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Strategic Analysis and Research by the

cenSEI

CENTER FOR STRATEGY, ENTERPRISE & INTELLIGENCE

T H E

There is a presumption under our laws; it applies to Chief Justice Corona. There is a presumption of innocence until proven guilty. So in this particular instance [of PagCor chairman Cristino Naguiat Jr.], I think we should afford him also the benefit of hearing him out before we make any judgment ~ President Benigno Aquino III upon ordering probe into alleged perks received by Naguiat, February 25

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Volume 2 - Number 7 • February 27 - March 4, 2012

Mr. Corona, please don’t give us the runaround. We all know why Mrs. Arroyo placed you in the Supreme Court: to cover up for her corruption. Didn’t all of this start when you almost succeeded in aiding Mrs. Arroyo in her escape? ~ President Aquino speaking at La Consolacion College, February 16

04 On the Street Where You Live

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The most liveable cities and the planning, policies and programs that catapult them to the top of the world • The best of the best: How Vienna, Vancouver and Singapore tick • On a shoestring: Urban planning and management in the developing world

13 Are We Scared Already?

The Global Risk 2012 report spotlights failing states, safeguards and cybersystems. It’s not a pretty picture • Worried world: Presidents, prime ministers and CEOs voice their concerns • Can democracy deliver? After freedom, fast-rising demands for a better life

24 Legislating the Right to Know

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After 20 months, the Aquino administration finally backs a Freedom of Information bill — just when Congress balks at the new assets disclosure form • The long and winding road: Starts and stops in the quest for an FOI law • Sleazy Asia: The region’s alarming corruption ratings could stir more unrest • Ignorance of the law: In 105 nations with FOI legislation, not many know about it

34 The Battle for Seaweed Supremacy

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Once the world’s top seaweed exporter, can the Philippines catch up with Indonesia? One problem: Jakarta may ban seaweed exports our processing plants need • Natural selection: Different species for different recipes • King of kelp: How Benson Dakay farmed the seas • The new No. 1: Indonesia grabs the carrageenan crown

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42 Discount Genetics Will Change Your Life

POINT & CLICK You can access online research via the Internet by clicking phrases in blue

The falling prices of gene sequencing services will bring its knowledge and benefits to millions — a boon to health and a challenge to ethics • Origin of the species: The monumental Human Genome Project • Micromapping comes to town: The Philippines’ new gene center

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Center for Strategy, Enterprise & Intelligence provides expertise in strategy and management, enterprise development, intelligence, Internet and media. For subscriptions, research, and advisory services, please e-mail report@censeisolutions.com or call/fax +63-2-5311182. Links to online material on public websites are current as of the week prior to the publication date, but might be removed without warning. Publishers of linked content should e-mail us or contact us by fax if they do not wish their websites to be linked to our material in the future.


It’s Complicated: Making Quality Judgments of City Living Senior analyst Verbo Bonilla has seen his share of great cities, including Singapore and Boston, where he divided time over a year earning his master’s degree in public management at the National University of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge near Boston. This week he got to go over in his head what makes a great metropolis in crafting the World lead report on the best cities to live.

Bonilla took the best of Singapore and Harvard TCR photo

The problem with playing judge over the quality of city life lies in not letting one’s personal preferences and living standards influence one’s assessments. It’s hard enough to weigh the relative pluses and minuses of Hong Kong, New York, London and Dubai without letting decades of life in Manila cloud the picture. The solution: get a bunch of in-depth reports and wide-ranging surveys to objectify the comparative.

For the World lead article on the most liveable cities, Bonilla consulted consulting firm Mercer’s 2011 Quality of Living Survey, Monocle magazine’s Most Livable Cities Index 2011, and the Economist Intelligence Unit’s ranking. Further bulking up the research list were hefty studies on city management and standards by the Asian Development Bank, the Philips Center for Health and Well-Being, and the International Making Cities Livable Council (IMCL). If that sounds like a lot to put into a 3,200-word package of stories, such is the analytic research that The CenSEI Report puts at your fingertips with every story every week. No one can claim to be an expert on everything, but by harvesting the Internet for the authoritative and objective material on the subjects of TCR articles, the Report brings to our readers the perspectives and minds of leading authorities and institutions. Such thoroughness in seeking knowledge and data is nothing new to Bonilla. As an assistant secretary of budget, the Ateneo business economics graduate developed a system to evaluate program and project proposals. He also wrote Palace speeches and correspondence and was formerly in the Senate technical staff. Clearly, even before he judged the quality of cities, Bonilla had plenty of practice in making such complex, well-researched assessments.


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How to Make Cities More Liveable By Verbo Bonilla

STRATEGY POINTS Liveability, what is measured in the rankings, has a direct bearing on the quality of life of city inhabitants Sound urban planning principles help cities in developed and developing countries alike build more liveable urban communities In making their cities more liveable, less affluent countries must also address fundamental problems like poverty and inequality

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Imagine a city where travelling any distance by bus or by bike is as attractive as going there by car. There are well-defined bike lanes, and there’s little traffic because of a balanced transport system. Not that there would be much reason to take a car. A careful mix of commercial, leisure, and residential establishments allows the office to be just a few blocks away, an outdoor café here, a quaint little bookshop there. Any given day is a nice time to stroll with the family: breathe clean, fresh air, visit the well-tended park just around the corner, greet courteous neighbors as they pass you by. The children's school is a hop, skip, and a jump away, and the local medical center isn't too far from the school. For many of us, the picture of the ideal urban community wouldn't differ too greatly from the one described above. After all, there are just certain important qualities that we’d want to be present in the cities we live in. That's why it's interesting to see where people think the best cities are and what makes them outstanding. Our interest is not only in satisfying our curiosity, or in stoking our desire to travel, but also to find out how our own cities can improve.

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How to make cities more livable

Surveys and rankings. Late last year, global consulting firm Mercer came out with the results of its 2011 Quality of Living Survey, which ranked 221 cities in terms of standard of living. At about the same time, the Economist Intelligence Unit— with data from Mercer-- came out with its latest Liveability Ranking Report, billed the World’s Most Liveable Cities 2011, this time ranking 140 countries (link is to a free summary but which requires registration).

The top 10 cities according to each study are listed in the tables below. There are cities common to both listings, i.e. Vienna, Auckland, and Vancouver. With the exeption of cities in Australia and New Zealand, both lists are dominated by cities in developed countries in the West. Many of the cities in the current lists have also been ranked high in previous surveys.

MERCER QUALITY OF LIVING SURVEY - WORLDWIDE RANKINGS, 2011 Rank

City

Country

1

Vienna

Austria

2

Zurich

Switzerland

3

Auckland

New Zealand

4

Munich

Germany

5

Düsseldorf

Germany

6

Vancouver

Canada

7

Frankfurt

Germany

8

Geneva

Switzerland

9

Bern

Switzerland

10

Copenhagen

Denmark

Source: “2011 Quality of Living worldwide city rankings – Mercer survey,” Mercer, Nov. 29, 2011

THE ECONOMIST'S WORLD'S MOST LIVEABLE CITIES 2011 The Top Ten Cities (100=ideal; 0=intolerable) Rank

City

Country

Overall Rating

1

Melbourne

Australia

97.5

2

Vienna

Austria

97.4

3

Vancouver

Canada

97.3

4

Totonto

Canada

97.2

5

Calgary

Canada

96.6

6

Sydney

Australia

96.1

7

Helsinki

Finland

8

Perth

Australia

95.9

96

9

Adelaide

Australia

95.9

10

Auckland

New Zealand

95.7

Source: “A Summary of the Liveability Ranking and Overview,” Economist Intelligence Unit, August 2011

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6 There are some differences in the specific weights and factors used to evaluate the cities in the two studies but, reflecting our aforementioned common values, these factors fall, more or less, within the following general categories: safety, culture, environment, recreation, hygiene, education, health care, public transportation, and political-economic access and stability.

remain competitive and continue to motivate expatriate employees. That means reviewing major events, such as social unrest, economic turmoil or natural disasters and their impact on the success of overseas placements.” The Monocle survey. The results of another survey, called the Most Livable Cities Index 2011 by lifestyle magazine Monocle were released in the middle of last year, this one ranking the top 25 cities people call home. Again, the important criteria in this survey include safety, climate, architecture, public transportation, environment, urban design, business conditions, pro-active policy developments and medical care.

Developed countries on top. Slagin Parakatil, Senior Researcher at Mercer, said of the results of the survey, “European cities in general continue to have high standards of living, because they enjoy advanced and modern city infrastructures combined with high-class medical, recreational and leisure facilities.”

Monocle explains that there are certain factors that lets otherwise attractive cities down, such as crime rate, traffic and air quality. It says, “In the end, the cities that make the cut are not just OK, but places that are benchmarks for urban renaissance and rigorous reinvention in everything from environmental policy to transport.”

Admittedly, the survey was administered to expatriates and both studies were intended to provide a measure of the risk premium expatriates should receive as part of their compensation. Parakatil explains, “Companies need to keep on top of current developments to ensure that their compensation packages

MONOCLE'S MOST LIVABLE CITIES INDEX 2011 Rank

City

Country

2010

1

Helsinki

Finland

5

2

Zunich

Switzerland

3

3

Copenhagen

Denmark

2

4

Munich

Germany

1

5

Melbourne

Australia

9

6

Vienna

Austria

8

7

Sydney

Australia

12

8

Berlin

Germany

11

9

Tokyo

Japan

4

10

Madrid

Spain

10

Source: Monocle’s Most Livable Cities Index 2011, Monocle, Jan. 15, 2012

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How to make cities more livable

In surveys like these, urban communities in prosperous countries such as Austria, Australia, Germany, and Canada stand out, owing not just to their capacity to put up sizeable expenditures on city improvements, but also because of the headway in terms of cumulative advances they have already made in urban development. The meaning of liveability. Before discussing how cities in general can be made more liveable, the obvious advantage of developed countries notwithstanding, let us first clarify -- what is the meaning of “liveability” in these rankings? To be adjudged the “most liveable city” is an enviable position. The title brings renewed interest and ushers in new business, investments and overall vibrancy into the city. Many cities therefore aspire to be included in the top rankings of these surveys. In the article The Value of Rankings and the Meaning of Livability, the International Making Cities Livable Council (IMCL), a network of individuals and cities concerned with making cities and communities more livable, opines however that these surveys from Mercer, The Economist and Monocle merely measure standard of living, not quality of life. Mercer itself, in Defining Quality of Living, distinguishes what it measures, quality of living, from the more subjective term, quality of life. Mercer explains, “One may live in the highest ranked city in terms of quality of living and still have a very bad quality of life because of unfortunate personal circumstances (illness, unemployment or loneliness, etc).”

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Quality of life, then, is what ultimately matters to each person individually. Still, quality of living—what we mean when we say “liveability” in these surveys-- is a valuable concept because it is a metric for those qualities we value and which we all desire to be present in our cities. From a more pragmatic viewpoint, quality of living has a direct bearing on quality of life. The IMCL expounds on this further: “Standard of living issues are not directly correlated with happiness, with a sense that life is meaningful, that we are of value to others, and that there is much to be discovered and celebrated in the human and physical world around us. These are important aspects of quality of life and are profoundly influenced by the built environment - by a city's livability.” It is clear that liveability is a quality which all cities should aspire for, not only for the renewed interest and vibrancy the billing can generate for urban communities, but also to raise the quality of life of its citizens. How then do we make our cities more liveable? Below are some useful recommendations. 'True urbanism.' Suzanne and Henry Lennard, urban planning consultants and board members of IMCL, advocate the concept of “true urbanism,” where a vibrant public realm is the true hallmark of a livable city. In Principles of True Urbanism, the Lennards explain that “the dialogue that ensues in the city's public places (its streets and squares) is the ultimate expression of life in the city." The Lennards expound on the need for appropriate human scale architecture,

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Liveable cities in focus How are some top-ranked cities working towards becoming more liveable? Vienna, at the top ten in all three previously mentioned surveys, exhibit many of the principles of true urbanism as may be gleaned from this video of a walk around the city. Its current Traffic Master Plan takes careful account of the proportion of pedestrians, cyclists and others using public transport, said to be the densest among public transport networks in the world. Aside from citations in innovation and being the world’s “smartest city” Vienna was also the recipient in 2010 of the United Nations’ Scroll of Honour, the body’s most prestigious award for city planning. Aside from Vienna, Vancouver (video profile here) -another consistently top-ranked city in the above liveability surveys-- consciously creates an urban community that facilitates social interaction; encourages transit, walking and biking; builds and maintains a vibrant central area; and, follows most other principles on making cities livable. Its vision, according to its current CityPlan: Directions for Vancouver, is of a “city of neighborhoods,” where “there is a sense of community for all ages and cultures,” a healthy economy and environment, and where “people have a say in the decisions that affect their neighborhoods and their lives.” Perhaps an Asian city that consciously endeavors – and successfully – in making a liveable community is Singapore. Although it is not in any of the top-10 lists, it is consistently ranked high among Asian countries in livability rankings. It ranks 1st in Asia and 8th worldwide in Mercer’s ranking for personal safety. From its previous vision of becoming a “garden city,” Singapore now works towards becoming a “city in a garden.” In An Endearing Home, A Distinctive Global City, a handbook for the Singapore Ministry of Development, importance is given to ensuring that “every inch of Singapore’s scarce land resources is optimally utilized for economic growth and to improve the quality of life for all Singaporeans.” Here is a video of its campaign to become a “city in a garden.”

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mixed use shop/houses, outdoor cafes and restaurants, farmers' markets and community festivals, and a compact urban fabric of blocks, streets, and squares. According to them, the principles of true urbanism create a “city of short distances,” achieved through a cellular structure. In this kind of city, automobile travel is reduced and social interaction is facilitated. Principles for reshaping suburbia. The IMCL further prescribes urban-planning principles which may be followed to create more livable cities. It cites the “Ten Principles for Reshaping Suburbia,” culled from the book Livable Cities Observed (1995). Principles include the creation of a city core, pedestrian plazas, pedestrian and bicycle networks, mixed types of residential areas, festivals and markets, as well as the conduct of coordination efforts with authorities to prevent urban sprawl. A.I.R. Qualities. The Philips Center for Health and Well-being propose three interlinked qualities that a liveable city should have. These qualities, briefly described, are the following: 1. Authenticity, or the ability to maintain the local character of the city, the local heritage, culture and environment. 2. Inclusiveness, or openness for “participation from the widest range of civil society, irrespective of gender, age, ethnicity, cultural heritage, beliefs, religion and economic status” and the ability to enhance community feelings and a sense of belonging. 3. Resilience, or the ability of a city to invent or re-invent itself to “balance continuity with

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change, heritage and innovation, natural spaces and the urban environment to the benefit of its inhabitants.” 'Practical solutions' towards more liveable cities. In the study Livable Cities in a Rapidly Urbanizing World, the Philips Center expounds further on these three qualities and offers 10 more specific ingredients that make up a liveable city (p. 18). These ingredients include strong regional governance, local energy

development, innovation, mobility, actively engaged citizens, and equity. The Philips Center also proposes 10 “practical solutions” to making liveable cities (p. 19). Giving ample consideration to size and population concerns, the solutions are arranged according to three possible scales of the urban area. Among its recommended solutions are: the appointment of strong leaders who can define strategic priorities; the definition

THE GUIDING CHARACTERISTICS IN BUILDING A LIVEABLE CITY

Source: “A livable and lovable city?”, Insight Series on Livable Cities, The Philips Center for Health and Well-being, Jan. 20, 2011

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10 of the landscape framework prior to urbanization; mapping energy resources; the creation of green, productive landscapes; mixed land use based on performance; and, a budget for the arts. These and other recommendations abound on how cities can be made more livable. The top-ranked cities in liveability surveys can always be viewed as examples of best practices in urban planning and development. The situation in developing countries not the same. Not all cities, however, will find that raising their liveability rankings is as simple as following these recommendations or emulating best practices. As previously mentioned, developed countries have ample resources and have already gained much headway in making their cities more liveable. The situation in developing countries are entirely different, even the exact opposite.

Making cities in developing countries more liveable The task of making cities more liveable is more of a problem in developing countries than it is in more affluent countries. It requires more than just skindeep, cosmetic changes to the urban environment, and involves confronting fundamental problems, such as poverty and inequality. In the World Development Report 1999/2000 titled Entering the 21st Century: The Changing Development Landscape, the World Development Bank detailed (in Chapter 7) the issues involved in making cities in developing countries more liveable. It highlighted an “unfinished urban agenda,” where living conditions in cities are below acceptable

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Cities in developing countries not only lack resources, but also confront problems which have accumulated over the years. The many issues involved in raising the quality of living in cities in developing countries may be gleaned from the box below. Philippine cities in danger of being left behind? In a presentation during the 3rd Philippine Cities Global Convention and Exposition held in November last year, Douglas Webster, Professor of East Asian Urbanization of the Arizona State University, warned of the situation Philippine cities face. He discussed the danger of losing the country’s urban competitiveness and being left behind in the competitive “urban stage” of development. “Philippine cities,” he showed, “are falling behind competing East Asian cities at an accelerating rate.” One major finding of his presentation: Philippine cities

thresholds. It says, “The urban agenda for improved liveability begins with reducing poverty and inequality… it also includes creating a healthful urban environment, minimizing crime and violence, establishing a civil protection system, and making services more accessible.” The problems confronting less affluent cities in Asia in particular is discussed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in the book, Managing Asian Cities (2008). It highlighted problems presented by rapid population growth, such as lack of basic services, pollution, inadequate infrastructure, and informal settlements. It recommended approaches in improving city management, establishing appropriate coordinating structures, providing effective financing responses, capacity development

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see themselves as free-standing entities responsible for their own destinies, as opposed to stages for development in the national interest. Among his recommendations: synchronized local and national policies and strategies, and a focus on competitive advantages, such as tourism and business process outsourcing. Problems come to fore during natural disasters. The problems faced by Philippine cities come into sharp focus, unfortunately, with the seasonal arrival of natural disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons, to which the country is especially vulnerable. Floods in Metro Manila and other cities, for instance, are regular yearly occurrences that get plenty of mileage in public discourse during the typhoon season but which promptly lose appeal as soon as the floods subside. Following Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy), which caused damages in the billions of pesos and

claimed hundreds of lives in Metro Manila in 2009, Felino Palafox Jr., a recognized city planner and architect, recalled a land use plan that addressed flooding in the mega-city and which has been in existence since 1977. He lamented the inability of the national government to implement sound urban planning, “This is a sin of omission on the part of government and leadership. Practically all the measures outlined in the study could have addressed the flooding we are seeing these days.” He told the Philippine Daily Inquirer days after the big typhoon, “When I saw the damage caused by the floods recently, I realized that these were the same areas that had already been identified.” In October 2009, Palafox reportedly presented 21 recommendations on urban planning, to the national government, as reported on pinoygreenacademy.com, a blog on environmental concerns. These recommendations contain very specific measures that could help Philippine cities

and institutional strengthening, and promoting sustainable economic growth and a sustainable environment, among others. In Competitive Cities in the 21st Century: Clusterbased Local Economic Development (2011), the ADB expounds further on a multi-stakeholder approach to build better, more competitive, cities in Asia. It recommends a “City Cluster Economic Development” approach, a “strategic framework and a set of analytical tools, which governments, businesses, and communities can use to support the inclusive and sustainable development of competitive urban economies in Asia.” The seven-step analysis (p. 83) detailed on the right is an important tool in this approach.

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Review National Economic and Urban Development Strategy

Decide the scope of urban areas

Assess Cities' Competitiveness

Select cities

Evaluate Competitiveness of MultiSector Industries

Competitive industry prioritized

Analyze Cluster Structure and GIS Mapping of Industry Clusters

Select industry clusters in the selected cities

Evaluate Industry Clusters' Competitiveness and Deficiency

Identify investment priorities

Prepare Business and/or Action Plans and Pre-Feasibility Studies Executive Project toward Competitive Cities and Industry Clusters

Industry clusters networking and public-private partership platform

Source: Competitive Cities in the 21st Century: Cluster-based Local Economic Development, Asian Development Bank, 2011

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How to make cities more livable

become less vulnerable to flooding, more soundly planned, and more liveable for its citizens. The recommendations might be specific to disaster prevention – even more specifically, flood prevention – but they're still worth

considering in the context of making our increasing number of urban centers more liveable. In fact, ace-ing disaster prevention would go a long way to making our cities places where people actually want to live, as opposed to places to flee the relative lack of opportunities in rural areas.

21 Recommendations on Urban Planning in Light of the Recent Disastrous Floods 1. Build the spillway from Laguna Lake to Manila Bay 2.Clear all rivers, esteros, waterways, and lakes 3.Relocate people to higher ground 4.Establish hundred-year flood lines; control development in area liable to flooding; build higher than hundred-year flood line and consider rising water levels due to climate change; and build elevated walkways, sky bridges -- connecting buildings above flood waters 5.Flood-proof design and construction for houses, schools, churches, shops and other structures and infrastructures; harvest rain water through cistern and water-retention ponds 6.Update well into the 21st century: 1905 Burnham Plan 1976-77 MMETROPLAN 2003 Manila Megapolis Concept Plan 2020 7.Flood-control master plan 8.Drainage Master Plan 9.Sewerage Master Plan 10.Reforest the hills and mountains 11.Revise subdivision regulations and other laws and restrictions 12.Revise, review and update the Building Code , Structural Code and other codes 13.Urban Metropolitan Management Review (too

many overlapping functions among agencies, local, metropolitan, regional and national agencies) 14.Create “green islands” 15.Hazard Mapping -- earthquake, flood, fire, and other hazards 16.Enforce the 10-meter easements along rivers and lakes and 3.5-meter easements along creeks and esteros 17.Urban Planning - land use, zoning, transport, infrastructure, location, density, type and timing of development; Metropolitan, Urban and Regional Planning,Vertical Urbanism not urban sprawl 18.Engineering -- flood control, drainage, sewerage, water supply, power supply, telecommuincations, garbage, sanitation, and traffic 19.Architecture – flood-proof design of buildings 20.Funding -- provide funding requirements for planning, design, management, and maintenance of buildings and infrastructures 21.Political Will -- the vision to carry out a comprehensive plan and political will to address climate change, flooding, and urban planning to provide better living conditions and better quality of life and opportunities for social and economic advancement for all

Suitable for framing? If adopted, Palafox and Associates' 21 urban-planning recommendations for flood prevention might go a long way towards making Philippine cities liveable Soure: “Prescriptions from the City Doctor: Arch. Palafox,” pinoygreenacademy.com, Oct. 31, 2009 blog post

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Are You Scared Already?

From failing states to cyberspace, it’s not just the world economy facing grave risk By Ricardo Saludo

THE GLOBAL RISK LANDSCAPE Economic Enviroment Geopolitical Societal Technological

Charts from Global Risk 2012, by World Economic Forum and Risk Response Network

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Economic Enviroment Geopolitical Societal Technological

Persistent extreme weather

Irremediable pollution

Rising greenhouse gas emissions

Unforeseen negative consequences of regulations

Failure of climate change adaptation

Massive incident of data fraud or theft

Mismanaged urbanization Pervasive entrenched corruption

Terrorism

Cyber attacks Critical systems failure

Extreme volatility in energy and agriculture prices

Land and waterway use mismanagement

Criticall fragile states Backlash against globalization

Major systemic financial failure

Global governance failure

Mismanagement of population aging Failure of diplomatic conflict resolution

Prolonged infrastructure neglect

Unsustainable population growth Food shoratge crises Unmanaged migration

Severe income disparity

Chronic labour market imbalances

Unmanageable inflation or deflation

Chronic fiscal imbalaces

Recurring liquidity crises

Charts from Global Risk 2012, by World Economic Forum and Risk Response Network

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Last November Philippine police working with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested four online hackers for scamming AT&T premium clients for nearly $2 million. In a Nov. 24 media release on the Philippine National Police website, the PNP’s Criminal Detection and Investigation Group (CIDG) said the stolen money was funneled to the terrorist group behind the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, in which 166 people died. CIDG director Samuel Pagdilao Jr. said the arrests “should serve as a wake-up call to legislators to speed up the passage of the Cyber Crime Prevention Bill now pending in Congress in order to address proactively the threat of cyber crime terrorists who have made the country their base of operations,” the PNP reported. It was, in fact, the second alarm bell after 14 Taiwan citizens were deported to Beijing early last year over a $21-million telecom fraud, prompting a row between Manila and Taipei. For those in the business of counting wake-up calls, however, the cyber-scams out of Manila are but one of countless warnings across many sectors, from economic and geopolitical to social, environmental and technological, where global risks have been fast mounting in recent years. And among the most watchful of these danger monitors is the Switzerlandbased World Economic Forum, which has published its annual Global Risk report since 2006 (other past editions: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011). The 64-page Global Risk 2012 report zeroed in on three major global dangers over the coming decade: dystopia or dysfunctional states; the failure of system safeguards, as seen in the U.S. and eurozone financial

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crises; and cyber-dangers from network attacks or foul-ups, from the Manila-based telecom scams to the reported Stuxnet virus attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, which also hit India and Indonesia. In addition, the WEF annual conference in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 25-29 devoted several discussions and speeches by leaders and experts to assessing global risks. The emerging picture from both report and forum isn’t heartwarming. Let’s start with the Global Risks 2012 report. The large diagrams on this page and next plot the major risks as gleaned from international surveys, workshops and interviews on the impact, likelihood and interconnections of 50 identified global risks over the next ten years. The big dangers. The Global Risk Landscape chart shows risk impact and likelihood. High placement means high impact; rightmost position reflects high probability. Circle colors indicate the type of risk (economic, societal, geopolitical, environmental, or technological), while circle size combines degrees of likelihood and impact. The risks with both great impact and high likelihood are chronic fiscal imbalances, severe income disparity, water and food shortages, extreme volatility in agriculture and energy prices, and rising greenhouse gas emissions. The two most likely events, fiscal imabalances and income disparity, feed one another. Mammoth budget deficits and the financial crises they tend to spawn force governments to divert funds to banking bailouts. That reduces funds for development programs, worsening income

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disparity. Budget cuts and financial crises also slow economic growth, reducing or reversing job creation, further hitting lowincome households. That destructive trio of fiscal, financial and income crunches, however, would pale beside an even bigger catastrophe: major systemic financial failure, the monetary meltdown barely averted in the U.S. in 2008 and now threatening Europe. This is considered of highest impact in the chart, though not as likely as other threats. Also listed to watch out for in the decade ahead are cyberattacks, data fraud or theft, terrorism, critical fragile states, pervasive entrenched corruption, and mismanagement of land use and urbanization. Of particular concern for the Philippines and other disaster-prone countries are failure of climate change adaptation and persistent extreme weather, as yearly calamities have shown. The big question for both governments and businesses is, of course: Which of the major risks on the impact and likelihood chart will affect them, and what should they do about those threats? Critical connections. Crucial to addressing perils is the second big graphic, The Global Risk Map plotting interconnections between risks. By knowing which ones cause or exacerbate others, policymakers and managers can better devise measures to counter dangers and mitigate their adverse effects. Survey and interview respondents were asked to identify Centers of Gravity, the risks of greatest systemic impact, one for each risk category. In the Global Risk

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Map these centers are marked by colored circles of larger size than others: green house gas emissions, population growth, fiscal imbalances, breakdown of critical transport, telecom and information systems, and global governance failure. Black dots in the diagram mark so-called Critical Connectors, which link risk groups centered around the five Centers of Gravity. Notably, all the connectors are economic risks: extreme volatility in energy and agriculture prices, severe income disparity, major systemic financial failure, and unforeseen negative outcomes of regulaton. For example, erratic crop and fuel prices result from growing demand due to population growth, supply strains from the impact of global warming on agriculture, and fiscal imbalances affecting currency and interest rates. Thus, energy and agriculture price volatility is a critical connector for those three centers. Failed states, safeguards and systems. Global Risk 2012 charted causal connections for the three major risk “constellations� highlighted in the study. For dystopia, mismanaged demographic challenges, such as overpopulation and ageing, lead to budget, income and employment problems, culminating in widespread social unrest, retrenchment and lawlessness. For safeguard failings, inadequate or knee-jerk measures to mitigate or prevent high-profile risks fail to address their complexities, leading to adverse consequences. The flight ban policy in areas of volcanic activity, in response to the 1990s Pinatubo global ash cloud, proved excessive when applied to the 2010

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Are you scared already?

Iceland eruption. Such actions worsen other problems and distort resource and governance allocation.

burgeoning billions of systems and devices using interconnected computers to operate, from power and telecom networks to cars, appliances, and homes. Some 15 billion are forecast by 2015, according to data cited in a white paper by microchip giant Intel (see chart).

As for threats to transport, telecom and infrastructure systems, growing online connections and capabilities of individuals and small groups open public systems, including those controllin vital facilities, to invasion and disruption. The usual motives: sabotage, espionage (including identity and password theft), and subversion (including disinformation, propaganda and denial-ofservice attacks).

As more and more people, communities, and devices are wired into the global network, the cyber hackers, spies and saboteurs have more and more targets and wider and wider impact in their schemes. Hence, the report’s twin warnings for our networked age: “Any device with softwaredefined behavior can be tricked into doing things its creators did not intend. Any device connected to a network of any sort, in any way, can be compromised by an

Major systems disruption can contribute to governance failure at national or even international levels. What escalates the potential threat every year is the

THE EMBEDDED INTERNET 18

Internet-Connected Devices (billions, forecast for 2015)

16

Number of Devices (in billions)

14 12 10

Industrial & Medical Association Cosumer & Entertainment Communications Automotive, Marine, Aviation Computers

8 6 4 2 0

2005 2006

2007 2008

2009 2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Chart from Gantz, J. “The Embedded Internet: Methodology and Findings”, cited in Gobal Risk 2012 and Intel White Paper, "Rise of the Embedded Internet"

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18 external party. Many such compromises have not yet been detected.” Indeed, the study stresses the need to properly assess network threats, since organizations tend to hide or downplay attacks, while those offering security solutions may exaggerate problems.

widen access to them for citizens and enterprises? The session Ending Energy Poverty was the only one attended by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon apart from his own press conference, underscoring the priority he gives to the need for fuel and power. “Governments need to make sustainable energy a top priority [with] the right policies and incentives,” he argued, noting that states tend to shift resources to programs other than energy.

A worried world. Turning to the World Economic Forum discussions and videos, risks and threats were the staple of the fiveday gabfest. National and business leaders from around the world presented their concerns in the Also in major risk the panel categories was Tulsi (see story, R. Tanti, page 20). chairman Even the and widely managing applauded director, resurgence Suzlon of Energy, democracy, one of the U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Risk   Response Network's Elaine Dezenski: ‘No way to plan for triggered world’s every contingency, so we must build resilience’ WEF video by the Arab largest Spring wind power movements companies, in North Africa and the Middle East, with major operations in India. Tanti prompted fears of instability and counts about one in every three Indians misgovernance (see story, page 22). — 350 million people — with hardly any access to power. They are mostly in the Apart from the global economic outlook countryside, where energy investment panel and East Asia prospects interview is sorely lacking. His solution: build covered in the previous issue, three wind facilities, helped by small business discussions were of special relevance incentives, to supply power not only to local to Asia and the Philippines, especially communities, but to cities as well. in assessing and addressing risk. They deal with challenges and risks in energy, Today, Tanti notes, wind-generated transportation, and information and electricity is cheaper than coal. He communications technology (ICT) — all recounts that rural enterprises have indispensable to modern society and flourished in wind power areas. In business. The key issue: How can the Tirupur, Tamil Nadu, India’s leading world safeguard these systems and wind power state, Suzlon started a

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generating operation in 1995 with exports of $1 million. A decade later Tirupur was earning $2 billion a year from wind power. And more investors are setting up. That success story, however, also underscores the massive need for energy investment and knowhow across the developing world. Securing air, sea and land travel. Two other high-impact concerns in the Davos, Switzerland, conference were transport and ICT systems. The discussion Addressing Transport Risks and Securing the Global Supply Chain included no less than U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who expounded on the U.S. National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security. Washington’s policies are of major Asian interest not only for safe and smooth air, sea and land movements, but also for the impact that security protocols and standards have on travel and trade, including, for instance, the tagging of Manila’s airport for security lapses. The U.S. strategy calls for deterrence, protection and resilience in safeguarding travel and transport. Also in the session was Elaine Dezenski, senior director of Risk Response Network, a WEF partner in the Global Risk reports. She presented the Forum’s own Supply Chain and Transport Risks Report, which identified major threats and needed initiatives. “Risks stand in a system of cascading implications,” Dezenski explains. “We need to work with governments and organizations for more risk management and more resilience throughout the system. There is no way to plan for every contingency and every global disruption, so how do we build that resilience into the system.”

The

The WEF transport risk report cites five leading “external disruptors”: natural disasters, conflict and political unrest, sudden demand shocks, import and export restrictions, and terrorism. Transport operations themselves are vulnerable to reliance on oil, lack of access to shared data and information, fragmentation or gaps along the value chain, extensive subcontracting, limited supplier visibility. Its recommendations for government and business: 1. Improve international and interagency compatibility of resilience standards and programs 2. More explicitly assess supply chain and transport risks as part of procurement, management and governance processes 3. Develop trusted networks of suppliers, customers, competitors and government focused on risk management 4. Improve network risk visibility, through two-way information sharing and collaborative development of standardized risk assessment and quantification tools 5. Improve pre- and post-event communication on systemic disruptions and balance security and facilitation for a more balanced public and private sector discussion. Protecting cyberspace. A third risk discussion promoted the Partnership for Cyber-Resilience to protect against online threats that may not only disrupt services and perpetrate fraud and theft, but also compromise the computer systems on which modern economies depend on. Explaining the partnership’s guiding principles, Alan Marcus, WEF’s ICT sector director in the U.S., cited four key principles for cyber-resilience. First, to recognize network interdependence and always consider how one’s actions affect others.

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20 Second, to take a leadership role, driving efforts to secure networks. Third, to build and sustain risk management systems, with regular and stringent monitoring and response. And lastly, to promote the adoption of partnership tenets. The aim, said Marcus, is “immunizing the Internet ... those who don’t take these precautions, push them to the periphery.”

Among founding signatories of the partnership are British Telecom chief executive Ian Livingston, computer services firm CA head William McCracken, former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, and Tata Consultancy Services chief execufive and managing director Natarajan Chandrasekaran. The Indian CEO summed up the challenge

What worries the world’s leaders For all their power, national leaders and other bigwigs in the World Economic Forum saw daunting risks and challenges for their nations and enterprises, not to mention the planet. A selection of high-powered concerns, grouped under the four risk categories in the Global Risk 2012 report: ECONOMIC

Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang: I’ve never been as scared as I am about the world. Nobody’s immune. You need decisive action. You need to inspire confidence. South African President Jacob Zuma: African economies must be diversified so that when commodities prices slump in the world,there are other strong economic activities to fall back on.

Takeda Pharmaceuticals CEO Yasuchika Hasegawa: In Japan, because of the declining population, bringing the economy back to the growth trajectory is very, very challenging. Because the only way you can do is improve productivities significantly. But to make that happen you must continue breakthrough innovations. Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit: Contrary to people's beliefs, this is not every country for himself. As a matter of fact, there is more trade happening particularly emerging market to

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emerging market, more capital flows. You need a banking system that can support that. GEOPOLITICAL British Prime Minister David Cameron: We are an open, trading continent. We have a proud record of invention. We’ve got advanced democratic values. But yes, we’ve got to recognise that Europe has got to earn its way. ... if we take bold decisions in deregulation, on opening up the single market, on innovation and on trade, then together we can defy the pessimists and recover our dynamism. Israeli President Shimon Peres: We have to distinguish between building a state and running negotiations. You can build even if you don't have negotiations though negotiations are necessary. And the fact is the situation on the ground for the first time has changed. And people can feel the real taste of peace. Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad: As a practical matter though and as it seems to me as an immediate consequence of the Arab Spring, our cause [for Palestinian statehood], while fundamentally consistent, our cause has been marginalised by it in a substantial way.

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of cyber-risk and other kinds of threats in a fast-changing world: “Protecting systems is not easy because the technology is advancing every day. You need a framework” to guide responses and preventive actions. Even as the world continues to focus on headline issues, from the eurozone crisis to Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane: When we were young people we were very extremist in our views. We used to have these great hopes and dreams, but when we entered the political sphere we understood we had to be more realistic. SOCIETAL Tunisian Prime Minister Hammadi Jebali: Dignity means also development. It means also social justice. Here the Tunisian experience is faced with huge challenges for what we inherited from dictatorship, the social oppression we have inherited. Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi: We need better skills for our people. We need to do more in primary education as part of the millennium development goals but we are not going to develop and industrialize our nations on the basis of primary education. Skill-formation is the next big thing we need to do. Tanzanian President Jakaya M. Kikwete: We should invest more in education... in order to build human resource because at the end of the day it is the man or woman who is going to make things happen and not the machines.

The

geopolitical rivalries, the silent but systemic threats don’t rest and must get the attention and action of decision makers. Tapping the collective intelligence of concerned minds across the globe on the importance, impact and imminence of global risks is a necessary first step in making Planet Earth a safer world. International Trade Union Confederation General Secretary Sharan Burrow: Capitalism has to provide secure jobs and distribute wealth evenly, and contribute to the common good. ENVIRONMENTAL/TECHNOLOGICAL Swiss President Eveline WidmerSchlumpf: Energy strategies have to include the pricing of resources. Increasing prices will be necessary to cover the various externalities and to appropriately influence demand. This should also contribute substantially to environmental conservation and to mitigating climate change. German Chancellor Angela Merkel: We have to admit that in the sphere of climate protection there will be fewer binding obligations rather than more for the time being. That means that the world still has much to do. Indeed, we have more than enough to do. We also have to choose a pace which will prevent immutable and irreversible damage. Cisco CEO John Chambers: It’s how you use this technology around collaboration, around cloud, around video, on how you draw productivity to 5 to 10 percent per year. Change healthcare on a global basis, change how you bring expertise to your customers, change your innovation. And in the technology industry, those who make that transition will lead. Those who do it the way they used to will very quickly fall behind.

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Democracy: Now the hard part By Maria Carmina Olivar

With Eurasia political risk consultancy president Ian Bremmer moderating, The Future of Democracy panel at the World Economic Forum discussed the challenge to democracy, and an ensuing report from Bremmer published by Foreign Policy lists social trends affecting freedom struggles: rapid communications, widespread poverty, and Westerndominated global governance.

is being challenged by pressures resulting from a population empowered by new technology and driven by the need for change. It may be that it is not the system itself that is flawed but its implementation, for example, the way the gap between citizens and their elected representatives has grown and how officials have been allowed to become corrupt and unaccountable to the people who put them there.” Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar acknowledges the need to deliver prosperity, but she argues that failings are due to economic management. She adds that more, not less democracy is needed, sustained over a long period, not interrupted by autocracy, as in Pakistan.

Online media allows for civilians to be aware of events faster. About the Arab Spring, Rached Ghannoushi, co-founder of Tunisia’s Ennahdha Party, Even in new called twitter   democracies in and Facebook Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar: More, not less democracy is needed WEF Video North Africa, the “the leader of optimism that this revolution.” greeted the Arab Human Rights Spring has diminished, as remarked at the session, Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth also adds From Revolution to Evolution: Governance in North that “it allowed people to sort of stand up and be Africa. Not only are new democracies struggling to counted, without literally standing up.” govern amid escalating public demands. There is also the added burden of Europe’s slump, which hurts However, along with spurring mass action, online North African economies. media also raise expectations and make people impatient for gains. California Representative David Dreier adds at another WEF session, the AP Debate on Democracy: “When we look at these expectations, we can't say to people, ‘be patient,’ because that obviously is not an answer.” Concerns over people’s demands also emerged at the People Power session, as summarized: “This raises the question about whether democracy itself

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No wonder, in his address on The Future of Tunisia, its first elected leader, Prime Minister Hammadi Jebali had to note that one-fifth of Tunisians are poor and tens of thousands earn less than one euro a day. “Dignity also means development,” he stressed. Freedom must bring progress and prosperity, or else even democracy will engender doubts and opponents.

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Pakistan vows to arrest Musharraf for Bhutto assassination

armed with sticks and bricks, forming a mob that hundreds of armed personnel worked to contain within the prison grounds. Army and police alike struggled to regain control for about an hour as prisoners seized weapons from officers and burned offices. None of the around 60 foreign prisoners at Kerobokan jail were among the injured. Australia's Foreign Ministry had expressed urgent concern for the welfare of 12 Australian nationals at the jail, which includes convicted drug traffickers Schapelle Corby and the Bali Nine. These prisoners were eventually evacuated from the troubled prison.

Last week Pakistani authorities vowed to work with Interpol in order to arrest former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in relation to the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. In December 2007, shortly upon arriving back in Pakistan from a self-imposed exile to participate in the 2008 national elections, Bhutto was assassinated in a gun-suicide attack. It is the belief of Malik and the investigation team assigned to the Bhutto case that former Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud paid the equivalent of roughly $4,500 to Islamist militants to carry out his plot to kill Bhutto. The news of Interpol's international arrest warrant was announced as part of Interior Minister Rehman Malik's progress report broadcast live on local TV and presented to lawmakers in Sindh, Bhutto's home province.

Two wounded as riot, fire hits jail on Indonesia's Bali Two local inmates were shot in the legs when fighting broke out at an Indonesian prison situated in popular tourist destination island Bali late last Tuesday as prisoners atacked a guard post inside. Police claim that the inmates were

The

Corby is serving a 20-year sentence after being caught with 4 kg of cannabis at Denpasar airport in 2004. The Bali Nine were arrested in Bali and found guilty of attempted smuggling of more than 8 kg of heroin into Australia, with sentences varying from more than 10 years of jailtime to death.

U.S. special forces killed in air crash in Horn of Africa U.S. officials reports that reconnaissance mission turned awry ended with four killed U.S. soldiers in an air crash close to a U.S. military base located in Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa. In a statment from the U.S. government, it was revealed that the four killed airmen were "supporting Operation Enduring Freedom ... The cause of the accident is under investigation." Operation Enduring Freedom figures prominently in the war in

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Afghanistan, but also includes U.S. operations in several other locations, like the Horn of Africa. The U.S. Africa Command called it a "routine flight," as the plane was conducting a surveillance, reconnaissance and surveillance mission. The Red Sea state is also host to the largest French army camp on the continent, and anti-piracy naval patrols.

Zimbabwe's Mugabe: 'I have beaten Christ' President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe turned 88 last week in high spirits, making light of recurring reports of his imminent demise and vowing to protect his position of power in the face of global condemnation of his government's human rights and economic policy decision-making. Mugabe was interviewed on state radio, during which claimed he was "fit as a fiddle." He made no reference to reports that he is receiving treatment for prostate cancer. "I have died many times. That's where I have beaten Christ. Christ died once and resurrected once," Mugabe told the broadcaster. The statesman charmed political leaders across the globe with his wit and intellect early on in his regime; Zimbabwe was praised for its relative financial success, education and social systems. However, Mugabe has since turned into a pariah in the Western world, held socially accountable for running his country's economy into the ground and for widespread human rights abuses.

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The Freedom of Information Law: Still Only A Suggestion

Can the 15th Congress succeed in getting one enacted where others have failed? By Pia Rufino

STRATEGY POINTS A proposed Freedom of Information law that seeks to codify the people's right to information as enshrined in the 1987 Constitution has been sitting in Congress for the last eight years, just the latest in a series of attempts that go back two decades. The Aquino administration appears to be earnest in fashioning a workable Freedom of Information law, which would give its emphasis on transparency and good governance a significant boost.

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Given that President Benigno Aquino III, as a presidential candidate in 2010, highlighted transparency as a weapon against corruption, one might think that asking for public information should not be too much to ask from his administration. Still, a seven-month audit by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) of how 27 national agencies handle requests for access to information showed that with a few exceptions, majority of the agencies “remain stuck in the old ways of opaque government, with some even sliding back into darker corners.�

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In the PCIJ's information-access audit, which was conducted between September 2010 to April 2011, only 20 out of 35 request for copies of officials' Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN), personal data sheets and related documents were granted, for a 57% success rate, according to its May 1, 2011 report. Seven requests were denied and

eight requests are still pending. (See the following chart) Equally notable was that the Office of the President and the Office of the Ombudsman were “the most barren fields for harvesting information and documents, particularly on the wealth of senior public officials.” (See the following table for the list of agencies)

THE SUMMARY OF PCIJ REQUESTS AND GOVERNMENT RESPONSE, SEPTEMBER 2010 TO APRIL 2011 Hard Work, Lean Harvest Summary of Request Made by PCU from September 2010 to April 2011

Government Response to Requests Made by PCU from September 2010 to April 2011

No. of agencies that received requests for SALNs, other documents No. of requests files by the PCU No. of phone calls made to agencies No. of letters sent by faxed and delivered to agencies

Pending (action in progress, beyond 15 working days deadline in law) Denied (no action by agencies or requests tossed to another office) Approved

Source: PCIJ Request Log as of August 29, 2011

HOW GOVERNMENT AGENCIES HANDLED PCIJ’S ASSET DISCLOSURE REQUESTS SALNs: Some are More Open Than Others

How agencies responded to Asset disclosure requests of the PCU (Sept. 2010-Apr. 2011) Office /Agency

Results

Executive Branch Office of the President

Approved release of 2010 SALNs; Release of 2011 SALNs pending

Office of the Vice President

Forwarded request to Ombudsman

National Economic and Development Authority

Forwarded request to Ombudsman

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Department of Finance

Approved, complete

Bureau of Internal Revenue

Pending approval

Department of Interior and Local Goverment

Approved, pending release

Department of National Defense

Forwarded request to Office of the President

Constitutional Commissions Commission on Elections

Only Commisioner Sarmiento released SALN; Other commissioners, pending action

Civil Service Commission

Request for SALNs of CSC officials denied, pending release of CSC guidelines; Guidelines published April 13, 2011 imposed new requirements for release f SALNs; HOWEVER, request for SALN's of Ombudsmen officials approved

Commission on Audit

Denied, no action

Office of the Ombudsman

Release of SALNs of Ombudsman and deputy ombudsmen pending approval of Ombudsman Gutierrez; HOWEVER, requests or SALNs of local officials approved though incomplete by Ombudsman Offices for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao

Legislative Branch Senate

Approved release of SALNs, complete

House of Representatives

Approved release of SALNs for 2008-2009 of members of 14th Congress only in March 2011; earlier PCU requests made in 2008 and 2009 denied Denied release of SALNs of lawmakers filed in June-July 2011, or upon assumption of office in 15th Congress

Uniformed Service Armed Forces of the Philippines

Forwarded request to Ombudsman and Civil Service Commission

Philippine National Police

Pending approval Source: PCU Request Log as of April 29, 2011

There is an incoherent picture of access to information practices, the PCIJ said, because Aquino’s transparency policy, while “largely verbalized,” has not actually been operationalized, and also because the administration, up to that point, had been indecisive about a proposed Freedom of Information (FOI) Act that has been languishing in Congress since 2004.

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The Aquino administration's indecision – declaring it a priority just weeks before his inauguration then not mentioning it either of his State of the Nation addresses to date or having the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council certify it as a legislative priority in meetings -- turns out to have been rooted in various logistical and

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security-based concerns, as reported in the Philippine Daily Inquirer in September. Administration version released in February. On February 3 – about 20 months after declaring it a priority of his incoming administration – Aquino announced the administration version of the Freedom of Information Act of 2012, which the government claims is an integral element of its Good Governance and AntiCorruption Plan of 2012-2016, which it had drafted in January. According to Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte's statement on the administration bill, extensive consultations were conducted with civil society and media proponents of FOI, as well as various agencies of the government before drafting the latest version of the bill. Among FOI advocates, the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) welcomed the administration's

new version of the legislation, saying it was an improvement over the earlier versions presented to the public. The group recognized an obvious attempt to conform with United Nations standards, among them the commitment to err on the side of the public’s right to information. The administration bill removes the provision creating an Information Commission in the Office of the President and the complicated system through which information may be requested and released, it also noted. The CMFR found the retention of information on national security among the exceptions to information requests to be problematic, as there is no clear definition of what constitutes “national security.” It did qualify, however, that while there are exemptions that could be used to protect wrongdoing, the bill does provide for safeguards that should be acted on by both public officials and advocates.

The long and still winding road The Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) February 6 report discussing the Aquino administration's version of the Freedom of Information bill also contains a comprehensive timeline of attempts to enact an FOI law since the right to information was enshrined in the 1987 Constitution.

Timeline of FOI Legislation 1987

Enactment of the Philippine Constitution of 1987. The right to information is recognized in Article 2, Section 2, Section 7 and Section 28: "The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents, and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to limitations as may be provided by law."

August 31, 1992

Rep. Oscar Orbos files House Bill (HB) 1805 or the "Freedom of Information Act of 1992" which mandates government officials "to provide access WITHIN 15 WORKING DAYS from receipt of (a request for) information." It also directs the Supreme Court to "publish the rules prescribing the procedures, periods and pleadings, as well as courts to which appeals may be made."

1993 (1998-2001)

FOI Act advocacy groups are organized. At the 11th Congress, a right to information bill passes in third reading in the House, but had no counterpart bill in Senate.

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Timeline of FOI Legislation August 25, 1998

Rep. Harlin Abayon files HB 2284 ofr the "Freedom of Information Act of 1999"

August 26, 1999

Rep. Jose Apolinario Lozada, Jr. files HB 8194 or the "Freedom of Information Act of 1999"

January 2004

Six right to information bills are filed under the House Committee on Public Information, including a committee report.

June 30, 2004

Sen. Franklin Drilon files Senate Bill (SB) 1112 or the "Freedom of Information (FOI) Act of 2004" in the 13th Congress.

2005

Four house bills are filed to give life to the constitutional provision on right to information: -HB 784, filed by Harlin Cast. Abayon (1st District , Northern Samar) -HB 2123, principally authored by Rep. Satur Ocampo (Party List, Bayan Muna) -HB 2993 by Rep. Emmanuel Joel Villanueva (Party List, CHBAC) -HB 3041 by Rep. Ernesto "Ernie" Pablo (Party List, CIBAC)

2006

Civil society groups urge passage of the Freedom of Access to Information Act of 2006 sponsored by nine representatives. Its working title is "Implementing the right of access to information on matters of public concern guaranteed under Section 7, Article III of the 1987 Constitution and for other purposes."

April 2008

House Speaker Prospero Nograles urges the House to discuss the FOI bill or HB 3732. HB 3732, titled "An Act Implementing the Right of Acces to Information on Matters of Public Concern Guaranteed Under Section Twenty-Eight, Article II and Section Seven. Article III of the 1987 Constitution and for Other Purposes," was a substitute for bills 194, 997, 1665, 2021, 2059, 2176, 2223, 2293 and 3116, which had previously been referred to the committee on public information for deliberation.

April 2, 2008

Nograles says in a public statement that "When there is full public disclosure of all government transactions involving public interest, subject to limitations under the proposed Act, the people will have full confidence and trust in their public officials and therefore will be effective governance."

April 18, 2008

House committee report on FOI is released.

April 30,2008

HB 3732 passes 2nd reading in the House of Representatives (HOR).

May 6, 2008

HOR deliberates on HB 3732.

May 12,2008

HOR first approves FOI bill, with 197 out of 220 voting in favor of the bill.

May 27, 2009

Two committee hearings are held in the Senate on its version of an FOI bill; a committee reports is then finalized.

June 3, 2009

The Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media files Bill 3308 under Committee Report 534 or the "Freedom of Information Act of 2009"

Aug. 27,2009

FOI bill is sponsored in the Senate plenary.

Dec. 7, 2009

The Senate passes the FOI bill on second reading.

Dec. 14, 2009

The Senate approves the FOI bill on third and final reading.

Dec. 17, 2009

Senate transmitted FOI bill as approved to the HOR.

Jan.18,2010

The Bicameral conference committee on the FOI convenes as Congress resumes session after the Christmas break.

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Timeline of FOI Legislation Jan. 20, 2010

The Bicameral conference committee reconciles conflicting provisions in the Senate and House bills.

Feb.1, 2010

The Senate approves the FOI bills.

Feb. 3, 2010

The HOR fails to approve the FOI bill lack of quorum. Congress goes into recess in preparation for the May 2010 elections.

May 24, 2010

Congress resumes session to canvas the votes, commits to tackle FOI bill on May 31.

May 31, 2010

HOR holds a separate session but is not able to tackle the bill as Nograles suspends it immediately. Microphones are turned off on the plenary hall while representatives are trying to make a motion to be recognized.

June 4, 2010

The HOR suspends the national canvassing of May 10 votes supposedly to tackle pending legislative measures. Rep. Bienvenido Abante moves for approval of the bill but Rep. Romualdo objects, citing lack of quorum. The HOR adjourns sine die.

June 5, 2010

Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Miguel Zubiri and Alan Peter Cayetano vow to revive the FOI bill in the 15th Congress

June 6, 2010

Then presidential frontrunner Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III says the Freedom of Information bill will be a priority of his administration.

July-August 2010

Congress (HOR and Senate) representative files 24 FOI bills (12 in each House).

July 26, 2010

President Benigno S. Aquino III does not mention the FOI issue in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Oct. 14, 2010

Senate holds its first committee hearing on FOI

Nov. 23, 2010

House holds its first committee hearing on FOI Sponsorship of HB 53 at the Hearing by the Committe on Public Information (Rep. Lorenzon "Erin" Tañada III - 4th district, Quezon Province)

Feb.3, 2011

House holds one technical working group meeting for the consolidation of the measure.

Feb. 28, 2011

The first Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) does not include the FOI bill.

July 19, 2011

The Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition launches the Bantay FOI! Sulong FOI! Campaign.

July 25, 2011

President Aquino does not mention FOI bill as a priority measure in his second SONA.

July 27,2011

CMFR Policy Forum on FOI; GMA News Jessico Shoho interviews President Aquino on FOI.

Jul;y 28,2011

President Aquino says the "administration is in the process of drafting, and suggesting , a Freedom of Information bill that we believe will balance legitimate needs for secrecy with the public's right to know." (speech at the 25th anniversary of The Philippine Star)

Aug. 16,2011

The second LEDAC excludes the FOI bill.

Aug. 18,2011

The Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media holds a hearing on FOI bill.

January 4, 2012 Feb. 2, 2012

Usec. Manuel Quezon III announces that Presidnet Aquino gave his go signal on the FOI bill. Malacañang forwards its FOI bill draft to the House of Representatives.

Source: Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility compilation of events from various news sources, “On the latest version of Palace FOI bill, Improvements noted,” Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, Feb. 6, 2012

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30 Contracts, agreements, officials' SALNs to be published online? If the administration bill becomes law, all government agencies will be required to publish online contracts and agreements, as well as SALNs of officials. It will also require the mandatory disclosure of budgets and expense plans of government agencies. What follows are the public interest documents and data that all agencies of all branches of government will be required to upload online and update monthly. • Annual budget of government agencies • Itemized monthly collections and disbursement • Summary of income and expenditures • Component of the Internal Revenue Allotment use • Annual procurement plan and procurement list • Items to bid • Bid results on civil works, and goods and services • Abstract of bids as calculated • Procurement contracts entered into by a government agency

• Construction or concession agreements or contracts entered into by a government agency with any domestic or foreign person or entity • Private-sector participation agreements or contracts in infrastructure and development projects • Public funding given to any private entity • Bilateral or multilateral agreements and treaties • List of people or entities who were granted licenses, permits or agreements for the extraction and/or use of natural resources given by any government agency. • Statement of assets and liabilities of the public officers of the government agency. • Guarantees given by any government agency to government-owned or -controlled corporations and to private corporations, persons or entities. FOI law can curb Philippine’s alarming corruption problem. Senate minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano, in a December 6, 2011 press release, urged the government to pass the FOI bill to improve the Philippines' score and ranking

Continuing corruption could lead to inequity and unrest In a November 30, 2011 blog entry, Rukshana Nanayakkara, Transparency International’s Senior Programme Coordinator for South Asia, said that the release of the latest Corruption Perceptions Index scores reveals an alarming level of corruption in the Asia-Pacific region, where majority of countries score lower than 5, indicating a serious corruption problem. Of those countries, 16 score below 3 on the index, including Vietnam (2.9), Bangladesh (2.7), Philippines (2.6), Pakistan (2.5) and Papua New Guinea (2.2). Afghanistan, Myanmar and North Korea rank bottom globally, with scores of 1.5, 1.5 and 1 respectively. Nanayakkara also noted that while a number of Asia-Pacific countries, including the Philippines, would continue to see significant economic growth, poor corruption index scores “signify clear risks of corruption, resulting in unequal distribution of wealth and potentially lower investors’ confidence in the long run.” In addition, “the costs of corruption shall persist, leaving the possibility of both social and political unrest in the region becoming an ever increasing likelihood.”

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The freedom of information law: Still only a suggestion

in the widely publicized Transparency International corruption perceptions index.

multi-stakeholder Open Government Partnership (OGP) in September.

The global anti-corruption coalition's 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index ranked Philippines 129th among 183 countries, with an index score of 2.6, which makes it the most corrupt in Southeast Asian region, as far as perceptions of business leaders and country analysts are concerned. The index scores range from zero (highly corrupt) to 10 points (very clean).

During the launch of the new multilateral initiative in New York, President Aquino along with seven other world leaders who comprise the OGP steering committee, presented the Open government declaration, which commits its signatories to:

Cayetano, who was the principal author of the FOI bill that failed to emerge from the previous congress, noted that the global organization cited the Philippines' failure to pass the FOI bill as one of the reasons why corruption is still rampant in the country. The Philippines joins an ambitious global transparency initiative. If the Aquino administration's slow action thus far in enacting an FOI bill flies in the face of President Aquino's pledges of transparency, it stands in even sharper relief against the country's participation in the international,

• Increase the availability of information about governmental activities • Support civic participation • Implement the highest standards of professional integrity throughout administrations • Increase access to new technologies for openness and accountability. The other signatory nations are: Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, South Africa, United Kingdom, and the United States. In his speech at the OGP launch, President Aquino talked about the importance of information in democracies and open governance.

During the launch of the OGP, President Aquino extols the importance of information in democracies and open governance

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FOI law is lacking in most countries In what it called “the first worldwide test of freedom of information,” the Associated Press (AP) found that more than half of countries with FOI laws do not necessarily follow them. At the start of 2011, with the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2011 terrorist attacks on the U.S. approaching, the AP conducted an 11-month investigation into citizens' rights to know what their governments are doing. It employed 120 journalists to ask European Union and 105 different governments around the world questions about how many arrests and convictions for terrorism there have been since September 11, 2001. John Daniszewski, AP vice president and senior managing editor for international news, said he doesn’t think many people even knew that 105 countries had FOI laws on the books, and in some of the countries, the law is virtually unused. Only 14 countries answered in full within their legal deadline, with newer democracies being more responsive than some developed ones. Guatemala, Turkey, India, Mexico and Peru all replied swiftly and fully AP’s requests. Thirty-eight other countries eventually answered most questions. Mexico's FOI law, which took effect in 2003, stands out for AP, which cited it as a potential model. The law allows anonymous requests via website, and acknowledges requests immediately, with full answers arriving in a month, published online and made available to the public. Meanwhile, African countries had the worst response record, with seven of 10 countries not responding to the AP’s requests. Only South Africa and Mozambique provided any useful information. Daniszewski said the law in Uganda, which was passed 2005, seems particularly ineffective, since it charges fees of about a week's wages just to place a request, and one journalist has been struggling for several years to get information. The challenging part, for the AP, is accessing hard copies of government records. One of the advantages that newer democracies have is that their laws could immediately be made suitable to the digital age, said Deniszewski, referring to allowing people to make requests either by e-mail or by filling out an online form.

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An FOI law by May? Following Malacañang’s submission of its version of the FOI bill in February, Senator Gregorio Honasan II, public information and mass media committee chairman said his panel aims to submit its consolidated report on FOI bills for plenary approval before Congress goes on Holy Week break on March 23, he told BusinessWorld in a telephone interview. He added that the Senate hopes to have a bill passed before the break. The Feb. 5 report also updated efforts in the House of Representatives, quoting Rep. Ben Evardone, chairman of the House committee on public information, as hoping the House will be able to consolidate all its FOI-bill versions before the Holy Week break, and present its report for plenary approval in May. Meanwhile, it might be useful to remember that for all the current excitement about an FOI law about to happen, we've actually been down this road before, and not that long ago. The previously mentioned PCIJ audit reminds us not only of the lack of transparency that still prevails in many government agencies, but also of how close the country came to having an FOI law in 2010, only to have the process thwarted by maneuvering in the House of Representatives. Nonetheless, the apparent transparency of the Aquino administration in conveying its misgivings over pending FOI legislation – and its careful consultation with various groups in fashioning its own version – gives us reason to look forward to an actual FOI law in the near future, as well as to the hope that law will bring.

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NEWS ON THE NET Nation

Corporations on the list Life term for Business optimism 7,000 of the Securities and Exchange Commission. hazing participants up – poll pushed MANILA, Philippines – The Breathing Metro Bangko Sentral's latest quarterly Senator Vicente Sotto III Business Expectations Survey Manila air now proposed recently that life indicates continuing business imprisonment be meted to risky–DOH optimism, based on the anyone who participates in hazing, regardless of the condition of the victim. Sen. Sotto's proposal would amend Republic Act 8049, the Anti-Hazing Law, which Sotto said was inadequate in preventing hazing or making fraternities and sororities accountable. Sotto's proposal and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima's call for a review of the Anti-Hazing Law came on the heels of the alleged hazing death of 25-yearold San Beda freshman law student Marvin Reglos, which was reported on Feb. 21. The present law has a graduated scale of penalties that rises with the severity of the consequences of a hazing. Sotto's proposal would amend the law to provide for absolute imposition of life imprisonment for the mere fact of participation. In addition, Sotto's proposal adds other circumstances that would call for life imprisonment, such as the presence of a fraternity or sorority alumni during the hazing. Meanwhile, for information on recent hazings or suspected hazings around the Philippines, one can visit the "Hazing Deaths & Abuse in Philippines" blog site, which is maintained by Hank Nuwer, a self-described author from Indiana who has written four books on hazing, and who has blogged on hazing in not just the Philippines but different countries as well.

The

country's sound macroeconomic fundamentals amid the debt crisis in Europe and growth concerns in the U.S.

The survey's business confidence index improved to 40.5% in the first quarter of 2012, from 38.7% in the fourth quarter of 2011. The confidence index had dropped steadily for two consecutive quarters following a record 50.6% index score in the fourth quarter of 2010, dropping to 31.8% in the second quarter of 2011 before improving to 34.1% in the third quarter, and then to 38.7% in the fourth quarter. The confidence index is the percentage of firms that answered in the affirmative less the percentage of firms that answered in the negative with respect to their views on a given indicator. A positive confidence index indicates a favorable view. BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said in a press conference that the steady improvement in the confidence level of businesses in the country points to stronger economic growth in the first and second quarters of the year. “The continuing uptrend in business confidence indicates that economic growth is likely to be sustained in 2012,” Guinigundo stressed. The survey, conducted between Jan. 6 and Feb. 14, covered 1,587 respondent firms from the Top

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The Department of Health (DOH) is warning the public of a higher incidence of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) this summer due to worsening air pollution in Metro Manila. At a Feb. 25 press conference, Health Secretary Enrique Ona lamented that air pollution was an important issue often overlooked. “There is a misconception that heart disease, cancer, pulmonary diseases are illnesses exclusive to the rich,” he said, stressing that attention must be called to the unhealthy effects of the constant exposure of the public, particularly pedestrians and those who work on the streets, to air pollution. According to Ona, of the top 10 leading causes of mortality in 2008, three were NCDs related to air pollution, such as chronic lower respiratory diseases, heart disease and pneumonia, adding that 200,000 Filipinos die annually from noncommunicable diseases. Ona said that air pollution was something that the Feb. 29 Clean Air Summit hopes to address. The summit, with the theme “Usok Mo, Buhay Ko (Your Smoke, My Life) Clean Air Summit for Metro Manila,” will be attended by various government agencies, the Philippine Medical Association, and representatives from the transportation sector in order to come up with solutions aimed at drawing attention to the adverse effects of exposure to air pollution.

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The Philippine Seaweed Industry: Once Ahead, Now Trying to Catch Up By Joanne Angela B. Marzan

STRATEGY POINTS The Philippines used to be the number one producer of raw seaweed in the world but has recently been overtaken by Indonesia A number of factors have contributed to the decline in seaweed production: lack of proper financing, the peace and order situation in seaweed-producing areas, climate change and seaweed disease The country's place as a top producer of processed seaweed could also be in jeopardy if it cannot import raw seaweed, which could result if Indonesia's pledge to bar exports of raw seaweed starting in 2012 holds

“The Philippines is one of the top producers of seaweeds in the world,” the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) stated in its 2008 paper, Commodity Roadmap: Seaweeds. According to the BFAR paper, about 33.32% of the total 2006 fisheries production was attributed to seaweeds, with Regions IV-B, IX and ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) as major producers. (see first table right) BFAR named the provinces of TawiTawi, Sulu, Basilan, Palawan, Antique, Bohol, Quezon, Zamboanga del Norte, Camarines Sur, Eastern Samar, Surigao del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Lanao del Norte and Maguindanao as the top producers of seaweed in the country. In addition, the “industry employs between 100,000-120,000 manpower where 90% are seaweed farmers and the rest are seaweed processors and traders.” Aside from exporting raw forms of seaweed (fresh or dried), the country is also producing and exporting the more expensive processed forms (semirefined chips/carrageenan and refined carrageenan). Among the problems identified in the BFAR paper were: • pollution in production areas • inadequate supply of dried seaweed for processing leading to processors' losses • peace and order situation in seaweedproducing areas

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The Philippine seaweed industry: Once ahead, now trying to catch up

Decline in seaweed production. Based on data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, the production of seaweed has been increasing since 1998, but since 2007 only minimal increases have been recorded, with the exception of one year (2008).

• diseases affecting seaweed • inconsistency of quality because fisherfolk add foreign object to gain more weight • increasing competition in Eucheuma production with other countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and Africa.

2006 SEAWEED PRODUCTION BY REGION 560,685

in metric tons

400,894

211,228

93,735

I

1,118

II

50,436

120

49,550

III IV-A IV-B

V

VI

33,803

17,826 VII

VIII

IX

X

2,202

35

XI

XII

19,489

AR MM CA RA GA

80

27,706

Source: Commodity Roadmap: Seaweeds

SEAWEED PRODUCTION IN THE PHILIPPINES (1996-2011) Year 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

Production (metric tons) 658,114.00 657,292.00 685,336.00 696,112.00 707,039.00 785,795.00 894,857.00 988,888.18 1,204,807.60 1,338,597.32 1,468,906.01 1,505,069.58 1,666,556.26 1,739,994.97 1,801,271.58 1,840,832.86

Increase (metric tons)

Percentage Increase

-822.00 28,044.00 10,776.00 10,927.00 78,756.00 109,062.00 94,031.18 215,919.42 133,789.72 130,308.69 36,163.57 161,486.68 73,438.71 61,276.61 39,561.28

-0.12% 4.27% 1.57% 1.57% 11.14% 13.88% 10.51% 21.83% 11.10% 9.73% 2.46% 10.73% 4.41% 3.52% 2.20%

Source: TLC calculations based on data from Bureau of Agricultural Statistics interactive website (user input required to generate information)

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36 Traders 'got burned.' According to economist Cielito Habito's Nov. 1 column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the local seaweed industry, “instead of expanding and making its benefits more widespread … is moving in the opposite direction of attrition and decline.” As the industry grew, the linkages between producers/processors (large buyers) and the seaweed farmers, which included providing financing for farmers, grew distant over time, as various traders and intermediaries all along the supply chain started dealing with the farmers. Seaweed Industry Association of the Philippines Secretary General Antonio Yuri Yap spelled it out for Habito in more specific terms. “Shemberg and other processors “got burned,” and retreated from financing the farmers, who increasingly defied their commitments and sold their yield to emerging local traders offering better prices (initially at least). The processors thus failed to recover their farmer advances, leading them to cease lending.” Yap added, “The end result has been a general decline in available financing for seaweed farmers, even as more layers of trading and semi-processing had the effect of squeezing farm gate prices.” Climate change and seaweed disease also factors. According to an article posted on the government's People's Television website in September, Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Salvador Salacop attributes the decline in seaweed production to climate change. Also reported in the article was that Indonesia produced 3.0 million tons of

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seaweed, surpassing the Philippines' output, and that the projected seaweed output of Indonesia is 10.0 million tons in 2012. Salacop mentioned that DA is developing disease-resistant propagules that will be able to withstand “ice-ice,” or whitening disease, as he named seaweed disease as another factor in the decline of the country’s seaweed production. According to the 2009 paper, Preliminary Assessment of the Effects of Climate Change on Fisheries and Aquaculture in the Pacific, published by the Asian Development Bank, “climate change may affect the viability of farming seaweed (Kappahycus or “cottonii”) over the longer term.” (page 10) The paper added, “higher water temperatures combined with lowered salinity are factors linked to outbreaks of Epiphytic Filamentous Algae (EFA) and ‘ice-ice’ disease that reduce production of Kappaphycus.” In the 2003 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Technical Paper, “A Guide to the Seaweed Industry,” by Dennis J. McHugh, data showed that the Philippines had the most number of harvests for Eucheuma and Kappaphycus or the main seaweed varieties used for carrageenan in 2001. The country had a total harvest of 115,000 tonnes in 2001 while Indonesia was a far second with only 25,000 tonnes. Tanzania completed the top three with 8,000 tonnes. Cebu-based Shemberg Corporation, the world’s largest producer of semi-refined and refined carrageenan, describes

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The Philippine seaweed industry: Once ahead, now trying to catch up

carrageenan as “a highly versatile ingredient” and a “hydrocolloid extracted from red seaweeds.” This processed form is used for a variety of products: processed meat, poultry and seafood, dairy, cold milk powders, water gel desserts, toothpaste, pharmaceutical, pet foods, air freshener gels and beer fining. Meanwhile, according to philagribiz.com in 2004, “The Philippines is considered as the world's leading supplier of

Eucheuma comprising about 80% of the world's supply.” A Decade of Change in the Seaweed Hydrocolloids Industry, a paper by Harris J. Bixler and Hans Porse that was published in the Journal of Applied Phycology in May 2010, showed how the Philippine production of cottonii has been steadily decreasing while Indonesia’s output has been steadily increasing.

COTTONII PRODUCTION IN THE PHILIPPINES AND INDONESIA Year

Philippines Production (dry t)

Indonesia Production (dry t)

Total cottonii Production (dry t)

Philippines Price (US$ t-1 dry)

Indonesia Price (US$ t-1 dry)

2000

113,000

27,000

140,000

$710

$650

2001

97,000

28,000

125,000

$575

$525

2002

91,000

30,000

121,000

$420

$535

2003

90,000

44,000

134,000

$770

$615

2004

97,000

49,000

146,000

$850

$750

2005

89,000

56,000

145,000

$774

$650

2006

84,000

68,000

142,000

$748

$617

2007

81,000

74,000

155,000

$947

$811

2008

73,000

79,000

152,000

$2,342

$2,166

2009

61,000

85,000

146,000

$1,280

$1,208

Source: A Decade of Change in the Seaweed Hydrocolloids Industry, Harris J. Bixler and Hans Porse, Journal of Applied Phycology, May 2010.

Two seaweed species cultivated in the Philippines According to FAO, the Philippines started the cultivation of the Eucheuma seaweed species in the 1970s. Prior to this, “carrageenan production was originally dependent on wild seaweeds, especially Irish Moss, a small seaweed growing in cold waters, with a limited resource base.” The cultivation of the two new species, also according to FAO, paved the way for the growth of the carrageenan industry for it guaranteed the supply of raw material. In addition, the new species “have been successfully cultivated in warm-water countries with low labour costs.” Botanists have eventually named the two species “originally cultivated” in the Philippines as Kappaphycus alvarezii (formerly Eucheuma cottonii) and Eucheuma denticulatum (formerly Eucheuma spinosum). FAO added, “A further advantage of this cultivated material was that one species contained almost exclusively a particular type of carrageenan (kappa-carrageenan) while a second species contained predominantly a second type (iota-carrageenan), each type having its own particular applications.”

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38 According to the paper: “The Philippines is currently experiencing declining production of cottonii due to unfavorable weather conditions and political unrest in farming areas,” while the “increase in Indonesian production stems primarily from a greater number of farmers opening up new areas for cottonii mariculture.” Shemberg moving to Indonesia? In March 2011, Shemberg Corp. announced it was moving its carrageenan plant to Indonesia, as reported in the Manila Bulletin. Benson Dakay, Shemberg's chairman, said that the move to Indonesia

was in anticipation of Indonesia’s plan to ban export of raw seaweeds starting in 2012, and that the company needed to “go where the raw materials are.” The move, however, was said to be contingent on the company's ability to sell its local 25-hectare carragenan plant. A year prior to its announcement of relocation plans, the company called on the government to impose restrictions on raw seaweed exports in order to preserve the supply of raw seaweed in the country. The government has not implemented any such restrictions as of yet.

The 'Squire of Seaweed' The seeds of Benson U. Dakay's Cebu-based seaweed empire were being sown while he was still a young boy in Cebu. In a June 5, 1995 New York Times article by Edward Gargan, Dakay recalled that in the late 1960s, he used to wonder why Europeans were “increasingly interested in buying seaweed harvested from the ocean, packing it up and shipping it to Europe for processing,” when there was little use for it locally. "We were supplying the French and some to the Danish. The Danes were putting up a buying station. I started organizing farmers to gather wild seaweed. But the whole thing became depleted after five years. There wasn't any more seaweed,” Dakay told Gargan. What Dakay would do, together with government resource people, was to convince farmers to start seaweed farming. Starting with the farmers who were previously gathering wild seaweed for him, the number of families engaged in seaweed farming ballooned to 100,000 families in just about six months. “For Mr. Dakay, the success of seaweed farming marked the beginning of the real commercialization of the seaweed industry in the Philippines, the transformation from gathering natural seaweed to organized farming,” Gargan wrote in his “Mandaue Journal” piece. Dakay then founded Shemberg Corporation and began to manufacture and export refined and semi-refined carrageenan and turned it into the world’s largest producer of semi-refined and refined carrageenan. At present, Shemberg Corporation is the world’s largest producer of refined and semi-refined carrageenan and “provides livelihood for over 40,000 coastal families while helping save Philippine coastal reefs from destructive fishing practices.” [On January 5, 2012, Dakay, known locally as "the seaweed king," succumbed to kidney cancer at the age of 56, as reported in the Cebu Daily News.]

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How Indonesia grabbed the carrageenan crown The troubles of the Philippine seaweed industry are providing opportunity for Indonesia. In a January 2011 Antara feature that was published on several Asian sites, it was reported that Indonesia is aiming to produce 10 million tons of seaweed by 2015, which would make it the world's biggest seaweed producer, replacing the Philippines. According to the report, Indonesia's total seaweed production reached 2,574,000 tons in 2009, from 910,636 tons in 2005. Among the factors supporting Indonesia's ambitions cited in the report: the world's second-longest coastline, and the expansion of seaweed cultivation areas from 2.1 million hectares into 2.6 million hectares in 2010. Among the things Indonesia will need to achieve its seaweed-producing target: more locally based seaweed processing factories (Indonesia currently has “around 23” seaweed producing companies), bank credit for seaweed farmers, further research and development of seaweed processed products. According to Marine Affairs and Fisheries Minister Fadel Muhammad, Indonesia is aiming for seaweed production to comprise 27% of the country's marine and fisheries output by 2015, more than triple the current 8.9%. The Antara feature also reported that Indonesia accounts for 50% of the world's total dried seaweed exports of 290,000 tons, while the Philippines accounts for 35%. Dried seaweed exports account for just under 25% of the world's total seaweed exports (1.2 million tons). In July, an Indonesian official said that Indonesia would ban the export of raw seaweed starting January 1, 2012. “Without this restriction, the domestic seaweed industry will not develop,” the Maritime and Fishery Ministry’s Fishery Processing and Marketing director-general, Victor P.H. Nikijuluw, told Tempo Interactive.

to help boost the seaweed industry in the region. The bureau, for its part, pledged to set aside P1 million to set up integrated nurseries within the year, adding that it was studying sites in Bohol and hoping to set up at least 10 nurseries within the year.

Department of Agriculture to the rescue.In August 2010, Department of Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala made a commitment to help the local seaweed industry by developing new seaweed nursery facilities, as reported in the Cebu Daily News.

In May 2011, BFAR inaugurated a tissue culture laboratory in Koronadal City worth P4.4 million, as reported in Sun Star Davao. In the report, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries-ARMM seaweed action officer Hadja Salma H. Sabdani said that the laboratory would improve the quality and production of seaweeds in the region.

He ordered the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources to start an integrated nursery project to produce seaweed seedlings

"ARMM has the highest production of seaweed at approximately 60 percent all over the country, and seaweeds have a very high

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demand in the world market…It requires better management to increase its impact to the regional economy," said Sabdani. According to the report, Mindanao producers account for 68% of the country's total production, followed by Visayan producers, who account for 22%, and Luzon producers, who account for 10%. In a February 2011 BusinessMirror article on the Managing Marine Frontiers (Fisheries) Forum, Maximo Ricohermoso of seaweed processor Marine Colloids Philippines Inc. figured the entire local fisheries sector would require $3 billion, of which 10% would go to the local seaweed industry. Philippine Council for Aquatic and Marine Research and Development director Cesario Pagdilao said the funding would help in the expansion of areas for production and the development of quality seedlings for seaweed farmers. According to him, the total farmable area for seaweeds is around 255,000 hectares, of which 59,000 hectares are currently being used. He also identified the low quality of seedlings as another problem facing seaweed farmers. “The country remains the No. 1 producer of carrageenan. However, Indonesia has overtaken the country in seaweed production, particularly of the Cottonii and Spinosum varieties. We are short of 25,000 metric tons [for Cottonii and Spinosum],” reported Pagdilao, who presented the status and prospects of the seaweed industry in the Philippines during the forum. These two species of seaweed were originally cultivated in the Philippines in the 1970s, and are the main varieties used in the production of carrageenan.

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Support from the Senate. In 2011, Senator Manuel “Lito” M. Lapid introduced Senate Bill No. 3004, the Seaweed Comprehensive Promotion and Development Act of 2011. Lapid said, “Despite the continuous increase in seaweed production and share in the world market, the industry is beseeched with existing problems and constraints.” The bill therefore, aims to “provide strategic interventions such as the establishment of additional seaweed nurseries, promotion of seaweed health management, provision of post-harvest facilities and establishment of a pilot semi-processing plant in order to promote the seaweed industry in the country.” ‘Revive the glory days of seaweed.’ During the 1st Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao Seaweed Congress held in Zamboanga in 2011, Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Salvador Salacop said that the Agriculture department is bent on reclaiming the top spot in seaweed production from Indonesia, and “to revive the glory days of Philippine seaweed.” “We really have to harness our initiative, consolidate our support programs and make sure the support and resources given to the particular industry trickle down to the intended beneficiaries,” Salacop said. For his part, Dakay told Asia Times Online in April 2011 that "Funds for seaweed farming have dried up," and that the government needed to address supply problems and work together with the industry to develop more farming sites. With the government and the seaweed industry willing to work together, here’s hoping that it’s still not too late to stop the slide in the once-flourishing seaweed industry.

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NEWS ON THE NET Business

Gaming czars quarrel over Philippine casino American gambling firm Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn is using internal investigations findings by former FBI Director Louis Freeh to oust former partner and friend Kazuo Okada -- after whom he named Japanese restaurants situated in Wynn Resorts' casinos -- from the board of his company. The probe alleged that Okada and associates had violated U.S. anti-corruption laws. Filipino regulators and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) officials had reportedly received dinners, Chanel bags, and complimentary use of Wynn Macau suites courtesy of Okada (accused of spending more than $100,000 on these bribery tactics), who is also chairman of Universal Entertainment. Through subsidiary Tiger Resorts, Leisure and Entertainment Inc., Universal Entertainment broke ground last month at the 12-hectare Pagcor Entertainment City in Manila Bay following a $2-billion investment deal. The decision to unseat Okada was effective immediately. Aside from unseating Okada from his company's board, Wynn has also filed a lawsuit against Okada. Pagcor chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat Jr. has expressed worry that he and the agency's $5-billion Entertainment

The

City project -- supposedly the Philippines' answer to the Las Vegas Strip -- have just become "collateral damage" in the heated battle between the two casino giants.

candidate – for a post that has traditionally gone to an American – very soon. The Obama administration further stresses that it would still open the process to competition, though even with a competitive process the U.S. is still expected to prevail.

PAL loses P3.6B in 9 months

Zoellick to leave World Bank in June Last week, World Bank head Robert Zoellick announced that he plans to step down and leave his post at the major multinational organization when his current term ends in June of this year. During his five-year term, the World Bank provided $247 billion in financial assitance to developing countries all over the world. The bank also posted its first general capital increase in over 20 years under Zoellick's leadership – a sign, Zoellick claims, that it was a "natural time to move on." In related news, the U.S. has pledged to offer up a replacement

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Majority Philippines Airlines shareholder, the Lucio Tan-led PAL Holdings Inc., reportedly plunged to a loss of P3.6 billion over the course of nine months ending in December last year. In contrast, it posted a net income of P3.2 billion within the same period in 2010. The staggering loss was blamed on lower passenger and freight volumes – stemming from peso-dollar rate change fluctuations – and surging jet fuel prices. Bloomberg Businessweek tracks the numbers, and paints an accurate picture of PAL Holdings Inc.'s financials. Though PAL had a near-monopoly in domestic aviation two decades ago, it is now second to Cebu Pacific, a budget airline now poised to expand operations to both Europe and the Middle East. The dismal state of PAL may be pushing now-confirmed talks between PAL Holdings Inc. and local conglomerate San Miguel, rumored to be gunning for a 49% stake in the country’s flag carrier.

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DNA-to-go: How cheaper, faster genome mapping will impact the world of health and medicine By Tanya L. Mariano

Advances in gene-sequencing technology will allow you to find out what you're really made of, literally and soon.

be on the market by late 2012 and will retail for less than $900, according to a press release from the company. The February 18 announcement was made by Oxford Nanopore Chief Technology Officer Clive G. Brown, who says the machine will bring genome-mapping technology within reach of the average consumer. The company also announced a bigger, more powerful version of the machine called the “GridION.”

At the recently concluded Advances in Genome Biology and Technology (AGBT) meeting, an annual scientific “boast fest” to showcase the latest developments in the industry, U.K.-based company Oxford Nanopore Technologies announced that its disposable, USB-powered Video from Oxford Nanopore Technologies showing what nanopores are, and how they can be used to DNA sequencer, sequence DNA called the “MinION,” will

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Just a month earlier, Life Technologies, another

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biotech giant, made headlines with the unveiling of a sequencing machine that can map a person’s entire genetic make up in a single day for $1,000 (covers the cost of the computer chip and necessary biochemicals). The “Ion Proton Sequencer” is roughly the size of a tabletop office printer and will retail for $99,000 $149,000. To help put things in perspective: Just two years ago, at the 2010 AGBT conference, Pacific Biosciences, another big player in the sequencing industry, introduced a $695,000 machine that weighed 1,900 lbs. and measured 6½ feet wide by 29 inches deep, as reported in biotech news and analysis source Bio-IT World. Now we’re seeing sophisticated devices that fit in the palm of our hands and cost a fraction of the price of that older machine.

The following chart from Reuters illustrates the dramatic decline in DNA sequencing costs during the past decade. Personalized medicine is on the horizon. Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are one of the leading causes of death in many countries, a fact recognized by the World Health Organization. In fact, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that, in 1994, ADRs accounted for over 2.2 million serious cases and more than 100,000 deaths in the U.S., making them the “fourth or sixth leading cause of death.” While these cases can be due to incorrect diagnosis and prescription, self-medication, or intake of counterfeit medicine, among other things, genetic factors unique to a person can also result in adverse reactions to drugs that have otherwise been

THRIFT SHOP GENES DNA sequencing costs have gone down

Chart from Reuters using data from the National Institutes of Health

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44 proven to be safe and effective for the general population. This is where pharmacogenomics comes in. By studying how a person’s genetic makeup affects their body’s response to drugs, doctors will one day be able to prescribe drugs that are tailor-made for the patient. Some anticipated benefits of pharmacogenomics include more efficient drug discovery that will result in more powerful medicines, better and safer drugs that will eliminate the trial-and-error method of matching patients with the right medicine, more accurate ways to determine drug dosages, as well as an overall decrease in health-care costs, according to information on the American Medical Association (AMA) website.

The Human Genome Project This colossal undertaking funded and coordinated by the U.S. Energy Department and the National Institutes of Health was an international scientific research effort that sought to map out the entire human genome. It formally commenced in 1990 and was completed in 2003, two years ahead of schedule, thanks to technological advancements that sped up work, according to the project’s official website. Aside from medicine and biomedical research, the project has also impacted other fields such as agriculture (by enabling scientists to bioengineer insect- and droughtresistant crops), forensics (allowed for DNA profiling that helps identify potential suspects), and energy and the environment (microbial genome research can help detect environmental pollutants and create alternative energy sources such as biofuels). Also available on the Human Genome Project website is a timeline of milestones and major events, as well as links to landmark papers about the project and its findings.

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Also available on the website is a brochure about pharmacogenomics created for healthcare providers, which includes a list of drugs that “exhibit reduced therapeutic effectiveness and/or safety concerns in patients carrying certain genetic variations,” as well as links to studies that “discuss practical applications of pharmacogenomics in cancer, depression, cardiovascular disease and drug metabolism.” Practical limits to pharmacogenomics. Although pharmacogenomics is already being implemented to some extent today, its reach is limited. According to the Human Genome Project website, several things pose a challenge to the successful clinical application of this emerging field: • the difficulty and complexity of finding gene variations affecting drug response • the limited availability of alternative drugs for a particular condition • the simpler and less expensive “one size fits all” approach, which might discourage drug companies from developing multiple products for one condition • the task of properly educating health care professionals, which is very important because having multiple pharmacogenic products for a single condition may complicate the drug prescription and dispensing process. Still, at the rate at which sequencing machines are getting cheaper and faster, pharmacogenomics should continue to develop and create gradual yet significant improvements to our health. Policing bad genes. Gene therapy is “a technique for correcting defective genes responsible for disease development,”

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DNA-to-go: How cheaper, faster genome mapping will impact the world of health and medicine

according to the Human Genome Project website. The most common method is inserting a normal gene into the genome to replace a nonfunctional gene.

Aside from hemophilia, other genetic disorders that have had successful clinical trials include Chronic Granulomatous Disorder and Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, according to the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy. Trials for other genelinked disorders like muscular dystrophy, lysosomal storage disease, and congenital   blindness will soon Dr. James M. Wilson tells us why it’s “time for gene be underway. therapy to get disruptive.”

In a January 2012 paper, Dr. James M. Wilson of the University of Pennsylvania and editorin-chief of the publication, Human Gene Therapy, predicts, Source: Videocast uploaded to YouTube by Genetic “2012 will Engineering & Biotechnology News usher in Over two-thirds of an era of all gene therapy commercial trials are for a wide development of gene therapy that, although variety of cancers, with some trials for head likely to begin slowly, will quickly gather and neck, prostate, and pancreatic cancer momentum.” already in the advanced stages. Clinical trials for other acquired diseases such as Citing recent reports of the success in using viral infections, heart disease, diabetes, and gene therapy to treat hemophilia B, which, neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s if commercialized together with hemophilia and Huntington’s will soon be launched. A treatment will threaten the $6.5-billiona-year industry of protein-replacement Ethical issues raised. Discussions products, Dr. Wilson asserts that the time on bioethics center on concerns of to bring gene therapy to the general public confidentiality, consent, and discrimination is now. While it will not replace the use and stigmatization – issues that are nether of drugs and traditional bio-therapeutic new nor unique to the field of genomics, treatments, this disruptive technology but nevertheless warrant special attention will be applied “across most specialties of as they “cannot simply be addressed by medicine,” writes Wilson. standard approaches in medical ethics for two reasons,” according to the 2002 World More on Dr. Wilson’s thoughts on gene Health Organization report, “Genomics and therapy as a disruptive technology in World Health.” the following videocast interview by John Sterling of Genetic Engineering & This is because genetic information differs Biotechnology News. from most medical and health information

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46 in that genetic information can highly predict an individual’s future state of health, which makes them vulnerable to stigmatization or potential discrimination by employers, for instance. This very predictive nature of genetic information also contributes to the widespread unease over the “expanding potential for genetic control of human nature.” The second reason is that the social, economic, political, and cultural contexts of a particular country will largely

determine whether genetic information and capacities will be used appropriately or misused and abused. For instance, says the report, nations that do not put a premium on individual freedom might use genetic information to impinge on women’s reproductive rights, while people from countries with significant private health insurance might experience discrimination and be denied coverage. To address these concerns and attempt to set global standards, the United

Genomics research in the Philippines Believe it or not, the Philippines does have a genome research facility. Founded in 2009 but only formally launched on November 28, 2011, the Philippine Genome Center is currently a “virtual” center led by the University of the Philippines (UP) and the Department of Science and Technology, which “seeks to be the link between academic research, government and private industries for the development of genome-based applications and training,” according to a news release from UP. The center will focus its genomics research on health, biodiversity, livestock, agriculture, and fisheries. Department of Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo says the government will fund research on diseases such as tuberculosis, dengue, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and AH1N1 (swine-origin flu), as well genomic studies on staple crops, endemic crops, livestock and bio-products fisheries to boost agricultural production. According to the Genome Center website, there are plans to build a DNA sequencing and genotyping facility at the UP Diliman Campus and a Core Facility for Bioinformatics to provide high-performance computers and computing support. Dr. Carmencita Padilla serves as Executive Director.

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DNA-to-go: How cheaper, faster genome mapping will impact the world of health and medicine

Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization has so far passed three declarations related to bioethics in genomics: the Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights adopted in 1997, International Declaration on Human Genetic Data in 2003, and the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights in 2005. Consumer sequencers could render gene patents obsolete. One interesting issue that has been raised recently is whether genes can and should be patented, having been brought to light by an ensuing legal battle in Australia between Cancer Voices Australia, an advocacy organization for cancer patients, and U.S.-based Myriad Genetics over the patent for a gene mutation called BRC1, a strong breast-cancer risk indicator, as reported by Australian Life Scientist. But the commercialization of sequencing technology may one day render gene patents obsolete, writes biotech patent lawyer Kevin Noonan on Patent Docs, a pharma and biotech patent law and news blog.

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According to Noonan, “the only direct infringer using these ‘mini-sequencer’ devices would be the consumer, and unlike situations where suing consumers has been successful (like music file-sharing), the individual damage from any specific consumer defendant's infringement would be minimal.” Brave new world of pocketsequencers? As DNA sequencing becomes cheaper and faster, we inch closer and closer to that day in the future when personalized medicine is the norm, and revolutionary therapies for a host of diseases are within reach of those in need. It won’t come tomorrow, though. Technological advancement may be on steroids, but clinical trials should never be rushed, or we’ll run the risk of mourning another Jesse Gelsinger, an 18-year old who died of multiple organ failure during a gene therapy trial led by Dr. James Wilson. Also, tougher regulations and more stringent standards must also be implemented to ensure ethical use of new technologies and to protect patient information.

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NEWS ON THE NET Technology

U.S. security chief gives warning on Anonymous hacking exploits

embarrassing them or revealing what it believes is are injustices.

MegaUpload founder released on bail

Anonymous has so far plied its trade in "hactivist" exploits. But according to the director of the National Security Agency, it might soon turn its focus to U.S. infrastructure.

According to the Wall Street Journal, citing sources, Gen. Keith Alexander has said in private meetings at the White House and elsewhere that the U.S. must keep a close eye on Anonymous' growth. He reportedly warned that if the organization continues to gain power, it might even take down a part of the U.S. power grid within the next couple of years. How serious might such an attack on the power grid be? An industry official speaking to the Journal said that the U.S. grid has backups in place to safeguard against attacks. For a limited period of time, however, it could cause trouble. The NSA's concerns about Anonymous underscore the power the loosely affiliated group of individuals has secured in recent months. The organization played a role in the scandal surrounding WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, retaliating after Assange's bank accounts were frozen and methods of donations cut off by credit card companies and payment services like PayPal. Anonymous has continued to target individuals and organizations, all with the goal of

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Kim DotCom, founder of cyberlocker MegaUpload, has been released on bail, according to media reports out of New Zealand. After DotCom was indicted in the United States for criminal copyright violations and racketeering, he was arrested last month at the mansion he leases near Auckland, New Zealand, following a sensational police raid. Millions in cash, cars, and other possessions belonging to DotCom were seized. Since then, two judges in New Zealand had denied his previous requests for bail. The judge who heard DotCom's request today, however, decided the defendant was not enough of a flight risk to keep in custody. The judge said police had not proven that the 38-year-old had enough assets remaining to help him flee the country. In addition, it was thought that the United States didn't have extradition treaties with Germany and Finland, the countries where DotCom is a citizen. That isn't accurate, according to media reports. The U.S. government is seeking to bring DotCom and six others associated with MegaUpload to this country to stand trial. At DotCom's earlier bail hearings, lawyers representing the United

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States said they feared if freed, DotCom was likely to have hidden money that authorities weren't able to find and he could use this to make an escape. A representative for the U.S. Attorney's office declined to comment.

Computer spyware is newest weapon in Syrian conflict

(CNN) -- In Syria's cyberwar, the regime's supporters have deployed a new weapon against opposition activists -- computer viruses that spy on them, according to an IT specialist from a Syrian opposition group and a former international aid worker whose computer was infected. A U.S.-based antivirus software maker, which analyzed one of the viruses at CNN's request, said that it was recently written for a specific cyberespionage campaign and that it passes information it robs from computers to a server at a government-owned telecommunications company in Syria. Supporters of dictator Bashar al-Assad first steal the identities of opposition activists, then impersonate them in online chats, said software engineer Dlshad Othman. They gain the trust of other users, pass out Trojan horse viruses and encourage people to open them. Once on the victim's computer, the malware sends information out to third parties.

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