Club and Bloggers Cebu Networking Event

Are you a blogger here in Cebu? Can you attend this event on October 23?
The Club is organizing a fellowship/networking event where e-commerce industry players and bloggers can catch up and exchange updates. This will be on October 23, Thursday, 6 to 11 pm at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino, 1st Salinas Drive Lahug, Cebu City.
This event is sponsored by our club member PAGCOR.
6:00 - 7:00 Registration and Dinner
7:00 - 7:30 Guest introduction / plugs
7:30 - 8:00 Updates by Janette Toral
8:00 - 8:30 - PAGCOR launch Internet/E-Commerce project
8:30 - onwards - Raffle, Networking, Games
Bloggers are welcome to attend this event for free. Just reply to this post with your name and blog address and i'll add you up in the list.
List of attendees can be found here.

Saturday, September 27, 2008 | posted in , , , , | 2 comments [ More ]

Roxas: Implement minimum wage tax exemption now

Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas chided the government for deciding to limit the application of the newly-passed tax exemption law for only half of this year.

This, as he said that nothing stops the government from applying Republic Act No. 9504—which exempts minimum wage earners from income taxes and increases the personal exemptions of other workers—from January 1, 2008 and not just from July 6, the date of effectivity of the law.

The government promised this law years back and they even pointed the finger at Congress for the delays. And now they decided amongst themselves to make a half-hearted application of the law,” he said.

Dapat ipaliwanag ng Pangulo sa taumbayan—lalo na sa mga manggagawa—kung bakit nito hinayaan ang DOF na i-apply lang sa kalahating taon itong tax exemption, gayong puwede namang magpairal ng political will at ipatupad ito sa buong 2008 na,” he said.

Ano ba ang mas mahalaga sa gobyerno? Ang mabigyan ng ginhawa ang mga manggagawa sa kabila ng pagtaas ng presyo ng mga bilihin at iba pang krisis na hinaharap nila? O ang protektahan ang kita nito?” he added.
Roxas also said the government must explain how the new law will be implemented vis-à-vis Revenue Regulation 01-2006, which exempted minimum wage earners from the collection of withholding taxes since January 2006.

Sa ilalim ng IRR ng DOF, ang sahod ng mga manggagawa magmula sa Hulyo hanggang sa Disyembre ngayong taon ang hindi na papatawan ng buwis, at kailangang magbayad pa rin ng buwis para sa sahod nila magmula sa Enero hanggang Hunyo. Pero sa kabila nito, hindi na pala kinakaltasan ang mga manggagawa ng withholding tax,” he explained.

Ang ibig sabihin ba nito, maglalabas pang muli ang mga manggagawa ng pera nila para magbayad ng buwis, gayong pinaasa sila noon pa na hindi na ito kokolektahin pa?,” he stressed.
Roxas however welcomed an earlier proposal to require employers to submit a quarterly list of minimum wage earners eligible for tax exemption was scrapped. “Salamat at kahit papaano’y nakinig ang DoF sa atin sa probisyong ito, na magpapatagal pa sa proseso at magdadagdag lang sa burukrasya,” he said.

Huwag nating kalimutan na ang batas na ito ay para sa ginhawa ng mga mahihirap. Our workers should be able to enjoy benefits immediately, and policy must be geared towards their welfare,” he added.

Thursday, September 25, 2008 | posted in , , , , , , | 0 comments [ More ]

Senator Mar Roxas' speech during the 2008 Philippine Blog Awards

… earlier this evening, Ding Gagelonia, all of the other bloggers that I’ve perused as I surf the web during one all this time. Friends, ladies and gentlemen, good evening.

First of all if anyone in the audience knows who actually won between Ateneo and La Salle, I’d appreciate it. Who won? Oh you mean the blue and white? Alright. That’s good news. I left just before halftime to make it all the way over here from Quezon City, from Cubao and I was totally out of touch already with the developments when I came in, and so I am happy to know that people through their own way were keeping in touch of that.

I’m very, very happy to be here with you this afternoon. It’s a very, very important event that gives recognition to the Philippine blog community who have been very active over all of these years. This is the second edition of your blog awards, I was asking Noemi, the other organizers in fact, whether the awards were being given for content, for editorial value, or relative to number of hits and other technical details relative to a blog and in fact she was saying it’s a bit of a combination and what is the Oscars to the movies, or the Emmy’s to television, this is for the Philippines what it is for the blog community so congratulations to all of the bloggers and all of those who’ve put this evening together. Let’s give them a warm round of applause.

I just want to say a couple of things, I don’t want to take too much of your time. I’ve been engaged in a little bit of blogging over a period of time, and always I’m amazed at how such a public activity, such an engagement with a multitude of nameless, faceless people whom you don’t know, are out there and who may ---, peruse, go over what you write, can at the same time feel very, very private. As you sit in front of your keyboard and compose your thoughts, as you reflect on some of the ideas that course through your mind, and go through what it is in fact that you would like to communicate, it is in fact a very introspective activity, at least I find that for myself. And as I reflect upon it, I think that my gosh, on one hand, it’s so introspective, it’s so solitary in fact, and at the same time, you really are communicating with multitudes all over the world. I think it’s in that sort of paradigm, that conflict, where creative tension arises and through that creative tension, all of the ideas, all of the emotions, all of the thoughts, dreams and aspirations, and tears that you all have individually in each of you, are then expressed and then can be shared by everyone. Not just Pinoys but by everyone in the world. And truly it is a special undertaking to be engaged in blogging. Truly it is a special, unique undertaking that one goes through. It’s quite difficult, it requires a lot of discipline. I, myself have not been as disciplined as all you have been. I very rarely now get around to actually sitting down and going through my thinking process and updating my blog once a month. But nonetheless, what is an individual activity is really one of sharing with the world and I congratulate all of you for your discipline, for your ‘committedness’ and for sharing what is really your thoughts and hopes and aspirations with the rest of all of us. Congratulations to all of the bloggers here! Give yourself a round of applause.

The other thought that I wanted to convey to you this evening, is more just a coincidence. Today happens to be September 21. And as I was thinking about coming over here and be with you, I reflected upon our own Philippine history. Thirty-six years ago, on this very day, Marcos came on TV and basically crossed-off, cancelled out democracy in our country. It was a time for what George Orwell talked about of in 1984, his novel, called groupthink, it was time for big brother that was so intrusive and so controlled and wanted to intervene in every aspect of Philippine life. It was a time to use computer, or electronic language; it was a time for centralized processing, where there was one central thinking entity that attempted to do all the thinking for all of us here in our country.

And so we fast forward to where we are today. Thrirty-six years later, celebrating what is in the history not only in the Philippines but in the history of the world the most democratic, free and libertarian mechanism that allows for self-expression all throughout the world. What a contrast. What an irony. From groupthink, through blogging through the net, we celebrate the individuality. What you might even think the atomization of ideas where it’s not one major big blob but really what everyone takes away from it and then is able to express on equal terms with everyone else. It’s been called niche-thinking, it’s been called niche-programming, it’s been called in general niching because everyone is allowed to express their own inviduality. What was centralized processing in effect now is distributed processing. There is no groupthink, there is now only what each and everyone of you thinks, and feels, and hopes, aspires to, and in that process we are all the healthier as a society and as a team.

And lastly, relative to what we are today versus to thirty-six years ago, when this dark cloud of Martial Law descended on our country, what we have today through each and everyone of your blogs, through each and everyone of the emails that you write and that you send and you distribute and you cascade all across the globe, what we really have today is a sense of personal responsibility. It is you. You put your name to those thoughts. It is you, your individuality. It is the uniqueness, the specialness, the glory of each and every one of you. And in so doing, it is no longer hiding behind some organization, some unit, some group but actually an expression – here I stand, this is what I think is important and I share it with you. A more expressive way, a more expressive manifestation of taking responsibility for one’s self, for one’s thoughts, for one’s ideas, I cannot find it anywhere else in the globe. Here in the Philippines, we see it alive, we see it thriving, and we see it as a way of moving the country forward. Individually, and together as a nation.

Mabuhay ang mga bloggers! Mabuhay and kalayaan dito sa Pilipinas!

Maraming salamat, magandang gabi po. Thank you very much.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008 | posted in , , , | 0 comments [ More ]

Roxas: Documentary stamp tax paid by OFWs should fund services, needs

Sen. Mar Roxas rallied overseas Filipino workers and their families to help pressure the government into setting aside a special fund for lawyers and other assistance using funds collected from a tax imposed on OFW remittances.

Roxas, chairman of the Senate committee on trade and commerce, said the government could set aside its collections from its 0.15% documentary stamp tax (DST) estimated at a billion pesos every year to provide legal and other services to protect our OFWs, especially for hiring lawyers for OFWs imprisoned or facing court cases abroad.
Para sa akin, dapat ilagay ang nakolektang DST sa special fund para sa Overseas Workers Welfare Administration , para lamang sa pangangailangan ninyong mga OFW,” he said. “Ang sagot dito dapat ay isang sistema na sisiguruhin na kahit saan mag-landing ang mga OFWs natin, may matatawagan sila na maasahan pag magka-problema sila.”

Pero mas maganda para sa mga OFWs na tanggalin na ang DST na ito,” said Roxas, author of Senate Bill No. 2479 that seeks the removal of the documentary stamp tax on OFW remittances.

Kung mapupunta lang ang pera sa kung saan-saan sa gobyerno, mas mabuti pang maiwan na lang ito sa kamay at bulsa ng mga pamilya na siyang tatanggap nitong pera,” he said in a speech before Migrante International, a group representing OFWs and their families.
Roxas said the government should also consider using the money from the DST on OFW remittances to help OFW families cope with skyrocketing prices of food and transport.
Tutal ay pera naman ninyo ito, kayo rin dapat ang makikinabang dito. Hindi dapat ito mapunta sa mga ma-anomalyang transaksyon na pinapasukan ng gobyerno,” he added.
OFWs remitted a total of $14.7 billion in 2007 through the banking system. If remittances sent through unofficial channels are calculated, the estimated total remittances last year reached at least $16 billion, from which the government collected roughly $22 million or P1 billion in 0.15% documentary stamp tax (DST).

Roxas has actively sought additional protection and assistance to OFWs. In the 2008 budget, he pushed for a P50-million budget for the DoLE’s OFW Social Reintegration program, which Malacanang has yet to release to the Department of labor and Employment. The program provides “balikbayan” OFWs with sufficient knowledge of how to use their savings as well as investment opportunities and other forms of reintegration assistance.

Monday, September 22, 2008 | posted in , , , , | 0 comments [ More ]

2008 Philippine Blog Awards

I am glad to inform all of you that this blog, the Mar Roxas for President in 2010, is one of the finalist in the Best News and Media Blog category of the 2008 Philippine Blog Awards. Thanks to my blogger friend and schoolmate Orville Tadle for informing me through text about this good news.

Anyways, I'm voting for Winston Almendras' blog, Batang Yagit. Winston is a friend of mine and he has been instrumental in helping me and Mark Monta in organizing the Cebu Bloggers' Society.

Winston, my vote is for you! Pa-cheeseburger ka naman dyan!

Roxas sought P500M budget realignment for cheaper medicines; but proposed add'l 2008 DOH budget not acted on

Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas revealed last Sunday he sought to realign P500 million from the proposed 2008 national budget to make available cheaper medicines to the public under a law that he authored, but Congress' conference committee did not act on it.

The Ilonggo senator said he wrote Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, Senate Finance Committee Chairman, to consider realigning P500 million from the P3-billion Kilos Asenso Fund as additional budget for the Department of Health's Medicine Procurement Program under the Cheaper Medicines Act.

As primary author of that law, Roxas sought to make available to Filipinos cheap medicines that are normally sold here at high prices by local and foreign drug companies.
"Ang sagot natin sana sa mataas na presyo ng gamot dito sa atin ay itong batas na itinulak ko sa Kongreso, at hiniling ko na bigyan ng dagdag na P500 milyon ang budget ng DOH para sa implementasyon nito."
He said the conference committee, however, only approved his recommendation that P50 million be allotted as budget for the reintegration of returning OFWs under the Social Protection and Welfare Program of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and another P10 million for the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) for the purchase of laboratory equipment for the implementation of the cheaper medicines law.

Roxas said he is releasing this information ahead of an expected showdown Monday on senatorial budget insertions arising from allegations of Senator Panfilo Lacson that Senate President Manuel Villar engineered an insertion in the GAA for a "road to nowhere."

"I requested realignments in the 2008 budget for what I believed are for the public interest and I hope everybody bare their own requests so this won't turn into a game of deception and obfuscation," he said.
He added that his request was also approved for P90 million under the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for the widening and improvement of the heavily congested Manila-Cavite Road.

He said the P90 million request was made under the representation of Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio Abaya, who sought the appropriation to address mounting complaints from Cavite's motorists of massive daily traffic congestion to and from Manila especially during the rush hour.

"This is a project to widen the road that is a major route not only for Cavite's beleaguered motorists and commuters, but also for cargo trucks transporting export products from the Cavite Export Processing Zone to Manila for shipment," he said.

Roxas said: "The national budget involves the people's hard-earned money that they entrusted to the government through taxes, so they ought to know whether these are being spent for their benefit or only for the benefit of a few."
He said the Senate Finance Committee, and thereafter the bicameral conference committee, approved his proposed amendment to the 2008 GAA for the allotment of P50 million for the DOLE's OFW social integration program.

"Daan-libong mga kababayan nating OFW ang bumabalik dito sa Pilipinas na walang trabaho o hindi alam kung paano gagamitin ang kinita nila. Kaya kasama ito sa programa na inaprubahan ng Kongreso sa ilalim ng aking panukala. Hindi lang po natin gustong makabalik nang ligtas ang ating mga OFWs kundi siguruhin din na magiging maayos din ang kanilang buhay sa pag-uwi nila," he said.
Under this program, the National Reintegration Center for OFWs of the DOLE will provide counseling, job matching services and skills training and development for returning OFWs, Roxas noted. He also said that DOLE had been pushing for this project for a long time and it was only funded this year.

Roxas said the P10 million for the DOH was allotted for the purchase of laboratory equipment for BFAD in preparation for the full implementation of the Cheaper Medicines Act.

Being a Nuffnanger!

I was a certified Nuffnanger last August 29, 2008!

So, how do you become a Nuffnanger? Well, Nuffnang is the one that made it after all. It is Asia's first and leading blog advertising community. It was founded by Timothy Tiah and Cheo Ming Shen. It was first introduced in Malaysia and Singapore. When I knew online that it has arrived in the Philippines as Nuffnang Philippines, I joined the bandwagon and welcomed my fellow Nuffnangers.

I want to earn money online using this platform and I am looking forward to Nuffnang's success in its full-blast campaign in the blogosphere. It has a great line-up of advertisers that would really make a big attraction to bloggers like me. This is my first time in online money earning but I would do my best not to alienate my blog with overflowing ads for the sake of money.

I love the Analytics Page so much! With those light green graphs with the black gradient background, you would really be aware on how many unique visitors and page views you got every hour, where your blog visitors came from (wherein most of my blog visitors, that's 70.8%, come from none other than the Philippines), the keywords that they used to reach to your blog, the referrals and the community page. The community page is part of the Analytics Page and is something that I haven't found in other money-making platforms. Here, you can meet your fellow Nuffnangers, thus making it not only an ordinary site, but an extra-ordinary one! I can attest to it!

Would you join me in Nuffnang Philippines? If that's a YES (or OO in Filipino), then click here to start the ball rolling. Just fill out those things asked in the registration form and wait for 24-48 hours for your application to be approved.

Once approved, join their contest that is searching for 68 bloggers who can write great reviews Nuffnang. They're giving away 500 pesos for the lucky 68!

Be a Nuffnanger now!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008 | posted in , , , , | 6 comments [ More ]

The Road to Malacañang for Mar Roxas

Whew! I was offline for almost 8 days because I was attending important school matters especially the fast-approaching Pre-Final exams. But anyways, I would like to share to all of you a great article by Prof. Danton Remoto about Senator Mar Roxas' "likely" road to Malacañang that was published in Rogue Magazine last February 2008. Click here to read more about the article and tell me after your comments about the article.

Join me in bringing Senator Roxas to Malacañang by 2010, sign the online petition now and join the Friends of Roxas 2010 (FOR 2010). Spead the word about our advocacy and together, all things will be possible.


Saturday, September 6, 2008 | posted in , , , | 2 comments [ More ]

Get Involved!