Friday, March 11, 2011

Philippines to buy 200,000 tons of rice from Vietnam

MANILA, Philippines (Reuters) - Philippine Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said Wednesday that the state-run National Food Authority (NFA) will buy 200,000 tons of rice from Vietnam in a government-to-government deal.

Alcala also said he wanted the tenders for private sector rice import rights to be held this month, with traders allowed to buy up to 660,000 tons of the grain.

The government wants all shipments, including the NFA purchases, to arrive from late May and into June.

"It will be a government-to-government deal. Vietnam has actually given us guarantee that they can supply our requirements," Alcala told reporters.

He said private traders can also buy the entire 660,000 tonnes from Vietnam.

"The private sector will be allowed to negotiate for their own purchases, but will not be obliged to buy solely from Vietnam. They can buy from other exporters if they can negotiate for a cheaper price," Alcala said.

The Philippines has an existing rice supply agreement with Vietnam, which was extended to 2013.

A trader in Ho Chi Minh City said: "It means they (the Philippines) also have rice shortage, unlike before when it seemed they were slow in their purchase."

The Philippines' latest demand, coupled with a planned Bangladeshi purchase of 200,000 tons of Vietnamese rice, is small compared with Vietnam's output available for export from its current harvest of 3 million tons of milled rice.

But once the deals are finalized, these could help halt a fall on domestic and export prices in Vietnam, the world's second-largest exporter of the grain after Thailand.

The Philippines has approved rice imports of 1.3 million tons for 2011 but has indicated it wanted to limit shipments to about two-thirds of that, relinquishing its position in recent years as the world's biggest buyer of rice.

For 2010, Manila imported a record 2.45 million tons.

"We approved an import volume of 1.3 million tons to consider emergency purchases if we don't meet our production targets," Alcala said.

The government wants the private sector to take over the country's rice purchases to reduce the NFA's financial burden.

Such purchases are tariff-free, with the traders instead paying a service fee to the NFA for bringing in rice.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Manual on Election Campaign Management Now Available

For those who are running in the 2010 elections, nothing beats ample preparation and precise implementation.

Eero Brillantes is author of the election manual “Election Game Changer: Strategy, Deployment, Victory”.

A winning campaign strategist and public relations specialist, Brillantes was instrumental in the victories of national and local candidates in 2007. These included a senator, several congressmen, and various local candidates.

The manual covers important topics including chapters on Rules of Engagement, Disposition of Forces, and Composing the Strategy Canvas. It also includes a workshop guide to facilitate actual campaign planning. Case studies on campaigns successfully handled by the author and an analysis of the Barack Obama presidential campaign are likewise included.

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano and Political Communications guru Greg Garcia provided the foreword for the book.

Brillantes says that the challenge for 2010 is to find the winning formula in a playing field wherein traditional campaigns are being implemented by all.

The challenge for candidates for the next elections and beyond is to sharpen methodologies on campaign management and look for that competitive edge. Campaigns must deliver the end result and that is to win. But this is easier said than done. Victory means looking at the election exercise as a methodological step by step process. Voter registration and profiling is as important as generating and protecting the votes. It also means knowing where to essentially allocate money and people to be efficient and effective. It has become a science whether the position up for grabs is local or national.

For those who are interested in getting a copy of the manual and avail of election campaign management expertise, please get in touch with Mr. Brillantes at 09276702831, 09182974803 or email at and

About the Author

Eero took up his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Organizational Communication at the University of the Philippines (UP). He pursued his Masters Program at the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC). His experience spans 18 years as communications specialist for various non-profits and government agencies.

On the political front, he provides media relations work and strategy to a Senator, three district congressmen, four incumbent party list groups, and spokespersons of two political parties.

Eero is the chief nurturer of Mind Bullet Inc., a marketing and public relations company. He handles account management and oversees the strategic activities at the office. He is the resident wordsmith of Mind Bullet.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Articles on How Precinct Count Optical Scans Are Hacked and Used for Election Cheating

The budget for election automation has been passed. It is at a whooping 11 billion pesos. Now the reality check. The technology being eyed, the Precinct Count Optical Scan has been widely criticized as easily hackable. Below are some internet sources which tells of compelling reasons on how cheating is done with this technology.

There must be a reason for the last minute passage of the supplemental budget. It might be part of the script to stall then fastbreak the passage at the end of the congress session. So that there would be no more questions. One thing is for sure. The system being put up will provide so much advantage to those who will gain access to the counting machines before actual counting. The key is a cheating software embedded in the memory chip which self destructs after the counting is done. No traces whatsoever and the tally balances out with the actual ballots scanned. Definitely not fiction as the internet articles would show. We are fucked.


1. " Al Franken's Razor-Thin MN Senate Race Counted on Flawed Optical-Scan Systems "

2. Hacking Democracy

3. Security Analysis of the Diebold AccuVote-TS Voting Machine

4. NJ Voting-machine trial update

Florida Plan Gives Citizens Real Paper Ballots

6. Insecurities and Inaccuracies of the Sequoia AVC Advantage 9.00H DRE Voting Machine

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Minority bloc eyes own fertilizer scam report.

MANILA, Philippines - The minority bloc in the Senate is set to come up with its own report on the multimillion fertilizer fund scam following the blue ribbon’s findings exonerating President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo from the said anomaly.

“We are preparing the minority report kung saan makikita na napakarami pang leads, witnesses na puwede pang ipatawag including the other contractors and suppliers and local government officials,” Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano said Tuesday.

[“We are preparing the minority report wherein we’ll show that there are still leads to follow and witnesses to summon including other contractors and suppliers and local government officials.”]

“Though we empathize with the blue ribbon committee, the keyword is not submitting the whole report but exhausting all leads,” Cayetano added.

Cayetano described the blue ribbon report, which was signed by 12 senators, as "hinog sa pilit (raw)" after it found no direct evidence linking President Arroyo to the P728-million scam.

“This is premature to say that there is no evidence against President Arroyo,” Cayetano said.

The blue ribbon report, which was released Monday, recommended the filing of a string of charges including plunder against former Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn “Joc-joc” Bolante and several other individuals.

Bolante was the alleged mastermind of the scam wherein some P728 million worth of fertilizer funds intended for poor farmers were allegedly diverted to President Arroyo’s campaign kitty in the 2004 elections.

Blue ribbon committee chairman Sen. Richard Gordon admitted that President Arroyo, by an act of omission, committed the same crimes of her underlings but said his committee did not find sufficient evidence that would directly link her to the anomaly.

Gordon said President Arroyo is liable under the "doctrine of qualified political agency," which provides that all executive and administrative organizations are adjuncts of the executive department.

Gordon made the recommendation as he formally submitted the panel’s 130-page preliminary report after eight public hearings.

Cayetano said Gordon’s panel should have invited to the hearing former Budget Secretary Emilia Boncodin who was then responsible for releasing the fund.

He also said the report “diverted” from the original purpose of the investigation, which is to find out if the money was used by the Arroyo administration to its campaign kitty during the 2004 elections.

“I’m saying that it (report) was rushed, and it doesn’t give justice to the intent of the investigations which is to find out the whole truth,” Cayetano said. - GMANews.TV

Election Game Changer out soon

Finally. Hopefully by the time I become 40 years old on March 15, 2009, my book "Election Game Changer" will be published and made available to the public. Its my way of celebrating 4 decades here on earth.

As an added service, I will be available for speaking engagements, lectures, and orientation seminars on how to implement the book. I invite those running in 2010 to touch base and see what we can do to get you elected. You can email me at


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Selected Philippine online media sources

I do daily media scanning and news analysis. Simply put I track relevant issues so that I can provide risk assessment, competitive intelligence, and early warning to clients. The following are my staple of on-line media sources.


You might want to add these to your list.


Create your own social network online.

If you would want to develop your own social network to loop in friends, visit Its a free online service for you to have your own friendster of facebook type portal. Its cool.

Another great online social networking tool is twitter. It is a simple on line program that makes you keep track of friends and them keeping track of you on a daily basis. Its located at You just post "what are you doing?" and you get posts from friends in return. Its cool too.

Check these sites out.