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Showing posts from June, 2011

More madness

This was my column on the date indicated above.This post is antedated.

Last Monday I wrote about House Bill 4853, otherwise known as the Security of Tenure Act. The proposed law was submitted for plenary discussion by the Committee on Labor and Employment of the House of the Representatives just before Congress went into recess early this month. HB 4853 has two counterpart measures in the Senate. The first one, Senate Bill 171 was filed by Senator Antonio F. Trillanes while Senate Bill 858 was filed by Senator Jinggoy Estrada. Both Senate bills tackle the issue of security of tenure.The Senate bills are essentially similar to HB 4853. But I must be stressed that Estrada—who is chairman of the Senate’s labor, employment and human resource development committee—and his staff seemed more open to getting inputs from as many sectors as possible and to an enlightened discussion on the matter.The Senate bills do not contain the alarming provisions limited the number of probationary employees …

Another madcap idea

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
On the heels of a human resources summit of HR professionals in Asia, I wrote in this space last week about my observations about the industrial relations situation in Singapore, venue of the summit. I talked about how enviable the situation in Singapore was —how the Singaporeans have a massive surplus of jobs, how even senior citizens could easily find employment there, and how the whole country seemed intent on creating more and more opportunities for growth, with everyone—government, business and industry, the labor sector, and the general population—all firmly committed to making things work. Singapore remains on a massive expansion mode driven primarily by a national vision that is fully committed to effectively harness the power of human capital.Three days upon my return to beloved Philippines, I received news that sent shivers down my spine: Just before the House of Representatives went into recess early …

Round pegs and square holes

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
With everyone watching each of his actions and decisions and telling him what to do and what not to do, I am not surprised that President-elect Benigno Aquino, or P-Noy as he reportedly wants to be called, wants to take a break and disappear for three days before he formally assumes the presidency. It must be really tough to be in his shoes right now.P-Noy can take comfort in the fact that people still care enough to actually want to get involved. The worst thing that can happen to a leader, or to anyone for that matter—columnists included—is to be ignored to the point that no one cares for what one does or does not do. If it adds further consolation, his own mother, the late former President Cory Aquino, has been there as well. In fact, she was deluged with so much advice in the first few days of her presidency that she actually made it known that she did not welcome unsolicited advice from anyone.Although it doe…

Notes from Singapore

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
I am writing this piece in Singapore, venue of a summit for human resource management professionals in Asia which I am attending. The last time I was in this island republic was in the 1990s. I remembered being awed and amazed at the kind of progress this country was making then. When I arrived here last Tuesday, I almost wept with envy. Singapore has clearly left the Philippines behind in so many ways.The reasons Singapore is so successful have been written about and discussed extensively. Of course a large part of its success is attributed to Lee Kuan Yew who provided Singaporeans a compelling vision and steadfast stewardship.But Singapore’s success story boils down to one key factor: A human resource management agenda that put people development at the center of its national development plan. Singapore acknowledged very early on that people—Singaporeans—were its only lasting source of competitive advantage and …

Being Filipino

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
My column last Monday (Independence Day 2011) triggered a spirited discussion among friends on whether the current generation is less nationalistic than, say, the generation of our parents or if the concept of nationalism has simply taken on a different meaning today.Naturally, we couldn’t come to an agreement.We burst into laughter when someone pointed out that our inability to come to an agreement validated very clearly that we were indeed, Filipinos. Apparently, this is has become one of our distinguishing characteristic—we cannot come to an agreement on practically anything, most importantly on major national issues. And worse, we do not seem to know how to manage our disagreements. This has been painfully obvious in the way we’ve managed the national discussion on the reproductive health bill and on the recent wrinkle in our lives—the divorce bill.Adding fire to the spirited discussion was an accusation one o…

Independence Day 2011

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
Yesterday was the 113th anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence, more popularly known as Independence Day. One wishes that we all get the hang of calling the occasion Araw ng Kalayaan, but not many Filipinos even know that is the appropriate translation. Even better, one wishes that the occasion were given more significance particularly in light of the fact that love of country is supposedly the bedrock of this administration. To my mind, if we want everyone in this country to do rise to the challenge of becoming better citizens, we need to do a much better job of reminding them of the many reasons why we should love this country and how.Apparently, the birthday of the national hero is far more important because a special day has been set aside this year as a non-working holiday supposedly to enable Filipinos to celebrate the occasion. To be fair, this year is a milestone year in terms of the ann…

Sacrilege

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
In commemoration of national flag days from May 28 to June 12, President Benigno Simeon Aquino III encouraged all Filipinos to display the Philippine flag at home, schools, offices, business establishments, etc. Unfortunately, the significance of the Presidential directive was diluted by the flap involving the display of an inverted flag in the president’s official Web site for a few hours on the same day the President issued the directive.It was obviously an honest mistake. I just can’t imagine someone risking the President’s ire, and in the process his or her job, over a practical joke involving the flag. It’s possible that someone was simply careless or just didn’t know any better. The incident however was indicative of the cavalier way in which people in this country take the flag and what it represents. We all got riled up every time someone bungles the singing of the national anthem during one of Manny Pacq…

Strategic thinking, still

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
The annual occasion for chest beating - and if one happens to be situated at the other side of the fence, heckling - also known as the grandest fashion event of the year, is upon us.The President of the Republic is scheduled to deliver his second State of the Nation Address in a few weeks. This early, pundits are already second-guessing what they think the President would be saying then.My fearless forecast is that the President will be sticking to three points. First, he will highlight the gains made in the last year in the areas of revenue collection, the generally stable economy, and the pockets of growth in some sectors. Second, he will justify his administrations inability to achieve successes in many areas to the previous administration and to his various critics. Third, he will continue to talk about the need for everybody to trudge along the “straight and narrow path.” I don’t expect him to make major stat…

Companions in life, for life

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
The success of a brand can be measured in many ways. From a marketing point of view, a brand is successful when it becomes institutionalized as the generic name of the product. This is certainly true in the case of a particular brand of toothpaste, film, photocopying machine, and even refrigerators. From a sociological point of view, a brand is successful if it becomes ingrained in the lives of people to the point that people use the brand as some kind of bookmark for the various milestones in their personal lives.Thus, certain brands of products become ubiquitous parts of our daily lives. The chocolate drink that our mothers always packed in our lunch bags, which ultimately became comfort food for the times when we needed temporary relief from rainy days, heartaches, and all other kinds of letdowns. The brand of milk that substituted for breakfast every day because there was always no time to sit down to eat be…