Category Archives: UP Forum

The Implication of not voting in May

Aside from a sense of duty and love of country, more Filipinos should vote on May 9, 2016. The reason is tied to the very essence of democracy.
Statistical analysis indicates that because there are only two effective candidates in local elections, non-voting will make one’s least preferred candidate win. Here are the details of my argument:
Elections are no doubt stressful for candidates and the Comelec, but such stress is healthy for our democracy. Democracy is often measured through the regularity of electoral exercises and the extent to which these exercises are competitive.
So what if one cannot vote? What has voting …

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Open Sesame: What we learned from National Election Data (1992-­2013)

The Philippines is a signatory to the Open Government initiative; one of the 8 original signatories. While Filipinos have long clamored for freedom of information, the government has complained that no one is using the data that they have made public.
So the objective of this column is to promote open government data use. The column is called OPEN SESAME, in that our articles make use of open data, and “sesame” to refer to the TV show that enabled many of my generation to learn the basics of reading, writing and counting. In other words, this column aims to promote the …

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Presidential Elections and the Country’s Foreign Policy

In the run-up to the May presidential elections, candidates will be held to close scrutiny by the thinking members of the electorate. How well have have they thought out the major problems of the country and the potential solutions that can best serve the long-term interests of the Filipino people, instead of the expedient solutions or promises that can merely help get them elected?
Among the myriad issues that will demand attention – perhaps not necessarily the one closest to the needs of Juan dela Cruz but nonetheless of vital strategic importance – is the question of how to handle relations …

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What kinds of laws does our Congress legislate?

It must have been a shock for health officials and public health advocates to have learned that about a billion pesos was slashed from the Department of Health’s budget. The amount, allocated for the purchase of reproductive health commodities, was reportedly stricken out surreptitiously during the bicameral conference for the 2016 budget bill.
Reproductive health are among the issues considered priority by majority of Filipinos. Pulsa Asia’s 2007 survey on family planning, for instance, shows that an overwhelmingly majority of Filipinos believe in the importance of family planning and in government’s duty to provide budgetary support for it. Its 2010 survey, …

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UP Forum issue on UP’s Strategic Initiatives off the press

This is volume 16, number 1 of the bi-monthly UP Forum. In this special issue, UP President Alfredo Pascual gives updates on UP’s strategic initiatives, particularly on admissions system and policy; strengthening the faculty; modernizing pedagogy; transforming UP into a research-intensive university; unifying public service efforts; eUP and GreenUP; enhancing personnel benefits; and the UP budget. It also shows examples of ongoing and completed infrastructure projects of the University.
You may also download a digital copy by clicking here.

Missed an issue of the UP Forum or the UP News? Please visit the UP System on Issuu and you might just find …

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The Dignity of Travel: The Cebu BRT Project

Photo from Cebu City BRT Facebook page photo album.
Complex urban transport problems warrant a continuous search for solutions. The need for mobility is a given in today’s cities where commute trips tend to become longer as a result of urban sprawl and the growing mismatch between residential and employment locations which result in more trips made in terms of volume and distance. With a growing middle class whose tendency is to acquire and use private cars as the main mode of travel and the existence of low-quality public transport services, traffic congestion worsens with its attendant economic and environmental externalities. …

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When the Road Becomes a Parking Lot: A Hard Look at Metro Manila’s Traffic

Trust Pinoy wit to come up with the most appropriate name for the nightmare of bumper-to-bumper traffic within the metro: Carmageddon.1 Monsoon rains, road repairs, accidents, annual holidays, even a single misbehaving private or public utility vehicle can turn our roads into a virtual parking lot, while lines of people waiting to catch a ride on the MRT-3 snake down all the way to the sidewalks, and crowds of commuters spill over onto the middle of the street.
The financial costs of traffic congestion are staggering—P2.4 billion today, and likely to increase to P6 billion a day by 2030 if the …

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A Package Deal for Metro Traffic

MMDA Deputy Chairman Undersecretary Alex Ramon Cabanilla.
They are massive in scale. They breathe smoke and fire. They cause tremendous amounts of inconvenience, not to mention great financial losses. They are consistently aggravating and occasionally directly life-threatening. But the difference between dragons and traffic congestion is that one of them is all-too-real and much more complicated to deal with.
Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Deputy Chairman Undersecretary and former UP School of Urban and Regional Planning associate professor Alex Ramon Q. Cabanilla put it another way: “Our traffic problem is the product of years and years of benign neglect. It started out …

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A Place and the Case for UP and DOST’s Monorail

The Automated Guideway Transit (AGT) Prototype in UP Diliman, Quezon City.
There is no better endorsement for a rail system in a congested city than the existing ones.
The amount of patronage the Light Rail Transit and the Metro Rail Transit are getting despite the long lines and system breakdowns attests to the lengths commuters are willing to put up with just to get a traffic-free, automated ride toward their destinations.
For them there is hardly any alternative given the chaos of the whole public transport system, characterized by abusive bus, jeepney and taxi drivers and operators; lane preference given to private vehicles; …

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The LTFRB on the Colorum Phenomenon

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino and his agents flagging down colorum taxis and buses.
Most Filipinos are familiar with the term “colorum”—slang for illegal public land transport in the country.
For the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) and its two agencies, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), the term “colorum” refers to a franchise violation according to five criteria.
Joint Administrative Order No. 2014-01 issued by the DOTC on 2 June 2014 states that if a private motor vehicle operates as a public utility vehicle (PUV) without proper authority from the LTFRB, it is operating …

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