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 …

Nature of Political Parties in the Philippines

No one likes to be judged by mere appearances. That said, we may as well say that we should not judge a candidate’s worth based on which political party he belongs to. After all, being affiliated to a party has its own curses and blessings.

In the political arena of the Philippines, history tells us that there are more negative aspects than positive ones on being affiliated to a political party.

The issue of party came to my mind following the departure of Chiz Escudero, a presidential aspirant in the 2010 elections, from the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC). Some pundits are quick to conclude that for Escudero leaving NPC he has just committed a “political suicide.”

It sounds logical to say that Escudero’s surprising decision was a political suicide. That is for people who surmise that winning an election depends on party affiliations. Or that one’s strength is defined by a party’s backing.

To my mind, political party is nothing but a nonsense group of opportunists. It is composed of fake acquaintances and pretentious friends. People are there because they want to get something out of the party, not because they want to be catalysts of the noble vision of the party.

It is difficult to recall when was the last time the Philippines truly had a genuine political party – I mean a party that really has a specific direction and a set of well-founded principles it adheres to.

Here are some existing political parties in the Philippines with names of corresponding leaders: Lakas-Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino-Christian Muslim Democrats (Gloria Arroyo); Nationalist People’s Coalition (Eduardo Cojuangco Jr.); Liberal Party (Manuel Roxas II), Nacionalista Party (Manny Villar), Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Satur Ocampo); Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (Aquilino Pimentel Jr.); Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (Erap Estrada); United Opposition (Jejomar Binay); Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (Edgardo Angara); Liberal Party (breakaway) (Lito Atienza); Partido Demokratiko Sosyalista ng Pilipinas (Norberto Gonzales); Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (Ferdinand Marcos Jr.); Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (breakaway) (Jose de Venecia Jr.); and People’s Reform Party (Miriam Defensor-Santiago). And there are nearly a hundred other regional, minor, or party-list groups whose names we only find in election forms.

We have too many parties – and it is not helping us as a nation. Whenever there is a conflict of interest within a party, we can expect that a new party (also called a breakaway party) will be formed. Thus, the number of party groups is on the rise.

More often than not, a new political party is formed by those who were left behind at the choosing of a party’s official candidate in an election, not that they wanted to make a difference in our society so they established their own group.

At the national level, the emergence of new political parties is a strong sign of a widespread dissatisfaction among members of the same group. Since there is no law that prohibits the creation of a new party and we are not a two-party system country, politicians are confident …

Short Introduction to Scientist Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton was a preeminent contributor to the fields of mathematics and physics. He was born in 1642 in Lincolnshire, England, and was described as a natural philosopher during his lifetime. His work guided the scientific revolution during the 17th century. Until today Newton is widely recognized as one of the most influential scientists of all time and a key figure in the scientific revolution.

As a child Newton attended The King's School in Grantham where he began to develop a foundational knowledge of mathematics. After being widowed for the second time Newton's mother tried to motivate him to become a farmer. He hated leaving school and was re-admitted after the headmaster convinced his mother to let him return. He repeatedly rose to be the highest-ranked pupil.

Newton began studying at Cambridge's Trinity College in 1661. It was there that he recorded his first theories about mechanics. His work was informed by his study of philosophy and astronomy. His discovery of a generalized binomial theorem in 1665 was the starting point from which he developed his theory of calculus.

After obtaining his degree from Trinity Newton spent two years at home studying. He made significant progress developing his theories of optics and calculus. His work impressed professor Isaac Barrow, and he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1672.

The field of optics fascinated Newton. To prove his theories of color and dispersion of light he built a refracting telescope for the Royal Society in 1672. He published his notes of Colors in 1671, and they were later developed into the work Opticks .

Newton published his first collection of work concerning gravitation and mechanics in 1687. Principia was an achievement that had been in development for many years, and defined three universal laws of motion. These laws would go on to create the basis of classical mechanics, and directly advance machinery during the Industrial Revolution. After publishing Principia Newton found himself receiving international recognition and acclaim.

In Newton's later life, when asked for an evaluation of his achievements, he answered, "I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself Now and then in finding a smoother pebble or prettier shell than ordinary, while the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me. "

Later in his life Newton would devote a great deal of time to the study of alchemy and biblical interpretation. He died in 1727 and was interrupted at Westminster Abbey. …

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.

Gender Bias, Gender Discrimination, Gender Equality

From Looking for a Better World: One of my major interests is in the equality of women in all societies. Gender bias is as hurtful and destructive as any other bias. Though I am not particularly liberal, I have for my lifetime been opposed to the macho philosophy, the Islamic plunder of womanhood, the gender distinctions in the professions and the entire “woman driver” and, yes, even “blonde joke” phenomena.

Women and men are not created equal. They each have their God given strengths, focused on their responsibilities for procreation and family viability. Those differences are not easily dismissed … however those differences do not condone gender discrimination in society and certainly not in the workplace. In fact, because of the glass ceiling and gender discrimination, professional women need to be better than their male counterparts to succeed! That makes them better choices … and, in fact, I have made those choices! My physician, ophthalmologist, podiatrist and a recent surgeon are all female. Obviously, female clergy are welcome in my world.

I attended a lecture given by an oil minister from an Islamic state. He was asked when women would gain equality … and he jokingly replied “When the sands of the Sahara turn to Jello.” I cannot accept the gender inequality issue and I certainly am opposed to the current Islamic extremism.

Plunder and disrespect of women among the Muslim extremists are but a cursor of their disregard for life. It is just a clue, albeit a significant one, towards the larger issues of suicide bombings and indiscriminate slaughter. If the gender issue was gentler, their other more acceptable behaviors could follow.

“Looking for a Better World” deals with this and other issues of ethics. The book teaches that we can all make this a better world. If you want to read more, see:…

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 …

Sprogo – The Prison of Women For Being Women

This crime AGAINST some Danish women stemmed from the ideas of Eugenics. No doubt about it. However, it also was fed by obsolete ideas of women and sexuality. In both cases it was an attempt to keep society free of “degenerate individuals” which meant people who suffered from inherited illnesses, especially of a mental character. To let these “sub-humans” breed would be to endanger society and that had to be stopped at all costs.

It happened in the beginning of the 1900th century and officially it stopped in 1961 when the infamous habit of interring women who were considered “retarded” ended. Up til then the morally suspects – i.e. “lose” women – ended up on the small island of Sprogoe (: Sprogo). Men were sent to another island by the name of Livoe (: Livø). Part of this must have been for punishment of “immorality”, but the main reason for this cruelty was the wish to protect the society at large against “bad, defected genes”. For them to be allowed to have children was a fight which they were bound to lose. Their reality was that they were not let lose from the island without being sterilized and those of them who already had children most often lost the right to even see them. Also because these children were put up for adoption and were expected to break off connections with their immoral mothers.

Some of these women left the island on their own which cost them their lives: They set out on an attempt to escape by swimming. However, none seems to have succeeded in this dangerous exploit. What is so sad is that what earned the women the name of “retarded” was their way of living. To be a woman and to have lovers was in itself an indication that they were mentally defective. It is a backward way of thinking rooted in old fashioned considerations about women and sexuality. One’s wish to think that this happened several hundred years back in time is assailed by facts: It did not end until 1961 which means 9 years before the “Redstockings” started their feministic actions which went on into the 1980’ies.

One may wonder at the reasons these women were considered fitting inmates on an island like Sprogoe. However, but what brought them there is not different from some men’s life style. A man who had a child out of wedlock was not interred the way a woman was likely to be. And it is ironic that the island sometimes swarmed with men visiting it in the hope of meeting some of these easy women. Nobody seems to have thought the thought that someone setting sail and venturing out on an erotic expedition to meet immoral women was just as bad as she was supposed to be for less.…

The Scottish Court Process From a Road Traffic Law Perspective

Road Traffic Solicitors in Scotland often observe that most clients charged with a serious road traffic offence share the same apprehensions about court, including the process involved and what is to be expected of them when in court. This is because most clients contesting a road traffic case such as drink driving offences, speeding offences, illegal mobile phone use, and careless or dangerous driving offences have not been to court before and is therefore unfamiliar with the preparation required and the process involved.

This article therefore has two objectives:

First it aims to provide a greater understanding of the basic elements required in the preparation, procedure and processes involved to defend a road traffic case.

Secondly, it should also provide the reader with enough information to be able to select a solicitor who truly specialises in road traffic cases. The importance of this process cannot be over stated. You only get one shot at defending your case. While there are many solicitors who might not take certain road traffic cases on because of the intricacies involved, others sadly may simply be happy to muddle there way through a case. This article provides enough information to be able to probe the experience and qualifications of any solicitor, and in particular to form your own view to verify the road traffic solicitor is really a specialist.

The article is set up in a question and answer format to help answer actual questions received from both prospective and new clients.

Q1. What is the difference between a solicitor, a lawyer and a solicitor advocate?

The Law Society of Scotland is the regulatory body for solicitors who must have a practicing certificate to represent clients in court. The term lawyer is general and more universal description of one who practices in the legal profession. The two terms are really interchangeable. A solicitor advocate however is a special class of solicitor who has been authorised by the Law Society to appear for clients in the high court of justiciary. They have been granted rights of audience after passing extensive advocacy exams. This allows them to appear in court in very serious and complex cases.

Q2. Which court am I appearing in and will there be a jury?

Most road traffic cases are dealt with either in the Sheriff court or in the Justice of the Peace Court either with a sheriff or a magistrate sitting without a jury. The more serious charges such as dangerous driving, driving whilst disqualified or drink driving will call in the sheriff court and speeding cases insurance offences, careless driving and Tachograph cases are usually raised in the justice of the peace court. In fact over the years the number of road traffic prosecutions in justice of the peace courts is forever increasing and now form the majority of cases calling in such courts throughout Scotland. Generally these cases start off by way of a summons or a citation posted or served at your home address with a date for …

Book Review – Letters To Philip: On How To Treat a Woman

It may seem chivalry and courtesy are dead. This seems to be the time for political correctness, uni-sex, and rights. Although there is some benefits on political correctness, this mode of thinking can go overboard when there is no distinction between men and women. There are certain times when chivalry and courtesy are proper manners and etiquette. One book, “Letters To Philip: On How To Treat A Woman”, is one book that explicitly discusses on how to be a gentleman by properly treating a woman.

In most cultures, there is a transition from adolescents to adulthood. In the Jewish tradition, there will be a bar mitzvah to signify the transition from a boy to a man. In certain cultures (such as in the deep South), they have debuts and sweet sixteen celebration for the female. Unfortunately, many people would signify the transition from young adult to an adult by going out with friends and getting drunk. It is a transition to be free from responsibilities rather than to be more responsible.

The book, “Letters To Philip: On How To Treat A Woman”, was written in the late sixties. It is quite a short and succinct book that is direct on how a young man (especially before getting married) should treat a woman. This is quite rare in our “modern society”. It was written by Charlie Shedd for his son. It is written as a series of letters where one letter covers a particular topic. Here are the letters with specific topics that are helpful for any young man:

* Take Charge

* Learn to be Kind

* Start at the Mirror

* Ask Her to Help You Grow

* Seven Goals for Communication

* If You Like It, Say So

* The Power of Suggestion

* How to Tell Her What You Don’t Like

* Winning by Losing

* Fragments of Devotion

* “I Can Hardly Wait to See You”

* “Late” is a Four-Letter Word

* How To Treat a Woman in Public

* How Not To Treat A Woman

* Treat Her as a Person

* A Half-Dozen “Nevers”

* And a Few “Try Not To’s”

* Some Moments are Only for Her

* Dialogue on Moods

* Troubles are For Sharing

* Fight the Good Fight

* Rural Wisdom

* Money Maxims

* Clothers, Hair, and Miscellany

* In-Laws

* Sex- The Twenty-Year Warmup

* Infidelity

* “Except the Lord Build this House”

* The Man Who Had A “Thing” About Guns.

There a lot of lessons and perspectives in a small but powerful book. This is a fantastic book on building a long-term relationship with your wife. It is about investing (not costing) value in a relationship that will reap benefits for her and for any man.…

Your Guide to Multiple Reading Practices in Literature

It’s the most fundamental concept in dealing with any study of Literature or any art form for that matter, the concept of multiple reading practices is basically a taxonomy of the different methods with which you can obtain meaning from a text. Your natural reaction to anything in life is generally a judgment, a natural human urge to make sense of your surroundings…similarly when applied to a reader’s reaction to literature you can utilize different established approaches to making sense of texts.

Dominant Reading:

A Dominant Reading usually provides a reading of the text reflecting a broad consensus on what a text may mean, such a reading usually places a great deal of emphasis on how the reader believes the author has positioned them to respond. The reader usually reads the text in an ‘author friendly’ manner, although I’ve always been mystified as to how the reader determines what the intended meaning of a text was, on the part of an author, nevertheless this concept of a dominant reading persists as a type of reading which supposedly involves the reader traveling along the trajectory the author has designed to produce the meaning that the author intended. It is my personal opinion, that it is simply the ‘mainstream’ interpretation of a text which gains the de facto legitimacy of ‘author approved’ by sheer weight of numbers.

Alternative Reading

An Alternative Reading produces as the name might suggest, a meaning that is different from a dominant reading but nevertheless recognizes the purpose of the author in a text and does not ‘go against the grain’ of the text. The distinction between an Alternative Reading and a Resistant Reading, would probably be that an Alternative Reading is still heavily reliant on the text while a Resistant Reading implicitly requires to a greater extent ideological or contextual baggage which the reader uses to challenge the premise of a text.

Resistant Reading

A Resistant Reading ‘goes against the grain of the text’ and usually involves the reader being less reliant on the text and usually involves a much greater contextual influence; in terms of ideology, race, class or gender.

Feminist Reading

A Feminist reading foregrounds the representations of women: by that I mean the way key female characters are characterised and the values they hold, and the way the reader is positioned to respond to them.

Judith Fetterly author of ‘The Resisting Reader’ a seminal work in the area of Feminist and other recent developments in alternative readings, summarized the purpose of a feminist reading as “Feminist criticism is a political act whose aim is not simply to interpret the world but to change it by changing the consciousness of those who read and their relation to what they read.”

The underlying assumption of any Feminist Reading is an awareness or ‘consciousness’ on the part of the reader of a patriarchal hegemony reinforcing an oppressive set of roles and expectations for women, and literature as part of a dominant discourse for much of human history …