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COMMENT: Political Patronage: Root of Corruption

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, November 15, 2014 – President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III launched his candidacy in 2010 on the platform of “daang matuwid (straight path)” in order to eliminate corruption in government. But the platform was – and still is – locked to political patronage, the root of corruption, nurtured by the multi-party system. Does it have to be wondered that “daang matuwid” is a hollow slogan in the sea of corruption?

His political wagon, the Liberal Party, could not have carried him to Malacañang; it had to be propelled by the “Cory charisma”. LP President Manuel “Mar” A. Roxas II had to step down to the vice presidential slot, yet he lost. Other so-called political parties hitched unto the Cory charisma-driven LP wagon. Aquino III has to keep intact the LP-centered coalition as there is not enough number of LPs in the Senate and the House for him to govern. But perpetuating political patronage is perpetuating corruption.

SouthCot’s Gov. Fuentes: ok to Bangsamoro but “be sure it will solve problems”

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/27 Oct) — South Cotabato Governor Daisy Avance-Fuentes does not have anything against the establishment of the Bangsamoro government but wants to be sure that the Bangsamoro Basic Law “will not create problems.” “In general, I don’t have anything against the establishment of the Bangsamoro government. We just have to be sure that it will solve problems. It should provide an environment that will provide every Bangsamoro a chance of bettering themselves,” she told the public hearing on the Basic Law or House Bill 4994, at the FB Hotel here Friday.

Fuentes, one of three female representatives who raised several concerns in the run-up to the signing of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement under the Ramos administration, recalled there were a lot of “gray areas” in that agreement between the government and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). Fuentes clarified some provisions in the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, among them the provision on block grant, which she said, is comparable to the internal revenue allotment of LGUs. It will be sourced from the national revenue collections and released annually by the Central government to the Bangsamoro government

Tagalog News: Suporta ng World Bank, EU at ibang donor agencies sa Bangsamoro tiniyak

COTABATO CITY, Nov. 12 (PIA)—Umani ng suporta ang Bangsamoro Development Plan (BDP) ng MILF mula sa mga mamumuhunan at international donor agencies pagkaraang ito ay iprinisinta at ipinalawanag sa ginanap na Philippine Development Forum (PDF) kamakailan sa Davao City na dinaluhan mismo ni Pangulong Benigno S. Aquino III, ito ang ipinahayag ni MILF 1st vice chair Ghadzali Jaafar. Isa sa mga donor agency na agad na pagpahayag ng suporta sa BDP ay ang World Bank (WB)sa pangunguna ng Vice President nito na agad nakipagpulong sa liderato ng MILF kasama ang mga tutulong upang isulong ang investment sa Bangsamoro , ayon kay Jaafar.

“Ang nag-represent sa World Bank ay ang Vice President ng World Bank at doon sa meeting ng MILF at World ay very positive ang result sapagkat may commitment ang World Bank at kasama doon sa commitment ang pagtulong sa pagpasok ng  mga investors,” ayon kay Jaafar. Kabilang din sa mga nagpaabot ng patuloy na suporta sa Mindanao partikular na sa Bangsamoro ay ang European Union (EU) na handang maglalaan ng 5 million Euros pledge o katumbas ng humigit-kumulang P340 million, ayon kay Jaafar.

IPs to President Aquino: on the Bangsamoro

And indeed, we are finally celebrating the magnanimity in keeping the peace. We, theIndigenous Peoples1(IP) especially in Central Mindanao, would like to pay tribute to the peacemakers who were at the helm in realizing a politically–negotiated settlement to the conflict in our troubled region. We specifically affirm your unwavering commitment to the Bangsamoro peace process on reaching the historical signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) by the GPH and MILF and finally putting to rest the decades of armed conflict in the Bangsamoro homeland.

Like many of us, we, the IPs in the core territory and adjacent areas of the Bangsamoro, feel deep respect for the manymujahideenandmujahidatwho have relentlessly waged their self determination struggle over the decades. Many of our kin have even joined and fought together with them in various ways along the different stages of recent history. But most of all, we pay tribute to the legacy that binds our ancestral lineage, the narrative ofMamalu and Tabunaway. In fact, they are the ones who started it all – the “dialogue” of peoples, of cultures, of civilizations.

Solar lights illuminate Sarangani Capitol

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Nov. 7 (PIA) --- Dazzling lights illuminated the driveways and vicinities of the Provincial Capitol of Sarangani with the installation recently of 41 units of solar-powered street lamps. Passers-by could easily notice a much brighter capitol compound with more lamp posts surrounding the area after the provincial government replaced the High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lights which consume more electricity.  “I feel safe now that I see that the capitol compound and the highways are well-lighted. I believe this will discourage criminals from taking advantage of the dark,” said Juliet, 32 a resident of Malapatan and a regular night commuter.

Engr. Franz Von Abriam, street lights supervisor of the Provincial Engineering Office (PEO) revealed that this cost-efficient project has an allocation of P2.4 million pesos for the first two phases. He opined that the implementation of this energy-saving project is an investment for the province as solar-powered lights consume zero electricity and requires less maintenance.  “We expect to save thousands of pesos in future electricity bills and we don’t need to hire personnel to operate the lamp posts as these will automatically switch on when the sun sets and switch off when the sun is up to power charge,” he explained.

Reports from the Provincial Governor’s Office (PGO) disclosed that the said project is part of the local government’s renewable energy initiative in support to the global call on climate change mitigation.  Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon expressed optimism that the use of solar energy to light up the capitol will save the provincial government the needed resources to fund other development projects under the Sulong Sarangani flagship program, such as infrastructure, social welfare services, education, and investment promotion.  Carlito Rosal, head of the power room of the Provincial General Services Office (PGSO), said that one sodium street light consumes 400 watts power which resulted to costly electricity bill for the provincial government before the implementation of the project.

He explained, however, that with the solar-powered street lights project, which only consumes 7.5% of the 400 watts per post on a normal 12-hour nightly operation, there will be more power available for commerce and other economic activities.  “This solar-powered street light only consumes 30 watts. That’s big savings. We will be able to cut back on our total electricity bill expense once all the solar outdoor lamps are put up,” the PGO quoted Rosal as saying. Meanwhile, Abriam disclosed that an additional 37 units of solar lights will be installed at the back of the capitol compound in the ensuing years once Phases 3 and 4 of the project will be funded and completed. (PGFruylan/PIA-Gensan with reports from AJCUgsad/PGO)

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