"What this Country needs is not a change OF men but a change IN men" March 1980

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Duty First

DUTY FIRST: Robert Lamberte, a disabled 13-year old boy, receives a blanket from Philippine Red Cross Chairman Senator Richard Gordon during the latter’s visit to the Nabitasan Elementary School in Iloilo City, where victims of the recent Iloilo fire sought temporary shelter. Gordon was in Iloilo over the weekend for the Dinagyang Festival, but before joining the festivities, he did his duty first and checked on the situation of the victims. Gordon was joined by Bagumbayan Party vice-presidential candidate Bayani Fernando.

Gordon to maritime gov't agencies: Don't wait for another sea tragedy

Senate blue ribbon committee chairman Senator Richard Gordon today said that the government must immediately work on modernizing the country's maritime industry and stressed that it should not wait for another sea tragedy before it gets the work done.

"Our country holds the unflattering distinction for having the world's worst peacetime maritime safety record. Whenever a ship sinks, we conduct investigations left and right, but nothing really happens. At the end of the day, after all the media hype, everything will be forgotten until another ship sinks, and the cycle of tolerance�tolerance for the incompetent, the unsafe and the greedy--goes on," Gordon said.

"We are not going to allow that anymore. This committee will make sure that something will happen out of this investigation. Our objective is to have a world class maritime industry, and we can start by ensuring the safety of passengers traveling in our seas," he added.

After five hearings on recent maritime disasters, the blue ribbon committee found out several lapses in the enforcement of maritime laws by government agencies and in the practice of safe sea operations by shipping companies.

Gordon said that the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) ought to ensure that all laws relating to maritime operations and safety are being enforced properly.

He added that Marina and the Insurance Commission are not doing their job in protecting the public interest because they allowed the implementation of a rule that passengers who are not in the manifest but are victims of sea tragedies will not be covered by the insurance companies.

"We have to require 'no fault insurance'. That means when a sea vessel sinks, even if the passenger is not included in the manifest, as long as he is onboard that ship, the insurance company will have to pay. The Marina can immediately impose that in order to protect the public," the senator stressed.

"The Marina should impose stiff penalties for ships that do not provide complete passenger manifest. We have to change the system. The manifest must be submitted before departure," he added.

Gordon also said that the government must apply international standards for domestic shipping. On the other hand, private shipping lines should upgrade the level of standards of their vessels and they must hire certified captains and competent crew.

"We have to upgrade the shipping industry by providing incentives. When a company acquires new ships, they should be given incentives for that. There must also be a re-evaluation of major and minor patrons who man passenger ships. We should know their capabilities and they ought to be assigned to posts or duties equal to their nautical knowledge and capacity," Gordon said.

Gordon most capable to be next RP president, Lyceum poll says

Bagumbayan-Volunteers for a New Philippines Party standard-bearer Senator Richard Gordon is the most capable among all the presidential aspirants today, a poll from the Lyceum of the Philippines showed.

Gordon, who pleased the crowd of students from different universities in Manila, foreign diplomats and business leaders during his speech at the Lyceum Presidential Forum on Wednesday, received the highest number of votes during the mock election that was done at the end of the program.

The Bagumbayan presidential bet received 59 votes, followed by Gilbert Teodoro (23), Sen. Benigno Aquino III (20), Bro. Eddie Villanueva (17), Nicanor Perlas (10), Former President Joseph Estrada (9), Sen. Manny Villar (7), and Olongapo Councilor JC Delos Reyes (2).

During the forum, Gordon explained his policy of governance and sent a clear message that everyone must take part in transforming the nation and breaking free from a transactional society.

"When I look at governance I always think in terms of vision, values, volunteerism equals victory. To my mind, leaders ought to know where they are going. They have to uplift the level of values, of dignity, of behavior and performance of their people; uplift not just the standard of living, but also the standard of values; not just making them receive the hand-out, but making sure that all hands are carrying the load of the nation," he stressed.

Gordon said the Philippine Government is faced with many challenges, primarily the cycle of disaster and poverty, the ongoing war in Mindanao, and the corruption not just in the government but in the whole society.

He explained that these problems can be resolved by a government that is focused, fast, friendly, flexible and forward-looking.

The senator presented his governance agenda, which included his top six policies: (1) Responsible budget deficit reduction program by minimizing fraud, waste and abuse, while maximizing revenues and services; (2) Burden-sharing by forging genuine partnership with local government units and the private sector; (3) Investing in people by ensuring quality population through quality education; (4) Disaster proofing the nation to end the cycle of disaster and poverty; (5) Strong political will and leadership by example; and (6) Re-engineering the government through a system of meritocracy.

"This is how Gordon's governance will be. People must be part of the process of change. I will try to explain my vision to the people. Vision is a mental picture of the future which is certainly better than what is today. Vision will require challenges; work ethic, a sense of duty, dignity and determination are required for us to achieve our vision," Gordon said.

Absolutely no governance in maritime industry. Incompetence and corruption cause loss of lives at sea.

Senate blue ribbon committee chairman Senator Richard Gordon today said that the absence of governance in the maritime industry is appalling, as shown by the apparent failure of government agencies to protect the public who travel at sea.

"My mind and my whole being is aghast at the abysmal negligence of our government. There is no governance at sea in this country today--absolutely no governance! There is just greed, tolerance for the incompetent, the unsafe and the greedy. We are not going to allow that anymore," Gordon said during the blue ribbon committee hearing on maritime disasters.

"The object of this investigation is to protect the public. And with five hearings, we have seen the many cases of incompetence and corruption which are causing us more than money. It causes us the loss of many lives," he added.

The senator said that the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) and the Insurance Commission (IC) have failed to protect the public, especially the victims of sea tragedies, because of their rules that are unfriendly to the people.

He said he could not understand why these agencies did not publish their rules that state that passengers who are not in the manifest will not be covered by the insurance companies, stressing that such policy seem to be pro-ship owner and anti-passenger.

"We cannot understand why the Marina and the Insurance Commission, in order to cure the evil of overloading, created a greater evil where the passengers who are not included in the manifest but are victims of maritime tragedies will totally have no way of recovering from insurance companies," Gordon said.

He stressed that there must be immediate remedy to other problems surrounding the maritime industry including the non-compliance to the submission of a complete passenger manifest before departure; the continued use of inland water ships in open seas; the manning of passenger ships by unlicensed captains; and the wanton disregard of safety rules such as proper lashing of vehicles in roll on-roll off vessels.

"We must ensure that there will be no deaths, no accidents at sea just because of the incompetence and greed of a few. The policy right now is pro-insurance company, pro-ship owner, and unfortunately, it is almost anti-passenger," Gordon said

"The government should be focused on its duty to protect the public interest, particularly in formulating passenger insurance policies, and in recommending to Congress the kind of insurance protection that our people deserve," he added.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


E-BOOKS FOR PINOY STUDES: Senator and Bagumbayan presidential bet Richard J. Gordon wants the government to distribute Kindle, an electronic device that can store up to 9,000 books, to all students in the country in lieu of textbooks. Gordon was talking about his advocacy of improving the country’s education system by making education the No. 1priority at the presidential forum held at the Lyceum of the Philippines in Intramuros, Manila.

Senator and Bagumbayan presidential bet Richard J. Gordon today said he wants the government to distribute a Kindle to all students across the country instead of spending so much on textbooks, most of which are erroneous.

Gordon made the statement at the Lyceum of the Philippines presidential forum in reaction to the latest United Nations (UN) Report that in the absence of decisive political leadership, the Philippines is in danger of missing the goal of achieving universal primary education by 2015.

"We spent so much money on books, right? Mali-mali pa. Here's a little computer called Kindle. You can put the entire curriculum, from Grade 1 to high school to college here. Every kid should have kindle. He who reads, leads," he said. . "Before China does it and before India does it, the Philippines should be the first ones to use electronic books in school," he added, explaining that Kindle is an electronic device that can store up to 9,000 books and costs $250 each.

This proposal, according to the senator, is part of his programs for improving the country's education system, which, the UN Report said, is trailing behind the African nations of Tanzania and Zambia.

"The UN said education poverty rates among the poor are four times the national average. Our Constitution mandates that education must be given priority. But in the budget, No. 1 is debt servicing, No. 2 is the IRA (Internal Revenue Allotment) for local governments, while education is only at No. 3. We should be spending 6% of GDP or P444 billion on our education," Gordon said.

The Bagumbayan Party standard-bearer also said that aside from raising the salaries of teachers to at least P40,000, there should also be upgrading of teaching competence through continuous training to be able to address the low proficiency level of students especially on Math, Science and English.

"Every teacher should get P40,000. That's my ideal. Not P12,000, but P40,000. Japan pays P77,000. In Singapore, they pay P122,000 a month. We must also understand that better teachers would pave the way for better and well-informed students. Continuing educational program for teachers is a must for our society today," he stressed.

Gordon has long been advocating for the upgrading of standards of the country's education system. He has a bill pending in Congress, called the Health and Education Acceleration Program (HEAP), which aims to spearhead the rehabilitation and improvement of the education and health systems.



BETTER TEACHERS PRODUCE BRILLIANT STUDENTS: Senator and Bagumbayan presidential bet Richard J. Gordon points out the need for raising teachers’ salary to at least P40,000. Gordon further said at the First Presidential Forum held at the Philippine Normal University that upgrading of teaching competence through continuous training would address the low proficiency level of students, especially in Math, Science and English.


BREAKING THE WALLS IN THEIR MINDS: Senator Richard J. Gordon encourages young students of the St. Mary’s Academy Pasay City to learn about the country’s history so they can step into the future with pride and confidence. Part of their school field trip, the young kids were touring the Lights and Sound Museum in Intramuros, Manila which is housed in the former Religious of the Virgin Mary (RVM) Beaterio. The museum was among Gordon’s projects during his stint as tourism secretary.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Provident fund for OFWs

Senator Richard Gordon, Bagumbayan-Volunteers for a New Philippine Party standard-bearer, has proposed the creation of a provident fund for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) that would help them save and invest their money for their social security.

During the Carlos P. Romulo Foundation Presidential Policy Forum, Gordon discussed his earlier proposal of creating the Philippines' own provident fund for OFWs, patterned after the Central Provident Fund (CPF) of Singapore.

"We always say they (OFWs) are our heroes, but what kind of a future are we going to give back to them? Singapore has four and a half million people and they have a central provident fund of $30 billion. We have nine million Filipinos overseas that can participate in a provident fund," he said.

Gordon, who first brought up the issue of creating a provident fund to Labor Department officials during a Senate hearing last year, noted that only a few OFWs, those who are recruited by a foreign-based employer who have availed of voluntary coverage, are covered by the Social Security System (SSS).

He said that the government must create a program that would help Filipinos who are working abroad make good use of their money.

"The formula here is to work, save and invest to prosper. We can have our people who are overseas contribute to a provident fund. We would make sure that we have a large amount of savings that can be used to provide a future for them, build homes, provide insurance, provide education, and provide a retirement fund for them," Gordon explained.

He added that this kind of program would broaden the opportunities available for OFWs. Likewise, it would give them a sense of security and confidence. But Gordon stressed that the better thing to do is still to provide opportunities here for the people so that they will not have to find their future in foreign shores.

"If we improve our educational system, our people will have choice. Instead of going abroad, they can have choice here. We have to find ways and means of improving the countryside, so that we can all find our future in Filipinas, our own native homeland," Gordon said.

Invest in teachers to improve RP education

Senator Richard Gordon stressed the need to invest on teachers to significantly improve the quality of the country's education system, which has been lagging behind compared to neighboring countries.

At the Kilalanin Presidential Forum held at the De La Salle Zobel School in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Gordon said that education should be a priority of every government, especially of a developing nation, to enable and ennoble the people.

"Poverty is an absence of choice. If people are not educated, they have limited choices in life. That is why education must be number one," the Bagumbayan-Volunteers for a New Philippines party standard-bearer said.

"I would be an Education President. Teachers would be number one for me because they are the ones who mold the minds and guide the values of our children. They are with our children eight hours every day. Kapag nagtratrabaho sila nanay at tatay, ang mga guro ang nangangasiwa sa mga bata. We should take care of our teachers because they play an important role in the lives of our children," he added.

Gordon explained that what needs to be done is not only to increase the salary of teachers, but also to upgrade teaching competence through continuous training to be able to address the low proficiency level of students especially on Math, Science and English.

"Better teachers would pave the way for better and well-informed students. Continuing educational program for teachers is a must for our society today," he stressed.

Gordon has long been advocating for the upgrading of standards of the country's education system. He has a bill pending in Congress, called the Health and Education Acceleration Program (HEAP), which aims to spearhead the rehabilitation and improvement of the education and health systems.

His Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) has been largely allocated for construction of public elementary school buildings around the country together with the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc.

In 2007, after his visit to Sulu, Gordon reported to the President the need to hold the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) licensure examinations in Sulu because many teachers have not been properly qualified for government service. In the past, education graduates in the province had to travel to Zamboanga City or other parts of the country to be able to take the exam, entailing more expenses on their part.

When he was Mayor of Olongapo, Gordon built schools in many parts of the province and also created the Regional Science High School III and the University of the Philippines Diliman Extension Program in Olongapo.

On surveys: It's the record of service that matters, the real survey is still on May 10, 2010.

More than the surveys that appear left and right, it is the record of service that truly matters, Senator Richard Gordon, the Bagumbayan-Volunteers for a New Philippines Party standard-bearer, said.

Gordon, who was one of the presidential aspirants present at the Kilalanin Presidential Forum at the De La Salle-Zobel in Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa City, said that the qualifications and track record of a candidate is what the electorate must look into, adding that the real survey is still on May 10.

"Kung maniniwala tayo sa mga surveys ngayon, eh di huwag na tayo mag-eleksyon, magpa-survey na lang tayo. Ang tunay na survey ay 'yung survey sa May 10, yung lahat bibilangin, hindi lamang 1,200 (respondents)," he said.

Gordon explained that when he ran for Senator in 2004, he was number 29 in the surveys, but after the elections, he placed number five.

He said that the people had chosen him based on what he has done--as mayor of Olongapo, founding chairman of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, and secretary of Tourism--and not on money, pedigree or popularity.

"Hindi ako umasa sa mga malalaking tao, walang malalaking grupo ang sumama sa akin, pero ni-respeto ng tao ang record ko. It is your record of service, your track record and not the surveys, that matters. Kaya mo ba yung trabaho? Bago ka ba umalis sa probinsiya mo naayos mo ba ang bayan mo?" Gordon stressed.

He added that surveys could even lead to "regulatory capture" because several rich or powerful individuals, who seek to protect their personal interests and maintain their place in the society, tend to support a candidate who they think has the biggest chance to win based on surveys.

"Minsan habang lalo kang tumataas sa survey, mas madaming malalaking tao ang nagbibigay sa 'yo ng pera, kaya malaki na ang utang na loob mo sa kanila ngayon. Kaya ang surveys madali yan. Kung may pera ka, magpa-survey ka. Magpalabas ka ng madaming advertisements, sikat ka. Pero ang talagang survey ay yung survey ng taongbayan sa May 10," said Gordon.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

SSS Condonation Law to Benefit Delinquent Employers, Employees

Senator Richard J. Gordon is optimistic that millions of employees of delinquent employees could now re-avail of their benefits from the Social Security System (SSS) with the enactment of the SSS condonation law.

Republic Act No. 9903, or the Social Security Condonation Act, would also help ease the burden from non-compliant companies that were facing economic difficulties.

"This law would redress aggrieved workers in the private sector whose contributions were religiously deducted from their monthly salaries but could not avail of loans and other benefits because their employers have not remitted their contributions," Gordon said.

"Since the law condones the penalties for delinquent SSS policy contributions, it would also offer reprieve to thousands of employers with financial woes and would ensure that their businesses continue so that they could provide employment for our people," he added.

The Social Security Condonation Act was signed into law Thursday by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the Calauan Housing Project in Barangay Dayap, Calauan, Laguna.

There are about 164,111 delinquent employers and P94-billion receivables from unpaid contributions to the SSS.

Under the law, delinquent employers may remit a down payment of at least 5 percent of the total contribution delinquency and pay the remaining balance in equal monthly installments within a period of 48 months or four years.

RA 9903 also provides that pending cases filed against the employer shall be withdrawn without prejudice to the refiling of the case in the event the employer fails to remit in full the required delinquent contributions.

"This is a one-time condonation program to make people more responsible, to pay more attention to their obligations to remit the premiums of their employees," Gordon said. (PNA)


Saturday, January 9th, 2010

KILALANIN: A Presidential Forum(DLSU, Ayala Alabang)

Gordon surprised the crowd with his witty response to political issues. Gordon, now chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), even suggested that surveys should be done by gathering all the achievements of all the candidates, putting them on walls but without their names on it. And from there, letting the public choose their preferred presidential candidate. “Let us forget about the election if we'll base everything on survey,” the former chairman of the Subic Free Port complex said. Gordon was also heavily applauded by the crowd when he declared that he will be an “education president” by putting the teachers’ welfare in his priority list to upgrade the country’s education program.

4 Presidential bets bare platforms
By Aris R. Ilagan, Manila Bulletin
January9, 2010, 6:33pm

Gordon dazzled the audience with his display of oratorical skills and in-depth understanding of the society’s ills—past and present, from Lapu-lapu to the sinking of MV Baleno—wowing the crowd several times. Gordon said “people must be part of the process of change… to know where they are heading.”

Presidential campaign gets more pointed
By Michael Lim Ubac
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 20:29:00 01/09/2010


Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Volunteer Lawyers for MV Baleno victims

To ensure that all victims of MV Baleno-9 legal concerns would be given proper attention, Senator Richard J. Gordon today said that he has already secured lawyers for them.

"May mga tumatawag sa akin na mga biktima, walang nag-aasikaso sa kanila. So I asked some friends to provide lawyers for them para may laban naman sila, at para makasiguro na at least makuha 'yung insurance, makuha 'yung ibabayad sa kanila," Gordon said in a media forum.

"I have talked to some lawyers who are willing to volunteer, some of them lawyers from Subic before. Nananawagan din ako sa ibang mga lawyers na gusto mag-volunteer, magsama-sama tayo para isang grupo lang ng lawyers ang hahawak," he added.

The senator noted that some of the victims are being offered small amounts, like in the case of Randy Peñaranda, brother of one of the victims, who was initially offered P10,000 as burial assistance. He sought the help of Gordon, who stressed that they should be given more than that. Peñaranda was then offered P200,000 but was asked to sign a quit claim.

"There should be no quit claim. I ask the help of media, the radio and TV stations, sabihin po sa mga tao na huwag pipirma ng quit claim kung hindi sapat talaga ang binayad sa kanila. Dapat ibigay sa inyo ang nararapat," the senator said.

"We are trying to provide the victims and their families the assistance we could offer them, because definitely they will have to file charges, not only criminal but also civil cases. I've already told the Red Cross to tell the victims and their families that we can provide legal assistance for them," Gordon added.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

10 Principles for Success in 2010

Asked how ordinary Filipinos can improve their lot in life, Sen. Dick Gordon, who has enjoyed a fruitful and accomplished life, shares his key principles for career and financial success:

  1. Be ambitious. Umaasa tayo lagi sa tulong. Kahit anong hirap mo, you have to be ambitious. Being ambitious is not negative.

  1. Have the right work ethic. Bawal ang tamad. Lalong bawal ang tanga. Manage by objective. Instead of a quick fix or instant gratification, practice delayed gratification. We should go for meritocracy. Hindi palakasan. Palakasan pa rin dito.

  1. Learn a skill. Poverty is an absence of choice. That’s why you have to continue learning. You have to learn a skill. I never tell people “good luck.” I always tell them “good skill.” Be creative. Nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa. God gave you skills. God will not help you if you don’t help yourself.

  1. Work, save, invest, and prosper. You have to work. Address your needs but always save. Get into a business. Get life insurance or a personal accident insurance kung `yun lang ang kaya mo. We need a provident fund especially for our OFWs. We have 11 million Filipinos abroad. You put them and our people here in a provident fund, we can prosper ourselves. Combine GSIS and SSS funds and come up with a provident fund, just like what Singapore did. People have to learn to save something.

  1. Help. Find extra time to help. Volunteer with the Red Cross. Kapag alam mong ginawa mo, bibiyaan ka. Helping others is a reward in itself.

  1. Lead by example. The Philippines would improve if it elects a leader who can inspire, able to communicate by word and deed, provides a vision, extracts values, and displays integrity. Demand from your leaders. Ask for their qualifications. Look for their record.

  1. Be independent. I had to fight big guys but I couldn’t tell my dad. He encouraged me to learn judo to protect myself. You have to learn to survive. You have to learn to stand your ground. Those guys who tried to bully me, I stood up to them.

  1. Learn from your mistakes. I learn from my mistakes. I learn from other people’s mistakes. There’s only one thing I can never learn: to be overly materialistic. I don’t pay the media to cover me. I don’t pay for my press releases. If my being straightforward is a mistake, that’s a mistake I’ll keep on repeating.

  1. Be assertive. We’re like makahiyas. We shouldn’t be. We shouldn’t be an adapting culture. We’re resilient but we don’t assert ourselves. We’re a happy people. That’s good psychology. We laugh at ourselves. We’re an accommodating culture. We shouldn’t be. We should live by the national anthem, by our oath.

  1. Make fear your friend. During the Mt. Pinatubo eruption, I told myself we’re not going to allow ourselves to die here. I prayed, “If you’re going to take me, take me. Please though, don’t make me look bad as I lead.” You must make fear your friend. 


    Sen. Richard Gordon’s 10 Principles for Success 
    By: Lynda C. Corpuz