Wednesday, July 20, 2011

No Smoking

I heard from the news this morning, while having breakfast, that the DOH is planning to push for the No Smoking ban started by the MMDA in some specified areas, be made nationwide. It seems that the world of smokers, which unfortunately includes me, is getting smaller and smaller. However, I am not fazed for I don’t smoke that much anyway and I am a bit sceptical that this law would ever be fully enforceable for several reasons. First is the ningas kugon mentality we have, a term every Filipino knows as that of something being good only at the start but failing to follow it through. Filipinos have this characteristic of initializing something but failing to finish it. Hence, most of the things we do are usually temporary in nature.

Second is that the law enforcers who are supposed to put this law into effect are mostly smokers themselves. This being the case, they may be more lax in applying the law.

I may be wrong with my assumptions but nevertheless, I think that the move of the DOH is still flawed. If they want to really get rid of smokers, why not go to the main source - the tobacco companies! Close them altogether and let us not produce cigarettes anymore. This also means we would stop importing cigarettes for to do so would defeat the very purpose of why we are closing the tobacco industry.

With this thought, let us see how strong a resolve the powers behind this can be.

Saturday, July 09, 2011


Among the top news this week is the revelation that former president GMA authorized the PCSO to grant bishops with SUV's as a donation to help them in their mission to help the poor. It seems like the approval of the president was not done from her own volition but through the request of the beneficiaries. As one bishop asked for the donation as a gift for his birthday, after all, the car that he had was already seven years old and according to him was no longer in good condition (and I had my last car for 15 years and it still served its purpose). Naturally, the news has received flak from the people especially when the constitution has mandated that no amount of donation should be given to any religion or its representative unless such is assigned to the armed forces, or to any penal institution or government orphanage or leprosarium.

No public money or property shall be appropriated, applied, paid, or employed, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, sectarian institution, or system of religion, or of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher, or dignitary as such, except when such priest, preacher, minister, or dignitary is assigned to the armed forces, or to any penal institution, or government orphanage or leprosarium.

I will leave the law angle to my friend, Connie who is an expert in the field and has written all about it, rather, superbly in her own blog.

Suffice it to say that the bishops justify their action contending that the donation is not really for them but for the benefit of their flock - to facilitate reaching the far-flung barrios, maybe. They also contend that the Pnoy government is just trying to get back at them for their hard stand on the RH bill. The former statement got me to reflect. I have yet to see a bishop do real missionary work. There have only been a couple of times that I have seen an actual bishop in my lifetime and I have been schooled in a Catholic school and still teach in one. And in all these times, it has been in a church and only upon the invitation of the parish or diocese where they say mass and/or give confirmation. This led me to be a skeptic of their justification.

Besides, why an SUV in the first place? To give them the high stature their office represent? But what about the vow of poverty and simplicity? Sometimes, I get to thinking and I get disappointed. Wag na ngang mag-isip ulit.