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Survival instincts of a woman

The Publishers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PAPI) will launch a book, “Survival Instincts of a Woman” by one of its members on Monday, May 21, 6:00 p.m. during a modest cocktail affair at Café Ole, owned by former PAPI president Louie Arriola, fronting the Remedios Circle in Ermita, Manila.

Virtually an autobiographical sketch, the book is authored by Maria Jessica Ryerson, a Filipina expatriate nurse-entrepreneur now based in Australia where lives with her Australian husband and their family. She used Sophia Vega as her third person character in her narration.

MJ Ryerson was born in old Davao where she and her siblings enjoyed a happy farm life with their loving parents, but later transferred to Roxas. Her parents died while she was still very young. Her inspiring volume chronicles her adventures and misadventures during her childhood including her nearly drowning in a mudpool where she fell while chasing a duck. She survived with her family when the ferry they took from Davao to Roxas sunk.

The book will no doubt be inspiring particularly for women OFWs who can easily identify themselves with MJ’s circumstances and experiences. Invited to the launch event are known OFW welfare advocates including Vice President Leni Robredo, Senators Grace Poe and Rizza Hontiveros, and Parañaque Rep. Pia Cayetano.

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Salceda’s Public Service bill. The House Economic Affairs Committee has recently approved a substitute measure to Albay Rep. Joey Salceda’s HB 446, “An Act Further Amending Commonwealth Act No. 146, seeking to amend the statutory definitions of Public Service and Public Utility, under the 80-year old Philippine Public Service Act (Commonwealth Act No. 146), allow 100% capitalization of telecoms, transport, power related industries, and break their monopoly control by oligarchs which has caused debilitating woes to Filipino consumers and hindered the country’s growth.

The measure has gained popular support from various sectors, including the Philippine Competition Commission, which favors the market entry of foreign players.

Salceda’s proposed amendments clarify the “ambiguities” in the statutory definitions of Public Service and Public Utility, which are often interchangeably exploited and allowed oligarchs to monopolize public utilities. “Consumers often experience high prices and poor quality of basic services because only a few oligarchs effectively control the market,” he stressed.

Ending monopolists’ control over these industries is long overdue. If for this alone, Filipinos will forever be grateful to Salceda. (Johnny Dayang)