San Jose, California – Top Silicon Valley CEOs and executives have applied for federal and county subsidy programs, according to leaked confidential documents from the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the County of Santa Clara.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have all been pre-qualified and approved for the federal Section 8 housing and county food stamps programs.
Section 8 of the Housing Act of 1937, authorizes the payment of rental housing assistance to private landlords on behalf of approximately 3.1 million low-income households. It operates through several programs, the largest of which, the Housing Choice Voucher program, pays a large portion of the rents and utilities of about 2.1 million households. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development manages the Section 8 programs. Eligibility for the housing subsidy is determined based on annual gross income, elderly, disabled or family status.
The food stamp program is administered by counties and is basically a food subsidy for individuals and families that meet certain criteria, not the least of which is income level.
By virtue of their $1 a year salaries, Zuckerberg, Page and Brin have qualified for the housing and food subsidies. Both HUD and the County of Santa Clara have sent notices to the three executives regarding their pre-qualification, according to the leaked documents.
Meanwhile, two other Silicon Valley CEOs, John Donahue II of eBay and Marissa Ann Mayer of Yahoo! are reportedly considering a pay cut to $1 a year so that they can be in the prestigious company of tech executives availing of government subsidy programs.
Manila, Philippines – Freedom of Information, Death Penalty, Anti-Political Dynasty, Reproductive Health — these are issues too overwhelming for members of the Senate and House of Representatives in the Republic of the Philippines. Theses issues are so controversial that passage of corresponding bills have become almost impossible. And the Philippine Congress is worried about its emerging reputation as a “Do-Nothing Congress.”
So, in their respective current sessions, both houses are busy drafting and hearing numerous bills that would easily gain bi-partisan support, among them:
House Bill 3926 to make adobo national dish of the Philippines, authored by Representative Rene Relampagos of the province of Bohol.
Senate Bill 1863 seeking to impose fines on establishments that refuse to serve half-cup rice orders, authored by Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.
House Bill 3979 to require bottled water to be included in the menu of restaurants and fast food chains, authored by Representative Lorna Velasco (Partylist, AMA).
Marcos’ bill aims to prevent unnecessary waste in the country’s main staple and to ensure enough rice supply even in times of calamity. Velasco’s bill seeks to replace sodas and sweet drinks which are responsible for obesity, diabetes and other health issues faced by Filipinos.
In addition to these measures, the bi-partisan committee on ways and means has proposed two resolutions pertaining to the Congress itself:
Resolution to change the official name of the Congress of the Philippines to “Restaurant Congress of the Philippines” to better reflect its legislative priorities.
Resolution to rename bills to “menu.” So, henceforth, the above bills will be known as House Menu 3926 and 3979, and Senate Menu 1863.
Manila, Philippines – Agness Walewinder and her male friend are tourists who travel the world on a food budget of $25 a day. The Polish pair maintains an Internet blog in which they write about their experiences in the countries they have visited.
On March 17, Agness wrote about their trip in the Philippines and titled her piece, “I Would Rather Go Hungry Than Eat Filipino Food Again.” She has since then added “Street” to the title after receiving angry emails from Filipinos.
Agness’ piece deplored the kind of Filipino street food they were served while traveling the country. She said that their pre-travel research got them all excited about Filipino cuisine like lechon, adobo, kare-kare and even balut. They got none of those, perhaps because they were looking in the wrong places. Agness posted photos of the kinds of food they were served, many of which not even Filipinos would recognize.
Many Filipinos found the piece highly offensive and flodded the pair’s website, etramping.com with irate comments. Some even invited the two back to the Philippines and offered to cook for them.
A group of Pinoys (slang for Filipino) went even further by putting together a balikbayan box to be shipped to the pair’s home in Poland. The box was stuffed with a whole lechon (roasted pig), a huge tray of kare-kare (meat and vegetables in peanut sauce), a pot of freshly cooked chicken adobo (simmered in a mixture of soy sauce and vinegar) and a dozen balut (just Google it!). Since there was a little more room in the balikbayan box, the group even threw in a casserole of pinakbet (popular Ilocano dish of meat, seafood and vegetables cooked with shrimp paste).
Shipping of the box to Poland will take approximately 30-45 days.
“By the time the cooked food arrives, then Agness will truly experience street food ” the group said.