4-way test at Philippine parliament

One key feature of a parliamentary form is the fusion of the legislative and executive branches of government.

Well, that finally happened yesterday at the Senate.

Almost the entire cabinet showed up to rahrah for their colleagues implicated in the ZTE scandal.

Of course, on orders of ma’am.

Which reminded me of the Rotary’s Four-Way Test:

Is it the Truth? – Tutuo bang me transaction na naman tayo?

Is it Fair to all concerned? – Lahat ba tayo kasali dyan?

Will it build Goodwill and better Friendships? – Wala bang masasagasaan dyan?

Will it be Beneficial to all concerned? – Magkano akin dyan?

Obviously the ZTE deal did not pass all the tests. Me nasagasaan!

(6:05 a.m.)

What’s next?

Very intriguing!

After the Erap conviction, people asked “Who’s next?”

I have little doubt who is on the mind of many.

Well, after yesterday’s Senate probe on the ZTE scandal, the Philippine Star has a roadmap on “What Next?

And with this accompanying toon:

I have no doubt who is tainted with the letter E!


(4:37 a.m.)

Most profitable firms

The combined earnings of firms listed at the stock exchange during the first half of the year skyrocketed to P148.75 billion from last year’s P105.2 billion. That’s a whooping 41.4 percent increase!

How come when lowly workers ask for a raise, companies always claim they are losing? Ha, ha, ha!

Here they are – the ten most profitable firms in the country:

1. PLDT (with Smart) – P17 billion;

2. Ayala Corp – P11.49 billion;

3. San Miguel Corp – P7.87 billion;

4. Globe Telecom (a unit of Ayala) – P6.42 billion;

5. PAL Holdings – P6.32 billion;

6. SM Investment Corp -P5.87 billion;

7. Bank of PI (a unit of Ayala) – P5.71 billion;

8. PNOC-EDC – P4.22 billion;

9. JG Summit – P3.84 billion;

10. Metrobank – P3.695 billion;

Please note of a combined Ayala Corp group’s earnings of over P23 billion in six months making it actually the most profitable business outfit in the land! They’re earning roughly P4 billion a month, topping the Gokongwei’s 6-month profits, or Davao City’s own annual budget of over P3 billion.

(5:43 a.m.)

Software freedom day

My hats off to the organizers of the Software Freedom Day in Davao City yesterday.

DabaweGNU, USEP FOSS Club and Kaiban.

The attendance at the whole day FOSS fair at the University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP) was beyond their expectations. Students from several schools in the city as well as IT professionals, representatives from government, NGOs and business jampacked the Social Hall of the university to watch demos and listen to presentations.

Online on a big screen were simultaneous events at the University of the Philippines in Manila and in Vietnam.

I spoke briefly in behalf of the city government. The city’s contribution to the worldwide movement for FOSS augurs well to our efforts to position the city as an ICT hub.

Sinag in solar car race

Oil prices jumped again to new highs yesterday. For the nth time we are again jolted to our senses on the urgent need to find alternatives to fossil fuel.

When I founded the Davao Green EAGLES (Energy Alternatives for Green Living and Economic Sustainability) in October 2005 (no offense for the pun to both Ateneo and La Salle), I thought people were resolved already in starting to give up on fossil fuel as it skyrocketed over $70 per barrel. Well, oil now costs more than $80 and the more we should accelerate finding and using alternative energy.

Unfortunately, we are slow on acting with no less than the national government having little political will except on the passage of the Biofuels Act.

Yet, there are plenty of other alternatives we should work on such as biomass, solar, wind, geothermal, etc.

I am particularly elated that finally on its 20th edition, a Philippine team is entered in the world famous World Solar Car Challenge in Australia on October 21-28. Our entry is the Sinag solar car from the Dela Salle University.

A Davaoeno, Isidro “Ingco” Marfori, is among the members of the team. He is the youngest son of our family friends Ding and Sylvia Marfori.

I wrote about this solar car race in my blog last year when Iran, an oil producing nation, took part in the race except that their vehicle got lost in the transit from Iran via Dubai.

A team from Latin America is also taking part for the first time. An entry by Chilean students is called Eolian which is made of wood, solar panels and an electric motor.

A 1996 movie, Race the Sun, immortalized the inspiring participation of the US team from Hawaii during the 1990 solar car race Down Under.

Update September 22 – Comment from visitor led us to this site on the South African Solar Car race in 2008. 

Business Mirror

My stand on the special economic zone at Mt Apo is the subject of today’s editorial at the national broadsheet Business Mirror –Another haphazardly conceived “incentive.”

(11:31 a.m.)


Guilty or not, I believe Erap has long been acquitted by the people.

In the first election after his ouster, his wife and son won Senate seats in 2001.

In 2004, his close friend FPJ won as President except that “The King” was cheated of his rightful place at the Palace.

In 2007, the Filipino voters again went with Erap’s opposition group which clobbered the administration slate.

This voter behavior is backed up by the recent SWS September 3 Report on perception on Erap’s “involvement in corrupt practices” with 66 percent “Not believing” and 27 percent opining that he is “Definitely not corrupt.”

(7:32 a.m.)