Category Archives: Philippine Government

Maria v. Ma., How I Had My Name Rectified

What's in a Name

I am writing this not to discredit anyone but to learn from the experience. Read on and learn!

Let me ask you this quesion first. When you see Ma.,what do you think it stands for? It stands for Maria, right?

But in my world, I have to prove that it is so. There begins my Change Name saga.

My birth certificate bears the name Merdekah. Then I don’t know why, but I have been using the name Ma. Merdekah in all my school, banks, HMO and insurance records. My old passport only had Merdekah, following the birth certificate. So, when I finally had to apply for a passport with my married name, my records don’t match. My marriage certificate bears the name Ma. Merdekah. Which is which?

I had no choice but to go through the process and have it rectified. My friends say it was going to be quick and easy. I wish they were right.

First, I had to get the advice of a lawyer who will do all the paperwork.

Second, I filed a petition at the Local Registrar. Since my birthplace is in Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor, and I am in Manila, it was impossible for me to be traveling to and fro. Good thing my father is already retired and can do the legwork for me. So, I had to ask the lawyer to make a Letter of Authority appointing my father to be my legal representative in all matters pertaining to this case.

Third, publish my petition in three local newspapers for three to four weeks straight. This does not come cheap, ha!

When the publication requirement was almost over, I got feedback that there was something wrong in the process. The publication of the petition was done before the petition was filed. How did that happen? Any sane person would know that that should not be the case. But I was told that they got confused and didn’t know how to do it because it was their first time to handle a case like mine. Whut? Change name is a popular issue. Besides no, SOPs/guidebook in this office?

I remember telling the lawyer and the local registrar that I wanted this resolved quickly as I needed the passport for official business. Perhaps, that triggered their confusion and they wanted to meet the deadline I set. But then I didn’t say anything about doing it the wrong way just to get my way!

So, we had to do it all over again. And because it was their fault, they had to shoulder the cost this time, which led to the delay as they had to rely on their own resources this time.

I was so frustrated but I was SO busy with work, that I didn’t have time to do anything to improve the process. I had to wait… for one year and a half!

Finally, the whole process was done. Now the problem is the Local Registrar himself. He got sick and eventually passed on. May his soul rest in peace.

The local government now needed to find a new Local Registrar. Perhaps because of the requirements and qualifications, they couldn’t find a replacement right away, so they had to put an Officer-in-Charge (OIC). Fine.

Now came another hitch. The OIC cannot sign my final petition because it should only be the Local Registrar. What? Isn’t that the role of the OIC to act as the official that he is representing? The innocent (and perhaps stupid me) believed them and waited again…for half a year!

Then a eureka moment came to me. I went to NSO main office in Quezon City and inquire from them once and for all. Before I would only call because I admit, I am scared to go to government offices because of the sad stories I hear and read.

Right from the horse’s mouth, the officer in NSO Main said that the OIC can sign. I called the E.V. Local Registrar and told them to let the OIC sign my documents and send it to NSO Main. Don’t worry, I will explain to the NSO Main Office here myself, I said. Ok, they said. But maám since, this is not the SOP here, we have to shoulder the courier fees, they added. Fine, I’ll handle it. I will send money for that, I countered.

My goodness! More than being frustrated, I pity them.

So after a long process and three years later, I finally got my name rectified. As they say, all’s well that ends well.

I wish we could improve our processes, and I hope everyone learned from my case so that others who find themselves in the same situation won’t wait that long to have their names changed.

Since, misspelled names is a popular issue in birth/marriage certificates, I suggest that NSO comes up with a SOP/guidebook and distributes it to all local registrars, if there isn’t any yet, and make sure the guidebook is being followed. And it shouldn’t take years to resolve an issue like this!

So, for new (and old) parents, make sure your children’s names are spelled correctly in their birth certificates and other pertinent documents.

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#APECSuccess, Congrats PH!

PH and Papua New Guinea Cooperation

PH & Vietnam Cooperation

PH & Chile Cooperation

PH & Canada Cooperation

PH & Colombia Cooperation

PH & Russia Cooperation

PH & Mexico Cooperation

PH & South Korea Cooperation

PH & Australia Cooperation

PH & US Cooperation

Congratulations to the Philippine team who organized the event!

We all know the inconvenience it brought to the traffic and to the cancelled flights.

Yes, they could have prepared better for this like holding the meeting off island like the other host countries did in the past years. But our country decided to do it this way… their way.

Still, we cannot discount the effort, the sleepless nights, and the anxieties of the organizing team. I know because I worked for an events company for a year. It’s no mean feat.

Here’s to looking forward to fruitful economic cooperation with the APEC member economies!

Cheers!

Special Note: Thanks to Rappler for the images and information.

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Philippines with its Unique Sights and Mouthwatering Cuisines, a True Paradise to Satisfy your Wanderlust

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Philippines is heaven for any traveler, with its tropical islands that have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, luxury resorts, amiable villages, tantalizing nightlife and the most delicious cuisine. The country should be on the bucket list of any vacationer who loves to explore nature and loves to try different and delectable food.

People who have never been to the Philippines think that it is a country buzzing with tourists and nothing novel to offer to those who love adventure. While it is true that it is becoming a popular tourist destination, which according to the government report, 2,619,625 visitors have already visited the country, it still has much more to offer to excited backpackers and those on a quest for a unique experience.

The striking places and sights that make the Philippines a dreamland for a traveler:

With more than seven thousand islands, most of which are untouched, Philippines is the best place for a true nature lover. One can explore the beautiful Chocolate Hills that are considered one of the most breathtaking National Geological Monuments, or one can take a walk through history and visit nearly 2,000-year-old rice terraces that were sculpted by the earliest inhabitants of the island or enjoy the pristine beaches, some of which have diving or snorkeling activities where you get to explore splendid coral reefs.

Intramuros also called the Walled City lies at the heart of Manila, you can visit some of the oldest museums, churches and ruins here.

If you love exploring then Rizal Park is a perfect spot for you, pack your travel gear and take a stroll around this park. The park is named after a famous poet and national hero Jose Rizal. And if you believe the spooky tales, then many locals believe this park is haunted.

The Philippines with many islands offers a great range of surfing spots, however, if you do not like large crowds, then pack your surfing gear and rush to Catanduanes that is situated in the Bicol Region. It is a very secluded spot. Here you can surf on the grandiose waves and enjoy the majestic sea.

Whenever you plan an adventurous holiday, it is a good idea to take a travel insurance so your trip is full of adventure and is completely safe. If you packed light and forgot the important travelling gears then you can easily buy travel essentials at Kaymu at local affordable prices.

Experience the most tantalizing Filipino cuisine:

Filipino Cuisine

No real adventure is complete without trying the local food, and Filipino cuisine will not disappoint you. If you love seafood, then Philippines is like a food paradise for you. Fish is a staple food item that is cooked in a variety of different ways with soy sauce and vinegar.

There are few food combinations that you can find only in the Philippines, the unconventional dish called Balut, which is basically a boiled egg. If you are wondering what is so unusual about a boiled egg, then you are in for a surprise. In this boiled egg is a duck embryo, and you consume from the shell by sipping the broth first, after which you remove the shell and swallow the rest of it. There are other exotic food you will fin while island hopping.

Unleash the globetrotter in you and experience the exotic culture, sights and cuisine of the enchanting land of Philippines.

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Plus, Minus of SONA 2015

Yes, it’s the 6th State of the Nation Address (SONA 2015) of President Noynoy Aquino, and his last. As expected, the reception of the SONA depends on whose side you are.  But here is a good account of important issues that are  not being addressed yet.

As for me, here are my pluses and minuses of the SONA as a cursory bystander member of the citizenry.

PLUS

  • His loud and active program of “matuwid na daan,” eliminating corruption has made people wary of committing graft and corruption. It has set the atmosphere of transparency.
  • His litany of programs/projects he has done with his cabinet members shows that he was doing something to improve the plight of Filipinos and the economy of the country. I know for a fact, that he and the relevant agency is supportive of some programs of the private sectors.
  • He actually has good and and qualified people in his ranks, who I know are working toward the “matuwid na daan.” And from a management standpoint, recognizing these people and their work is a good and inspiring thing.

MINUS

  • His loud and active program of “matuwid na daan,” however, is partial to scalawags close to him.
  • He is not telling the real status of the programs that he has embarked on. Let us take Department of Education as  an example. Despite DEPED’s claims as being ready for K+12 program, the teachers claim otherwise. Despite DEPED’s claims to have addressed the shortage of classrooms, school officials say otherwise. Despite DEPED’s claim that the teachers are ready for the K+12 programs in terms of skills, the teachers say otherwise.
  • He claims of foreign investments but still there is no proof of foreign direct investments.
  • As expected,  he cannot acknowledgment that the previous administration despite its faults, has paved the way for some, if not most, of his successful projects to date.
  • Simply put, his administration has failed to address the basic services of the country, and he did not make heads roll for that.

And for the militant groups out there, I think you are overdoing it. In this day and age of high technology, you do not need to be in the middle of the action to prove your point. Why can’t you obey the rules and launch your rally on your designated areas??? In the process, you only earn the ire of the people.

Read the full transcript of SONA 2015 here.

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Modern-Day Heroes

Today is National Heroes Day here in the country. It is also the day of protest against PDAF (Priority Development Assistant Fund), also known as pork barrel. Dubbed as a Million People March, people trooped to Luneta park to cry to abolish pork barrel. The protest is fueled by the pork barrel scam, where it was found out that some senators and congressmen have allegedly been squandering their PDAF.

These lawmakers made us believe that  they are using the PDAF in legitimate ways only to find out that they are actually donating it to NGOs they themselves own or to fake NGOs. You know of course what this means.

If you were one of those who support this march, I salute you. It is high time that we paid attention to how our public funds were being used.

PDAF in principle is good. After all, the funds were intended to support development projects in the provinces. We should have started being wary about it when we knew that these funds are not subject to audit. Or better yet, when PDAF was started to be called pork barrel, which in technical terms refers to legislative control of local appropriations.

How did PDAF or pork barrel came about? I thought it started with the Marcos regime. But little research told me that it started during Cory Aguino’s leadership. It started out as country development fund (CDF). Read more about its evolution HERE.

Call it apropos that today, National Heroes is also the day of protest. It has become even more relevant because who are considered victims of this Pork Barrel Scam are the modern-day heroes.

Who are the modern-day heroes?

  • Folks who work hard to earn a living and apportion a huge part of their earnings to the government through taxation.
  • Folks who are helping run the economy by spending.
  • Folks who leave homes and families to earn a living overseas and invest/spend their earnings here in the country.
  • Folks who work for a real cause, or supporting a legit advocacy.
  • Folks who work for the improvement of the lives of the majority without the photo opps and publicity.
  • Folks who inspire others to do good.
Who are your modern-day heroes?

Cabinet Members of President-elect Benigno C. Aquino III Named

This was the most awaited news of the day. So here you are:

Paquito Ochoa Jr., Executive Secretary
Julia Abad, Presidential Management Staff
Edwin Lacierda, Presidential Spokesperson
Eduardo de Mesa, Presidential Legal Counsel
Sec. Alberto Romulo, retained for Foreign Affairs
Cesar Purisima, Finance
Leila de Lima, Justice
Voltaire Gazmin, National Defense
Cayetano Paderanga, NEDA
Br. Armin Luistro, Education
Florencio Abad, Budget and Management
Rep. Proceso Alcala, Agriculture
Usec. Ramon Paje, Environment and Natural Resources
Jose de Jesus, Transportation and Communication
Rosalinda Baldoz, Labor and Employment
Dr. Enrique Ona, Health
Gregory Domingo, Trade and Industry
Alberto Lim, Tourism
Corazon Soliman, Social Welfare and Development
Mario Montejo, Science and Technology
Jose Almendras, Energy
Rogelio Singson, Public Works and Highways
Virgilio delos Reyes, Agrarian Reform
Teresita Deles, Adviser on the Peace Process
Patricia Licuanan, Commission on Higher Education
Kim Henares, Bureau of Internal Revenue

Former Chief Justice Hilario Davide will lead a “Truth Commission.”
Maj. Gen. Ric David will become Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff.
Gen. Jesus Verzosa is retained as Philippine National Police chief.

Source: ABS-CBSNews.com