My thoughts about some social issues.
ON USA DIPLOMATIC RELATIONSHIP
On the issue of our foreign policy, I am pro-American. Admit it or not, whether we like it or not, we need USA. I’m not against in our effort to be independent but who said we cannot be independent unless cutting the ties with the West? Do not accept their monetary aides, for the sake of being dependence that is fine. But cutting the alliance? I don’t think so.
If we want to stop the issues of being “subservient”, “mendicant”, “lapdogs” then no more donations, but stopping the relationship will not make good because our relationship now is interdependent. Philippines and USA are gaining in one way or another, some people are just hypocrites.
ON SAME SEX MARRIAGE
It’s a matter of religious versus legal issue. The church will not, go to civil if you want. It will always quote Sodom and Gomorrah which for conservative believers won’t want to happen. It is a dogmatic belief in any religion that a man is to a woman and it gives the notion of marriage is to sanction the sexual act which makes procreation the very purpose of marriage. This oppresses the freedom and equality for gays and lesbians who are just the same with straight people when it comes to love. Given the assumption that procreation is to marriage, how about those impotent?
I’m not against LGTB but right now, I don’t like to support same sex marriage. It’s redundancy. Being gay or lesbian as a person is acceptable but gay and lesbian as lifestyle is something that up to this date is insufficiently good enough. Lifestyle such as gestures and characters are fine but grave things such as show of affection and gay marriage are still awkward. There are just some things in gayness world that no need to brag. Everybody has the right to be happy but not all that make you happy can be done. Some beyond the prescribed are just need to restraint. I don’t think any spiritual human being will go into homosexual relationship and the pinnacle is to get marry. If you are not religious why you need church marriage? There is no homosexual affair if you are religious anyway.
ON SSS 2,000 PENSION HIKE
On my opinion, the two thousand pesos hike for millions of pensioners of the Social Security System (SSS) is not timely just the same as with the huge bonuses of the officers of SSS. Yes, the present pensions of our senior citizens may not enough for their needs but let us not make it rush and not get tempted in this momentary benefit. Let us look at the future and protect the majority of the members who are dying hard in trusting their future to SSS.
Let us do simple mathematics. There are over two millions pensioners of SSS. The monthly hike of 2,000 for 13 month will give 52,000,000,000 every year. (This doesn't include the actual present monthly pension). In five to ten years from now, SSS will go into bankruptcy. To salvage the institution, the monthly contribution of the members will be increased.
I hope people will consider the future of the institution. It is not just to please the pensioners of today but equally important is to protect the future of the other members. But it is not just the pensioners but also the officers of SSS should put some control among themselves. In our economic situation today, they should be at least sensitive to give themselves the huge sum of bonuses. If SSS has made profit, they should wisely invest instead the profit in strengthening the fund of SSS which will benefit both present and future pensioners of SSS.
I like the intention of Bangsamoro Basic Lay (BBL) which is to come up with a lasting solution in search for peace in Mindanao. So much have been transpired, many have been laid down their lives and shed blood in this warzone. Something must be done to stop these and BBL is here to end these nonsense killings. Watching the news and reading the primer of the draft, BBL promises the exhilarating welfare of Mindanao’s particular group in exchange of ensuring to attain the long elusive peace. Fine, I believe nothing can match any amount of money for the sake of peace. But there are scuttlebutt behind this rushing and railroading proposed bill. Most of the people are actually clueless about BBL and there is a need for clarification for unconfirmed reports of hidden agenda behind the railroading of this law. And giving my reaction to that, I want to say compromising the sovereignty and interest of the whole country and profiting of some few should not ever allow. The whole Mindanao is part of Philippines. Part of it can be autonomous but should always part of the republic of the Philippines. Everybody wants peace but our heartfelt desire to attain peace must still be bounded with constitutionality. I want the turmoil in Mindanao to put end and finally restore the peace in the land but if by means of the current form of BBL, I would say no primarily because of three things: it empowers selective group only, it favours over the state on the distribution of revenue, and it neglects the interest of the other minority ethnic groups.
ON MANNY PACQUIAO STATEMENT
I see nothing wrong with Manny’s belief about Same Sex Marriage (SSM). But I found his word usage is off. It is not fair to any human being to be compared to animal, be it gay or straight. It is disrespectful, offensive and downgrading to dignity, though human is the highest form of animals. Religion is very difficult to oppose but it is not right to use religion to hurt other people because you don’t have to harm your brothers and sisters.
I want to focus on the main issue which is about SSM. Correct me if I’m wrong, I think there is no scripture in any religion that concur with SSM. I understand where Manny is coming from and again I have to say it’s just the choice of words that makes him hated and bombarded. The very purpose of marriage is not only to unite the Love from two souls but aimed too for procreation. If the intention is only to unite or to multiply, then marriage should not have existed at all and instead anybody who falls in love twice, thrice or more can live together.
Since this is a spiritual issue, on other points of view are those agnostics who – most likely will oppose the claim of religions when it comes to SSM (and other teachings of religion). I understand that. But for me, if we chose to live righteously and when we died we learned that there is no God, then it will be fine because we lived our life good. On the other hand, if we died and there is really God, then the price is waiting for us. One of the moral lessons here is never preach if you are not guilty. If you say do not commit adultery while in fact you keep an illicit affair, then you are one of the false prophets.
ON BALIKBAYAN BOX OPENING
So much harsh words had been said about Bureau of Custom (BOC) mandatory inspection of Balikbayan Boxes (BB). My sentiments definitely go with the same sentiments of the general public. BBs are usually for family consumption and private property that opening is invasion of privacy. But if this is what has stipulated in the law, so be it I have no other course but to obey. BOC is backed up by a law. It has long been enacted, the law has been passed, ratified, and enforced from past early administration. If the president said let the BOC do their job, that is absolutely right. And if he directed to stop the mandatory random inspection of BB, that is still right and there is no conflict with that. As the most powerful man in the land (Phils), he has all the prerogatives to mandate his cabinet as prescribed by the law.
The law is good, it prevents the entry of contraband, smuggling and helps taxation in generating additional revenues. But for an OFW like me, it is not about sending illegal items but it’s the standard procedure. Let’s admit, MOST of us are not declaring the true content of the boxes. This alone overrides the proper and lawful tariff collection from imports and export. The last time I had cargo last year, I was not asked about the content. In my past cargo, I was advised to declare it personal effect without even asking me what’s inside. I’m not against the random mandatory open, what I’m upset about here is the way it opens like exposing your very privacy, it is disrespecting the solemnity of how an OFW carefully packed his box, it brings to temps the unscrupulous and it is discriminatory against those big-time smugglers. There is no need for random if BOC will use its resource. The BOC has the capability to implement strict yet reasonable mandatory labelling of package by declaring the true content of the boxes, and BOC has the full resource to acquire the state of arts high-tech x-ray machine that detects and works thorough scanning of illegal and taxable. For the meantime, the legislative should amend the tax exemption of balikbayan boxes worth P10,000 and below since this has been long rendered obsolete.
ON BALIKBAYAN BAGGAGE AT THE AIRPORT
For me, whatever is written in the existing law so be it. Afterall, it was not just imposed – the bills were proposed, deliberated, debated, and ratified before they implemented as laws. If it is outdated and there is need to amend, then this is what should’ve been doing now.
Many are upset about the baggage issue in the airport. If someone is doing his duties, let’s not put our anger on the person because if he did not do what he supposed to do, he is then neglecting his job. If that person is unscrupulous, corrupt, pompous, thief and whatsoever, then it is another story and should set aside from the issue of baggage checking in the airport.
Let’s admit, there are many Returnees’ (Balikbayan) who are coming home with valuables in their baggage that were sliping despite the existing law about taxable valuables. And we’re unable to notice it because the airport immigration has been relaxed, and we are noticing it now because the immigration is a bit strict now in the law.
We have no excuse, no one is above the law. What it needs now to address the concerns of the migrant workers is to amend this existing old law. This is about valuables, or let say this is taxation, and there is a significant change from the time this existing law was passed until today where the inflation rate has been already increased this much.
It’s alarming to figure out the still uncertain suspect in this disgrace “laglag-bala” scam in the NAIA. It is disturbing because it’s been long time since it was sensationalized in the news, and quite many have been preyed in this scam, (apart from it is now becoming an international embarrassment for our country) yet the “tanim-bala” responsible culprits are still free at large. The bylaw is so powerful which has been seeing by the crook to use and take advantage the pressing travellers to extort. Another dirty tactic in the name of money, the sad thing here is that the law has used to cheat. And it is even saddening to think the chronic graft and corruption in the bureaucracy.
I am suspecting two possible scenarios. There is this shameful inside-job syndicate operating the scam until it was headlined in the news and sensationalized in social media, or there is a political ploy here to sabotage the government in this election season from the time this went viral in social media to present time. But either way, it must bring the responsible now and it needs to have heads rolling. It should not take long any further because it already affected the innocent travellers and those tourists who have high expectation. Our country becomes centre of mockery and our fellowmen abroad have discriminated because of the anomaly of these unscrupulous people behind “tanim-bala”. It’s a shame.
ON PHILIPPINES TELEVISION
In the 90’s, there are only four regular programs that I really religiously followed. The political satire comedy show “Abangan Ang Susunod na Kabanata” on ABS CBN-2 every Tuesday, RPN-9’s primetime soap opera “Cebu” every Thursday and the Saturday noontime game show “Battle of the Brain” and the Sunday night musical variety “The Sharon Cuneta Show” on IBC-13. I can catch every night the late news while eating my dinner just after coming home late from work. These makes a balance teevee programming for me.
But I really love Cebu. It is about protecting the legacy of a rich family. This drama series was one of the best drama mini-series that ever graced the Philippine television. The story is believable, fast-pacing, and has sense, good acting of the casts, good production design and cinematography. It lasted two seasons which were equally superb unlike other soap that suffer the sequels.
ON BEING A PRESIDENT
If I were the president, the first thing that I will do is to uplift the lives of the Filipino people by generating more well paid jobs. Addressing this priority, I think the rest of the economic and political issues will gradually follow. The staggering rate of unemployment and underemployment cause a domino effect in the prices of our basic need, peace and order, graft and corruption, population explosion, education, medical and more.
Having a more than enough pay is giving the citizens the power to purchase their basic needs like food, shelter, and clothing. We are giving the citizens the will to seek medical attention, or to send their children in school, and we are controlling them not to be tempted in graft and corruption. And subsequently, peace and order will be attained.
Having more money that circulates in the market means reducing inflation until controlled. And with the large volume of money, it will create more jobs, more products, more services, more consumers, more tax, and it will give a productive economy. And in return, the government can create more services to its people, making them to enjoy the right to live peacefully, secured, free and abundantly.
From the start, I am not really affirmative in K-12 program. There are still so many things in the education system that need to iron out first instead of this another load and weight from student, parents and teachers. What should put in plan and application is the enhancement of quality of education system rather than the quantity of years that a student must spend in the school.
The government should address the needs of additional classrooms, enough teachers, modern facilities, useful textbooks and materials. As long as the schools are equipped, there is no need to add more years of curriculum. There are other better things to do than adopting K to 12 curriculum.
ON NATIONAL ID
I don’t know if my favor in national ID is shallowness. Maybe I am sincere in nature that is why it is no big deal for me to entrust myself to the government that there is no security breaches of information.
If the government officials, low enforcers, and the persons in authority are trusty, honourable and dependable, and if the abiding citizens are trustful, submissive and unsuspecting, then using the nationaL ID is a mutual acceptable and understandable issue that is far from debate, disagreement, and controversy.
We need the Cybercrime Act to protect us from online harassment, identity theft, hacking, cybersex and from those abusers who used freedom of expression and democracy as their excuse. We must keep in mind included in democracy and freedom of speech is the corresponding responsibility.
I think RA 10175 just needs to amend few provisions enclosed with it. But overall, the very purpose of the act is good, just and right.
ON CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
On the national issue of capital punishment in Philippines, I am not in favor of using death penalty mainly due to humanitarian reason. Aside from the potential wrongly convicted, the significance of human life is the sacred creation from God that is so precious and only He can take away the life and breath. For outlaws found guilty in heinous crimes, lifetime sentence is the most appropriate yet effective penal. In light of strict implementation of lifetime imprisonment without providing special treatment, politics, negligence against jailbreak, and even the provision of clemency or pardon – lifetime sentence is tantamount to death. Let them serve the reality of living behind the bars for the rest of their lives for there is no worse payoff and more painful punishment than withholding to live freely forever.
ON REPUBLIC HEALTH BILL
It’s high time to have the bill to put some control on the soaring high rate of growing population and to address the health of the people. In reproductive health bill, it is not only about the various methods of family planning. The bill will teach people the proper way in taking care their family and themselves.
I think I’ll not a bad Christian if I will support RH Bill. I feel I am still good Christian because at the end of the day, it is me who will be subjected to public eye if I cannot raise my own children, it is me who will be judged if I am a good parent, it is me who will be not good in the eyes of God if I will not be a good father, if I cannot raise my children properly.
ON SPRATLEYS ISLAND
In a battle like David and Goliath, for you to defend is to find the ways that will not need to use your weaknesses. We don’t need to spend to wage war since we may not able to afford it but we can stand united to at least stop importing and using infamous China made products.
Apparently we cannot stage war. In a battle like David and Goliath, for you to defend yourself is to find the ways that will not need to use your physical strength. We cannot afford war but we can stand united at least to harm their economy by stopping importing and using infamous China made products. If I were the leader of a powerful religious sect, instead of calling to boycott a television network or some political figures, I will instead order to boycott all China products.
In this way we are not just designing our game plan but also show our nationalism in patronizing our own. And it can open door for us to look alternatives by focusing on our local resources to rediscover and enhance them, and find out what they can offer.