Nursing shortage in the US seen till 2016?

Monday, October 6, 2008 3 comments

Taken from the article Healthcare Realities during a Pandemic by Laura H. Khan on the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists website.

Despite the availability of antiviral medications and intensive care units, mortality rates for the 385 humans infected withavian influenza remain high. Virtually all of the victims have been from developing countries, with the case fatality rate in children younger than 15 years of age reaching almost 90 percent.

Whatever the age or locale, patients stricken with avian influenza would most likely require intensive nursing care. Yet, despite the critical role that nurses play in patient outcomes, by 2025, the United States is estimated to have a shortage of as many as 500,000 registered nurses, or RNs--the best trained and educated nurses who often supervise licensed practical nurses and nurses' aides. Already, 14 percent of U.S. hospitals report a severe nursing shortage with more than 20 percent of their positions vacant.

Worse yet, given the country's aging population, the need for nurses is only increasing; the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates that more than 587,000 new nursing positions will be created by 2016.

Contributing factors for the nursing shortage include restricted nursing school enrollment capabilities due to a lack of faculty and a high-stress workload that drives many nurses to leave the profession. Fear of workplace violence, particularly in psychiatric wards, emergency rooms, and nursing homes is cited as another factor. Of course, fewer nurses has meant an increase in patient violence, widening the gap further still.

There's also a significant gender gap. Ninety-five percent of the nearly 3 million RNs in the United States are women, meaning one-half of the country's population--men--typically don't become nurses. Needless to say, this disparity is alarming, and there should be a major effort to recruit more men into the field.

Unfortunately, given the current state of the U.S. healthcare system, it's unlikely that the nursing shortage will be resolved anytime soon. Addressing it would require more funding for education, training, higher salaries, and lower nurse-to-patient ratios--never priorities compared to investing in new technologies.

The rise of the nursing profession

Before Florence Nightingale and her team of 38 volunteer nurses went to care for sick and wounded soldiers during the Crimean War, nursing wasn't considered a respectable profession for well-to-do ladies.

At first, Nightingale was rebuffed by physicians at a military hospital in Scutari, Turkey, even though the medical staff was severely overstretched and sanitary conditions were appalling. A century before antibiotics, infections such as gangrene, dysentery, and typhus killed more soldiers than war injuries.

Nightingale was a firm proponent of the burgeoning "Sanitation Movement" and believed that clean food and water, hygiene, and comfort would be more beneficial to healing and recuperation than bleeding, mercury, and arsenic--the medical practices of the day. She and her nurses cleaned up the raw sewage on the wards, bathed and fed the soldiers, laundered bed linens, and installed retractable windows. She used her own money to provide soups, teas, cereals, and other easily digestible foods that the sick soldiers could eat rather than the army's meager war rations. Through her meticulous management skills and record keeping, she demonstrated an almost seventeen-fold drop in mortality rate over a one-year period. And her leadership had a profound and lasting impact on nursing, infection control, and hospital epidemiology.

Nursing care during the 1918 influenza pandemic

Because of World War I, there were severe shortages of health-care personnel during the 1918 influenza pandemic, as most nurses and physicians were caring for soldiers overseas. Many of the doctors and nurses who remained stayed away from patients because they feared for their own lives.

Therefore, student nurses and doctors were recruited to help alleviate the shortage. Isaac Starr was just starting his third year at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine when he went to work as a nurse on the hospital wards. In a published recollection of his experiences, he wrote , "I soon found myself 'head nurse' on the top floor for the shift starting at 4 p.m. and ending at midnight. . . . Thinking of my function as that of a nurse, I was prepared to carry out the orders given me. But for most patients there were no orders, and many died without having been seen by any medical attendant but me. . . . As their lungs filled with [fluid] the patients became short of breath and increasingly [blue]. After gasping for several hours they became delirious and incontinent, and many died struggling to clear their airways of a blood-tinged froth that sometimes gushed from their nose and mouth."

The estimated mortality rate was somewhere between 2 to 3 percent. Many of those who died were healthy young adults; in 1918, there weren't intensive care units, ventilators, antibiotics, or antiviral medications. In fact, most people were cared for by family members in their homes.

Informal caregivers

Today, about 52 million people in the United States voluntarily provide care to a family member or friend with a chronic illness or disability. Thirty-eight percent of these family caregivers are adult children who provide care to their aging parent(s); 11 percent are spouses who take care of an ill husband or wife. Both men and women provide informal care, and most are middle-aged and employed. Family caregivers' services have been estimated at an economic value of $257 billion (in 2000 dollars).

TheNational Family caregivers Association, founded in 1993, provides resources for family caregivers through educational materials, support, and advocacy. In 2002, the organization supported the passage of the National Family Caregivers Support Program --an amendment to the Older Americans Act. The program helps states and local agencies provide family caregivers with information, assistance, support groups, and training. It also provides grant funding for innovations to help family caregivers.

This vast network of unsung heroes shows that people will care for family and friends when the need arises. A similar support system could be developed during an influenza pandemic when overwhelmed and understaffed healthcare facilities turn people away.

In addition to government support, nongovernmental organizations could play a major role in pandemic preparedness. For example, the Red Cross provides information on home preparedness in the event of a disaster and offers courses in babysitting, CPR, and first aid. And although it already provides basic information on influenza, it could go a step further and offer courses in family caregiving to help people learn how to monitor vital signs (temperature, pulse, respiration), food and fluid intake, and output during an influenza pandemic. Along these lines, the Red Cross has begun a new program for family caregivers who provide care to the elderly and disabled.

There should also be a Family Caregiver magazine and website that features news and information for those who informally care for others with acute (e.g. hepatitis A, rubella, pertussis, influenza) and chronic illnesses (e.g. diabetes, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson's disease). The need for such information will only grow as the population ages. In the face of the current and future nursing shortage, the public should be prepared that their family and friends would likely not receive professional nursing care during an influenza pandemic. In fact, the responsibility might fall on you and me.

GMA calls for the UN to help alleviate global food and oil problem

Thursday, September 25, 2008 0 comments

Taken from the article Philippines calls on UN to help poorer countries fight soaring food, fuel prices on the UN News center dated September 23, 2008.

The developing world is at a “tipping point” due to fluctuations in the global economy, the President of the Philippines told the General Assembly today, calling on the United Nations for its assistance in ensuring that financial uncertainties do not roll back development gains.
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, addressing the annual high-level debate in New York, underscored how her country is suffering from the burden of soaring prices of food, fuel and rice.
“Our people pursue the universal dream of a better life for themselves and their children: better education, better health care, higher wages, a dignified retirement,” she said.
The Philippines has made “hard-earned” gains over the past seven years that have allowed the South-East Asian nation to weather the first tide of global price surges that swept across the world earlier this year, Ms. Arroyo said, but the recent economic turmoil in world markets has had a profound impact.
“To address these global challenges, we must go on building bridges among allies around the world: to bring the [price of] rice to where it is needed to feed the people, investments to create jobs; and keep the peace and stability in the world,” she stated.
The President praised Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for taking swift and decisive measures to address the global food crisis that brings together multilateral organizations, donor countries, civil society and the private sector.
“This is a model of the Untied Nations in action,” she said.
Regarding the southern island of Mindanao, which has been wracked by recent deadly violence, Ms. Arroyo voiced her commitment to peace based on inter-faith dialogue.
“We maintain high hopes in inter-faith dialogue as a means to building bridges rather than barriers between communities of different cultures and ethnicity.”
Viewing the global food crisis through the lens of climate change, Finnish President Tarja Halonen said that managing natural resources in a more sustainable manner will help to alleviate poverty, especially in rural areas, offering her nation’s support in this arena.
Global warming has the potential to “bring into question the whole future of mankind,” she said, adding that recent extreme weather phenomena are a harbinger of worse events to come.
“Multilateral engagement and shared responsibility are the only effective means to tackle this global menace,” Ms. Halonen said. “There is no place for petty politics and recrimination.”
She highlighted the importance of the UN in responding to climate change, emphasizing the need to reach agreement next year in Copenhagen, Denmark, on a successor pact to the Kyoto Protocol, whose first commitment period ends in 2012.
Many sectors of society – including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the private sector, individual citizens and governments – must be involved to mitigate global warming, the President noted. “We need everybody; it is necessary that also women can participate in this work.”
Further, both industrialized and developing nations must take part in combating climate change, she said.

Ghost Private Organizations or Just GMA Herself?


Recent news have said that the Department of Agriculture are now investigating the alleged ghost private organizations that received almost 450 million pesos of funds for the said agricultural and food productivity project of GMA. Antipolo Philanthropy Foundation, Inc. received 146 million in 2007 and an additional 30 million in 2008. The Chairman of this foundation was a certain Johnny Tan. National Organization for Agricultural Enhancement and Productivity, Inc. got 44 million, Commoners Foundation, Inc. 9.1 million, Las Marias Foundation, Inc. also received 34 million pesos. These were only the few private foundations received money from the Department of Agriculture suppose to be for the farmers for the Philippines to raise rice, vegetable and animal production. But when the Commission of Audit investigated these foundations were non existent. How can this huge amount of money be not secured and assured that it will not go into the wrong hands? Could it be that it was really a big cover up? Could it be that GMA used this money on the election for her own use?
How can our country be on the road to progress when we, the people, are clearly mocked by the persons that are supposed to be leading us. Are we just content on just sitting and doing nothing while these malicious people rob us of our own money? Surely I can't let that happen, but while a few corrupt people control the three seats of this government, we are left to squander in the dark. It is annoying and insulting to hear this kind of news everyday and it is even more insulting to hear that this has remained to be the longest ever disease that is plaguing this country since the Marcos regime. How can corruption be cured? These autocrats should be thrown down to hell, be punished and left there to burn forever. Progress in this country will remain as a painfully long nightmare that will never cease unless we act and do something about it.

A New Threat to the Ozone Layer

Wednesday, September 24, 2008 0 comments

Taken from the article Scientists Discover New Global Warming Threat: 'Methan Time Bomb' Under Arctic Seabed by Andrew Williams, published on September 23rd, 2008.

Scientists have today warned that global warming could rapidly accelerate as millions of tons of methane escape from the arctic seabed. According to preliminary findings, as the Arctic region gets warmer massive deposits of the greenhouse gas - 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide - are rising to the surface.
Orjan Gustafsson of Stockholm University, one of the expedition’s leaders, said in an email from their Russian research ship that, for the first time, the team had discovered an extensive area of methane release so intense that “the methane did not have time to dissolve into the seawater but was rising as methane bubbles to the sea surface.” The team believe that the accelerated release is connected to rising temperatures throughout the Arctic region.
Gustafsson went on to report that “the conventional thought has been that the permafrost ‘lid’ on the sub-sea sediments on the Siberian shelf should cap and hold the massive reservoirs of shallow methane deposits in place.” However, extensive research across thousands of square miles of the Arctic seabed had revealed growing evidence “that the permafrost lid is starting to get perforated and thus leak methane.”

How Ecco-savvy are You?

Sunday, September 21, 2008 0 comments

Take this quiz here.

The Rust that Corrodes the Sword


Recently several justices of the Court of Appeals signed a "Covenant of Moral Recovery" led by presiding justice Conrado Vasquez Jr., amid a raging bribery scandal. Vasquez, who was given a severe reprimand by the Supreme Court is still adamant to several sectors pushing for the involved justices to resign, including himself. This was all in connection with Court of Appeals' handling of the management dispute between MERALCO and GSIS.
We can only hope that the commitment of the CA will go beyond the mere signing of a covenant. The Court of Appeals scandal has raised more questions about the integrity of the judiciary system and the extent of corruption in the administration of justice.
i beg to disagree that among all three branches of the government the Judiciary has managed to retain a degree of public trust. Even before this recent turbulence, corruption has plagued the justice halls of this country. Nothing is spared from the rust that corrodes everything. But would they allow the rot in their system to spread? It all depends on them. They have to prove that persons who started this scandal should be punished by the hand that is never biased to anyone especially those with power. the people should see a change in the usual norm. we are hungry for change. We are hungry for answers and we hope that "Covenant for Moral Recovery" attains its avowed objective.

The Deep Breath Before the Plunge

Saturday, September 20, 2008 0 comments

These past few days news of the US going into the brink of recession has been all over the television and newspapers around the world. Global economies try to cope up and analysts founder to explain that the world is not likely to sink in just because the US did, that the other regions of the world will provide their own momentum to keep the world economy expanding. But they are wrong, Alex Magno in his article Coupled in the Manila Star dated September 16 said, "Without exception, all the world's economies are, to varying degrees, trying to cope with an inflationary surge combined with a diminished growth momentum. The reason for this is that the inflationary epidemic is caused by rising commodity prices traded globally, principally oil and food." This is so true. Recently the loss of the giant investment bank Lehman Brothers and AIG, the take over of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Merill Lynch have sent out ripples of financial volatility across the globe. Investors take in fear and stock markets plummet down to all time low. It is clear now how closely interconnected the world has become because of globalization. It is also obvious how the world has become dependent of superpower countries especially the US.
"Europe's financial institutions, already rattled by the fallout from the subprime crisis in the US, could be further weakened by falling property prices in the continent. The UK is in particularly bad shape, as we see in the rapid depreciation of its currency the past few weeks.
In Asia, we could hardly expect Japan to provide the economic leadership it used to enjoy. The Japanese economy will likely sink into recession this year.
Plagued by political problems, neither Latin America nor Africa are in a position to help shore up global growth."
We see now the dire outcome of the interlinking of global economies. If the downfall of one becomes the downfall of all, what will happen to countries like the Philippines? Poor countries only enjoy spectator privileges and cannot play a role to help others because they themselves need help. We can only watch as the US sink down further into the quicksand because we have been in the quicksand long before the US fell on it. Who can save us now? I personally don't know the answer. I am not an analyst and I know little of economics. I can only point out my lay opinion about what's happening around.
Alex Magno ended his article "We march in step. Not because we want to but because we need to. If our interest rate regime, for instance, deviates too much from those prevailing in other similarly situated market, it will force our currency to appreciate more that what would be healthy." A dire prediction indeed.
We take the deep breath before the plunge and hope that help will soon come to get us out of the quicksand before it is all too late.

A Green Tie-up

Friday, September 19, 2008 0 comments

Taken from the article "Basic Energy, Canadian firm tie up for bioethanol project" by Zinnia B. Dela Peña on the Business Section of the Philippine Star, Sept. 16, 2008

Basic Energy Corp., has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Canadian-based Nexum Energy Corp. to jointly develop a bioethanol plant in the Philippines. In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Basic Energy said the proposed joint venture project involves the development and operation of a 200,000 liter per day ethanol plant using cassava as feedstock.

The Plant, to be located in Zamboanga del Norte, seeks to produce up to eight megawatts of green power, natural gas and organic fertilizers.

Nexum has exclusive sales and marketing rights to the Philippines for the "Nexum Technoology". It owns, licenses, constructs, operates and markets EnviroPlus, a proprietary, patent-pending technology expected to revolutionize the conventional ethanol industry.

EnviroPlus combines proven conventional front-end ethanol production and back-end biogas technologies. It is expected that this combination will formulate the most energy-efficient ethanol facility.

Jose Reyes, Jr., executive vice-president and treasurer of Basic Energy, said Nexum is one of three foreign companies the company is in talks with as possible strategic operating and financial partners for its proposed bioethanol projects.

Aside from the Philippines, Nexum is planning to build ethanol plants in Indonesia and Vietnam, Reyes said.

The ethanol project is in line with Basic Energy's tie up with EcoMarketFarms Inc. to expand their cassava project in the Zamboanga peninsula. The deal is expected to jumpstart the agricultural operations of Basic Energy and generate initial revenues from the sale of cassava chips to local animal feed manufacturers and eventually to supply the feedstock requirements of the planned ethanol plant.

Under the agreement, the two corporations will set up joint venture where Basic Energy will provide the capital while EcoMarketFarms will provide the business and management plans for the project.

Basic Energy will purchase EcoMarketFamrs' cassava plantation for P12.5 million, payable through shares and cash.

Basic Energy aims to be a leading player in the exploration, production and supply of alternative fuels and renewable energy, oil and allied products and services.

Hoping to capitalize on the anticipated demand for fuel with mandatory five percent blend of bioethanol with gas by May 2009, basic Energy, through wholy-owned unit Basic Biofuels, will initially build two bioethanol plants estimated to cost P6.74 billion.

Based on a forecast by the Department of Energy, domestic bioethanol demand is seen to reach 309 million liters per annum by 2009 and is seen to increase further to 664 million liters by 2011 and 713 million liters by 2013.

Under Construction

Wednesday, September 3, 2008 0 comments

Sorry folks, posts are for the mean time suspended until I finish tinkering with my tempate css. I shall continue on then after. Till then!

Remembering the Hero that is Ninoy

Thursday, August 21, 2008 0 comments

Today is August 21, the death anniversary of Benigno "Ninoy" Servillano Aquino, Jr., the greatest hero of my time. The man that challenged a regime and once again brought freedom to the Filipino people.

I was born at the shadow of his death, and I thank him for the privilege he has given me, the freedom from bondage, from fear, and from biased persecution. Although I grew up not knowing the importance of what he did, what he sacrificed so that I can live my life as it is now, Ninoy became a thing of history, locked inside a textbook in my eyes as a growing child in a post-Marcos era.

As a teenager, I learned of the Marcos regime, the mockery he made of the Filipino people, his selfish pursuit and his ascendancy to tyranny as the "architect of fear" from school, but of Ninoy I learned so little. Yes, I knew of his participation in the EDSA revolution and how he roused the "people power" that overthrew an autocrat, but then the question of "Who was Ninoy?" "How did he grow up to become a hero that he is now?" lingered in me.

I went through college still apathetic to the legacy of Ninoy as I focused on my studies and went through a normal college life. I became a columnist in the campus paper and wrote articles about my opinion of the Arroyo Administration. It was then that I realized my role as a citizen, my right to this country and my responsibility to act for change in this post-Marcos era and then I remembered Ninoy. I was wrong when I believed that Ninoy was only a thing of history, locked inside a textbook, because Ninoy is inside our hearts, there is a Ninoy in each and every Filipino I thought. What he did and what he sacrificed for all the Filipinos to live free as we live now is the greatest gift any mere mortal can give. It is the greatest love he has given us that is so profound that each Filipino must never forget.
In every century an evil rises, a hero comes to leave an imprint to rouse the hearts of the good that is innate in all of us to act and bring the evil its downfall. And now, what has become of Ninoy's aspirations for the Filipino? We have become astray and lost sense of direction. If only Ninoy lives he has done something to bring us back to the path of true independence because what we have now is a false sense of independence. We have become apathetic to what Ninoy has told us that once again brought a silent tyrant to power. Truly, It is not Hate that kills people but indifference. Do we need another Ninoy to sacrifice his life to once again rouse our hearts to act for the greater good? Is it true that each and every one of us has a Ninoy inside? Then we need to act now like Ninoy did when he was still alive but do we need another life to be sacrificed for us to act?
It is enough that we make ourselves informed and aware of what is going on in our country. It is enough to write about Heroes of the past in the hope that it will somehow rouse our spirits once again and bring epiphany that there is nothing greater than love of our country and realize that the Filipino is really worth dying for. Mabuhay ka Ninoy! Ikaw ay habangbuhay nasa puso naming lahat.

The Very Vague Energy Development Plan of the Philippines

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 0 comments

After 3 years of not crafting any plans for the energy sector, the Department of Energy (DoE) disclosed that it will start working on a Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) that stretches from 2010 until 2030.
Energy Secretary Angelo T. Reyes said they plan to adopt the 2030 time frame being done internationally for the country's energy plan but at this point through , he cannot offer specific direction on what the plan shall focus on. The last time the Energy Plan was modified was in 2005.
The Supplemental Power Development Plant released last year, the DoE indicated that the critical period for the Luzon grid will start by 2010, roughly two years from now. While the Visayas, having saved by the 200 megawatt coal-fired power plant project of the KEPCO-Salcon group will experience it in 2011.
Two years from now, the energy crisis will become more evident as the government particularly the Department of Energy stay dumbfounded and idle. What do they have? A very vague Energy Development Plan that for now, is just an idea not even written in paper. The government must find ways to solve this and with the help of the congress build laws to whip the officials to act faster before its all too late.
Gone are the days where we depend on coal-generated power plants. In a world where people are becoming more conscious of the ramifications of their actions, carbon-emitting coal-powered plants will soon be a thing of the past. The Business Sector should invest in renewable energy as it is more accessible and more profitable as the world's economies shift to "greener" methods.

How to Turn an Idle Farm into a Money-Generating Livelihood

Tuesday, August 19, 2008 0 comments

Dario Otaza, a 43 year old farmer from a remote river barangay of Loreto Town in Agusan del Sur, a province of Mindanao, was able to improve the economy of his area after successfully developed his idle farm into a tree plantation with the help of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Otaza, started from the bottom, now enjoys the fruits of his labor, and is now being looked up as a model in his community. More than 5,000 households in the area share the fruits of Otaza's hardwork.
Called "model tree farm" by the local officials, it now serves as an example to all other barangays to convert idle land to cultivate agricultural trees for profit.
Otaza started converting his 339 hectares ancestral land into a private tree farm plantation of falcatta and other agricultural crops. He also planted coffee and rubber trees as alternate crops to further improve his income. He then expanded his tree farm by tapping another 60 hectares of an adjoining idle ancestral land and planted it with abaca. Now this does not only benefited Otaza but the households in his community as well as local jobs were generated in his plantation.
Such endeavors can never really exist and prosper without the help of the local government unit and the DENR. This again proves that if we think of solutions for the problems that bug us, and do something about it, add the help of people who share the sentiment, no problem remains unsolved.

Makati Waste Recycling Project: A Model for every Barangay to Adopt

Monday, August 18, 2008 0 comments

Makati City's barangay-based waste recycling project is an achievement of the local government's endeavor to help promote environmental awareness in a city that contributes a lot to the bulk of garbage Metro Manila dumps in their sanitary land fills. The city's Department of Environmental Services (DES) reported that it generated more than 9000 kilograms of recyclables a month after it was launched.
DES chief Danilo Villar reported that the Baratilyo ng Basura ng Barangay (BBB), a repository of segregated garbage, has collected 9,779.96 kg of mixed wastes including paper, plastic, polyethylene (PET) bottles and junk electronic items among other since it started last July 7.
The BBB is one of the new projects of Makati City, aimed at effectively reducing waste volume generated by the city. Under this project, each of the six clusters in which the city's 33 barangays are subdivided has a designated BBB that serves as the official junk shop which buys recyclables from residents of member barangays. Each cluster is allowed to decide when they will sell to selected junk shops all the recyclables that they have bought from their residents. Earnings from the junk collected are then used to buy needed equipment for the barangay and fund other projects for the community as well.
This is an achievement indeed, proving that with cooperation from the people of the community, problems such as waste management can become a thing of the past. I salute the people behind this project for a job well done!

Next Time, Eat That Crab Shell

Sunday, August 17, 2008 0 comments

They say the moment you turn 21, your aging clock starts to tick, though the symptoms start to manifest at age 30. Medical science have proved that at age 30, the body begins to show signs of wear and tear. Levels of glucosamine, a fundamental building block that stimulates the production of connective tissue which is naturally found in cartilages decrease, which makes the bones in between them more prone to friction. As we all know, bones rub against each other when we walk and move, and cartilages between bones help cushion the bones from friction.
According to a recent study cited by Dr. Leo Olarte, an orthosurgeon, 13 million Filipinos are currently suffering from arthritis. Five million of them have osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis as Web MD defines it, is a general term that means inflammation of joints. It is a degenerative joint disease that is associated with the breakdown of cartilage in joints and can occur in almost any joint in the body. It begins usually in middle age and progresses through later life. It usually affects the weight bearing joints of the hips, knees and spine but can also affect the fingers, thumb, neck and large toe.
Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage in the joints to become stiff and inelastic, making it more susceptible to friction and therefore to injury. Over time the cartilage wears away and deteriorates causing the tendons and ligaments to stretch, causing pain. If it continues to deteriorate the bones then rub each other causing more pain and damage.
Many of the products sold in the market offer glucosamine and chondroitin in one product. Chodroitin is a mineral that can help stop the degradation of osteoarthritis. It is believed that crab shells are an excellent source of chondroitin and cow trachea cartilage a source of glucosamine. These two are proven to slow down, if not prevent the onslaught of osteoarthritis.
So the next time you eat in a chinese restaurant, try to bite your way into the crab's shell. It may later save you from osteoarthritis. (But ofcourse, it is humanely impossible to bite and chew a crab's shell or a shellfish's for that matter so you can buy food supplements instead)

The 1987 Constitution of Doom

Thursday, August 14, 2008 0 comments

The subject of federalism and charter change has once again been brought up by the proponents of the Arroyo Administration. I have tackled the issue of federalism in my past article Federalism: The Good and the Bad, and I pointed out my opinion in the subject matter.

It seems that the present administration is keen on pursuing to change the system of government into parliamentary and adopting federalism. I, like before, think that federalism can be good provided that it satisfies the prerequisites for it to work properly, but with the parliamentary system, I have my doubts and for now would like to vehemently disagree with the idea of adopting it. The parliamentary system of government, if the Philippines would adopt it, would give corruption a boost, much like a vulcanized tire. The powerful will become more powerful, and with this kind of power comes greed. Looking at the present situation, the allies of this administration would fill the vacancies of what will be the supposed checks in this kind of government. The voice of the people will become mute and a silent ascent of a tyrant into power comes into play.

I think that in this kind of government public trust is tantamount and this country and its present government obviously lacks in it and it will stay this way until a change is made, but what kind of change am I talking about here?

While deliberating my thoughts about charter change and federalism, I remembered reading the article of Alex Magno entitled Democracy 102 in his column First Person in the Philippine Star. Alex Magno is a renowned political scientist and academician in the Philippines and he is an Editorial Columnist in such national dailies as the Manila Standard, Abante, and The Philippine Star. In it he somewhat divined what would happen in the future. Here is an excerpt of his article.

"In 2010, we will likely witness a peaceful, legal and uneventful transfer of power...two years from now, given the present trajectory of things, we will have an embattled candidate emerging from a bitter, unprincipled and costly multiparty race. That victor will be a minority president whose narrow margin of victory will be questioned by all the losers. There will be no clear mandate to do anything in particular - except survive in office under constant enemy fire. The winner of that dirty contest, conducted under the most primitive electoral process known to mankind, will have to wheel and deal with the various political blocs and business interests. Some sort of shaky "rainbow coalition" will have to be reassembled - a euphemism for a leader without much political capital and indebted to the amorphous assembly of interests that invested in his or her victory for entirely self-serving reasons. The new leader will be confronted by a hostile media that sees its role principally as a consensus-wrecker. He or she will be collared by the religious blocs with their doctrinal and commercial issues to nurse. Every opinion poll taken will register a progressive decline in trust and approval ratings, diminishing the new leader's political capital. Like a sequel to the movie Groundhog Day, we will see a replay of the political conditions of the past few years and as we repeat the same wild charges, the scandal-mongering, the same fat lawyers with ugly wigs hysterically crying "wolf!" at every turn, the nation just slides slowly, deeper into its role as a non-performer in a world of nimble economies and far sighted leaders."

Notice the almost strikingly perfect resemblance of Alex Magno's allegory and prediction to the present situation we are all in. The costly multiparty race, the questioning of the narrow victory of the somewhat minority president, the constant enemy fire and the will survive in office, the dealing with political blocs namely those of the opposition and business interests like some business club, the rise of a shaky "rainbow coalition" made up of people in the opposition, student activists, party list representatives and religious people and the appointment of a leader without much political background, one we will call "Pang-masa", the somewhat puppeteering role of religious blocs to solve doctrinal, commercial and even political issues and the decline in trust and approval ratings of the new president. These have all happened in the past, these are what we are all experiencing today, and these will likely happen again in the near future. A vicious cycle that oppresses the poor and empowers the rich. A problem that the Filipino people have been tackling ever since. So what then is the answer to this seemingly elusive question?

Alex Magno presented this idea and he said. "The constitutional structure within which we operate is designed to doom the presidency. The single term provision makes the incumbent a lame duck at day one. The multiparty electoral system condemns every winning candidate to the top post to the status of minority president, vulnerable to being held hostage by every political bloc that could muster votes in the congress for an impeachment or mount sustained campaign to diminish the president's popularity and political capital. Governing under these circumstances is like being forced to walk in a minefield blindfolded. One small lapse could call up the ghosts of people power and bring to center stage the tired old personalities who treat people power as private property. This is not a constitutional formula that enhances the possibility of decisive leadership to transform the nation. Nor, arguably, is it a formula that improves our chances for the sort of governance that will enable our country to be competitive in a globalized world. Interpreting the principle of checks and balances in a rigid way as an extreme reaction to the experience with dictatorship, the 1987 Constitution provides a formula for political paralysis. This is why nearly every political question eventually ends up as a constitutional issue to be settled by the High Court. This is not a constitutional structure that that enables the exercise of leadership, build national consensus to pull us out of path dependence, nor muster the political force that could break the inertia of a low-growth, oligarchy-infested and constantly squabbling country. With a party system that is incapable of developing the leadership cadre the country needs, an electoral system that is driven by patronage rather than visions and flawed institutions that are vulnerable to partisan politicking, we seem doomed to mediocre governance. Under such conditions, no one is allowed to be inspiring. Every achiever will be cut down by the constant drone of political sniping. We have a flawed constitutional design that will not allow a Lee Kuan Yew to emerge or even an Obama to challenge the political aristocracy. It is a constitutional design that does not allow us to go very far from where we now stand."

This is a strong idea presented by Alex Magno, stating that the sluggish and backward pace of our economy and our government are all brought about by our flawed constitution. The very same constitution that supposedly would protect us from a second Ferdinand Marcos to rise. Could this be true? Perhaps yes, and I believe in him.

I used to believe in the past that charter change is a bad idea, until I stumbled upon the premise that he presented. There is somehow truth in his words. I also used to believe that politics is dirty and I would much like to distance myself to topics concerning it, but now I thought if I will stay apathetic to issues that concern our country, I remain impassive even though hungry for change, a struggling visionary paralyzed and left to emaciate and die. Certainly I would not let that happen. I am no lawyer and I don't have any political background, but i can inform myself about it, and voice out my right to an informed choice because after all, I have a say in this government, like all of us have. We as a country are lagging behind as we have always done in the past. Though most of us view this as unacceptable. We want the president to solve poverty, bring down inflation and bring economic growth overnight, without allowing the political tools to make it even possible. What is wrong in our scenario then?

At the end of his article, Magno concluded that the constitutional order that we have incapacitates us all. It is only convenient for the oligarchy, the self appointed guardians of elite democracy and conservative clergymen. It is self-serving and has to be challenged from outside its operative rules. If this is the case then, somehow the constitution should have a general overhaul, not just slightly amended but entirely revised not only by those constitutional experts, but also by the people, because this concerns everyone, and by pundits outside our country. Those that can competently give us help on how to safely procure changes like adopting federalism, etc, and give a step-by-step "how-to-change-the-constitution" guideline. Those that are neither biased to any political or religious faction in the country and is adamant to the lure of power and sway of greed.

Indeed, we are all hungry for change, but we must also know that change is only possible if we challenge the political norm in this country. We must know that if a fruit's peel is rotting the inside might be rotting as well. The core of our government which is our constitution is our bane, our doom, a prison cell we made for ourselves. This constitution does not anymore represent the collective ideals of the people of this country where it should supersede. This same constitution appeals only to evil and its perpetuation and certainly has to be changed.

Is It The Cold War The Second Time Around?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008 0 comments

According to a Newsweek article, Russia and Georgia are at war in all but name. After a dramatic day that saw Georgian government forces overrunning much of the breakaway Georgian province of South Ossetia, Russia sent in 150 tanks and an unknown number of troops to support Russian peacekeepers in the province—as well as to give vital military aid to the Ossetian rebels. By nightfall, Ossetian sources claimed that rebel troops and Russian forces had won back control of the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali.
Both sides have blamed the other for the sudden escalation of hostilities. Richard Holbrooke, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said Friday that "Russia has been trying to destabilize Georgia for years," and added that the latest hostilities were an attempt to oust Georgia's president Mikheil Saakashvili, "the Western-educated, pro-Western head of the most democratic country in the former Soviet Union … he is a thorn in Russia's side." However, it was the Georgian side that launched a full-scale military assault on Tskhinvali on Thursday night after days of escalating skirmishes.
The irony of this vicious little battle is that Saakashvili and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev could be close allies. They certainly have a lot in common—both are young, dynamic leaders who trained as lawyers before going into politics. They are far more westward-looking than their predecessors, and both of them are passionate about rooting out corruption and introducing the rule of law to their reluctant countrymen.

But instead of cooperating, the two men are on a collision course, locked in a confrontation that only one of them can win. In a sense, both leaders have been hijacked by history. South Ossetia was a festering conflict left over from the chaotic days of the Soviet Union's breakup. For nearly two decades, the Kremlin has supported Ossetia and Abkhazia, another tiny rebel enclave, with money and military supplies as part of an old-fashioned divide-and-rule policy designed to keep Georgia weak. Medvedev inherited that policy from Vladimir Putin—and now has little choice but to follow it through. Medvedev has been fighting the "wimp factor" ever since he took over as president in May; he cannot afford to look weaker than his tough-talking mentor.

The US is an obvious supporter of Georgia, and this spouted an awkward situation between the US and Russia. Recently, Putin and Bush exchanged harsh words, and one can't help but think, can this be the Cold War the second time around? I hope not, this is something the UN security council will see through, or a Nuclear Meltdown of the two superpowers is imperative. It is Five Minutes Till Midnight, but this new threat to world security will surely move the dial to four if this political unrest is not resolved soon.

Federalism: The Good and the Bad

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 0 comments

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said last monday that the elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) was rather “peaceful" despite clashes between government troops and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters in the provinces of North Cotabato and Basilan. In a press conference in its main office in Manila, the Comelec noted a 60 to 65-percent turnout for Tawi-Tawi and 60 percent for Lanao del Sur, Shariff Kabunsuan and Maguindanao. Henrietta T. de Villa, Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting head, said her group had noted a 60 to 70-percent voter turnout, contrary to fears that people might be discouraged to vote for security reasons, but 60 to 70 percent is still not 100.
The clash between the military and the MILF had cost lives ever since this erupted. Clearly this war is not what we, catholics or not want, and I think the Muslims agree. Then, what is the use of this non-sense, seemingly endless war mongering? How many more shall die before peace is achieved in Mindanao? Could Federalism be the answer to this endless strife?
The term federalism is also used to describe a system of the government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided.between a central governing authority and constituent political units (like states or provinces). Federalism is the system in which the power to govern is shared between the national and state governments, creating what is often called a federation. In BPS Politics' blog , he said that Jose Abueva, former president of University of the Philippines and a professor of public and administration we should take federal kind of government. He said that the Philippines would take a period of no less than 10 years to make a successful transition to federalism, involving a period of consolidation of several regions and intensive socioeconomic development in each of consolidated regions. Advantages of federal government are the following: (1) It ensures that government remains close to the people because the state government argue that they are more in tune with the daily needs and aspirations of people especially relevant to small and isolated places. (2) It encourages development of the nation in a decentralized and regional manner and allows for unique and innovative methods for attacking social, economic and political problems. (3) It provides a barrier to the dominance of the majority, while the disadvantages are the following: (1) It can lead to duplication of government and inefficient, over-lapping or contradictory policies in different parts of the country. (2) It can lead to inequality between the states and lead to unhealthy competition and rivalry between them. (3) It cal lead to over-government that will result to corruption. I have cited both faces of federal government in order to inform all of you that federal government is a good system of government and a good example of successful federal kind of government is the United States of America. But the question lies still, is federalism the answer to the endless strife in Mindanao?
I think it is possible to adopt a federalist system of government. While the advantages seem to be promising, the disadvantages should be weighed down carefully as adopting this kind of system would need a constitutional change. Responsibility is the main ingredient for this kind of system to run smoothly, and I think that the Philippines are not yet ready for this kind of government, as corruption poisons the country. With corrupted officials, the federalist system would bring terrible consequences for the constituents of the state.
But I should also point out that to say that federalism is not an answer would be fallacious and therefore illogical. This Catholic versus Muslim war are perpetrated by selfish people with the power to corrupt minds. They are selfish because their only pursuit is of personal gain and not of national or the general welfare of the people. They do not see the effects of war, the deaths it cause, the diseases it bring, and the costs it entails. They are the ones that seed this country with corruption, they are the ones that taint the image of this republic as a nation divided. But corruption can be corrected like the other problems that plague the country, all we need is to build this country once again as a nation that can stand through any challenge brought about by development. We need to change our system, a system that will cleanse our government of corruption and we can start now by having a mindset to battle the evil that beleaguers this country.

"Iskulelat": An Eye-Opener

Thursday, August 7, 2008 0 comments

Last monday, August 4, 2008, I was able to watch the episode "Iskulelat" a GMA News and Public Affairs documentary. It told the story of a far-flung elementary school in Lanao del Sur, Mindanao, Ariman Guro and the struggle of the teachers and students to teach and learn from what ample is given to them.

Every year, the Department of Education holds the National Elementary Achievement Test for all schools and every year, schools in Mindanao end up in the bottom ten. This year, Ariman Guro Elementary School in Lanao del Sur got an average score of 21.7%, the lowest grade among all elementary schools in the Philippines.

Sandra Aguinaldo, an award-winning journalist takes a good look at the dire situation the people of Ariman Guro face and her exposé expertise is given justice in this eye-opener documentary as she discovers Ariman Guro has only six teachers for all grade levels, with no subject specializations. The school sorely lacks chairs and tables and the only textbooks sent to them by government is for the Makabayan subject, they don't have textbooks for english, math and science, forcing the teachers to buy textbooks using money from their own pockets. The students at Ariman Guro often miss class because of the prevalence of "rido" or clan wars in the area. Many of the students here belong to warring families. She tells the story of 11-year old Fahad Cosain, who recently lost his uncle to Rido. For that and his own safety, he stays at home now instead of going to school. His young cousins now carry guns to protect themselves from attack. The school's candidate for valedictorian, Rahimah Nasroden, was also affected by her family's clan war. Rahimah was not allowed to go to school during the height of the conflict, for fear of abduction and possibly even assassination. Rahimah is back to school now and determined to finish her education, believing this is her only way out of poverty.

I can't help but to feel saddened by the fact that there are people who still suffer from this and also to feel thankful that I have been blessed to finish education when others struggle to even finish elementary and I thank God and my parents for that.
Sandra Aguinaldo also found out from the teachers there that they received funds from the regional education department fit only for buying chalk. The question then is what happened to the fund that is supposed to be theirs? This is evident that corruption bugs the town and its people. Do their government officials know the predicament of their actions? Do they know of the difficult situation the students and even the teachers of Ariman Guro face? How could they take the future of the children and their dreams. The evil that rido brings is a mere thing compared to the malice of corruption. This is the bringer of woes. The plague that has since bugged the Filipino people. When will this end? Nobody knows for sure, but until we stay apathetic from this kind of issues, nothing will change. I just hope that the questions that boggle the students and teachers of Ariman Guro are answered soon and the emancipation from the bondage of corruption and violence that they are hungry for be given to them.

A New Design for my Blog

Wednesday, August 6, 2008 0 comments

I decided to abandon once again (for the third time now) my old blogger template for this one. I like the green concept of this design, thanks to blogger templates for the code, though I would like to personalize it with widgets, I am afraid I might overdo it. I hope this will work out.

Cheap Oil: Soon to be Extinct?


I stumbled upon this article in The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists website and this confirms the possibilities I presented in my past article "The Root of All Our Woes". The Author Alfred Cavallo is an energy consultant based in New Jersey, Cavallo has worked at Princeton University's Center for Energy and Environmental Studies, where he studied indoor air quality, renewable energy, and transforming intermittent wind energy into a reliable power source. His article "OPEC, Peak Oil, and the end of Cheap Gas" is an eye-opener, highlighting the role of OPEC in the mockery of world economies and their contribution to the inflating price tags of oil and thus of petroleum products as well. Here is an excerpt of the Alfred Cavallo's article.

Since the beginning of the modern oil age in 1859, pessimists have warned that the oil wells would soon dry up or that oil production would peak and not be able to keep up with ever-increasing demand. Again and again, the pessimists have been proven wrong, often embarrassingly so, as science and technology have allowed more oil to be extracted from existing fields and from deposits in more challenging locations such as the Arctic and the deepest waters of the continental shelf. Indeed, oil production rates have increased, on average, by about 1.1 million barrels per day per year over the past 10 years.
But in many oil-producing nations, oil-field production really has peaked due to depletion of resources. This includes large producers such as the United States, Britain, Norway, Mexico, and Russia, and small producers such as Indonesia, Argentina, and Australia. Moreover, new oil field discoveries are generally getting smaller and more inaccessible.

Yet amid all the discussion about peak oil, one voice has been conspicuously absent, that of the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). OPEC's position on the petroleum-resource question should be the decisive factor in this ongoing and seemingly inconclusive debate. The organization now supplies about 42 percent of the world's petroleum and, unlike all other producers, OPEC members have quotas that are adjusted to insure that supply and demand are in equilibrium: If non-OPEC production were to either reach a plateau or begin to decline, OPEC producers would need to increase production substantially to meet ever-increasing world demand.
Oddly then, OPEC has been virtually silent on this issue. Their quiet refusal to comment cannot be due to lack of interest or expertise: OPEC now has its own research group that produces an annual
World Oil Outlook and a Monthly Market Report PDF that rival the work of any other energy forecasting group. Similarly, OPEC is certainly aware of the U.S. Geological Survey's World Petroleum Assessment Project, which for the first time brought industry and government experts together to evaluate world oil and gas resources. And OPEC is surely cognizant of ExxonMobil's projection PDF of a non-OPEC production peak by 2010 and the extensive discussion of petroleum resources in trade journals and the popular press.

Thus, OPEC's reasons for not publicly engaging in the peak oil debate must reside outside the rational business of drilling wells, building pipelines and refineries, and making market forecasts. Dissimulation or silence on the part of OPEC on these issues is a matter of prudence and subtle calculation.

Indeed, OPEC has a history of manipulating the oil market in response to political events. For instance, in 1973, OPEC raised oil prices by about a factor of four and embargoed oil exports to the United States in retaliation for U.S. support of Israel in the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. From 1985 to 1986, when Iran seemed about to win the war that followed Iraq's invasion in September 1980, OPEC increased oil production to drive down the price of oil in order to pressure Tehran to end the war. Following 9/11, OPEC decreased production by up to 5 million barrels per day to stabilize falling prices. In 2003, OPEC increased production by several million barrels per day to compensate for lost Iraqi supplies following the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq.
This history--by no means thorough or complete--demonstrates that OPEC is fully capable of taking decisive action to increase or decrease the price of oil by adjusting its production levels to protect its interests.

Since 2002, OPEC has increased its annual average basket price from about $24 per barrel to more than $125 per barrel--more than a factor of five. It has accomplished this increase with minor disruption in the world economy and without provoking significant retaliation from consumers. It's a stunning achievement.

Considering all of these factors, it's safe to conclude that the era of cheap oil is over, and that petroleum extraction rates won't increase substantially above current values. The transportation sector, which overwhelmingly relies on liquid fuels, will need to move toward much higher efficiency vehicles and electrification. Heating oil will become unaffordable, and heating and cooling using heat pumps powered with renewable electricity will have to become the new convention. Modern industrial economies will adapt to this new regime--if managed correctly, a benefit to everyone in the long run.
Furthermore, high oil prices mean that natural gas prices will also increase dramatically. In many markets, natural gas prices (including liquefied natural gas) are contractually tied to those of crude oil, while in the United States the link is informal. Since it costs as much to discover and drill for gas as it does for oil, producers in the past have obtained approximately equal prices (per unit of energy) for both.

"The Age of Expensive Oil" has finally arrived without large disruptions in the world economy, which is contrary to what many doomsayers predicted. They couldn't imagine that a modern economy could adapt to peak oil and foresaw the end of the modern industrial state, the end of large cities, and a return to a simple agrarian lifestyle coupled with a massive decrease in world population. Instead, peak oil has arrived gradually, without fanfare, and without major financial upheaval. The fundamental cause isn't primarily a limit on petroleum resources, but OPEC's long-term strategic considerations.
This development is as unexpected as it is welcome. For while it's appealing to believe that our addiction to oil will be cured by a sort of worldwide religious revival and the voluntary acceptance of limits on consumption, in practice, this is extremely unlikely. Far more certain is a market-based approach of gradually increasing prices to ration a scarce commodity and force consumers to take on efficiency, conservation, and new technologies as matters of extreme urgency.

Indeed, the truth is dire for economies that rely on oil for development and it is sad that the architects of fear themselves are those who produce and control oil and countries who don't belong in their circle are left to squander in the dark begging for their mercy. What will the future become for countries like the Philippines then? Surging oil prices is only a tiny speck in a big mosaic of problems this country faces and yet we cannot even address one so small for us to address the bigger problems that lie ahead of us.

*More of articles about oil can be found here.

Link List for Bloggers

Sunday, August 3, 2008 0 comments

Trestin recently commented on my article Brad Blogging: A Wonder of the Blogoshpere, and he proposed this idea, a list for blogger users only. I give it a try and here it goes.





4. Sound Libraries by Discovery Sound

5. World Ethnic Sample CDs



8. Super Space Cowboy


10. Jill's Grumles

11. Trestin Sports

Join us and spread the word!

The Root of All Our Woes

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 1 comments

According to the best estimates of a number of respected international geologists, including the French Petroleum Institute, Colorado School of Mines, Uppsala University and Petroconsultants in Geneva, the world will likely feel the impact of the peaking of most of the present large oil fields and the dramatic fall in supply by the end of this decade, 2010, or possibly even several years sooner. At that point, the world economy will face shocks which will make the oil price rises of the 1970's pale by contrast. In other words, we face a major global energy shortage for the prime fuel of our entire economy within about seven years. Could it be that the oil reserves in the middle east and in the US are running low? Experts believe there is no relief to what is happening in the economies of the world. As the oil reserves now experience its production to peak, barrels of oil will become more difficult to exploit, and more costly, as internal well pressures decline or other problems make recovery more expensive for each barrel. The oil is there but not at all easy to extract. The cost of each barrel past peak is increasingly higher as artificial means are employed to extract it. After a certain point it becomes uneconomical to continue to try to extract this peak oil. The world now has a false sense of energy supply security and the truth is anything but secure. The thing that built nations to prosper will in the future cause its downfall, unless we take action now. Can we slowly separate ourselves from oil? Can we reduce our dependency from it? This of course entails a lot of research and is certainly a possibility. I think that the answer to this problem is renewable energy. If we exploit and produce enough renewable energy then we can curb our dependency from oil and eventually address the root of all our woes.

State of the Nation Folly

Thursday, July 24, 2008 0 comments

On Monday, July 28, 2008, the president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will be giving her state of the nation address as promises fulfilled or somewhat in the process of fulfillment. What has happened since her last SONA? Have there been any progress in the general stature of our country?
The people have grown weary of her broken promises. It is evident in her latest public trust rating, because people today are more aware of the dirty tricks she has on her sleeve.
On Monday, she will deliver again what might seem just gibberish told in a common tongue, promises not fulfilled or half fulfilled but is it still necessary? Nothing can be done really when the root of all our woes is not addressed. The collective ideals of the Filipino people are somewhat divided now, like before. Until we remain divided we will still suffer the same fate.
I just hope that this Monday a ray of hope will come because I believe there is still hope for the Filipino people. Change is possible said Obama, and I believe him, all we need is a catalyst to start the process.

Brad Blogging: A wonder of the blogosphere

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 1 comments

I recently stumbled upon Brad Blogging hoping to find answers on how to increase my technorati authority and here's what I got. Brad blogging is really a great help to newbie bloggers like me. Check his website. Here's the ever growing list of bloggers that support Brad blogging.
1. Brad - Personal Blog Tips And Blog Help
2. Daily Blogging Tips At The Daily Rambler
3. Blog Chews - Blog About Anything
4. Steve v4.6 - Big Made Small
6. Indo - Find the Latest Contest Here
7. POTPOLITICS-We Smoke the Competition
8. ATA -
9. Dolly’s Daily Diary
10. The Tech Juice - Tech Tips And More
11. Wendy’s OBA, Blog Tips & Tricks
12. Wendy’s Reel - Fact And Fancy
13. A Grateful Heart
14. 50+Whatever..Just some Ramblings in Life
16. The Blog for DesignCreatology
17. Contest Whiz - The Blog Contest Expert
18. About Blog Contests
19. Esmeraldasblog - Como aumentar la Authority de Technorati
20. Best Widgets for free - Blog Widgets
21. New life by Pitonizza
22. Todo Seiya - Como aumentar la Authority de Technorati
23. Blog for Spanish Readers
24. The Blogger And The Blog
25. Hero Help
26. Makmalcyber
27. Forex Study
28. Techyplus
29. 8
30. Darn Good Reviews
31. Blogger Tips - DotBlogger
32. Lilyruths This and That
33. That Blog 4 Me
34. Pinoytek - Make Money Online and SEO Blog
35. Snigit(blogspot)
36. Snigit(.com)
37. Best Of The Web
38. Swat the Fly
39. Area3000
40. Shut Up And Eat
41. Find Torrent Blog
42. Cebu in the World
43. Web Design
44. Trestin Adventures
45. Ask Trestin
46. Trestin Autobiography
47. Trestin Ideas
48. Trestin Gallery
49. Trestin Games
50.Trestin Hall Of Fame
51. Trestin History
52. Parnell Forever
53. Trestin Political
54. Trestin Spiritual
55. Trestin Sports
56. Trestin Store - Yep, Each One Of These Are Different Blogs.
57. The Ordinary Agung
58. Il blog di Luca Marchi
59. What About Brazil?
60. Shri Radha Krishna Blog
61. Hawaiian Travel Blog
62. Hawaii Cruise Superstore
64. Over The Sky
65. Yavinator log
66. I Travel to Work do you?
67. The Home Page of Tony Smith, Writer of Comic Books, Articles & Screenplays
68. Ultimate Credit Online
69. The Rhythm of Write
70. A Hoosier Family
71. Analyzed Marketing Solutions
72. O2S Media
73. Project Swole - Fitness and Nutrition
74. Life is simple, Don’t make it complicated
75. Yet Another Blog from Marco Ciacci
76. Freebies, Making money and More
77. Babysitter On Board
78.Vhiel’s Corner
79. Anything and Everything in Between
80. Designs By Vhiel
81. Can of Thoughts
82. Only in Silence
83. Everything Nice!
84.Reference Notes
85. It’s a woman’s world!
86. Ramki’s Blog
88. Picture Clusters
89. Maiylah’s Snippets
90. My Wanderings
91. Confessions of a Supermodel Wannabe
92. Tiklaton: We are the Witness!
93. Aeirin Collections
94. The Big Dog
95. O’Joy of my life…
96. Through the Rain
97. More Than A Mom
98. Say Cheese
99. The Journey
100. Photo Hook
101. Life Quest
102. Dew Drops - Making Sense… Somehow
103. The Small Business Marketing Blog
104. TheSuburbanFarmer
105. Konaini Blog
106. Worldly Economic Thoughts
107. Esperto Seo
108. gd labs gianfranco davide reppucci Blog
109. insidetheworld Italian Linux and Security Blog team
110. The Back Forty
111. studentefreelance
112. The Barber Bunch
113. Doremixy
114. CoffeeCoffeeCoffee
115. This Side of Eternity
116. Think Creative
117. Moomettesgram’s Musings
118.The Daily Dollar Report
119. The Sweet Life
120. Box 5150
121. Your Fun Family
122. No Nonsense Internet Tips
123. Brazoscowgirl
124. Pandu Cari Duit Blogging For Profit
125. Cash In Style - Making Money Online
126. Speedcat
127. The4thWall
128. Sconicle
129. Heap Up
130. Zchelle’s World
131. My Life…. My Journey!
132. God’s Creation
133. Family Health & Relationships
134. My Inner Feelings
136. Ezekun
137. Welcome To Our Homeschool Adventures
138. Schlossy’s Blog
139. Teasas Tips
140. Affiliate Revenue Resources
141. DouDy Sketche Watercolor Paintings
142. Pictures in Egypt
143. Painting Artworks
144. Optimizing for Search Engines
145. Creaky Easel
146. The Loquatious Artist
147. Straight from the Heart
148. Advertising for Success
149. Take It To The Limit
150. Il Migratore
151. MsTrisMusic.Com
152. Viaggi
153. Monkey Giggles
154. Supla Online
155. Daily Reflection
156. Techno Zone
157. Free Blogging Resources - Blogoninja
158. Wcgiligan
159. Stranger
160. Runjun Blog
161. Scelto
163. Rajiv’s Blog!
164. Codexofdreams
165. Flotsam and Jetsam
166. Benefit everyone on this list. Join Today! - We Update The List Daily.
Thanks to Can Of Thoughts for the scrolling list

Saving the Endangered Species of the Philippines

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 0 comments

The endangered species of the Philippines are threatened once more as their dwindling numbers steadily decrease. Is the government doing something about it? Are we doing something to prevent their extinction? These are the questions that boggled me when I heard the news (24 oras) a while ago.
50% of the animal species here in the Philippines belong now in the ever growing endangered list as more forests are razed and formed into agricultural and residential areas to sustain our constantly swelling population. Is this the consequence of our ignorance? Is this the price we have to pay for our blatant apathy not only towards animals but also to the environment as a whole? How much more filthy rivers, denuded mountains, industrial waste spillage, coral reef destruction, extinct animal species and deaths by flash flood, land slide, famine and drought must happen before we even begin to think of our future?
I dare say that in order for this to stop, we have to act now. We need to start becoming sympathetic to our environment. I recently joined Greenpeace and became an online activist because I wanted to act, I wanted to do something before things go out of hand. I think that this one simple step to achieving a greener Philippines. One that we Filipinos can be truly proud of. I will be honest here, when I was young I never dreamed of living my whole lifetime here, I saw myself living abroad. But then again, when I travelled to Pagudpud in the far north of the Philippines, I realized the natural splendor of my own country and how much potential it has. I just hope that each and every Filipino will somehow discover this as well.
I believe that by doing small things we can do away with the big things that bug the country, the world and even the universe. Small things like conserving energy, conserving water, becoming more environmentally conscious will save the big issues of environmental degradation and climate change. In this context, I say our country should begin thinking about saving the forests of our country to stop the growing number of endangered species here. Why not suggest ideas like trading and recycling paper, so that demand for it will decrease, and thus save forests in the end. The recycling issue here is controversial and more likely to fail because we failed to inculcate in the youth the importance of our environment. Even worse they see us doing nothing about our environment, they somehow see it as 'natural' and thus see it as good.
This got to end and it has to end now. Like what I have said before in my past entries, we can do something about this and I really need the help of guys like you. Let's make our world a better place for the next generation to come.

Discovering Renewable Energy Sources

Monday, July 21, 2008 1 comments

I have always pondered on the solution for the energy crisis that seems to loom all over us since the oil prices have steadily swelled since february of this year, and I can't help but think is the government doing something about it? Have they thought of renewable energy sources? If so, what are the renewable energy sources they are planning to take? defines Renewable Energy as energy generated from natural resources—such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides and geothermal heat—which are renewable (naturally replenished). Renewable energy technologies range from solar power, wind power, hydroelectricity/micro hydro, biomass and biofuels for transportation. Market for these renewable energy sources have been steadily rising in the past few decades especially now that oil prices are steadily rising due to it's dwindling supply but constantly swelling demand. People are more wary now of the use of the ever-so-precious oil and its effects in the environment. But the question remains, what is the most effective renewable energy source for the Philippines?

The Philippines is among the few countries that lie in the so-called ring of fire and knowing this one would deduce that the answer to the question which renewable energy source would be most effective here would be Geothermal energy. The Philippines has plenty numerous active volcanoes, where the geothermal energy is harnessed. There are a lot of geothermal power plants here, in fact the Philippines is the second largest geothermal energy producer in the world, behind the US.

The country aims to double its renewable energy capacity by 2013, from 30 to 60 percent. To this end, the Philippines' Department of Energy (DOE) set the following goals:

  • 1. To be the largest geothermal energy producer in the world
  • 2. To be the leading wind energy producer in Southeast Asia
  • 3. To install 130-250 MW of biomass, solar, and ocean capacity.
  • 4. To become the solar manufacturing export hub of the Association of Southeast

This is all possible only corruption threatens this mere possibility. If only government officials and those people of power veer away from corruption we will somehow find ourselves outwinning the US as the largest geothermal energy producing country in the world.

Next is solar energy. The Philippines lying somewhat near the equator, receives a lot of sunshine and therefore is suited for solar energy plants. Solar energy can be harnessed through panels converting heat and light from the sun into electricity and also through steam that would power turbines (solar thermal). At present, our country is using solar panels, and not solar thermal.

The world's largest solar project is the Philippine National Oil Company's (PNOCs) solar home system in Luzon. In the past two years, it has been providing electricity to 2,160 households in the Cordillera, the Visayas, and remote areas in Mindanao. The PNOC's solar home system targets 15,000 households in 2007. Puerto Princesa City in Palawan, the Philippines' cleanest and greenest city, expects to complete a solar utility project that promises to be larger than PNOcs. Twenty-five thousand solar panels covering 20-hectares of land will be installed to support the city's energy supply. In Mindanao, at least four solar power projects are in progress.

Third, the Philippines has untapped wind resources. Wind-based power is a very practical way of electrifying remote and far-flung areas that are off the power grid. Studies of the World Wildlife Fund and the University of the Philippines cite 1,038 wind sites in the country with a potential capacity of 7,404 MW. Potential sites considered feasible for using wind energy include 686 sites in Luzon and 305 in Visayas. The Philippines plan to install wind-based power projects with a capacity of at least 417 MW in the next 10 years. One of these, the Bangui Bay project, will generate 25 MW.

One still unexplored area that may finally be the key to energy independence is ocean wave energy. Studies done in collaboration with Japanese scientists show that there are 16 potential areas for ocean thermal energy conversion. The Philippines may become the first to use this form of energy - using tidal and marine current to generate electricity. This has a potential of supplying the country with 170,000 MW of energy.

Fourth, the controversial and yet useful biomass fuel. The Philippines discovered alternative source of renewable energy that uses wood, straw, animal manure, rice husks, and sugar cane. Burning these agricultural wastes generates heat, steam, and energy able to operate a 30-megawatt (MW) biomass plant, which provides electricity to several towns and generates savings worth thousands of barrels of fuel oil. Coming up are two more biomass plants. UK-based Bronzeoak, which operates a Biomass plant in Talisay Batangas, plans to put in US$100 million in the next three years to expand its operations. The other is an experiment project in Isabela using rice hulls to produce biomass.The Department of Agriculture and Department of Environment and natural Resources estimates that the Philippines biomass energy will reach an equivalent of 301.5 million barrels of fuel oil in 2008. Some people disagree using biomass fuel because somehow the disadvantages far outweigh the advantages of using this kind of energy. Crop lands used for farming rice and other sources of food will be turned into lands that will cultivate plants that will provide biofuel.

It is clear that there are a lot of possibilities for the Philippines when it comes to renewable energy, it is debatable however if the mere possibilty will remain only a possibility through dirty politics, greed and corruption.

*Data from

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