The National Statistics Office (NSO) should be Decentralized or Just be Tasked for Archiving of Statistical Infos

The National Statistics Office (NSO) Should be Decentralized

or Just Be Tasked for Archiving of Statistical Infos

By Apolinario Villalobos


Personally, I can’t understand why somebody from the far South Cotabato, for instance, would still come to the National Statistics Office (NSO) in Manila to secure a copy of his birth certificate which is already available in the locality’s Civil Registrar’s Office. In fact, it is the local Registrar’s Office that furnishes the NSO in Manila with documents that pertain to the birth and death of a citizen. Such “crazy” idea is contrary to the effort of all other government agencies to decentralize their operations by establishing regional, provincial, city, and municipal extension offices. And, what is funny still is that there seems to be no synchronicity to the system of the NSO offices in Manila.


During a visit to the Macapagal Avenue/Roxas Boulevard NSO Office, I talked to a senior citizen who just wanted a copy of his son’s birth certificate so that he can claim the benefits after he died in Libya. His son was born in Manila in 1964. When the old man went to the NSO central office in East Avenue, he got a negative result so he was told to go to the Macapagal Avenue/Roxas Boulevard NSO office where he got another negative result. On his own, he went to the Manila City Hall and got a copy of the Birth Certificate which he showed to the Macapagal Avenue/Roxas Boulevard NSO office based on which he was made to fill up papers and told again to go to the its Central Office in East Avenue, where he was again told to go back to the Macapagal Avenue/Roxas Boulevard Office. The exasperated old man was almost at the end of his wits as he no longer knew what to do, until the staff who attended to him at the Macapagal Avenue/Roxas Boulevard Office finally told him to FILL UP A “NEGATIVE” FORM that he should show to their East Avenue Office! Imagine the trouble that the poor senior citizen went through as he was from Laguna, yet.


As its name implies, “Statistics Office”, the agency is supposed to be just a REPOSITORY of ALL statistical information available about the Philippines, including the citizens. And, requiring a citizen from the far south to get NSO documents in Manila is just incomprehensible! Why can’t the citizen just secure a required document from its ORIGINATING OFFICE, such as the LGU Registrar’s Office, instead of spending for a flight or a boat trip to Manila for it? Why must a document be “NSO-issued” when it can be issued by the Registrar’s Office of the LGU?


Also, and the worst situation is the lack of system in the issuance of documents for it seems that Manila offices are not even inter-connected despite their having computer sets. With what I already cited earlier regarding the senior citizen who was passed on between the NSO offices, it is clear that what information the central office has, cannot be accessed by the Macapagal Avenue/Roxas Boulevard Office, as there is no connection between them, otherwise, they should have not given the senior citizen a hard time in commuting. Outright, one of these offices should have given a final instruction to the senior citizen if the first attempt to retrieve the information from the “system” yielded negative result….that is, if they have a “common source”. But, clearly, there is none!


And the biggest questions now based on the story of the old man are….. why in the world, has the NSO East Avenue (central office) failed to have a copy of the Birth Certificate of the guy who was born in 1964 yet, from the NEARBY Manila City Hall? …and if something is wrong with their respective system, why let the tax payers suffer for their failure that resulted to their irresponsibility and inadequacy?

Walang Pambili ng Gamot Pero Namumutiktik sa mga Herbal Medicine ang Paligid ng Bahay

Walang Pambili ng Gamot Pero Namumutiktik

sa mga Herbal Medicine ang Paligid ng Bahay

ni Apolinario Villalobos


May isa akong kaibigan na namatayan ng mga miyembro ng pamilya dahil sa iba’t ibang uri ng sakit, kasama na ang kanser. Mahirap lang daw kasi sila kaya hirap sa pagbili ng gamot at walang pambayad sa doktor. Nasa bandang Montalban (Rizal) sila at bulubundukin ang tinitirhan kaya presko. Ang hindi ko maintindihan ay kung bakit hindi man lang niya nalamang ang mga tanim sa paligid nila ay pwedeng pang-iwas sa mga sakit basta tuluy-tuloy lang ang pag-inom ng pinaglagaan at pagkain ng kanilang prutas. At, imposible ding hindi niya alam na ang ibang mga dahon at damong panggamot na tinitinda sa Quiapo ay galing sa Montalban.


Noong pasyalan ko siya ay panahon ng tagbunga ng mangga. Subalit dahil Indian mango ang uri, ay hindi nila pinapansin kaya ang mga nahinog sa puno ay nagkakalaglagan na lang. Ganoon din ang guyabano sa likod ng bahay nila na ang mga nalaglag na mga hinog na bunga ay nilalangaw lang. Sa tabi ng kanilang poso ay napakakapal rin ang tubo ng luyang dilaw at tanglad. Sa gilid ng maliit na kanal na dinadaluyan ng tubig galing sa poso ay makapal rin ang mga kumpol ng “lupo”, “takip-kuhol”, at ulasiman. Ang “makabuhay” namang pumupulupot sa puno ng langka ay kumapal na rin ang mga ugat na nakabitin. May alogbate sila pero ang turing nila ay pangdekorasyong halaman.


Ang mangga daw ay itinanim nang ipinanganak siya. Ang langka  at guyabano ay basta na lang itinanim ng kanyang tatay. Ang tanglad daw ay itinanim para may magamit sila kung mag-litson ng manok, at ang luyang dilaw ay basta na lang din daw itinanim ng kanyang tiyahin. Ang “makabuhay” naman daw ay itinanim upang magamit na “panglatigo” sa kanila tuwing Biyernes Santo.


Namatay daw ang nanay nila dahil tinubuan ng bukol sa bahay-bata nito. Ang nakababata naman niyang kapatid na babae ay tinubuan din ng bukol sa suso hanggang sa ito ay pumutok at na-impeksiyon na ikinamatay niya. Ang tatay naman niya ay namatay dahil sa alta-presyon. Ngayon, ang bunso nila ay hirap sa pag-ihi at pagdumi kaya lumubo na ang tiyan. Ang kaibigan ko naman ay may diabetes.


Noong madalas akong mamasyal sa kanila na halos apat na beses sa loob ng isang buwan, napansin kong ang ulam nila, kung hindi sinampalukang manok ay ginisang sardinas sa itlog at miswa, di kaya ay pata ng baboy na inadobo. Ni minsan man lang sa aking pamamasyal ay wala akong nakitang gulay na niluto nila. Ilang beses na akong nagpayo sa kanila tungkol sa mga biyaya ng mga halaman na pwedeng pang-iwas sa mga sakit, na nasa paligid lang nila at panay naman ang kanilang pagsang-ayon…yon pala ay hanggang doon lang, hindi nila ginagawa. Noong huli ko siyang pasyalan ay naghihintay ang kaibigan ko sa perang ipapadala ng kanyang anak na domestic helper sa Hongkong, upang pambili ng gamot niya sa botika sa bayan.

Inconsistencies in this World

Inconsistencies in this World

By Apolinario Villalobos


Life is full of inconsistencies….


One day when I hitched a ride with a lawyer friend, he intentionally broke a traffic rule by beating the red light. When I asked him why he did it, he told me that there was no traffic enforcer anyway…and, he is a LAWyer!


When I visited another friend who I know is an advocate of alternative herbal medicine, I heard her remind the caregiver of her mother about her anti-biotic that should be changed to another brand, obviously, a stronger one for an eighty-three year old. She learned about the strong anti-biotic from her internet browsing. When I reminded her about her advocacy and mentioned garlic as a strong natural anti-biotic, she told me that her mother does not like its taste. What worried me is that my friend is deciding on her own about the synthetic anti-biotic as a “preventive” drug for her aging mother! This friend keeps several boxes of apple cider vinegar at home just in case the Bragg family stops making the expensive medicinal concoction from the apple juice. If she is in the charitable mood, she gives me a bottle or two to take home.


Another friend who is an advocate of family discipline sends his 12-year son out to buy his local rhum at a corner store. He also sends the same son to the kitchen to light his cigarette in the gas range burner, thereby, making the poor boy make the necessary initial puffs to keep it lighted until he has handed it “safely” to his father. And, my friend brags to us, his friends that no son of his would ever have a taste of alcohol or have even just a single puff of cigarette while he is alive!


Then, another friend who tries to project a classy image by boasting about his vegetarian diet hates local vegetables, preferring only western ones such as spinach, lettuce, baby carrots, sweet onions, etc., and never ever local vegetables such as, “saluyot”, “kangkong”, “alogbate”, “upo”, etc. He brags about his preference for “salads” with plenty of strips of bologna, spam, German sausages, or chicken, and sprinkled with his favorite Italian dressing!…and, he is a vegetarian!


Many years ago, when a big religious sect which is a breakaway from the Catholic fold, still held their prayer rallies at Luneta park, I was brought by a friend to one such rally, to introduce me to their kind of music which I really enjoyed, but not the corny preaching of the supposedly charismatic leader who would enthuse his flock to open and invert their umbrella to catch the blessings and grace from “heaven”. My friend was a Bible-quoting guy, obviously, a pro-God in his own way. When we left the area to take a jeepney at T.M. Kalaw St., we were approached along the way by an obviously hungry street child with an open upward palm. Without much thought, he shooed the boy away, as if shooing a pestering fly!


Then, there’s the greatest inconsistency of all…the advertisement aired over a popular radio station about the “ashitaba” herbal medicine which the endorsing woman who supposedly got cured said in Visayan, “ako si….. duna koy almoranas nga maura ug kamatis ka daku, pero nawala ang akong ALMORANAS sukad nag-inom ko ug ashitaba…kinanlan gyud mag-inom ta ug ashitaba aron mawala ang atong ALMORANAS”, or to that effect, which as translated in English is, “ I am…..I have been suffering from a HEMORRHOID as big as tomato, but it was gone when I took ashitaba…we should take ashitaba so that our HEMORRHOID will be gone..” After the statement, came the disclaimer which said, “the ashitaba is not a drug and should not be taken as a medicine as it cannot cure any ailent”….What happens to the endorsement and the testimony of the woman who got cured? Why approve the ad for airing if there is such a bullshit disclaimer? I think something is wrong with the Philippine government agency that approves ads like the one mentioned….for letting such mindless inconsistency be heard all over the country as it makes a fool of the listeners!


Today, every time I am alone and those mentioned above and many others would creep into my mind, I would just let out a deep heavy sigh to lighten up my heavy chest while holding on to my sanity, so as not to cuss. But my big question is: are we living in a world that throbs with senselessness?


The Work Schedule of President Duterte Jibes with the Current Global Business Trend

The Work Schedule of President Duterte

Jibes with the Current Global Business Trend

By Apolinario Villalobos


If the new Philippine president, Rody Duterte chooses to work from 1:00PM (1300H) to 12:00 (1200H) noon of the following day, I personally view it as a wise decision as it jibes with the current global business trend. In the Philippines as in other countries, the following business entities operate for 24 hours or at the latest in the evening up to midnight: call centers, airlines, shipping lines, bus lines, land transport services, casinos, restaurants and bars, colleges and universities, vocational schools, business districts (Baclaran and Divisoria in Manila), and all kinds of convenient stores.


Since many years ago, there was a call for the rescheduling of the traditional working hours of 8:00AM-5:00PM to 10:00 AM up to evening, to spread the onrush of commuters and motorists as one way of easing the daytime traffic. Only very few establishments heeded the call. Understandably, their foremost reason is economic as extending the work hours of their employees beyond 5 PM would entail overtime, hence, extra expense. Also, some provisions of the provisions in the Labor Code will have to be rewritten as the distinction between the day and evening work schedule has to be redefined. Most importantly, they were apprehensive for security reason, as only very few police are on duty out in the field in the evening.


An observed inclination among the operative agencies such as those responsible for the traffic management and crime prevention is that they become less and less visible as evening sets. They seem to be also observing the “daytime schedule” of offices. When questioned about this, those concerned assert that they maintain “skeleton force”, meaning, reduction in number on duty. As regards the traffic, this is not reasonable and practical because the afternoon rush hour normally starts at 5:00 PM and extends as late as beyond midnight due to the constricted streets in relation to the ever increasing volume of vehicles on the road. In the case of different crimes, there is an adage that says, “the mouse will play when the cat is away”, meaning, the expected commission of crimes is in the evening when the police is almost not visible and, instead is available only on call.


The chosen schedule of the new president has a great effect on the operational system of the Philippine National Police (PNP). It should find ways and means to adjust to such schedule so that they can be visible and speedily available 24/7. If there is a continued recruitment of the Philippine National Police to expand its rank, there is no reason why the evening posting should not match the daytime’s, especially, in areas where there are nocturnal businesses. Its cooperation is expected in reciprocity to the importance that the new president is giving to it, some manifestations of which are the move to decentralize (distributed among regions) some of the agency’s operations to hasten the release of benefits of its members and the increase in their pay.



Those who smirk at the new schedule of Duterte should look beyond the 8-5 traditional work schedule to understand its advantages. With his work schedule, Duterte will be up and working during the time when many establishments/business are also in operation and many unusual activities are expected to happen. Very subtly, he is wisely setting an example and if those who would really want to cooperate with him are intelligent enough, they should follow suit. This early, government people should learn to read between the lines of Duterte statements and be sensitive to what his actions mean….as he is a man of few words.


By the way, in the olden times, the beginning and ending of the “day/date” were reckoned with the setting and rising of the sun. For instance, July 1 began at 6:00 PM when the sun had set and ended when it had risen again at around 6:00 AM, signaling the occurrence of a new day/date. Those who observed such were the pagan sun-worshippers. It is far different from what is observed today, such that the “day/date” starts at one minute past midnight and ends at the following midnight. Today, such practice has been integrated with the lunar (moon) adherence that is why the so-called “lunar calendar” being used today, has days (for the sun), divided among the months (for the moon). This move was one of the many things that the Vatican’s early papacy did to attract the pagans to the Catholic fold.



Ang Bagong Sistema ng Edukasyon ng Pilipinas

Ang Bagong Sistema ng Edukasyon

Ng Pilipinas


Ni Apolinario Villalobos



Nakakakuba ang mga libro ng mga bata sa elementarya dahil sa bigat ng mga ito na kailangang dalhin araw-araw dahil bawa’t katapusan ng tsapter ay may mga tanong batay sa mga napag-aralan. Kaya mas angkop na tawaging “work book” ang mga ito. Pero, may magandang layunin ba ang pagbago sa porma ng mga textbook? May magandang layunin – para pagkitaan! Maliwanag ang dahilan na ito ay para pagkitaan ng mga tiwaling opisyal na nakipagsabwatan sa mga suppliers. Pati junk shops kumikita dahil ang mga librong ito na hindi na mapapakinabangan pa sa mga susunod na pasukan dahil sa mga tanong sa bawat katapusan ng mga tsapter ay hahakutin sa kanila para ibenta por kilo.


Dati, ang mga magulang ng mga bata na magkakasunod ang pagtuntong sa mga antas o grado ay nakakatipid dahil namamana ng mga nakakabatang mga kapatid ang mga librong nagamit ng mga nakakatanda basta pag-ingatan lang, ngayon hindi. Obligado silang bumili ng mga bagong libro o magbayad sa mga eskwelahan na siya na ring nagbebenta ng mga ito tuwing pasukan. Bakit ang ganitong sitwasyon ay hindi maunawaan ng mga opisyal ng kagawarang responsable? Malaking halaga ang dahilan!


Maraming librong ginagamit ngayon sa elementarya, kaya sa halip na may matutunan ang mga bata, lalo lang nagdudulot ng kalituhan kaya wala ring silbi. Ibig sabihin hindi makatotohanan ang sistema. Bakit hindi tanggapin ang katotohanang ang mga magulang ang gumagawa ng mga takdang aralin ng mga anak nila pati na mga project? Kung ang inaasahan ng mga guro ay “follow – up instruction” itong maituturing, mali sila, dahil kadalasan, habang nagtutuluan ang ganggamunggong pawis ng nanay sa pagsagot ng mga tanong sa takdang aralin at paggawa ng project, ang mahal na anak naman ay nagko-computer o di kaya ay nanonood ng TV!


Ang dagdag kalbaryo sa mga bata at mga magulang ay ang karagdagang antas na kailangang tuntungan ng mga estudyante pagkatapos ng Grade Six. Hindi pinakinggan ang reklamo ng mga guro na siyang apektado, na hindi nakahanda ang sistema ng edukasyon. Una, kulang ang mga silid aralan sa mga pampublikong paaralan, at pangalawa, walang nakahandang kurikulum or “module”. May nakausap akong nanay na nagkwentong ang anak daw niya ay tinuturuang mag-manicure at mag-pedicure, magamit lang ang panahon na ginugugol nila sa paaralan.


Ang kailangan ay kagalingan sa pagtuturo na makakamit kung may mga programa sa pagpapakadalubhasa ng mga guro at may kaakibat na suporta ng sapat na budget, hindi dagdag na antas. Nakakalungkot isipin na upang madagdagan ang kaalaman, may mga guro na para lang makadalo sa mga training o seminar o makabili ng mga libro, ginagamit nila ang sarili nilang pera. Hindi maaasahan ang budget ng mga eskwelahan dahil kadalasan, pambili nga ng chalk ay inaabunuhan pa ng mga guro. Upang makabili ng mga walis at iba pang gamit panlinis, nag-aambag ang mga estudyante at mga magulang.


Lumabas sa TV ang isang dokumentaryo tungkol sa Kalayaan Island. Maganda na sana ang napanood dahil may ipinakitang paaralan at klase ng mga estudyante pero nakakadismayang marinig sa guro na hindi daw sila “credited” ng Kagawaran ng Edukasyon. Nguni’t dahil gusto ng gurong ito na may matutunan ang mga anak ng mga sundalo at iba pang mga tao na nagtiis tumira sa Kalayaan Island upang maipakita na pagmamay-ari ng Pilipinas ang isla, tuluy-tuloy lang ang pagturo niya sa mga bata. Bakit hindi ito inaasikaso ng Kagawaran ng Edukasyon?


Sa iba pang liblib na lugar, may mga paaralang butas-butas na ang bubong, halos wala nang dingding. Mayroon ding mga akala mo ay leaning Tower of Pisa ang porma dahil hindi diretso ang tayo, gawa ng mga kung ilang bagyong humagupit. Kung interesado ang Kagawaran na makakita ng iba’t ibang sitwasyon, maganda siguradong humingi sila ng kopya ng mga dokumentadong report ng GMA7, ang istasyon ng TV na matiyagang gumagastos upang maipakita at aktwal na maitala ang mga tunay na kalagayan ng mga eskwelahan sa iba’t –ibang panig ng Pilipinas.


Ngayon, magtataka pa ba tayo kung bakit mahina ang pundasyong edukasyonal ng mga kabataan? Mga kahinaang madadala nila sa paglaki nila at maging bahagi ng lipunan. May mga matatalinong bata ngunit hindi nabibigyan ng pagkakataong ito ay malinang sa pamamagitan ng tuluy-tuloy na pag-aaral. Ang dahilan ay kakapusan sa pera ng pamilya nila, wala silang magawa kundi tumigil sa pag-aaral. Pinalala ito ng kawalan ng suporta mula sa pamahalaan.


Ang mga kabataang nakakapag-aral sa malalaking bayan at siyudad, bihira ang nakikitaan ng pagkaseryoso sa pag-aaral dahil sa mga nakakalat ng computer shops na ang iba nga halos ilang dipa lang ang layo sa mga paaralan. May mga batas na nagbabawal sa pagtatayo ng mga shop na ito malapit sa mga paaralan, ngunit ano ang ginagawa ng mga lokal na opisyal? Wala! Hindi nga nila maipasara ang mga bilyaran at beerhouses na animo ay kapitbahay lang ng mga paaralan, computer shops pa kaya? Ano ang ginagawa ng Kagawaran ng Edukasyon tungkol dito? Wala rin, dahil para sa kanila trabaho ito ng mga alkalde. Ngunit kung tutuusin ang apektado ay mga estudyante na dapat hinuhubog ng Kagawaran sa pamamagitan ng mga paaralan.


Kung may mga estudyante mang nagsisikap matuto sa kabila ng mga problema sa sistema ng edukasyon at kahinaan sa pagtuturo sa kanilang paaralan, iilan lang sila na maituturing na pag-asa ng bayan. Sana bago maging huli ang lahat ay mabigyan ng kaayusan ang kasalukuyang sistema sa edukasyon at pagtuturo na siyang inaasahan huhubog sa kasalukuyang henerasyon ng mga kabataan. Mga ilang taon pa mula ngayon, ang mga henerasyon na nakatamasa ng maayos na paghubog ng kanilang pagkatao ay mawawala na. Papalit ang kasalukuyang henerasyon, nguni’t may maaasahan ba sa kanila ang ating bansa? Nagtatanong lang.