Saturday, October 1, 2022

Delivering Stories of Progress


FIRING LINE: “Power Connections”

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By Robert B. Roque, Jr.

Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla and Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Chairperson Monalisa Dimalanta share a special distinction.

They are the first appointees to these top government energy posts directly connected to a power firm, notably the Aboitiz Power Corp., where Lotilla was a board director and Dimalanta was chief legal counsel.

Vested with the power to recommend, review, and revoke utility franchises, here’s hoping they don’t earn the distinction of being the most biased energy officials we’ve ever seen.

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We might be looking at the biggest national budget ever next year at P5.268-trillion. Yet, four of our specialty hospitals in Quezon City – the Lung Center of the Philippines, the Philippine Heart Center, the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, and the Philippine Children’s Medical Center – are getting their funding slashed by P880.7 million.

If this is the Marcos administration speaking its mind about the importance it gives to these premier medical institutions, then “daddy” might as well step all over Ilocos Norte Rep. Sandro Marcos’s bill filed last month seeking to establish six satellite specialty hospitals in the north worth P5 billion.

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Camarines Sur 3rd District Rep. Gabriel Bordado Jr. – after being scammed to give away P10,000 to a poser via GCash – has called on concerned agencies to take action immediately.

Ordinary folks have long complained about call and text scamming that has crept into their cellphone and digital spaces.

But now that a member of the House of Representatives has been scammed, a voice from Congress finally says call and text scamming is a concern that requires fixing “as soon as possible.”

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Health reform advocate Dr. Tony Leachon has been vocal about opposing the recommendation to make the use of face masks in outdoor settings optional, stressing the risk of worsening the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases.

The government keeps pounding on the idea of living in a “new normal” and using science as a guide to weather through this pandemic, yet ditching the face-masking policy is tantamount to saying that everyone in its population is free to go out and commune without this layer of protection covering his/her face.

That’s not science-based decision-making or even “new normal.” That’s simply witless back to normal.

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SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this column at

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