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2019 November

2018 November

2018 September

2018 August

2018 July

2018 June

2018 May

  • I already saw this on Twitter but I figured I might as well share this version which managed to cross three different social networks. Maybe I should post a screenshot of this Facebook post on Reddit

    Quoted Natalee Kate's Facebook post:

    Dashboard Confessional I'll always have a place in my heart for you <3

    (Click photos to view full-size)

  • Nakaka high blood

    Quoted Raymond Rodis's Facebook post:

    How DOLE scammed us out of P2 million pesos and how it rushed the implementation of a P168 million government training project in 1 week.

    Cabinet Secretary Silvestre Bello III broke our contract.

    Apparently the very man who is against contractualizat ion is also against honoring contracts that he is a signatory to.

    The short version of this:

    Government told us to prepare a training for 880 people.

    When the government wasn't able to bring 880 people on the day itself, they told us they would only pay for the trainees they were able to bring.

    They told us that it doesn't matter if we paid for venues, facilitators, food, materials for 880 people, they say tough luck service provider and that it doesn't matter if our contract said 880 people.

    Imagine you are a business owner and someone booked your room good for 20 people and told you to prepare food and training for 20 people.

    The client only managed to bring in 10 people on the day itself and then months later they tell you they will only pay you half because they only brought in half capacity.

    So not only do they pay less than the stipulated amount, they pay really late. The absurdity of the logic that government thinks it can get away with.

    The whole scam started October 17, 2017 when there was a call for proposals for service providers for the JobStart Life Skills Training Program.

    The JobStart Program, based on RA 10869, is a training program for out of school youth to be trained in life skills as to make them more employable.

    It's a noble program in theory but like most government projects, it was ruined by poor government implementation.

    Our company decided to submit a bid even though we knew this was government and they probably already had a "favored" service provider. Still we tried.

    It was a business decision to try because we wanted to land a big project before the year ended.

    On October 26, 2017, we met for the very first time to discuss our proposal.

    We were shocked when they were expecting that the chosen service provider would start the phase I of the training for 880 trainees by November 16, 2017 in Pasig City.

    That was just 20 days away and we were still in the negotiation stage. We were told they were rushing this project because they needed to meet their performance targets for the year.

    On November 2, 2017, they made their first offer to us.

    We didn't agree to their first contract, we said it was not feasible to rush such a big project and we needed more money if we were going to be able to book venues for 10 straight days of training during Christmas season.

    The training was now just 14 days away and as service provider we were expected to provide everything from the venue, facilitators, food, materials, and other necessities.

    On November 7, 2017, we finally agreed on taking the contract as they agreed to pay us P6,160,000 budget given the P7,000 pesos individual allotment for the 880 trainees they contracted.

    We were taking an enormous risk because this huge contract would start in just 9 days and that we were not going to be paid a single centavo until the training was done meaning we would have to borrow millions.

    In spite of not having a signed contract yet as it would take months to sign, we only took this risk because BLE Director Ruth Rodriguez assured us we would be paid in full by December 2017 which was a complete lie.

    We worked day and night to make the training work out successfully which it did. DOLE never once complained about the fulfillment of our obligations as we did great under the circumstances.

    We ignored the fact that DOLE was completely useless and sometimes even detrimental to the trainings.

    One high ranking DOLE official would smoke in front of the out of school youth when we were teaching them life skills.

    JobStart trainees were promised P200 per day stipend from DOLE and DOLE officials would sometimes not give them the money because they were absent.

    DOLE Officials were often absent during the actual training and only showed up to take credit during the last day of graduation.

    Some government officials even made sure to give as much food to themselves instead of the out of school youth beneficiaries
    How can we teach Life Skills to the youth with role models like this.

    The government told us to prepare venues, food, facilitators, materials for 880 people. On the day itself though, the government was only able to bring in 594 trainees.

    We managed to graduate more than 85% of them which was well above the 80% key performance indicator the government set out for us.

    We finished our series of trainings by December 14, 2017 and on December 27, 2017, we were the very first service provider to give our completion reports of the training. We were told that was what was needed to get our payment.

    On March 20, 2018, I was told that we would not be paid the full amount of P6.1 million

    I set up a meeting with BLE asking why.

    On April 5, 2018, they told me the reason why they were paying us less was because the government was only able to bring in 594 trainees so they would only pay us P4.1 million.

    When I pointed our contract said we would be paid P6.1 million and that it was government's duty to get participants so it was their fault if they couldn't get people, the DOLE lawyer had the audacity to say the contract is not what is binding on us.

    I told him as every 1st year law student is taught that the contract is the law between the parties.

    He kept insisting that they should only pay per trainee.

    I pointed out the absurdity of his argument. The budget was P7,000 per beneficiary.

    Following his argument, if government only brought in 1 trainee, we would only be paid P7,000 yet we were bound to provide food, venues, facilitators good for 880 people.

    No sane person would have ever agreed to such terms.

    I told him that the terms of the contract provided for a lump sum amount of P6.1 million.

    I told him as this contract was prepared by DOLE, it should be interpreted against DOLE as it was a contract of adhesion.

    The only thing this "lawyer" could reply was "Are you trying to badger me?"

    I also pointed out that as per their own contract stipulation, DOLE would have to inform the contractor in writing if they wanted to change the number of trainees we were to prepare for yet they failed to do so. He didn't have an answer.

    The meeting ended with DOLE officials promising us if we submitted proof of actual costs suffered by ASPIRE, they would raise the amount they would pay us.

    We submitted our documents in good faith yet government did not increase our amount by a single peso.

    On April 6, 2018, as per our contract's requirement of dispute resolution, we submitted a notice of dispute addressed to Secretary Bello.

    As per the contract DOLE prepared, they had 14 days to meet with us.

    Guess what? They did not respond at all within the 14 days.

    We sent a second demand letter by April 26 as they violated their own dispute resolution procedure.

    Yesterday, a month after our original letter, DOLE finally replied with a 1 page letter.

    Instead of answering our long list of arguments 1 by 1, their 1 page letter which took 1 whole month to write was "we find the payment received to be in order" which is code for we aren't going to pay you not a single centavo more.

    They didn't cite ANY legal or contractual ground to deny our claim.

    This is extremely unjust.

    The contract said P6.1 million. Let me say we would NEVER have agreed to this contract had we known we would only get 4.1 million.

    We lost a LOT of money at 4.1 million. 4.1 million might sound like a lot but it disappears quickly after taxes, food costs, trainers, materials, venues for 880 people for 10 days.

    It was NOT our duty to get participants. It was government's fault that they weren't able to get participants.

    We shouldered all the risk because we paid for everything in advance and now months later, government suddenly says they won't want to pay the agreed upon amount.

    Government paid us LATE and LESS than what we were promised.

    We were defrauded by these officials. Is it any wonder businesses don't like dealing with government.

    We are now preparing a case against the DOLE and the officials who defrauded us.

    We need your help though as it's hard to go against a government agency. It's David vs Goliath.

    We need the media to raise awareness about the anomalies in a P168 million government program.

    We need Congress to know how DOLE is screwing up the implementation of the JobStart Law.

    We need the Executive to know how incompetent the current DOLE officials are.

    We need the people to know how easy it is for government to screw up the private sector.

    Please help us make DOLE answer for this injustice.

2018 April

2018 March

2018 February

  • Alvin Tang Brian Jeffrey Tang

    Quoted Boing Boing's Facebook post:

    How to use your baby as a piece of exercise equipment

    (Click photos to view full-size)

  • "Time flows like a river and history repeats"

    Quoted Mike Alcazaren's Facebook post:


    Let’s go back in time, 40 years ago, to 1978. 8 years before the EDSA Revolution, 6 years into Martial Law, 5 years under a new 1973 Constitution ratified by the controversial “citizen assemblies”, a President ruling by decree, a decimated opposition, media that was controlled by the government & preparations for national elections for REGIONAL representation. Did we move forward, sidewards, do a U-Turn or are we running around in circles? *Newspaper headlines from Bulletin Today (predecessor of the Manila Bulletin), published by Brig. General Hans Menzi, former Marcos aide.

    1. GOVT FORMS SUPER PARTY. The KILUSANG BAGONG LIPUNAN (KBL) or The New Society Movement is created to participate in the first Interim Parliamentary Elections. Party members come from the old Nacionalista Party of Marcos, his technocrats, crony businessmen and a few turncoats from the LP.
    2. PROMINENT JAILED OPPOSITION LEADER SEEKS TO PARTICIPATE IN ELECTIONS. Convicted by a military tribunal for murder, illegal possession of firearms & sedition, former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. decides to run for the 1978 Interim National Assembly. (He also smuggles letters & articles from his prison cell and is in solitary confinement.)
    3. OPPOSITION FORMS METRO MANILA TICKET FOR ELECTIONS. The opposition fields a coalition ticket for Metro Manila under the “Lakas ng Bayan” (Laban) banner. Heading the ticket is detained leader Benigno S. Aquino with former Senator Lorenzo Tañada as campaign manager. The line-up includes Nene Pimentel (the original & better one), Former Senators Francisco Rodrigo, Ernesto Maceda, Ramon Mitra, former constitutional convention delegate Napoleon Rama, Neptali Gonzales, former Education Secretary Alejandro Roces, labor leader Alex Boncayao (for whom the dreaded NPA “Sparrow” liquidation unit was named after), former detainee and urban poor leader Trining Herrera, former activist Gery Barican and Charito Planas. (They all eventually lose of course 0-21 with Imelda topping the polls. But fabulous that it's the pimped-up ruling party today!)
    4. PRESIDENT WARNS OF OPPOSITION PLOT TO OVERTHROW THE GOV’T. President Marcos accuses the opposition Lakas ng Bayan of inciting the people to overthrow the New Society. Imelda Marcos further warned: “Any victory for the opposition will be exploited by their foreign supporters to agitate our people…It would be a pity if we give any vote to the opposition, which has allowed itself to be used by foreigners to divide the Filipino people and sow hatred and dissension in their midst.” (No they didn’t blame Loida Nicolas-Lewis but the opposition in exile led by former Senators Raul Manglapus & Sonny Alvarez.)
    5. GOVT PROTESTS HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT. The U.S. State Department releases a report criticising the Philippine government for “severe intrusions on individual rights.” The Philippine Embassy defended: “It is incorrect to state that there has been ‘severe curtailment of human rights of individual citizens.”(Damn Human Rights!)
    6. GOV’T DENOUNCES FOREIGN PRESS: Foreign Secretary Carlos Romulo accuses some members of the foreign media of being biased for the political opposition. (Hmmm…fake news in 1978?)
    7. PRESIDENTIAL CRONY INTERVENES IN CONTROVERSIAL BUSINESS DEAL. Businessman Herminio Disini, a golfing buddy of Ferdinand Marcos, was involved in the bid to construct what would have been the country’s first Nuclear Power Plant. The contract was awarded to Westinghouse courtesy of a 4 page proposal brokered by Disini. The Philippine National Power Corporation, the lead agency for the development of the Nuclear Power Plant, already recommended General Electric based on a 3 VOLUME proposal submitted to them. The President promised to investigate the matter. (May post-it notes rin kaya si Disini sa 4-page proposal? Naimbento na ba ang Post-its in '78?)
    8. RP vs CHINA : SPRATLY ISLANDS. The Spratly Islands in the news as RP occupies Panata island bringing the total to 7 islands occupied by the Philippine military. (Still in the news again but now RP ❤ China.)
    9. MAYON VOLCANO ERUPTS. Almost same time 40 years later, the volcano rumbles. Does it know something?
    10. FL NOMINATED BY PINOY FOR NOBEL PEACE PRIZE. Engineer Virgilio Dionisio sent the nomination to the Nobel HQ in Norway citing Imelda Marcos’s meeting with Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi to negotiate peace with MNLF Leader Nur Misuari. (Too bad wala pa ang interwebs for on-line polling)

    The last one probably isn’t as bizarre as the actual declaration of President Rodrigo Duterte as the “Best President in the Solar System” according to a “global poll”. Ano sa tingin n'yo ka-DDS?

    (Click photos to view full-size)

2018 January