Bagong Simula sa Bayan ni Juan

Breaking News

For other news and information, scroll the links found on the sidebar. Links to other relevant sites and media blogs are located on the lower right portion. - RAFS76

Friday, June 29, 2007

UN: Bigger Urban Population in '08

Manila Standard / Michael Caber / p. A7

More than half of the world's population, or about 3.3 billion people, will be living in urban areas by 2008, according to the State of World Population Report released by the United Nations Population Fund.

"The population of towns and cities in developing countries is set to double in the space of a generation. Poor people will make up a large part of future urban growth," the agency said in a preview of the report which also noted that by 2030, urban population is expected to reach almost five billion.

As most cities struggle to meet current needs, city planners and local government officials also have to deal with the enormous scale and impact of future growth.

The report, entitled Unleashing the Potential of Urban Growth, calls for proactive actino to prepare for inevitable urbanization which can also be positive because no country in the industrial age has ever achieved significant economic growth without urbanization.

The report said cities concentrate poverty, but they also represent poor people's best hope of escaping it. Cities create environmental problems, but they can also create solutions. Concentrating population in cities can contribute to long-term sustainability.

"The bigger threat may be disordered sprawl. The potential benefits of urbanization far outweigh the disadvantages. The challenge is learning how to exploit its possibilities", the UN agency said.

For the second consecutive year, the agency also released a youth supplement, Growing Up Urban, a companion to the State of World Population 2007, which features the stories of young women and men growing up in cities of the developing world.

The report will be launched across the globe on June 27 in London and will also be launched locally on June 29 at the SGV Hall of the AIM Conference Center in Makati City.

Media Partners in Tawi-Tawi ambushed

Last June 25, 2007, media partners from Tawi-Tawi were ambushed. One of them, Vicente Sumalpong, otherwise known as "Enteng" among his peers, was killed while Maria Vema G. Antham was wounded and currently in the hospital.

To Enteng's family, our deepest condolences.

Below is an article culled from, where Cecil Abuy, area media coordinator for the media team in Tawi-Tawi, was quoted.

Gov’t radio broadcaster slain in Tawi-Tawi
June 25th, 2007
By Nonoy Espina, Thea Alberto

JOLO, Philippines — A broadcaster for state-run radio was killed Monday in an attack in the southern Philippines that also left one wounded, according to reports culled by

Vicente Sumalpong, a senior reporter of the government-owned Radyo ng Bayan (People’s Radio) in Tawi-Tawi, was attacked at about 8 a.m. by an unidentified number of gunmen in the provincial capital Bongao, according to reports.

In a telephone interview, Tawi-Tawi police said a lone gunman had carried out the attack while Vema Antham, a co-worker, who was with Sumalpong when he was killed, claimed that there was more than one.

Sumalpong was declared dead on arrival at the Datu Halun Memorial Hospital, said Antham, whom the broadcaster and his nephew, Totong Borja, had picked up at her residence where he was shot.

Interviewed by the Philippine Daily Inquirer by phone, Antham said she was unharmed because Sumalpong covered her with his body.

But Borja was injured on the left leg, said Antham.

“We are not hard-hitting journalists … we have no known enemies,” said Antham.

“He used to pick me every morning,” Antham said, adding that she could identify the gunmen if she saw them again.

“The shooting was so quick, I think it was over in less than 30 seconds. They quickly fled as we lay on the ground,” Antham said.

Chief Superintendent Joel Goltiao, Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, police director, said in a phone interview that Sumalpong was apparently the target.

Goltiao confirmed that Sumalpong was not a hard-hitting journalist and the reason for his killing might not be work-related.

Goltiao said police were eyeing two other motives but refused to elaborate, pending further investigation.

Cecil Abuy, a reporter of RPN-9 in Zamboanga City, said the ambush was “an attack against freedom of expression.”

“These two guys are not hard-hitting journalists, they are dedicated peace advocates and have never been involved in any controversy,” Abuy told the Inquirer, parent company of the

Abuy said the two have no known enemies, either personal or work-related.

John Manalili, deputy director of the Bureau of Broadcast Services, a government agency that runs the radio, urged police and the military to promptly investigate the killing.

“We hope they can set the record straight lest some sectors link this to extrajudicial killings,” he said.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s administration has been criticized at home and abroad for a rising number of unsolved killings of left-wing activists, government critics, and journalists.

Arroyo, in a recent dialogue with media groups, ordered the designation of a special prosecution team to handle the media killings. She also has promised to eradicate what she called a generations-long cycle of political murders.

The ambush against Sumalpong would make him the fourth journalist killed this year, the 53rd since President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo came to power in 2001, and the 90th since the restoration of most democratic institutions in 1986, National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) chairman Jose Torres Jr. said.

At least two journalists were killed earlier this year and 12 murdered in the course of their work last year, the NUJP said.

The human rights group Karapatan has reported more than 800 activists killed and another 200 abducted by suspected security forces. Most of the victims are from left-wing groups branded by the military as fronts for a 39-year communist insurgency.

Torres condemned the killing of Sumalpong and demanded immediate government action on the case.

The killing of journalists “has gone on for too long,” said Torres.

“This issue goes beyond the safety and lives of media practitioners.The greater issue here is whether this government is truly committed to democracy and freedom,” Torres said.

“Unless we see concrete action against journalists’ killers and unlessPresident Arroyo issues the unequivocal order to stop the deliberate targeting of the press, which we have long demanded from her, that commitment will ever be in doubt,” he added.

International media watchdog organizations such as Reporters Without Borders and the International Press Institute have labeled the Philippines as the most dangerous place for news professionals next to Iraq.

Are there 88 Million Filipinos?

National Census will confirm soon
From the Business Mirror/June 22

THE much-delayed Census of Population is ready for implementation in August and would confirm earlier estimates that Filipinos now number about 88 million, the National Statistics Office (NSO) said on Thursday.

The P1.3-billion survey should also help the government determine how fast or how slow the Philippine population is growing, and from there formulate possible population-related policies, NSO Administrator Carmelita N. Ericta noted in an agency statement. Its scheduled conduct last year was shelved after NSO failed to obtain the financial cover for it.

NSO’s population census in 2000 put the country’s population at 76.5 million, and this year’s edition aims to confirm if the government’s assumption of a 1.95-percent population growth within 2005 to 2010 has been achieved. Also included in the Popcen questionnaire are questions on the occupation, economic activities, disability and ethnic grouping of the respondents.

Up to 50,000 census takers and NSO field staff will visit homes to solicit specific information on the household number, and the ages, sex, marital status, education, among others, of the members. Each interview takes about 15 to 30 minutes to finish.

Ericta further explained that new information gathered from the survey was important since this gives a more concrete reference for social and economic development plans and program.

Earlier government numbers indicated a 2.36-percent population growth during the years 1995 to 2000, which slowed down to 2.05 percent during the period 2000 to 2005. A 2.36-percent growth result for the August survey means the Philippine population will double in 29 years while a 1.95-percent growth means it would take 35 years.

Among its other uses, the NSO chief noted, includes being the basis for internal revenue allotment for local government units, the determination of congressional seats, the creation of new municipalities or provinces or their upgrades into higher levels.

“Businesses and industries [also] use the statistical information from the census in determining sites for establishing businesses, consumer demands for various goods and services and supply of labor for the production of goods and services,” Ericta noted in the statement.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Independence Day

Today is supposed to be a holiday but in order for families to have an extended weekend, PGMA declared June 11 as the holiday and today, June 12 is also the opening of classes in various private schools . So, expect the traffic to be more stressful. =)

Anyways, coinciding with this siginificant day, The Philippines' Independence Day, a new blog was launched by - Being Filipino. is encouraging Filipinos in different countries to e-mail photos and videos of Independence Day celebrations in their corner of the world. The videos will be posted in the iVDO online video service that has launched in partnership with Yahoo! apart from being embedded on the Being Filipino blog. This is part of's thrust of helping Filipino communities reach out to a global audience.

It is good to know that initiatives such as this are actually undertaken by media outfits in order to reach out to as many Filipinos it possibly could. By maximizing all medium there is, Filipinos from all over the country and across the world reconnect with each other through blogging. This helps foster love of country and rekindles a sense of nationalism to every Filipino. I do believe that most of our kababayans out there, no matter how successful they have become, would always have a special place in their hearts for this country. After all, there's no place like home.

Read the rest of the article here.