Pangan: Early Christmas harbingers

EVERY September 1, as the 'BER" months are ushered in, it has been a Filipino tradition to start the Christmas holidays by playing the old, familiar Christmas tunes and bringing out toys and other items for sale.

Every nook and corner is festooned with Christmas decor: bright lights competing with other decorative LED lights and paper dolls. Every imaginable decor is springing up in various corner stores especially in the city of San Fernando, the country's original lantern capital.

The spirit of Christmas definitely brings cheers and light-hearted moments among us as the carols from amplifiers of different brands blare them out.

Somehow, these help alleviate our deep-seated misery and allow us to confront it with ease. Well, that is the magic of Christmas or so I am inclined to believe.

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Extra speedy budget hearing. In order to ingratiate themselves big time to President BBM, the members of the House committee on Appropriations "swiftly terminated the budget deliberations on the proposed budget of the Office of the President for 2023. What?! Ni hindi man binusisi ang mga items na nakap slaaloob sa budget proposal like the P4.95 billion intelligence fund and the P4.333 billion confidential fund. It's over in just seven minutes! My gosh, halata naman kayong sipsip sa Presidente.

Expectedly, DEputy Minority leader and ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro slammed the hyper-accelerated budget process given the OP. As it is, the huge funds showed the skewed priorities of the Marcos administration. Instead of alloting more funds to health and education to improve our dismal health care system as well as upgrade the level of our educational system, almost P10 billion is alloted as presidential pork. Ayayay!

Majority Floor leader and Zamboanga City 2nd District Rep. Mannix Dalipe moved to terminate the budget deliberations on the OP budget without interpellations or questioning from other congressmen who even defended the haste by which the hearing was terminated citing parliamentary courtesy. Mga sipsip talaga!

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Meanwhile our teachers and health care frontliners are strongly protesting over salary increases and delayed allowances. President BBM promised immediate action on their gripes in his inaugural speech, but nothing else follows. Ano ba, PBBM?


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