April 30, 2010

Stop Angat Dam privatization


Advocacy group Water for the People Network (WPN) today challenged presidential candidates to prove that they are not beholden to big business interests and issue a categorical statement that they will not allow the privatization of the Angat Dam and undermine people’s access to water.
The group issued the statement as the deadline for the submission of bids for the 246-megawatt (MW) Angat Hydroelectric Power Plant (HEPP) ends today.
The WPN noted that among the interested buyers of the Angat HEPP are some of the most politically influential business groups in the country and perceived backers of some presidentiables including Danding Cojuangco’s San Miguel Corp., the Lopez family’s First Gen Corp., the Ayala Group, Manny Pangilinan’s Metro Pacific Corp., Aboitiz Power Corp., and the Consunjis’s DMCI Power Corp.
“We need an assurance, especially from the leading presidential contenders, that they will protect the human right to water and not the private business interests wanting to control Angat Dam’s hydropower facilities. Whoever controls the hydropower facilities controls the flow and allocation of water from the dam,” the WPN said.
According to the WPN, the issue of people’s access to water for basic uses will be a recurring problem that the next administration will face. The group said that droughts, such as the current El Niño, will be more intense due to climate change and will further limit available freshwater supply for domestic use and irrigation.
The group added that the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM), the body tasked to privatize Angat Dam, should not rush its privatization and at least wait until a new president takes over.
“Aside from its serious impact on people’s access to water, the privatization will also be conducted in the thick of the elections. It is for the interest of everyone that the PSALM exercises due prudence and allow the next administration to decide on the fate of Angat Dam,” said the group.
In an earlier statement, the group said that the privatization of the Angat HEPP will undermine the access to water for basic domestic use of some 14 million consumers in Metro Manila and several towns in the provinces of Rizal and Cavite. It will also threaten the use of water from Angat Dam for the irrigation needs of some 28,000 farmers in the provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga.
As an alternative, the WPN proposes that government’s water agencies take the lead in managing the facilities of the Angat Dam with sufficient mechanisms that will allow multi-stakeholder participation (including consumers, farmers, non-government organizations, and concerned local government units) in the management of the dam. (end)

The Water for the People Network (WPN) is a nationwide multi-sectoral alliance of various groups in the Philippines campaigning for people’s control over their water resources.

Source : http://waterforthepeople.wordpress.com/ 


by Rev. James Reuter, S.J.

By her own admission, GMA (Gloria Macapagal Arroyo) rightfully assessed that over the last decades; our republic has become one of the weakest, steadily left behind by its more progressive neighbors.' Forty years ago, we were only second to Japan in economic stature, and way ahead of Singapore , Hong Kong , Malaysia , and Thailand . Today, at our present growth rate, it will take us 30 years to get to where Thailand is.

1.. A population of 160 Million;

2. Of those, 70 to 90 million (equivalent to our current population) will live below the poverty line;

3. Our national debt is estimated to be at US$200B (compared to US$28B when Marcos fled, and US$53B today);

4. We will be competing, not against Thailand or even Vietnam , but against Bangladesh ;

5. We will be the most corrupt nation in Asia , if not in the world (we're already ranked 11th most corrupt nation by Transparency International) ...

The signs are clear. Our nation is headed towards an irreversible path of economic decline and moral decadence. It is not for lack of effort. We've seen many men and women of integrity in and out of government, NGOs, church groups & people's organization devote themselves to the task of nation-building, often times against insurmountable odds.

But not even two people's revolutions, bloodless as they may be, have made a dent in reversing this trend. At best, we have moved one step forward, but three steps backward.

We need a force far greater than our collective efforts, as a people, can ever hope to muster. It is time to move the battle to the spiritual realm.. It's time to claim GOD's promise of healing of the land for His people. It's time to gather GOD's people on its knees to pray for the economic recovery and moral reformation of our nation.

Is prayer really the answer? Before you dismiss this as just another rambling of a religious fanatic, I'd like you to consider some lessons we can glean from history.

England 's ascendancy to world power was preceded by the Reformation, a spiritual revival fueled by intense prayers.

The early American settlers built the foundation that would make it the most powerful nation today - a strong faith in GOD and a disciplined prayer life. Throughout its history, and especially at its major turning points, waves of revival and prayer movement swept across the land.

In recent times, we see Korea as a nation experiencing revival and in the process producing the largest Christian church in the world today, led by Rev. Paul Yongi Cho. No wonder it has emerged as a strong nation when other economies around it are faltering.

Even from a purely secular viewpoint, it makes a lot of sense. For here there is genuine humbling & seeking of GOD through prayer, moral reformation necessarily follows. And this, in turn, will lead to general prosperity. YES, we believe prayer can make a difference. It's our only hope.

Today, we launch this email brigade, to inform Filipinos from all over the world to pray, as a people, for the economic recovery and moral reformation of our nation. We do not ask for much. We only ask for 5 minutes of your time in a day, to fwd this email to your close friends and relatives.

This is the kind of unity which can make a big difference. Of course, if you feel strongly, as I do, about the power of prayer, you can be more involved by starting your own prayer group or prayer center.

We have tried people power twice; in both cases, it fell short. Maybe it's time to try prayer power. GOD never fails. Is there hope? YES! We can rely on God's promise, but we have to do our part. If we humble ourselves and pray as a people, GOD will heal our land. By GOD's grace, we may yet see a better future for our children. 

'If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land.'(2 Chronicles 7:14).

If you care for your children and grandchildren, PLEASE pass this on. .... ...
Let's not just abandon the Philippines .

April 27, 2010


Marisol “Sol” Castillo Aragones, a young broadcast journalist working for ABS-CBN Broadcast Network, is among the recipients of this year's The Outstanding San Pableños Award. The formal awarding ceremony well be held at the Palmera Garden Resort and Restaurant at Barangay San Rafael, on May 7, 2010 during the commemoration of the city’s 70th Charter Anniversary.

     Several years ago, as a young reporter, along with Anthony Taberna and Atom Araullo, Sol Aragones brave the streets and immerse in the lives of people they meet to unveil the many faces of the society on “Kalye: Mga Kuwento ng Lansangan” on ABS-CBN Channel 2. The program is set to expose the realities of life. Kalye is set to expose more realities of life. To produce an episode, they have to do lot of research works, and she have to experience pressure and tension in order to project the realities of life.

     Sol Aragones singled out the episode she did on the devotees of Black Nazarene in Quiapo. Instead of watching from afar, Sol put herself in a devotee's shoes and joined the traditional procession, this almost put her life in danger. But she was able to prepare her script with feeling, which was felt by her audience.

     Barely 32 years old, she is still very young to be working with, and sometimes pinch hitter for well-known broadcaster like Ted Failon, Korina Sanchez, Ces Drilon, and Pinky Webb, whom she said are good advisers and inspirations. Actully, she has been chosen as “best reporter’ while under 30, a feat among broadcast journalists.

     Her kuya Amben, or City Administrator Loreto S. Amante, whishpered that Sol Aragones was born on November 17, 1977 in Barangay Concepcion, San Pablo City to Rolando Aragones and former Nora Castillo. She completed her elementary school course at the San Pablo City Central School, her secondary course at the Canossa College, and obtained her baccalaureate degree on Development Communication, major in Community Development, at the University of the Philippines at Los Baños. She said she finished the course even though her family was financially deprived.

     Because of her exceptional performance in the broadcasting field, she became the best reporter in 1996 and was nominated in the same category in 2007. As a reporter, she was able to visit the United States, Canada and other countries. Her parents now reside at Mariño Subdivision in Barangay San Lucas I,  while she stays in Manila together with her better half,  Paulo Sampelo,  whom she wed last December 15, 2005. They are blessed with a daughter, Anika. (Ruben E. Taningco

April 26, 2010


     City Schools Division Superintendent Enric T. Sanchez, as chairman of this year “Selection Committee of The Outstanding San Pableño” to commemorate the 70th Charter Anniversary of San Pablo City, announces that “The Outstanding San Pablenos 2010  are (1) Court of Appeal Justice Danton Q. Bueser for Government Services;    (2) Mrs. Esperanza S. Conducto for Business;        (3) Mr. Ariston T. Mitra for Accountancy, (4) Ms. Marisol “Sol” Aragones-Sampelo for Broadcast Media;      (5) Dr.Virginia Briones Reyes-Estrada for Medicine;       (6) Rotarian Palermo A. Bañagale for Civic Activities; and Dr. Elma O. Paraiso for Humanitarian Activities;    (7) Dr. Ester C. Lozada for Education;    (8) Mr. Carleto T. Ortega for Bronze Sculpture and Mr. Doroteo Gerardo N. Alanguilan Jr., for Visual Arts ;    (9) Swimmer  Michael Mars Andrey Raphael F. Danila for Youth in Sports; and    (10) Mr. Guillermo P. Inciong (Post Humous Award) for  Civil Engineering.  They will be formally honored during a dinner-meeting of the city officials with the leaders of the various sectors of the community this coming Friday evening, May 7, 2010, at Palmera Resort and Restaurant at Barangay San Rafael, San Pablo City to  be tendered by City Mayor Vicente B. Amante and City Administrator Loreto S. Amante..

     Mayor Amante recalled that Commonwealth Act No. 520 granting City Charter to then prosperous town of San Pablo was approved by President Manuel Luis Quezon on May 7, 1940, and was formally inaugurated on January 2, 1941 with Interior Secretary Rafael Alunan inducting the first set of city officials led by former Laguna Governor Potenciano Malvar as appointed City Mayor.

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