Posts Tagged ‘cbcp’

pop goes the world: not moving on

POP GOES THE WORLD  By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today,  31 January 2013, Thursday

Not Moving On

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines news website carries a story headlined “CBCP chides Aquino for inability to address PH’s problems.”

The assembly of high-ranking clergy took three days behind closed doors to come up with their “Pastoral Statement on Certain Social Issues of Today,” a “long litany of storms” referring to the government’s failures, from its inability to stem corruption, poverty, and crime to the prevalence of political dynasties.

It was the first time, said some sources, that the Church lambasted the current political culture of making politics a family business.

Which brings up the question: why only now? What took them so long to raise all these important issues in a pastoral statement?

However, what was first on their list was “the promotion of a culture of death and promiscuity,” due to the “slavishness of our political and business leaders to follow practices in Western countries that promote…” divorce (“resulting in more break-up of families and the dysfunctional growth of children”), contraceptives (“leading to more abortions”), the use of condom (“aggravating HIV-AIDS infection”), and “school sex education” (bringing more promiscuity and teenage pregnancy”).

So this is foremost about the RH Bill, really, passed recently after years of struggle by rights activists. The Church is still sore about having lost that battle.

It is admirable that, going by this pastoral statement, the CBCP is deeply concerned about poverty and the lack of “inclusive growth” or “the huge gap between the rich and poor” that remains “despite the government’s much-flaunted idea of high growth and economic development.”

Aside from taking second and third collections from churchgoers and raising funds from private companies and government agencies for their various social welfare programs, one wonders how much farther the Church would go to do their part in helping the needy.

For one thing, they could measurably assist the government in reducing poverty by agreeing to give up their tax exemptions and privileges. That would raise many millions of pesos that would go a long way to relieving the suffering of many poor people.

Note that the Catholic Church in Italy has already been stripped of tax-exempt status and will start paying property taxes in 2013, generating projected revenues of 500 million to 2 billion euros yearly.

The pastoral statement was released last Monday, the same day Manila tour guide and pro-RH Bill activist Carlos Celdran was sentenced to two months to one year in jail for violating Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code, a law from 1930 which penalizes anyone who “in a place of worship or during the celebration of any religious ceremony, shall perform acts notoriously offensive to the feelings of the faithful.”

Celdran caused a ruckus during a Mass last September 2010 by holding up a placard with the word “Damaso” upon it in front of the Papal Nuncio, several bishops, and sundry other clergy. The words refers to the character of an abusive priest in Jose Rizal’s novel “Noli Me Tangere.”

President Aquino expressed his sympathy for Celdran, saying that while he did not agree with the “methodology of disrupting a Mass,” he “may sympathize with Mr. Celdran’s position,” adding “If our priests and religious leaders look at the Pope as an example, I believe they will find it in their hearts to show Christian generosity and charity and maybe they will be able to forgive Mr. Celdran and move on.”

Would the CBCP be able to forgive Celdran? The President? Can the CBCP move on from any of this?

In their pastoral statement they declared:

“Our position on the above issues is based on our faith…Faith is not only concerned with doctrine but applies that belief in all dimensions of life – social, political, economic, cultural, and religious.”

Based on that, the CBCP is not going to cease, desist, lay off, move on, live and let live. They will pursue their avowed agenda to the utmost because it’s in their job description.

It’s up to the rest of the country, Catholics and non-Catholics, to make their own moves and decisions to shape Philippine society in a manner that includes everyone, because it is unfair and unjust to base governance on the belief system of one religious group.  *** 

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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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