pop goes the world: bishops return vehicles

POP GOES THE WORLD  By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today,  14 July 2011, Thursday

Bishops Return Vehicles

The Roman Catholic bishops called to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing today performed a grand gesture when they returned the vehicles given to them by the previous management of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

A day after their public apology on the matter, the bishops at the hearing surprised everyone present and those viewing the live broadcast when they said that the vehicles given to the Mindanao-based prelates were going to be shipped to the PCSO office while the Luzon-based bishops’ vehicles were already parked outside the Senate.

Bishops take their oath at the Senate hearing; inset, some of the vehicles. Image from Philippine Star.

After the hearing, representatives of the bishops went to the PCSO main office at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City and turned over the four “Luzon” vehicles to PCSO assistant general manager for marketing Benigno Aguas.

For the PCSO, chairperson Margarita P. Juico said in a statement “We, the PCSO Board, respect the decision of the good bishops to return the vehicles…The PCSO, I must state clearly, never sought the return of these vehicles…I wish to reiterate that the vehicles were sought and received by them in good faith in pursuit of their charity work.

“We can understand the sentiment and soul-searching done by the bishops and the consequent collective decision of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. The PCSO is going to coordinate with the Commission on Audit to find a way to monetize these vehicles with the proceeds being returned to the charity fund for the poor who are in need of health and medical assistance…

“By way of moving on and leaving behind the issues that had divided us, I wish to express my regrets if the events in the past few days had cast the bishops in a bad light…Again, there was never, and never will be any intention to shame the bishops. For whatever it may be worth, the media news stories were based on the COA audit report findings.”

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Today’s “I Iz Dizapoint” award goes to SmartBro for their utter and complete fail in providing my broadband service. When I signed up with them years ago when they had just rolled out the service, they were prompt and helpful with their technical support, sending crews several times to physically fix and adjust whatever needed to be done.

Last June 26, I lost my signal. First SmartBro said it was a “base station” problem; later, it was a situation to be fixed remotely. None of their so-called remote adjustments worked. I requested many times for them to send a crew because after two weeks of no service, it was obviously a physical problem. SmartBro then scheduled a crew visit. On 1am of the day they were supposed to show up last week, they sent a text message cancelling the visit, saying their instruments showed the signal was strong and once again, it was to be fixed remotely.

That was the last straw. I immediately cancelled my SmartBro subscription and called Wi-Tribe. In a few hours, Wi-Tribe installed the necessary equipment at my home and I was up and blogging again.

SmartBro showed the typical trend of customer service – all gung-ho at the start when building up business, and lackadaisal complacency years later when they had a customer base. Wi-Tribe is starting well with the customer delight angle; I hope they don’t turn out to be like SmartBro later on.

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For those who want to learn more about Jose Rizal’s life and works, the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) will hold the Rizal Sesquicentennial Literary Conference for Teachers on 25-27 August 2011 at the College of Arts and Letters, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City. The guest of honor is National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera.    

On August 25 and 26, the following scholars will deliver papers on the works of Jose Rizal: Dr. Soledad S. Reyes (Ateneo de Manila) will tackle the novels, Dr. Virgilio S. Almario (UP Diliman) the poems, Dr. Paul A. Dumol (University of Asia and the Pacific) the plays, and Dr. Ambeth R. Ocampo (Ateneo de Manila and UP Diliman) the essays. Veteran educators will demo-teach on the novel and poetry (Prof. Danilo Francisco M. Reyes), plays (Dr. Jerry Respeto), and essays (Dr. Corazon Lalu-Santos).

On August 27, the annual UMPIL members’ convention features the Panayam Adrian Cristobal (public intellectual lecture series), a book launch, a literary forum, and the Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas.

For details, call Eva Cadiz at the UP Institute of Creative Writing, 922-1830.

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The UP-Diliman College of Mass Communication announced that the college’s 2011 Gawad Plaridel goes to veteran radio talent and host Eloisa Cruz Canlas.

Canlas has been in broadcasting since the 1960s. She was a voice talent on one of my favorite radio plays, “Gabi ng Lagim”, and has performed on many others. She is still active as a freelance voiceover talent, dubbing television commercials and anime shows, hosts two radio programs, and produces radio dramas.

On July 20 at the UP Film Institute’s Cine Adarna, UP officials will award Canlas a trophy designed by National Artist Napoleon Abueva. She will also deliver a lecture on important issues in the radio industry.

The award is named after Marcelo H. del Pilar. Under the penname “Plaridel”, he wrote for and steered the reformist newspaper La Solidaridad in the 1890s. The Gawad Plaridel recognizes Filipino media practitioners who have excelled in any of the mass media and have performed with the highest level of professional integrity in the interest of public service.

The previous honorees are Eugenia Duran-Apostol (print, 2004), Vilma Santos (film, 2005), Fidela Magpayo (radio, 2006), Cecilia L. Lazaro (television, 2007), Pachico A. Seares (community print media, 2008), and Kidlat Tahimik (independent filmmaking, 2009).  ***

UMPIL logo at their website here. Image of Ms. Canlas here. Image of Gawad Plaridel here.

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