PolWonk is a conjugation of three words policy, political and wonk which, in various aspects have been associated with the career and training she had over the years. PolWonk sums up her interests and advocacies. It is a weekly column, appearing every Fridays, in The Lobbyist

PolWonk is a conjugation of three words policy, political and wonk which, in various aspects have been associated with the career and training she had over the years. PolWonk sums up her interests and advocacies. It is a weekly column, appearing every Fridays, in The Lobbyist.
 

A lot has been said about pork barrel since we discovered Napoles. Some armchair analysts have called for its abolition and putting the blame solely on members of Congress for ghost deliveries and kickbacks. I won’t go into that because congressmen can very well defend themselves. But presidential pork is not pork is again erroneous. The operative term is discretionary.

A lot of political analysts these days are saying pork is unique to the Philippines. This is not true. All legislative bodies have theirs. Pork in other territories is known as earmarks, entitlements, political promise making, contracts, economic arrangements, etc.

I spent almost 10 years in Philippine Congress (both chambers) as a congressional staff and I have always been a student of legislatures. I know a lot of people will raise their brows but I will go on a limb for the institution and not the persons occupying the 16th today.

IT was all heart that got Gilas Pilipinas to beat South Korea in a game that truly mattered for basketball pride and honor of the nation. We were united for a moment, shouting our lungs out to egg our team to gain back their composure with the injury of naturalized center Marcus Douthit. With Douthit riding the bench, it was an all-Filipino five that engineered the return to center stage for a team created, molded and nurtured by a man called MVP and a bench tactician named Chot. It was championship caliber play Saturday night with an 86-79 victory. More than anything, it was personal for every Filipino in the SMX Arena for we have not beaten South Korea for that long. Defeating South Korea ensured our ticket to Spain for the FIBA World Championships.

IT was all heart that got Gilas Pilipinas to beat South Korea in a game that truly mattered for basketball pride and honor of the nation. We were united for a moment, shouting our lungs out to egg our team to gain back their composure with the injury of naturalized center Marcus Douthit. With Douthit riding the bench, it was an all-Filipino five that engineered the return to center stage for a team created, molded and nurtured by a man called MVP and a bench tactician named Chot. It was championship caliber play Saturday night with an 86-79 victory. More than anything, it was personal for every Filipino in the SMX Arena for we have not beaten South Korea for that long. Defeating South Korea ensured our ticket to Spain for the FIBA World Championships.

Impairing dissent, we could end up a nation of whistleblowers and that is the way the Arroyo Administration was from crisis to crisis. When it is because of whistleblowers that we get to know the rottenness of a system, we just might end up with Wikileaks and have the Snowden effect to ensure accountability and transparency, the twin goals of Tuwid na Daan.

Last night, the gala of the play entitled Obispo took center stage at the Samsung Hall of SM Aura.  The play was on the life and times of Bishop Alfredo Verzosa.  Born 9 December 1877 in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, he was ordained on 24 December 1904.  He became Bishop of Lipa on 6 September 1916 and served over 34 years until his retirement. 

Why should there be more transparency and accountability of surveys? Because political campaigns are partisan by nature; results can be used for spin and propaganda. And when a candidate tapers off, donors abandon them and that is downhill for most.

Our sable rattling ways with China is just that, all hot air. Instead of focusing on what we can provide the biggest market in Asia and how we can integrate with the countries contiguous to China, we seem to always be at odds with her and her territories, like Hong Kong and recently, Taiwan. Against the characterization of the Philippines as “being too Western than Asian,” another development is inching its way us fast and that is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) integration by 2015.

The first three years of the administration saw the passage of budgets in record time and at record numbers. One would say that is good and yet others mumble that the early passage without much debate has led to the emasculation of the deliberative body like Congress.

Elections are all about choices and when these choices are predetermined by coalition politics, there is no excitement in the air. When there is no excitement in the air, turnout is lower than the average at midterm. This election is for the books because turnout is atypical that of mid term trends. Such is the storyline of the national campaign for the Senate this May 2013. Without any opposition in the 2013 elections, it is easier to have a surgical cut in the ratio of 60-30-10 from Aparri to Jolo, setting aside bell weathers and bailiwicks and that to me is the sorry state of our politics.

The Philippines finally launched its marketing campaign to attract more tourists to visit the country. I applauded the efforts done when it was launched. But as days, months, and years pass by, I begin to dislike it because of two things: the state of our country's airport and consumers not being no. 1.