Friday, June 08, 2012

Banking travails of a senior citizen . .

This was sent by a friend through my yahoo account. I consider this one worth posting. So here goes.

Shown below, is an actual letter that was sent to a bank by an 86 year old woman. The bank manager thought it amusing enough to have it published in the Times.

Dear Sir:

I am writing to thank you for bouncing my cheque with which I endeavoured to pay my plumber last month.

By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting the cheque and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honor it..

I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my entire pension, an arrangement which, I admit, has been in place for only eight years.

You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account £30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank.

My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways. I noticed that whereas I personally answer your telephone calls and letters, --- when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become.

From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person.

My mortgage and loan repayments will therefore and hereafter no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank, by cheque, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must nominate.

Be aware that it is an OFFENSE under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope.

Please find attached an Application Contact which I require your chosen employee to complete.

I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative.

Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Notary Public figure, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof.

In due course, at MY convenience, I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me.

I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modelled it on the number of button presses required of me to access my account balance on your phone bank service.

As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Let me level the playing field even further.

When you call me, press buttons as follows:


#1. To make an appointment to see me

#2.. To query a missing payment.

#3. To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.

#4 To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping.

#5. To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature.

#6. To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home.

#7. To leave a message on my computer, a password to access my computer is required.

Password will be communicated to you at a later date to that Authorized Contact mentioned earlier.

#8. To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 to 9

#9. To make a general complaint or inquiry.

The contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service.

While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call.

Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.

May I wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous New Year?

Your Humble Client

And remember:
Don't make old people mad. We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss us off.

Update on the Rationalization Plan per EO 366

Source from the DBM Central Office reveals that as of May 15, 2012, a total of 91 Rationalization Plans(RPs) have been approved comprising of 52 departments/agencies; 18 other executive offices (OEOs); and 21 GOCCs/GFIs.

The RPs of 66 other entities - 60 departments/agencies; three (3) OEOs; and three (3) GOCCs/GIFs are still being evaluated by the DBM. On the other hand, 20 departments/agencies and four (4) OEOs have yet to submit or resubmit their respective RPs.

A total of 216 government entities (132 department/agencies; 25 OEOs; and 59 GOCCs/GFIs were required to submit their RPs to the DBM pursuant to EO 366. However, the evaluation of the RPs of 35 GOCCs/GFIs were put on hold as these entities are now under the Governance Commission for GOCCs created under R.A. No. 10149.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pres. Aquino's Platform and Policy Pronouncement on Budget and Management

The new President's Platform of Government has been translated into specific policy pronouncement for each major agency of the bureaucracy. Here's the one for the DBM:


In line with the principle of zero-based budgeting, the DBM Organizational Performance Indicator Framework (OPIF) will be linked with the Civil Service Commission (CSC) Performance Management system-Office Performance Evaluation System (PMS-OPES). The qualitative and quantitative measures of agency performance as well as compliance with findings of the Commission on Audit (COA) shall determine succeeding budget allocations.

1.Create a program plan for a zero-based budgeting for all national government agencies.
2.Determine the present state of the budget to see how much of the FY 2010 GAA is left.
3.Ensure that all employees and officials of the department will have their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) available and accessible to the public.
4.Ensure that government agencies and offices will be streamlined to have clear-cut and distinct mandates in order to spur greater efficiency and accountability.
5.Work with the CSC to ensure that performances of government agencies and civil servants will be evaluated rationally and systematically through an effective and measurable performance management system to be approved by the CSC.
6.Ensure that qualification standards will be strictly followed, and at least half of the positions of Undersecretaries and Assistant Secretaries will be filled with honest and competent career civil servants to ensure continuity and sustainability of effective policies and programs.
7.Work with government agencies to organize, package and disseminate all budgets to the media regularly and posted in the internet for public consumption.
8.Ensure transparency in budget processes through an open information system and formation flow by:
• Posting details of all lump sum disbursements in the DBM web site
• Immediately formulating a self-imposed set of conditions for the release of appropriations charged against “unprogrammed” funds so as to eliminate abuse
9.Create a Presidential Select Committee to provide oversight over all lump sum disbursements (PDAF), contingency, calamity, AFMA, intelligence and confidential funds). This Committee should be composed of bi-partisan members of the legislature, the private sector and civil society members who shall be bound by an Oath of Confidentiality.
10.Regularly package and disseminate information on agency budgets, bidding and procurement documents and SLANs of senior government officials, to ensure transparency and accountability.
11.Ensure that the Department of Budget and Management is streamlined and rationalized to have clear-cut and distinct mandates and that qualification standards, especially on eligibility, will be strictly followed.
12.Work with the CSC to ensure that performance of government agencies and civil servants will be evaluated rationally and systematically through an effective and measurable performance management system to be approved by the CSC.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

P-Noy's Platform of Government

It's been quite sometime since my last post. The assumption of Benigno Aquino III as the country's 15th President has renewed my enthusiasm to update this site. The government's official web site ( is under reconstruction so the new president's platform of government is not yet known to many Filipinos.

So for a start, here's an excerpt:

The Vision for the Philippines:

A country with…

1. A re-awakened sense of right and wrong, through the living examples of our highest leaders;

2. An organized and widely-shared rapid expansion of our economy through a government
dedicated to honing and mobilizing our people’s skills and energies as well as the
responsible harnessing of our natural resources;

3. A collective belief that doing the right thing does not only make sense morally, but translates into economic value as well;

4. Public institutions rebuilt on the strong solidarity of our society and its communities.

Our Mission:

We will start to make these changes first in ourselves---by doing the right things, by giving value to excellence and integrity and rejecting mediocrity and dishonesty, and by giving priority to others over ourselves.

We will make these changes across many aspects of our national life.

A Commitment to Transformational Leadership:

1. From a President who tolerates corruption .. > to a President who is the nation’s first and most determined fighter of corruption.

2. From a government that merely conjures economic growth statistics that our people know to be unreal .. > to a government that prioritizes jobs that empower the people and provide them with opportunities to rise above poverty.

3. From relegating education to just one of many concerns .. > to making education the central strategy for investing in our people, reducing poverty and building national competitiveness.

4. From treating health as just another area for political patronage .. > to recognizing the advancement and protection of public health, which includes responsible parenthood, as key measures of good governance.

5. From justice that money and connections can buy .. > to a truly impartial system of institutions that deliver equal justice to rich or poor.


6. From government policies influenced by well-connected private interests .. > to a leadership that executes all the laws of the land with impartiality and decisiveness.

7. From treating the rural economy as just a source of problems, > to recognizing farms and rural enterprises as vital to achieving food security and more equitable economic growth, worthy of re-investment for sustained productivity.

8. From government anti-poverty programs that instill a dole-out mentality .. > to well-considered programs that build capacity and create opportunity among the poor and the marginalized in the country.

9. From a government that dampens private initiative and enterprise .. > to a government that creates conditions conducive to the growth and competitiveness of private businesses, big, medium and small.

10. From a government that treats its people as an export commodity and a means to earn foreign exchange, disregarding the social cost to Filipino families .. > to a government that creates jobs at home, so that working abroad will be a choice rather than a necessity; and when its citizens do choose to become OFWs, their welfare and protection will still be the government’s priority.

Government Service

11. From Presidential appointees chosen mainly out of political accommodation .. > to discerning selection based on integrity, competence and performance in serving the public good.

12. From demoralized but dedicated civil servants, military and police personnel destined for failure and frustration due to inadequate operational support .. > to professional, motivated and energized bureaucracies with adequate means to perform their public service missions.

Gender Equality

13. From a lack of concern for gender disparities and shortfalls, > to the promotion of equal gender opportunity in all spheres of public policies and programs.

Peace & Order

14. From a disjointed, short-sighted Mindanao policy that merely reacts to events and incidents .. > to one that seeks a broadly-supported just peace and will redress decades of neglect of the Moro and other peoples of Mindanao.


15. From allowing environmental blight to spoil our cities, where both the rich and the poor bear with congestion and urban decay .. > to planning alternative, inclusive urban developments where people of varying income levels are integrated in productive, healthy and safe communities.

16. From a government obsessed with exploiting the country for immediate gains to the detriment of its environment .. > to a government that will encourage sustainable use of resources to benefit the present and future generations.

This platform is a commitment to change that Filipinos can depend on. With trust in their leaders, everyone can work and build a greater future together.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Must-read updates!

In my post last Oct 10th (Waived items in the 2010 NEP), I mentioned that three (3) PS costs were retained as waived items from the 45%-55% PS limitation. My source of information was the 2010 National Expenditures Program (NEP), otherwise known as the President's Budget, particularly, Section 87, General Provisions which was posted in the DBM Central Office web site. The printed hard copy of the same document, however, revealed that their are two (2) other PS costs added as waived items. These are: (a) retirement gratuity and terminal leave benefits of retiring LGU personnel; and (b) in the case of barangays, the Year-end Bonus of mandatory barangay officials up to P1,000 for the Punong Barangay and P600 each for the Kagawad, Barangay Secretary and Treasurer.

Before they went on recess last October, the House of Representatives approved on second reading the 2010 Budget (General Appropriations Bill). The waived items mentioned were carried in the House approval. It is expected that when the Senate resumes session today, November 9th, the budget bill will be among those that the body will tackle.

Revision of 20% Development Fund usage. In the next few weeks, a joint circular will be issued by the DILG and DBM revising Joint Circular No. 2005-1, prescribing the guidelines on the utilization of 20% Internal Revenue Allotment for development projects.

The revised guidelines will be issued in response to the requests of LGUs stricken by the recent calamities. In particular, projects related to disaster response, mitigation and preparedness will be added as among those that can be funded by the 20% Development Fund. These include: construction or rehabilitation of evacuation or relocation centers; purchase or repair of area-wide calamity-related alarm or warning system; purchase or repair of calamity-related rescue operations equipment; construction or rehabilitation of local roads and bridges; and purchase of dump trucks, graders and pay loaders.

The joint circular was drafted by the DILG, and in our coordination meeting today, the regional directors were asked to come up with the DBM comments and suggestions.

Monday, October 26, 2009

P 12 B Calamity Fund: The tale of two versions.

When Congress resumes session on November 9th, the Bicameral Conference Committee will try to reconcile the House and the Senate versions of Joint Resolution No. 48, setting aside P12 B to augment the already depleted Calamity Fund of the national government.

House version. The P 12 B will be sourced from the Unprogrammed Fund. Said Fund is among the Special Purpose Funds in the yearly GAA. DBM releases the money once the Bureau of Treasury certifies that the revenue back up has been collected. With the collection of our main collecting agencies, the BIR and BoC on a downtrend, that money is illusory. Thus, the House authorized the President to resort to borrowings. This means too that the money is not readily available because the government will have to look for investors for its blond flotation or schedule a series of treasury bill auctions.

Senate version. On the other hand, the Senate identifies the government's share from the Malampaya natural gas project as the funding source for the calamity fund augmentation. It is not clear though if the money is already available that is, the government share from the natural gas extraction has already been sold and the proceeds deposited in the National Treasury.

Time is of the essence considering that more relief operations are needed and massive rehabilitation efforts have yet to be started in areas affected by the typhoons "Ondoy", "Pepeng" and the previous typhoon "Frank".

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Waived items in the 2010 NEP.

When Joint Resolution No. 4 (JR 4) was signed and the corresponding SSL 3 1st tranche guidelines (Executive Order No. 811) was issued by the President, the apprehension of many LGUs that they cannot implement the first tranche became a reality.

Position papers were prepared and submitted to Congress appealing to our legislators to amend Section 7 of JR No. 4 which provides that the determination by the local sanggunian of the salaries and wages of local government personnel shall be subject to the PS limitation prescribed under Section 325(a)of RA 7160. One such position paper was prepared by the Iloilo MBOs Association (IMBOA) which was adopted by the Iloilo League of Municipalities, and later on by the LMP Visayas. Nothing's been heard about Congress' response to the position paper.

What's closer to reality? It seems Congress is not keen on amending that disputed section of JR 4. We suggested that another tack may be employed by LGUs - which is to lobby to their respective Congressmen for the retention of Section 88, General Provisions of the 2009 General Appropriations Act (GAA). The said section enumerates the PS items that can be waived from the 45%-55% PS limitation, among them, the continued implementation of SSL.

The 2010 Budget submitted by the President is being deliberated upon by both Houses of Congress. As gleaned from the said budget (2010 National Expenditure Program), particularly, the last paragraph of Section 87 of the General Provisions - only three (3) PS costs are proposed to be waived from the PS limitation, namely:

- PS costs of mandatory positions specified in RA 7160;
- PS of NG personnel devolved to LGUs, and
- PS of hospital services transferred to new cities from the provinces

The other PS costs which used to be part of the waived items were deleted. These include: continued implementation of SSL; terminal leave; monetization of leave credits; magna carta benefits of PHWs; and honoraria and cash gift of barangay officials.

I am positive it's never too late to mount a concerted effort of lobbying with our legislators. Every LGU from Aparri to Jolo should contribute to the effort. Otherwise, LGU personnel, especially those employed in lower class LGUs will be left out in the cold.