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Posts Tagged ‘pabaon’

The Truth and Doing Business in the Philippines

February 17, 2011 2 comments

The truth and Doing Business in the Philippines

by: Harvey S. Keh

The Manila Times

http://www.manilatimes.net/opinion/the-truth-and-doing-business-in-the-philippines/

LAST week, the Ateneo School of Government (ASOG) together with Entrepreneurs Organization-Philippines (EO) and the World Bank-Knowledge Development Center organized the “Bukluran para sa Kaunlaran 2011” (Partnership for Progress).

This innovative event aims to give progressive, ethical and business-friendly local government units the opportunity to invite local businessmen who are members of EO to invest in their areas.

This is also an off shoot of the recent study released by the International Finance Corp. (IFC) which showed that among 183 countries surveyed on the “Ease of Doing Business,” the Philippines ranked a very dismal 148th place (down two places from our rank of 146 last year). Our neighboring countries, Singapore and Hong Kong topped the survey while even poverty-stricken countries like Bangladesh and Cambodia were even ranked ahead of us. The annual survey measures the efficiency of the processes needed for one to establish and run a business such as acquiring a business and construction permit, getting credit, protecting investors, enforcing contracts and registering property.

This is very alarming since many major multinational corporations would refer to this survey prior to deciding which country they would invest their business in. One of the speakers during the Bukluran event said that a major reason why our country continues to lag behind the other nations is the rampant graft and corruption found in our local government units. This typically turns off many investors and entrepreneurs. Thus, the Kaya Natin! Movement and the ASOG were very careful in selecting the LGUs that were invited to the event.

Among those who presented sales pitches were Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte of Quezon City, Mayor Jun Verzosa of Tagudin, Ilocos Sur, Mayor Jeng Reyes of Alicia, Isabela, Mayor Gerardo Valmayor of San Carlos City, Negros Occidental and Mayor Marivic Belena of San Jose City, Nueva Ecija. Each of the local chief executives presented their localities’ demographics, business policies and procedures as well as the incentives that they offer to new businesses that would be established in their areas. Through this program, the organizers aim to help encourage local government units to curb corruption and establish more efficient systems to make their city or municipality more business-friendly.

On the side of the entrepreneurs, this event allowed them to look at new possible sites for their businesses with the assurance that they will not encounter much trouble in securing the necessary requirements to do so. Through this synergy, more jobs and opportunities for growth can be given to more Filipinos especially those who live in the provinces.

Talking about graft and corruption, I am very sorry but I don’t really see anything honorable, brave, heroic or courageous with the suicide of former DND Secretary Angelo Reyes. I have always been taught in school that committing suicide is wrong and it is selfish since you leave your loved ones to answer the questions that your death has left behind. Moreover, suicide has always been an escape from taking responsibility and having faith in God to help you in overcoming all your problems. In the case of Reyes, I believe that, if the allegations made by his former budget officer are true, there is nothing honorable in defrauding our country’s coffers so that your family can travel and shop abroad. There is nothing heroic in taking a monthly allowance of P5 million, taking for the office another P5 million and taking a P50 million “pabaon” on retirement while thousands of ordinary soldiers are risking their lives each day despite having meager equipment and deficient supplies. Many of these ordinary soldiers don’t even earn enough to pay for the hospitalization or medicine of their family members.

I pray that the soul of Reyes may rest in peace but I hope that the current investigation regarding this scandalous “pabaon” program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will not be buried with him. Perhaps Reyes was too overwhelmed by all the accusations hurled against him, perhaps he also didn’t expect this sudden fall from power and grace but in the end, he still had a clear choice on which direction to take with his life. He could have opted to tell all of us the truth and perhaps this would have set him and his family free. Whether or not the accusations against him are true, Reyes was in a position to reveal to everyone what really happened to our government’s funds during the time of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Sadly, he chose to escape from this responsibility of bringing to light all the scandalous acts of the AFP during the previous administration by taking his own life.

His suicide was honorable perhaps only to his fellow AFP leaders and former Arroyo cabinet members who because of his sudden death received a brief respite from the on-going investigations. Retired military leader and a good friend of Reyes, Rex Robles said that we may not be able to handle the truth about our military leaders once it is spilled out that is why we should understand the decision of Reyes to take his life. For me, whether the people of the Philippines can or cannot handle the truth, all of us deserve to know it. We deserve nothing less.

The Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership led by the likes of Among Ed Panlilio, former Gov. Grace Padaca, DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo, Senator TG Guingona and Rep. Bolet Banal is now looking for its new batch of KN Champions for Good Governance to join them. Nominees should be effective, ethical and empowering former or current elected government leaders. Any organization can nominate by sending the CV of the nominee together with a short explanation of the nomination to kai.pastores@gmail.com or you can also call us at (02) 434-1458 for more details.


Comments are welcome at harveykeh@gmail.com. Follow me at http://www.twitter.com/harveykeh

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Kaya Natin! Statement on Corruption at the AFP

February 2, 2011 1 comment

Kaya Natin! Statement on Corruption at the AFP

We, the leaders of the Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership, strongly condemn the “pabaon” system that has corrupted the leadership of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). The AFP, as an institution that supposedly protects the Filipino people and upholds the tenets of democracy, must remain opposed to any form of bribery, graft and corruption in any level within their ranks.

 

We continue to support the ongoing investigations being done by the Senate Blue Ribbon committee and the Department of Justice. We hope that these investigations will lead to the prosecution and eventual conviction of the perpetuators of these crimes.

 

We continue to believe that there are still many in the AFP whose integrity is unblemished and who continue to pursue honor and valor as men and women in service to the country. Let us continue to work with them to cleanse the ranks of the AFP of those who tarnish the name of the institution for their own personal interests.

 

Moreover, we strongly support and admire the courage shown by former state auditor Heidi Mendoza in her mission for truth and justice. We urge more well-meaning and patriotic Filipinos especially those in government to follow her lead and publicly reveal any information about graft and corruption happening in the country. We believe that it is only through the concerted efforts of good Filipinos like Mendoza that we can finally rid our country of corrupt and selfish leaders.

 

Let us always remember evil will prevail only when good men and women choose to do nothing.

 

Signed:

 

Among Ed Panlilio, former Governor, Pampanga

Teofisto Guingona III, Senator

Bolet Banal, Representative, Quezon City

Kaka Bag-ao, Representative, AKBAYAN

Teddy Baguilat, Jr., Representative, Ifugao

Neric Acosta, former Representative, Bukidnon

Sonia Lorenzo, former Mayor, San Isidro, Nueva Ecija

Roque Verzosa, Jr., Mayor, Tagudin, Ilocos Sur

Florante Gerdan, former Mayor, Sta. Fe, Nueva Vizcaya

Cecilia Clare Reyes, Mayor, Alicia, Isabela

Gloria Congco, Mayor, Cabiao, Nueva Ecija

Valente Yap, Mayor, Bindoy, Negros Oriental

Shirlyn Macasarte, Board Member, North Cotabato

Janaree Disomimba, former Mayor, Tamparan, Lanao del Sur

Mabel Sunga-Acosta, former Councilor, Davao City

Fermin Mabulo, former Mayor, San Fernando, Camarines Sur

Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, former Councilor, Bacolod City

Francis Tinio, former Councilor, Binalonan, Pangasinan


Email us at kayanatin@yahoo.com or call us at (02) 434-1458