotline: refer to website for individual branch numbers Website: Operations: Mall hours (10am-9pm), ongoing everyday until further notice You can: # Donate goods like
canned goods, clothings, blanket, cooking utensils and other relief goods EXCEPT cash.

Ateneo de Manila University Disaster Response Group
Go to: Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights , Quezon City, Manuel V. Pangilinan Building Center for Student Leadership
Lobby, University Dorm Cervini Hall Hotlines: 09089977166, 09178952792, 4266001 local 5050 Look for: Gio Tiongson, President,
Sanggunian ng mga Mag-aaral Website: Operations: 24-hour operations for the entire week You can: #
Donate goods like bottled water, sardines, canned goods, candles, cup noodles. # Volunteer to help repack relief goods, administer
basic first aid. # Report missing persons. # Seek evacuation/temporary shelter at University Dorm Cervini Hall. Citizens Disaster
Response Center (CDRC) Go To: 72-A Times St., West Triangle Homes, Quezon City. Hotlines: 9299820, 9299822 Operations: 8 a.m.
onwards. You can: # Donate money, old clothes, blanket, bigas, munggo. # Volunteer to help distribute goods.

Radio Veritas
Go To: Veritas Tower , West Ave. corner EDSA Look For: Karla Turingan Hotlines: 9257931 to 39, 0918VERITAS Operations: 24-
hours, tentatively until Tuesday. You can: # Donate old clothes, food, assorted goods, bottled water, cash.
Our Lady of Pentecost Parish Go to: 12 F. dela Rosa cor. C. Salvador Streets, Loyola Heights , Quezon City Hotlines: 632 4342397, 63 2 9290665 Operations: 7
a.m. till 10 p.m. Sunday, until further notice. You Can: # Donate packed meals, bottled water.


Victory Fellowship – Fort Bonifacio Go to: Victory Fellowship, Every Nation Building , across Market-Market, Fort Bonifacio Look for: Pastor Bernard Marquez Hotlines:
813-FORT, 8171212 Operations: Tentatively until 5pm, may may extend hours. Entire week until Friday. Website: You can: # Donate canned goods, milk, bottled water, clothes, cash. # Volunteer to help pack relief

Sacred Heart of Jesus Chaplaincy
Go to: Hillsborough Village, Cupang, Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila Hotline: 8428148, 8079847 Look for: Genelyn Sembrano,
Meanne Cuneta Website: Operations: Tuesday-Sunday (Sept. 29-Oct 4). 8 am to 12 noon, 2 to
6 pm You can: # Donate water, blankets, shoes, clothes and other goods # Donate in cash

PASIG CITY LUZON RELIEF: Volunteer / Donate / Pray
Go to: Renaissance Fitness Center, 2nd Floor, Bramante Building, Renaissance Towers, Ortigas, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City Hotline: 0929-8713488 Look for: Warren Habaluyas, co-founder E-mail: Operations: Monday to Saturday (Sept. 28-Oct. 3), 9am-7pm You can: # Donate non-perishable food items,
beddings, pillows, blankets, clothes # You can donate cash but it is not encouraged

- Compiled by Annalyn Ardoña and Patricia Faustino, GMA NEWS AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS

4) For more on the donations, you may follow this link:

Climate Change Conference in Bangkok, Thailand (Sept 28-Oct 7, 09)

I felt overwhelmed when I was asked to represent the church sector in various seminars/fora on the issue of Climate Change in Bangkok, Thailand organized by non-government and people's organizations. These activities are parallel to the ongoing intercessional conferences led by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) also in Bangkok.

Overwhelming because of the wealth of information, the opportunity to learn all about Climate Change and to use all these in the faith-based campaign I am coordinating for my organization, the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC).

However, after the September 26 disaster that submerged more than half of Manila (mainly Marikina, Rizal, Pasig, some parts of Quezon City), I already knew that catching up with the issue of Climate Change becomes an urgent and hard reality. This time there's no more room for half-measures, half-truths and quick-fix solutions because the wrath of nature does not exempt anyone. Although at this point, the main culprits are refusing to take any accountability especially on the historical aspect, climate campaigners including myself (a newbie) have to advance and move on because much scrubbing needs to be done in as much as all people living on this planet have to realize that they too have important roles to play and they have to do their share NOW (including the ones reading this post).

It is my goal to walk readers on this issue by posting in the next few days new information necessary to understand the basics of Climate Change. I am going to include as well the perspectives I have learned, which I want to emphasize and my own thoughts on the issue. Photos will also be posted.

I hope everyone reading my blog will learn from the posts and prompt all of you (everyone) to take an active part on the Climate Change campaign. Let us not allow again our fellow kababayans, for those affected, our loved ones to be at risk of flood and suffer other equally dangerous effects of too much greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that brought about Climate Change (a combination of bad urban, trade and economic policies and natural occurances, i.e. extreme precipitation leading to flood and landslides).

More to come...