Posted on July 30, 2005 - 10:38pm :: Editorial
Nicanor Perlas
31 July 2005

The streets are quiet. The blaring of bull horns is gone for the moment. The street "parliamentarians" are waiting for the next opportune time to launch another round of mass protests. Only the fasters and prayer "warriors" of PAG-ASA (Peoples Assembly for Genuine Alternatives to Social Apathy) are continually visible at the People Power Monument as they quietly stir the conscience of the nation. Their prayer, fasting, and action for the renewal of democracy have now continued, without break, for 21 days. Meanwhile, Congress is starting to debate the fate of the impeachment complaint filed against Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA), who many think cheated in the 2004 elections for the President of the Philippines.

Amidst all these, the vast majority of Filipinos still have to make up their minds about the future of the Philippines. As indifference and apathy slowly creeps in to replace indecision, one question looms large. Do Filipinos deserve democracy?
Posted on July 30, 2005 - 9:59pm :: ISD-Philippines | Culture | ISD-Societal Change | Movements
By Luige del Puerto
July 27, 2005 | Philippine Daily Inquirer News Service

TF! Editorial Comment: There is a struggle to reinterpret the meaning of democracy as corruption, power politics, special interests and the like have undermined the institutions and ideals of the democratic system in many countries today. As discussed in the article below, the current crisis of governance in the Philippines is provoking this kind of systemic thinking and leading some to advocate for a kilusang kultura or an authentic spiritual-cultural movement to counterbalance the negative projections of political and economic power.
Posted on July 30, 2005 - 9:42pm :: Editorial
By Nicanor Perlas
26 July 2005

The SMS messages on the State of the Nation Address (SONA) by "President" Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) said it all. "The SONA was full of sh..!", blurted one angry message. "She is a sociopath", echoed another. Another SMS message disagreed. "GMA's SONA is full of hope".

Division and Crisis
This brief flurry of messages captured, in essence, the current situation of the Philippines. It graphically portrayed the deep division in perception and attitude that is slowly but surely deconstructing all key institutions of Philippine society. TV images of the Speaker of the House, Jose de Venecia, applauding wildly, while, beside him, sat a taciturn and emotionless Senate President, Franklin Drilon, further reinforced the widening divide in the political leadership of the country.

This widespread division is creating a confused nation. Whom shall the people believe? Where does the truth lie? Unfortunately, the SONA of GMA did not bring clarity to the situation.
Posted on July 30, 2005 - 9:41pm :: ISD-Philippines | Politics
27 July 2005 | TruthForce! News and Features

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) and her media spinners often say, despite results of national surveys, that her problem basically stems from the noisy people from Metro Manila. This claim remains questionable especially with the increasing number of rallies outside Metro Manila asking for GMA to step down. Recently, for example, Filipinos from Bohol released a multi-sectoral statement asking GMA to step down. TruthForce! is publishing their statement in full so that readers can get a direct perception and feel of how Filipinos, outside Metro Manila, view the current situation.
Posted on July 30, 2005 - 6:50pm :: ISD-World Affairs | Politics
Joel S. Hirschhorn
Jul 29, 2005 | Persian Journal, Iran

TF! Editorial Comment: The U.S. likes to see itself as a "champion of democracy." And indeed, the founding concepts of republican representative democracy as envisioned by the U.S. "founding fathers" are noble and grand. Unfortunately, the U.S. experiment with democracy is in serious decline, and hardly worthy of imitation, as discussed in the article below.
Posted on July 30, 2005 - 6:48pm :: Good News | ISD-World Affairs | Economics
Francesca Colombo*
Jul 27, 2005 | Tierramérica

TF! Editorial Comment: Ecotourism--defined by some as responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people--came of age in 2002, when the United Nations celebrated the "International Year of Ecotourism". It is a fast-growing segment of the global tourism industry that caters to those with a social and environmental conscience. In the article below, 'social tourism', an offshoot of the ecotourism movement, seeks to highlight and benefit the local community on the receiving end of these visitors.
Posted on July 30, 2005 - 6:47pm :: Good News | ISD-World Affairs | Integral Sustainable Development (ISD)
Sanjay Suri
Jul 27, 2005 | Inter Press Service (IPS)

TF! Editorial Comment: The Ashden Awards for sustainable energy recognize the 'need to make more use of local sustainable energy to ensure a liveable future'. In the article below, an Indian entrepreneur has won acclaim (and the 2005 Ashden Award) for a low-cost solar lamp that may now go global in bringing affordable light into rural homes in developing countries.
Posted on July 30, 2005 - 6:46pm :: ISD-World Affairs | Economics
Stefania Bianchi
Jul 27, 2005 | Inter Press Service (IPS)

TF! Editorial Comment: The DOHA Development Round was supposed to be an attempt to introduce reforms in the WTO that would focus on development and address the massive inequalities in the global trading system in the belief that world trade has the potential to act as a powerful motor to reduce poverty and enhance economic development. In the article below, civil society organizations in Europe are particularly critical of a creeping corporate trade agenda within the EU and the European Commission which they feel undermines the very nature and purpose of the Doha Round.
Posted on July 30, 2005 - 6:42pm :: ISD-World Affairs | Integral Sustainable Development (ISD)
Sanjay Suri
Jul 29, 2005 | Inter Press Service (IPS)

TF! Editorial Comment: The youth voice is often overlooked and undervalued when promoting inclusivity in grassroots democratic processes. Youth participation in shaping the future both contributes to the diversity of perspectives but also is a way to develop leadership, responsibility and activism among the youth towards meaningful social change. The article below describes the upcoming World Youth Conference wherein 600 young people aged mostly 18-25 from more than 150 countries will assemble under the theme: 'Young people working for a sustainable world community.'
Posted on July 27, 2005 - 7:49am :: ISD-Philippines | Politics
26 July 2005 | TruthForce! News and Features (TNF)

What was meant to be a peaceful vigil for a better nation was transformed into a greater tension between the Church and State. Early yesterday morning, hundreds of police aggressively dispersed over 700 people who were keeping a peaceful vigil in front of the entrance of St. Peter’s cathedral in Commonwealth Avenue. They had come to the church to join the 500 people who were praying inside.