Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Clarification on fund releases during election ban.

Here's a clarification from the DBM's Legal and Legislative Service (LLS) on fund releases for the duration of the election ban.

As a general rule, releases, disbursement or expenditures of public funds for public works, social works and housing-related projects are prohibited beginning March 30, 2007 until May 14, 2007, except when these are specifically exempted by the COMELEC.

For the DBM in particular, the COMELEC has imposed on injunction per its Resolution No. 7785, enjoining the former not to release nor authorize the release of any appropriation that may directly or indirectly be used in violation of the prohibitions contained in the Omnibus Election Code. An exception to this is when the SARO or NCA is issued for generic purposes like the IRA or congressional allocations in which the DBM has no way of determining if the activities to be carried out by the agency or LGU fall under any of the prohibitions.

On matters of procurement, the GPPB has issued Resolution No. 01-2007 prescribing the guidelines on the procurement activities that can be carried out during the election ban. Details of this guidelines can be viewed here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Saving mother earth from global warming.

Let me deviate from my usual subject matter this time to make this post about global warming. It certainly is a hot topic nowadays and shows no sign of cooling down. Almost every major international magazines and dailies have run stories and reports about the perils of global warming and what we, the planet's inhabitants can do to abate its carastrophic eventualities.

Time Magazine's March 29th cover story features the "Global Warming Survival Guide", and lists down 51 Things We can Do to Save the Environment.

Here's an alarming report from National Geographic: "There is little doubt that the planet is warming. Over the last century the average temperature has climbed about 1 degree Fahrenheit (0.6 of a degree Celsius) around the world. Rising temperatures have a dramatic impact on Arctic ice, which serves as a kind of "air conditioner" at the top of the world. Since 1978 Arctic sea ice area has shrunk by some 9 percent per decade, and thinned as well".

Not to be outdone, today's issue (April 11th) of the Philippine Daily Inquirer features Greenpeace's "laundry list of easy-to-do practices to help in the global effort to stop global warming" - ranging from buying local products so that we can reduce imports, and in the process, lessen the use of fuels, to resorting to walking, running or biking instead of using motor vehicles.

According to Greenpeace, in the latest assessment report of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change, many of the worst effects of global warming were "not locked into the future'' and that humans could adapt to future global warming threats by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

So it's never too late. If we heed the advice of scientists and environmentalists now, we can still save mother earth.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Reflection for the Lenten season.

Prayer, fasting and almsgiving (the works of mercy) remain the classic Lenten practices. But are we really serious about carrying out these practices? According to Jesus, the Pharisee who prayed at the front of the Temple wasn’t really praying (see Luke 18:9-14). His “prayer” was more about praising himself than about being open to God’s grace.

The more we live in the truth about God, ourselves and others, the more genuine will our prayer, fasting and works of mercy be, the more they will represent who we truly are before God. That is the path to true freedom. Sin is always a counterfeit freedom.

We don’t have to wait until we see God face-to-face to arrive at that truth and to know deep down that God loves us profoundly and invites us to share in divine life forever.

Fiscaladspace joins everyone in the observance of the lenten season. Happy Easter!