Rappler Newscast | January 31, 2013
Today on Rappler.
- The Philippines exceeds forecasts and posts a 6.6% GDP growth in 2012.
- President Aquino says the Philippines needs structural reforms to fight corruption.
- Reproductive health advocate Carlos Celdran answers charges he offended religious feelings.
Story 1: PHILIPPINES GROWS 6.6%
The Philippines grows 6.6 percent in 2012, surpassing its own target of 5 percent.
The annual growth was boosted by the 4th quarter gross domestic product of 6.8 percent.
This makes the Philippines one of Asia’s best performers, bucking the world-wide trend of troubled economies.
Katherine Visconti reports.
This water refilling station in Smokey Mountain has been around for nearly a decade.
2012 was their best year yet.
The manager says monthly water sales picked up more than 12.5% in 2013 compared to 2012.
Myriam Carpio keeps the logs and says her wages have increased.
She spends the additional money on more food for her daughter and three grandkids.
MYRIAM CARPIO, WATER STATION COORDINATOR: When I go shopping I buy rice, ulam, everything you need.
Filipinos like Myriam, who are making more and spending more, power the economy.
Consumer spending drove the economy up to an incredible 6.6 percent growth in 2012.
Household spending made up 4.3 percentage points of that growth or about 65%.
Most Filipinos paid more to pamper themselves, spending about 11% more annually on restaurants, recreation, and health.
ROSEMARIE EDILLON, NATIONAL ECONOMIC AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY: The fact that demand for this and expenditures increased dramatically really means that there were increasing incomes.
The Philippines is now one of the fastest growing economies in the region.
But government economists say risks remain like the strengthening peso.
The appreciating peso shrinks the value of remittances, which only grew 3.3% in 2012 based on constant prices.
Still economists are optimistic about 2013.
The socioeconomic planning secretary adds that recipe for success will be massive private sector investments, plus big ticket government road and rail projects which are currently backlogged.
Sari-sari store owner Rosalinda Nojo agrees.
2012 was good but she wants 2013 to be better.
She says she earned between P120 and 150 a day in 2011 and that shot up to about P150 to 300 a day in 2012.
ROSALINDA NOJO, SARI-SARI STORE OWNER: President Aquino has a lot of good work. It helps that he's not corrupt.
It's impossible to say for sure what 2013 will bring but Filipinos have good reason to believe it will be better.
Katherine Visconti, Rappler Manila
Story 2: AQUINO: PH NEEDS STRUCTURAL REFORM TO BEAT CORRUPTION
Despite government’s aggressive efforts to flush out corruption, the Philippines is still considered a corrupt country.
The President is determined to change that perception before he steps down in 2016, and says he knows how.
When President Benigno Aquino assumed power in 2010, he said he was serious about corruption, and willing to prove it.
In less than 2 years he prosecuted his predecessor and impeached the chief justice.
Now he wants to build a base to make his anti-corruption drive permanent.
BENIGNO AQUINO III, PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT: As people in government, we know that corruption cannot be eliminated by sending a few erring officials to jail, or by exposing a single faulty contract, or by removing from office a single oppressive tyrant. The problem of corruption must thus be approached strategically, always with the long-term in mind. Reforms cannot be mere blips in the radar—they must usher in an enduring mainstream of good, honest governance.
At an international anti-corruption forum in Manila, Aquino admits that without structural reforms, the country may lose the momentum for change.
He says his administration cannot do it alone and needs help from the people.
AQUINO: Today, we are forming a more cohesive force against corruption; and the more we share our ideas, the more we listen to one another, the sooner we will achieve our goal of eliminating corruption and reforming the system for the benefit of our peoples.
Fighting corruption is not only the government's job.
Institutions like the Office of the Ombudsman say they are joining the battle against graft.
CONCHITA CARPIO-MORALES, OMBUDSMAN: The tentacles of corruption have been described as a global menace. The good news is, that we all know about it. Knowing, however, is only half the battle. The other half of the battle is being waged by public and private institutions that are genuinely concerned about the state of public affairs, and how taxpayer's money is being spent.
The Philippines used to the sick man of Asia.
Experts now call it a breakout nation with a bright future if it manages to tackle corruption.
DMITRI VLASSIS, UN CHIEF OF CORRUPTION & ECONOMIC CRIME: There is certainly a renewed momentum in action against corruption here in the Philippines. I think that this level of engagement, not only domestically but also internationally, can only bode good for the future.
Observers say Aquino is determined enough to establish structural reforms, but only time will tell if his drive is enough to defeat decades of abuse by politicians.
CARLOS SANTAMARIA, REPORTING: Prosecuting a former president and impeaching a Chief Justice show that the Philippines is now on the right track against corruption. But as the president says, the culture is still there and this is only the beginning of the long road to clean and honest government.
Carlos Santamaria, Rappler, Manila.
Story 3: WILL MAKATI STUDENTS VOTE FOR NANCY BINAY?
Makati students say, they will not automatically vote for Nancy Binay.
She is heir to the Binay political dynasty, the family that ruled Makati for 3 decades.
Carmela Fonbuena reports.
This is the University of Makati, considered Binay country.
Thanks to the generous funding from City Hall, Makati residents get college education for P1000 pesos per semester.
Here, candidates of the United Nationalist Alliance are hoping to win the students' support.
In an event organized by radio station DZRH, they explain their platform and stand on controversial issues.
Students were most interested in Nancy Binay, daughter of Makati's political patriarch Vice President Jejomar Binay who is the least experienced of the Binay siblings.
She has no track record.
Why is she the one running?
Students of the University of Makati are thankful to the Binays but they tell Rappler they will use the campaign period to scrutinize Nancy as much as they will other candidates.
Their school taught them well.
Carmela Fonbuena, Rappler Makati.
Story 4: CELDRAN: VOICE OF PEOPLE WILL BE STRONGER
Reproductive health advocate Carlos Celdran answers charges he “offended religious feelings.”
Celdran was convicted of violating Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code for disrupting a service at the Manila Cathedral in September 2010.
Dressed as the Philippine national hero Jose Rizal, he held up a sign with the word "Damaso," a reference to the villainous priest in Rizal's famous novel "Noli Me Tangere."
He answers charges he had been disrespectful, saying it was not a mass but essentially a town hall meeting.
He says quote--“the right time to protest” will always be dictated by the powers-that-be.
CARLOS CELDRAN, RH ADVOCATE: To wait for the ceremony to be over would be waiting basically for you to lose your opportunity. The only right time and right moment is only given by the people who are in that power. So for me to wait for them to give me the permissions to protest would have completely gone against anything that would have sparked, anything different from what was done before. But I waited for the person to stop talking, and I genuflected before I raised my sign, and that my way of showing respect, and it's on video, I genuflected.
He adds, there is no such thing as a Catholic vote.
Last Monday, Bishops told the catholic faithful, RH law supporters are unfit for public office.
MARIA RESSA: And now that the RH Bill is a law, what do you think that means for Filipinos?
CELDRAN: It now means that we've turned the corner, haven't had yet economically, but we have the chance to hope again. It shows that we've basically shackled our theocracy, while still maintaining our veneration for an institution.
But Celdran says time will heal the wounds and common ground will be found.
RESSA: The church took a very strong position and lost. How would you describe it today and how is it, how do you see it evolving in the future?
CELDRAN: I think the voices of the people will be much stronger.
Right now I really think that they are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. They are trying as hard as they can to be completely relevant when it's not up to them to choose how to be relevant. It is up to us to make them relevant.
Story 5: TRUMP JR SLAMMED FOR TUBBATAHA TWEETS
Netizens slam American businessman Donald Trump Jr for his comments on the US Navy's plan to dismantle the 277 million-dollar ship stuck in the Tubbataha reef to prevent further damage.
In a tweet Wednesday, Trump says, “This is how stupid we are.”
The comment gets the ire of netizens who say the importance of the Tubbataha Reef National Park extends beyond monetary value.
In 1993, Tubbataha Reef is designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.
TV host Bianca Gonzales tweets: “How sad that you think you can belittle our national treasure. Money may come easy for you, but seems you don't know value.”
Bayan Muna Rep Teddy Casiño tells Trump: “Your 277-million dollar killing machine can never be more important than even a small section of reef that gives life to the oceans.”
Despite the comments, Trump defends his position, saying: “The whole reef was not destroyed, just a chunk the size of a boat. That is not worth 277 million by any standard."
Story 6: YOKO ONO DONATES P400,000 TO PABLO VICTIMS
John Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono, donates 10,000 dollars or 400,000 pesos to the victims of typhoon Pablo in Mindanao.
The Department of Foreign Affairs says her donation was remitted to the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo on January 28.
She learned about the typhoon after visiting the official residence of the Philippine Ambassador to Japan last December.
Ono spent her childhood years at the residence, which her uncle owned before it was acquired by the Philippine Government after World War II.
Story 7: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 2, The US economy unexpectedly shrinks in the fourth quarter of 2012, suffering its first decline since the 2007 to 2009 recession.
Economists were expecting a 1.1 percent growth, but businesses scale back on restocking and government spending plunge.
The US Commerce Department says gross domestic product fell at a point-one percent annual rate after growing at a 3.1 percent rate in the third quarter of 2012.
Superstorm Sandy that battered the northeastern coast in October is seen as a key factor for the decline.
At number 6, North Asia is the new stage for the space race, following South Korea's successful rocket launch.
The United States and the Soviet Union had defined global space rivalry since the 80’s.
The race will heat up this year with China aiming to land a rover on the moon and India planning to send an unmanned probe into Mars orbit.
Last July, Japan set up the country's first Cabinet-level office for space strategy.
In December last year, North Korea successfully launched an Earth observation satellite into orbit.
South Korea's own successful rocket launch this week makes it the fifth Asian country and the 13th nation in the world to go into space.
At number 8, Ever get that feeling of being able to remember something you heard even when you don't consciously remember hearing it?
A new study from France shows the brain edits conscious experience retroactively.
This allows a person to recall experiences even after the moment passes.
This may explain why students dozing off in class may be able to recall what their teacher just said even if they weren't consciously listening.
The finding suggests consciousness and perception may be a two-way street, instead of a linear progression from seeing something to consciously noticing it.
At number 9, Research in Motion rebrands itself as Blackberry.
Before unveiling its two new smartphones, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins says the company will operate under the name of its popular smartphone.
Heins says the change comes at a defining moment in the company's history.
Blackberry launches the Z10 and Q10 smartphones, both running on a new operating system.
The Z10's slate design is reminiscent of the iPhone 5 and is completely touch-based while the Q10 retains a physical keyboard.
And at number 10, Facebook announces a majority of the social network's active users access the site from mobile devices.
Facebook's active users for December hit 1.06-billion, with the number of mobile active users hitting 680 million.
This is the first time mobile active users exceed desktop users.
Newscast production staff
|EXECUTIVE PRODUCER / WRITER||Lilibeth Frondoso|
|ASSOCIATE PRODUCER / PUBLISHER||Rodneil Quiteles|
|HEAD WRITER / PROMPTER||Katerina Francisco|
|MASTER EDITOR / PLAYBACK||Vicente Roxas|
|TECHNICAL DIRECTOR / CAMERAMAN||Charlie Salazar|