By Raïssa Robles
Did you miss me?
I missed you all. I missed writing. I missed blogging and posting on Facebook and Twitter.
When I got to Singapore, my laptop suddenly simply refused to boot up. My Globe roaming on the two mobile phones I brought totally failed.
Fortunately, YMCA Hotel at the end of Orchard Road where I stayed had wi-fi. So at least I could Face-time with an iTouch.
This must be a sign, I thought, to give digital life a rest and simply be a tourist.
This will be a meandering post where I will share what I saw and thought of.
First things first.
A surprise at NAIA airport
Physically, nothing much had changed at NAIA terminal.
Yes, the ladies’ washroom which President Benigno Aquino personally went to has much brighter lighting –
Compared to months before –
But no one bothered to make the paint finish better in the ladies’ washroom.
As for the Internet connection made available on six computers, I know that at least two of them don’t work –
So much for the travel tax being paid. Where does it really go?
One thing has changed, though, at the airport terminal. For the very first time, a Filipino immigration official asked me a question before she would stamp my passport to let me exit the country: “What’s your work?”
“Journalist,” I said.
“Are you working in government?”
“No,” I said. “Why are you asking? This is the first time I’ve been asked that question,” I told her.
She explained that immigration had become very strict in allowing government officials and employees to depart ever since former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo tried to skip the country late last year. She said it was part of PNoy’s “Matuwid na Daan.”
I asked her if the same kind of strictness applied to those working in the presidential palace. Yes, she said. In fact they had a recent case where an underling of Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa tried to leave the country and when told that a travel order from a superior was needed, Ochoa sent an immigration official a text message saying the underling had his go-ahead.
But the immigration official did not budge until Ochoa faxed a signed letter granting the underling official leave and allowing overseas travel.
The immigration officer told me that even foreign travels of any government employee of functionary in all three branches of government that was strictly for leisure or vacation now need authorization from higher-ups. She said barangay captains, congressmen, mayors and governors are not exempted from these requirements.
She told me this regulation has long been there but it was the first time it was being implemented to the letter since “Arroyo tried to flee.”
By the way, I definitely knew I was in Singapore when at Changi Airport, I overheard a little girl inside the washroom squeal in delight – “Ma, ang ganda ng CR.”
Singapore’s newest attraction
Perhaps like many Filipinos who go there, half my time in Singapore was spent asking myself – What makes Singapore tick? Why did it develop by leaps and bounds while the Philippines regressed?
The Philippines has at least 13 huge natural waterfalls. Singapore has none. But the very day I arrived there, the Singapore government switched on the country’s third man-made waterfall splashing down from a man-made mountain.
I learned about this new artificial waterfall by accident that Friday night when on my way to Kinokuniya bookstore I spotted a poster saying that my favorite singer Jason Mraz was performing one night at the Gardens by the Bay. I did not know where that was but I found my way by following the precise instructions printed on the poster.
I wasn’t able to get in because all 16,000 seats were sold out. However, I saw this weird structures in the distance and I told myself I would return to check them out. One of them turned out to be “The Cloud Forest” featuring a man-made waterfall and mountain.
It was marvelous. But I felt sad because it demonstrated yet again Singapore’s amazing ability to make something out of nothing; while the Philippines has the uncanny knack of turning something into nothing. For instance, we have made our verdant mountain range in Luzon balder than PNoy’s head. And we are now in the process of eroding our lovely black sand beaches by mining these for magnetite for shipment to China.
It seems to be a cursed gift we have – making lovely natural things into barren, ugly wrecks.
Perhaps, I thought, we could learn a thing or two from Singapore which became independent only in 1965, while we have been independent since 1946.
I found some of the answers I was looking for in “The Cloud Forest”, the first newly-opened attraction in the 54-hectare Gardens by the Bay complex on reclaimed land that seems to be Singapore’s version of a Disneyland on climate change and the environment.
Upon entering one of the domes shaped like a giant clam shell, a welcome blast of cold air greeted me. I realized that the dome containing “The Cloud Forest” or man-made waterfall and mountain was fully air-conditioned.
At first glance, the waterfall disappointed me because the falling curtain of water wasn’t thick enough like Philippine waterfalls.
However, as I walked inward, I realized that the mountain and the waterfall were both green, technological marvels. Both had been entirely built from scratch on barren land. Keeping those thousands of plants alive and plastered on the mountain was a monumental task.
A volunteer guide at the mountaintop explained to me that the plants on the seven-story mountain were arranged following their natural ecology. Those at the very top were plants and flowers normally found on tropical mountain crests, and so on.
I have taken lifts up the Eiffel Tower and roller coastered up and down Space Mountain and Indiana Jones’ Mountain of Doom in Disneyland Paris. The Singapore Cloud Forest was a refreshingly different experience. Unlike the Eiffel Tower where a walk down is only for the brave and strong, I could easily walk all the way up the Cloud Forest mountain because of the gentle elevation of the walkway that wound all the way up.
It was dizzying to look down, though. But I did in order to take photos.
The walkway experience made me feel as if I were in the movie sets of “Avatar” and “Jurassic Park”.
Bird sounds were even piped in to give the illusion of a tropical forest. I wonder if there are plans to put a robot dinosaur in there in the future.
The mountain is hollow inside and honeycombed with rooms and elevators. There are rooms to watch videos on ecology and climate change.
Was it worth the 20 Singapore Dollars I paid? Actually, the fee entitled me to go inside an adjacent “Flower Dome” but I had to skip that in order to experience Ku De Ta at the 57th floor – the rooftop of Tower 3 – of Marina Bay Sands Hotel nearby. It’s a cafe by day and a disco at night. It has a view of the adjacent infinity pool and the Singapore skyline.
To go back to the Gardens by the Bay, the Singapore government has already spent at least one billion Singapore dollars on the entire complex, which is far from finished.
Of that, the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest Dome cost S$400 million, according to the Singapore Straits Times. Putting in storm drains, power transmission lines, roads and walkways contributed to the cost overrun.
Keeping the entire complex in tip-top shape is expected to cost S$50 million yearly. The complex is projected to recoup its initial capital of S$1 billion in 10 years.
The complex tries to be a model of waste management and recycling. Plant waste is used to generate power, which cools underground water pipes, which in turn cools the air to a temperature far below Singapore’s humidity.
To help earn money, eateries will be placed inside the complex and the first store has been put up selling souvenirs such as exotic plants grown in the domes preserved inside hard plastic.
Lessons of The Cloud Forest
The building of The Cloud Forest is an example of how the top-down form of political leadership works wonderfully well in a city-state like Singapore. The idea of building a “Green” amusement and educational complex started in 2004. It took Singapore eight years to bring that concept into reality.
Compare that with the Philippine experience in constructing a third international airport terminal at NAIA. By 2004, the NAIA 3 was nearly complete and poised for operations. Eight years on, it has yet to be fully utilized due to unresolved legal, business and corruption issues.
Many Filipinos claim what our country needs is a “Lee Kuan Yew” to run our government.
I wonder if they know what they’re talking about.
Lee Kuan Yew led Singapore, a city-state of 5.18 million people – of which three million are Singapore citizens. The Philippines is a country of nearly 90 million people spread over 7,100 islands. With around 700 square kilometers, Singapore is just a little bigger than Metro Manila (636 square kilometers). But MM with 11.8 million people has over twice Singapore’s population.
I think Singapore is sui generis – a former sub-state that was actually amputated by Malaysia from its federation of states in August 1965. With its back against the wall, Singapore had to sink or swim.
It was Singapore’s fortune to have Lee Kuan Yew as Prime Minister. PM Lee wrote in his book “The Singapore Story” (a copy of which I was given by a senior Singapore embassy official) that the Malaysian federation’s PM Tunku Abdul Rahman and other leaders took this extraordinary step of tossing out Singapore from the federation because they “feared that if ever they shared real political power with the non-Malays, they would be overwhelmed.”
Before Singapore was booted out of the federation through a simple resolution approved by the Malaysian Parliament, followed by a royal assent, leaders from Singapore had thought that “an independent Singapore was simply not viable,” Lee Kuan Yew wrote. “Now it was our unenviable task to make it work,” he said.
He noted then that at that time, Singapore was a small island of only 214 square miles with a native population of two million – three out of four of them of Chinese descent – then heavily dependent on the presence of former British colonizers to boost its economy.
Today, 47 years later, Singapore is a First World country that continues to outpace Malaysia. And of course the Philippines.
And this is partly thanks to Filipino talent that Singapore was able to harness. As Lee himself wrote in his book:
Filipino professionals whom we recruited to work in Singapore are as good as our own. Indeed, their architects, artists, and musicians are more artistic and creative than ours…
How we’re different from Singapore
As I said, Filipinos have often longed for an authoritarian leader but when a leader starts behaving in authoritarian fashion, he or she immediately comes under severe criticism and is accused of being “dictatorial”. I guess our bitter experience with Ferdinand Marcos has thoroughly spoiled for us the concept of a strong leader who puts the interest of the nation above and beyond his family and himself.
Lee Kuan Yew himself had harsh words to say about Marcos whom he said “pillaged his country for over twenty years.”
And so it seems there is this huge disconnect between our longings and our actual expectations of our leaders: They are not supposed to act on matters of national importance without prior consultation and consent of various sectors of society.
Ours is more of a bottom-up kind of political set-up – the very opposite of that of Singapore. For this kind of political structure to work, however, an active citizenry is a must, along with an incorruptible press and judiciary.
For most of our nation’s political life, we have not had an active citizenry that would hold the feet of erring leaders to the fire.
But certain moments of our history shine because ordinary citizens took it upon themselves to be active politically. These are: during the Katipunan Revolt, the Philippine-American War, the resistance against the Japanese in World War II, the election of Ramon Magsaysay, Corazon Aquino, Joseph Estrada and Benigno Aquino III to the presidency.
Perhaps the trick which we haven’t quite mastered is to harness this – and embed citizen action in all phases of our national life and not only during elections.
Do you know that in Hong Kong, one of the arguments that some officials use for not allowing the Hong Kong people to elect the HK Chief Executive by direct vote is the Philippines? We are set up as an example of how democracy DOES NOT WORK.
It is high time we the people evolve our own brand of political governance, something really made in the Philippines, and show the world it works.
Thanks for a great piece about Singapore. I am more excited to see the country now. Great to see your new postings again.
I stayed at the YMCA in Orchard Road from July 10 to 13, so I missed you by just a few days. It would have been great to have had breakfast with you!
I have been to Singapore several times before, but only as a transient traveller on the way to other destinations. I would just wander around the terminals, and be dumbfounded why we insist on promoting the Philippines as a travel destination when we could not even have decent airports. On this recent trip, I boarded my flight from NAIA-1, and it was a sorry sight. Not that I am putting down our own airport, but the ugly truth stares you in the face. There is just no justification for calling it an international airport.
This time, I travelled as a tourist and got to see Singapore up close and personal for the first time. And yes, going around this tiny city-state will lead you to ask what they were doing that we could not. The airport alone already sets the tone – ultra clean and functional facilities, wide open spaces, efficient transport system even among the four terminals. The awe stays with you even when you leave the airport, with their wide roads lined with greeneries. With limited land, Singapore had masterfully maximized available spaces. One would think that with 5 million people, they would be occupying all available land. But no, you can see lush forests and open parks all over the place. They built vertically so they can conserve their precious natural resources.
Singapore is a feast for the senses. But there is one thing that I noticed right from moment I stepped out of our plane. People are not happy. They don’t smile. They walk fast. They are constantly chasing after a constantly moving target. Every convenience is paid for. People pay to buy cars, they pay to drive and park them. They pay taxes to hire maids. Everything has a price – and they have to work hard to pay for it. In a small state like Singapore, it would have been easy to run it like an enterprise. I wonder if they would have the same success if they had to deal with a country like the Philippines. Will our people be willing to pay the price for progress?
The key, I realized, still lies in a mature electorate who are also active constituents. Public participation in governance must not be limited to electing credible and competent leaders. It must extend to actively participating in governance. From the communities, all the way to the national level people must be active partners in nation-building. We cannot make the entire country become a Singapore, but we can emulate its development strategy on the local levels. We can create “little Singapores” in our cities and provinces where developmental initiatives will be more manageable. Our country puts too much dependency on the President and a select group of leaders. Try hard as they may, there will never be enough time to attend to all the problems of the country. We must share the burden and spread the responsibility.
It would be good to see cities and provinces in the Philippines that can attain the level of development of Singapore. But I hope we will not lose that one thing that keeps this country going despite all that is wrong in us – our indomitable Filipino spirit.
Wow. Sayang. We missed each other by just a few days. Did you have the nasi lemak?
Yes, I did! It was really good. The hotel was a good deal considering its location.
I am sorry I did not finish reading your comment, not it is because it is a very long comment, but because the more I READ , my blood pressure is going up, YES we wonder how this tiny island of about 5million earthlings were able to make Singapore a country or a nation way way ahead of the Philippines, my one and only answer is OUR RELIGION, we were taught how to be ignorant, wrong values, they never teach us of the true God, only commercialism of faith. LAGI NA LANG SILA NAKIKI ALAM, MULA PA SA PANAHON NI RIZAL, HANGGANG NGAYON, see how these bishops, religious people intervene in the affair of our government..
roberto villaflores says
i wonder if you received my email regarding my experience sa NAIA. it has become an ordeal for every OFW like me na makursunadahan nila. gusto ko sanang email sa iyo kasi ayokong malathala in public ang pangalan ko .
This is me supporting you on every step of the way.
God Bless and regards
No, I did not receive your e-mail.
Pls resend to [email protected]
When can we find a true and honest politician to enact a law to stop political dynasty? Political dynasty for elected executive position must be target of this law, Punong Baragay, Mayor, Governor are the position that should be re assist, the law should call for all relatives of this head of office up to 4th degree of consanguinity not to be allowed to run in any elective position after the term of office of that particular head of office expired. He/she maybe allowed only after a lapse of one term of office. You can just imagine how unfair will the opposition may encounter running against an opponent with all the resources of his office is at his disposition at all times. Another provision is to have the incumbent officials be on a leave 120 days before elections in order to have a fair fight with his opposing candidate, after all the budget and program have already been earmark after the approval by their respective sanggunian .DO YOU THINK THIS IS FAIR?
No. It is not fair at all! Vote only for those whom we believe can give us good public service. Snub, ignore, discard, and forget those candidates or incumbents corrupt public officials and those who are of no good use to us! Campaign on this platform!
Let us teach their kinds or class we know how to be fair.
Good luck to you and us in the next elections, 2013!
jorge bernas says
Maganda mga sinasabi mo na iboboto lamang mga kandidato na mayroon Honest Background, Good Public Services Record, Maka Diyos at Maka TAO kaso ang pinakamahirap ay ang mga TAO na Nagbebenta nang kanilang SAGRADONG BOTO?
Dito nga sa amin ang mga PARI/OBISPO ay sinasabi na tanggapin ang pera nang Kandidato pero IBOTO ang karapatdapat na Kandidato. MALI pa rin ito dahil tinuturuan mo lamang mga Tao na maging IMMORAL/KAYANG SUHOLAN, Ang dapat na gawin nilang advices ay kasalanan ang tumanggap nang bayad/suhol mula sa kandidato kapalit nang sagradong boto.
matagal ko na iniiisip kung pano tayong makakaboto ng matalino….sana ang bigyan lang ng karapatan bumoto eh yung mga taong nagbabayad ng tax….
I agree with that proposal.only citizens with income or no income tax filers may be allowed to cast a vote during elections, this include the priest and the bishops. the income tax return duly certified by the BIR will serve as their pass to vote.
Shekah Li says
Yes, what we need is a leader that’s ready to take risk, one that can muster enough political will to boot. Isa sa kagya’t na nararapat harapin ng ating pamahalaan ay ang pagresolba sa lumulubhang kalagayan ng kriminalidad sa bansa. Papaano tatakbo ng maayos ang ating ekonomiya kung ang mamamayan ay takot at patuloy na pineperwesyo ng mga holdapers, snatchers. carnappers, akyat-bahay /salisi gang, bank robbers at juvenile delinquents. Paanong lalabas ang puhunan ng mga negosyante, gagastos ang mga mamimili/ customers kung ganitong malubhang kalagayan? Pigil tuloy ang pag-ikot ng komersyo. Katahimikan, kapayapaan at seguridad , ‘yan ang kailangan ng ating bansa. Mula sa pagbili ng mga mamahaling gamit tulad ng kotse, alahas ng mga moneyed people, sa pagbili ng mga sampagita, balot, mani/sitsaron ng masang mamimili, yan ang magbibigay ng maraming trabaho at pagkakakitaan sa lahat. Nakita natin ang epekto ng pagpapatupad ng mahigpit na pagdidisiplina sa kaganapan ng maagang yugto ng Marcos’s Martial Law, sa pamamahala ni PNP Gen. Lacson sa kapulisan, ang pamumuno ni Mayor Lim sa Manila, ni Mayor Pelagio sa isang bayan sa Pampanga at ni Mayor Duterte sa Davao. Ang kahirapan o kakulangan sa buhay ay hindi sapat na dahilan upang ang isang tao ay gumawa ng mga kawalanghiyaan. Nguni’t kung gagawin natin ang ating bayan na safe place to live in, malaking dahilan ito upang ang ating bansa ay umunlad. Napakalawak ng ating shoreline para sa empleyo sa tourism at pangisdaan. Kalupaan para sa agrikulturang panghanapbuhay. But of course, genuine implementation ng land reform at nationalist industrialization ang ultimate solution sa kahirapan ng ating bayan. For leaders, creativeness at innovations ang kalidad na kinakailangan. For the meantime, resolbahin muna ang isyu ng kriminalidad. Lahat tayo ay biktima dito!
peregrino natividad says
The root cause is Political dynasties that breed corruption. With Corruption comes crime.
Shekah Li says
politcal-motivated zarzuelas are trending in our country.
Alizarin Viridia says
54 Dggernale :July 12, 2012 at 7:30 pm
Tungkol sa krimenalidad: click ang heels ko at saludo ako diyan. Bago nanumpa si Noynoy me email ako sa kanya. Walang dada o talumpati, tahimik lang, umpisahan niya kaagad ang ekspansyon ng mga kulungan sa Muntinlupa, sa Tagig, sa San Ramon at sa Iwahig at iba pang kulungan.
Pag nabalitaan at kumalat yan. Urong ang tumbong ng masasama. Babatikusin si presidente kaliwa’t kanan PERO TIYAK MABAWASAN ANG KRIMEN. Yung mga senador nagbabala, ayaw ipa kulong si Gloria, mga kandidato yan sa kulungan. Takot lang ang mga yan. Kaya masasabi ng mga kritiko ang batas na lumalabas sa ating Kongreso ay BATAS NG MGA TAKOT: takot makulong o mawalan ng pwesto at gatasan.
Sa Canada dumadami na rin ang krimen araw-araw. Kaya si Prime Minister Harper nagtataguyod ng mga batas para habaan ang mga sentensya, patagalin sa kulungan ang mga kriminal. Meron pang panukala na gawin hindi libre o gratis sa mga preso ang board and lodging at security guards nila. Dapat magbanat sila ng buto, magpatulo ng pawis para bayaran ang ginagastos sa kanila ng bayan. Kaya ang media panay ang upak kay PM Harper.
Galit ang Kano sa Tsina kasi mas mura ibenta sa world market ang produktong ginawa ng mga preso.
Kung ano ang tama dito sa mga sinabi ko dapat salain at batikusin ng mga CPMers.
“genuine implementation ng land reform” is missing a lot! I know. We know. You know. Many farmer/beneficiaries after being awarded lands sells the land to others within the prohibited period of ten/five 5 years under the law! No DAR official or employees monitors this violation of the law. Some lands did not continue to be agricultural like for palay or root crops. It was used for other unrelated purposes in agriculture.
Is this the reason why WE DID CONTINUE TO IMPORT RICE FROM ABROAD? Yes.
Let us hope that this importation will stop under PNoy’s watch.
The land reform program was again extended for another 5 years. If it was succeeding, maybe it is good to extend. If not, for what use? The many essential provisions of the law is not working. And nothing is being done. In short, we carry on a political gimmick made by the late Marcos, to distribute the wealth; the agricultural lands, etc. Hindi kaya! First of all NO MONEY! It was like a suicide for the country to get all private agricultural lands without having the money to pay for it.
Now, we did reap the ill-effects of it. IMPORT RICE! Farmers did not want to plant palay anymore! Most wanted to go abroad; buy TVs, buy houses; buy cars/vehicles. Name it they did it!
Land reform…hehehe! a monster!
I am thinking on that…would you be ready to take the risk for any elective public position?
Go for it on 2013! Make a start. We and the country is looking for such leaders!
Good luck! Be HEARD! People will support for that.
Alizarin Viridia says
Hey, Ms Raissa, you went on a short holiday and look . .
I am biting the dust here in CPMiranda. Ang layo na ninyo. DYNASTY na kayo, sa corruption pa lang ako. In high school we choke with difficult names studying Oriental History, failing our history tests because of Chinese Emperors and their dynasties.
To talk sense, I have to read back, brushed up on WHAT MADE the Chinese Dynasties and Japanese Shogunate extinct like the dinosaurs, why even the CULT of MAO TSE TUNG has already breached the stage of ENDANGERED SPECIE. The red mainland has done the game change long ago with the USA now just holding on to its coat tail.
THE ANSWER AS TO HOW to exterminate Filipino Dynasties MIGHT BE FOUND in history’s pages. Andres Bonifacio’s belief on the French upheavals is a variant that failed.
Alizarin Viridia says
On a lighter vein, rewind our minds to China,
to Pearl Buck’s the Good Earth to know the genetics of a real Chinoy, to Hongkong hills with William Holden kissing teary- eyed Jennifer Jones as the Four Aces’ voices floated the air with their rendition of “Love is a Many Splendored Thing.”
Think of Nancy Kwan in her “World of Susie Wong” as the original diamond where the idea was cut to make a London jewel called “Miss Saigon.” All should be backdrop and artistic props to the bloody demise of ruling dynasties.
Yabang titilliates memories. The last memory was eating in the very Restaurant where Susie Wong was filmed. We were luncheon guest of the Lady President of the Family Planning Association of Hongkong (a daughter at the time was Miss Hongkong) after a short visit and briefing on family planning as practice among their people living in the sampans.
A little unforgettable seeing Hongkong’s persona that’s not about shopping.
Alizarin Viridia says
Curious now about family planning by Hongkong’s Sampang people? At the time, Sampang men think almost of nothing else, just takes care of bread winning. The wives regularly visit the clinics to replenish their free supply of condoms.
To wives’ night dress (not sure now, Japanese too?) and pillows are sewn very small pockets to hide a condom for easy reach. That’s how they don’t make plentiful babies in the Sampangs.
sakura girl says
Well to answer your question, of course we missed you. But really, it’s good to have you back, Raissa. When I found out that you had just left I wrote to your email address but as things have turned out you didn’t get it. Could I resend it?
I’m glad you enjoyed your holiday in Singapore. I was there in 1987 and it’s obvious that there are now a number of must places to visit (at that time there was only Sentosa and the shopping malls). BTW, Narita Airport must be nearing 40 years old but it remains highly functional and immaculately clean. That is why stepping into NAIA (the old terminal) each time I visit has always been depressing for me because it always serves as a reminder how far, far behind we remain.
@Johnny Lin, I do hope you can set up the account. You can count on my pledge. If it’s going to be a local account I can ask someone to make the deposit. But how about those abroad? If there is a ceiling of $20, some may get discouraged because of the bank charge. In my case, in fact, if I were to remit from Japan, the remittance fee would even be larger than the remittance itself! ($50 at current exchange rates). I’m happy that you’ve started the ball rolling. Thanks for this.
Maybe to avoid those unnecessary remittances fee from US banks there: “Start” keeping US banks accts for 2 Pinoys – 1 in US the other here Phil; ; an agreement between 2 Pinoys. Ex: my son in US get the $$ in his US bank acct from a Pinoy in a US bank acct (US bank to bank) thru deposits, then I give here the equivalent in pesos for the purpose intended. No fee involved at all! It avoids the fee. Also keeping an honor system among PINOY KINS. One gets confirmation thru our cell phs txt or our personal e-mails among us.
Victin Luz says
@Johnny I am willing to contribute 20$ or it’s equivalent just post and set the account here .
ma. minda g. fuentes says
i am one of those who had wished we had a ‘lee kuan yew’, cuz i had long envied singapore for their no-nonsense approach to their problems. proof of the pudding is in the eating: with a a robust economy, it is as fascinating a destination as any western or european country.
Johnny lin says
Testing again. 2 previous comments did not post with this new format
Sorry about that.
I had added a new feature for people to use their FB or Twitter accounts.
It seems it’s not compatible with my current Comment widget.
same here. my 2 comments were not posted.
napost din pala afterward at # 37… nagmukha tuloy spam… my apology.
HELLO…keep getting rejected here…my fault?
Maybe because you have a new gravatar.
In any case, I like your gravatar :)
THANKS !…hahaha…lady bug me!
Oh. I thought you were the thistle.
That’s a lady bug parked on the “end of a branch of a leaf with (maybe) a cobweb.” Puede rin “thistle” ako…prickly plant! hahaha…
I will e-mail to your address [email protected] a bigger version of that lady bug…GANDA! just say “go !”
Maybe people can directly propose an “amendment” on this subject matter in the Constitution. ART. XVII SEC. 2.
Since Congress appears to have no interest, we, the people, instead do it for the country. The CHANCE is there,by the Article SEC. 2.
Shall we, the PEOPLE initiate the move on this? Who leads?
Any PARTY-LIST organization?
No more CHA CHA! Only ART.XVII SEC. 2 on “amendments” to the fundamental law.
If Congress does not want to pass a law against political dynasties, maybe the people can “directly propose through initiative upon a petition of at least 12% of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least 3% of the regisered voters therein.” (ART. XVIII SEC. 2 Const.
If and when the people succeed in that, goodbye political dynasties!
Welcome honest, serious, determined and capable elected leaders!
Shall we work on this? It is there and all the people have to do is USE IT!
Yes we, the people, can.
Unfortunately, as early as 1997, in the case of Defensor-Santiago, vs. COMELEC (G.R. No. 127325, 19 March 1997), the Supreme Court has already held that we still need an enabling law from Congress before the people can directly propose amendments to the Constitution.
“Section 2 of Article XVII of the Constitution provides:
Sec. 2. Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at least twelve per centum of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum of the registered voters therein. No amendment under this section shall be authorized within five years following the ratification of this Constitution nor oftener than once every five years thereafter.
The Congress shall provide for the implementation of the exercise of this right.
This provision is not self-executory. In his book, 29 Joaquin Bernas, a member of the 1986 Constitutional Commission, stated:
Without implementing legislation Section 2 cannot operate. Thus, although this mode of amending the Constitution is a mode of amendment which bypasses congressional action, in the last analysis it still is dependent on congressional action.
Bluntly stated, the right of the people to directly propose amendments to the Constitution through the system of initiative would remain entombed in the cold niche of the Constitution until Congress provides for its implementation. Stated otherwise, while the Constitution has recognized or granted that right, the people cannot exercise it if Congress, for whatever reason, does not provide for its implementation.”
Here is the link:
You are right @AnuBayan…the people’s right to “proposition law” can be argued to be emtombed in Congress’ cold storage. Let us, the people then shake the storage room of Congress…SEC. 2 says expressly allows “authorization” after 5 years following the ratification “No amendment under this section shall be authorized WITHIN FIVE YEARS xxx” meaning AFTER 5 YEARS it is AUTHORIZED already without or without Congress’ “implementation.” The people can, first, “propose” an “amendment to implement” the law on “propositions to amend” the LAW. Nothing says this is prohibited unless Congress implements “a proposed implementation” law to make “proposition to amend” the LAW. That phrase “No amendment” etc. following is already the AUTHORITY as expressly worded preceding the last sentence for Congress’ “shall provide for the implementation” etc.
In short, what is not in cold storage is the right to make “proposition to make implementation” of the right to “propose amendment” to the LAW.
As stated here, let us shake up that cold storage room of Congress on this matter. My personal “circuitous” opinion only. Cong. Tupaz will not be able to argue in focus on this! Joke only. A tst case on this will not be governed by that ruling on Santiago-Defensor vs COMELEC. It’s a new ball game on a different issues.
peregrino natividad says
Raissa, please begin the momentum of a campaign against POLITICAL DYNASTIES. Every blogger should list names of dynastic families in their regions. We circulate their names in the social media.
I will continue the awareness against its pitfalls.
Victin Luz says
Mam @ Leona I agree with you……what will be the prohibition ? Up to 2nd dgree of consanguinity/affinity and from Barangay Captain to PRESIDENT….. He he ang hirap PO ata mam to define the DEMACRATION LINE….gagawa at gagawa ng PALUSUT ang ating MAMBABATAS mam to fit their DYNASTIES.
@Victin Luz…here it is, PROHIBITION…political dynasty:
“No person, his or her spouse and all their children or relations by blood or affinity, or their ascendants or relations by blood or affinity, to all degrees upward or downward or lateral, shall be allowed to run for any public office or be appointed to any public office, local or national. This provision shall prohibit any fraud or deceit, criminal or civil, intended to circumvent this law, Any filing of a certificate of candidacy is deemed a violation of this provision and is not a candidate. Congress shall enact a year the statute to punish any person for violation of this provision.”
So, no political dynasty or monarchy (or royal blood) whatever, is the prohibited idea. Violators “cannot” also “change their names, etc” up or down the lines of degrees of relations. I hope we covered all loopholes in it.
Of course, the prohibition refers to any “same or second, etc. public office.”
I remember during my high school days in Tarlac where we attended a journalism congress. A speaker was asked how to put to a stop the political dynasty of the Cojuangcos and Yaps in our province. The speaker simply answered: “Ayaw nyo ng political dynasty? E di huwag nyo silang iboto.” I know it’s easier said than done pero with an informed citizenry, I think that is our best bet in prohibiting political dynasties in our country.
But without a specific law against pol. dynasty, money will entice a voter to “vote na lang.” But with a law, he or she can get the highest votes possible but still DISQUALIFIED by the law! So, a law is the best bet.
Just because a person succeeded any of his immediate family in an elective position does not necessarily mean his succession is wrong and should be prohibited. For all we know, he is truly qualified for the job. Kaya nga hangga’t hindi nade-define ng congress ang meaning ng political dynasty, let the electorate decide who is the best person to assume the position. Maaaring maraming tao ang nabibili ang boto sa ngayon pero ang solusyon dun ay tamang impormasyon at hindi prohibisyon.
Victin Luz says
@ AnuBayan!….. I am in favor to the idea of @ mam Leona ,their must really a law to punish those would be violators of POLITICAL DYNASTIES. Information was always undertaken by all sectors in our government ” CRYING, SHOUTING NO TO POLITICAL DYNASTIES in EVERY ELECTION YEAR ” but when the election came….. They forgot everything for something and the worse they will forget the issue for nothing if somebody will tell them ” IBOTO MO SYA DAHIL HINDI LANG MAGALING SI JUAN, ANAK din SYA SA LABAS NI MAYOR PEDRO AT HIGIT SA LAHAT 2nd COUSIN MO IYAN…. PATAY NA NAMAN ANG BAYAN NATIN.
I agree , a LAW CREATED against POLITICAL DYNASTIES must carries with it REASONABLE PUNISHMENT to the VIOLATORS.
EXCELLENT IDEA @ MAM LEONA