Commentary: Cha-Cha and the ’07 Budget
By Bong Pedalino
MAASIN CITY (9 October) -- Congress will have a three-week recess starting on Friday, Oct. 13. But in having that break, it is refreshing to note that its prime homework was underway.
First off, the deliberations for the 2007 national budget have begun last week, and the Lower House was confident it can finish its job this week and pass it on to the Senate on or before the session adjourns Friday.
By November, the Senate will have its time to scrutinize the national outlay and, barring any hitches in schedule along the way, the new appropriation shall be in effect as the year of the pig (2007) takes over the year of the dog (2006).
On a parallel development, the charter change express train may have hit a stopover while all the dramatis personae wait with baited breath the final decision of the High Court on the people’s initiative issue.
When will the Supreme Court promulgate its much-awaited decision? The best anticipated guess so far is that a ruling may be had while both Houses of Congress are off session. Consequently, the adversely affected party(ies) by that time may file a motion for reconsideration.
But before the year ends, it is expected that the tribunal shall have ruled with finality on the people’s initiative issue.
It is under such an uncertain situation as to the fate of the SIGAW and ULAP-lead initiative that some Congressmen are bent to zero in on the Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) mode when Congress resumes session by November. Plan B, sort of. Again, this is certainly yet another rough sailing, for a number of Senators still remained firm in their original lukewarm stand on Con-Ass.
The third option, which is through the Constitutional Convention (Con-Con), could be the win-win solution, although admittedly this is very costly for the government to undertake.
As of now, the most commonly asked question is this: with cha-cha overtures hanging all over, will there be elections next year?
That is another story, though.
LOCAL FRONT: Technical personnel from PAG-ASA will install by November or nest month the much-desired early warning devices so people living in vulnerable areas in Southern Leyte province can be forewarned and so can take action before nature overtakes them. The putting up of rain gauges, water level markings under bridges and shipping ports is definitely a welcome development, and Southern Leytenos will be forever grateful to the donors on these items, particularly the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). But here’s the catch. These devices, once installed, will come to naught if over time they are just taken for granted. Or worse, nobody knew how to read or use it as a crucial source of information as basis to move out. I just hope these points were already given due consideration.
ODDLY YOURS: Many stories are told about answered prayers. But there are instances when a petition was already answered even before it was actually being prayed for. Dr. Larry Dossey of Santa Fe , New Mexico , a physician by profession but became an investigator on the effects of prayer on hopeless patients, documented one such case. In his 1993 book “Healing Words: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine”, he wrote about a man, not religious and never prayed himself, who was diagnosed with colon cancer. Yet he approached a minister to pray for his recovery. Within that week, he went to his Doctor for a regular check-up, but was told the cancer had completely disappeared. When the time element was investigated and duly compared, that is, the moment he approached the minister for prayer request and the disappearance of the illness, “it was apparent that the cancer had disappeared before the minister had actually prayed for the man,” Dossey concluded, citing Isaiah 65:24 (“And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer”) as the Biblical reference for this miracle. (PIA) [top]