RSS

Daily Archives: December 4, 2013

Abolish the Senate

“Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate, now what’s going to happen to us with both a House and a Senate? WILL ROGERS

By Alex P. Vidal

The mudslinging bout between Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Juan Ponce Enrile has cost taxpayers millions of pesos. It’s a waste of time and money.
This is happening because we have a useless branch of government that is actually not necessary and should have been abolished a long time ago.
If we have a parliamentary form of government, we can never have the likes of Jinggoy, Bong, Lito Lapid, among other inutile senators. No pork barrel, no popularity contest, and no unnecessary committee investigations that are only actually in aid of grandstanding rather than legislation.
The early senators in history never resorted to personal insults and slander unlike what we have in the Philippines today. Senators had been part of Roman government since Romulus, the first king of Rome, who created 100 senators to advise him, especially in the case of alliances and treaties.

DIED

When Romulus died, there was no obvious candidate to replace him and the Roman senators feared that one of the neighboring states would take over Rome, so they set up a temporary government. They gave power to a chosen individual for only five days at time, after which the next in line took over. The time under this rotating government was called an interregnum meaning it was the government between (inter) the kings.
The Roman People were happy to see the end of the interregnum because they felt that during it they were ruled by 100 masters, instead of just a single monarch.
Former Press Secretary Hector R. Villanueva was right when he referred to the upper chamber as “disgraceful senate.”
I agree with Villanueva when he called the Philippine Senate today as “a redundant, effete, wasteful, and costly institution that, in reality, does not represent anybody, or any sector, or any region of the country other than the self-serving interests of its members.”

MYTH

It is a myth and parody to believe that senators represent the entire Filipino people. Once elected, the senators go their own merry ways, and the nation can go fly a kite till the next election, Villanueva stressed.
“If truth be told, a unicameral National Assembly in a parliamentary form of government can perform just as effectively and rationally without a Senate.
“The Upper Chamber has become unnecessary and irrelevant.
“In many countries, the Senate or upper Assembly is a ceremonial and appointive honorific Chamber composed of retired justices, professors emeritus, retired statesmen, outstanding business leaders, exceptional professionals in the sciences, extraordinary women, and experienced diplomats.

FUNCTIONS

“Its main functions are, among others, as a treaty ratifying body, an impeachment court, a welcoming party to arriving foreign dignitaries, and other ceremonial duties.
“Expectedly, the members are entitled to respectable stipends and perks sans the PDAF to insulate them from corruption and the vagaries of politics.
“Alas, the current 16th Congress, as a whole, is a disgrace to the nation, and a despicably bad example to the youth of the country.
“Hence, it is an opportune time to renew and revive discussions on Constitutional revisions, term limits, and unicameralism.

FRIENDS

“Though we have good friends among the senators, and there are outstanding, fresh, youthful, and exciting newly-elected senators, the Philippine Senate itself in recent years has fallen into disrepute, corruption, incessant squabbling, lackluster productivity, and obsessive partisanship that is making the Senate increasingly unnecessary and not cost-effective.
“The Filipino would not miss its absence and demise if the Senate were to be abolished.
“When all is said and done, it is never too late for the senators to redeem themselves and regain the respect and support of the general public.
“However, there is a new generation out there of politically conscious and activist youths who are highly skilled in the use of social media that is double-bladed and can cut both ways.”

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , ,

Death of mangroves, death of our future

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” ALBERT EINSTEIN

By Alex P. Vidal13639769_10208106336328750_1664974680_o.jpg-1263950

We need a collective effort to save our mangroves–by hook or by crook.
When nature is hurting, humans will end up the biggest losers. There’s no escape for us, living creatures, if nature suffers from neglect, abuse, and man-made sabotage.
When mangroves are dead and we did nothing to help revive it, the future won’t be happier for our children who will inherit the earth.
Mangroves are important in our ecology. Biologically, they adapt to low oxygen, limit salt intake, limit water loss, and nutrient uptake.
Mangroves are always considered as nature’s special gift to mankind. For mitigation of climate change which generally involves reduction in human emissions of greenhouse gases, scientists suggest a need to increase mangroves.

DEMISE

The gradual demise of mangroves in the river at the back of the Iloilo Sports Complex in Brgy. Magsaysay, La Paz stretching the adjacent barangays Bakhaw and Bolilao in Mandurriao, has been blamed for upsurge of pollution and other environmental and social issues like erosion, squatter and lack of government programs.
This has prompted City Hall, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) to embark on a joint mangrove reforestation project to regreen the riverbanks of the 15-kilometer Iloilo River. The public-private partnership (PPP) in protecting the river is committed to enhance the biodiversity of the Iloilo River and improve the eco-tourism potentials of the area.
While this was developing in the metropolis, it was reported that at least four hectares of old-growth and reforested mangrove areas in Batad, Iloilo are now “heavily oiled” bunker fuel.

SPILL

The oil spill containing 200,000 liters of bunker fuel leaked into the shores of Estancia after the 35-megawatt National Power Barge 103 slammed into the rocky coast of the northern town at the height of super typhoon Yolanda last November 8. Monstrous winds and waves dislodged the barge from its mooring about 200 meters from the coastline of Brgy. Botongon, forcing thousands of residents to evacuate.
Dr. Rex Sadava, University of the Philippines Visayas’ oil spill program coordinator, has expressed alarm that bunker fuel can severely affect mangroves because it coats the trees and blocks their breathing pores.
The Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed the presence of high levels of the toxic substance benzene in the air, thus a mandatory evacuation had been called by provincial and municipal authorities.
Scientists say mangrove swamps are crucial as they protect coastal areas from erosion, storm surge like the one wrought by Yolanda, and tsunamis. They explain that mangroves’ massive root systems are efficient at dissipating wave energy and slow down tidal water enough so its sediment is deposited as the tide comes in, leaving all except fine particles when the tide ebbs. In this way, add the scientist, mangroves build their own environments.

ECOSYSTEMS

Mangrove ecosystems are often the object of conservation programs, including national biodiversity action plans, because of their uniqueness and the protection they provide against erosion.
Scientists claim that the unique ecosystem found in the intricate mesh of mangrove roots offers a quiet marine region for young organisms. In areas where roots are permanently submerged, the organisms they host include algae, barnacles, oysters, sponges, and bryozoans, which all require a hard surface for anchoring while they filter feed. Shrimps and mud lobsters reportedly use the muddy bottoms as their home.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: ,