Climate strike: The Filipino youth rises

September 19, 2019
When schoolchildren from around the world – from the edge of the Arctic Circle to the South Pacific – made their voices heard on a historic Friday last March 15 in one of the largest global efforts to demand more action on climate change, it seemed nothing much was heard from students of the Philippines.

Taiwan can help UN achieve global goals

September 12, 2019
“As we embark on this great collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind. Recognizing that the dignity of the human person is fundamental, we wish to see the Goals and targets met for all nations and peoples,” they declared in a plan of action entitled “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

Devastating and disappointing

September 05, 2019
It was touted to be a sort of magic bullet to help both rice farmers and consumers. Yet six months after the Rice Tariff Law took effect, the situation is turning out to be a nightmare, especially for the farmers.

Why is rice still expensive?

August 01, 2019
Rice farmers are in a situation that’s far worse. Amid the deluge of imported rice in the aftermath of the new law, farmers are suffering because “farm gate prices of paddy rice dropped to a record low of P12 per kilogram (/kg) to P14/kg in many parts of the country, a steep drop from an average of P20/kg price for fresh palay earlier this year.”

Are we now seen as barbaric fools?

July 18, 2019
“Iceland criticized Duterte’s drug war, so he accused its people of ‘eating ice,’” quipped a recent The Washington Post headline that must have easily sparked some chuckles. And the amusement can be attributed both to the statement’s intrinsic humor and the president’s seeming ignorance of one of the world’s wealthiest nations.

Averting war

June 26, 2019
At the last possible moment last June 21, Trump called off military strikes against Iran in retaliation for the earlier downing of a US drone. The New York Times reported that “planes were in the air and ships were in position” to fire missiles at Iranian targets just before dawn when the order came in for US forces to stand down.

The many crises in the teaching profession

June 20, 2019
Yes, their pay is low if compared to those of policemen, soldiers, jail officers and fire fighters whose salaries have been doubled by President Duterte. An entry-level public school teacher now gets a basic monthly salary of P20,754 or roughly two-thirds of the P29,668 received monthly since last year by the entry-level policeman, soldier, and other uniformed personnel.

On junk and junkets

Tactless as it seems, it appears that Laurel, the Philippine envoy to Japan, was just being frank when he speculated during a press briefing in Tokyo that Cabinet men were rewarded with the trip because President Duterte “is so elated with the results of the midterm elections.” Laurel added that he learned 200 people comprised the official delegation to Japan.

Bingbong’s road to redemption

With 10 days to go before the May 13 elections, campaigning has reached fever pitch for Congressman Vincent “Bingbong” Crisologo and Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte who are fighting tooth and nail for Quezon City’s mayoralty post.

How Philippines & Taiwan differ on China

April 11, 2019
When two Chinese J-11 fighter planes crossed the Taiwan Strait median line and entered Taiwanese airspace on a Sunday morning less than two weeks ago, reaction was swift: Taiwan’s Air Force scrambled several fighter jets and sent radio warnings to the intruders that retreated and were gone after 10 minutes.

Do ‘bobotantes’ deserve ‘pulpoliticos’?

March 28, 2019
Hitting the campaign trail is a mix of many kinds of candidates—from the highly-capable, selfless, and God-fearing politicians who genuinely have the country’s interests at heart, to the ones I’d like to call “pulpoliticos” or politicians who are deemed pulpol (dull, dimwit): the grossly incompetent or those who are clueless on what it takes to be an effective public servant striving for excellence in governance.

Power of children versus adults in power

March 20, 2019
Mobilized thru social media and word of mouth, the new wave of international youth activism – now sweeping across 100 countries where weekly protests take place – is inspired by Swedish climate activist and high school student Greta Thunberg who was recently nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.