Thursday, September 12, 2013

Bulacan fetes Roxas, 10 others to receive award Sunday

MALOLOS CITY—Bulacan feted Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas on Monday as the sixth Natatanging Dangal ng Lipi awardee during the opening day of the week-long Singkaban Fiesta.

The award was handed to Roxas after he served as guest speaker in the opening day ceremonies of the weeklong festival at the capitol compound here.

Gov. Wilhelmino Alvarado said the award is supposed to be given on Sunday but advanced it as Roxas might not make it during the annual awards night. As a matter of fact, Roxas immediately left after his brief speech to attend to his other duties.

In an ambush interview, he said that there is another shootout in Mindanao. “I have to go there today,” Roxas said as he rushed to his vehicle. Roxas was given the Natatanging Dangal ng Lipi Award for his contribution in government service.

Only five other Bulakenyos were given the same award, the highest recognition bestowed by the provincial government to outstanding Bulakenyos.

The other Natatanging Dangal ng Lipi Awardees are the late President Corazon Aquino, late statesman Blas F. Ople, former Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo, National Artist for Literature Virgilio Almario, and Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa.

A former congressman who represented Capiz province, Roxas was elected as senator in 2004.

He is the grandchild of former President Manuel Roxas and Donya Trinidad De Leon of of the old LVN Pictures who hailed from San Miguel, Bulacan. Other awardees in this year’s Dangal ng Lipi awards will be feted on Sunday night at the Pavillion of the Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center here.

They are Dr. Flaviana Hilario, Susan “Toots” Ople, Engineer Roderick Dela Cruz, Gregoria Simbulan, Vincent “Chot” Reyes, Dr. Allan De Guzman, Engineer Francisco Duran, Dr. Albert De Leon, Denisa Reyes and retired Police Chief Supt. Enrico Salapong. Valerio said the above mentioned winners excelled in the field of community service, education, science and technology, agriculture, arts and culture, entrepreneurship, health, business and industry, sports, government service and expatriate. Dino Balabo

Bulakenyos walk for pork abolition

Photo by Rommel Ramos

MALOLOS CITY—About 800 Bulakenyos led by church leaders joined a unity walk here Wednesday in support of the Edsa Tayo prayer rally calling for the abolition of all forms of pork barrel.

Organized by Bulacan for Truth, Justice, Accountability and Meaningful Change movement (BuTJAM) in cooperation with Promotion of Church Peoples’ Response (PCPR), the unity walk started at the Bulacan University (BulSU) to the historic Barasoain church.

A support activity to Edsa Tayo, the unity walk turned prayer vigil is joined by priest, pastors from other religious groups, nuns, students and civic leaders in the province.

Participants called for the abolition of the pork barrel system, hold accountable those that were involved with the corruption and plunder of nation’s coffers, and re-channel the fund to social services. Father Rolando De Leon, the main convenor of the group explained the issue of the pork barrel “is an issue of morality and social justice.”

He added “in expense of the Filipino people that suffer from the budget insuffi ciency in social services like education, health, housing and other basic services, our lawmakers in cooperation with Janet Lim-Napoles, pocketed our money. They have liabilities to the people, they have to be punished.”

The same was echoed by Father Anacleto Ignacio, the secretary general of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Bulacan chapter.

“The whole pork barrel system, not just the congressional pork but also the fatter presidential pork, should be abolished,” Ignacio said.

He stressed that “the P1.4-trillion presidential pork barrel alone, if justly allocated to promote peoples’ welfare, can lay down the condition to national industrialization and genuine agrarian reform that could solve the decade-long problems of the society.”

For her part, Sha De Jesus of the BulSU student council called for the realignment of pork barrel funds to social services like education.

De Jesus said, “our government is quick in creating schemes that aggravate our plight, such as implementing the Roadmap to Public Higher Education Reform (RPHER) that intensifi es state abandonment in SUCs through commercialization and paving the way for amalgamation and privatization but was unhurried in addressing the exact problem of the society.”

The group concluded their vigil shortly before lunch yesterday, but not after vowing to conduct similar activities in the next few weeks. “This is just the beginning,” said De Leon noting that the activity is just a kick off for similar actions in other neighbouring provinces of Bulacan with aim of spreading awareness on their call to abolish pork barrel.

De Leon also called for the ratifi cation of the proposed Freedom of Information Bill noting that publication of local and national government budget and programs on the internet are not enough.

He said that there are other information that are being withheld from the people.