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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Respectable Public Servants Deserve Public Support

By:  Gilbert M. Forbes

I want to borrow and share the sentiments of Jude Ocampo via Jess Lorenzo who mentioned in his fb post that he feels sorry for our honest public servants. The public demands that they be visible - which is perfectly understandable since seeing competent men and women directing govt efforts does provide some comfort. But when people like Sec. MAR risk life and limb to lead crisis management efforts on the ground, they are rewarded by cynicism and ridicule. Kung hindi ka magnanakaw sa gobiyerno, dapat yata santo or masochist ka. Can't we just see this for what it is - an honest public servant doing his job?

In government service, seldom that honest public servants got noticed, recognized, and even rewarded by the public and most importantly by peers. If you profess and practice righteousness in the work place either some would despise you, reject you and like Sec. Mar, ridicule you behind your backs. Your contemporaries may even consider you as a threat. May be that is because, the crab mentality is so grossly embedded in our psychic- bad for a nation dreaming to be progressive and great.

Most of the time, if you think out of the box, radical in your approach meaning highly analytical weighing things and putting it in a balance, and most of all disciplinarian or strict, you could be unpopular, or less liked.  Rest assured that nobody will recognize your efforts, they may do so once you have left, worst, none at all. You could be excused  unless you possess an above average, not ordinary, or even extraordinary appeal and aura, but still do expect negativity for there is a saying, you couldn't please everybody.

This is the very reason that most of our best people as much as possible avoid government service. They rather work and serve in an NGO than in government or worst, in the corporate world and just help in other ways. The bad side about it is that the unknowing public, 'the masses' are left with no other alternative. Then we will be annoyed by mediocre government services!

If we, the public, want a good and ultimately the best public service that we want from the government, we should ask ourselves first, what kind of citizen am I?  In my own little ways, aside from being both direct and indirect tax payers, what, contributions do I make towards the society?  If I would be given the opportunity to serve in the government, can I do the kind of public service I want from them?

People in government, particularly the righteous and respected ones, deserve our support and not the other way around so as encourage them to continue and not be eaten up by the bad system.  Our failure, is our great loss for there are already too few of them in government now.  Their tribe should increase, and its we who are in the best position to make it a reality.  After, all, in a larger picture, WE THE PEOPLE, IS THE GOVERNMENT.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Typhoon Ruby's Two to Three-day Forecast, Tracks and Position

UPDATED 12pm today 12-8-2014:  STY Hagupit (Ruby) has been downgraded into a tropical storm and is now rampaging the sea near the island of Marinduque Province in Region IV-B,  

As of 11 am Monday, the eye of the storm was located 20 kilometers east of Torrijos, Marinduque, with maximum sustained winds of 105 km/h near the center and gusts of up to 135 km/h. The storm's diameter has become smaller, now just 450 kilometers across, and moderate to heavy rainfall is expected by places under this area. Rappler reported. 

Ruby is still moving 10kmh west north west but slightly changed its course upwards.  It instead of having landfall at northern Mindoro, it will be hitting Batangas Province, 6-8pm. With the distance of Batangas to Metro Manila, it is expected that the place will be experiencing heavy rains and strong winds

Currently, except Metro Manila, signal # 3 is up over Regions IV-A and B including Lubang Islands.
New path of Ruby as of 11am.  Image Courtesy of PAG-ASA-DOST

As of 11am, Ruby is located at  20 km east of Torrijos, Marinduque, 13.3°N, 122.3°E, Maximum sustained winds of 105 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 135 kph.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, it is expected to be 85 km Southwest of Quezon City and 295km Southwest of Quezon City by Thursday.  It's movement slightly increased from 10-13km/hr, West, North-West.

Estimated rainfall amount is from 5 – 15 mm per hour (moderate – heavy) within the 450 km diameter of the typhoon.

 "RUBY" and the Northeast Monsoon will cause rough to very rough sea conditions over the seaboards of Luzon and Visayas. Fisherfolks and those using small sea craft are advised not to venture out over the said seaboards.

Expected to Exit PAR: Wednesday evening.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Isolated and Far-flung Public Schools Should Now Go to Solar Energy

By:  Gilbert M. Forbes

Electrical power for isolated and far-flung schools (off-grid or far from power lines) now a days is already within reach through the use of solar energy.  Not only that DepEd has established partnerships with different NGO providers, but also, solar power energy hard wares' prices through the years have decreased tremendously.  
Cabul-an National High School.  A beneificiary of One Meralco Foundation.

If the school leadership wants it fast, aside from contacting or soliciting the help of possible NGO donors, what is just needed is the drive to motivate the stakeholders or the community to hold a fund drive and combine financial resources.  With this, no more queuing, no more waiting. For as low as Php25,000.00, any off-grid schools with the Parent Teacher Association on the lead could install solar power in their respective schools.  

This set-up is enough to power an LCD or LED TV, a laptop pc and an electric fan. In other words, enough to operate multi-media equipment and basic office equipment, and so the multi-media for classroom use of course.  Since, electrical power is one of the requirements of DepEd's Computerization Program; this type of electrical connection package is a good start so as to fast track the receiving of the said package.  It is also best to start small so that along the way, somebody will learn basic issues regarding its operation, performance, and maintenance.
Basic components of this set-up usually include a 1000-watts sine-wave inverter.  12- Volt deep cycle battery, at least 100Ah, 100-200watts monocrystaline solar panels, solar charge controller, wirings and other connecting paraphernalia.

The only major challenge in operating renewable energy system such as this is maintenance.  But all these are easy to learn as long as willingness is strong.  Electronics technicians’ even electricians could also be asked to assist and should be made to witness the installation process so that somebody in the community knows what to do, much less, the teachers.  In this manner, orientation from the installer must be part of the package.

Aside from the maintenance, the following should also be the main considerations:  First, estimated daily power usage by computing the power requirements of the gadgets and hard wares your school intend to use initially; second, budget or source of funds; third, target supplier and installer’s record; fourth, maintenance requirement; and fifth, learning the basics.   Read more at this link 5 Things to Consider When Planning to Install Solar Energy Systems

Benefits of Solar Power

Benefits of Solar power particularly in off-grid areas are simply amazing.  It would not only enable the school to use multi-media in instruction as they could already power their devices, but as long as there is a cellphone network signal, using their laptops and mobile modems could also connect itself to the internet making learning more interesting. 

They could also provide ICT instruction not only to the pupils and students but even to the community. The clean, free and renewable electricity available in the school cab become an added incentive for pupils to go to, and stay, in school since it is a place where they can also charge their cellphones while pursuing their education.

Another value added by the electrification is that it could become a revenue generator for the school’s parent-teacher-association (PTA) which they could use to maintain it and the excess in other equally important things.  More importantly, the impact that it will create to the community is imaginable, economically and socially.

Just immediately after typhoon Glenda passed his residence in Tayabas City, Quezon.  The writer immediately ventured on buying a mini solar power generator to light their sar-sari store which they are using until now.  The writer also motivated to research and read a lot on solar energy home and school installation of both off-grid and grid-tie systems. Solar energy use has now become part of his environment's personal advocacy.