THE top three suppliers of the billion-peso food, hygiene, and various other kits for the displaced residents of the Islamic City of Marawi supposedly offered “the lowest and most responsive bids” but a price check with the Trade department and retail grocery chains show otherwise.Instead of diving down, the price quotations that these suppliers submitted […]
NEARLY EVERY month in the last half of 2017, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office in Region XII (Central Mindanao) went on a shopping binge and ended up splurging over a billion pesos. It spent the sum — courtesy of taxpayers — on mongo beans, dried fish, canned fruits, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, […]
CONTRACTORS tied to political clans have been awarded a combined total of P306 million in contracts to build transitional shelter units and roads for residents of Marawi City and nearby villages of Lanao del Sur, where homes and villages last year were destroyed in the five-month battle between soldiers and Islamic State-linked militants.Eight separate contracts, […]
A SMALL COMMITTEE of seven persons, including four political appointees and associates of President Rodrigo R. Duterte from Davao City and elsewhere in Mindanao, will decide which business entities will win the multi-billion-peso contract for one of the major components of the rehabilitation efforts in Marawi City.Except for three career-service personnel, the other members of […]
THE SIEGE of the Islamic City of Marawi marks its first anniversary on May 23 but its vaunted multi-billion peso rehabilitation and reconstruction program remains a patchwork of disconnected promises mired in multiple problems.The government has pledged to roll out a total of 892 programs, activities, and projects for Marawi under an ambitious “master plan.” […]
MORE THAN three months after the Freedom of Information (FOI) Executive Order took effect on Nov. 25, 2016, requests for data from state agencies have been coming in, but not at the volume expected by government officials.Yet the relative low number has not meant quick processing for several of the requests, leaving some requestors in […]
HAVING HAILED Executive Order No. 2 (s. 2016), operationalizing for the Executive branch the people’s constitutional right to information, as a major step forward, the Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition (R2RKN) committed to engage processes related to it, and launched a new round of FOI practice centered on its implementation. This report covers the […]
SUPER QUICK or interminably slow action, a few or all documents, and clear or vague policies and lines of authority — a mix of good and bad practices marked the conduct of state agencies and personnel that recently received access to information requests from six civil society organizations (CSOs) of the Right to Know, Right […]
RANGER STATION, TUBBATAHA REEFS – At around noon each day, eight strapping young men wait for Valerie to make her appearance. Her daily entrance, coming almost like clockwork, is what makes their day.
“That’s Valerie, sir,” Navy PO2 Jonathan Lobo says proudly as a dark shadow swims underneath the posts that hold up this ranger station. Even at some distance, her large disk-like shape, with the four flippers where arms and legs should be, is unmistakable.
Valerie is certainly no mermaid, but she is the only four-limbed female (and even the gender is an assumption, but it seemed impolite to point that out) within miles around that the men ever get to interact with.
She is, in fact, a Hawksbill sea turtle – hardly the stuff of any man’s fantasy, but then here everything else has fins, feathers, or gills.
MOUNT KITANGLAD, BUKIDNON – A peso coin drenched in chicken blood is the welcome offered to visitors to this mountain, which soars 2,899 meters over the city of Malaybalay, and the towns of Lantapan, Libona, Impasug-ong, and Sumilao.
“This will serve as your identification,” says Bae Inatlawan as she hands over the bloody coin, “so that the spirits will allow you to enter.”
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