Advocating National Industrialization

Fund-raising Lugawan on June 5, 2009, Friday, 4-7PM in Balay Kalinaw, UP Diliman, Quezon City

Crowd estimates figure in most news reports after a big mobilization or event. Every time a sizeable mass action has been conducted, whether in Mendiola, Ayala, or Edsa, conflicting estimates are issued that either downplay or magnify the data. The politics of the count is obvious as strength in numbers is a statement in itself.

Is there some way to effectively quantify the size of the crowd in a mobilization?

In the Science and Technology STS) class during my undergrad in UP, we read about John Desmond Bernal. It immediately made me wonder if he was related to the acclaimed director of the same surname. It turned out that he was more related to my profession as he was a physicist in the 1930s.

During the Ayala rally last week against the House of Representatives’ Con-Ass resolution, the Computer Professionals Union (CPU) organized a cell phone-to-Twitter link for texters to be able to update and participate in the protest event. Twitter is a micro-blogging tool that allows users to post 140-character messages called “tweets” to keep fellow users updated on any topic of conversation under the sun. “Hashtags” are keywords with the “#” symbol affixed that are included in a tweet used to indicate what topic the message is about.

In November 2002, the Supreme Court ordered Meralco to return billions of pesos to its customers stemming from an overcharge of 16.7 centavos that the electricity distribution company collected since February 1994. The initial pronouncement of the distribution company was to quote a much lower figure than the accumulated excess collections. Members of Agham quickly turned to simple arithmetic to compute the amount to be returned and announced that for the period of 1994 to 2002, a total of over P29 billion was to be returned to Meralco consumers.

While the global economic crisis refuses to yield to any of the fixes, bailouts and crisis management of the governments of the top industrial countries, Third World economies remain vulnerable to the hiccups of the international market. This underlies the dire situation of having an economy that is heavily dependent on external markets rather than on a stable domestic one. In the Philippines, we depend mainly on our export products of raw or semi-processed mineral ores and agricultural goods while buying finished consumer items and even food as imports.

Internationally used as a distress signal in radio communications, a “Mayday” signals a life-threatening emergency happening onboard a plane or a sinking ship. Spoken three times in row (“Mayday Mayday Mayday”), it comes from the French phrase for “come help me” (venez m’aider) and requests immediate assistance from those who receive the call.

We are reissuing this statement for the 2010 elections. Bayan Muna is running under the Makabayan coalition who has Rep. Satur Ocampo and Lisa Maza running for Senate.


Scientists group say people has to be first in science and technology

Since AGHAM’s founding in 1999, we have upheld that science and technology development cannot be divorced from the overall people’s development. In our long involvement in political affairs in both the national and international arenas, the partylist group Bayan Muna has proven firm and consistent with their support for the Science and Technology Agenda formulated in 2004 along with the agenda of other sectors of Philippine society.

As we celebrate Earth Day 2010, let us remember that the state of our environment is tied to the political and economic aspects of our society.

This link is crucial to understand why—in spite of our country’s rich natural resources—we have remained underdeveloped, our people deeper in poverty and has become more vulnerable to the backlash of a destroyed environment.

This is a response to Mr. Luz's commentary entitled, "Agham," printed last May 8, 2010, where he asserts that the country's low levels of science and math achievement is the culprit behind our inability to develop and maintain a significant industrial base.