Lunes, Hunyo 30, 2014


Sword of Damocles Hangs Over Seafarers
By: Susan Amoroso and Ver M. Garcia

With Marina Chief Dr. Mejia at the hearing conducted recently at Phil. Ports Authority in Manila. (Photo by Teddy Cho).

   The Philippines is not yet off the hook with the new rulings set by the European Commission (EC) in a protracted rule issuing a sustaining and broad based diplomatic offensive with a stern warning in the form of European withdrawal of recognition of the Philippines issuing certificates of Standard of Training and Certification & Watch keeping of Seafarers (STCW). Which means a potential loss of approximately 82,000 jobs for the seafarers working on EU ships will be imperiled.

   Based on the maritime audit and evaluations of  European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), after a series of auditing from the year 2006 up to the present. The Philippines did not performed well in the strict implementation of the STCW 2010 Manila amendments which explicitly mandates the MARINA to publish from time to time updated listings of training schools compliant with the STCW 2010 agreement and, phasing out of non compliant and below standard maritime training program.The new MARINA LAW(R.A.10635) together w/ its recently drafted IRR or Implementing Rules and Regulations. After a careful public consultation together with the Multi Lateral Technical Working Group (MTWG) at the Phil. Ports Authority Gender and Development Center held recently at Bonifacio Drive in Port6 Area, Manila. MARINA was mandated and empowered and expected to exert more efforts in informing the public on the status of all maritime schools nationwide and the consequences of enrolling in a non-compliant Maritime Higher Educational Institutions (MHEI's).

    The due diligence and serious efforts of the MARINA authorities and the government as well was noted by the Committee on Safe Seas and the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (COSS) and the overall assessment was not solely based on the findings and reports of EMSA. The COSS however, gave a favorable decision but requested the Philippine authorities to take positive actions to address the remaining shortcomings and report regularly. With the forthcoming EMSA audit/inspection, tentatively scheduled this September 29 to October 3, 2014. The country's future seafarers faith lies in a balance with the EC's warning as the sword of damocles hangs over our country's seafarers.###

Sabado, Hunyo 14, 2014

P42 Billion of Water Consumers Goes Down The Drain..

Resignation Of Atty. Caparas Puzzles All Refund Movement
By: Rodolfo Javellana 0928-6575329

             Rodolfo Javellana, President of WARM. He said consumers were losing P42 billion by passing the burden of paying the corporate income tax and other expenditures.

The Water All Refund Movement (WARM) welcomes the sudden resignation of MWSS Acting Chief Regulator lawyer Emmanuel Caparas because of conflict of interest. It said that the resignation will take effect on June 30, 2014.

His resignation only confirms the position of WARM in the first place that lawyer Caparas late resignation comes at a time when there was an ongoing arbitration proceeding between MWSS and its concessionaires MAYNILAD and Manila Water over the petition for rate increase.

In a Saturday Kapihan forum at Anabels restaurant,  Javellana said that the consumers having been calling MWSS to open the arbitration proceedings to the the public but it was denied.. He added that the right to be heard, consulted and informed on matters affecting our everyday lives is a public interest. (VerGarcia and Teddy Cho blogs)

Miyerkules, Hunyo 11, 2014

Another Judas In The Making.. An Editorial Perspective.. by: Teddy Cho and Ver Garcia

The Name of the Game Being Played By Both Government and some people in the private sector is the 'Jokers Wild'.. If  you are a Poker player and a careful observant of the graft and corruption case. It's not a joke but the 'Joker is Wild. Are we seeing a repeat of this following scenarios?

a.) A whitewash of the graft case?

b.) Sanitized list of the alleged list?

c.) A repeat of the scenario that again a President will be ousted from office?

d.) A cabinet member or heads will roll?

e.) A political hara kiri of those involved in the scam? For those who are used to negative and positive publicity, bad publicity is also a good publicity, bad news is also a good news.

f.) An orchestrated effort to whitewash the issue once the issue has died down, the whistle blowers or witnesses will be eased out or thrown in the gauntlet?

g.) A scenario when Christ was nailed on the Cross where the two thieves quarreled, one admitted his own mistakes, the other doubted Christ which brings us to the redeeming value of being thrown in the abyss (politically or otherwise). It takes a Dimas to steal paradise and in Judas case Christ commented as it was written. "It is better for this man not to have been born".

Divine Providence does not exempt a person from escaping prosecution/ trials it becomes a battle ground to redeem his or her soul, an eschatological battle against the forces of evil.

Let us end with this Bible passage:

Jesus Predicts Peter's Denial
31And the Lord said: Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren. 33Who said to him: Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. 34And he said: I say to thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, till thou thrice deniest that thou knowest me. And he said to them:
35When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, did you want anything? 36But they said: Nothing. Then said he unto them: But now he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise a scrip; and he that hath not, let him sell his coat, and buy a sword. 37For I say to you, that this that is written must yet be fulfilled in me: And with the wicked was he reckoned. For the things concerning me have an end. 38But they said: Lord, behold here are two swords. And he said to them, It is enough.

                                         Tayo Na Sa Liwanag.. By Coritha

Lunes, Hunyo 9, 2014


Moving Through Darkness
The Places We Go

By: Evelyn T. Du

Often it takes something major to wake us up as we struggle to maintain an illusion of control.
In life, most of us want things to go to the places we have envisioned ourselves going. We have
plans and visions, some of them divinely inspired, that we want to see through to completion.

Desiderata Songs & Lyrics.

We want to be happy, successful, and healthy, all of which are perfectly natural and perfectly human. So when life takes us to places we didn’t consciously want to go, we often feel as if something has gone wrong, or we must have made a mistake somewhere along the line, or any number of other disheartening possibilities.

This is just life’s way of taking us to a place we need to go for reasons that go deeper than our own ability to reason. These hard knocks and trials are designed to shed light on our unconscious workings and deepen our experience of reality.

Often it takes something major to wake us up, to shake us loose from our ego’s grip as it struggles to maintain an illusion of control.

It is loss of control more than anything else that humbles us and enables us to see the big picture.
It reminds us that the key to the universe lies in what we do not know, and what we do know is a small fraction of the great mystery in which we live.

This awareness softens and lightens us, as we release our resistance to what is. Another gift gleaned from going to these seemingly undesirable places is that, in our response to difficulty, we can see all the patterns and unresolved emotional baggage that stand in the way of our unconditional joyfulness.

Joy exists within us independently of whether things go our way or not. And when we don’t feel it, we can trust that we will find it if we are willing to surrender to the situation, moving through it as we move through our difficult feelings.

We can take our inspiration from any fairy tale that finds its central character lost in a dark wood, frightened and alone.

We know that the journey through the wood provides its own kind of beauty and richness.
On the other side, we will emerge transformed, lighter and brighter, braver and more confident for having moved through that darkness.

Biyernes, Hunyo 6, 2014


                                                    Living Room
                                                    Dining Room
                                                    Living Room
                                          Kitchen and Dining Room
                                                    Masters Bedroom
                                         Kitchen.. Photos by Rhea Garcia

Be the Masters of Manila's Universe

Suntrust Parkview. An address that takes power living to the next level. With its unbeatable location, connect conveniently to everything. And conquer the city in a way no ManileƱo has ever done before.

Reap the rewards of living at the heart of Ermita. Your gated community on Concepcion Street is only a short stroll to the Manila City Hall. Cross the street to SM City of Manila. Take your children to school before the bell rings. 

Your home is also perfect starting point from which to explore the fun side of the city. With a variety of sports center, parks, tourist spots and cultural landmarks all converging in Manila, there's no need to go far to get away.

Be where you need to be, when you need to be there. And let the world know you have arrived, Suntrust Parkview.

Experience Mobility to the Max

There are no limits to where life can take you. No boundaries, how far you can go. It is this kind of mobility that sets you apart at Suntrust Parkview.

Enjoy the freedom to get around whatever you choose. Walk or drive your car to your destination. Commute conveniently by public transport. From your place, head to the LRT-1 Central Terminal station along Villegas St. and enjoy a quick traffic free ride to any place from Monumento to Baclaran which is accessible in all parts of the Metropolis.

Pamper Yourself in Style

At Suntrust Parkview, it's easy to go places. But, at the end of the day, there's no where you'd rather be that in the privacy of your own home.

Whether you own an executive studio or a unit with one or three bedrooms, you are surrounded by the finer things in life. Bond over  fun activities in the cozy living room, dining area and kitchen with romantic views of Intramuros and Manila City Hall's iconic Clock Tower in your bedroom.

With a thoughtful array of modern conveniences right at your fingertips, you have nothing to worry about. Stay connected with a provision for an internet ready telephone and cable line. Enjoy peace of mind with 24 hour security, an automatic fire sprinkler system and multilevel parking. You will get from the lobby to your rooms at the upper levels in no time. With a total of 14 passengers elevators to serve unit owners and visitors.

Vacations happens at home too. And at Suntrust Parkview, your holiday away from the busy city starts at the ground level. At Suntrust Parkview there are enough play amenities to take away your stress and fill you with joy and happiness.

Enjoy a leisurely swim at the pool. Catch up with neighbors while lounging at the pool deck. A brisk run on the jogging path. Do stretches at the outdoor fitness station spend time with your children in their very own pool and playground.

If being close to nature is your idea of relaxation, find soothing retreat at the landscaped courtyard, plaza or dry pond. reflect at the meditation area and take the scenery from your favorite bench at the boardwalk.

At Suntrust Parkview have the privelege to command every pleasure and be a world apart right in the heart of Manila City. Please feel free to see the condo units. For details and inquiries contact Rhea 0919-3905259 or Landline T. 232-7797..

Lunes, Hunyo 2, 2014


By: Teddy Cho and Ver M. Garcia

Atty. Romulo Macalintal

In a subpoena issued by Pasay City Assistant Prosecutor, Juliet Susan Garcia on May 22, 2014, Adam Laker and Mattheieu Chapuis, Gen. Manager and Asst. Manager of Sofitel Hotel were "required to appear before her sala on June 9 and 16, 2016 at 2p.m. then and there to testify under oath or answer clarificatory questions at the preliminary investigation to be conducted" in connection with the criminal complaint filed by Election Lawyer Romulo Macalintal for alleged violation of the Senior Citizens Law (R.A. 9994).

On Feb. 8, 2014, he and a friend dine at the Sofitel Le Bar Restaurant. While Sofitel gave him a 50 percent discount under his Accor membership, it did not apply Senior Citizens Discount. Macalintal demanded for his 20% discount as a senior citizen as provided under Section 4 of R.A. 9994 but, Sofitel management arbitrarily denied him of this discount on the ground that it was already "included" in the 50 percent discount under the Accor program.

In his complaint, Macalintal said that he is a member of Sofitel (Accor) Advantage where members for a fee of P8,800 a year, are entitled to certain discounts and privileges like 50 percent discount on the cost of food and drinks consumed. 

Macalintal told Sofitel that the "50 percent" discount is my entitlement by virtue of my contract with Accor while the 20 percent is my discount by virtue of R.A. 9994. Macalintal added that if my 20 percent discount is already considered in the 50 % Accor discount then it is very clear that I was given only 30 % discount and that Sofitel is the one enjoying my 20 % discount as a Senior Citizen.

According to Macalintal, that "the 50% discount under the Accor already includes the 20 % discount as a Senior Citizen Discount is a clear sign that he was shortchanged of the 50% benefits as an Accor member because, with the use of my 20% senior citizens discount only 30% was given to me by Accor".

Macalintal said that Laker and Chapuis are charged in their capacities as officials of Sofitel because under the Senior Citizens Law, if the offender is a corporation, the officials directly involved or in charged of management shall be liable. The law also provides for a penalty of 2 years to 6 years imprisonment AND a fine of P50,000 to P100,000 to violators of the rights of senior citizens.

This case against Sofitel may serve as a precedent because there are other hotels with the similar cases and other establishments not implementing R.A. 9994 by claiming that their prices are already "promo" or in sales promotion, are subject to abuse.

The Department of Trade and Industry should look into this problem and should remind establishments that unless their "promo" is approved by the DTI, the price of their commodities shall be considered as regular prices which should be the basis of the discounts for the senior citizens. (VerGarciaBlogs)