Isang Milyong Bayani ang Mamartsa Ngayon

ImageSa ngayon ay alam na ninyo ang animo ay pag-aaklas ng mga Pinoy laban sa katiwalian sa Pilipinas. Kumulo ang mga pangyayari dahil sa isang sumbong ukol sa lagi na nating nirereklamo–ang pork barrel. 

Ngayong araw ng mga bayani ay may mga bagong bayani na lalabas upang ipadama sa pamahalaan na ayaw ng karamihan ang dayain, alipustain at bastusin ng ganun na lang. Kaming mga Pinoy expat ay nakikiisa sa mga bagong bayaning pupunta sa Luneta.

Sa takot ni PNoy sa magiging resulta ng pagtitipon ngayong araw na ito ay inunahan na niya ng anunsyo na kanyang “bubuwagin” ang Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). Alam naman natin na pinilit buwagin ang “pork barrel” pero lagi, palagi na lamang na ang suma ay ang pagpapalit lang ng pangalan. Ang pagiging kumplikado at supistikado ng paraan ng pandaraya at pagnananakaw sa mamamayang Filipino.

Ayon ako na kailangan na buwagin ang pork barrel o kung anuman ang tawag mo diyan pero malamang ay mahirap na basta-basta tanggalin ito sa ating sistemang baluktot gaya ng nakaugat na korapsyon sa ating kultura. Kung totoo si PNoy sa kanyang panawagan na buwagin ang pork barrel ay tama ang kanyang panawagan ng “transparency” at “accountability”. ‘Di natin basta-basta mabubuwag ang pork barrel hangga’t ‘di natin naayos ang maliliit na detalye na kailangang maayos sa gobyerno. Sa puntong ito isang Facebook user ang nagpaskil ng kanyang opinyon ukol dito. Suma ng kanyang opinyon:

The Abolition of pork barrel system cannot be done overnight. The decision of the President is the most prudent move, given the inherent limitation that the system allows. The important thing to do is to not let up.

Gayunpaman, ako ay sangayon na kailangang mawala ang pork barrel. Mabagal na proseso subalit kung magawa ng tama ay maayos din natin ito. Kung malapit lang ang Luneta, siguradong sasama ako sa Milyong Martsa Laban sa Pork Barrel. Kahit ano ang edad mo, dapat nandun ka rin.

Kahit nasaan ka, makiisa. The world is a global village and with social network, it is just one barangay.

Pinoys in Oz Can Renew Passport by Post

Filipinos in Australia can now apply for renewal of their passports by post. The move came after a number of complaints from Filipinos outside the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) who were required to apply in person to renew their passports. The Embassy required personal appearance for every passport renewal applicant because of “the need to incorporate biometrics in the passport and due to the highly technical specifications” of the new machine readable Philippine passports. Filipinos who wanted to renew their passports spend between Aus$200 and Aus$1,200 to travel to Canberra because of this initial guideline from the Philippine Embassy in Canberra.

The Philippine Embassy in Canberra claimed in its website that “soon became obvious that the requirement for personal appearance when filing applications can be an expensive and time-consuming process for our kababayans.” It announced that it ‘sought’ the approval of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila to “allow for personal appearance at Philippine Honorary Consulates/Consulates General in state capitals.” 

Filipinos meaning to renew their passports will now have to spend between Aus$95 and Aus$200.

Given these facts, one will wonder whatever happened to the need to incorporate biometrics in the passport and due to the highly technical specifications. If they can authorize the personal application at the state capital’s Philippine Honrary Consulates/Consulate Generals, why not authorize the whole process of applying for passport renewal in the Philippine Honorary Consulates/Consulates General?

I’m also wondering how the pricing of services differs from one Philippine Embassy to another. If you renew your passport in Thailand, you would have to pay between THB2,250 (PhP3,063.52) and THB2,700 (PhP3,676.10). Here in Australia you are poised to pay between Aus$65 (PhP2,065.76) and Aus$78 (PhP2,479.02). If you renew your passport in the Philippines, you will have to pay between PhP 500 and PhP 700. Mailing the application back to Manila is not that expensive but I guess with the quality of postal staff we have back home, paying extra is inevitable.

Blogbastic

Are Filipinos being deceived?

I remember vividly how my ‘political awakening’ came into being. Ninoy Aquino’s arrival was on national TV. I was Grade 3 then, and then the gun shots. I could not believe my eyes that it was really happening but I remember my Dad trembling in anger of what they’ve done and pointing to a certain general speaking on TV looking so tense and shaking while explaining to the press that the former senator was assassinated and showing them the gun that was used.
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Plain blackmail

A report over the Inquirer.net caught my eye and I felt disgusted at how blatant some people in “forcing surrender to another party over a hovering threat to their money’s lifeline. ” The report quoted Makati Business Club Chairman Ramon Del Rosario, Jr. talking about a board member of the club who received a text message from a government official threatening to “set loose the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) on the MBC.” The threat is plain blackmail and the MBC shrugged it off welcoming any inquiry from the BIR. As expected there were denials from the government side and while throwing praises to the MBC as an advocate in tax collection, this showed that the BIR, or any other government office for this matter,could and will be used against any group or personality if they become a threat to the state (read: threat to their money’s lifeline).
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Metro Manila Film Fest, etc.

The Metro Manila Film Fest was held last December. It is the time of the year when most of Metro Manila residents get saturated with Filipino films and time for most film producers to make “better than usual” films (well, film makers are expected to make quality films every time but the Manila Film Fest is quite different).
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