Saturday, December 23, 2006

Crisis PR for PGMA

GMA wants friendlier press relations in 2007. After a year of testy relations with the media, including members of the MalacaƱang press corps, President Arroyo hinted on Friday of a charm offensive for the New Year. (Manila Times)

Friday, November 24, 2006

PGMA directs agencies to sustain gains in IPR

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo lauded the government agencies involved in protecting and promoting intellectual property rights (IPR) as a critical component in the country’s socio-economic development by raising the level of competitiveness of Philippine business.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) removed the Philippines from the priority watch list in February during its out-of-cycle review. “The Philippines bolstered implementation of its special legislation that was passed to stop illegal production of pirated optical discs. The Philippine government also measurably improved coordination of government agencies responsible for IPR enforcement,” the review stated.

In addition, the European Commission’s IPR enforcement survey listed the Philippines as a low priority country. The survey assessed the state of IPR infringements and how the violations are addressed as a guide for European businesses. Respondents from the Philippines noted that “improved coordination of the groups responsible for IPR enforcement, and an increased number of raids of production facilities and retail establishments” as one of the achievements in IP in recent years.

The memorandum from the Office of the President was addressed to the heads of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Finance (DOF), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Education (DepEd); the Press Secretary and; the Director General of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IP Philippines).

The President added, however, that there is still a pressing need to sustain the gains from the past year and a half (2005 to 2006). Some of the directives include:

• Continue to provide the Executive and the Legislative with policy and legislative proposals in order to update the country’s intellectual property laws, ensuring that these are in compliance with the country’s existing international obligations embodied in treaties and other agreements;

• The DTI, through the IPO, shall continue to coordinate inter-agency efforts against piracy and counterfeiting, maintain a database and enforcement monitoring system, consolidate information and reports from other agencies, and submit quarterly progress reports to the President, and provide copies to the Executive Secretary and the Cabinet Secretary;

• Intensify regular and effective (a) raids and “spot” inspections on factories that produce illegal optical discs, trademarked and copyrighted goods, (b) seizure and destruction of pirated and counterfeited goods and equipment used to produce them, and (c) arrests and prosecutions leading to deterrent level sentences served;

• Maintain appropriate coordination with the Judiciary in ensuring that courts are adequately skilled in intellectual property cases, and in consultation with the Judiciary and Congress, explore the designation or creation of Special Intellectual Property and International Trade Courts.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Are we growing or getting poorer?

The President had a reason to be happy this week with the country's economic outlook recognized by getting a stable rating from the Moody's Investors Service. Although some groups claim that the widespread hunger in the country belies these claims of growth.

I feel that the country is growing indeed when you see more and more businesses opening up. Although very few of those who failed or gave up hardly gets documented. For the poor who were unable to get proper education or opportunities ahead, the rising cost of living makes one adjust with the little that they have. This is definitely not easy for those who are unable to get additional income to make up in these adjustments.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Life moves on for PGMA

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is on a five-day visit to China. During this trip, she encourages Chinese businessmen to invest in the country and honored National Hero Jose Rizal. Several local government unit officials joined this trip for various reasons such as looking for ethanol production investors, among others.

I wonder if the joint exploration of Spratlys Island will materialize and bear the fruit she desires. I'm hopeful though with the 7-11 stores for the masses.

The President faces a lot of pressure on various issues this week from reported missing persons in her term, women's protest, legitimacy, militants, among others. The Philippine National Police is on full alert during this China trip.

Nevertheless, the President's relationship with the business community is stronger than ever with the expressed support for the RP-Japan trade pact. This is in addition to the public support she is gradually regaining.

She is also pushing for the anti-terror meeting to be finalized soon and encourages allies to prepare for the May 2007 elections.

plug: ituloy angsulong!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

PGMA rating gets better

The Third Quarter 2006 Social Weather Survey finds 37% Satisfied and 48% Dissatisfied with the performance of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, for an unfavorable Net Satisfaction Rating of –11. [The number –11 should be read as “minus-eleven,” not as “negative-eleven”.]

This is slightly up from the Second Quarter, which had 34% Satisfied and likewise 48% Dissatisfied, or Net –13, correctly rounded.

President Macapagal-Arroyo’s national net rating has been unfavorable for nine consecutive survey rounds, ever since the Third Quarter of 2004.

Positive only in the Visayas

PGMA’s Net Satisfaction score is favorable only in the Visayas, where it grew to +6 in September from +2 last June. [The number +6 should be read as “plus-six,” not as “positive-six”.]

It became slightly less negative in Metro Manila, at -41 now compared to –47 last June, and in the Balance of Luzon, at -10 now compared to –13 in June.

In Mindanao it dipped insignificantly to –8 now, from –7 in June.

Rural people now feel neutral

The President made a significant gain in rural areas, where those Satisfied grew from 34% in June to 42% in September, while those Dissatisfied fell from 46% to 43%, bringing her rural net score to –1 now compared to –12 previously, or a change to a neutral score from a previously unfavorable one. The balance from 100% are fence-sitters, neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.

In urban areas, on the other hand, those Satisfied were unchanged at 35%, while those Dissatisfied barely moved, from 50% to 51%, making her urban net score a clearly unfavorable –17 (correctly rounded), compared to –15 in June.

Thus the unfavorable national sentiment about the President is presently accounted for by strongly negative feelings in urban areas outbalancing neutral feelings in rural areas.

Women no longer more dissatisfied than men

Among women, satisfaction with PGMA rose to 38% in September from 31% in June, and dissatisfaction was steady at 49%, causing women’s net satisfaction to rise to –11 from –17 (correctly rounded) formerly.

Among men, on the other hand, both satisfaction (to 37% from 38%) and dissatisfaction (to 48% from 47%) barely moved, causing men’s net satisfaction to be steady at –11 now, from –10 (correctly rounded) formerly.

In short, women and men are now equally dissatisfied with PGMA, whereas last June women were more dissatisfied with her than men.

Slight increases in all classes

President Arroyo’s Net Satisfaction Rating is more or less equally low among the middle-to-upper ABC classes (-20) and in the very poor E class (-18), but not as bad among the masa or D class (-6).

It rose slightly in all classes compared to June 2006, when it was –27 among the ABCs, –22 among the Es, and -10 among the Ds.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Welcome to PGMA blog!

I've been monitoring news about President Arroyo regularly and hope to share them here in this blog. Enjoy!