News for Sale
The Corruption and Commercialization of the Philippine Media, 2004 Edition
by Chay Florentino-Hofileña
No one in journalism will deny that media corruption exists. There is contention only in the extent of the corruption and the damage it causes. This book, a sequel to the 1998 publication, which is also entitled News for Sale, documents corruption as it takes place in the single most important political exercise in a democracy: elections.
This study shows both the remarkable continuity of the forms of media corruption as well as the new types of malfeasance that emerged in the 2004 campaign. As in the 1998 edition, this version of News for Sale relies heavily on documentation (such as rate cards of broadcast networks and solicitation letters sent by radio stations to politicians) and in-depth interviews with journalists, candidates, and the media handlers of politicians and political parties.
All the information that has been used here has been counter-checked with at least one other source. Moreover, the author used only information that her sources knew first hand. Some interviewees, however, refused to be identified by name, but in citing them, the author tried as much as possible to describe in what capacity the source was talking to her.
Chay Florentino-Hofileña, a veteran journalist and journalism educator, wrote both the 1998 and 2004 editions of News for Sale. This new edition was spurred by the realization that even as a large chunk of campaign budgets were going to political advertising, significant amounts of money were also being allocated to pay off journalists. Florentino-Hofileña also noted that because more and more celebrities entered politics, the entertainment press also strayed into political reporting. The forms of corruption that are the norm in the entertainment press were therefore introduced to the field of political coverage.
This book discusses outright corruption as well as more subtle conflict-of-interest situations that confront journalists and news executives. It is our hope that by bringing these problems out into the open, the media, the public, and the politicians can take steps to do something about them.
The media have emerged as probably the most important influence on how people vote. If the media do not perform well and if their coverage is skewed because of money and other considerations, then they do a disservice to citizens. They also stunt the development of electoral politics—and this could have tragic consequences on Philippine democracy.
Cockfight, Horserace, Boxing Match: Why Elections are Covered as Sport
Lessons Learned from the 2004 Campaign Coverage
by Sheila S. Coronel, Yvonne T. Chua, and Isagani de Castro Jr.
Media coverage of elections, in the Philippines and elsewhere, has been criticized for its superficiality. Critics have noted the propensity of the media, particularly television, to focus on personalities rather than issues and platforms. The media, it has been said, are consumed by the horserace or cockfight aspect of the campaign. Journalists cover elections as sport: Their reporting focuses on who’s leading and who’s losing out.
Sheila S. Coronel takes a look at how the media covered the 2004 elections, in an attempt to explain why the media report on events the way they do. She examines the process in which media content is produced and the individuals-reporters as well as newspaper editors and broadcast news managers-who are responsible for producing that content. She looks at the focus of the coverage and the factors that influence the direction of election reporting, including the bias of media owners, the manipulation by the media bureaus of campaign organizations, and the drive for ratings and sales.
Yvonne T. Chua examines in greater detail the reporters who covered the 2004 campaign. She looks at their preparedness for the coverage, their attitude toward their sources and their editors, the problems they faced, and the factors that limited their independence and autonomy.
Isagani de Castro talked to the chiefs of the media bureaus of the five presidential candidates and presents in this volume their own assessment of the media coverage. They criticized “soundbite journalism,” the fixation on ratings, and the lack of editorial direction. The media, they said, abandoned their agenda-setting function and allowed themselves to be swept by the tide of events and stories manufactured by the political campaigns.
How the Wealthy and Well-Born Dominate Congress
by Sheila S. Coronel, Yvonne T. Chua, Luz Rimban, and Booma B. Cruz
This book tells the story of the Philippine legislature by examining the men and women who make up that body. It looks at their demographic characteristics (age, gender, education, profession), their assets and sources of wealth, and also their family lineage.
What we found was troubling, but hardly news: Philippine legislators constitute a select and exclusive segment of society. They are richer, older, better educated, and better connected than the rest of us. The great majority of them are also part of families whose members have been in public office for two or more generations.
This book also shows how lawmakers have employed their powers to further enrich themselves and entrench their families in power. The powers to make laws, to conduct legislative inquiries, to examine the national budget, and to vet presidential appointments have been used by legislators to get benefits for themselves, their allies, and their kin.
The PCIJ Guide to Government
edited by Yvonne T. Chua and Sheila S. Coronel
This book is intended to be a road map. a manual, a guidebook to those who wish to understand how various branches and agencies of government work. Understanding government is key for any citizen who has to deal with the state and its various instrumentalities — whether it is to obtain information, to assert his/her rights, to demand accountability, or simply to satisfy his/her curiosity.
Written by veteran journalists, the book provides a basic backgrounder that explains the powers and functions of various officials and agencies, including the presidency, the legislature, and the courts. When necessary, it describes the structure of, and the key processes or procedures followed in, those agencies. Thus, readers will find in this book a table on how a bill becomes a law and a map on the procedures laid down for criminal cases. They will also find a flow chart explaining project cycles followed by state agencies tasked with implementing infrastructure and other projects. At the end of each chapter is a directory that lists important addresses, telephone numbers, and websites.
At the same time, the book tries to provide more depth by analyzing how various officials and agencies have exercised — even abused — their powers in the past. It shows how rules and procedures have been bent, mangled, or ignored in courtrooms, jails, even the august halls of Congress or Malacañang. The book pinpoints what citizens should watch out for, where the potential for abuse and malfeasance can occur.
Investigating Corruption: A Do-It-Yourself Guide
edited by Sheila S. Coronel and Lorna Kalaw-Tirol
The book is part of a series of manuals that the PCIJ has been publishing since 1995, is a how-to manual that instructs those interested in corruption—whether they are journalists, activists, government officials, academics, researchers, or plain concerned citizens—how to probe various forms of malfeasance.
Investigating Corruption is a user-friendly manual that is based largely on the experiences of PCIJ journalists. Among others, it gives tips on investigating officials, including checking their assets, lifestyles, and behavior. A special section in the book describes how the PCIJ uncovered former President Estrada’s millions and mansions.
The book also provides a guide to various human sources and documents that corruption investigators can use. The government’s complex procurements system is explained in the book, which also includes tips on how to spot whether anomalies in public biddings and the negotiation of contracts for government purchases. For the numerically inclined, the book explains how the scale and impact of corruption can be measured using various mathematical and statistical tools.
Other chapters provide instruction on probing corruption in the courts and in the environment sector. A guide to government agencies tasked with investigating graft, including the specific functions of these agencies, is also included. The last chapter of the book lists the NGOs involved in curbing corruption.
Memory of Dances
Photographs by Sonny Yabao, Text by Sheila S. Coronel
This is the story of the Tagbanua of Coron, Palawan, the Bugkalot and Igorot of Nueva Vizcaya, and the Manobo of Mount Apo. All of them are impoversihed peoples ranged against forces much more powerful than they — mining in Nueva Vizcaya, mass tourism in Palawan, a geothermal plant on Mount Apo. In all these places, the viability of indigenous communities is being challenged by business entities and government agencies, by the ever-increasing intrusion of the market and the state.
The story of the indigenous peoples of the Philippines is a chronicle of loss. Many of them have been dispossessed of their land, their culture destroyed, their forests and seas exploited by outsiders. Some tribes face extinction: their numbers are rapidly dwindling because the land and forests that sustained them have been taken by outsiders.
But theirs is not just a story of tragedy and loss. It is also one of recovery and hope. In all the places we visited, we found peoples who were intensely engaged with the world outside, fighting and negotiating, constantly improvising as they sought to change the terms of their engagement with the world outside. We saw the importance of culture and memory in breathing life into communities that once stood on the edge of disintegration and despair.
To indigenous peoples, the memory of dances — of their bodies swaying to the rhythm of ancient gongs — keeps their hope alive that one day they will recover the sacred ground that is the homeland of their ancestors. This book chronicles their struggle to change the course of the history that confines them.
The Right to Know: Access to Information in Southeast Asia
edited with an introduction by Sheila S. Coronel
PUBLISHED jointly by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) and the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (Seapa), this book examines the state of the media in these countries and the obstacles faced by journalists and citizens who wish to obtain access to public records.
The book includes the findings of a cross-country survey that ranked the countries according to their openness. The Philippines and Thailand rank as the most transparent countries in Southeast Asia. Cambodia is third, although citizens rarely attempt to obtain information from the government, which they think is authoritarian and inaccessible Moreover, the information infrastructure is in shambles after the ravages of the Khmer Rouge.
In Indonesia, Suharto-era restrictions on information disclosure remain in place, although the press is free and able to report on areas of public life previously closed to scrutiny.
In Singapore and Malaysia, paternalistic but restrictive governments keep citizens in thrall while giving them a taste of the good life. In recent years, there has been some opening up in information access in these countries as governments responded to the demands of global business for more economic information in the wake of the crisis that struck East Asia in the late 1990s. At the same time, however, these governments have refused to be more forthcoming in releasing information on other aspects of political and social life.
In Vietnam, the Communist Party dominates the media and wide areas of public life. The least transparent country in the region is Burma, where all media are mouthpieces of the junta and virtually no information is available to the public. Burma also has the most restrictive press laws in the region, and perhaps the world.
For the longest time, the rulers of Southeast Asia maintained political control through information control. Since the late 1980s, however, such stranglehold has been challenged by democracy movements, technological advances and the increasing integration of regional economies into global trade and finance. In Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand, the media have played an important role in providing citizens information on the excesses of authoritarian regimes. Today, in these countries, a free press provides a steady stream of information on corruption, the abuse of power and assorted forms of malfeasance.
The Southeast Asian experience has shown that the struggle for freedom of information cannot be taken separately from the struggle for democracy. The most significant openings in information access have come about as part of a package of democratic reforms. These reforms, in turn, were the product of citizens’ involvement in pro-democracy movements; they would not have been possible if left to the initiative of leaders or legislatures.
“Southeast Asian governments do not open up of their own accord,” says the book. “They have to be pried open.”
Drugs, Death and Disease: Reporting on AIDS in Southeast Asia
edited by Cecile C.A. Balgos
THE MEDIA tend to sensationalize AIDS, often focusing on the more scandalous aspects of the private lives of those with HIV/AIDS victims, without shedding light on the complexity of the contagion. Often, those with the disease are portrayed as the culprits behind the spread of the disease, thus contributing to the social ostracism that people with AIDS suffer. Sometimes, reporters even get it wrong, propagating wrong notions about the disease and contributing to the public’s misinformation about HIV/AIDS.
Even when journalists get it right and take a more holistic view, they have tended to look at the epidemic in a one-dimensional way: as a public health problem, or as an issue related to the sex industry, drug use or military prostitution. AIDS is all of these, but also more than all of these. To succeed in the battle against AIDS, the epidemic must be viewed in a multidimensional way, as a phenomenon rooted in society and tightly linked to social ills.
This is not easy to do, given the tight deadlines that journalists generally have to work with and the inadequate information that is available to them. This book aims to help Southeast Asian journalists grapple with the complex issues related to HIV/AIDS.
It is intended to be a map, a guide, a tool for reporters who write on this and related health and social issues. It is helpful to others as well, including officials, policymakers, activists and citizens who wish to know more about an epidemic that is claiming lives, sucking up resources, and undermining the efforts of many Southeast Asian societies to provide a better life for their peoples.
Investigating Local Governments: A Manual for Reporters
edited by Cecile C.A. Balgos
THIS MANUAL attempts to provide journalists with a local governance roadmap that would guide them in their day-to-day coverage of the news. But it is useful to others as well -officials, researchers, activists and ordinary citizens who wish to know more about governance at the local level.
This book begins with a scrutiny of the community press and its unique features and problems. It then dissects how local governments work (or are supposed to work) and includes helpful hints on how journalists can make sense of what is going on at the local level. In a simple but exhaustive discussion on local fiscal administration, one of the chapters shows how reporters and citizens can follow the money trail in their pursuit of wrongdoing. Another chapter focuses on the basic services that have been devolved to local government units, and points out the kinds of leads and sources a reporter can use to explain all these to the average reader.
The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism put out this book in recognition of the fact that community journalists have to deal with a difficult terrain that is marked by political pressures, limited resources, intimidation and threats. But there is also a lack of understanding among community journalists of what local governance is all about and how local governments work. It is hoped that this book will help deepen their understanding and encourage them to blaze new trails in reporting.
edited by Sheila S. Coronel
Finalist: National Book Award for Journalism (2000)
THE PHILIPPINE Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) began its research on President Joseph Estrada’s wealth in the first quarter of 2000. The direction of our research was determined by what could be documented. Thus, one track of our investigation focused on the acquisition of real estate and the construction of houses. The second track focused on the formation of corporations by members of President Estrada’s various families.
What we found was a President who accumulated so much money in his first two-and-a-half years in office that he was able to purchase, through dummies and shell companies, over P2 billion worth of real estate for his various wives and children. We also found a pattern of corporate formation by presidential mistresses. We uncovered 66 companies in which Estrada, his wives and children were listed as incorporators or board members.
Fourteen of these companies alone have assets of over P600 million. Yet the President declared a net worth of only P35.8 million in 1999 and a net income of only P2.3 million that same year.
Our findings on President Estrada’s unexplained wealth and his propensity for acquiring real estate and building mansions were published in a series of articles in the second half of 2000. In October 2000, three of the PCIJ’s reports were included in the impeachment complaint against the President.
Investigating Estrada collects in one volume the PCIJ’s groundbreaking investigations on Estrada’s wealth. It also includes articles that examine the President’s unorthodox lifestyle, his keen appreciation of the perks of public office, his “Midnight Cabinet,” and his use of the powers of the presidency to enrich himself.
Betrayals of the Public Trust: Investigative Reports on Corruption
edited by Sheila S. Coronel
Winner: National Book Award for Journalism (2000)
THE INVESTIGATIVE reports in this book were written between 1990 and 2000, a decade that spanned the administrations of three democratically elected presidents. During that period, the integrity of democratic institutions, which were re-established after the fall of Ferdinand E. Marcos in 1986, was challenged by charges of corruption and malfeasance. Virtually no office, including the Supreme Court and the Office of the President, was spared.
The reports included in this volume show the range of corruption that can be found in various areas of governance: from high-level political corruption in Malacañang and Congress to low-level corruption in local governments.
This book shows how the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) has researched and put together investigative reports on corruption. All the articles in this collection come with an explanation of the research and reporting methods that were used by the journalists who wrote them. The documents that were obtained, the interviews conducted, and the other sources for the story are listed. The use of other techniques, such as computer databases or immersion in communities, is also explained. In addition, how stories are developed—by, for example, using case studies or establishing a pattern of irregularities—is discussed. The impact of the reports is also mentioned.
From Loren to Marimar: The Philippine Media in the 1990s
edited by Sheila S. Coronel
Winner: National Book Award for Media (1999)
THIS COLLECTION is must reading for anyone interested in how one of the most influential sectors in Philippine society operates: the media. The 35 articles in this anthology examine the structure of Philippine newspapers and television, describe Filipino forays into the World Wide Web, and probe such problems as ethics and ownership. They also trace how, in just a decade, the media in the Philippines have become as powerful as they are now. One of the things this collection explains is why media personalities have found their way into politics and why politicians are lining up to be news anchors or talk show hosts.
This anthology paints a portrait of the Philippine media in the 1990s: rowdy, free and noisy but also vulnerable to pressure and harassment. These articles, first published by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) in newspapers and in i magazine, provide a fresh perspective on the problems and issues that confront the Philippine media at the turn of the millennium. Trenchant and well-researched, they focus an unflinching eye on the strengths and weaknesses of the media.
This book is meant for students, media users, researchers, officials and ordinary citizens who wish to understand the often anarchic way in which one of the most powerful institutions in out society works. From Loren to Marimar does not mince words. These articles were written by journalists who have harnessed their investigative skills to examine their own trade. They did not always like what they found.
Robbed: An Investigation of Corruption in Philippine Education
by Yvonne T. Chua
Winner: National Book Award for Journalism (1999)
THE DEPARTMENT of Education Culture and Sports (DECS) provides a classic case of corruption in the Philippines. Nearly all forms of corruption described in academic texts can be found in the department: from low-level bureaucratic corruption to high-level political corruption involving education officials, legislators, and Cabinet secretaries. The result is an education bureaucracy so ridden with graft that it is barely able to deliver the most basic educational services to the country’s 15 million public school students.
This investigation shows in graphic detail how corruption permeates all levels of the public educational system, from the DECS central office in Pasig to the school on a remote island in the fringes of the archipelago. Corruption assumes various forms, from petty or survival corruption engaged in by lowly clerks who sit on papers until suppliers cough up grease money to top-level corruption where policy-makers at the Pasig or regional offices change, bend or breach the rules to favor suppliers that come up with bribes.
The areas most vulnerable to corruption are procurement and recruitment. Money changes hands at nearly every stage of procurement, from the accreditation to the payment of suppliers. Money is also given out from the time a teacher applies for a job up to the time she requests for a change in assignment or works for a promotion. In some cases, expensive gifts replace money in cash-less transactions that take place in the education bureaucracy.
Embezzlement, nepotism, influence peddling, fraud and other types of corruption also flourish. Corruption has become so institutionalized that payoffs have become the lubricant that makes the education bureaucracy run smoothly. The result: an entire generation of Filipino students robbed of their right to a good education.
Her Stories: Investigative Reports on Filipino Women in the 1990s
edited by Cecile C.A. Balgos
Finalist: National Book Award for Journalism (1999)
THIS COLLECTION of investigative reports published in major Philippine newspapers from 1995 to 1999 chronicles the travails and triumphs of Filipino women in the last decade of the 20th century.
During this decade, the country’s first female president ended her term, more women were elected to the legislature, and several laws recognizing the rights of women were passed. At the same time, there was also a “feminization” of some of the Philippines’s most serious problems: poverty, unemployment, malnutrition, and the social consequences brought about by large-scale overseas migration.
This anthology of reports written by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) paints a portrait of the Filipina in the 1990s: challenged by poverty and need, often overlooked by policy makers, but also surviving and prevailing despite the odds.
Her Stories shows that even in the direst circumstances, women refuse to give up. This book tells the story of these women’s suffering but also shows how women remain undaunted, and how they have managed to pull through, guided by the conviction that they deserve better.
News in Distress: The Southeast Asian Media in a Time of Crisis
edited by Cecile C.A. Balgos
Finalist: National Book Award for Documentation (1999)
WHILE OFFICIALS and experts are still arguing about the real causes of what is now called the “Asian crisis,” one thing seems clear: There was lack of information that would have allowed officials, businesspeople and ordinary citizens to anticipate the crisis, understand its causes, and deal with its impacts.
How such paucity of information could exist in the so-called “Information Age” points to the contradictions in Southeast Asian societies. On one hand, the booming countries of the region had opened their economies to transnational capital flows, encouraged foreign investments and embarked on an ambitious path to growth based on integration into the global economy. On the other hand, in many of these countries, long reigning leaders have tried to keep their citizens on a tight leash, restricting freedom of expression and flows of information that they think would threaten their regimes.
News in Distress looks at the problems facing the Southeast Asian media in this era of economic contagion, examining such issues as State control, the tyranny of anarchic media markets, and the challenges and opportunities brought about by democratization, globalization and market deregulation on the region’s mass media.
News for Sale: The Corruption of the Philippine Media
by Chay Florentino-Hofileña
Finalist: National Book Award for Journalism (1998)
MEDIA CORRUPTION is not an easy subject for journalistic investigation. In this unprecedented work, Chay Florentino-Hofileña looks at the history of media corruption in the Philippines, probes corrupt practices in the 1990s, and discovers how a free press can be bought.
This study shows that compared to the past, media corruption in the post-Marcos era is costlier, more pervasive, and even more systemic. It is also disturbingly sophisticated, and in some cases, even institutionalized. The organized way in which corruption takes place—through a network of journalists reporting to other journalists or to professional public relations or PR people—makes it seem almost like the operation of a criminal syndicate, a mafia of corrupt practitioners.
News for Sale takes a close look at journalistic corruption during the 1998 presidential elections. Its findings are shocking, but it also shows what efforts are being taken to address the problem.
Pork and other Perks: Corruption and Governance in the Philippines
Edited by Sheila S. Coronel
Winner: National Book Award for Journalism (1998)
CORRUPTION is an issue as old as governance itself. Filipinos therefore tend to be cynical about corruption in government. They are shocked that public officials are corrupt, although they may sometimes marvel at the magnitude of the thievery.
Yet more and more Filipinos are now raising issues about the effectiveness of government performance, the accountability of government institutions, and the transparency of government agencies. They have realized that democracy in itself does not ensue that government officials and institutions are immune to the corruption that plagued authoritarian regimes.
This book tries to address these concerns. In nine well-documented case studies, some of the country’s best investigative reporters show why corruption persists and what is being done to stop it. These case studies reveal the fallibility of individuals and institutions. They also show how democratization, economic growth, and liberalization bring about new temptations and new forms of abuse.
Pork and other Perks is a pioneering work. It exposes the many facets of corruption in the Philippines and pinpoints who is responsible. But this book goes beyond muckraking to examining the social structures and the institutions that breed graft. It also examines what can be done about it.
Uncovering the Beat: The Real-World Guide to Reporting on Government
edited by Yvonne T. Chua
Finalist: National Book Award for Journalism (1997)
This easy-to-use reference book compiles information on the workings of key government institutions: the presidency, Congress, the courts, the police, the agencies that regulate the economy and the environment, and those that provide education and health services.
It describes the structure of these institutions and the laws that govern them. It explains how these agencies work and untangles the often arcane procedures that govern their operation. Government is a maze, and Uncovering the Beat is a guide to that maze.
A road map, survival guide and security blanket, this book is meant for reporters, journalism students and others who wish to learn more about the current practice of day-to-day journalism—and also day-to-day governing—in the Philippines. It is a practical guide that goes into what the President of the Republic can do, how a law is made and how the criminal justice system is supposed to operate. Uncovering the Beat lays down the rules as they are written in the books, but it also gets real, by describing how the rules are bent, mangled, ignored in courtrooms, jails, even the august halls of Congress.
The Electronic Trail
Computer-assisted Research and Reporting in the Philippines
by Danilo A. Arao, Yvonne T. Chua and Alecks P. Pabico
Finalist: National Book Award for Journalism (1997), out of print
THE DIGITAL revolution has had profound consequences on the way of doing journalism. Computers and modems have made it possible to transmit almost instantaneously large amounts of information from anywhere on the planet with a telephone. But more than that, the new technology has also made available to journalists a whole new world of research and reporting possibilities.
This book provides reader-friendly guides to using available computer software and maximizing the use of electronic databases, online libraries, email, newsgroups, electronic bulletin boards, listservs, and of course, the land of promise called the World Wide Web. The Electronic Trail also cites the real-life examples of journalists who have done trail-blazing research and reporting using precisely these resources.
Although addressed specifically to journalists, this manual is also intended for other researchers—in schools, companies, government and NGOs—who are interested in using the full potential of their computers for their work.
Women in Brackets: A Chronicle of Vatican Power and Control
by Marilen J. Dañguilan, MD
MARILEN Dañguilan has been a warrior in a war of liberation, and this book is a chronicle of that war—the war for women’s bodies, women’s rights, and women’s choices.
The stories that Marilen tells may bear familiar outlines, especially for those who followed the back-and-forth between Church and State around the time of the Cairo and the Beijing women’s conference. But her accounts of these skirmishes acquire an entertaining edge by the deft way she sketches characters, her sense of irony and the telling detail, and the way she builds up suspense as the fraying edges of public opinion threaten to rip apart the social fabric.
This account of the struggles for the high ground of public opinion and policy on the issue of reproductive rights is not just informative and entertaining. It is important. And it is important because reproductive rights is a central issue for women. If we do not have the freedom to make basic decisions about whether, when, how often and by whom we will get pregnant, all our other liberties are imperiled as well. --Rina Jimenez-David
Comfort Woman: Slave of Destiny
by Maria Rosa Henson
In this gripping autobiography, Ma. Rosa Henson recalls her childhood as the illegitimate daughter of a big landowner, her wartime ordeal and her decision to go public with a secret she had kept for fifty years.
Patrimony: 6 Case Studies on Local Politics and the Environment in the Philippines
edited with an introduction by Sheila S. Coronel
Winner: National Book Award for Journalism (1996), out of print
IN 1995, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) published the award-winning Boss: 5 Case Studies of Local Politics in the Philippines. In Patrimony, some of the country’s best investigative reporters focus their investigative skills on the link between local politics and the environment, examining how democratization and devolution have affected the way resources are managed at the local level. Patrimony looks at the structures of local power and explains how those who hold local office use their power to exploit, or in some cases protect, natural resources.
This collection ventures into new territory by identifying emerging trends and social forces augur well for the environment. Ten years since the fall of Ferdinand Marcos, democracy and decentralization have unleashed positive changes. The Local Government Code, enacted in 1991, has empowered communities, giving them the clout to protect their resources. But they have also enhanced the prerogatives of local officials, some of whom are the biggest resource-exploiters in their areas.
Democracy has allowed Green groups to organize freely and given free rein to an unmuzzled press that has exposed environmental abuse. Increasing public pressure, especially in the wake of major natural disasters, has also prompted the government to act, in many instances, as an impartial arbiter of environmental disputes.
But the struggle is far from over. Very real stumbling blocks—entrenched economic interests, unsustainable development strategies and bureaucratic inertia—stand in the way of correcting the way in which natural resources are managed.
Boss: 5 Case Studies of Local Politics in the Philippines
edited by Jose F. Lacaba
Winner: National Book Award for Journalism (1995), out of print
FOR THE last hundred years, politicians have died, and killed, for the perks of local office—including control of substantial revenues, as well as cuts from pork barrel funds, government contracts, even jueteng and smuggling operations.
In 1991, Congress passed the Local Government Code which devolved power to local government units. The Code shifts the locus of power from manila to the regions. For the first time in Philippine history, local governments now have the authority and potentially, also the resources, to become independent power centers.
These changes also mean that local office is now more lucrative than ever. That is why local elites are contesting municipal and provincial government posts with renewed intensity.
Boss looks at five areas in the Philippines and examines what is at stake in the struggle for local office. It describes the political and economic geography of these areas and explains why, despite urbanization and economic growth, local clans, warlords and politicians remain powerful.
The Green Guide: A Sourcebook on the Philippine Environment, 2nd edition
edited by Howie G. Severino
Finalist: National Book Award for Environment (1995)
THE GREEN Guide is the most comprehensive reference manual on the Philippine environment. Published by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), this book is an essential guide for environmental reporters, but should just be as useful for researchers, students, activists, and others interested in the country’s environment. In addition to essays by journalists Marites Dañguilan-Vitug and Howie G. Severino, and environmental lawyers Ipat G. Luna and Armand Mejia, the book contains:
- directories of government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, international environment groups, international financing institutions, environment experts, industry associations, consultancy firms, and resource centers
- lists of endangered species
- an index of Philippine laws pertaining to the environment
- a guide to the Internet as a research tool
- a glossary of relevant terms
- various maps
- a bibliography of selected environment reference books
Power from the Forest: The Politics of Logging
by Marites Dañguilan-Vitug
Winner: National Book Award for Journalism (1993)
THE PHILIPPINE forests have been the most coveted among its natural resources, and the few who have been granted the privilege of taming portions of them have reaped power and wealth.
Power from the Forest is the story of logging in the Philippines, the story of the exercise of power—who wields it, who benefits from it and how.
The dangerous intertwine of forests and politics was most glaring under Ferdinand Marcos. In bestowing upon himself the power to grant and revoke logging licenses, Marcos deftly used the forests as a political tool.
The insurgency war had bred new logging interests—the rebels and the military who have made the forests their battleground and their sources of income.
But amidst this gloomy foreboding, there are shafts of light. The indigenous peoples and rural folk who have lived in or around these forests are starting to stir as well as a growing number of nongovernmental organizations and concerned individuals.
Marites Dañguilan-Vitug harnesses her investigative skills to tell us the tragic story of the Philippine forests, the people who continue to plunder them and those who are trying to protect them.
Saving the Earth: The Philippine Experience, 4th edition
edited by Cecile C.A. Balgos
Winner: National Book Award for Anthology (1992)
SAVING THE Earth us mostly about what happens when humans abuse nature. In the Philippines, the problem has become two-fold. For more than three decades, the country’s environment crisis consisted mainly of the effects of almost half a century of unrestricted logging. Efforts to rehabilitate the uplands have been stalled by bureaucratic ineptitude and corruption. Mining has also contributed its share of blight, but the industry’s area of operations has so far been more limited than logging’s.
While authorities and communities are still wrestling with this “first generation” environmental crisis, the second generation of problems has arrived, in the form of pollution, land conversion and the other consequences of economic growth. This double whammy of upland degradation and urban decay threatens to overwhelm the government bureaucracies tasked to deal with both simultaneously. Lacking resources, officials will concentrate only on those issues that the public is most agitated about.
This book seeks both to describe the effects and analyze the causes of some of the greatest environmental afflictions bedeviling the nation. It contains 37 of the best environment reports published by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) from 1989 to 1997.
Special Interest Books
Pipol Power Uli! (2001)
The Ultimate Textbook: An I Book (2000)
Joke ni Erap: A Jokebook to Support Serious Journalism (1999)
Mga Palasyo ni Erap
Graftbusters: Kontra Kurakot
Behind the Veil: Voices of Moro Women
No Time for Play
No More Sabado Nights
Toxic Sunset: On the Trail of Hazardous Waste from Subic and Clark
Luzon: Disaster and Hope (Fast Track to Poverty)
Mga Palasyo ni Erap
The Public’s Eye: Investigative Reports, 1989-1999