opinion

Time to open pandora’s box

December 18, 2019

IN a surprise move, Malacanang has announced it’s about time to investigate the franchise granted to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP). That said, the Movement for Brown out Free Mindanao is now urging the  Senate  for the revocation of China’s 40 percent stake in the the country’s lone power transmission facility.   In a recent Senate budget hearing, the Department of Energy (DOE) has confirmed that the State Grid Corporation of China can switch off  power grid remotely with devastating effect on the country’s national security. Reports revealed  that the State Grid of China allegedly changed portions of National Grid Corporation of the Philippines' (NGCP) system instructions into Chinese and allowed Chinese nationals to operate the transmission system - freely and with gusto! If the State Grid of China will go berserk, and  would want to jeopardize the country’s economy, it  will just have to switch off the entire transmission facilities - from Luzon to Visayas and Mindanao. This scenario  is not far-fetched because State Grid of China has a technical staff are embedded  at the very nerve of the transmission grid. Helpless as it were, what the DOE has been doing through the years is just  applying  the ‘wait and see’ security measures  — monitor and record  from a distance China's stake in the country's vital power infrastructure. The entry of foreign partner into the country’s energy sector, in this case the power transmission facility was a product of shortsightedness  on the part of lawmakers who penned the RA 9316 otherwise known as the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 and RA 9511, granting franchise to NGCP, a consortium of Filipino and Chinese power players.   For whatever reason, NGCP  has again justified its existence by setting aside fears that its business alliance and technical partner State Grid of China would shut down the country’s  transmission highway. But Malacanang  is loud and clear: it’s not about business, it’s all about the national security of the state. (ruffy44_ph2000@yahoo.com)

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Courteous, accessible BDO employees

December 16, 2019

I’ ve been busy but still I would like to take this time to personally thank Banco de Oro (BDO) at SM City Cagayan de Oro Uptown for their assistance in what appears to be a complicated process of opening a bank account for purposes of retirement. Yah, retirement. Thanks of course to the customer friendly attitude of the BDO employees especially Sam Sazon and her supervisor Aley or Fredeley Timpad. I would also like to thank Gian James Gamones Maagad also of BDO at Cogon Branch. I personally knew him since he was a baby and he is still ‘Jajang’ to me, having that very serious look among the Maagad brothers. It was Gian who vouched for my personhood, stating that he knew me personally too. I don’t blame the BDO employees for their strict compliance with the bank’s rules since they are only doing their job. I can only imagine BDO management being proud of their three employees for balancing compliance to their rules while maintaining courtesy and accessibility to their clients. Just a little background on what happened to my papers so the parents and guardians may know even if we do live in different times. I go by the name Susan after high school and in fact I use it in all my other public documents.  But my name is Susana on my birth certificate and I find the extra A heavy so I dropped It and it was okay to my mother. My nanay told me that my name was really Susan but the clerk told her that it should be Susana. Wow I never expected that clerks have a say on what to name one’s children and I question that, but then again this practice may have been dropped already. The second problem I have with my birth certificate concerns my birthday.  I usually celebrate my birthday on November 8 but my birth certificate stated thsat I was born in December 12. I learned about this back in 2002 when 12 members of the Cagayan de Oro Press Club went to Australia for benchmarking on how to report on corruption. For me to get a visa, I have to secure the entry on my birth certificate. That’s it. And this caused do much problems on my retirement application at the Social Security System (SSS) and Pagibig. I heard so many similar stories and maybe you also have the same problem. I hope you did something to correct it now rather than learn about it later to spare yourself both expenses and inconvenience. Hospitals already register babies and forward the papers to the local registrar at the city or town where the birth occured. That would spare parents from securing legal counsel which may or may cost serious money. Again, thank you Sam Suson, Aley Timpad and Gian James Maagad.  May the banking industry you represent thrive in order to serve more customers as I see no reason why not because of your courteous attitude and accessibility. …….,,,,,,, This corner would like to greet a belated eighth birthday to Isabella Tate Coupland, daughter of Paul and Jane Galleto Coupland of the famous La Bella  Luna Ristorante that serves the best Italian cuisine here at Uptown Cagayan de Oro. I’ve heard that even the downtowners would head uptown to dine at La Luna that was named after the celebrant.  Isabelle’s mom Jane said her daughter is caring and thoughtful to her brother, especially when he isn’t feeling well. Bella loves reading, vlogging on her cell phone—which she keeps to herself as a diary— swimming, biking and roller skating to name a few. Her favorite TV programs are ‘The Worst Witch’,  ‘Full House’ and ‘Fuller House’ and her favorite color is purple, the color of royalty.  Her favorite food is pasta and she is in Grade 2 of Xavier University Grade School Pueblo.  I wish a very happy birthday to Isabella, the little mermaid (For questions and comments email me at susanap.dennis@yahoo.com)

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Climate Change and Major Emitters

December 16, 2019

While all of us already experience what climate change is all about, delegates from developing countries have reacted angrily to what they see as attempts to block progress at the COP25 meeting in Madrid. Yes, I get already big problems remaining patient while watching live stream news from Madrid. One negotiator told the BBC that the talks had failed to find agreement on a range of issues because of the blocking actions of some large emitters. Carlos Fuller from Belize said that Brazil, Saudi Arabia, India and China were "part of the problem". Other observers said there was a serious risk of failure at the talks. Daily headlines let me feel bad. Greenland ice melt 'is accelerating'. Amazon oil boom under fire at UN climate talks. And so on and so on ... I am writing this while living in the Philippines -  a country hit most by climate change. Ministers from all over the world have arrived in Madrid for the high-end negotiations that will determine the final outcome of this conference. Despite a huge climate demonstration on the streets of the Spanish capital last Friday, hopes of an ambitious declaration at COP25 have smacked straight into the realities of politics and entrenched positions. I am afraid, also "Madrid" won't help anymore. There's an effort right now to block the words 'climate urgency' in text from Brazil and Saudi Arabia, saying we haven't used these words before in the UN, so we can't use them now," said Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International. "This gap between what's happening on the outside and what's happening in the science, and this 'UN speak' that won't react and drive something is very frustrating." One issue that has caused a good deal of anger are the attempts by Brazil, China, India and Saudi Arabia to have the actions that were due to be completed before 2020 by richer nations, re-examined as part of the overall deal here in Madrid. Distressing ... . +++ Email: doringklaus@gmail.com or follow me in Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter or visit my www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com.

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SEA Games: Humanity above all

December 12, 2019

Winning the competition and upholding sportsmanship is important, but humanity is above all (President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, December 9, 2019) THE quotation above was stated by my President, Joko Widodo (Jokowi). It was sent by a friend of mine, Dr. Randy Tudy, from the Digos city, Philippines. He tagged it on my Facebook newsfeed, exactly on the same day as stated by Mr. Jokowi on December 9, 2019. So far, we have eye-witnessed the fact of sport contest or the sport game is always highly competitive. All the competitors, very specifically in football match, are so fierce. Mostly, they even play so hard to win. Sometimes we can also see the bad acts on the opponents for winning. But, in the surfing game, the Filipino surfer, Roger Casugy, at the SEA Games 2019, was really so noble. He showed the high degree of value in humanity. He abandoned grasping the gold medal, though in few minutes about to get it, he preferred forgetting that opportunity. He decided to help the opponent contestant, Indonesian surfer, who drowned in the water. After falling down from his surfing pane, he drowned. He was swept over by the three-meter high wave. Roger Casugy decided to help the opponent, Indonesian surfer, Arip Nurhidayat, drowned in the water. After falling down from his surfing pane, Arip drowned. He was swept over by the three-meter high wave. This is really the noblest action done by the Filipino surfer. He demonstrated his appreciation towards humanity to the world. He showed an action teaching us, the world public, about the high value of humanity. Grasping the gold medal is the priority in any games. Grabbing the best achievement in any sport contest is the utmost goal for any sportsmanship. So, it was really the noblest behavior demonstrated by the Filipino surfer, Roger Casugy. He forgot all of those wishes. When practicing the value of humanity, we can do some actions. These actions can be also done by many people around the world. For example, someone may show empathy. Empathizing other people in our surrounding is also an act of humanity. We can also do this in our everyday lives. Another example of action demonstrating the humanity value is by showing gratitude. We can gratitude other people any time. It is so simple but sometimes we need to learn how to do it. So, we can be human by showing our gratitude. Another action reflecting humanity is by respecting other people. When we always respect other people we can be said we have shown the value of humanity. It is also easy to do it. That’s the attitude and behavior showing humanity. Last but not least, humanity can also be done by being humble. Being humble means we can also show humility. This is the action of humanity. However, above all, the action by the Filipino surfer, Roger Casugay is the noblest one. It is categorized not only empathy, gratitude, respect, and humility, but it covers all of those actions. As an Indonesia citizen, I have to say my gratitude to you, the noblest surfer, Roger Casugy. May God bless you and your family. Dr. Djuwari is the director of language laboratory at STIE Perbanas Surabaya, the editor of some research journals in the Philippines and Indonesia. He is also a journalist in some newspapers in Indonesia; the president of international association of scholarly publishers, editors, and reviewers (IASPER).

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Climate Change and Major Emitters

December 12, 2019

WHILE all of us already experience what climate change is all about, delegates from developing countries have reacted angrily to what they see as attempts to block progress at the COP25 meeting in Madrid. Yes, I get already big problems remaining patient while watching live stream news from Madrid. One negotiator told the BBC that the talks had failed to find agreement on a range of issues because of the blocking actions of some large emitters. Carlos Fuller from Belize said that Brazil, Saudi Arabia, India and China were "part of the problem". Other observers said there was a serious risk of failure at the talks. Daily headlines let me feel bad. Greenland ice melt 'is accelerating'. Amazon oil boom under fire at UN climate talks. And so on and so on ... I am writing this while living in the Philippines -  a country hit most by climate change. Ministers from all over the world have arrived in Madrid for the high-end negotiations that will determine the final outcome of this conference. Despite a huge climate demonstration on the streets of the Spanish capital last Friday, hopes of an ambitious declaration at COP25 have smacked straight into the realities of politics and entrenched positions. I am afraid, also "Madrid" won't help anymore. There's an effort right now to block the words 'climate urgency' in text from Brazil and Saudi Arabia, saying we haven't used these words before in the UN, so we can't use them now," said Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International. "This gap between what's happening on the outside and what's happening in the science, and this 'UN speak' that won't react and drive something is very frustrating." One issue that has caused a good deal of anger are the attempts by Brazil, China, India and Saudi Arabia to have the actions that were due to be completed before 2020 by richer nations, re-examined as part of the overall deal here in Madrid. Distressing ... . +++ Email: doringklaus@gmail.com or follow me in Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter or visit my www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com .

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NUTS AND BOLT

December 11, 2019

24 Tips For Office Etiquette Training Having worked my way to the top during my international postings from Guest Service Manager/ Front Office Manager in Holiday Inn then as Executive Assistant Manager and  Resident Manager before assuming  the role of General Manager in Accor,  it is disheartening to see the deterioration of basic etiquette and professionalism in the workplace. Some say it is just “this generation”. I am not convinced – because I see it in all demographics. I believe it is a symptom of a culture that is modelled from the top down. Employees model the behaviours of leadership   and an organization’s culture is built off of the behaviours of those who lead the organization. Office etiquette and professionalism is important because it lays the foundation for productivity, efficiency and cohesiveness. 24 Tips For Office Etiquette Training 1. Knock First This may sound elementary but I’m amazed at how some people don’t think twice about walking through a closed door without knocking first. Taking the time to knock first demonstrates respect for the person on the other side of the door. 2. Be Nice Simply being nice to other people can have a significant impact on the work culture. Many people are dealing with life’s challenges making it so important for us to be nice to each other. We spend a good portion of our lives with co-workers so let’s just be nice! 3. Answer the Phone I am always amazed when I see someone in a conversation, their phone rings and they simply allow the call to go to voicemail.  Answering the telephone on the first or second ring sends a message that the call is important. Creating  customer service standards helps employees understand the expectation for responding to phone calls.  It shouldn’t matter who the caller is, a professional always responds quickly. 4. Don’t Answer Your Cell Phone Ringing cell phones can be very disruptive in business meetings.   Meeting ground rules should include turning off cell phones  and waiting until there is a break or the meeting ends to respond to cell phone calls. Some organizations don’t allow employees to have their phones on their desk or in their work area. This might not be a bad idea. 5. Don’t Interrupt Meetings Have you ever been in a meeting and someone boldly interrupts? When a group of employees are in a business meeting, wait until the meeting is finished to interrupt.  When people are focused on discussing a topic it is only polite to wait until they are finished. 6. Don’t Interrupt Conversations Sometimes you are in the middle of a conversation with someone and a co-worker will walk up and interrupt the conversation. If you approach a couple of people engaged in a conversation, don’t interrupt and politely wait until they are finished. 7. Use Wisdom When Communicating Sharing sensitive information appropriately can be tricky. Verbal communication is usually more effective than electronic because it minimizes the likelihood of a mis-communication – that can easily happen with email or text. For example, if you need to inform an employee that their work schedule is changing, a face-to-face conversation will allow them the opportunity to ask questions and eliminate any confusion. 8. Respect Authority Everyone has a boss. We don’t always agree with the decisions that are made, but it is important to treat those in authority with respect. Professionals understand  the importance of respecting those in authority.  Strive to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. 9. Speak Quietly We all know the “loud” person in the office. They often make a commotion without even knowing how distracting they are. Be aware of your surroundings. When you’re on the phone, conversing in the hallway or visiting a co-worker at their cubicle, be sensitive to others working and speak quietly. 10. Don’t Play Loud Music Some people work better when they can listen to music. However, we should always be respectful of others in the office. If you choose to play music at your computer, use head phones instead of your speakers so your music isn’t distracting those people who prefer to work in a quiet environment. 11. Don’t Pace While Talking on Your Cell Phone Pacing up and down the hallway while talking on the cell phone is rude and distracting. Personal phone calls should be minimized at work and these conversations should happen in a private area or office. If you sit in a cubicle, and you get a personal call on your cell phone, you should either excuse yourself to go outside, use a conference room or office. 12. Show Up On Time To Meetings Being late for meetings is rude and affects the flow of the meeting and  team dynamics. Be considerate of others, and if you are invited to attend a meeting, show up on time. 13. Return Voice Mail Messages When you get a voice mail message, return it as soon as possible.  The person would not have called you if they didn’t need something.  Be courteous enough to call them back – as soon as possible.

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