Monthly Archives: June 2006

Money thing…

I really don't believe the additional funding thrown to fight corruption and insurgency will work.

They're just throwing good money after bad. That's just money flushed down the toilet.

First, I have been in government long enough to know the restrictions in finding.

Allegedly, the concerned offices will use the additional funding against corrpution to hire more investigators. That would not happen. For that, these offices have to create new civil service items (actual office positions) that would not be possible without legislation (specifically a general appropriation act).

So where would this additional funding go? It will just go to the chief's discretionary fund. While granted, there are audit checks and balances available, there are equally creative minds that find loopholes to spend the money creatively.

As the old Philippine saying goes, "Kung gusto maraming dahilan, kung ayaw maraming dahilan" (If desired, there are a lot of justifications/reasons, if not desired, a lot of excuses.)

Add to that the traditional thinking that additional money for an anti-corruption system that is itself corrupt is useless. It's like anti-virus software that is likewise infected with the same virus it seeks to cure. That system will tend to look the other way and not detect the virus in the first place.

Just recently, the PNP made questionable purchases of equipment, citing the exemptions to the Philippine bidding laws. There goes the creative minds at work. As a lawyer, I know these cited exemptions are legally defensible. But arguing from the exemptions rather than the general rule betrays the true intention of purchase. It just demonstrates the purchasers' lack of good faith and transparency. It just shows somebody will be favored, for whatever reason.

Republic Act No. 9184 (the main law for government procurement) has the following purposes:

(a) Transparency in the procurement process and in the implementation of procurement contracts.

(b) Competitiveness by extending equal opportunity to enable private contracting parties who are eligible and qualified to participate in public bidding.

(c) Streamlined procurement process that will uniformly apply to all government procurement. The procurement process shall simple and made adaptable to advances in modern technology in order to ensure an effective and efficient method.

(d) System of accountability where both the public officials directly or indirectly involved in the procurement process as well as in the implementation of procurement contracts and the private parties that deal with government are, when warranted by circumstances, investigated and held liable for their actions relative thereto.

(e) Public monitoring of the procurement process and the implementation of awarded contracts with the end in view of guaranteeing that these contracts are awarded pursuant to the provisions of this Act and its implementing rules and regulations, and that all these contracts are performed strictly according to specifications.

Arguing immediately from the exemptions instead of following the general rule (to conduct competitive public bidding) immediately tells you someting. And the reasons stated above get thrown out of the window.

Add to that the "burning desire" to want in on the anti-insurgency drive, you immediately smell a rat.

Finally, money is not the solution to societal problems. As a matter of fact, money is the problem, the sickness that has to be cured. Now, it's all about the money. And that's the problem. That's what's bothering me about all of this money being thrown around.

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Blog Lecture No. 62: Divorce in the Philippines

Now for a lecture on a bread and butter subject (and closest to the heart):

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Abenojar’s Second Everest

The lack of media fanfare as Dale Abenojar returns to the Philippines shows that he faces his second uphill climb– proving he was the first.

The Philippine Everest Team already laid his Base Camp for him. As early as the end of May, this team, with a giant media organization that does not have a choice but to back them, already disputed Dale's claim by citing reasons such as his lack of experience, etc.

Of course, the people who claim to be the first, Leo Oracion and Pastour Emata, would definitely be Camps 2 and 3. Their professional reputations are likewise on the line. Already, Oracion stated Abenojar could have scaled another peak because he allegedly did not see what was seen in Dale's picture.

And who are we to tell? We have not been there.
But Camp 4 would definitely be the media organization that placed its bet on the Philippine Everest Team. That would not care about the truth anymore, with the amount of money it sunk in. And it could sink in some more money to defend the claim, by bringing forth experts upon experts to dispute the conflicting claim. Or it could just simply ignore the conflicting claim and let it die from lack of attention.

Anyway, Dale Abenojar better get his sherpa for what could be an even greater challenge of his life. I suggest he get the rival media organization to help him. You know, the one that also has an interest in embarrasing its rival any chance it gets…

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Results of the 14th Visit

Of course, as you may expect, it's another no-show.

I'm actually getting tired of this already but I have to record these things and I have to keep this one Sunday per month open as part of my obligations. Of course, whether she fulfills her part of the bargain is not my problem. 

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