Nov 302013

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma. Photo from

MANILA, Philippines—The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Saturday assailed Malacañang for downplaying the killing of journalists in the Philippines, noting that yet another broadcast journalist was shot dead on Friday in Bukidnon.

Barely a week after Palace spokesperson Herminio Coloma dismissed the summary execution of journalists in the country as “not so serious” and insinuated that the body count had been bloated, motorcycle-riding gunmen in Valencia City killed broadcaster Joas Dignos of dxGT radio.

Dignos, 48, known for his critical comments against local officials on his weekday show ‘Bombardier,’ died from gunshot wounds in the head.

The killing worsened the country’s record as one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists, press and human rights groups the group said on Saturday.

HRW said 24 journalists had been killed since President Benigno Aquino III took office in 2010 and promised to mitigate the murders.

HRW Deputy Asia Director Phelim Kine accused the Aquino administration of insulting the victims and downplaying the problem, citing the remarks of Coloma.

Inflated count

Coloma said the number of journalists and media workers killed during the first three years of President Aquino’s administration from 2010 to 2013 had been inflated because “a driver of a network, employees of fly-by-night newspapers and a blocktimer selling skin whiteners” were included in the count. The numbers had not been validated to include only the killings of bona fide media practitioners, he said. The problem was “not so serious,” he had also said.

Coloma made the statement during a press conference on Nov. 22, on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the Nov. 23, 2009, Maguindanao massacre where 32 journalists and media workers were among 58 people murdered allegedly by the powerful Ampatuan clan in the southern province.

HRW said Coloma’s remarks were “distressing.”

“The killing of another Filipino journalist yesterday should prompt the Aquino administration to revisit its views about media killings in the Philippines and, more importantly, ensure that this recent murder and the ones before it are investigated fully,” Kine said in a statement.

Culture of impunity

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said Dignos had received death threats and had even stopped his live broadcasts, resorting to using recorded commentary instead due to safety concerns.

In June, a grenade was hurled at the dxGT station while one of Dignos’ commentaries was being aired.

The killings of numerous journalists and broadcasters in the Philippines have been blamed on the country’s culture of impunity where powerful people feel free to commit abuse without being punished.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists ranks the Philippines as the third worst in its “impunity index” of countries that fail to fight violence against the press.

It said at least 72 journalists had been murdered since 1992, not counting the case of Dignos.

The Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly on Nov. 26 passed a resolution on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity, among other things, setting Nov. 2  as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. AFP, Cynthia Balana, Leila Salaverria


Bukidnon radio broadcaster shot dead

Negros groups seek justice 4 years after Maguindanao massacre

Timeline: Maguindanao Massacre

Mangudadatu vows to keep fighting for justice for massacre victims

Nov 302013
Don’t forget the soap

By Marie Claire Lim MoorePhilippine Daily Inquirer 12:07 am | Sunday, December 1st, 2013 THE BOOK will be launched on Dec. 6 at Fully Booked, Bonifacio Global City. Proceeds of the book launch will go to the victims of Supertyphoon “Yolanda.” Shortly after I started working for Citi, I began traveling frequently. This meant early mornings, long flights, time differences and jet lag, but it also meant fancy corporate dinners, 5-star hotels, airport lounges and business class.  I knew I was starting to get used to all the perks when I stopped taking the extra soap and shampoo bottles from my hotel room. It had become second nature for me to do a morning sweep of the bathroom toiletries before leaving each day to ensure my supply was replenished when the room was made. By the time check out day came, I was about ready to start my own mini mart. When I got home I’d put them aside in a shopping bag and before I knew it they’d be packed away in a balikbayan box that our family would send back to the Philippines. During my assignment in Brazil, I lived in the Marriott Executive Apartments so I hit the jackpot in soap and shampoo bottles. After the first few weeks, however, I couldn’t be bothered to save the soap and shampoo anymore.  Then my family came to visit for Christmas. I was happy and excited to show them Sao Paulo— where I lived, where I worked and what Read More …

Nov 302013
Migrants need to keep their hearts at home

LIM MOORE (center) with her mother Lenore and husband Alex. Marie Claire Lim Moore, a Filipino-Canadian-American mother and bank executive, is back in Manila, and she has definitely not forgotten the soap, so to speak—this time beautifully wrapped in a 220-page book full of remembrances, photographs and useful tips. Claire’s book shares tips on how to keep one’s balance in a globalized world. Many helpful tips were passed on to her by her mother, teacher and artist Lenore Lim. The book hit No. 1 on Amazon’s Parenting and Adult-Child Relationships category when it was released in September 2013. Claire, 37, enjoys juggling her career as a top banking exec, as mother to two growing children, and as fund-raiser for Filipino community events, among others. After spending the early part of her childhood in Vancouver, Canada, Claire moved to New York City when she was 12 and attended the United Nations International School where she sang on stage with singer Debbie Gibson and received her high school diploma from former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. She went on to study at Yale and eventually climbed the corporate ladder at Citi. Her job has taken her to many parts of the world. She met her husband, Alex Moore, while working in Sao Paulo, Brazil. They married in Manila shortly before moving to Singapore. Now mom to Carlos and Isabel, Claire also manages the Global Client business for Citi in Asia. From someone who is probably among the highest-ranking Filipino-Americans in global finance, Read More …

Nov 302013
‘Question & Anderson’

That’s Eileen (left) and Jocas at the Catedral de Valencia in Spain. Minsan pa nga my daughter Jocas did the collection in a Mass at the St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York… kaya lang nabuking! Ngek! Joke lang. Nagsimba ‘ko exactly two Saturdays ago, Pari pa sa misa ay si Cardinal Chito! Korek! His Eminence Cardinal Tagle ito At sa homily ay humirit ang Pare ko! Malimit daw na pinagyayabang ng tao Entertainment ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 Na sila kuno ay talagang maka-Kristo, Kung kaya nung minsan tinanong n’ya mga ito, “Kay Kristo, sino mga sasama sa inyo?” At taasan daw ng kamay ang mga tao, Inulit n’yang muli at may dinagdag ito, “Sino sasama kay Kristo… NGAYONG GABI?!” O? At biglang natahimik… nawala ang gulo! O, bakit ganon at tao’y pabago-bago? Abay isa lang ang ibig sabihin nito — Na sa mundo pag may nangyaring pagbabago, Tiyak kagagawan ng mga tao ito! Ngunit ganyan nga yata talaga ang tao, Pag may magandang balita, “Ayos Ka D’yos ko!” Pero pag may dagok at batok na tinamo, “Where are You God? Why did You?” na ang tanong nito! Tulad na lang nitong huling nangyaring bagyo, Naapektuhan man o hindi nang diretso, Tiyak may mga bumulalas nang ganito, “O-M-G! God, why did You do to me such a do?!” Ngek! “YOYOY?!” And that’s the short for “Why Oh Why Oh Why?!” Angal at tanong agad ang winawagayway! Bakit nga ba tao ganyan? Why, why, why, why, why? Pag sarap, OKS! Read More …

Nov 302013
Going a step further

Quezon City has always been a pioneer in giving its residents a cleaner and greener place to live in. In 2009, the QC government passed its “green building” ordinance, which requires the design, construction, or retrofitting of building, other structures and movable properties to meet minimum standards of a green infrastructure. But how do we know if a building is “green” in the true sense? There are a number of green building rating systems worldwide which provide for a third-party certification, monitoring and verification system. The rating system LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design developed by the US Green Building Council which started in 1998 and has been applied to more than 7,000 projects in the US and 30 other countries is considered as the most widely adopted and prestigious, if not the most expensive and most difficult to attain. To have LEED certification is therefore something that every developer aspires. Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 The planned Green School by the Multiple Intelligence International School (MIIS) in Quezon City, therefore, comes as a big boost to the city’s green building initiative. This pioneering project will be the first-ever LEED-certified educational institution in the Philippines. It carries a green, sustainable design that ensures minimal carbon footprint while, at the same time, promoting the protection of the ecosystem. It employs an innovative wastewater technology and water management facility that features a network of water collection facilities, such as rain gardens, underground storm water storage, and Read More …

Nov 302013
DTI to conduct more info drive on AEC

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is set to intensify its education campaign for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community (AEC) next year as part of preparations for the upcoming regional economic integration. “We are intensifying our education campaign on the AEC through larger fora four times every month starting in the first quarter of 2014,” DTI assistant secretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo said on the sidelines of a conference on the AEC. He said the plan is to conduct the fora by region, by sectors, and by issues. “Alongside these fora, the DTI will continue organizing the Doing Business in Free Trade Areas (DBFTA) sessions,” he said. The DBFTA is a series of business information sessions that provide entrepreneurs with knowledge on how to navigate and profit from the country’s free trade agreements (FTAs). Currently, the Philippines has signed seven free trade agreements, namely, the ASEAN FTA, ASEAN-China FTA, ASEAN-Korea FTA, ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA, ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement and ASEAN-India FTA. Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 Since January of this year, more than 100 DBFTA sessions have been conducted nationwide, with many focused on the AEC. The AEC, which will be in place by 2015, will transform the ASEAN into a region with free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labor as well as flow of capital. Large market opportunities are seen to be opened by the AEC’s market of 600 million people for Read More …

Nov 302013
Local banks urged to prepare for Asean integration

MANILA, Philippines – Local banks should start preparing for the ASEAN 2015 integration to be able to compete with their counterparts in the region, results of a recent survey by Sungard, one of the world’s leading software and technology services companies, noted. “There is a strong potential that local banks may compete with other banks in the region but they have to be prepared for it,” Sungard vice president of product management for retail banking business Dean Young said. Young said it would be best for local banks to jumpstart efforts to improve their customer relations. Though there have been indications based on Sungard’s latest survey that Filipino depositors have strong ties and are loyal to their primary banks, there is  still a possibility that depositors may tap other banks if they are performing better than the existing local banks. Although the Philippine economy has moved up 30 spots in the latest Ease of Doing Business 2014 Report released by the World Bank and International Finance Corp., new consumer research undertaken by Sungard has found that banks in some of the world’s fastest-growing emerging markets are still struggling to meet evolving customer expectations.  In the Philippines, Sungard said banks have yet to leverage customer demand for an improved, integrated customer multichannel experience.  Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 “This is negatively impacting the customer experience and driving a trend towards multiple banking relationships, which could affect future profitability and agile growth,” the survey said. “Despite the fact Read More …

Nov 302013
Learn how to collect debts without using a lawyer

MANILA, Philippines – Good news!  Whether you are a sole proprietor, a small or medium-sized enterprise, a large-scale company, a financing institution or a financier, collecting money from abusive debtors has now been made easier. You can present and argue your case in court with no lawyer required. You can have a speedy trial with your case heard and resolved in one day with the judge’s final, executory, and non-appealable decision. The Center for Global Best Practices is launching a pioneering seminar entitled, “Best Practices Guide in Using the Small Claims Court:  How to Collect Debt Without Using a Lawyer” on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 at the EDSA Shangri-la Hotel, Mandaluyong City, Philippines. The establishment of the Small Claims Court has made settlement of collection cases more convenient, less complicated and generally hassle-free. When you need to collect P100,000 and below that amount against non-paying debtors, all you have to do is to file your cases in the small claims court. Yes, you can easily do it yourself. No lawyers needed. No costly litigation expenses, no delays with speedy resolutions of your collection cases. Learn all of these and empower yourself in this one-day comprehensive program where you will be taught the rules and procedures on what to file, where to file, how to file your collection cases in this practical, easy to understand and comprehensive program. What if your total collection is beyond P100,000? The amount limit does not include interests and costs. Thus, an indebtedness of P100,000 that Read More …

Nov 302013
Sales and numbers

People from the sales department are so dynamic and noisy, while people from the finance or accounting department are usually quiet and serious. Oftentimes, they clash. But sales and numbers shouldn’t clash. Sometimes, it’s dangerous to have a finance person head an organization. Sometimes, the numbers person just sees numbers and doesn’t see potential. Cost-cutting is done here and there, but risks aren’t taken in order to expand a business. I’ve spent many years in business consultancy, and while I don’t discount the necessity of cost cutting and being financially prudent, I’ve yet to see a company that has shrunk its way to greatness. Sometimes it’s also dangerous to have a sales person head an organization, especially if the sales executive isn’t interested in numbers. Coming from a sales background, he or she is most probably a “Can Do! Will Win! Rara-rara!” person and may be obsessed with just bringing in the sales, viewing any kind of company policy either a stumbling block or a stepping stone. This may bring the company to the ground. The head of an organization needs to be a finance person who’s also a people person, somebody equipped with financial prudence, yet optimistic and excited with possibilities. The top honcho of the organization should also be a sales person who understands the importance of numbers, and carries enough fiscal sense to be careful in taking risks. In other words, you need to have a finance person who’s a salesman and a salesman who’s a finance Read More …

Nov 302013
Money supply expands to P6.3 T in October

MANILA, Philippines – Demand for money continues to grow in October  as domestic liquidity (M3) rose 32.5 percent year-on-year to P6.3 trillion, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) data showed. The rise was slightly faster than the 31.3 percent expansion recorded in September. M3 is one of the economic indicators being watched closely by the central monetary authority as this may have an impact on the country’s inflation rate. It consists of money supply, peso, savings and time deposits and deposit substitutes of money generating banks or deposit money banks. If the M3 level is high, this means there is too much money in the financial system. which may trigger inflationary pressures. On a month-on-month basis, seasonally-adjusted M3 increased two percent, similar to the expansion record the previous month. The BSP attributed the money supply growth to the sustained  expansion in domestic claims, or credits to the domestic economy. Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 Domestic claims grew 11.6 percent in October from 10.9 percent in September due to the continued increase in claims on the private sector (16.2 percent), in line with the sustained growth in bank lending. Net claims on the public sector, on the other hand, rose five percent in October, largely as a result of the increase in credits to the government. Net foreign assets (NFA) also grew 10.5 percent, from 7.7 percent in September. The BSP said its NFA position improved on the back of robust foreign exchange inflows from remittances, BPO receipts Read More …