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The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), in its website (http://bagong.pagasa.dost.gov.ph/information/climate-change-in-the-philippines), does not seem alarmed about climate change, although it recognizes its presence.
It was after the first five minutes of watching the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of the President that I got confused — wondering whether I was watching a live telecast or, perhaps, due to some technical glitches, I was transported to the SONAs of previous years. But, the image of Congressman Allan Peter Cayetano in the seat of the Speaker of the House gave it away. I knew that I was watching this year’s SONA. After all, the power struggle among representatives as to who would be the Speaker of the House was a public spectacle for a couple of weeks, making it hard to miss Cayetano in the Speaker’s seat.
Our situation in the South China Sea evokes an image of a child who gets his pants pulled down on the playground at lunchtime. This is normally followed by physical harm such as repeated hitting, kicking, pushing, and the like. And, to make the physical intimidation more credible, the bullies usually outnumber the victim, and more often than not, have a visible physical advantage.
Still of particular interest in the Labor Day discussions is the issue on the contractualization of labor. More popularly known as “endo” or the 5-5-5 arrangement, this practice started in the mid-70s as a response to alarming unemployment. For the uninitiated, the term “endo” was coined from “end of contract.” On the other hand, 5-5-5 stands for three cycles of five-month contracts, a cunning ploy that makes workers in every contract a month shy from being regularized into the company, given the mandate of the law to make workers who have stayed for six months permanent. Right off the bat, you can understand why this is such a controversial issue.
There is so much attention and discussion on the “Build, Build, Build” program of the Duterte administration. On one side, you have his drumbeaters extolling this administration’s infrastructure spending, presenting numbers that show that the country never had it this good. On the other hand, critics are zeroing in on how this program has given China an inroad into our socio-economic affairs through the loans to fund these projects, not to mention the extended welcome to the labor market our government has given to their citizens.