Philippine Oil Deregulation – A Policy Research Analysis

I. INTRODUCTION

The Policy As An Output

Embodied in the Republic Act No. 8479, otherwise known as the “Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998,” is the policy of the state that deregulates the oil industry to “foster a truly competitive market which can better achieve the social policy objectives of fair prices and adequate, continuous supply of environmentally-clean and high quality petroleum products” (Congress 1998).

With deregulation, government allows market competition. That means government does not interfere with the pricing, exportation, and importation of oil products, even the establishment of retail outlets, storage depots, ocean-receiving facilities, and refineries.

It has been a decade ago since lawmakers made a proposition that deregulation would secure the Philippines from the vulnerability of oil price shocks due to its heavily dependent on imported oil. But it is now increasingly apparent that many are calling to scrap the law as six out of ten Filipinos favor the repeal of RA 8479 (Somosierra 2008).

The Policy As A Process

When President Fidel Ramos started his administration in 1992, the country had already started feeling the effects of power supply deficiencies, with major areas already experiencing power interruptions. The power crisis caused a slowdown in the national economy for nearly three years and prodded the government to initiate major reforms in order to rehabilitate the energy sector (Viray 1998, p.461-90). In response to a power supply crisis, Ramos revived the plans to liberalize the oil industry that were cut short during the Aquino administration due to Gulf crisis.

The government’s efforts to enact an oil deregulation law were also intensified in 1995 when the Oil Price Stabilization Fund (OPSF ) started to threaten the fiscal stability of the economy. Deregulation was thus seen as the solution to the recurring deficit.

The problem of the OPSF deficit was in part related to the highly political nature of oil prices, which encouraged government to defer price increases as much as possible in order to avoid public protest even at the expense of incurring a fiscal deficit. However, government mismanagement of the fund also included using it for non-oil purposes such as financing other government projects or the public sector deficit when it was in surplus (Pilapil 1996, p.12).

At the height of a strong lobbying effort for deregulation by oil companies and despite the loud opposition of militant groups, the industry was eventually deregulated in 1996 with the enactment of RA 8180 (the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1996) in Congress.

However, Supreme Court declared in 1997 the unconstitutionality of RA 8180. The Court decision stemmed from three provisions in the law that were deemed to inhibit free competition and therefore, violated the anti-trust mandate of the 1987 Constitution (Supreme Court 1997). But administration Congressmen quickly re-filed the oil deregulation bill leading to the new oil deregulation law. RA 8479 was then enacted to pave the way for the full deregulation of the oil industry. Since then, government has no longer control over the industry. What it …

5 Myths Americans Believe About Vietnam

1. Religion is not tolerated in Vietnam.

Quite the contrary! Sometimes I read stories on the web about religious persecution in Vietnam, but what I see here in Ho Chi Minh City is a very religious people, far more religious in general than Americans. People here will nearly all say they are either Catholic or Buddhist; it’s hard to find anyone who would call themselves Agnostic or Atheistic- I haven’t met one yet.

The Catholic Church is one of the biggest property owners in Ho Chi Minh City. There are huge, newly built churches everywhere. I can see a gimongous church being built in the distance from the window where I’m sitting right now. In the evenings and on Sundays there are crowds of people at all the churches, often spilling out into the street and adding to the traffic mayhem. The most popular tourist attraction in Saigon is a cathedral- the Notre-Dame Cathedral in District 1.

There are also Buddhist temples in every neighborhood; many of them are huge. Thich Nhat Hanh, the rock star of Buddhist monks who was living in exile in France for many years, recently returned to tour Vietnam with an entourage of over 300 monks.

Granted, there are conflicts between the Vietnamese government and some religious leaders who get involved in politics. I don’t know the details of these conflicts but I’d venture to say they involve only a tiny minority of religious people. In the past, certainly there has been severe religious persecution in Vietnam, but things have changed a lot. The official government line is that religion is free and accessible to all, and I haven’t seen anything different.

2. The Vietnamese hate Americans because of “The American War.”

My own experience is only in the south, and it may be different in the north, but what I have experienced would actually be the opposite. Even when I first came to Vietnam as a tourist in 1996, I never heard or felt anything but tremendous love and respect for America and Americans.

To the Vietnamese, just like to people in developing countries everywhere, American is the promised land, the land of opportunity. Nearly every Vietnamese family has at least one member living in the USA, so America is the country that is taking care of their loved ones.

Unlike Americans, especially baby boomers, who will never get past the Vietnam war, the Vietnamese have gotten over it. The bulk of the Vietnamese population, it’s own baby boom, is only in their mid-20’s. Their parents have stories but most people are too young to remember the war.

Also consider Vietnamese history. Americans don’t have much of a history, but the Vietnamese collective memory goes back 5000 years. The Chinese occupied Vietnam for 1000 years. France occupied Vietnam for 100 years. America was here for all of 30 years, merely a small blip in Vietnamese history. Contrary to Americans’ sense of self-importance, the American episode isn’t all that significant. (I don’t know how accurate …

Masonic Secrets Exposed! Freemason Simon Gray Receives Death Threats for Revealing Freemason Secrets

Are you contemplating joining a Freemason Lodge? Perhaps you’re tantalized by the secret Freemason handshakes, or the ancient Masonic rituals. Maybe you’re just being pressured by your relatives because you’re from a traditionally Mason family. Or perhaps you’re just interested in the pursuit of Truth.

Does large-scale organized secrecy among powerful individuals unsettle you?

It should.

Enter Simon Gray. Why should this man be important to you, you might ask? Simon was a Freemason who did something extremely dangerous and deviant under Mason Law. For the first time, a Freemason has made available to the general public the most closely guarded secrets of Freemasonry.

Shortly after Simon released his collection of 120 out-of-print books and rare documents on Freemasonry (many of which were written by Masons themselves), he was immediately expelled from his Masonic Temple. Shortly after his expulsion from his Freemason Lodge he received official death threats from the highest levels of the Masonic Order.

Any book you can find on Freemasonry worth its salt focuses almost always on the history of the Masons and its possible origin relating to the Knights Templar, drawing on primary sources such as news articles and other stories in the past, but there have never been primary sources written by Masons themselves… Until Now.

The biggest reason why the Freemasons continue to receive so much attention in popular culture and the minds of conspiracy theorists throughout the years is due to the abundance of high-profile politicians and businessmen that the Freemason Order has kept on its roster for hundreds of years.

On top of that, they’re a secret society, and certainly the oldest known of today that operates on a global level.

I do not envy Simon Gray. This brave ex-Freemason stands alone, delivering Masonic Secrets to the masses, with a shadow looming over him. That shadow is an exceptionally powerful and old secret society that has a history of influence in government and law enforcement.

Due to the excessive death threats and pressure from Masonic Temples around the world, Simon in all probability will be forced to take his site down very soon.

I can tell you right now that there has never been a larger collection of top-notch information on Freemasonry revealed before this, nor will there be anything like this released ever again.

Simon has released 120 out-of-print books, manuscripts and journals, many written by actual high-ranking Masons of modern and ancient descent. That’s over 25,000 pages of exclusive content that you’re not going to find anywhere else (even if you’re a Mason).

That’s right, almost all of the knowledge that Simon has released will never be known to 99{512b763ef340c1c7e529c41476c7e03bc66d8daea696e1162822661d30dde056} of all Freemasons, and will probably not be available to the public for much longer.

If you have any interest in Freemasonry or secret societies ancient and modern, you absolutely can’t afford not to see what Simon Gray has to say; get invaluable rare information on the Freemasons, direct from the source.

Women Empowerment in India

Women empowerment in India is a challenging task as we need to acknowledge the fact that gender based discrimination is a deep rooted social malice practiced in India in many forms since thousands of years. The malice is not going to go away in a few years or for that matter by attempting to work at it through half-hearted attempts. Formulating laws and policies are not enough as it is seen that most of the times these laws and policies just remain on paper. The ground situation on the other hand just remains the same and in many instances worsens further. Addressing the malice of gender discrimination and women empowerment in India is long drawn battle against powerful structural forces of the society which are against women’s growth and development.

Women empowerment in India: The need for ground level actions

We have to accept the fact that things are not going to change overnight but because of this we cannot stop taking action either. At this juncture the most important step is to initiate ground level actions however small it might seem. The ground level actions should be focussed towards changing the social attitude and practices prevalent in the society which are highly biased against women. This can be initiated by working with the women at the root level and focusing on increasing women’s access and control over resources and increasing their control over decision making. Further working on the aspect of enhanced mobility and social interaction of women in the society would positively influence all round development and empowerment of women in India.

Women empowerment in India: Reality check at the ground level

Today there are lot of things that is happening in the name of women empowerment in India and lot of resources are spent in this direction. Keeping this in mind it is crucial to have a reality check on what is happening on paper and what is the actual ground situation. It is worthwhile to ponder on the fact that we are one of the worst in terms of worldwide gender equality rankings. In India women are discriminated and marginalized at every level of the society whether it is social participation, economic opportunity and economic participation, political participation, access to education or access to nutrition and reproductive health care. A significant few in the society still consider women as sex objects. Gender disparity is high, crimes against women are increasing and violence against women is all time high and in most cases go unreported. Dowry related problems and death is increasing and is profoundly manifesting in the urban population. Workplace harassment of women is another phenomenon which is rapidly increasing as more women join the workforce. Early age marriages are still taking place in large numbers and the number of girls going to school is abysmally low. Moreover majority of the girls who join the school drop out by the age of puberty to get married and live a life of drudgery. Female feticide and infanticide …

3 Weird But True Internet Laws

There are all kinds of internet laws; good ones, bad ones, and some that are just plain weird. The weird but true internet laws are what we are going to focus on today. These three laws come from all around the world, and can really make you shake your head in wonder at the sheer insanity of it all.

#1: It is illegal in the State of Tennessee (USA) to post/send “distressing” images using the internet

Yes, you heard that correctly. As of mid-2011 it is illegal to “transmit or display an image” anywhere online that is likely (yes, likely) to “frighten, intimidate, or cause emotional distress” to anyone who sees it. Yes, anyone, regardless of whether or not the person in question was the target of the image. This takes the crown for most ridiculous internet laws ever made! Under this law, anyone, from anywhere in the world, can see an image, and no matter what that image is depicting, or if the uploader even had an ulterior motive for posting it, if the image can be traced back to its user, they could face up to a year in jail and over two-thousand dollars in fines.

#2: It is illegal to own an “unregistered” modem in Burma

The Burmese government takes the internet very seriously… so much so that they have a stranglehold on internet access all throughout the country. Internet access is limited by means of hardware and software restrictions, i.e. unregistered modems. Visitors from outside of the country may bring a single laptop computer in with them, but it will have to be declared upon arrival, and it is safe to assume that every mouse click you make with it is being carefully watched.

#3: In Uxbridge, Ontario it’s illegal to have an internet connection faster than 56k!

This is a popular favorite online and can be validated in a number of places. This is one of those strange cases of severely out-dated laws that are still technically enforceable. It is comical to think of a place where it is illegal to have an internet connection that is faster than dial-up! Out of these three weird internet laws, this one has to win the award for most absurd.

And these are just the tip of the iceberg; there are many other strange but true internet laws on the books all around the world that make many people sit back and wonder what the heck these lawmakers were thinking when they wrote them and made them into law.…

The 4 Consumer Rights

The following four rights are the basis of much of the consumer-oriented legislation that has been passed during the last thirty years. These rights also provide an effective outline of the objectives and accomplishments of the consumer movement.

– The right to safety

The consumers’ right to safety means that products they purchase must be safe for their intended use, must include thorough and explicit directions for proper use, and must be tested by the manufacturer to ensure product quality and reliability. Business firms should also be aware that consumers and the government have been winning an increasing number of product-liability lawsuits against sellers of defective products. Moreover, the amount of the awards in these suits has been steadily increasing. Yet another major reason for improving product safety is the consumer’s demand for safe products. People will simply stop buying a product they believe is unsafe or unreliable.

– The right to be informed

The right to be informed means that consumers must have access to complete information about a product before they buy it. Detailed information about ingredients and nutrition must be provided on food containers, information about fabrics and laundering methods must be attached to clothing and lenders must disclose the true cost of borrowing the money they make available to costumers who purchase merchandise on credit. In addition, manufacturers must inform consumers about the potential dangers of using their products.

– The right to choose

The right to choose means that consumers have a choice of products, offered by different manufacturers and sellers, to satisfy a particular need. The government has done its part by encouraging competition through anti trust legislation. Competition and the resulting freedom of choice provide additional benefits for costumers by reducing prices

– The right to be heard

The forth right means that someone will listen and take appropriate action when costumers complain. In fact, corporate management teams begun listening to consumer complains after the end of World War II when competition begun again to increase. Today, businesses are listening even more attentively and many larger firms have consumer relations departments that can be easily contacted via toll-free phone numbers. Actually, one of the services every consumer today expects to receive from the companies he or she selects to purchase things from is consumer support.…

Magazine as a Source of Information

The Magazine came to live in early 1700s during the outbreak of the World War. During those times, it is used as a support for politics, government, criticisms and information that aims to be affirmed or contradicted either through the release of researches or study results. After gaining the freedom, various companies got the idea on starting a magazine publishing business that would evolve in different aspects of life. People started buying these magazines with the goal of keeping themselves updated with their environment and to expand their knowledge. That was successful.

Today, Magazine is probably the number one source of information readily available for everyone. Its readers range from kids to students and to executives. There are actually two types of Magazines. One of these is the consumer magazines that are widely available in the country. The other one is the business magazine that can be availed on a subscription basis. Both magazines usually come in a weekly, monthly, or quarterly release with up to date contents.

For a kid, reading magazines with graphical representations like comics is a good way to start learning. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the early years are a key period for the development of intelligence, personality and behavior of a child.

For students, magazines are good source of information when doing research for school. Since educational magazines have updated content, further reading of it could truly contribute well to their learning.

As for professionals or executives, being the captain of their own journey is really essential. To be constantly updated on workplace and business issues, reading business and other related magazines is important. It gives them not just ideas but awareness on the current issues that are important in their field.

Through the years, magazine has existed with the aim of giving the freshest and accurate information to its readers. Among the famous magazines in the United States include the BusinessWeek for business, American Girl for children, Drovers for agriculture, Sports Illustrated for sports, Cook’s for cooking and recipes, American Baby for parenting, Liberty for politics, Playboy for pornography, Adventist Review for religion, National Geographic for science, WikiMusicGuide for Music Lifestyle and many more.

Reading is indeed, a good way of expanding our knowledge and awareness. There are several reading materials that have great potentials of contributing to our craving mind and magazine is one of them. Choosing our point of interest is definitely endless with magazines.…

How To Be Qualified To Receive Home Repair Grants

For anyone who is a homeowner and needing a new roof or perhaps bought to repair the plumbing system, the broken furnace, the messed up driveway, or any other major home repair, but just can not afford it, these free of costs grants are The allowances that you'll actually need. Household repairs which are detrimental for the protection of your family should immediately be mended. With such ordeals, you may be accountable for acquiring free of charge government cash to get all those jobs done.

The nation's federal government has a responsibility towards protecting the citizens of America. They strive to offer safe housing and shelter for such unfortunated or deprived citizens. Even though one's income, property value, or credit history and the most essential factors that are considered for prohibiting such provision, fulfilling of which the citizen stands a wonderful chance to be qualified by the nation's government to be eligible for such free grants for home improvement .

Whether it's a repair job of no more than replacing a broken window, or even the immunity work of replacing the entire gutter system in the building, an appropriate amount of free of charge and non repayable federal government money is usually available to individuals who actually qualify For such grants.

Sometimes those people who do not essentially require crucial home repairs, but only desire to update or improve their residences and properties are also awarded with generous funding to give vent to their plans. Those applicants who prove an immediate requirement for safety related repairs will attend primarily, but those who desire pursuing additional work done to strengthen their homes can also place their plea. This is simply because such improvements to their homes will elevate the property value, as a result enhancing more property tax revenue; This means some excellent news for the federal government too.

In general, no matter what your repair improvement needs or desires are, the North American federal government may well be willing to discuss certain home repair grants specifically designed to assist you. …

Samples of Grant Proposals for Single Moms, the Heroines

A single mother is someone who has no one to share the responsibility with regard to raising her child or children. She is the only one who is obliged in providing material, emotional, financial, and physiological needs of her kids.

Most of single mothers have an unstable job or are unemployed. Either of the two has been the problem in meeting the needs and expenses for the home and children. Because of their fast-paced life, some single moms don’t have the time and money to finish their education. Most of them are just renting an apartment and doesn’t have their own house. They are having trouble in paying for other expenses, such as food, clothing, and many others.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are about 20 million children who are now living with only one parent, either mother or father. But in most cases, they are living with their mother. That is almost one-fourth of the children in America. Alarmed and concerned by this statistics, the government had offered various programs for single mothers. Funding assistance is also given to those who are in dire need of financial and educational support.

Is she eligible enough?

To qualify for U.S. government grants, a mother should be a resident of the U.S. for more than three years ahead of the application. If the applicant’s husband has legally abandoned her and the children for more than a year, then she can avail of the money. Furthermore, if her illegitimate husband’s identity is unknown, a single mother is entitled for financial aid. All she has to do is to submit all required legal documents, such as birth certificates of mother and child/children, legal divorce papers, loans, and other legal documents available and are required by the funding institution.

Here are some programs that a single mother can apply to, utilizing samples of grant proposals readily available online:

Housing Assistance

Providing a safe, secured, and comfortable shelter is one of the priorities of mothers. Owning one is also a dream of every single mom. Knowing the fact that most of single moms only rent an apartment or house is a proof that this is an added burden to them. Fortunately, there are many housing assistance programs exclusively offered to them by the government. These programs provide flexible and affordable housing loans and rentals for low or no-income single mothers. In this way, they can still own a house without worrying where to get a down payment.

Educational Assistance

How important is it to be educated and have a college diploma? Well, this is probably the most important qualification in securing the desired job. By receiving a funding assistance, single mothers may now have the chance to go back to school and continue their studies.

Samples of grant proposalsare really a big help in crafting a proposal for financial assistance and scholarship. These may cover housing, books, tuition, transportation and many expenses that are related to college schooling, all depend on the funding organization. …

Get Back On Your Feet With Free Grant Money For The Poor

No one wants to be poor & struggling to pay for the basic needs. However, being poor is not a choice. It is not that you should not earn well to be poor. When you find it difficult month after month to meet your basic needs with no extra cash whatsoever, you are in bad financial shape and you need a helping hand. Basic personal loans are for those who are in a position to pay them back. Sometimes, not having proper dental care will leave you in a bad position and you need emergency loan to pick up your situation. Now, it is all possible with free grant money available for the poor.

Personal loans, emergency loans or whatever may be the type of loan, if you get a loan, you need to pay it back. Even if you can’t put away more than $10 per month for the loan, getting committed to pay back the loan is important. However, if you are already struggling to pay off your bills, you can’t possibly get a loan because another commitment will be a big blow to your already miserable financial situation. Further, lenders won’t be interested in giving you personal loans with lower interest rates especially with your struggling financial condition with poor credit.

Just because you feel that you are broke financially doesn’t mean that you have to give up hope. You can find lenders who are interested in giving away personal loans, health care loans and emergency loans in order to help you to meet your basic needs. It is also possible to get back on your feet without any loan as there is free grant money for the poor. Such grants are free money given away for people who are struggling in their life. With such a free grant, you can pay off your bills and sometimes save something for use in the future too.

Getting free grant money for the poor is now very easy as the help is available online. Government grants are available for rich and the poor and there is millions of dollars being given away as free for individuals who are hoping to make a difference even with their poor financial power. However, to get these grants, you need to know where to look for information. There are numerous forms to be filled and submitted. You may have to wait for some time for the forms to be considered before getting your grant money.

Many communities too give free grant money for the poor to bring up the community. Getting free money is very much different from begging. You are actually trying to use the generosity to your advantage without losing your integrity. The best part with free grants is that you don’t have to pay anything. There is no need to pay for the forms and you don’t have to spend your hours trying to figure out how to get the money. By looking at the right place, you can get …