Senator Mar Roxas' statement on the SONA

"Naiinis ako na inaksaya ng Pangulo ang pagkakataong ito. I'm very disappointed and a bit confused. The President wanted to project herself as a caring leader but clearly what she deeply cares about the most is keeping the oil VAT.

"Wala pa ring malinaw na plano kung papaano tayo makakatawid sa panahon ng krisis. Obviously, patuloy pa rin ang mantra ng Palasyo: ‘squeeze the people then spend the VAT.' Walang debate, walang konsultasyon.

"Oras na para malaman ng taumbayan ang totoo tungkol sa hinaharap ng bansa."

Thursday, July 31, 2008 | posted in , , , , , , | 0 comments [ More ]

Avel Manansala, Jonel Uy, Ceblogger and Eugene Alvin Villar nominate Mar Roxas 2010 Blog as one of the emerging influential blogs of 2008

I would like to thank Avel Manansala of Bariles Republic, Jonel Uy of Something Sweet and More, Ceblogger of Blog from Cebu to the World and Eugene Alvin Villar of Vaes9 for nominating this blog as one of their Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs of 2008, a writing project initiated by Ma'am Janette Toral to identify new and emerging blogs that are making an impact to its readers in 2008. These are blogs that started anytime from July 1, 2007 to the present. This blog started last July 29, 2007, thus it's very qualified for the search!

If you are a blogger and you think that this blog is worthy of being named as one of the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs of 2008, then check out the Influential Blogger blog for more details.

Help us stay in the Top 10!

I would also like to thank again Filipinayzd, Flowell, Mark, Jehz, Myk, Francis, Lugud, Kay JD, Dexter, Rhodilee, Cecile, Richard the Adventurer, Richard D., Joan, Ederic, Jaypee, Jan Alvin, Scarlett, Ryan, Samjuan, Scotty's Princess, RL, Dimaks, Kenji, Siraniko, and Ferdinand for nominating this blog.

ORAS NA!

Roxas: Gov't should sacrifice, not the people

Contrary to what was presented during the SONA last Monday, Senator Mar Roxas said the value-added tax (VAT) on oil is not the “be-all and end-all” in solving widespread poverty and hunger.
Removing the VAT on oil will not spell the end of government social programs. Hindi SONA ang nangyari kahapon kundi isandaang dahilan kung bakit dapat ipagpatuloy ang VAT sa langis (What happened yesterday was not a SONA but a hundred reasons why VAT on oil should continue),” he said.

Bakit naman na ang sentro ng buong programa ng Pangulo at ng gobyerno ay itong VAT sa langis, na decimal point lang sa buong budget ng gobyerno? (Why was VAT on oil the center of the President’s and the government’s whole program, while it’s only a decimal point of the whole budget?)” he added.
The Liberal Party President said the country’s leadership should do what is most appropriate to face the crisis its people face everyday. Unfortunately, he said the government is sticking to a solution that worked to solve a previous problem--the fiscal crisis--but is now an added burden to consumers and the transport sector.
Kung tayo ang namumuno, ang gobyerno ang magsasakripisyo at hindi ang mamamayan. Gobyerno ang magsisikap na ayusin ang koleksyon at alisin ang mga gastusing hindi kailangan, hindi sasakalin lalo ang naghihingalong mamamayan (If we’re in charge, the government would be the one to sacrifice and not the people. The government should be striving to make collections and spending efficiently, and not further choking our people),” he said.

The government must make a sacrifice by removing VAT on oil, improving collections of taxes and duties, and plugging the leaks in government spending. That’s the ‘tough decision’ that the government has yet to make,” he stressed.

Now, the situation is different. We should not close our eyes or refuse to listen to other opinions and continue taking a medicine that’s not appropriate anymore,” he added.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade and Industry also stressed that the P80-billion foregone revenue estimate of government if Oil VAT is removed is the result of “wrong arithmetic,” as this does not take into consideration the 45% of Oil VAT that can be recovered by the government from manufacturers after a few months.
The government could again collect VAT when people consume using the savings when we remove VAT on oil. So instead of continuing to squeeze our people dry so that the government will have money to give away, why don’t we just leave this VAT on oil in the hands or pockets of our people?” he said.

Thanks to YOU, the blog is now 1 year old!

LOOKING TOWARDS 2010
After 364 days, the Mar Roxas for President in 2010 Blog is now 1 year old, thanks to YOU!

It's hard to maintain a blog, especially when you're a student and you're blogging with this one. You need passion, determination, hardwork and most of all, the people like YOU. They may be the ones who influence your ideas, the ones who suggest you great things, the ones who praise or criticize you, the ones who help you or the ones who are just dropping by the blog. Finally, I have been able to pass the first challenge. I was able to maintain this blog for one year. The biggest challenge? Maintain it up to 2010 and beyond.

The blog started its humble beginnings last July 29, 2007 (that's 365 days from today) from an idea on who would be the best choice for President in 2010. I was willing to give my time to make that person win in 2010 through the use of blogging. But I have also thought that if I made the blog, the people would acccuse me that I was being paid and instructed by Senator Mar Roxas. That would be unfair to me! I was also contemplating on whether I should place my name on the blog or not. It would be a great risk for me. But I have realized that by putting it on the blog, they would be able to see the sincerity in me, rather than blogging as anonymous. That I am not being paid nor instructed by anyone to blog about Senator Roxas. That they can easily contact me if ever they want to ask questions. That they can search me on Friendster and scrutinize my profile.

Now, I can't believe that the blog has achieved more than expected in just one year. It's such an honor to be in this position meeting a lot of people from all walks of life in urging Senator Roxas to run for President in 2010. Not to forget also those who made praises and flaks on me. Some are still undecided though, but I am trying to do my best to prove them that Senator Roxas deserves to be our President. By having this blog also, we have created a "2010 atmosphere" in the blogosphere. Reinforcing the idea that there shall and will be an elections in 2010, and Charter Change would not be an excuse to that.

Tomorrow, I would enter the next challenge; keeping the blog 'till 2009. But the main goal here is to keep it up to 2010 and onwards.

By 2010, we are all hoping to make our goal successful. But I need your help. If you haven't signed the online petition yet urging Senator Roxas, please do sign it. If you're already done with it, then please help me urge others to sign it.

Also, in order to make our efforts more concentrated down to the grassroots level, please join the Friends of Roxas 2010 (FOR 2010) and tell your friends about it. With these, can you help me?

ORAS NA! 1 YEAR NA!

Securing our Children's Future: A Primer on the Pre-Need Code of 2008

Here's an e-mail sent to me by Senator Mar Roxas just this afternoon about his bill, the Pre-need Code of 2008:

Dear Kevin,

Thousands of Filipino families have suffered in the hands of irresponsible pre-need companies. Hard-earned money, shelled out by hardworking parents month after month, to secure the dream of quality education for their children, has gone down the drain.

We are on the way to fix this bane. Last June 11, the Senate passed the Pre-need Code of 2008. We are now waiting for a counterpart measure to be passed by the Lower House. I have attached a summary of the bill's important features.

Once enacted, the code will hold pre-need companies to stricter standards to safeguard the rights of Filipino families, such as concrete measures to protect plan holders; detailed provisions on the securities a pre-need company can invest in; and the percentage of the premiums that should go into the trust fund.

It also prescribes qualifications for those who manage the trust fund; and establishes an agency to regulate pre-need companies based on prudential principles based on soundness, stability, and sustainable growth.

I wrote this Pre-Need Code for all the parents out there who work long and hard to provide their children a life much better than what they had. Help me get this passed by Congress. Speak out in the media about it. Ask your friends and relatives to join us.

Thank you and God bless.

Sincerely,

Mar

Monday, July 28, 2008 | posted in , , , | 0 comments [ More ]

Search for the 2008 Top 10 Pinoy Expats Blog

Are you a Filipino blogger studying, living, or working abroad? Then join the search for the 2008 Top 10 Pinoy Expats Blog Contest of Jebee Kenji Solis! This contest aims to recognize the blog of Filipinos abroad who are giving honor to this country, Philippines.

For more information about the contest, click here.

| posted in | 2 comments [ More ]

Roxas: Free Info Act to empower people to verify SONA claims

Senator Mar Roxas yesterday said Congress should immediately work for the passage of the proposed Free Information Act, as this would empower the people to verify the claims and check on the “hits and misses” of the President’s past and present State of the Nation Addresses (SONAs).

This, as he urged the President to deliver a “believable and bankable” SONA this Monday that is attuned to the realities being faced by Filipinos today.
A recent survey shows most of our people consider the SONAs since 2005 as far from the truth, or irrelevant to their lives. This is her chance to assure our people that a concrete short-term and long-term plan is in place to promote food sufficiency and job security amid soaring oil and food prices,” he said.
Roxas said the people’s constitutional right to information has been stonewalled by the executive branch’s use of executive privilege.
We need to empower the people to check the SONAs against reality and to audit promises made against actual deliveries, by giving them free access to information regarding government affairs except those related to national security and foreign policy,” he said, adding that the bill’s passage is a good deterrent to future SONA fairy tales.
The Liberal Party President had proposed Senate Bill No. 109, the proposed Free Information Act, at the start of the 14th Congress. The bill is still pending with the Senate Committees on Public Information and Mass Media, and on Civil Service and Government Reorganization. On the other hand, the House of Representatives’ counterpart bill has already been approved on 3rd reading. One of its main proponents is Quezon Rep. Erin Tañada, a fellow Liberal.

It seeks to require government offices to answer all queries for information within two days, under pain of stiff penalties, unless sufficient justification is given. An office may only refuse to provide information when this would jeopardize the privacy of individuals, national security, public order, foreign diplomatic and economic relations, and trade secrets of private entities.

To compel disclosure of information in case a government body refuses on whatever grounds, the bill mandates the Office of the Ombudsman to hear any complaints of not being properly assisted by the pertinent government body.

The bill also mandates all government offices to publicize and regularly update—via print and electronic means—information on the mandate, powers, functions, organizational structure, processes, and other information on governance. Also, any information about the existence of a risk of significant harm to the health and safety of the public or that clearly affects public interest must be disclosed immediately.

Senator Roxas seeks exemption of OFWs from documentary stamp taxes

Now here’s good news for Overseas Filipino workers and their families, who are burdened by a weaker United States dollar and rising costs of goods.

Senator Mar Roxas is seeking to remove the documentary stamp tax from remittances of OFWs, to give them greater purchasing power amid this time of skyrocketing prices of food and transport.

At present, for every remittance an OFW makes, a DST of 0.15% is collected by the government. “To some, the imposition may be minuscule and insignificant. But to OFWs and their families, such imposition becomes another financial burden,” said Roxas, author of Senate Bill No. 2479, that removes the DST on OFW remittances.

He noted how at present, market prices of basic commodities have increased significantly, with chicken already at P120 per kilo, beef brisket at P180 per kilo, pork liempo at P170 per kilo, and bangus and tilapia at P80-P90 per kilo, all of which have increased by an average of P10 compared to the prices in 2007.
Every peso saved can make a big difference for the average Filipino family. Removing the DST from OFW remittances can enable the families of overseas workers buy additional food or save this amount for other purposes,” Roxas said.
The Liberal Party President noted that OFWs remitted $14.7 billion in 2007, higher than the $12.8 billion remitted in 2006. This number is seen to rise further this year to over $16 billion, in part due to the weakening of the United States dollar. Ironically, a weaker dollar has also led to less purchasing power of OFWs’ money when their earnings are spent locally. The Philippine peso appreciated from P56:$1 in 2006 to P40:$1 earlier this year, and is now at P44.23:$1.
As if high prices of oil and rice were not enough, even the currency that our OFWs earn in has diminished in value. We need to give these ‘new heroes’ the support that they need and deserve, understanding their great contribution to our economy,” he said.
Roxas’ bill amends Sec. 181 of the Tax Reform Act of 1997, on the imposition of DST, by exempting from DST payment money transfers made abroad by OFWs.

Roxas to PGMA: Focus on productivity vs. dole-outs in SONA

Senator Mar Roxas urged the President to focus more on how to achieve greater productivity for the poor especially in the countryside, rather than merely list dole-out programs, when she delivers her State of the Nation Address on Monday, where she is expected to launch the National Social Welfare Program.

This, as he recently filed two bills that will provide the government with short-term and long-term plans and tools to achieve immediate rice sufficiency and long-term food security and to jumpstart an agriculture renaissance in the country.
"More than a litany of dole-outs, the President should focus on increasing the productivity and incomes of the poor, especially our farmers and others in the agriculture sector who are now harvesting less and earning less due to the high cost of farm inputs like fertilizer," he said.
"We recognize that dole-outs are needed to alleviate the pain of those who are already at the end of the road. But this should not be the be-all and end-all of how we will approach the ongoing food and oil price crisis," he added.
The Liberal Party President had earlier said that the most important concern now is how to address the increasing incidence of hunger due to the high price and insufficient supply of rice. He stressed that of the total budget of the poorest 30% of the population, 60% is allocated for food (40% of which on rice), thereby making them the most vulnerable to price and supply shocks.
"More Filipinos now are saying that they have felt hunger. This is bound to get worse if not addressed. We in Congress must urgently enact tools to fight hunger, but we can only do so if this is considered as the top priority by the administration," the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade and Commerce added.
Senate Bill No. 2469, or the proposed Immediate Rice Security Act, seeks to achieve immediate rice security through a Fertilizer Support Program (FSP) for all farmers and the restructuring of the National Food Authority (NFA). The proposed FSP is a "buy-two-take-three" mechanism, where each purchase of two bags of in-kind urea (46% nitrogen) allows a farmer to avail of three additional bags from a Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority-designated distribution center.

The bill also provides for a phase-out of the NFA's rice importation program to make way for private sector participation, and to change the NFA's role as importer into a buffer stock management agency. In the interim, the NFA must provide a shorter registration process and reduced fees to encourage farmers' organizations and other groups in the private sector to participate in importation.

SB No. 2468, the proposed Agricultural Renaissance and Food Sufficiency Act, on the other hand, is aimed at ensuring long-term self-sufficiency. The bill is anchored on an accelerated ten-year Agricultural Investment Program for increased research and development (R&D), better irrigation systems and other reforms.

Under the bill, the government is mandated to maximize R&D support to farmers—or R&D extension services—by making this more location-specific and resource-sensitive, while promoting new technologies for commercial purposes. Such R&D shall involve farmers and their organizations, along with other players in the production and post-production process.

The Department of Agriculture and the National Irrigation Administration will also be tasked to conduct an evaluation of the country's irrigation systems, to determine which ones need rehabilitation. The bill also mandates that for new irrigation systems that will be build, priority must be given to small-scale irrigation systems. Roxas said that according to studies, small water impounding systems are more affordable and more efficient than large-scale systems.

The bill also affirms and strengthens the Department of Agriculture's mandate to provide technical assistance to farmers and the rest of the private sector in the use of post-harvest facilities and availing of extension services, among other things.

It provides for the NFA's change in mandate, so that it is primarily tasked to maintain and manage rice reserve requirements within ten years of implementation of the Agricultural Investment Plan, from its present role as importer.

To implement all of these, the bill proposes an additional appropriation of P1.1-billion per year for 10 years, on top of the DA's regular annual appropriation.

Saturday, July 26, 2008 | posted in , , , , , , , , | 0 comments [ More ]

Kevin Ray N. Chua elected as CIT-SSG Representative

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all the students of the College of Computer Studies (CCS) of Cebu Institute of Technology for giving me the mandate to be one of their 7 representatives in the school's Supreme Student Government (SSG) in an election held last July 23.


What made me more honored was when I found out that I garnered the highest number of votes in our College. With 603 votes casted in my name, I "humbly" bested out other College Representatives in the voting tally. I never realized that although I didn't campaign always, many people knew and trusted me. Thanks a lot!


Tomorrow, together with the elected officials, I will be sworn in. This would be the start of heeding the "call to service" to my fellow Technologians and I will work hard to make the best things from the trust that I earned from them. Together, we'll be moving forward and achieve our goals.

Friday, July 25, 2008 | posted in , , | 0 comments [ More ]

Senator Mar Roxas' statement on the proposed ARMM polls postponement

"We demand complete transparency. The executive must disclose the details of the peace agreement. What did we get, what did we give up, and why is the postponement of the ARMM elections related to these points?

"Without this, any discussion on the proposal to postpone the polls will only be a futile exchange of vague statements.

"Meanwhile, we must take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of voters, teachers and volunteers who have been targets of election-related violence in the recent past."

Siraniko and Ferdinand Agor nominate Mar Roxas 2010 Blog as one of the emerging influential blogs of 2008

I would like to thank Siraniko of Siraniko's Box and Ferdinand Agor of Reporting Ferdinand Yim for nominating this blog as one of their Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs of 2008, a writing project initiated by Ma'am Janette Toral to identify new and emerging blogs that are making an impact to its readers in 2008. These are blogs that started anytime from July 1, 2007 to the present. This blog started last July 29, 2007, thus it's very qualified for the search!

If you are a blogger and you think that this blog is worthy of being named as one of the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs of 2008, then check out the Influential Blogger blog for more details.

We are currently in the 6th spot as of Week 10! Help us stay in the Top 10!

ORAS NA!

One Blog, One Goal, One Year PART IV

PRAISES & CRITICISMS I RECEIVED
I'm not a perfect blogger and so does everyone. I also make mistakes and sometimes, those are magnified especially that I'm blogging about this which requires a lot of vocabulary, knowledge and everything. I had already expected that by making this blog, criticisms would also come in tidal waves aside from the praises. As we all know, some of the Filipinos are allergic about talking the "2010" thing. They immediately say "politicking", "electioneering", "early campaigning", "too early", and so much more which I can't be able to list down in this post.

Yes, the blog is an early bird but it's never early to think about the future. Some of the things that encouraged me then to blog more is first, when I met Davao City Councilor Peter Laviña who is the blogger of A Liberal in Malacañang in 2010 and second, when my blog was mentioned in Inquirer.Net's article entitled Battle looming between LP and NP for presidency in 2010 which tells that one of the signs about the Mar Roxas 2010 movement include the sprouting of Roxas for president spots in cyberspace like my blog. Mr. Laviña can't believe that a young boy like me would be very socially involved. I told him, it's my passion.

Some blogs had also reviewed my blog. Mr. Laviña, in his blog post, described the blog as "a most welcome initiative". Dexter Panganiban in his Halalan-2007 Blog, talks about the blog and described it as a blog where you can get the "latest information regarding Mar Roxas". This blog was also mentioned in Ria Jose post asking would it be Mar Roxas in 2010?.

"The next elections will most likely be an affirmation of the power of blogs" says Atty. Fred Bertulfo Pamaos, blogging in Atty-At-Work, in his blog post and declaring that the 2010 Presidential elections is on. Dateline Davao in its post is quite "suspicious" (if I may use the term) whether I'm doing this blog on my own or this is a part of Senator Mar Roxas' political strategy but tells their readers to "watch out for his blog as it may just deliver what it purports to do---put Roxas in Malacañang."

Marvin Trilles of Trashvin Blog just stumbled upon my blog and told his blog readers that "it is my first time to see a blog site with political campaign motive behind." That's what I was telling you all. First impressions about the blog may turn out to be negative. But after surfing the blog, he says that "I see this type of movement as informative and promising as long as the information in it are reliable and true." I have assured Mr. Trilles that my blog is nothing more and nothing less. What I talk about here is making the people know why Sen. Roxas deserves to be our next President. Then, there's the Blog Reviewer which gives free blog reviews. I submitted to them my blog and they made a post about what they think about my blog. It "will be one of the blogs to dominate the campaign for the said presidentiable," the blog post says. That's nice to hear.

Then, there goes the criticisms:

I can't really specify everything, but here are two common criticisms thrown against Senator Mar Roxas, the blog and the blogger.
  1. They say I was paid to blog for Senator Roxas which is completely absurd. I did this blog because it was my passion and my hobby. I was never in contact with the Senator then although now, I can reach him already because he called me when he saw the blog. Even if we can now communicate with each other, there's no pressure from him. I blog with my own.
  2. They say Senator Mar Roxas was silent during 2004-2007 and only making noises now as 2010 comes to a close, which I think is a senseless accusation. They might be listening from him too much now than before when he wasn't a hot item for 2010. Senator Roxas has been very active in the Senate since he was elected.
I think that's all. I'm just thinking what to do next. By the way, next Tuesday will already be our 1st Year Anniversary. I hope you can drop by the blog and send me some greetings. Thanks!

To be continued this July 29, 2008...

Monday, July 21, 2008 | posted in , , , | 2 comments [ More ]

Roxas: Japan leaders back need for a constitutional JPEPA

LP President Senator Mar Roxas stressed before leaders of the Japanese government how important it is for the Philippines to preserve and protect its Constitution in relation to the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA), and said that the Japanese officials agreed to this.

Roxas travelled to Japan this week to discuss vital regional issues, particularly the JPEPA and the ongoing food and oil price crisis, with former and incumbent members of the Japanese Cabinet.
"For the sake of Japan-Philippine relations, I told them that it's important for us to have a meeting of minds on this issue, and put this in writing in an official exchange of letters. They understand how important this issue to us, and I'm glad to report that they assured us that they will certainly respect our Constitution," he said.
While in Tokyo, Roxas met with Nobutaka Machimura, Chief Cabinet Secretary; Masahiko Komura, Minister of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) ; Yasuhisa Shiozaki Member of Parliament (MP) and former Chief Cabinet Secretary; and Taro Aso, MP and former Minister of Foreign Affairs.
"We need to strengthen ties with our key economic partners at this time when world food and oil prices are going through the roof. These adversely impact upon our people's interest in terms of incomes, jobs and livelihoods as well as our country's competitiveness and geopolitical strategies," Roxas, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade and Commerce said.
At the same time, he stressed that "in all trade agreements, our national sovereignty and interest must be paramount."

JPEPA is now pending plenary deliberations in the Senate for its concurrence. It was signed and ratified by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and former Japanese Primer Minister Junichiro Koizumi in 2006. The landmark treaty encountered a major stumbling block in the Senate when questions as to its Constitutionality were raised by legal experts and various stakeholder groups.

Plenary discussions on the treaty have not yet begun, after Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo requested for time to discuss the concerns about the constitution with his Japanese counterparts.

Roxas earlier disclosed his findings on the economic provisions of the treaty. In sum, he determined that while the treaty provides marginal potential benefits, its rejection by the Philippines would result in real and wide-ranging losses in terms of jobs and incomes. "Our country will get left behind because the rest of ASEAN already have EPAs with Japan."
"Ang mga pagkakataon na nakapaloob dito sa JPEPA ay hawak natin. Hamon sa gobyerno na itong mga 'potential gains' ay maipatupad sang-ayon sa ating pambansang interes," Roxas said.

Roxas: More kids out of school dulls RP competitiveness

Senator Mar Roxas warned that the increasing number of children deprived of education puts the country's competitiveness and long-term future in jeopardy. This, as he called on the government to review and reform the education system and revamp the "business-as-usual" way of spending education funds.
"If we want to improve our youth's education outcomes and give them a better chance to progress, we can't be in ‘business-as-usual' mode anymore," he said.

"Ngayong may krisis, pinaka-kawawa ang mga bata. Ang lalong masakit, kung hindi natin maibigay sa kanila ang sapat na nutrisyon at kaalaman, baka mag-‘dropout' din ang bansa natin sa kalaunan (Whenever there's a crisis, the children are most affected. What's more painful, if we fail to give our kids enough nutrition and knowledge, our country might ‘drop out' sooner)," he added.
The National Statistical Coordination Board recently reported that more children do not have access to primary education now than five years ago-16.8% in 2007 compared to 9.7% in 2003-due to the rising cost of living and prices of basic needs. The International Finance Corp. also recently reported that the country's business competitiveness ranking slid down to 133rd, from 130th.

Roxas, the Liberal Party President, earlier filed Senate Bill No. 2294, the Omnibus Education Reform Act, that seeks to fix the defects of the educational system, establish reforms on spending education funds, and set measurable targets.
"We can't raise our education standards by doing just more of the same. We can't drop a larger lump sum in the lap of DepEd and expect things to get better," he said, noting that the Palace is set to submit its proposed 2009 national budget next month.
Roxas noted that most kids drop out from school young: 22% of children who enter Grade 1 will have dropped out by Grade 3. Studies show a strong correlation between poor nutrition and high dropout rates. Furthermore, of all Grade 6 students, only 26%, 15% and 31% of students gain the required mastery of English, Science and Math, respectively.

The bill proposes the institutionalization of a long-term planning process for education, through rolling five-year budget plans that are consistent with quantitative and qualitative targets.

To help identify and focus on students that require special learning assistance, the bill seeks to impose performance standards through diagnostic tests at the end of Grades 3 and 6, key junction points of the students' learning of core competencies.

Meanwhile, to help teachers arm their students with the right competencies and knowledge, the bill seeks intensive training and upgrading programs for teachers. These include training programs on teaching methods using the mother language for teachers in Grades 1 to 3, and upgrading courses for English, Science and Math teachers who are not majors in these subjects.

The proposed reforms in the bill also include mandating the use of the mother tongue as medium of instruction for Grades 1 to 3, as studies have shown that early education in the local language tends to be more effective; and electives for High School, to equip students with the competencies needed as they decide to pursue College or to join the workforce after graduation.

Friday, July 18, 2008 | posted in , , , , , , , , , | 0 comments [ More ]

Mar Roxas places 2nd on PUP's mock election

It's OK! At least we can prove that we have a strong candidate here. Being second on the mock election doesn't necessarily mean that you will eventually lose in the general election. Instead, it would suggest that you are a strong contender for the post, it's just that there are still things needed to be done.

In The 7th Magnum Blog, I read about the Polytechnic University of the Philippines' mock election conducted by the PUP College of Economics, Finance and Politics from July 9-10, 2008. According to the blog post, Senate President Manny Villar had an edge of 226 votes against Senator Mar Roxas. Below is the breakdown of votes:
  • Senate President Manny Villar - 800 votes
  • Senator Mar Roxas - 534 votes
  • Vice President Noli de Castro - 330 votes
  • Eddie Gil - 65 votes
One year and a half to go and voters would be going to the polls to choose a new President. I hope mock elections like this would also be held on different colleges so that they would be able to gain the pulse of their students on who deserves to be the next President in 2010.

Thursday, July 17, 2008 | posted in , , , , | 2 comments [ More ]

Mar Roxas 2010 Blogger interviewed by the Pakistani Spectator

First of all, I'm humbled to be interviewed by blogger Ghazala Khan of The Pakistani Spectator (TPS) in his aim of fostering peace, progress and harmony with passion in the blogosphere. TPS is a blog about politics and entertainment related to Pakistan. The blog is carrying out a new series of interviews with the notable and passionate bloggers, writers, and webmasters and I am glad to be one of those.

Being the first Filipino blogger to be interviewed in their blog, I talked about the impact of blogging here in the Philippines and how it has changed the society. I also talked about my blog and how it has made an impact in the blogosphere.

Here's an excerpt of the interview:

What do you think is the most exciting or most innovative use of technology in politics right now?
It’s the internet. In this world that everyone seems to shift focus from the traditional media to the new ones, politics also has to adopt. We have seen how internet presence translate to awareness just like the success of Barack Obama’s campaign.

Do you think that these new technologies are effective in making people more responsive?
Yes, and I have seen it personally. I thought I was alone with my advocacy at first, but the number of people who have e-mailed me and texted me disproved my thinking. If I can just have one day to mobilize everybody to my advocacy, I believe it would be very productive.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008 | posted in , , , , , | 2 comments [ More ]

One Blog, One Goal, One Year PART III

BALANCING MY EDUCATION & BLOGGING

After I launched my blog, I was in a situation on how to properly balance my college education and my online blogging. It was prioritizing two priorities. Indeed, it changed my life. It's like having a committment online and having another committment also offline.



I must tell you that it's hard. There are days that I am not able to post blog articles due to my class schedule. Sometimes, using Blogger Draft, I create a blog post in advance and it will automatically post on my specified time and date.



I'm quite busy now that I'm running as College of Computer Studies (CCS) Representative for the Supreme Student Government of our college and one of my proposals is to bring our organization to the blogosphere. In this way, we can be able to bridge the online presence of the college students. Then there's our monthly major exams (prelim, midterm, pre-final, and final) which really makes everyone of us study hard in the entire semester. I also avoid being addicted too much on internet especially the pleasure it brings. With just one click, you can do almost everything. There are times that I think of not going to class just to respond to my pleasure. At the end, I always choose to choose the right one.



My cellphone has also a lot of contact numbers of Mar Roxas 2010 supporters and fellow bloggers. I am in contact with them and I am glad to have expanded my circle of friends. These and other things have really changed my life. My classmates would even tease me that I am now an extraordinary student! C'mon, are they joking? What do you think?



Never did it crossed my mind that time will come and I will be in this position. I never realized before that blogging would be the one that would bridge me to different people and express my advocacy to the farthest reach of the internet. Indeed, times have changed and someday, I would be the one running in the position of the Presidency.



In my next blog post, I will be talking about the praises and criticisms that I received because of this. That's one thing the also changed my life. 


To be continued this July 22, 2008...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 | posted in , , , | 1 comments [ More ]

Roxas: Education reform requires not just more of the same

Senator Mar Roxas stressed that the road to world-class education in the Philippines would require spending on focused and effective programs, as well as a change in outlook on what the Philippine education system needs.
"If we want to improve our youth's education outcomes and give them a better chance to progress, we can't be in 'business-as-usual' mode anymore."

"We can't raise our education standards by doing just more of the same. We can't drop a larger lump sum in the lap of DepEd and expect things to get better," he said, noting that the Palace is set to submit its proposed 2009 national budget next month.
Roxas has filed Senate Bill No. 2294, the Omnibus Education Reform Act, which is based on a continuing study on the defects of our educational system. It seeks to initiate the promoting of higher standards in our country's education system.

"We need to have a focused approach in improving Philippine education. We have to get to the root of the problem of poor student performance, insufficient aptitude of teachers, and the overall resources provided to our youth," he said.
The bill proposes the institutionalization of a long-term planning process for education, through rolling five-year budget plans that are consistent with quantitative and qualitative targets.

"Kung sa aritmetik lang, pinakamalaki na nga ang nakukuha ng edukasyon sa budget. Ang tanong, bukod sa 'sapat ba ito,' ay 'tama ba ang paggamit dito?' (Arithmetically, education gets the largest chunk of the budget. But the question, aside from 'is it sufficient,' is 'is it spent the right way?)" he added.
The bill also seeks that ten years after reforms have been implemented, improvements in key metrics must have already been achieved, such as:

  • Grade school cohort survival rate, to 83% (now 68%);
  • Transition rate from Grade 6 to 1st year High School, to 99% (now 87%);
  • High School cohort survival rate, to 85% (now 72%);
  • Overall completion rate, to 70% (now 43%);
To help identify and focus on students that require special learning assistance, the bill seeks to impose performance standards through diagnostic tests at the end of Grades 3 and 6, key junction points of the students' learning of core competencies.

Meanwhile, to help teachers arm their students with the right competencies and knowledge, the bill seeks intensive training and upgrading programs for teachers. These include training programs on teaching methods using the mother language for teachers in Grades 1 to 3; and upgrading courses for English, Science and Math teachers who are not majors in these subjects.

The proposed reforms in the bill also include mandating the use of the mother tongue as medium of instruction for Grades 1 to 3, as studies have shown that early education in the local language tends to be more effective; and electives for High School, to equip students with the competencies needed as they decide to pursue College or to join the workforce after graduation.

Sunday, July 13, 2008 | posted in , , , , | 0 comments [ More ]

Late birthday post: Senator Roxas' email to me

I was not able to post this e-mail from Senator Mar Roxas in this blog during my 18th birthday last July 7 because of my hectic schedule (it was my prelim examinations and I was studying). But no worries! Here's his e-mail greeting me a "Happy Birthday!"
Hey Kevin!

Happy, happy birthday!

I'd like to thank you for all the support you've shown to me via your blog and in your other endeavors. I feel very lucky and immensely proud to have someone as idealistic, enthusiastic, and techno-savvy like you rooting for me from now till 2010 and hopefully, even beyond that.

It's young people like you who inspire me to focus on my work and do the best I can for God and country. Give my best to your parents and the rest of the family. Study hard and have a good birthday.

God bless!

Your friend & palangga,
Mar
You're welcome too Senator! I'm doing this not because I was pushed by someone; I'm doing this for our country. My support for you is strong and I intend to do all my best, together with your other supporters, to put you in Malacañang by 2010 despite the odds. We face an uphill battle with the mindset that there would be not elections in 2010, but we are determined to make that happen and Charter Change would not be an excuse for that.

ORAS NA! 

Friday, July 11, 2008 | posted in , , , , | 1 comments [ More ]

Roxas: Neri as new SSS President bad for 30 million members

Senator Mar Roxas issued a statement yesterday criticizing the appointment of former National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and former Commission on Higher Education (CHED) chairman Romulo Neri as the next Social Security System (SSS) President after its outgoing head Corazon dela Paz resigned yesterday.
In his short statement, he said:
"It is unwise. I would not have made that appointment. These are turbulent times for the country. The stock market is volatile. The peso is losing steam. We are beset with global uncertainties.

"It is not the time to appoint someone with minimal, real life work experience in the marketplace to sit atop the SSS which has nearly 30 million members. Besides, this appointment will just drive unneeded political controversy." 
This administration has been very generous to its pups. After Neri refused to elaborate on what he and Mrs. Gloria Arroyo talked about before the signing of the ZTE deal, now he's in SSS! Mrs. Arroyo, is this what you call public service or private service?

After Neri's stint in NEDA, he was transferred to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). When then Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya was appointed to head DBM, Neri was returned to NEDA. Then, CHED Chairman Carlito Puno who reportedly earned the ire of the President due to lack of cooperation with the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) over the implementation of the government’s ladderized education program was removed and was replaced by Neri as acting Chairman of the body. And now, as SSS President!

Senator Roxas is right! We need a qualified person to lead SSS, not just because that person goes along with Ms. Arroyo. It's an imperative that we should deserve a leader that knows what's best for our people not what's best for herself.  

In that, we say NO to Romulo Neri in SSS!

Senator Mar Roxas congratulates Level Up!

I just got this picture and news from Carlo Ople's blog. Carlo is currently serving as the Marketing Manager for the leading online gaming company in the Philippines - Level Up! Games.



It's great to hear that the Philippines is now being considered as one of the best online gaming community in the world given the vast number of its players and Senator Mar Roxas is one of those who has recognized this great mark in our history.



In case you don't know what's Level Up!, it is the first and leading online game publisher for the Philippines. They are the game distributors of Ragnarok Online, Freestyle, RF Online, Flyff and Perfect World. For more info about them, visit http://www.levelupgames.ph/about-level-up/



 In Carlo's post, he said:

"Level Up is hosting the Ragnarok World Championships this year. There are 32 participating countries and they will fly to Manila to compete at the World Trade Center on October 18-19, 2008. It’s a big thing not just for the online gaming industry, but for the country as well. This will go down in history as the grandest and biggest online gaming tournament ever to be hosted in the Philippines."

And as the company says it: "We don’t just play games, we live them: Level Up!"

Loren, Chiz firm up tandem; so who's for Mar if not Chiz?

Now that Senator Chiz Escudero has said that if ever he's not running for President in 2010, during an interview with Manila Times' reporter Efren Danao, he would be supporting Senator Loren Legarda for the position. It's understandable because they are both from Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC), for now. So, who's for Senator Mar Roxas if not Chiz?

Hopes are not yet dimming of having a Mar-Chiz tandem. Chiz is one of the best choice as Mar's tandem for 2010 according to the blog's poll. But in case we forget, there are also Senators Kiko Pangilinan and Noynoy Aquino who belong to Mar's party (Liberal Party). They can't be discarded in Mar's VP choices. As they call it, they are the true-blue Liberals, and it would be a disappointment to the party if Mar chooses a non-insider running-mate.

Although it seems this team-up is an impossibility (MAR is from the Liberal Party, while Chiz is from the Nationalista Party/UNO), I trust the political old hands in both parties will see the wisdom in joining forces. It is time for the youth to take over the reins of political power in this country and show the disenfranchised among the voters that there is hope after Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and traditional politics.
Hmm... she has a point! Let's just wait and see as 2010 comes to a near.

Carlo Ople, in his blog, mentioned that Mar was considering Chiz to be his running-mate: the main reason why there's an ongoing rift with Mar and Kiko. Kiko, whose real first name is Francis, has long been nursing his VP dreams and he thought it would be not acceptable if Mar chooses the other Francis (Chiz).

Because Kris Aquino would run as senator and the quid pro quo might be Noynoy getting the VP candidacy. Do not underestimate Kris -- she will run away with the top slot in the senatorial race, by a landslide! So Korina will raise one hand of Mar, and the other will be raised by Kris.
I'm still having doubts on whether Kris would really run for Senator. Will she?

For Mar, the field is still wide open. If Chiz would not run with Mar, Kiko and Noynoy are available. Not to mention other people who are also gunning for the position. To all my blog readers, who do you think would be Mar's best VP tandem and why? I would welcome your comments very much!

RL Macalintal, Dimaks and Kenji Solis nominate Mar Roxas 2010 Blog as one of the emerging influential blogs of 2008

I would like to thank RL Macalintal of World Around Us, Dimaks of Ctrl+Alt+Delete and Kenji Solis of Thoughts Ko To for nominating this blog as one of their Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs of 2008, a writing project initiated by Ma'am Janette Toral to identify new and emerging blogs that are making an impact to its readers in 2008. These are blogs that started anytime from July 1, 2007 to the present. This blog started last July 29, 2007, thus it's very qualified for the search!
If you are a blogger and you think that this blog is worthy of being named as one of the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs of 2008, then check out the Influential Blogger blog for more details.
We are currently in the 6th spot as of Week 10! Help us stay in the Top 10!
ORAS NA!

The Mar Roxas 2010 Blogger turns 18 today!

Yipee! Today, July 7, will be my 18th birthday. I'm one year older and now eligible to vote unless I register in COMELEC. I'm still savoring my birthday together with my prelim exams today.

Thanks to all who greeted me today and to those who haven't greeted me yet, it's ok. Thanks a lot for supporting the blog and the blogger, yours truly. All of you have been my inspiration. Without you, this blog would not have been materialized.

ORAS NA!

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Roxas seeks expanded probe on Sulpicio Lines for maritime safety; cites gaps in hazardous pesticide handling, insurance coverage

Senator Mar Roxas called for an expanded and comprehensive Senate investigation on the sea tragedy involving Sulpicio Lines' M/V Princess of the Stars that has led to hundreds dead and missing, as well as the discovery of hazardous chemicals and insufficient insurance coverage.

Roxas, who hails from Western Visayas, filed a Senate resolution (Senate Resolution No. 480) in aid of legislation that would amend existing laws in order to upgrade maritime safety standards so that it would conform to the same strict safeguards found in the airline industry.
"Allowing a passenger ship to sail with tons of hazardous chemicals in its cargo, a string of sea mishaps to its name and still not enough insurance protection in case of damages to the environment and local communities is a case study in poor governance. We demand not just answers but concrete solutions so that this would never ever happen again," Roxas stressed.

"We are an archipelagic country sandwiched by seas and oceans. We are a seafaring nation. We should be a global example of maritime safety, not be on the Guinness records for the world's biggest sea tragedies," he stressed.

"Let's look at the latest Sulpicio tragedy not as an isolated case but as a manifestation of appallingly weak corporate and public governance," he added.
Roxas, the Liberal Party President, noted that Section 9 of Presidential Decree No. 1144, the Charter of the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority, appears not to make a distinction as to the kind of vessel allowed for the transporting of duly-registered pesticides.
"It boggles the mind how and why this hazardous cargo was allowed in a passenger ferry in the first place? The vagueness of this law, coupled by authorities' incompetence to interpret the law in favor of consumer safety, may have been putting passengers' lives at risk even in previous years. The Senate inquiry will result in legislation to clarify all guidelines, orders, and laws and skew it in favor of passenger rights and safety," he said.
Aside from this, Roxas said the ships insurance coverage is insufficient vis-à-vis what's common in the industry, as it is limited only to passengers and cargo. The ship, he said, did not have protective indemnity insurance coverage, which would answer for damages caused to the ship and/or the environment.

The Senator said "I and other industry-standard comprehensive insurance coverage, may already be made mandatory under the existing Republic Act No. 9295, or the Domestic Shipping Development Act of 2004."
"Again, we must ask our regulators why did they stick to bare minimums in the law and not require wider insurance coverage for shipping operators, especially for a company that is associated with sea tragedies over the past several years? The Senate will look into this and the owners of Sulpicio Lines as well as the regulatory bodies concerned must explain such deadly gaps before the victims' families and the public at large," Roxas said.

Samjuan and Scotty's Princess nominate Mar Roxas 2010 Blog as one of the emerging influential blogs of 2008

I would like to thank Samjuan of Samjuan Blog and Scotty's Princess of Lainy's Musings for nominating this blog as one of their Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs of 2008, a writing project initiated by Ma'am Janette Toral to identify new and emerging blogs that are making an impact to its readers in 2008. These are blogs that started anytime from July 1, 2007 to the present. This blog started last July 29, 2007, thus it's very qualified for the search!

If you are a blogger and you think that this blog is worthy of being named as one of the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs of 2008, then check out the Influential Blogger blog for more details.


I would also like to thank again Filipinayzd, Flowell, Mark, Jehz, Myk, Francis, Lugud, Kay JD, Dexter, Rhodilee, Cecile, Richard the Adventurer, Richard D., Joan, Ederic, Jaypee, Jan Alvin, Scarlett, and Ryan for nominating this blog.

ORAS NA!

Kalibo relief operation by Senator Mar Roxas, Capiz province and MMDA

Here are another set pictures sent to us by Mr. Roberto Acevedo on what happened in Capiz after Typhoon Frank hit the province.



The Capiz Provincial Government, upon the instruction of Senator Mar Roxas and Capiz Governor Vic Tanco sent several heavy equipments to augment in the clearing up of mud around Kalibo proper up to 2:00AM.



MMDA heavy equipments were also there sent by the Mrs. Gloria Arroyo. They started the relief operation by helping the Muncipality of Kalibo upon the request of Mayor Raymar Rebaldo. The removal of mud and operation started yesterday. Because of the heavy mudflood, they roughly estimate to complete the clearing in one month time. The mayor was the first one to operate their payloader after the flood and has been serving well the people of Kalibo. Their funds seemed to have been exhausted.



 

  

  

  

  

  

  

 



If you have pictures on what happened in your province after Typhoon Frank hit the country, please do send it to us at my personal email kevinraychua@gmail.com.

One Blog, One Goal, One Year PART II

LAUNCHING OF THE BLOG


Last Tuesday, I blogged about the idea that started this blog. Today is the 338th day of the blog and I would like to share where and when this blog started.





I was already a blogger since 2004 (blogging about politics and some topics) and I thought that it would be good to create a blog to urge Senator Mar Roxas to run for President in 2010. At that time (that was 2007) it was just the year of wrapping up from another election. When I was surfing across the internet, there were already talks on who should be the next President in 2010. I thought of using blogging as a platform to get the people involved and informed about a potential presidential candidate. I believe that the blog would be the first of its kind in the entire Philippine blogosphere. Indeed, it was!







That was July 29, 2007, on a Sunday afternoon at Nethauz Internet and More Café in Punta Princesa, Cebu City, I registered the address: http://marroxas2010.blogspot.com in Blogger. I still don't know what to do, so I just posted a simple message on my first post that was done at 5:53 PM. Then, I googled articles about 2010 elections-related articles with Mar Roxas on it and saw some. One of my early post was about Albertito Lopez, a former Iloilo solon, who had endorsed Senator Roxas for President even though Roxas wasn't a candidate yet. That was a worthy article.





After that, when I googled about the topic, I saw the blog A Liberal in Malacañang in 2010 by Davao City Councilor Peter Laviña. We coincidentally started our blogs on the same date (July 27, 2007) but he gaved me the title of being the first. Thanks Sir Peter!




To be continued this July 15, 2008...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 | posted in , , , | 3 comments [ More ]

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