Sunday, March 8, 2009

What GMA don't tell us....

The Philippines perennial dollar top earner is slowly succumbing to the world economic crisis and this is what the government don't tell us, it seems that GMA does not want to show that her main economic savior and employment program is loosing steam.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Campus Harassment: “Student activists” tear down FBC-Phils. exhibit on Burma

What can i say? this only proves what they really are...i'm sure if this guys won their revolution we will be the next Laos..

MANILA, MARCH 6 -- At 1:30pm today inside the campus of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in Manila, a group of young students claiming to be “genuine activists” forced the members and volunteers of the Free Burma Coalition – Philippines (FBC-Phils) to fold down a photo exhibit on political prisoners in Burma, confiscated their campaign materials, and pushed them out of the campus, threatening physical attack if they do not leave.

The activity is hosted by a class of management students who had applied for, and was granted, a permit to hold the activity by the school administration. The exhibit was about the 8888-faces photo petition campaign calling for the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners in Burma anchored by the Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID) and FBC-Philippines.

Members of Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) and FBC-Phils volunteers from the school have just finished setting up the exhibit when the incident happened. A group of students (about 20 of them) claiming to be “genuine activists” from a group called ANAKBAYAN ganged up on them, tore copies of the 8888-faces leaflet in front of the volunteers and commanded them to fold up the exhibit. “You are not allowed to set up the exhibit here, counter-revolutiona ries -- with or without permit from the school administration. You are fake activists.”

Teody Navea, BMP secretary-general and part of the campaign team, tried to negotiate with the students, stressing what the campaign was about and that it is part of an international solidarity effort in support of the people of Burma. The “activists” led by a certain “Jojo Kulot” then started a countdown, further threatening to attack the FBC volunteers if they do not fold up the exhibit.

To avert any further violent confrontation, the FBC team volunteered to fold up the exhibit. But not satisfied, the “activists” from ANAKBAYAN even grabbed the tarpaulin exhibits and the BMP banner and all other materials. Navea tried to calm down everyone and appealed to the activists to return the materials as they are packing up. The “activists” started pushing and shoving FBC-Phils volunteers, slapping one in the head, as they violently escorted them outside the school gate and on to the thoroughfares.

As these things happen, other members of the “activist” group explain to all bystanders and onlookers that “these things will happen to you if you organize activities like these and if you join these and other organizations.”

We condemn, in strongest terms, this barbaric act of “gangster activism.” The issue of Burma’s political prisoners is a legitimate international issue and to prevent any group from holding this kind of campaign in any venue is not just a show of “sheer ignorance” to the issue but also an act only the “military dictators” of Burma can appreciate.

FBC-Phils is a coalition of individuals, trade union workers, NGOs, peoples’ organizations, youth and students, church groups, human rights and women organizations. This campaign of 8888-faces is just one of the many expressions the coalition can contribute in the spirit of international solidarity. It’s ironic and disgustful that this legitimate democratic campaign was attacked in the name of the so-called “revolutionary ideals?”. Where in this world you can see one “activist group” attack the very basic right to freedom of expression?

As activists, we SHOULD hate dictatorship whatever its name, we must abhor undemocracy; we ousted Marcos because of military dictatorship and now Burma is suffering the same kind of rule. Our message to these “activists” is simple: LET US NOT BECOME THE EVIL THAT WE DEPLORE!

Egoy N. Bans
Spokesperson, Free Burma Coalition – Philippines
Burma Program Coordinator – Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID)

based on the incident report filed by Teody Navea in behalf of the FBC-Phils 8888-faces campaign team at PUP campus.

US Economic Shocker

651,000 Jobs Reported Lost in February

New York Times

Published: March 6, 2009

Another 651,000 jobs were lost in February, adding to the millions of people who have been thrown out of work as the economic downturn deepens.

In a stark measure of the recession’s toll, the
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday that the national unemployment rate surged to 8.1 percent last month, its highest in 25 years.

The economy has now shed more than 4.4 million jobs since the recession started in December 2007, and economists expect that the losses will continue over the rest of the year and into 2010. The economy lost an upwardly revised 655,000 jobs in January, when the unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent. December job loss was revised to 681,000, from 577,000.

Some economists expect that the nation’s businesses could cut another two million jobs and that unemployment could reach 9 to 10 percent by the time a recovery begins.
“It just feels like we’re in the teeth of the recession, and the bite is still very hard,” said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial. “This is economy-wide, industry-wide. It just shows the severity and the breadth of the job losses.”

The figures were about equal to economists’ predictions of 650,000 jobs lost in February, but the unemployment rate rose higher than an anticipated 7.9 percent.
February marked the fourth consecutive month that the economy has shed more than 500,000 jobs, a pace that underscores the magnitude of the problems facing the Obama administration as it promises to save or create 3.5 million jobs over the next two years.
Last month,
President Obama signed a $787 billion stimulus package of tax cuts, infrastructure spending and emergency aid. The first tax credits, in the form of reduced payroll withholdings, are expected to appear on paychecks beginning April 1.
But in testimony this week before Congress, federal officials again cautioned Americans that even with the stimulus package, a recovery will take time.

The package “should provide a boost to demand and production over the next two years as well as mitigate the overall loss of employment and income,” the
Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, told the Senate Budget Committee, but the timing is “subject to considerable uncertainty.”

The pace of job losses has only increased since the
credit crisis shook financial markets last autumn, spawning a vicious circle of economic contraction that dragged down corporate earnings, consumer spending and overall growth. And Mr. Bernanke said in testimony this week that the labor market “may have worsened further in recent weeks.”

Economists worry that mounting job losses could make it harder for homeowners to make their mortgage payments, triggering another wave of home foreclosures, which would further depress home values and the mortgage-related securities owned by major banks.
“We’re feeling the negative fallout from the intensification of the financial crisis,” Mickey Levy, chief economist at
Bank of America, said. “We’re in the middle of the worst stage of job losses as well as the speed of contraction of gross domestic product.”

Workers from New York to Florida, from the Rust Belt to the Sun Belt, and across nearly every sector of the economy are being affected as employers reduce costs by slashing their payrolls and cutting their capital investment. Manufacturers cut a seasonally adjusted 168,000 jobs in February, and 104,000 construction jobs were lost. And retailers cut 39,500 jobs.

“There’s been no place to hide,” Mr. Hoffman said. “Everybody in every industry has lost jobs or is feeling insecure about whether they’re going to keep their jobs or how their company’s going to do.”

In the New York region, the Federal Reserve’s beige book noted earlier this week, that hiring “has virtually ground to a halt since the beginning of the year, during what is usually a busy season,” the beige book said, with large financial firms having “all but stopped hiring.”
“Both manufacturing and non-manufacturing firms in the district report increasingly widespread cutbacks in their employment levels in February,” the report said of New York, “and a sizable proportion expect further retrenchment in the next six months.”

Mark Ortiz was one of those who joined the ranks of the unemployed in February. Mr. Ortiz lost his job at the art-framing company where he had worked for 11 years, most recently as the production manager. He has plastered his résumé across the Internet and searches for jobs every day from his home on Long Island, New York. His search has been hampered by the fact that he went straight to work when he was younger, and never got a college degree.
“That was a major strike against me,” he said. “You spend all this time doing this, and now what? It’s almost like I’ve gotten divorced and I’ve got to find a new wife.”