Stories posted 2011

PNoy’s P37-M excess campaign
funds: Curious, puzzling details

WEEKS after the May 2010 elections, a question confounded Benigno Simeon ‘Noynoy’ C. Aquino III and his fund-raisers and allies in the Liberal Party: What to do with excess campaign donations that had then reached tens of millions of pesos?

In winner-takes-all fashion, not just votes but also funds had flooded the Aquino camp. This is even as a fund-raiser and a senior campaign staff would later say in separate interviews that Aquino had already served notice that he did not want to accept more donations. In Aquino’s mind, says the senior campaign staff, the last-minute bettors were not true believers but simply people angling to cut deals with the emerging election victor.


The wealth of P-Noy

WITHIN a year after the May 2010 elections, President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III reported that his wealth had grown nearly three times, or from only P15,440,268 as of December 2009 to P54,999,370 as of December 2010.The net increase in his wealth: P39,559,102, or 256 percent more in just 12 months. The spike in his […]

No poll expense reports, can’t take office

Parties of Binay, Enrile,
Jinggoy, Imelda defy law

IF LAWS on campaign finance were enforced to the letter, Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jose ‘Jinggoy’ Estrada, and Sergio Osmeña III, along with Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda R. Marcos and perhaps even Vice President Jejomar Binay should not be occupying their seats right now. That would be because they or the political parties that nominated them have yet to submit to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) a Statement of Election Contributions and Expenditures (SECE), as required by law.


Party-list non-filers

MAJORITY OF the party-list groups that vied for seats in Congress in the May 2010 elections have since dutifully filed their sworn Statements of Election Contributions and Expenditures (SECEs) with the Commission on Elections (Comelec).This includes all of the 43 organizations that now have nominees sitting in the House of Representatives.Of the 169 or so […]

GMA-7 skirts fee but also under fire

KBP fines ABS, TV5, RMN
for hostage crisis coverage

TEN months, nine lives, and a flurry of finger-pointing and paper work later, the controversy over the media coverage of the 2010 Luneta hostage-taking incident by the country’s biggest and most influential television and radio networks has come down to feeble fines of P30,000, and a virtual slap on the wrist.

The Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), the national association of owners and operators of radio and television stations in the country, has levied fines on two major television networks and one radio network for broadcasting information that it ruled could have compromised police efforts to rescue the hostages during the day-long hostage-taking incident at the Quirino Grandstand on Aug. 23, 2010.

Does self-regulation have
a future in the Philippines?

The media are not only failing to regulate themselves; more importantly, some media organizations are actually depending on the government to intervene, in effect eroding the very principle of self-regulation itself.

CCT debt trap? Future
of pro-poor deal a poser

IT HAS been described as an “investment in the next generation,” with its supposed results of millions of healthier, better educated Filipinos not expected to be realized anytime soon. But the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program is also an investment that is drawing a substantial chunk of its capital from foreign loans, a fact that has many observers raising red flags.

“The poor of the future will be the ones who will carry the burden of paying off this debt,” says Freedom from Debt Coalition Executive Director Milo Tanchuling, who believes it would be better if the CCT relied on locally sourced funds. That the government is also vague about alternative funding prospects for the program has only made those like Tanchuling uneasy – and wondering if it’s an initiative that is sustainable.


Good news and bad

FIRST, THE good news: According to Ateneo’s Institute of Philippine Culture (IPC), the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Program’s cash grants and the conditionalities have kept students in schools and brought children and pregnant women for regular check-ups at health centers. Also see: Deficit in education, health services weighs down CCT CCT beneficiary-families are also very […]

Deficit in education, health
services weighs down CCT

SOCIAL WATCH Co-Convener Marivic Raquiza considers it “very one-sided” that the government monitors compliance by beneficiaries – the so-called demand side – of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program, but not the supply side, which the national and local government should take care of.

After all, a lack in the latter would make it harder for the beneficiaries to comply with the conditions tied to their cash grants and for the government’s stop-gap poverty alleviation program to meet its goals.


A posse of Pantawids

THE straight and narrow path, or “matuwid na daan” in Filipino, is where President Benigno Simeon ‘Noynoy’ C. Aquino III says he wishes all Filipinos would tread. And perhaps to prove that he’s not all talk and no action, Aquino has splurged billions of pesos on many “pantawid” (“tide over” in English) programs that all involve cash subsidies for the poor.

The biggest of these “pantawid” initiatives, of course, is the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) that has been allotted P21 billion in the 2011 General Appropriations Act (GAA), and a substantial part of it funded with loans from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

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