Archive for September 16, 2010

NEWS: Bura-bura issue heats up

Posted in Uncategorized on September 16, 2010 by cha4t

Aug 12-18, 2010

VALLEY & CITY CHRONICLE

BURA-BURA ISSUE HEATS UP

Tagum City Mayor Rey “Chiong Oy” Uy has dared the City Council to call him to appear in their next session to be able to reply to the issue on bura-bura mufflers so that he could avail also of the same forum where opposing issues have been raised by at least two councilors against the confiscation of bura-bura.

In an exclusive interview with the City & Valley Chronicle early morning last Wednesday, a visibly enraged mayor said: “nganong i ELA (Executive-Legislative Agenda meeting) pa man na? Tawagon pod unta ko nila sa session para public pod, para makadungog pod ang mga tawo… para kung kinsa ang nakadungog sa ila makadungog pod sa ako…(why should they put that in ELA meeting? They should also call me to appear in their session to make it also public.. so that the people who have heard them can also hear me)”.

He added: “Tan-awon ta kung kinsay makasab-an (Let us see who would be scolded)”.

He did not mince words to the questioning Councilor Tristan Royce Aala saying that “he should lead by example” charging that Aala has a brother, in fact a barangay kagawad who has a motorcycle using a bura-bura muffler.

“Mao nay imong sawayon ug una kay public official man ka (You should question him first since you’re a public official),” Mayor Uy said referring to Aala.

The mayor also said that Councilor “Boyet” Gementiza has also a nephew apprehended for driving a single motorcycle with bura-bura muffler.

The mayor defended the confiscation of the noisy mufflers of single motorcycles even without a specific law being enforced at present to cover the bura-bura mufflers, saying a simple act too understandable against the public welfare would embolden any public official to stop it.

“Klaro kaayo nga saba, daghan kaayo ang nagreklamo anang bura-bura, mag-unsa man ko, magpakabuta-bungol? (The bura-bura is so noisy, and many have been complaining, then what should I do? Play to be mute and deaf?,” the mayor added.

He said that he first warned motorcycle drivers and operators using bura-bura mufflers to replace their mufflers but they ran around with police checkpoints and challenged authorities.

Some were even driving in groups by 20 to 30 drivers racing in the city’s highways during wee hours of the night with their noisy mufflers disturbing the city fast asleep.

The mayor said that the use of bura-bura is akin to a man defecating in public place and in full view of the public whereby there is no specific law against the act but a general law against public welfare.

He added that the police is apprehending bura-bura users in the same way that the defecating man could also be apprehended.

Last Monday session during the question hour the city council had Land Transportation Office provincial officer Marietta Piccio and Dept. of Trade and Industry officer Arnulfo Ganaan as among those resource persons invited to shed light on bura-bura issue.

Piccio that that while the noisy bura-bura muffler could be covered by an LTO memorandum circular prohibiting modification of a motorcycle without prior LTO approval, but she said since September 2008 the LTO already suspended its implementation.

“At present, we are on moratorium for this memorandum order,” she said.

Piccio suggested instead to the city council to legislate an anti-nuisance ordinance.

But while the mufflers are openly being sold by stores in the market, DTI representative Ganaan was also largely without knowledge on whether the bura-bura mufflers are allowed to be marketed to the public.

He said though that at present there is “no mandatory standard yet for the mufflers” and “they do not bear Philippine National Standard (PNS) seal”.

Police Inspector Edgardo Bajan, who also guested, expressed that the city police is in quandary whether to apprehend motorcycle drivers using bura-bura muffers saying “there is no law (covering it)”.

The query on the apprehensions made by the Tagum City Traffic Management Unit was not answered since the traffic division head Police Inspector Marcos Villanueva Jr did not attend the session’s question hour. He was earlier invited by the city council.

During the plenary, Gementiza asked on the motive of the increased use of the mufflers, while during the ending part Aala asked, “where we are heading to?”, given the vagueness on the legality and standards pertaining to bura-bura mufflers.

Reeling from unresolved matters on bura-bura issue, Councilor Alfredo Pagdilao proposed to call the mayor himself to have his presence in their next session, but presiding Vice Mayor Allan Rellon immediately shot down the proposal saying that it can be done in their Executive-Legislative Agenda (ELA) meeting.

As Rellon let go off their resource persons, he said: “This is a dilemma we are facing.” (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

OPINION

The bura-bura issue

It is quite obvious that the bura-bura muffler is a so loud noise-producing part of the single motorcycle. Now why indirectly begrudge Tagum City Mayor Rey Uy that he through the police is confiscating bura-bura mufflers when it is clear that drivers and operators using these have disturbed the city residents and motorists alike, contribute more noise pollution to the noisy daytime, and during nighttime, awaken residents from their sound, deep slumber. We mean here the two independent city councilors Geterito Gementiza and Royce Tristan Aala and the bura-bura owners. We deem that confiscation by authorities is the key to stump out the bura-bura problem, otherwise noise anarchy would reign in other places where the confiscated bura-bura mufflers- if these are returned after confiscation- would most possibly be sold to other motorcycle owners plying outside the city. Mayors of other neighboring and surrounding municipalities would in fact be thankful for Mayor Uy for playing the role as their policeman that they would also have to play when the bura-bura mufflers become their shared problem.

Land Transportation Office-Davao del Norte provincial director Marietta Piccio has said per advice of the legal department in LTO regional office that at present there is moratorium in the implementation of a memorandum circular against unauthorized modification of any part of motorcycle, the reason why LTO personnel are not apprehending violators. So at present we have no law specific being enforced to make bura-bura muffler illegal. While it is being marketed nationwide, the Dept. of Trade and Industry is also scratching its head on how it could outlaw the bura-bura muffler when it has no standard for it. It has no Philippine National Standards’ stamp on it. But it is legally marketed anyway, which explains the continued selling of the noisy motorcycle part. It is said that the bura-bura muffler was conceived only for the racing motorcycles, and it has become a fad, craze of motorcycle-owning youths to zoom their way roared by bura-bura mufflers like they have the feeling of being powerful in our streets. The lust of being watched in the street gallery and to their distorted right to brag for the loud noise it sends to our airwaves might have captivated the speed-crazy motocycle-owning youths that they would not respect the rights of others to silence and to be free from irritating sound disturbance.

While it might be sound that the highway police apprehensions and perhaps the flattening of the seized bura-bura mufflers by city-owned road rollers at the order of Mayor Uy have encroached into one’s right to private ownership- which is why Gementiza and Aala threw their opposition to the “process” and “system” of apprehension and confiscation of the noisy bura-bura mufflers- but the two councilors should better be apprised that the destruction of the noisy mufflers is a stern warning to all concerned that when the greater interests of the majority are trampled upon by the private rights of a few, and when authorities swiftly to nip the problem in the bud, then there is every reason that the stumping out is carried out the name of the greater good of the public.

Arguments without an underpinning on the greater public good would seem to be theoretical defecation though these lie rightful in democratic and free expression.

BLOGISTA

By Cha Monforte

Dr. Mulong, DRH’s master fund raiser

There is one master fund raiser that has made the Davao Regional Hospital what it is now. From a raw, decrepit, poor “hospital of last resort”, past a little two decades after, the DRH has become a “hospital of results”. Quite certainly, DRH’s growth is associated with the good name of Dr. Romulo “Mulong” Busuego. He has been DRH’s chief of hospital for 21 years, and from what I heard from him in many gatherings, DRH has grown and developed through the years primarily because of government funds that came in to DRH from various sources- DOH budget, congressional funds aka pork barrel from various congressmen, provincial budgets from Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley, Philhealth funds from municipalities, etc. We know well how hard it is to wangle government funds given the competition. I mean, the competing projects, accounts, needs and services that government officials -both the elected and appointed- have to respond and address. These force them to distribute governmental resources and budgets across needy sectors, territories and in consideration also to their priorities, thrusts, politics and electoral promises, and for the corrupt, in aid of their personal pockets. (Yup, we know about the easy and neat cuts in the purchase of vehicles and heavy equipment where usually the COA auditors choose to close their eyes and cover their ears).

Lobbying for governmental resources is an art, and Dr. Molong seems to have perfected his art. We’ve just seen transparent acts on how the DRH’s master fund raiser wage his fund-lobbying and fund-raising art to corner influential public officials, the final decision makers and signatories of government checks. That was last Wednesday’s inauguration of the newly completed neurological surgery and OG-gyne building and the groundbreaking ceremony for the building of the DRH’s Cancer Center for Mindanao. The program was so complete, and the overwhelming presence, body movements and words of Dr. Busuego were so electrifying and captivating (I should say as distant observer). Dr. Mulong has only P5 million in starting up his long-dreamed of Cancer Center for Mindanao, initially for the construction of posts and foundations, but he hit already the ground bringing in no less than DOH Secretary Enrique Ona and the influential incumbent politicians- Tagum City Mayor Rey Uy and his older brother Compostela Valley Gov. Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy, Davao del Norte Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario (he came late though), and DOH usecs from Manila whom I assume would do the paperworks for their secretary. “Let us see Mulong,”quipped Sec. Ona in huddle with Dr. Mulong, whom I observed to have kept on talking and explaining to the secretary his upcoming ambitious cancer center project since while they were walking down DRH’s alleys toward the venue of the groundbreaking. (We just missed your private chats inside the COH lounge). Dr. Busuego’s powerpoint presentation detailing DRH history, facilities, services, hospital category shifts, financial reports and the like was superb, with him peepering his presentation with jokes and further pledging advances to get the much needed budgets from the officials present.

We know that Secretary Ona, when he stepped out from DRH compound, has all the comprehensive grasp on what’s going on in and what’s needed to be done for DRH under Dr. Mulong’s leadership. We learned that there’s that pending P100 million already allocated under the General Appropriations Act (GAA) in Congress specifically for Molong’s new pet project- the Cancer Center for Mindanao, and expectedly, the master fund raiser would have already the secretary lobbying Congress for its release. Before the just-inaugurated neuro-surgery and OB-gyne building could warm up, Dr. Mulong is already lobbying well and good a new project that would benefit the people in Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley and neighboring provinces.

It matters most when lobbying government executives prepare best and master their data and lobby projects with taste, jokes and antics with sense of higher and nobler purpose for the people, and these we see in the DRH’s master fund raiser Dr. Mulong Busuego.

BLOGS AND BITS: But we heard from the Secretary Ona that he’s “borrowing” Dr. Molong in DOH. He didn’t say the terms of “borrowing” Dr. Mulong. Seems to be not a usec position, seems it is a special task for Dr. Mulong to be like a health czar for Mindanao. Meantime, we’ll wait as Dr. Mulong hasn’t yet decided on the offer.

It seems that the “first victim” of Dr. Busuego in his advocacy for the Cancer Center for Mindanao is City Mayor Rey “Chiong Oy” Uy. In the mayor’s speech last Wednesday, he gamely admitted that he was asked by Dr. Mulong to whisper President Erap about the project. He did what Mulong asked. Later, the mayor went further in doing errands for Mulong’s sake when he won a court battle with the USEP over an Apokon land in favor to the city government, and hitherto Mayor Cee O caused for the donation of 2-hectare land to DRH.

There’s this hoopla over the election tomorrow of the provincial officers of the Philippine Councilors League- Davao del Norte chapter. But why not a hoopla over the reported assumption of City Councilor Atty. Allan Zulueta as the PCL national president? A source said the councilor was then the PCL national vice prexy, but since his prexy was elected to a new office last polls, so Zulueta has to move up. Maybe, besides his being a national official of the Boy Scouting movement in the country, his being an acting PCL national prexy would give a new top reason for his official travels outside the region. We know Zulueta is a well-travelled city councilor then- and maybe now and in the days ahead. Just echoing some irritating people’s speculations.

It’s a news when Davao del Norte Vice Gov. Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio Jr was elected as the national vice executive president of the national vice govs league. We wonder why the Capitol executive officials did not treat it as a news when Gov. Del Rosario was elected as the vice president of the national govs league. They even hide it- with the absence of streamers and tarpaulins.

There’s a new battalion commander of the 72nd IB based in Tuboran, Mawab. He’s Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza, erstwhile 39th IB commander based in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur. The 72nd IB covers 7 provinces, 7 cities and 2 regions (XI and XII). Lt. Col. Paniza is not a PMAer, but an ROTC officer who went into active duty in 1988. From his Tuboran HQ, under him are some 650 army personnel and about 2,500 CAFGUs. He’s seemingly media-friendly, per our interview last Wednesday at DavNor Capitol, and he wants the armymen to observe human rights of the people at

all times while fighting against the enemies of the State.

He said that he is implementing a “Kamay, Kaway, Ngiti, Bati” program for the tropa to be friendly with the people and shake off that bad image of the armymen of being strict and abusive. He said that the tropa could not defeat the communists alone without people’s support. Tuboran HQ is always known to be a producer of Generals. Batallion commanders who made tour of duty there later became generals. With this HR stance of Lt. Col. Paniza, we know he could soon have that rank under an HR-conscious P-Noy administration.

“AGR SOUNDED MORE

THAN NORMAL,

PARANG WALANG SAKIT”

- GOV. RDR

RGR is going around the barangays

Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario bared that at the rate his son Congressman Anthony Rafael del Rosario (District 1) is taking the chemotherapy treatments by the Stanford Cancer Center in San Francisco, California “he sounded to be more than normal… and he might complete the treatment earlier, ahead the schedule.”

“He’s now on his second (chemotherapy treatment). He’s normal, parang walang sakit (he seems to have no cancer disease),” added the governor, relaying the recent telephone conversation he had with his son to the media during last Wednesday’s special edition of Kapihan sa Kapitolyo at the Media Center in Capitol compound, Mankilam, Tagum City.

He said that the Stanford doctors had required the congressman to go through 3 to 4 chemotherapy treatments in six-month period.

After the recent chemotherapy treatment, Gov. Del Rosario added, the doctors found that Cong. Anthony “might be taking shorter treatment” after observing in scans “disappearing” irregularities in his lymph nodes.

“If it disappears, then they would stop (the further treatment),” he said at one point while explaining the treatment process through which the congressman would have to undergo based on schedule from June to December this year.

He said that every chemotherapy treatment to the congressman requires him to be in the hospital for 1 to 2 days, while the chemotherapy treatment would be made on 21-day cycle.

He added that whenever Cong. Athony is out of the hospital “paikot-ikot lang siya sa San Francisco (he’s just roaming around the city)”.

The governor is expected to arrive last weekend in California to visit his son.

He told mediamen that last June Cong. AGR was accompanied by his wife Madam Inday, and this time he was would fly to California “to assist him and look on his condition”.

On the otherhand, the governor also bared that his other son Raffy G. del Rosario (RGR) in lieu of the congressman has already talked with all the mayors in the district and “is talking now with the barangay captains” as he is presently going around in the barangays.

Before Anthony left the country last June, the governor added, the congresman had talked with President Noynoy Aquino III and Speaker Sonny Belmonte, and particularly the Speaker had “assured him to support the projects that he intends to make in his congressional district.”

The governor said though that even if Cong. AGR is away he is directly communicating with Belmonte and the “rest of the bigwigs in Congress” pertaining to House matters.

The congressman before he went to the US had also completed his congressional staff under his younger brother and his chief of staff RGR and they are now attending to the matters pertaining to the House legislative mill, Gov. Del Rosario also said.

The congressman’s current treatment by Stanford Cancer Center, a known cancer specialty hospital in the US, is his second chemotherapy treatment series after he had it last year in St. Luke Hospital in Manila.

The congressman, then the provincial sports coordinator following his stint as vice governor, suddenly broke a news on his health that he had the rare disease already in stage 3 in January 2009 during the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council meeting.

From January to June of that year he underwent chemotherapy treatment in Manila.

By August 2009 in a press conference he bared that he was already healed of his cancer disease, along with the declaration that he would be running for congressman in District 1.

Last June 17 the congressman, after his successful congressional bid, in Kapihan sa Kapitolyo press conference bared there was a relapse of the disease and that he had to go to the US for new treatment upon advice of his cancer expert Singaporean doctor following scan findings of recurred symptoms in his earlier medical examination.

The National Cancer Institute of the United States in its website states that Hodgkin Lymphoma cancer in Stage 3 development would have the stricken person these symptoms/conditions: “The lymphoma cells are in lymph nodes above and below the diaphragm. Lymphoma also may be found in one part of a tissue or an organ (such as the liver, lung, or bone) near these lymph node groups. It may also be found in the spleen.” The treatment requires chemotherapy or radiation therapy or both, good nutrition, and a lot of rest.

Hodgkin Lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system and its symptoms include the painless enlargement of lymph nodes, spleen, or other immune tissue. Its symptoms include fever, weight loss, fatigue, or night sweats.

The website also tells of sure side effects of the treatment that include a weakened immune system “because chemotherapy and radiation therapy often damage healthy cells and tissues and the common side effects of cancer treatment are fatigue, pain, nausea, vomiting, decreased blood cell counts, hair loss, and mouth sores.”(Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

GOOD WEEK

‘SYANO

It pours

The rainy season is still in effect amidst us. Oftentimes in the afternoon and evening the rain pours. Just good for our farms and for Daneco. We don’t have brownouts now because of the rains. We thought brownouts would be the order of the day until the coming Christmas time or beyond it. Next month is already the start of the ber months. And town fiestas and araws in Davao del Norte and Comval are being held before we catch the spirit of Xmas. With the rains, the dengue vector comes knocking off people. Or this is already in epidemic scale, though we don’t yet have to many reports of dengue-ill persons. We hope and pray the dengue would pass ASAP. It’s when it rains it pours when a dengue case reported and mass hysteria come in. But can we be better off when health authorities are silent of it?- Al Rosero

THE NORTHERN SPY

Fe Claire TM Honor

Modus

There’s this modus operandi among those in GSO offices. Well, the General Services Office in every local government unit is in charge of the sending of bidding documents to government suppliers and contractors. We knew one who didn’t give the bidding docs to a supplier who has the least price among the suppliers of food- I mean the food caterers. Food supply is one that this GSO man often targets. Not only that he gets commission from his favored food caterer after the check is encashed, or if he doesn’t make CA (cash advance from the caterer), he also gets secretly a share of the foods- meals and snacks- with free delivery to his home. My gosh, his small children already know about his modus that they cheer when their dadda informs them that this office or department so-and-so would be having an activity that needs to be served with food by whom? By one of his son’s ninangs.

Aug 4-11, 2010

VALLEY & CITY CHRONICLE

“MANY DANECO BAD DEBTORS ARE ARMED, BULLYING CHARACTERS”

- DARJAN

By Cha Monforte

Davao del Electric Cooperative (Daneco) board treasurer Ananias Darjan Jr bared in an interview with the Valley & City Chronicle that many member-consumers who are in the list of those bad debtors in the P36-million written off accounts are known to be “armed” bullying characters whose electrical connection could not easily be cut off by Daneco disconnection personnel out of fear.

Darjan however did not divulge who these armed, bullying bad debtors are in Daneco’s list although he said that a few of them and other infuential ones had already settled their bad and delinquent power bill accounts with Daneco like Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy who had already paid his big delinquent power bill for his resort in Samal Island.

Darjan supported the business stance of his board president Dean Briz who earlier vowed to revive collection efforts to those involved in the P36-million written off accounts of presumably big and influential commercial and industrial power users.

Darjan said though that a few bad debtors have paid through diplomatic and convincing efforts.

The previous board of directors (BOD) succeeded by the the present BOD presided by Briz had written off the P36 million bad debts in 2008 with Briz only opposing it. Darjan was not yet a BOD member at that time.

Briz and Darjan are observed to be the leading lights in the perceived reformist BOD majority that Daneco now has.

In the same interview, Darjan said when asked on their collection efforts to the P36 million written off accounts: “Girahonon pa sa korte. Daghan ang di mobayad kay mga isog, mga armado. Di ma-billingan, di makolekta kay isog. Kung putlan masuko. May mga armas, daghan ni sa ato. (We still have to make a court battle. Many of them are bullying and are armed. They go furious when they are disconnected of electricity. We can’t bill nor collect from them. Many of them have arms).

He said that with this, at one time Tagum Mayor Rey “Chiong Oy” Uy dared to ask, “kinsa man diay na sila? (Who are they?) obviously referring to the mayor’s display of concern to the problem of debts of Daneco’s bad power debtor-consumers.

While not divulging names, Darjan said that most of the bad debtors are businessmen.

He added that in the coming months more would be sued by Daneco “for us to collect”.

“We have to resort to legal means for us to assert and collect the P367 million receivables due to Daneco,” he said even as he asked for support from Daneco member-consumers to their initiative. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

OPINION

Maybe a Cee O is needed

It is a surprising revelation of the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (Daneco) board treasurer Ananias Darjan Jr when he bared that bad debtor members involved in the P36-million written off account had not paid their power bills because they are armed, bullying and resisting the disconnection efforts of Daneco. Since their bad debts were written off by the previous board of directors way back in 2008, the assumption is that these chunk of armed and bullying members had made their resistance prior to that year. But Darjan’s latest wailing over the recalcitrance and the hinted heyday of these types of members for sure made us understand that their physical resistance and most probably verbal assault and psychological warfare to Daneco’s lowly and plain disconnection personnel are continuing these days.

Bad debtors are still having Daneco’s power lighting up and energizing their businesses and homes despite of their delinquency and bad indebtedness. In the earlier outburst of Daneco board president Dean Briz, this affair is quite unfair to the poor power consumer members of Daneco whose electricity is immediately cut off the moment they could not pay their power bills for straight two months. The collection of the P36-million written account is necessary as this could already suffice for a month of Daneco’s payable to the high ancillary services charges billed by the National Power Grid Corporation of the Philippines purportedly in behalf of the Aboitiz-owned Therma Marine Inc., which owns the Power Barge 118 based in Maco coast (which then supplies back-up, reserved power to Daneco whenever the base load from Agus complex is short of power supply).

Daneco at present is heavily saddled in this collection problem of bad debts and by the challenge of shoring down the high payment delinquency across Daneco’s membership as well as on meeting head on its monthly power bills and value added taxes from the power suppliers even as it has always been racing and and even late in paying these. This has been Daneco since in the recent years- owing to its months of arrearages, the unpaid wheeling rates fees relating Samal Island’s power supply, and the host of inherited losses, obligations and payables including the interests and penalties due to its frequent availment of the standby loans and loan restructurings from various financial institutions so it could continue paying its power suppliers to always get the needed light for its over 120,000 consumers. Verily, debts and obligations of Daneco have ballooned and are piling up month by month that always in the end its board and management officials are tempted to resort to the easier, ultimate solution- pass it on to the member-consumers!

Comes now the continued bleeding of Daneco’s coffers through this perceived small hole caused by the bad debtors. Like the blind, influential and mighty bad debtors do not seem to care that they belong to one family- that the lowly power disconnecting Daneco personnel are also their brethren in the electric cooperative that they all and collectively own.

But maybe Daneco family needs a strong elder to subdue and discipline recalcitrant, toughie and spoiled brats in the family, otherwise the house that they are now in – which has been creaking at its roofs owing to decay and obsolence of its power infrastructure after surviving for forty years- though it stands still to be on solid grounds for its legal, congressional basis- heaven forbid if things would go the same, haywire and awry, Daneco’s proverbial roof would soon collapse and fall down covering its solid grounds, and be so inutile in defending the economic interest and affordability of its members. Maybe a tough, strong-willed Cee O is needed if only to prevent this from happening. – Cha Monforte

BLOGISTA

By Cha Monforte

Our district engineers (DEs)

The Davao del Norte district engineering office of the Department of Public Works and Highways at Canocotan, Tagum City is on a wait-and-see mode at this writing. This is to say that the DPWH top guns there are waiting whether there would really be a nationwide reshuffling of district engineers (DEs), which if this would happen would result to the moving out of long staying DEs in our provinces. We know that Comval and DavNor district offices have their long staying DEs. I would not belabor why. I’m only stating a fact. The word is: since the DPWH central office is also besieged after P-Noy’s sound policy of terminating the midnight and political appointees of ex-President GMA was let loose to all government offices, and of retaining only the CESOs (Career Executive Service Officers) – or those who had passed the very difficult CESO board exams- virtually all DPWH districts down the line and across the country would be wiped out of DEs who are mostly non-CESOs. The bitter or better scenario- depending on your dealing with the DPWH district offices- would be our DEs would soon be packing up for their early retirement. Whew, that’s bad or good!

But P-Noy should proceed in replacing all midnight and political appointees, many of whom now are arrogantly making kapit-tuko or are cooling on inside their comfortable and centrally airconditioned homes while taking a wait-and-see position as their offices and their positions are still on a limbo at present. We’ve known so much of non-CESO DEs and even regional directors in other agencies getting their high and juicy positions out from political backing and connection during GMA time. One of whom is a resident of Tagum City, and I refuse to name him/her. They came from the backdoor or parachuted themselves down to their present swivel chairs even if the rights and industry of career personnel have been trampled upon by their sudden assumption of office.

P-Noy first gave them the July 31 deadline to pack up but many of them cling, so P-Noy gave a last deadline- October 31. But looks like our politically appointed DEs and regional directors would bide time even beyond that ultimatum date inasmuch that the first targets are those politicallly appointed ones holding national positions- the secs, usecs, asecs, commissioners, national bureau directors, managers and the like. These are the levels in governmental departments, national commissions, bureaus, authorities and offices that are much politicized by the previous administration. We’ll see the repercussions of this in the regional and district levels once P-Noy’s appointees sit on the basis of qualifications and merits.

But for our overstaying and political appointee DEs in our provinces, you have been serving DPWH for quite so long and you have been much blessed of it. For all you know, there’s really true life after retirement- but with your usual perks no more.

BLOGS AND BITS: We have one CESO passer in DepEd Comval division office- current assistant schools division superintendent (ASDS) Antonio “Tony D” Delos Reyes. By his CESO, qualifications and his being the ASDS now, he’s so qualified to become a schools division superintendent (SDS). He’s known to be a fine, eloquent and good soldier.

Sometimes, I would think that mediamen are just so good to be true elected officials. They would always come back to their senses of being mediamen when they sense something fishy in their offices. It seems Mankilam (Tagum City) barangay kagawad Rogelio “Tata” Butalid was on his mediaman’s self when he opposed the planned study tour of his barangay captain and several kagawads within the rest of this year to China at a cost of P1 million. Only last year that the barangay spent about P300,000 for the study tour of barangay functionaries in Bohol. As a result of Tata’s opposition, the tour was aborted. Good for the Mankilam barangay people.

Kapalong Mayor Edgardo Timbol and Vice Mayor Romy Estrada would soon be having their new official cars. Municipal administrator Gapa Balinggao justified that his mayor has been using his Montero brand 2005 for six years already, and “it’s no longer practical to use”. He meant for the car’s inefficiency due to its wear and tear through the years. He said that some mayors in the province had already gone through buying their first and second official service vehicles within the same six-year period while Mayor Timbol relied on only one. The vice mayor has since then been using his privately owned Demax blue vehicle. Before the last elections, Mayor Timbol bought a fleet of heavy equipment at the cost of P35 million, and multicab vehicles for the barangays at a total cost of P1.6 million. Mayor Timbol is just re-fleeting, guys.

Asuncion Mayor Dr. Joseph Nilo Parrenas,MD is taking pride that his town is almost now free of malaria, schisotomiasis and pilariasis diseases. So far, he has not heard also of any dengue case in his town. He said that in the past 40 percent of the town’s highland barangays were malarious areas. Town officials in the past had their campaign of spraying the malarious areas with the toxic, non-biodegradable DDT. They had also gone providing 4,000 treated mosquito nets to the affected village folks. Also in the past, about 300 persons were hit by the “sisto” every week. The physician mayor said that town officials – past and present- have all been fighting mass-threatening diseases through massive treatment and by teaching townfolks on environmental sanitation and hygiene. Maybe the dengue vector is afraid to go to Asuncion because the mayor is a doctor.

If the Kapalong Vice Mayor Estrada uses his own car, and if his car uses the fuel owned by the municipal government for him to attend public functions, and the same time he is not questioned of it by the COA, then Maco Vice Atty. Mayor Sapilan could do the same. Well, the two vice mayors are on the same boat at this writing- until the new car of VM Estrada is delivered in the munisipyo.

Who peddled that buzz in the grapevine that Panabo City Councilor Janrey Gavina is preparing something to be distributed to at least the majority of city and town councilors close before the Aug. 13 PCL election at the Lakan’s Place? I won’t buy that ala Boy Abunda buzz. But it’s really uncommon to see two Gavinas around in the SP, while we have long known the Janrey is seeing eye-to-eye with his uncle Vice Mayor James Gamao presiding the session in the Panabo City Council. Can we call this political dualism?(e-mail: chamonforte@yahoo.com)

Tagum City Hall pursues grand environment blueprint in reforesting Hijo riverside strip for eco-tourism

By Cha Monforte

Happy are the Tagumenyos now for seeing a fog starting to form and hover up in the city’s streets by 8:00 in the evening and it thickens by dawn until it disappears past the early morning, so observes City Councilor Francisco Remitar, environment committee chairman in the City Council.

“We in the City Council have observed this. Unlike before, smoke from vehicles was so thick in the public market, now we can’t almost see the smoke. Thanks to Mayor (Rey) Uy’s strict enforcement of the Clean Air Act’s policy of changing two-stroke to four-stroke engines of motor vehicles,” adds the councilor.

“The palms are also growing, and besides the contribution of the palms in the making of our city as environment friendly, they also so give unique beauty to the city,” Remitar says.

But what the second-termer councilor progressively illustrated to form to be an awesome environmental development blueprint that the City Hall has been realizing through the recent years under the leadership of Mayor Uy is the grand Hijo River eco-tourism-bound reforestation project that taps the accretion areas in a long length of two riverside strips that stretch from the mountainous Pandapan down to Apokon and Hijo where the riverwaters drain to the city’s coast.

The accretion areas in both sides of the Hijo river are now continuously and progressively being cleared and planted with various trees by the city government in partnership with various stakeholders from the private and other sectors after the City Hall staked claims over accretion areas as non-disposible and State-owned from private claimants. occupants and squatters.

From the Hijo riverbank , in both sides of the river, strips measuring a minimum of 20 meters to a maximum of 40 meters are drawn and staked over as accretion areas, and Remitar added, “with it, we can generate a total of 150 hectares of reforestation areas from Pandapan to Apokon areas.”

Mayor Uy wants it reforested by blocks, each of which is planted with one or a distinct assortment of compatible hardwood trees so that in the years to come the city would have tourists viewing types of trees growing in clusters and giving coolness to the city.

Of the total hectares claimed, Remitar estimated that so far the city-owned bulldozers have already cleared about 70 hectares and some 20 hectares were already planted with narra, acacia mangium trees and some ten other species of trees by the city hall and various private companies and civic groups joining in what is seen as a five-year make-adopt-a-forest program.

Titled properties in the river sideways though are spared from city hall’s clearing and claim staking operations, while marginalized occupants on the way have been encouraged to plant vegetables in spaces already planted with trees.

The mayor’s infrastructural plan to the project is to build a riverside road linked to the city’s road network.

2000 SPECIES

Remitar also said that by now his committee, per the mayor’s order, is still continuing to find and get seedlings of 2,000 species of hardwood trees for the eco-tourism reforestation strips.

At the recent, Remitar’s committee has already identified new species from the 1,000-hectare nursery of Central Mindanao University in Musuan, Bukidnon while they have yet to go to Bislig, Surigao del Sur and Cateel, Davao Oriental to find some more species.

Species identifed from Bukidnon include tindalo, palosato, Thailand acacia, agoho, African talisay, buntis, balikbikan, white lawaan, Palawan cherry, bahay, hagakhak, African tulip, dao, mahogany and rain tree.

They have already forged agreement with the University of Southeastern Mindanao in Apokon, Tagum City for a collaborated half-hectare area to be used as the nursery for the grand reforestation project.

REFORESTATION DRIVE

The progressively urbanizing Tagum City visibly lacks forest areas that it is continuing to reforest whatever it has.

Trees planted in a ten-hectare area in Barangay New Balanban are already taller under the caretakership of the Tagum City Water District which first advocated for the reforestation of Hijo riversides. The TCWD purposely employs two workers there just to guard and take care the trees to keep them growing.

About seven hectares in Barangay San Agustin are already planted with trees by the city hall.

For the Hijo riverside project, besides the TCWD, other groups that have endeavored and pledged to grow their respective forest pockets within the strips included the Rotary Club, LYR company and Smart Communications, while students and communities of the University of Mindanao-Tagum College and St. Mary’s College have earlier participated in tree planting activities launched by the city hall in collaboration with the environment department.

“The forest gives us shade and coolness to the city. It’s for the next generation to come. Di pa ulahi ang tanan (It’s not yet late for us to plant trees),” Remitar said.

The grand Hijo riverside reforestation project is indeed the city’s own contribution in the worldwide fight against global warming and climate climate.(Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

Larry Caminero leads in PCL prexy draft

Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario and at least seven mayors including the influential Tagum City Mayor Rey “Chiong Oy” Uy are now supporting the reelection bid of Boardmember Helario “Larry” Caminero for the scheduled August 13 election

of provincial officers of the Phillipine Councilors League (PCL)-Davao del Norte Chapter.

This information was bared by Asuncion Mayor Joseph Nilo Parrenas in an interview with the Valley & City Chronicle last Wednesday at his office in Asuncion town.

He said this was the consensus of the mayors who were present on their Monday’s meeting with the governor at the Tahanan ng Kapitolyo at Mankilam.

Asked if Mayor Uy was included of those endorsing Caminero, who is the concurrent PCL provincial president and reelected Kapalong councilor, Mayor Parrenas said : “Yes”.

He added: “Maayo man gud ang pagdala ni Larry sa PCL sa first term niya, di na kinahanglan bag-ohon pa.”

He said that this was the impression he got from the mayors in supporting Caminero.

This, besides that if Panabo City No. 1 councilor Janrey Gavina would win there would already be two Gavinas in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, he added.

Janrey is son of second-termer Boardmember Janet Gavina and nephew of Panabo Vice Mayor James Gamao.

Councilor Gamao was seen at Tagum SP building during the last Monday’s session of the city council. He was waiting for City Councilors De Carlo “Oyo” Uy and Nicandro “NIckel” Suaybaguio.

In an interview with the Valley & City Chronicle, he confirmed he would be running for PCL president in tandem with Suaybaguio for vice president.

Obviously, Councilor Gavina was absent on the session of Panabo City Council as its session falls on the same weekly schedule of the Tagum city council, which is every regular Monday morning in a week. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

Boyet Gementiza, Bong Aala fire at bura-bura confiscation

While respectively saying that they are supporting the campaign of Mayor Rey “Chiong Oy” Uy against the noisy bura-bura mufflers in single motorcycles that already net some 300 apprehensions by the local police, independent Councilors Geterito “Boyet” Gementiza and Tristan Royce “Bong” Aala separately stood on the floor on their last Tuesday’s session and raised howls of questioning to the “process” of confiscating the seized bura-bura mufflers and not returning these to the owners.

At least the mayor has already caused for the flattening of seized noisy mufflers, some 82 pieces, by a road roller (pison) in two separate occasions at the city motorpool ground in full view of the media.

“Saba ra kaayo ug daghan ang nagreklamo,”said the mayor earlier as he warned owners of motorcycles with bura-bura mufflers to watch out as his campaign against this would have no let-up.

He said that he would sell as scraps the seized mufflers flattened by pison and the sales of which would go to the city’s coffers.

The bura-bura issue was raised during the session when Tagum PNP chief of police PSupt. Giusseppe Geralde apprised the city council on the report on kidnapping of three schoolchildren of Magugpo Pilot Imelda Elementary School the other week, which he said turned out to be not true and a result of a “false alarm”.

Councilor Gementiza asked on “what is the legal basis” in destroying and not returning the confiscated mufflers saying that these are private properties even as he called for the giving of “due process” to the muffler owners.

He said that he agreed with the campaign but disagreed on “on its system”.

Councilor Aala, on the other hand, also questioned the confiscations made by the police as he reminded apprehending highway police officers “not to treat violators like criminals”.

He said that the police confiscation might be illegal adding that mufflers cost P8,000 to P15,000 while the fine for the violation is only P2,000.

With the discussion on the issue left unfinished, Vice Mayor Allan Rellon moved to re-discuss solely the bura-bura issue on the question hour in the next Monday session. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

GOOD WEEK

‘SYANO

Briz, Darjan and Co.

Now the cat is out in the bag, and voila- we now know that the National Electrification Administration has a “primitive thinking”. These are very words of Daneco board treasurer Ananias Darjan Jr. He said that the NEA has a primitive thinking of consigning only the board of directors (BOD) into unthinking cabal of policy makers willing to sign whatever papers the management of any electric coop in the country would pass unto them. It came to pass that the NEA (read: the Big Boss of any electric coop) has since been seeing that the BOD is only there to legitimize whatever transaction the management would enter into and make. The BOD has to sign papers needing approval by the management and would not interfere in the operations of the EC (electric coop). This unwritten rule of NEA is unfair to the present activities of Darjan and board president Dean Briz in actively dipping their fingers into the affairs of the Daneco management. Now we were told that reforms are sweeping across Daneco’s management layers, made by Briz, Darjan and Co., the perceived reformist majority in the present Daneco BOD. Things are questioned while policies and practices that do not benefit and are disadvantageous to the electric coop are changed. Briz is signing the vouchers and checks while Darjan is joining the nitty-gritty of finance operations. The two are CPAs and are employees of the city government. Briz is the city budget officer while Darjan is the general services officer. Darjan admitted that they have a mission to accomplish per direction of Mayor Cee O Uy. They’re not Cee O’s attack dogs. They’re CO’s Daneco troubleshooters. They won as BOD members with of course the backing of the mayor. And they are almost volunteering their services now for Daneco to mend and make up. Both are scrutinizing Daneco’s contracts. But many hope against hope they could finally make Daneco profit. – Al Rosero

THE NORTHERN SPY

Fe Claire TM Honor

A talay story (Last Part)

The average daily wage of pretty bet collector-cashiers in fronton offices is P150 each. They also receive barato from winning bettors. Last 2 operators/financiers have fronton offices in polaciones, and coordinators in barangays. Usually coordinators get 25% from bet collections from which they give 20-15-10% to their many ushers. If financiers budget 10% more for the talay receivers, then they are losing already 35% for the talay, tongs, coordinators and ushers combined. So they are betting 65% only less the 35% for the talays/tongs. Bubuwets just keep me posted!

July 29-Aug 4, 2010

VALLEY & CITY CHRONICLE

NOT SCHISM, NOT SCANDAL IN TAGUM DIOCESE

Bishop Manlapaz chooses not to comment on Lanipao issue

By Cha Monforte

The case filed in court by a priest to Tagum Diocese Bishop Wilfredo Manlapaz neither says of a schism nor a scandal breaking out in the local Catholic Church as reported by another weekly.

As shown in the complaint affidavit obtained by the Valley & City Chronicle, the case filed by plaintiff Fr. Florendo Cimafranca to the bishop is more of a collection case demanding for a sum of money coursed through a court, and nothing else contrary to what has been maliciously overblown as an opionated news in Trends and Time, a Panabo City-based weekly.

Tuesday morning last week Bishop Manlapaz gave a brief moment to a group of reporters who had earlier been seeking him for an interview at the Clergy House in Seminary Drive in Tagum City regarding the case reported by the weekly.

On that day, the ground of the Clergy House was filled of parked cars as some 118 priests serving the parishes of Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley were accordingly having their monthly meeting.

Right inside the Bishop’s splendid receiving room-office in the Clergy House, Bishop Manlapaz met the reporters but he did not budge in to questions for comments on the case, saying that it is already in the court and by the court’s rules on sub judici he is prohibited from making comments on the case in public.

“At this time, the accuser and the accused are not supposed to be issuing statement (on the case),” he said.

“But you can discuss this with our lawyer,” he added referring to Boardmember Atty. Ruwel Peter Gonzaga.

The bishop however said that the case involves about financial matters and that the accused is him and “the diocese itself.”

The report of the other weekly in the previous two weeks said that Fr. Cimafranca had already filed a case for demand of sum of money at a Regional Trial Court in Panabo City.

Without quoting portions of the Cimafranca’s complaint papers or directly making Cimafranca as a news source, the weekly simply narrated in obviously opionated form that Cimafranca is demanding sum of money in court for his family’s money which allegedly helped in developing the diocese-owned Lanipao retreat and conference resort at Barangay Araibo in Pantukan town.

The resort, formally named as Via Veritas et Vita (the Way, the Truth and the Life), sits atop a hill with awesome forestview to high mountains nearby.

It was accordingly first conceived to be a cool retreat house for the priests and religious wanting silence and reflection while serving their vocation but in the later years after its launching in 2000 it morphed into a best conference and seminar resort open to the public. Tourism authorities recognize it as a uniquely finest retreat-conference resort for its religiosity, coolness and silence. It is easily reached via the highland Maragusan town.

Cimafranca was the resort’s first administrator and was even attributed by the other weekly as “the one who conceptualized” the Lanipao Hill Complex. He was transferred from the resort two years ago and is now serving the Kimamon parish in Sto. Tomas.

But Cimafranca could not arrogate upon himself such claim of having the Lanipao resort complex as his brainchild since “he is a part of the collective body” in the diocese, and with such and with his administering he then alleged to have contributed personal funds for the resort development, said a parishioner in Nabunturan who has a personal knowledge of the project. He refused to be named.

He said that even former Compostela Valley Governor Jose Caballero had helped so much the project when he deployed province-owned heavy equipment in the making of road toward the resort atop a hill.

The parishioner wondered why Cimafranca directly resorted to court action saying that he could have just resorted to airing his grievance inside the church. He described Cimafranca as moody, temperamental person.

OPINION

The Tagum/Bermudez Amendment

Tagum City Councilor Dr. Oscar “Doc Oca” Bermudez, MD is just right to question the particular pension policy of the Social Security System on only giving the monthly pension of SSS members when they are already not earning and having no business to continue living even if they have already reached the age of 60.

So for a retiree in the private sector whose age is 60 and above but before his 65th birthday, he better has to feign to be incapacitated and so idle, so sick so he could enjoy what has been retained from his salaries and from his employer’s counterpart when he was still healthy and working. But an act of feigning merits probe of the SSS. So he better has to buckle down to work again after retiring or he subsists from being dependent of his working loved ones while waiting the age of 65.

Onli in the Pilipins that this so unfair and unjust social security provision exists while we have been envious to other retirees in foreign lands who, out from their pensions, can afford to jetset for tours and vacations such as that exemplified by the sight of old and grandpa foreigners luxuriating in our country with their Filipina wives in tow. Why still wait for our aged- 60 years old and above but before 65 years old- to suffer the humiliation of being dependent from kins and from public sarcasm of toiling again just to live before they finally get what is due to them, from what they have contributed in the first place?

Acturial computations say so that life expectancy for Filipinos ranges to be within the 60-65 age bracket. Whoever had crafted the law on SSS and this law on pension must have been so jaded in both their eyes and hearts that they bet on the giving of monthly pensions in this age bracket within which Filipinos die in average. That short life expectancy of Filipinos compared to the 70 above in developed countries comes up by reason of poverty stress, unhealthy lifestyles and historical mis-governance that doesn’t care for the health and life of the Filipinos.

Still, there is also sarcasm to the handwashing of SSS executives that while they could not do otherwise they tell all and sundry, like book-carrying preachers, that if the 60 and above but less than 65 years old want their pensions they have to be really non-earning and, if they have business, they have to surrender their ownership “for SSS comes in only when there is loss of income.” What is asked and expected for the functionaries is policy review and recommendation as there is this constant dynamism of realities that the law should adjust to be relevant in serving the public including those who have spent most of their lives for public service or for private profit like the aged from the private sector. It’s better in the case of government workingmen who would start receiving their monthly pension starting at the age of 60.

Verily, this particular law on SSS pension needs a review and amendment. Here’s one that President P-Noy can step in to right a wrong. Tagum Konsehal Doc Oca is right when he will actively campaign for this by authoring a resolution calling all legislative councils across the country, the SSS and the Congress and President P-Noy for the amendment of this so unjust and so unfair SSS law on pension. And we call this as The Tagum/Bermudez Amendment. – Cha Monforte

BLOGISTA

By Cha Monforte

Man of Peace

Tagum Diocese Bishop Wilfredo Manlapaz isn’t yet beleaguered as one weekly wanted to otherwise portray him in its opinionated news. What schism? What scandal? When ostensibly per browsing of the complaint sheets of Kimamon parish priest Florendo Cimafranca against the bishop and the diocese it is nothing but a mere case demanding for an alleged sum of money. Obviously, that news (stupid) was one overblown out of proportion. For where can you find a mere collection case equated already to a breaking out of a schism or scandal in the local Catholic Church. The news story of a weekly long known for its propaganda and opionated news, which in universal journalism standards isn’t already news at all, has only unmasked the reckless and irresponsible editorial treatment to the story. Journalism hogwash- we don’t do that it here.

From a mere layman’s point of view (or an erehis point of view, call this if you may), schism is an infamy in that the church and its members have been already divided and separated such that a sect has been formed out from the mother church and a section of its members have been carted away by a separatist religious leader who formed his own Bible view, and consequently organized his own sect. Is the mere breaking out of an issue over a sum of money tantamount to schism? Of course not. Schisms broke out in the past in various faiths and religions out of doctrinal issues and not over Judas thirty pieces of silver.

Moreover, the other weekly needs some more textual qualifying as when it equated the court relief sought by Fr. Cimafranca as already a “scandal”, err “Lanipao scandal”. What “scandal”? Is an issue over a sum of money claimed or allegedly infused by someone without the knowing of the other, and which is still to be resolved in court tantamount to scandal? Of course not. It’s grossly misplaced to paint something detestable by the flock and congregation simply in one’s act to answer out from one’s act to claim. Why there’s a need to answer? Because there’s a question raised in the first place. But the question has still to be ascertained whether there’s truth or falsity on it, or whether the question-maker is telling the truth or simply lying? There could not have been an answer without such question. And already damn a scandal for that? At best, the issue is still just an issue that has still to be resolved by a neutral party- the court. Meantime, we pause out of deference to the court principle of sub judici.

*****

When we finally managed to interview Bishop Manlapaz Tuesday last week it was one among his rarest appearances with the local media. The last time we, in the local media, got an opportunity to interview the bishop was right after the covenant signing of the May 10 candidates before the start of the last local campaign period. It happened at the rear upper room of new Christ the King Cathedral after he took his snacks with Governor RDR, Vice Gov. VRS, now Cong. AGR, Cong. Anton Lagdameo, police officials led by Davao del Norte PD PSSupt. Jose Pante and other politicians who remained right after the covenant signing. In that interview, the bishop said that the Fr. Em-Em Luego has the right to run for public office he being also a Filipino.

His words last Tuesday were just consistent to the bishop’s form in his engaging with the media. In straight-forward manner he told us- a few, with GMA 7 and PDI reporters, that he could not comment on the case inasmuch that it is already in court and out of respect to the sub judici principle. We badgered him, but he did not budge in after only saying that the accused is him and “the diocese itself”, and that “at this time the accuser and the accused are not supposed to be issuing statement”. We understood.

I shifted topic with a hope I could get different news out from horses’ mouth. But we were told the bishop has an appointment to catch. I asked for his age and the age when bishops would retire. He’s already 69 and bishops retire at 75, and jockingly, he told us, “you have only six more years of your suffering”. We all laughed, breaking the cautious guardedness of the two young, good-looking priests nearby. It was better- I got a good feel out of the solemn aura of the splendid receiving room-office of the bishop inside the Clergy House. ‘Twas like one room in Roma as I saw in the net. You got a religious feeling once inside. There’s that modest chandellier and wall lights that effectively blend with jonquil color dominance of the room, a receiving narra sala set, a small coffee cum dining table. It’s spaciously simple room humming with so strong spiritual ambience.

*****

So it was one of the rarest of the media appearances of the Most Rev. Bishop of Tagum Diocese, though we wish we could have a lengthy time with him the next time around. We knew he’s a silent-type Church worker-builder. From CBCP website, we learned of the bishop’s curriculum vitae. Since 1986 he’s been the Tagum bishop, so he would hit 25 years in service to the diocese as a bishop next year, 2011. What a lenghty time he’s been residing at the Clergy House, which he developed and built along his other infras such as the lay formation house, the old and new cathedrals in the city and of course the famous Via Veritas et Vita in Lanipao. He’s been sheperding some 118 priests in the diocese, some 30 of whom he ordained. He’s known to be a so good bishop (that a one or two priest/s- also humans as they are- would abuse his goodness), he’s a good pastol, a good sheperd of the priests who look him up like their father. He was ordained as priest way back in 1964, so he has been a priest for 46 years already. The Most Reverend Bishop is a Man of Peace, from his Hispanic family name alone Manlapaz, paz means peace. In 1987 ceasefire during Cory Aquino time, he served as the chairman and convenor of the Ceasefire Committee in the then undivided Davao del Norte. For several times, he mediated for the release of military POWs at the hands of the communist rebels. He tried and still trying his best for lasting peace to reign in our still bleeding land. Our Bishop was born in Paracale, Camarines Norte. Paracale is a poor mining village. He has gone serving as a rector-professor in a major seminary in Naga City and then as parish priest in Baybay and Maasin in Southern Leyte, touching many lives and souls there before he was ordained as the Auxiliary Bishop in the Diocese of Maasin in 1986, but on the same year he became the Bishop Ordinary in a place where he is destined to live and share his life and times the longest- our very own Diocese of Tagum, which covers Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley.

Doc Oca twits SSS on pension policy

Tagum City Councilor Dr. Oscar “Doc Oca” Bermudez, MD has questioned a pension policy of the Social Security System saying that it is quite unfair to members who have retired and have already reached the age of 60 but have still to wait until 65 before they start receiving their monthly pensions.

During the question hour of Tuesday’s session of the city council, Councilor Bermudez asked the guest SSS Tagum supervisor Randy Ortega what is the logic of the SSS law that would have old and retired members to suffer and get sick first before SSS gives their pensions.

Ortega responded that SSS pensions are only given when the members are no longer earning, adding that for those who have reached the age of 60 but are still working or have business to depend on could not avail of their SSS pensions until they reached the mandatory age of 65.

He said that SSS comes in when “there is already loss of income”.

For those 60 years old who have business, they have to give up their ownership, he said.

He said that he was sorry of the policy which governs the SSS.

In an interview with the Valley & City Chronicle, SSS Tagum branch manager Valeriano Wenceslao Jr said that the SSS law Republic Act No. 8282 “says so that those SSS members whose retirement age range from 60 and above but before their 65th birthday are covered under an optional retirement plan, while those 60 and above are under the mandatory retirement plan.

“Tapos na ang discussion about it in Congress. There’s nothing to discuss anymore because of the law,” he said.

Aghast on the unfairness of the policy, Bermudez, in a separate interview, vowed he would initiate a measure calling for an amendment of the SSS policy on pension.

The amendment measure would be addressed to Congress with copies asking all legislative councils nationwide for support of Bermudez intended legislation. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

Mayor Silvosa forges sister-city agreement from US study tour

Mayor Jose “Joe” Silvosa Sr has initially forged a sister-city sharing agreement whereby Panabo City and Terre Haute City in Indiana State in the United States will mutually share and exchange best practices in the field of agriculture and aquaculture.

The mayor in company with city councilor and agriculture committee chairman Jovito Glodo and city agriculturist Alejandro Mayato went on study tour to Indiana and Maryland through the program auspices of the Foreign Agricultural Services of the US Department of Agriculture. They left last July 6 and arrived in Manila last July 21.

In an interview with the Valley & City Chronicle, Mayor Silvosa said that in the proposed agreement that was initially discussed between him and Terre Haute officials an exchange of best practices between the two cities would be undertaken and would include visits of Terre Haute agriculture and aquaculture technicians in Panabo City to study the city’s agri-aqua resources and share their advanced knowledge and best practices in agriculture and aquaculture including marine technology.

With the agreement that has yet to be finalized through communications, the mayor is hopeful of material grants and assistance to come for Panabo City to benefit in the years to come.

During their study tour they were oriented to agricultural policies of the US agriculture department and exposed on field observing the modern agricultural practices, farm systems and technologies in the US including the production of corn pellets, soybeans and other cereals, types of land preservation, crop rotation system, fish culture, crab production and others.

Through the assistance of the agricultural attache of the Philippine Embassy and technicians of the USDA, they were also exposed for three days in actual farm observations to the marine technology in Maryland, the mayor said.

“We really learned a lot from the study tour,”he said.

The mayor said that he was really awed by the mechanized agricultural systems in the US, and particularly noted on the crab production which he said can be particularly replicated in Panabo City. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

GOOD WEEK

‘SYANO

Schism

I scampered to browse the online dictionaries to know the definition of the word schism. One site said that it is a division in religious denomination: a major split within an established religious denomination…”, “a divisive unpleasant split: the division of a group into mutually antagonistic factions, or it tells of a “ faction: a faction formed as a result of a schism, or “a separation or division into factions. A formal breach of union within a Christian church. The offense of attempting to produce such a breach.” Having known these, just seconds after googling or yahooing the word, I immediately know that it would be wrong to use the word in simple cases such as a demand for sum of money. A split could not occur in a religious organization just for the sum of money. It comes out due to varied doctrinal interpretations or beliefs. Schism is a word not applicable to Lanipao issue. Now on the healthy side of the net, in the past we have a hard time browsing paper dictionaries to know definitions, or if we have none, we go to the school library to pick up paper dictionaries. Now we have cellphones which can be connected to the net. Time has changed. Thanks to Bill Gates and other IT billionaires. IT and net literacy should be a must especially to our youths, the hope of the Fatherland. Include also the aged and those who only know the fading-out typewriter. The prob is the olds in our country especially our poor farmers, peasants, fisherfolks and even the rich have surrendered their right to learn to their young children unlike in advanced countries where horny lolos still go gago in chatting our young girls while they are fully naked before the cams. It’s due to age-old poverty that our poor olds and mature have no more time to learn as they ever scamper how to find money to feed their families. Our economics really mirrors our cultural and technological states. – Al Rosero

THE NORTHERN SPY

Fe Claire TM Honor

A talay story (Part 1)

One form of talay out from Last 2 gambling is the libre taya, meaning the the conspiring officers in authority- police/military/civilian/NPA/independent rogue in uniform/etc., would only maintain one number in every Last 2 fronton/underground operator/financier, and if his number wins, he gets his talay. Most talays however come in weekly. Since several Last 2 operators have many Last 2 betting offices, one of which is designated as the talay outlet, which further mantains the “payroll” for signing by the bagmen of conspiring officers in authority. There are just many open palms asking for the weekly talay and the amount given depends on the positions of the officers receiving the talay through their bagmen. My bubuwet says there are the DIDG, police in various levels (municipal/provincial/regional), military rogue elements and NPA rebels asking in exchange for their silence, no-raid , no armed reprisal policies.

The average daily wage of pretty bet collector-cashiers in fronton offices is P150 each. They also receive barato from winning bettors. Last 2 operators/financiers have fronton offices in polaciones, and coordinators in barangays. Usually coordinators get 25% from bet collections from which they give 20-15-10% to their many ushers. If financiers budget 10% more for the talay receivers, then they are losing already 35% for the talay, tongs, coordinators and ushers combined. So they are betting 65% only less the 35% for the talays/tongs. Bubuwets just keep me posted!

July 22-28, 2010

VALLEY & CITY CHRONICLE

OPINION

Financial unease in Daneco

Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative is really in difficult financial straits. The way its books looks, it is always in red. But since it is a cooperative and its financial policy is revenue-neutral, meaning- it must not be profit-conscious and profit-motivated and should always consider the affordability of its member-consumers who own Daneco in the first place, then here’s its laggard side shown against the corporate greed (but corporate CEOs call type of greed this as the ultimate motivator in the efficiencies of the corporate world).

Not since the passage of the Electric Power Industry Refrom Act (EPIRA) Law in 2001 that Daneco has been much bugged of racing to catch up its monthly power obligations as billed strictly by its power supplier, the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM), and by the power transmission firm, National Power Grid Corporation (NGCP), than it is now. It is evidently now so tiresome for Daneco to always keep on racing to meet what is to be due soonest while it is encountering delayed and past-due payments from across its vast power consuming membership. And what a heck, “luoy na kaayo ang Daneco” (Daneco’s such so pitiful) in the words of its board president Dean Briz, that from his hints only a few big power consumers, who have either delayed their payments or dragged their payments for so long that their accounts became past of the due and then later became bad debts, are the main contributor in the outstanding delinquent and past due receivables of Daneco. And what else? These big power consumers who drag the common power consumers to the mess come from the business and industrial users, the big power eaters.

In the midst of what can be seen as the current financial crisis of the Daneco, the power consuming public at large should support Briz in moving for the collection of the P36 million written off accounts of its bad power debtors and the stumping out of the high liquidity problem caused by so many past and current power bill payables and obligations that always go to PSALM and NGCP. So lucky indeed are PSALM and NGCP that they, greedy private power monopolists, would only call a legal shot in threatening to disconnect failing power cooperatives, and they always get the easy bonanza out from the concessions they got out from EPIRA Law.

But the case of Daneco is different. There was clearly cumulative mismanagement before, the reason why the power cooperative is not on its toes in easily meeting its current power bill payables and tax obligations. While other cooperatives have only an average of a month of arrears to settle for the greedy power corporations, Daneco averages to have four months of arrears to liquidate. It clearly takes time for Daneco to beat its financial odds. But at least, we are waiting and witnessing a reformist majority band in the present board of directors led by Briz ready to draw a line to combat financial unease, if not the financial crisis that Daneco is in now.

BLOGISTA

By Cha Monforte

Lying officials

Davao del Norte’s new Boardmember Daniel Lu is just candid to enough tell that he just reported to the Comelec only the expenditures covered with official receipts. It was what was required by Comelec in the first place. He told me that spending during the elections is usually not receipted. Politicians running for public office spend here and there, doling out money to people without asking for their ORs. Fine and right argument. “The law is ideal but is not practical, he added. The gentleman from Sto. Tomas has already made his oral defense for his exact P30,000-worth of expenses during the last polls. His declared amount made him the winner boardmember who incurred the least expenses (daw) in the last polls. What about the rest in the provincial board? Or the rest in our provinces especially the poll winners who have not yet paid any amount to the Bureau of Internal Revenue?

Our stand on the issue is that the BIR should not base -hook, line and sinker -its charging of 5% withholding tax on the amount of expenses the poll candidates- winners and losers alike- declared in their statements of expenditures and contributions they submitted to the Comelec. The BIR Tagum revenue district officer Manuel Trias Jr may have hit a good start when he earlier said that they would be conducting a probe on possible understatement of expenditures, say by comparing what was declared in the Comelec against what was charged by the suppliers of the goods and services in connection with their candidacies during the last elections. “You and I know about the real expenses,” Boardmember Lu said referring to the true worth of election expenses incurred by politicians running in the polls. He was short of saying that in relation to the Comelec law, there’s actually all the truth that the May 10 candidates who have already submitted their expenditure statements to the Comelec were just lying, and visibly including him. Sorry I’m just speculating, not lying.

But in my browsing of the statements submitted to the Comelec, most of the poll losers have not yet submitted their statements. I managed to see the statement of defeated District 1 congressional candidate Emily Alvarez, and of one candidate, in fact a nuisance one, running for boardmember. The BIR letters which RDO Trias promised to send must be sent now. But we’re still checking if the Comelec Davao del Norte provincial office has already furnished the BIR copies of the May 10 candidates’ statements.

And here’s the unsolicited advice of BM Lu: the BIR could fare better in getting election-related taxes if if would instead have a tariff of taxes to pay by those running in public offices, with candidates running for lower positions, say for councilors, paying equal taxes but lower than the taxes to be levied to candidates for mayors or governors. In that case, the tax is fixed one, pro-rated to the positions vied, and payable after the elections. By this, the government can collect more taxes from those running in elections, Lu said. He’s just optimistic. But maybe this is the formula. But we’re in for this for a long shot.

Still, it remains to be seen if Trias would really pursue a no-nonsense post-election tax campaign on tax-evading politicians. He ought to do in the name of good governance. PNoy says he has no mercy to tax evaders and smugglers. Maybe some people sitting in public offices have been corrupt later in running our government because they started with being tax evaders.

BLOGS AND BITS: Vindicated Daneco deputy general manager Engr. Felix Hibionada corrected my travel back to Daneco history. The late legendary Pros Amatong was not one of the founding fathers of Daneco. He was an influential second-liner political top gun in the erstwhile big Davao del Norte who cared so much for Daneco’s progress. That started when Pros Amatong became the governor of the undivided Davao del Norte. Daneco’s founding fathers were more of former Congressman Enchong Sarmiento and former GM Atty. Jose Amacio. The latter was then on his third term as mayor of Monkayo when Daneco was berthed. He cut his mayoral incumbency to become the first GM of Daneco, recalled Engr. Hibionada. I’m taking may hats off to the engineer, who has been serving Daneco starting from the time of ex-GM Amacio. Engr. Hibio knows well the ups and downs, roughs and tumbles of Daneco. That’s another reason that he’s very much qualified to become the regular GM of Daneco, besides that he knows both the worlds of running electricity and baffling accountancy.

We heard that Laak Mayor Rey Navarro is aspiring to become the national president of the League of Mayors of the Philippines. Why not, when the second-termer mayor showed that in a short span of time during his first term, he could spark massive developments in his upland and remote town. He built a modern public market building on top of his accomplishments for his trailblazing 5 K programs, the the reason why he was unopposed in the last polls. Nobody also opposed him when he was reelected as the president of the mayors’ league in Comval last July 9. If Mayor Reynab becomes the national prexy of the mayors’ league, we know he can do contribute much to their organization.

Kodus to New Corella Mayor Nestor “Bebot” Alcoran for his reelection as the president of the mayors’ league in Davao del Norte. He’s gonghu over development strides occuring in his town.

At this writing, Panabo City Mayor Jose “Joe” Silvosa Sr is still on travel in United States to attend an important occasion of one his children there. Last week, I failed to catch his city administrator, a former priest, to know the mayor’s purpose and whereabouts like his expected date of arrival in his city. The mayor’s city info officer, also an ex-priest, is always out in his office, as far as my round is concerned.

The Binuhat Festival is on in Tagum City. It’s Philippine South’s Biggest Gay Festival. It’s a Gay Merriment. I still don’t know if Bishop Wilfredo Manlapaz has sent a priest to do the prayers during this Wednesday’s opening salvo.

Anyway, gays are gays that they need boys. Likewise, teebirds need girls. They are binuhats (created) to be such. They’re also humans to be understood. Watch them shout “Mama Mia” at a gay bar upstairs at Quirante II, a nocturnal soul told me.

We heard there’s already an iringan between Comval Boardmembers Neri Barte (NP Villar supporter) and Heracleo Codilla aka Mang Simeon (independent), huhu, we were told lately. When they locked horns about Diwalwal’s issue two Wednesday sessions ago, Mang Simeon reminded Barte that it was him (Codilla) as ex-DILG officer who trained Barte when he became outstanding town legislator, to the loud jejes and chuckles of their fellow BMs. That’s insisting superior-subordinate relations in a body of co-equals. Barte did only mumble so much on the gallery floor while the aged Mang Simeon sit silently fixated on his swivel chair after Vice Gov. Ramil Gentugaya called for a brief recess to silence the loud laughters, huhu we were told lately.

Idon’t know if Nabunturan Mayor Romeo Clarin and his majority of councilors are courting contempt of court when they are pursuing to build the “mall-type” public market building through the P90-million bond flotation which was started by former Mayor Macario Humol. The last legal event relating Nabunturan’s bond float was that RTC Branch 3 Judge Hilarion Clapis Jr inhibited himself after he was petitioned to do so. But that after he made a positive ruling on the petition for injunction stopping the bond float. The pro-bond float Nabunturan officials subsequently made a motion of reconsideration, and there’s yet no new judge to rule on it. Legal question: can they proceed with the P90-million bond float when their motion of reconsideration is not yet ruled on, or when there’s yet no new judge assigned to rule on it? Or was there already a judge who ruled in their favor? Anti-bond petitioners haven’t yet received any notice/ruling about these.

What’s in a name? But to broaden our scope by name association, we’re changing Valley Chronicle to Valley & City Chronicle. Really, first impression is lasting. Happy reading! (e-mail: chamonforte@yahoo.com)

BRIZ WANTS COLLECTION OF P36 M WRITTEN OFF POWER BILLS, P300 M PAST DUE ACCOUNTS

“Luoy na kaayo ang Daneco”

Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative board president Dean Briz wants to collect the P36- million bad debts of power consumers which was already written off by the previous board of directors with approval of the National Electrification Administration.

“It should be collected kay luoy na kaayo ang Daneco,” he said in an interview with the Valley & City Chronicle, adding that besides the written-off accounts, Daneco is also burdened by past-due power bills and other obligations whose combined amount reach to a staggering over P300 million.

Briz hinted that Daneco’s past-due collectibles are mostly from big power consumers whom he wanted to know who they are.

“Ang mga pobre nga mga konsumante kung di makabayad ug two months lang, putlan dayon ug kurente (electricity of the poor power consumers are easily cut off whenever they could not pay their bills for two months),” he said.

Daneco has over P159 million past due accounts covering power consumers’ bills unpaid for over 30 days, and due current account of over P155 million as of June 2010, even while it is still paying on installment the P103 million expanded value-added tax (EVAT) payables Daneco failed to pass on to power consumers in the years 2006 to 2009, it was learned.

The VAT payables are for Daneco’s power supplier, the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM), and the power transmission firm, National Power Grid Corporation (NGCP).

Both PSALM and NGCP are accordingly billing Daneco in so strict business terms and at times threaten to cut power supply to Daneco by issuing disconnection notice when it could not pay on schedule its monthly power bill, often triggering panic among Daneco’s finance executives.

Briz said that he would be moving in the board of directors for Daneco to put up sterner measures to collect the delinquent accounts and bad debts.

The written-off accounts for the separate P36 million should be reopened and collected while the details on the involved power consumers accountable to these should be known, he added.

“When the P36 million was written off I was the only one (member of the board) who opposed to it,” he said.

The issue of writing off old, bad debts started at the time of the board presidency of Jerry Balana in 2002 and during the time of late general manager Edgar Savellano.

The P36 million was finally written off in 2008 when the board was presided by now director-member Dr. Antonio Sebumpan, MD, who belonged to the previous majority of the BOD who was supporting former OIC general manager Allan Laniba.

Briz wrested the board presidency from Sebumpan towards late last year and is believed to have already secured the new majority of the 11-man board of directors (BOD) with the series of district election for BOD members and the earlier shift of support of few holdover BOD members.

In the same interview, Briz said that the finance department in the Daneco management and the finance committee of the board would be tasked to recommend measures to the BOD for the collection of the past-due and written-off accounts.

The collections of the written-off and delinquent, past-due accounts could wipe off Daneco’s heavy indebtedness to PSALM and NGCP and have its actual collections stand fluid and greater than the power payables.

As of the last June, Daneco has PSALM and NGCP power bills amounting to P92.95 million and about P5 million, respectively.

In the recent months, Daneco’s financial woes are worsened by the high ancillary services charges (ASC) billed by NGCP for Therma Marine Inc., an Aboitiz-owned company which acquired the Power Barge 118 based in Maco, Compostela Valley.

The ASC billed to Daneco in May and June 2010 amounted to P47.23 million and P32.35 million, respectively.

The Energy Regulatory Commission recently ruled that the ASC for May 2010 and prior months ought not to be collected and since Daneco had passed on already the ASC of the said months, about P17.97 million worth of power bill and EVAT million would be deducted or credited to the ASC in the month of July, generating positive impact of power rates reduction by 70 centavos per kilowatt hour.

However, Daneco as of June 30, 2010 has a cumulative balance to its combined debts to PSALM and NGCP amounting to P254.96 million, while as of June 10, 2010 it has a monthly bill from the two corporations of about P159 million, bared Daneco’s internal audit manager Felix Enriquez, CPA.

With these, Daneco is seemingly always racing to catch up meeting its monthly power bill obligations to PSALM and NGCP even while it is encountering high delayed and past-due payments across its consumer membership. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

DavNOr Capitol closes liason office in Manila- Atty. Namoc

The liason office of Davao del Norte provincial government in Metro Manila is no longer needed and has to be closed, bared provincial legal officer Jennifer Namoc during a committee hearing last Wednesday at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan conference hall, Capitol, Tagum City.

Invited by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s committee on laws chaired by Boardmember Atty. Raymond Joey Millan, Atty. Namoc said that per information relayed by liason officer Maria Eliza Anding the liason office had to be closed and the contract of lease between the leasee provincial government and the lessor Burgundy Realty Corp. would be terminated.

Boardmember Antonio Lagunzad said that he learned that for cost-saving purposes the liason office had to be closed knowing that the congressional office of District 1 Congressman Anthony del Rosario could provide a space for liasoning function for the provincial government.

Millan’s committee had tackled the contract of lease forwarded by provincial administrator Rufo Peligro when halfway Atty. Namoc informed the body that she had just placed a call to Anding who informed her of the need to close down the liason office.

“It is already moot and academic. Even if committee would decide to recommend positively for the contract, it is still the governor who would decide for it,” Namoc said.

Atty. Namoc added that Anding has already transferred as one in the congressional staff of Cong. AGR in Manila.

Boardmember Ely Dacalus asked why there was there was an endorsement of the contract made by provincial administrator Rufo Peligro.

Namoc while the committee was tackling the issue tried to call Peligro but his phone just kept on ringing.

Boardmember Hernani Duco moved to lay down the matter on the table until there would be confirmation from Peligro, which Namoc agreed.

Pending Peligro’s confirmation, the committee decided to make their recommendation also pending. (RUN/cha monforte)

“Republic of Pantukan”

- Mayor Tok Sarenas

Mayor JC Celso “Tok” Sarenas said in an interview that his friends are now teasing him a joke: that he is now the mayor of the “Republic of Pantukan”.

He seemed to say that his town is now autonomous from the Province of Compostela Valley following his victory over Kingking barangay captain Roberto Yugo and past the start of a political tiff between him and Governor Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy before the last polls. The tiff still runs until present.

This obviously has set him politically estranged from the governor or his municipal government from the provincial government.

District 2 Congressman Rommel Amatong joined to support Yugo in the last election, but Sarenas still managed to beat Yugo by a margin of 1,937 votes.

He said that reconciliation with him and the governor is still a farfetched scenario for a reason which he refused to tell interviewing local reporters, adding, “though reconciliation is a good thing”.

As to Cong. Amatong, Sarenas has this to say: “OK man si Bobong. Di lang siya parehas sa amahan. It’s OK to me to reconcile with him. (Bobong is OK, though he is quite unlike his late father former Cong. Pros Amatong).

He said that in his personal observation “the cry of other mayors in the province” is for Cong. Amatong be like his father in politics.

As to his political affiliation now, Mayor Sarenas said: “I am Lakas pa rin. My principle will go on”.

Sarenas talked in an interview with the Valley & City Chronicle and another weekly, The Truck News after gracing the presentation meeting with barangay nutrition scholars and barangay health workers with Vice Mayor Hajarah “Haja” Ranain.

The meeting was called by the municipal nutrition council to present its nutrition program and announce that Pantukan has qualified to vie for the national awards in nutrition program in the contest of barangays after winning in municipal, provincial and regional levels of evaluation.

The Pantukan municipal nutrition council boasted to be already on the way of eradicating the problem of malnutrition and malnourished children in town.

In his talk, Sarenas said that he won in the last polls in 11 of the 13 barangays in town but he is not “putting any political color” in his nutrition program like in other programs of the municipality.

The mayor solely guested the occasion without any representative from the provincial government. (RUN/cha monforte)

Good Week ‘syano

Diwalwal’s deja vu

The Diwalwal miners are again protesting. The same barangay kapitan Franco Tito is leading the troops with hammer and arrow chisel. For what? For the selling of other gold-rich areas in Diwalwal. The present Diwalwal miners now want to to mine also the still gold-rich underground, the below Level 600 area that the Philippine National Mining and Development Corp. controls and wants to sell to foreign investors (of course, they have the gargantuan financial capacity). Now the homegrown Diwalwal miners have been mining above the 600 Level since the government takeover six years ago and they have now encroached the 600 Level below, but again they are blocked by a State policy. It’s deja vu to the situation before when the really small scale miners – in the 80s- were contrained by a State policy that they were only limited to dig until 50 meters deep. So the small scale mining act which originated from the lobbies of Diwalwal miners and supported by the local high-graders was approved in Congress through ex-Congs. Enchong Sarmiento, Bal Sator and RDR. The current Diwalwal miners want also to mine beyond the 729-hectare people’s mining area- or that original area where the barangay hall and settlements stand. But the present circa has now different actors to contend with. There are now powerful mining executives who came from giant mining interests and who have managed to worm their way through the bureaucratic maze engineered by ex-President GMA. The talk was that GMA’s and Mike Arroyo’s vested interests to Diwalwal have not yet been broken by PNoy. Or does our beloved president now know it? C’mon, Diwalwal has long been a big milking cow by national power holders like the DENR secretary and mining-conscious Palace occupants. When was that SONA when Madam GMA wore a big, shining gold lace around her neck like a Queen she was?- Al Rosero

July 15-21, 2010

Valley & City Chronicle

MOST DAVNOR, COMVAL POLL

WINNERS, LOSERS HAVE NOT YET PAID 5% TAXES

BIR Tagum to go vs. 417 pols who have not yet paid the 5% withholding tax

By Cha Monforte

Most election candidates- winners and losers – have not paid yet the five-percent withholding taxes they ought to retain and remit to the Bureau of Internal Revenue owing to the expenditures they made during the last May 10 polls.

BIR 112 Tagum City revenue district officer Manuel Trias Jr said in an interview with the Valley Chronicle that they would pursue the candidates who ran in the last election and who have not yet paid the five-percent withholding taxes that they should pay to the government as tax collection agents for the expenses they incurred to their candidacy in pursuance to BIR’s tax rules covered by its “Iboto Mo” tax collection campaign.

BIR 112’s jurisdiction covers the whole of Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley.

The BIR 112 released to this paper official figures indicating that only 221 poll candidates have paid the 5-percent withholding taxes. Theie payments grossed P649,456.10.

In the BIR list, a few poll winners were mentioned to have already paid their 5-percent withholding taxes.

In June 2010, Davao del Norte Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario paid P60,220 while his son now District 1 Cong. Anthony del Rosario paid P27,112.05 and P3,307 for his Tagum Arts expenditures, Vice Gov. Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio Jr, P14,794.19, and Compostela Valley Governor Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy, P12,482.50.

In terms of places, Tagum City paid the highest with a gross of P120,537.59 from still unknown candidates in the area who paid the taxes. On the other hand, Mabini town of Comval paid the lowest with a gross of P2,829.20.

The Valley Chronicle tried to get all the names of those who have failed to pay but a BIR 112 staffer promised she would still have to collate the statistics to be furnished by Monday.

Trias added that besides the 5-percent withholding tax the May 10 candidates have to pay for the 12-percent Value Added Tax (VAT), which is to be paid on or before the deadline of every 10th of the following month to the BIR from after the expenses are incurred.

“As of now we have already sent our request to the Comelec to furnish us their statements of expenditures. So far, hindi pa nagbigay,” he said.

Asked if the BIR would look into possible understatement of poll expenditures, he said that the BIR would conduct a probe on the expenditures declared and check and compare the amount to their suppliers like the printing press.

“If we found out they paid short of their taxes, then singilin namin ang kulang,” he added.

He bared that BIR would be sending demand letters to those May 10 candidates who have not yet paid their election-related taxes based on the statements of expenditures they had submitted to the Comelec. (RUN/cha monforte)

THE NORTHERN SPY

Fe Claire TM Honor

Textscam Capital of Mindanao

There’s a little village up there in southeastern part of Davao del Norte where it has many village houses converted as bases of the villagers’ textscams. Their modus operandi has been going on for quite a long time through the years without raids of the NBI or of the police. My listening posts said that scamming texters have already grown old of their profession- daily texting many unknown, guessed-at cellphone numbers until they hit victims. In fact, their rackets have already become their source of livelihood. If one scam artist manages to victimize two unsuspecting, innocent, ignuramus victims within a month, he is already assured of a month of earning to feed his family.

It was four years ago that I heard of also a village in the province that has become the black market of stolen cellphones mostly coming from Davao City. A friend went there 4 yrs ago, and she found manybrands in the latest brands of CP. I’m still trying to contact my dear friend to know whether the village has remained to be the blackmarket of stolen CPs as of this time. Bubuwets just keep me posted!

BLOGISTA

By Cha Monforte

Daneco’s new majority in BOD

Just a glimpse of Daneco’s history. The late Cong/Gov Pros Amatong was one of the founding fathers of Daneco. He cared so much for Daneco and for its independence as power cooperative. One day his son now Cong. Rommel “Bobong” Amatong assumed the post of the undefeated political legend in both Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley. The last thing we heard from our sources is that the son congressman was not influencing Daneco’s affairs. He was unlike his father who cared for Daneco’s independence in purest sense.

Maybe it was in deference to politics- that interfered in the choosing of Daneco’s members of the board of directors, which was denied by many among whom. But during the OIC GMship of Allan Laniba many of the majority were already rebelling against their political patrons- the ones who backed their election. Board director Miguel Fermil was formerly associated with the pro-Laniba group. Now he is supporting Dean Briz and Ananias Darjan Jr and Co, who support whoever other than Laniba for regular GM. Fermil is Pros Amatong boy. Cong. Amatong could have controlled Fermil like director Samuel Lacierda. But he didn’t unlike ex-Cong. Way Kurat Zamora who controlled three BOD members. Cong. Amatong seems to have no balls (political). Former Mayor Dominador Cruda lost in his recent reelection bid. Like Cruda, from our vantage point, director Dr. Roberto Alam had been erratic in his stance on issues- whether he will go for Laniba or the pro-Laniba ex-BOD president Dr. Antonio Sebumpan and Atty. Jess Albacite and Co. Or for Briz and Darjan and Co.

Now the pro-Laniba group of BOD members has been marginalized. Evidently, the Sebumpan-Albacite and Co. now comprise the new minority- the “pro-independent power coop”against the new majority’s “pro-liberal power coop” of Briz-Darjan and Co., I should say.

As of this writing, we still don’t know to whom the current OIC GM Engr. Nelson Balangan is working for. But he rose from the ranks having been employed for long. I don’t know if he’s close to vindicated Daneco deputy GM Engr. Felix Hibionada. Laniba was prequalified already as applicant for the regular GM, while Engr. Hibionada, former Daneco finance manager Priscilla Bartonico of Montevista and 7 others from outside Daneco have already applied for the regular GM.

But at press time the National Electrification Administration (NEA) has still to have a new administrator appointed by P-Noy. NEA administrator Edita Bueno is waiting on P-Noy’s decision- whether she’ll be replaced or not. If Bueno would not be reappointed, the new NEA administrator would have still to adjust at the top before he goes down to settle small issues in lower levels like who would be the next regular GM of Daneco. So meantime, Engr. Balangan has to sit down and relax. But he’s not relaxing. He’s a hardworker OIC GM the last time we saw him in his desk. Besides his qualified age, he’s an electrical engineer like Engr. Hibionada.

It thus appears now that Engr. Balangan would be serving as OIC GM for long, with NEA’s current status. Again, if P-Noy would not reappoint Bueno, Engr. Balangan would be sitting much longer. There’s that need for knowledge and familiarity and adjustment at the top which require a longer time. If this will come, it would still be next year that Daneco would have a regular GM. But who cares for it now given the sort of tranquility in the BOD, coming from a turbulent BOD. Again it would be best for Daneco if Engr. Balangan would have to sit longer. Maybe NEA could retain him indefinitely as the Daneco runs anyway with or without a regular GM.

The other scenario is when Bueno is retained and there would be fast resolution on the issue of regular GMship. Since Laniba passed and accordingly topped the emotional quotient and intelligence quotient test among examinees who vied to become GMs in various electric coops in the country, Bueno might chose Laniba first. But now we have already such BOD’s new and liberalist majority hostile to Laniba. Bueno might have second thought- as well as her NEA’s legal department. The latter seemed to have taken the safe side already when it gave a legal opinion about the definition of majority, which seemed to have put the previous BOD protagonists in the draw.

BLOGS AND BITS: There was sort of “collateral damage” done to Tadeco’s long-reigning dominance in the politics of the District 2 in Davao del Norte when Alan Dujali won as boardmember, edging out at least one ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD candidate.

The Mafiosi-themed poster in BIR 112 revenue district office in Tagum City already vanished last week. It was taken out from RDO’s office wall.

Evidently, Maco Mayor Voltaire Rimando is “pre-clipping” the political wings of his Vice Mayor Atty. Mario Sapilan Jr for him not to fly until the next polls in 2013. After the last polls but before the new vice mayor assumed office, Mayor Rimando aided by already defeated Vice Mayor Atty. Charles Suelto abolished 6 plantillas of casual employees. Besides, the mayor also took the service vehicle previously MR’ed to the Office of the Vice Mayor and gave VM Sapilan only a shoestring’s operating budget. Obviously, Mayor Rimando put a straightjacket around VM Sapilan. The mayor has 7 of the 8 elected councilors. VM Sapilan has only one ally- Top 3 Councilor Romeo Alaba (LP), brother of ex-Mayor Dr. Millar Alaba, whom Rimando defeated in the last polls (But Rimando was badly defeated in the poblacion). I know that BM Sapilan can’t be a scarecrow in the field. He has a stockpile of legal armaments.

There’s that tiff between the mayor elected and vice mayor elected. A year before the last polls, Mabini ex-mayor Reynaldo Dayanghirang reportedly blockaded the legislative agenda of Mabini Mayor Hadji Amir Munoz. The mayor pushed for a P25 million loan for the construction of a new terminal building, new public market building and new block tiendas, that are now a big reality in town. Munoz projects were almost shot down in the legislative hall, an aged market vendor told us. But the unifying and reconciler Comval Gov. Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy moved in and mended their conflict for reconciliation.

In the last polls, current VM Dayanghirang faced a good rival who graduated from his three terms as councilor- Edgardo Morilla. He lost though but not without Dayanghirang spending so much, verily unlike Mayor Munoz who just whistled on the way to his sure reelection with only virtual nuisance rivals and with his impact infrastructure projects already inaugurated and in place on the ground, the aged source added.

Meantime, we have to wait repercussions in other sangguniangs in Davao del Norte being presided by minority opposition vice mayor while the mayor is in the dominant group like Sto. Tomas sanggunian as presided by LP VM Daniel Batosalem Jr, BE Dujali sanggunian presided by LP VM Samuel Pacres and Igacos sanggunian presided by LP VM Al David Uy. Remember, Gov. RDR, LP honcho in the province, drew a political line during the last polls vis-à-vis Cong. Anton Lagdameo, the representative honcho of Lakas-Kampi-CMD and of Tadeco. Gov. RDR actively backed the presiding minority VMs, one big reason why they won. They ought to pay for their political utang na loob to Gov. RDR and they should not sleep with the enemy as yet unless there’s an imprimatur from the governor. But there’s always that reason of smoking the peace pipe for the sake of progress. It’s always meant a cover of the beleaguered- for him to bite a bigger slice in the cake, too. I mean the municipal or city budget.

There’s a new Del Rosario face now, and the Davao del Norte public got new political nick. He’s RGR- for Raffy del Rosario to differentiate his elder brother District 1 Cong. AGR and his father Gov. RDR. RGR is Del Rosario’s new political successor in the making. (e-mail: chamonforte@yahoo.com)

School bldg project funded by partylist pork barrel

Tagum City Council debates long over delayed measure

The city council lengthily deliberated over an already delayed measure involving a contentious P20,000 provision in the memorandum of agreement (MOA), lasting even past the city hall’s 12:00 noon siren during its second session last Monday.

The much fuss over the 2009 measure of the previous city council on the giving of two classroom buildings funded from the pork barrel of a teachers’ partylist group started when the approval for its resolution was reintroduced by the Councilor Joedel Caasi.

The school buildings are for Tagum National High School.

The bone of contention was the difference in the amounts of P1 Million as provided by the special allotment release order (SARO) of the Dept. of Budget and Management and the P980,000 as spelled out in the already signed MOA between the city government and the partylist group Advocacy for Teacher Empowerment through Action, Cooperation and Harmony towards Educational Reforms (A Teacher) represented by Rep. Mariano Piamonte Jr.

Caasi particularly informed the three new members of the City Council- Councilors Dr. Oscar “Doc Oca” Bermudez, Geterito “Boyet” Gementiza and Tristan Royce Aala that because of the difference of the amounts the previous City Council failed to approve the measure which started in December 2009.

In the current city council, only Gementiza and Aala do not come from the ruling local Liberal Party.

Caasi said that the Davao del Norte district office of the Dept. of Public Works and Highways prepared the MOA using a pro-porma MOA which has the amount P980,000 or less the 2 percent or P20,000 stated as retained payment for the preliminary and detailed engineering activities done by the DPWH district office.

The MOA was already signed by parties.

Several city councilors debated on whether they have to change the amount in the MOA jibing with the SARO’s amount and have it signed again by parties or just have it ratified in Caasi’s pending resolution.

During the middle of the deliberation, Councilor Bermudez said that the city council ought to enact a corrective measure otherwise the body would be “put in a bad light if somebody would question” on the difference of the amounts.

Councilor Aala said that he thought that the MOA was only an agreement of one party and questioned whether the amount of P1 million would still be enough to construct two school buildings since the project was already delayed. He also asked who would be responsible once it would not be completed.

Caasi informed that the city government would be constructing the classroom buildings “by administration” or not by private construction firms as the city hall has been doing this since then.

Only lady city councilor Mylene Baura, on her part, said that the P980,000 is for the accountability of the city government and she first wanted to defer the measure and referred it back to the committee on public works.

“Wala na tayong magawa, that’s already signed,” blurted out Councilor Allan Zulueta as he called on his colleagues to either ratify the MOA in a resolution or hold it in abeyance.

He said that the previous city council had already given City Mayor Rey Uy the authority to sign the MOA, but presiding Vice Mayor Allan Rellon butted in that the authority was already deemed to have expired with the passing of the old city council.

Caasi added that City Legal Officer Atty. Roland Tumanda had already reviewed the document and found it was in order.

Councilor De Carlo “Oyo” Uy said that there was actually no problem with it given the same amount of P980,000 in the MOA and the attached program of works.

Twice Rellon approved for the short recess during the deliberation.

After the long debate, in the end the city council had Caasi’s resolution amended and a new wheareas provision stating that the 2 percent or P20,000 would be under the responsibility of the DPWH district office subject to the government’s accounting and auditing procedures.

The amended resolution was then approved unanimously.

Earlier in the same session during the question hour, officials of the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative took turns in explaining the increases of power rates owing to the charging of ancillary service charges to the bills of power consumers. They were invited by the city council to shed light on it. (RUN/cha monforte)

Maco mayor clips vice mayor

The simmering political conflict between Maco Mayor Arthur Carlos Voltaire Rimando and Vice Mayor Atty. Mario Sapilan Jr has reached in administrative domain as the latter’s office was hit the hardest in the amendment of the reorganization staffing pattern at a time when the defeated Vice Mayor Atty. Charles Suelto was already going out after badly losing from the hands of Sapilan in the last polls.

Vice Mayor Sapilan (Liberal Party), who finished his third term, won with a margin of 6,527 votes over Suelto who belonged to Rimando-led administration Lakas-Kampi-CMD party. Only one councilor from LP, Romeo Alaba managed to win to join the session with the dominant seven Lakas councilors in the present sanggunian.

Sapilan said in an interview with Valley Chronicle that besides the six casual positions abolished in his office’s plantilla he was also given a “small operating budget” with a fuel provision even while the service vehicle previously used by Suelto was also recalled.

Sapilan ended up having no government service vehicle to use when he assumed office last July 1. He goes to the office now using the car he owns.

With the amendment of the staffing pattern, Sapilan has now six from 12 regular and casual employees whom Suelto used to have.

Last June 16 following recommendation from the Maco Municipal Development Council made on May 28, 2010, the Suelto-presided sangguniang bayan approved a resolution and ordinance abolishing and deleting positions not backed up with funds and other positions.

“Obviously I am the target… It’s politics and he wants to clip (me) so I could not move,” said Vice Mayor Sapilan Jr referring the move of Rimando as obviously aided by Suelto.

He said that the fuel provision in his office is deemed useless as it is illegal for him use it for his own private car.

The MDC resolution first cited that the municipal government has difficulties in realizing positions in the plantilla that were created but not backed up with funds given the huge funding it entails and the need to increase the salaries of present employees due to the implementation of the salary standardization-part three and to prioritize frontline health services.

The office of municipal environment and natural resources has 23 created positions but only six positions are funded, the resolution stated.

But pertaining to the office of the vice mayor, the resolution stated: “… it was also observed that the staff of the Vice Mayor are not indispensable in the local governance and the funding allocation thereof would better serve the other frontline services of the LGU.”

In the end, thirteen positions affecting five offices were abolished, six of which were already filled up then belonging to vice mayor’s office during the time of Suelto.

Meanwhile, reports said that the sanggunian has appropriated P2.5 million out from the savings for the acquisition of motor vehicles.

At presstime, the Valley Chronicle tried but failed to reach Mayor Rimando for comment. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

Good Week ‘syano

Chicken-and-egg puzzle

One shed crocodile tears on TV. After they were handcuffed by fellow policemen. Well, mabuhay! to the Regional Intelligence and Investigation Division (RIID) for catching the three mulcting buayas in the highway group in Davao del Sur. Mirisi! One Tagum Barracks officer said laughing. Gahig ulo na gyod, he was referring to one who just left the Barracks a week ago. The one who came from Davao del Norte was said to be annoying the Barracks residents with his loudly roaring big bike. Souls in the officers’ quarters would always be disturbed whenever the mulcting highway man arrived inside the Barracks. At lunchtime the other day, mixed reactions from the Barracks police officers were heard about the scene of cops handcuffing, arresting and locking up their own kabaros. One officer asked who started the highway corruption, the motorists who offered bribe or the patrol group cops who flag down motorists after seeing violations? The erring motorists, the kotong cops. It was like a chicken-and-egg puzzling question.The quizzical cop was candid enough to admit that it pains him to hear, when he’s riding in a bus in plain clothes, audible comments from fellow passengers who would say, “nah, naa na ang mga buaya sa unahan”. They’re my kabaro also, he said. Just a normal human reaction. But the tag as far as I can remember has been popular since the early 70s pa when big Chinoy compradors had to give P5 daily tongs and talay for the mulcting highwaymen with usually bloated beer bellies for each of their passing trucks bound to Davao City. It was P5 before, now the bills caught in the recent arrest in Guihing town were a mixed of P20 and P50. Was there a P5 coin? I don’t know if the few bad eggs in uniform that dirtied the whole PNP organization picked up coins for safety to their alkansiya car. I just didn’t see the ABS-CBN footage. – Al Rosero

OPINION

To pay or not the election-related taxes

The P-Noy administration is bringing good tiding to the country and to our provinces when it recently declared all-out war against tax evaders and smugglers. This start-up campaign has many looks and facets and we, the people, will surely rejoice whenever tax evaders and smugglers are caught and locked up in our prisons. To hell with them: the Filipinos have long been poor due to the rampant corruption and smuggling in our midst. Kung walang kurap, walang mahirap. Just time to catch the big fishes, first and foremost.

For our provinces, the Bureau of Internal Revenue 112 revenue collection office in Tagum City led by RDO Manuel Trias Jr bared his own statistics showing that many May 10 candidates- winners and losers- have not yet paid their taxes due to the government for the expenses they incurred in the last May 10 polls. Most or sixty six percent of all the 236 candidates in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley provinces have not yet paid their 5-percent withholding taxes to the government through the BIR. Or only 221 candidates have paid the 5-percent withholding taxes due to them. That alone and excluding the 12-percent value added taxes that are also due them.

The non-payment of the withholding taxes especially by the poll winners who are now occupying their respective posts following their oathtaking bespeaks of an ill will when they started serving their fresh mandate. Forgetting to pay the taxes for their election expenses is clearly a sin of omission. And if the winners have the intention of not really paying the election-related taxes and manage to skip so from the prying eyes of the BIR, sooner they would be uncovered and be charged of tax evasion, most possibly by their rivals in next 2013 polls. Especially the poll winners should be cautious on this matter as they already got the ticket to sit in tempting and richly public offices. Paying the election-related taxes is not only an obligation to become good citizens. It is a must to become good leaders if they want to cut a clean start for their administration. But it is also more than a due and demandable amount, so smaller than what the corrupt could cash in on from sitting their public offices.

But how pitiful are the poll losers who might have been economically burdened until present after losing money and fame in the last elections we have. They have also to pay the taxes no matter that they were defeated. Maybe the BIR can relax its policy for the poll losers making them to pay, say in installment. They have already lost, and many of whom lost their money in buying votes to the avaricious vote-selling voters. But the losers those who haven’t yet paid the taxes are also indebted to the BIR.

Still, eyebrows are raised when the BIR would only depend its probe of the taxes paid of the May candidates on their statement of expenditures submitted to the Comelec. But for all we know, and the public have long known this – that the politicians’ statements of expenditures to the Comelec are mostly if not all understated, in reduced amounts compared to what they really spent during the last polls. At least, there’s a starting basis with the statements. But there’s this unfairness to those who declared their election expenses in bigger amount. Newcomer Davao del Norte boardmember Daniel Lu of Sto. Tomas town declared only he spent P30,000 for his election (what?) and he would only pay a measly P1,500 worth of 5-percent withholding tax, much smaller to those who have made a “minimally religious compliance” of the Comelec law by stating higher, at least believable figures while they could no longer take back what they had already submitted to the Comelec. And we have a vernacular for that, in text jejemon press scripts: “may pag gigamay naq jud to vah, lagota jud woi!”

July 8-14, 2010

Valley Chronicle

BLOGISTA

By Cha Monforte

In District 2 of Davao del Norte, the traditional electoral turf of Tadeco, it’s politically strange that Boardmember Alan Dujali won as independent candidate. All his four companion boardmembers now in District 2 composition of the provincial board can be said to be Tadeco’s or Tonyboy’s creations. Well, we know that most of the politicians in the district fear for the day when former Congressman and the district political kingpin Tonyboy Floirendo would not endorse and support them come election time. BM Dujali though admitted that he was adopted by the Liberal Party led by Governor Rodolfo del Rosario and his son now Congressman Antonio Rafael del Rosario, aka AGR, hence, supported by them. It would now mean that with Dujali’s winning in Tadeco’s turf the political influence of the Del Rosarios is already barreling through the District 2 after they just consolidated their political hold in District 1 with the victory of all LP mayors and most of those in the LP slates. On the other hand, BM Alan’s winning also shows that the Dujali as a family name is still quite popular in District 2 and maybe throughout the present Davao del Norte after his uncle former Governor Gregorio Dujali carved a name and niche in the history of the erstwhile undivided Davao del Norte. There’s that whole BE Dujali town serving as stark reminder. But evidently, BM Alan has bailiwicks of his own after serving as a councilor for three straight terms in Panabo City, and as top gun in the governor’s banana growership program in District 2. He is the man to watch in Davao del Norte.

******

As we go to the press this Wednesday, Dean Briz, the current president of Daneco board of directors, has yet no rival running against him for the BOD election in Daneco’s District 8, which covers Tagum North. The day is the deadline of the filing of the candidacy for the District 8 election. Now, Briz is praying no one will file a CoC. Without a rival, he could set an unprecedented record. I texted Daneco ISD manager and former OIC GM Allan Laniba and he texted back, it would be good for Daneco that Briz would be unopposed as Daneco could no longer spend time and money. BOD director Dr. Roberto Alam has already his sweet victory when no one opposed his reelection bid last July 3 election in District 5 which covers Mawab and Maragusan.

But there seems to be a virtual blackout of information on the scheduled Daneco BOD district elections as only few posters were seen in the vicinities of Daneco’s districts where there would be BOD elections. That was unlike before, we observed. Is there an orchestration on the part of the management and the BOD since Briz and other BOD incumbents are running again? We just ask.

******

Many were quite intrigued with my attempt to estimate the votes of the influential monolithic Iglesia ni Cristo in the last issue of Valley Chronicle. It’s for among our readers to refute, statistically. For political operators, they have now the givens- percentages and the ABS partylist votes. It would be best if they can project how many were the actual INC voters during the last polls by municipality. There would be statistical errors in few samples in barangay level. So the fearless forecast for the INC votes in municipal level is tenable. Download the municipal figures now from the Comelec website or it might be closed sooner. The last time we know was that the Comelec was selling all the election results (from precinct levels) of the 2004 and 2007 polls. Now we can download the 2010 election statistics free.

*****

BLOGS AND BITS: It’s not only the political influence exemplified by BM Alan Dujali’s victory but also the economic infuence of the Del Rosarios through the banana growership that is slowly but surely creeping down to District 2.

What about Dr. Fred De Veyra who won as the one and only Lakas boardmember in District 1? His four companion boardmembers now in District 1 are all Liberal Party members, though Tita BM Shirley Belen Aala showed that at the strike of eleventh hour in the last polls she could jump to other political fence, that of the independent Lakas mayoral bet and now ex-Cong. Arrel Olano, when push came to shove.

Reelected BM Tony Lagunzad despite the junking of Mayor Rey Uy remained to be true-blue LP with Gov. RDR around.

Now back to BM Dr. De Veyra, we heard him said that the cause of his winning is the automated elections, “kung dili unta to automated pildi gihapon ko”. He might be implying that his winning was not due to Tadeco’s support. Nevertheless BM De Veyra shares the same stature to BM Dujali being the like the only opposition in the pack of his political foes in the last polls.

In the actual political world, nothing is permanent. Foes became friends, and friends become foes, between and among each other. Who knows BM De Veyra joins the LP forgetting his immediate Tadeco and Lakas past, and who knows BM Dujali joins Lakas and not the LP forgetting his immediate independent/LP past? But who knows that the unopposed District 2 Congressman Anton Lagdameo would pledge to LP and go to P-Noy forgetting his Gibo’s friendship and Lakas dug ins? But who knows Gibo would be picked a year after by P-Noy as one of the Cabinet members?

Now we have the LP as the ruling party-imminent with the recent forging of coalitions with other political parties, and LP is sure to stay and call the shots in the country’s politics. Forget PGMA- plunder, corruption suits have been filed already against her and many are yet coming. PFVR is so silent already with his age. That the Comval Governor Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy and his mayors’ pack sans District 2 Cong. Rommel Amatong and Pantukan Mayor JC Celso “Tok” Sarenas are girding to go to LP is a move of realpolitics. After all, long-reigning politicians in Davao del Norte and Comval have already gone through becoming members of at least five ruling administration political parties in the past since EDSA Uno revolution such as PDP-Laban, LDP, People Power Coalition, Lakas Party and the recent Lakas-Kampi-CMD party. It’s natural to become political butterflies in our country’s politics. (e-mail: chamonforte@yahoo.com)

OPINION

RDR’s travel moratorium

Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario is imposing a policy of no-OB (official business) travel outside Davao Region and outside the country. He bared this in his executive address during the inaugural session of the provincial board last Monday.

Among the governor’s priorities and thrusts, his travel moratorium policy intent was bared last in the list and maybe it was lastly mentioned since it would be the first to fall in the initial days of his second-term provincial administration.

Now there is this big question lingering from the nooks and corners of the Capitol at Mankilam after the governor’s executive address: How can plain provincial employees attend so important conferences or be trained of so important seminars held outside the region?

The governor’s statement in his executive speech during the maiden session of today’s provincial board in Davao del Norte can be at best taken as a policy pronouncement unless there’s already a memorandum order sent to all provincial offices. At of presstime, we still have not seen any governor’s memo to that effect.

Maybe, the memo on moratorium on non-OB outside the region is a case-to-case basis and it would surely not cover the governor and the vice governor and possibly, through the persuasion of the vice governor, the SP members . Meantime, Capitol workers and their department heads have to yet wait for the memo.

But the governor was and is just right. Time to put a moratorium really to stop wastage of governmental resources as we know of “little” shenanigans in government service about officials and employees making travels even if the invitation letters of event sponsors and organizers tell of an event irrelevant to their positions or immaterial to the furtherance of efficacy to their offices or departments. Some dubious OBs are made as a cover for rest and recreation of officials . The Lakbay Araw, which some tag with pun and sarcasm as Laag Aral, has all been notorious to this. Other dubious OBs are made to justify huge actual expenses for the travel savings to go to the pockets of officials. Some department and office heads are making frequent travels as their per diems and travel allowances saved after the travel become the replacement of their salaries, travel allowances and ACAPERA that are already mortgaged and heavily stashed by their combined loans from the banks, coops, Pag-ibig, GSIS and “other loan dito loan doon (London!)” schemes of fly-by-night, underground, or Bombay creditors (such tells of the plight of the plain government workingmen anyway, and we ask the newly elected Senators for another round of salary standardization law).

Official travels in fact made one group of budget officers owning a beach resort in Samal Island. Their big amount of registration expenditures everytime they made a meeting before were pooled and the budget officers had already the budget to buy a seaside lot in the island. The decent budget officers had really budgetted the government’s budget- for their own pockets. Now who own beach resort? The budget officers, their LGUs or the people?

We say however that there’s more grain than the chaff in official travels and we mean there are more well-meaning and productive travels made by government officials and employees than the dubious and self-serving ones. But that is, when the intent and purposes of the events have been carefully scrutinized by endorsing and approving heads of offices and they choose without favoritism whom to go and by how many attendees or travellers, with prudence to human resource development budget.

But who will control the department heads from wresting many seminars and conferences which can otherwise be attended by their subordinates and without them joining the junket bound to cool places outside the region? The one who approve last but who mostly do in ministerial manner in this little administrative matter is always the chief executive. Time now to really see who’s travelling and for what reason.

THE NORTHERN SPY

Fe Claire TM Honor

Tagum City, the New York of Mindanao

We heard lately that the newly opened Fields Inn motel along the Totit terminal road in Tagum City is reportedly owned by one of the big men in the games. A bubuwet says he also owns the Borders Inn. In architecture, it’s like the Prince Hotel in Davao City. It’s good investment. Romeo and Juliet drive inn hotel is also reportedly owned by YG. It’s also one of the cool, cozy, romantic places in the city. The Lakan’s Place Hotel and Inland Resort is owned by an engineer, a known Ilokano resident in the city. Since Tagum City is the R & R capital of Comval, Mati and DavNor areas, and the way the city offers an unfettered R & R services by nighttime and with its night market and so lively street dining and videoke and live bands, the gay, male and female bars, hubo-hubos like See Me, uhhum, but enveloped by a a good peaceful environment, Tagum City is really the New York of Mindanao. Tourists can not really call they have come to Mindanao if they have not come to Tagum City. Bye for now!

Good Week ‘syano

Highway in the sky

Funny. The week that passed when I took a van going to Davao City, the driver and the conductor gave vent a mouthful against a traffic highway man on motorcycle wheels. Well, the two were just scolded by the trafficman for wrong parking. I mean, for stopping to pick up and drop passengers fronting across the passengers’ waiting area or the bus stop area at the known kurbada in Tagum City. They were not apprehended though, or issued with TOP. The van driver was so furious while his few passengers were listening. The driver and the conductor asked for the neck of the trafficman. One passenger joined saying “buhi-buhi lang unta”. The driver said he wanted to maul the trafficman for being so “hambog”, by his fists only ‘til to the latter’s death (heaven, he turned terrorist), and shortly the conductor yelled: “Tana! Unsay pagtuo nila di ta kalakaw kung way pasahero?”. Thanks, we travelled, cooled so much by the van’s aircon due to the scarce passengers, only about 5-6 pax. Well, the Tagum traffic rambolitos,with tucked 45 cal pistols, have been all strict after the polls following a relaxation of rules during the last campaign period. City Mayor Rey Uy is still not allowing the Monvoda vans and Tagdasab vans to enter Totit terminal and pick up passengers from kurbada to the Barracks since the start of his first term, 2004. It has been like this for over 6 years na, and I’m irritated to drivers’ gripes whenever I take the van as my mode of transportation. The policy gives a favor to Metro Shuttle, Bachelor and DIBOA buses. In that cool, breezy travel, and midway, the furious van driver had only to satirically propose for a highway in the sky for the vans’ lane from a little past the kurbada to a little past the Barracks.- Al Rosero

RDR: NO TRAVELS FOR DAVNOR CAPITOL EXECS, EMPLOYEES

By Cha Monforte

In his executive address delivered Monday during the first session of Davao del Norte Sangguniang Panlalawigan, reelected Governor Rodolfo del Rosario bared that he is imposing a moratorium on official travels of officials and employees in all offices of the provincial government to places outside Davao Region and much more outside the country.

“This is the marching order,” the governor said as he lastly sought the support of the legislative department in implementing austerity measures in the provincial government as he started his second term as well as the terms of the SP members for the years 2010 to 2013.

In his speech, Gov. Del Rosario summed up the highlights of provincial government’s policies and accomplishments during his first three-year term after his return as provincial governor in 2007 and sought SP support in revisiting various legislation areas that need to be reviewed and revised to support the thrusts of his administration for the next three years.

He bared that his second-term administration would focus on delivering the soft infrastructures of social services for the people after vigorously implementing the hard infrastructure-oriented “RDR of Wheels” during his recent term and following the Minimum Basic Needs (MBN) that marked his separate administration from 1998 to 2004.

He sought SP support for his administration’s thrusts that included a push for and implementation of botika ng barangay, universal health insurance through the Philhealth, improvement of province-run hospitals with private sector participation, more potable water facilities, technical-vocational education not only targeting the graduating high school students and out-of-school youths but also the entrepreneurs, teachers trainings, energization of barangays, agricultural production support for the farmers and fisherfolks, decent and affordable housing programs, people empowerment and participation of cooperatives, non government organizations, tribal groups, barangay development councils and other marginalized groups, and institutionalization of sectoral groups in all levels of government in the province.

He particularly asked the SP to revisit existing provincial policies such as the housing code, land use plans, real property tax assessments and the investment code towards making them effectively contribute to providing social equity for the people and making the province as the “top choice of investments”.

The governor also bared that his administration would continue to push for vigorous efforts in developing the coastal road for the coastal villages from Tagum City to Carmen town and in the Babak District of the Island Garden City of Samal. (Cha Monforte)

Laughters marked 1st DavNor SP session

Laughters and guffaws sounded audibly in the session hall from among the newly elected and reelected boardmembers as they lightly tangled over small procedures in the approval of internal rules of procedure (IRP) of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan during their first session last Monday afternoon.

The maiden session presided by reelected Vice Governor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio Jr rolled in full length after Governor Rodolfo del Rosario gave his executive address.

It was their first session and the first business of the day should be the approval of the IRP as “the IRP of the last SP was deemed already expired,” said the veteran Boardmember Antonio “Tony” Lagunzad (Tagum City), who was reelected for his second term.

A few briefly tangled over how the IRP would be approved, and when reelected Boardmember Ely Dacalus of Panabo City stood up for a revision, he went blank on his motion and instead threw the gauntlet to Sangguniang Kabataan provincial federation holdover chairman Dennis Cafe, who was the SP’s acting floorleader.

Cafe then took the job of passing the IPR measure for the first and second approval of the IRP drawing unanimous ayes from all of the 13 boardmembers present.

Obviously on quite mode during first session were comebacking Boardmember Alan Dujali (Panabo City), who was a former ex-officio SP member as provincial president of the Philippine Councilors League (PCL) in Davao del Norte in 2001 to 2004 and the only independent among the Lakas boardmembers of district two. He was actually adopted as guest candidate of the Liberal Party of Gov. Del Rosario.

Seen to be silent also were reelected Boardmember Janet Gavina (Panabo City), Top 4 in the ranking of all winner boardmembers but Top 1 in her district with her exact 80,000 votes or 32.98 percent against District 2’s 222,206 total registered voters.

Also on a humdrum on his swivel chair was Federation of Barangay Captain Council (FABC) holdover president Demitrio Maligro, who lost in the last polls in his bid to become a regular boardmember.

Newcomer Boardmember Dr. Fred De Veyra, the only one Lakas among the Liberals of the first district boardmembers, wanted to render his first speech, a prepared one, but he was informed that there was a “consensus” that nobody from among them would have to stand for a privilege speech to make the session short.

Comebacking veteran Boardmember Shirley Belen Aala was seen to be always joyous and smiling since the start of the affair, quite unlike when the effusive woman was raging during the last polls when she was junked, along with Boardmember Lagunzad, by Tagum City Mayor Rey Uy, and she turned ballistic from the lap of the Liberal Party to the stage of the independent Lakas group of defeated District 1 Congressman and mayoral bet Arrel Olano during the penultimate miting de avanci.

Despite Uy’s junking Aala landed Top 1 and became the senior boardmember with her highest votes of 95,283 or 42.88 percent against the District 1’s 222,210 total registered voters.

Other regular boardmembers with their rankings are: Top 2 BM Atty. Raymond Joey Millan Tagum City), who got 39.91 percent for his 88,691 votes, Top 3 BM Vicente Eliot Sr.(Tagum City), 34.68 percent with his 77,073 votes, Top 4 BM Gavina, 32.98 percent for her 80,000 votes, Top 5 BM Lagunzad, 32.64 percent for his 72,533 votes, Top 6 BM Daniel Lu (Sto. Tomas) who got 30.96 percent for his 75,112 votes and Top 7 BM Dujali, 29.74 percent for his 72,138 votes, Top 8 BM Dacalus, 28.10 percent for his 68,176 votes, Top 9 BM Hernanie Duco, 25.16 percent for his 61,045 votes, and Top 10 BM De Veyra, 24.18 percent for his 53,723 votes. (RUN/cha monforte)

“I am an ally of RDR”

- BM Alan Dujali

By Cha Monforte

Newcomer regular Boardmember Alan Dujali of Panabo City has only this to say when asked why he managed to win as independent candidate despite that the District 2 of Davao del Norte has long been known by tradition to have only boardmember winners who are supported by Tadeco in the polls: “I was a reluctant candidate and the Liberal Party led by the governor adopted me as their guest candidate.”

When pressed further whether there was a covert backing of Tadeco to his independent candidacy during an interview with the Valley Chronicle right after the inaugural session of the provincial board Wednesday afternoon, he said: “As far as I know I have been with Governor (Rodolfo) del Rosario, I’m his ally.”

“I am not a politician and I felt there was a need for me to run. If I win I can contribute in laying down foundations for good governance,” Boardmember Dujali said in obvious recollection to his pre-election preponderance.

He is back in the august halls of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan , now as a regular member, from his stint as an SP ex-officio member as president of the Philippine Councilors League (PCL) before ex-Boardmember Roger Israel and the present PCL president Helario “Larry” Caminero got their opportunity to represent all the councilors in the province to the SP.

Dujali rested from politics for two elections after he lost in 2004 in a mayoral race in Panabo City “against the bigwigs”.

Since his electoral loss he has been into cavendish banana farming helping the growership program of the governor in Panabo City and adjoining municipalities.

In 2007 polls he did not run but he was appointed as the provincial chairman of Kampi.

“But when the NAPM (Noynoy Aquino for President Movement) in the province was started to be mobilized I resigned from Kampi,” he said.

Dujali bared that it was Tingting Cojuangco who asked him to help NAPM, the same in 2004 when she asked him to organize Kampi in the province.

Since then Cojuangco and Dujali have been communicating.

“The NAPM was a multisectoral group,” he said.

He said that he is close with the now District 1 Congressman Anthony del Rosario (AGR) and that “AGR is close to Tingting”.

It was the Del Rosarios who have pushed the formation and build up of NAPM in the province.

Boardmember Dujali is a nephew of former Governor Gregorio Dujali of the erstwhile undivided Davao del Norte. He is a son of former Panabo Vice Mayor Buenaventura Dujali, younger brother of Gov. Dujali.

He served Panabo City as councilor for three terms ending in 2004.

By garnering 72,138 votes in the last polls, Dujali landed Top 3 in the race for boardmembers in District 2, edging out reelectionist and old, seasoned politicians. Sans the LP membership yet, he is the only independent among the Lakas boardmembers of District 2 in the new SP composition. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

Daneco ancillary services charge down by August

By Cha Monforte

The ancillary services charge which caused for the doubling up of the power rates of the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (Daneco) this month is expected to decrease by this July billing and it would have an impact to power consumers by the month of August.

In an interview, Daneco board president Dean Briz bared that per information relayed by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) the power supply situation is normalizing this month with the current supply from the Agus hydropower complex following the El Nino onslaught in Mindanao.

He added that current Agus situation would consequently decrease the power supply augmentation of the ancillary service providers such as the power barge of the Aboitiz-owned Therma Marine in Maco resulting to the decrease of ancillary services charges to be paid by Daneco to NGCP.

In behalf of the ancillary services providers which serve as back-up and reserved power suppliers in times of lack of power supply from Agus complex, the NCGP billed Daneco the ancillary services charges which suddenly reached to a high P38 million in May and to a highest P41 million in June this year.

Briz reckoned that the Daneco’s July billing from NGCP would hover around P5 million.

Daneco used to pay an average of P3 million last year to NGCP for the ancillary services.

First week this month the Daneco board of directors decided to pass on the combined P79 million NGCP-billed ancillary services charges for May and June, generating massive complaints and flaks from irate power consumers who suddenly saw their power bills rose by two to three times from what they used to pay.

Daneco already paid P13.06-million for the ancillary services for the month of April though on protest as it sent petition to the Energy Regulatory Commission questioning the NGCP’s computation and other issues relating the charge that has become controversial also to other electric cooperatives in the country.

NGCP said earlier that the ancillary services charge is just a “pass-through charge” to be paid to ancillary services providers.

But some electric cooperatives are suspecting that the NGCP, which handles power transmission and is owned by private corporations, is conspiring to have a share in ancillary services charges reportedly billed in non-transparent and obscure manner by private power generators and independent power producers (IPP).

The ERC has yet to resolve the petition of Daneco.

Briz, on the other hand, they would still have to “wait and see” the ERC’s ruling adding that in case the ERC would rule in favor to Daneco such as decreased ancillary charges the possible refund of the charges would “still be subject to a public hearing”.

Meanwhile, he also bared that the Daneco as of press time is “documenting” towards filing a case against IPPs which now own the assets of the dissolved National Power Corporation for violations of “contracted obligations”.

He said that Daneco had contracted NPC to supply a 60-megawatt power but it was suddenly lost when it was dissolved and its assets were bought by the IPPs without consultations with electric cooperatives.

July 1-7, 2010

Valley & City Chronicle

LOCAL TABLOID EARNS P.67 M FROM RDR, AGR ELECTION SPENDING

A local tabloid circulating in Davao del Norte earned P684,141 from the total P1,746,641 worth of combined election expenses of Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario and his son new District 1 Congressman Antonio Rafael del Rosario in payment to the propaganda materials it made for them.

Per election expenditure reports they separately submitted through their representatives to the Commission Elections, the governor and congressman spent during the last elections only a total of P1,204,400 and P542,241, respectively, out of personal funds.

The sworn statements of contributions and expenditures of the two officials were prepared last May 27 and submitted by provincial administrator Rufo Peligro last June 9 to the Comelec. The expenditure reports were notarized by provincial legal counsel Atty. Jennifer Namoc last June 4.

The governor’s itemized expenses stated that P550,000 went to Cortess Printing Press and P544,400 to Periodico Norte, both for propaganda materials, and P110,000 to Rolly Yap for sound system, rally and stage preparation.

On the other hand, the congressman’s itemized expenses stated that P337,500 went to Cortess Printing Press and P139,741 to Periodico Norte, both for propaganda materials, and P65,000 went to Nemesis Nunez for the sound system, rally and stage preparation. Nunez turned out to be one of Peligro’s executive assistants.

In sum, Periodico Norte grossed P684,141 for the reported total election expenditures of the Del Rosarios.

The tabloid issued two official receipts, one OR No. 3016 dated May 25, 2010 for the sum P139,741 and the other OR No. 3014 still dated May 25, 2010.

“It was unfair to other local newspaper publishers,” cried Ciriaco “Boy” Conejos, publisher of Dyaryo de Oro, in an interview.

In separate interview, OIC Provincial Comelec Supervisor Atty. Gay Asuncion-Enumerables said that her office only received what the candidates submitted and would forward the documents to the law department of the Comelec central office in Manila.

At press time, it could not yet be ascertained if Periodico Norte as a supplier did not retain the 17-percent withholding and value-added taxes levied to the expenditures incurred by the Del Rosarios for its propaganda materials otherwise the tabloid stands to pay the Bureau of Internal Revenue about P116,303.97 worth of taxes. Periodico Norte is published by Bert Gorgonio.

The governor’s total expenditure for Periodico Norte’s propaganda material if divided by 45 days of the campaign period would give a picture of the governor spending P12,097.78 daily and the congressman spending P3,105.36 daily, or if combined, buying at least 2 whole and a half pages of propaganda advertisements daily for straight 45 days since the tabloid’s whole page of advertisement is priced at P6,000 per publication.

Earlier, the Comelec extended the deadline of the submission of expenditure reports of both winning and losing candidates from June 10 to June 24.

Comelec Law Department head Ferdinand Rafanan said they have no “capacity” of verifying or auditing the submitted expenditure reports on their own.“Kung ano lang sinubmit nila, we take it for granted na tama (Whatever they submit, we assume that it is correct),” Rafanan told reporters.

He said the job of his department, which is tasked to receive the reports, is ministerial and is just similar to record-keeping. He added that they can only reprimand candidates if they do not submit on time or do not submit a report at all.

Rafanan noted, however, that they are “looking into” conducting a more thorough evaluation of the poll expenditures of candidates.

He even said that they plan on working with the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, election finance watchdog Pera at Pulitika, Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants in auditing the candidates’ expenses.

Meanwhile, the Comelec admitted that how much a candidate can spend during elections is already outdated.

”San ka nakakita ng reasonable campaign na ang spending P10 ang allowance? How do you do that? (Where have you seen a reasonable campaign where the allowance is only P10 per voter? How do you pull that off?),” director James Jimenez said in a report.

In the May 10 polls, Comelec Resolution 8944 mandated candidates for president and vice president with political parties to spend P10 per registered voter while other candidates also with parties, P3 per voter. On the other hand, candidates without the support of political parties may spend P5 for every voter.

Jimenez pointed out, however, that this is not enough because it has become very expensive to campaign these days. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte with reports)

Chiongkee, Comval mayors to pay courtesy call to P-Noy

Compostela Valley Governor Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy has bared that he and most of the municipal mayors would be paying a courtesy call to President Benigno “P-Noy” Aquino III sooner in Manila.

He bared this during Wednesday’s oathtaking ceremony of reelected Laak Mayor Rey Navarro and his eight municipal councilors held at the second floor of the municipal hall in Laak town.

The governor’s statement fueled speculations that leaders of the Uswag Comval political aggrupation led by the governor would bid to become members of the new party in power, the Liberal Party (LP) of Pres. Aquino.

Unimpeachable sources of Valley Chronicle said that District 1 Congresswoman Maricar Zamora-Apsay is also girding to become LP member while District 2 Congressman Rommel Amatong is still sticking with the Lakas-Kampi-CMD party of the former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Amatong though would support the bid of the Quezon City Congressman Sonny Belmonte of the LP to become Speaker of House of Representatives in what can be seen as “critical collaboration between some Lakas-Kampi-CMD congressmen and the LP,” sources added.

Early during the campaign period of the last polls, Gov. Uy, Vice Gov. Ramil Gentugaya and most of the municipal mayors in the province resigned from Lakas-Kampi-CMD and went independent in supporting the Nacionalista Party presidential standard bearer Manny Villar, who landed as third placer in the turnout of votes in Compostela Valley.

Former President Erap Estrada topped in the votes cast for president, followed by President Aquino.

Earlier, Davao del Norte District 1 Congressman Anthony Rafael del Rosario (LP) in a press conference bared that since the LP lacked the numbers to ensure the speakership of Belmonte horsetrading was already happening between the LP and congressmen of other political parties.

The LP has only 35 congressmen and Belmonte needed 140 congressmen to be able to wrest the speakership even as Belmonte had already secured the support of some 60 congressmen from Lakas, Cong. Del Rosario added. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

DANECO sets dates of 4 district BOD elections

Four district elections for members of the board of directors (BOD) of the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (Daneco) will be separately held from June 3 to July 24, Daneco officials recently bared.

The election for the Daneco’s District 5 covering Mawab and Maragusan will be held on July 3 to be followed by District 7 covering Kapalong and Talaingod on July 10. The last day of the filing of the certificate of candidacy (CoC) for District 7 will be on July 10 while for District 5 has passed already on June 23.

The election for Daneco BOD member of the District 8, which covers Tagum North, will be on July 17 and its last day of the filing of CoC will be on July 7.

The last district election to occur is in District 12, which covers Laak, and it will be on July 24 and its last day of the filing of CoC will be on July 14. (RUN/cm)

BM Goryo bids farewell to SP comrades

Boardmember Gregorio “Goryo” Facula in heartbreaking moment of the last session of the Davao del Norte Sangguniang Panlalawigan Wednesday afternoon bade farewell to comrades and to the people whom he has worked with in serving the province.

In a speech he availed after reelected Vice Governor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio Jr called for a privilege hour of the session, Facula, who lost in his mayoral bout comeback in his small hometown of BE Dujali, thanked his colleagues and the men and women in the legislative department and particularly to Governor Rodolfo del Rosario.

“My deepest gratitude to all of you I have worked with in my 30 years of being in public service,” he said in a session aired live by DXDN Radyo Ukay.

He added that after all those long years he would finally return as a full-time family man and plain citizen.

He thanked for the opportunity given to him as the SP’s floorleader and for the support of his colleagues and the vice governor in the passage of legacy ordinances he authored such as the creation of the Media Center, the institutionalization of the barangay employment coordinator and organic farming in the province.

BM Facula was the topnotcher legislator in the SP for two straight years (2008-2009) in terms of resolutions and ordinances he sponsored or authored.

The known Goryo from Barangay Cabayangan of BE Dujali had first served as a barangay health worker, and was subsequently elected in various positions such as Kabataang Barangay (KB) chairman, barangay captain and municipal councilor for three terms.

Before becoming a municipal councilor, he actively served as a kaabag and catechist while involved in cooperative movement and with non government organizations. To support his family, he engaged in various odd works as farm sprayman, tuba gatherer, habal-habal driver, delivery man and farm worker. As sprayman he contracted a disease that caused him to stop schooling.

When BE Dujali was created as a municipality in March 1998 he was appointed as the OIC mayor and two months after he won as regular mayor and went to graduate from his three terms before being elected as boardmember for first term, which he just finished.

He was also a topnotch mayor for earning fame as one of the Ten Outstanding Public Servants (TOPS), Most Outstanding Mayor (Hall of Fame/ Consistency Award) conferred by the Civil Service Commission, and for getting the Kaagapay Seal of Excellence in local governance, Best Municipal Peace and Order Council national winner, National Literacy Award, Lingkod Bayan Award given during the CSC’s 106th founding anniversary in September 2006.

Wednesday’s last session of the SP also saw the three-termer Boardmember Macario Bermudez giving his farewell speech. He lost in the race for city councilor for a comeback bid.

Absent during the last SP session were the other SP members who lost in the last elections, Boardmember Roger Israel, who lost in vice gubernatorial bout, Boardmember Leopoldo Monteroso, who lost in comebacking mayoral bout in Asuncion, FABC president Demetrio Maligro, who lost in the race for District 2 boardmember, and Boardmember Jose Recarido Federiso, who lost in comebacking mayoral bout, and Boardmember Salvador Royo who failed in his reelection bid for boardmember. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

Laak Mayor Navarro adds 1 K to his 5 programs

Laak Mayor Reynaldo Navarro bared during Wednesday’s oathtaking of municipal officials that he is adding one K for Kalingawan (entertainment) to his known 5 centerpiece program of government which stands for Kalinaw, Kalsada, Kalan-on, Kaalam ug Kahimsog (peace, road, food, education and health).

Entertainment services and facilities such as bands, disco facilities and others would be provided for the Laak people and barangays during their occasions such as fiestas, araws and others in thanksgiving for the blessings of the Almighty, to drum up the continued progress of the municipallity as well as to enliven more the spirit of Laak’s industrious people, he said in an interview after the oathtaking held at the second floor of the municipal hall.

In his inaugural speech, Mayor Navarro thanked the Laak people for their continued support to his administration and pledged to do more for the progress and development of his municipality.

He said that after the election is done it is now time to buckle down to work for greater public services for the people.

Guests who attended the oathtaking included Governor Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy, Dept. of Interior and Local Government Compostela Valley provincial director Abito Benasor and the families and relatives of the newly elected and reelected officials including the Sangguniang Kabataan provincial federation president Ramsha Rhesa Navarro.

The mayor and his eight councilors took oath before Municipal Trial Court Judge Juanito Betonio.

Vice Mayor Christopher Jovito took his oath earlier before Municipal Trial Court Judge Dorothy Montejo-Gonzaga in Asuncion, Davao del Norte.

The mayor has current political tiff following the latter’s violation of campaign agreement during the last elections. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

How Ramsha Navarro gets her destiny as Comval’s 5th SK fed prexy?

She never knew that one day she would become an ex-officio boardmember in the 12-year old Compostela Valley.

But the men in charge in the top have fallen one after another for good reasons that in the next order of things she rose to have her destiny of becoming the 5th Sangguniang Kabataan provincial federation president.

Last June 20 at the Prosperity Hall in Nabunturan, Ramsha Rhesa Navarro, 19 years old, the youngest of the two children of Laak Mayor Rey Navarro, was elected vice president of the SK federation, without opponent, by 10 SK municipal chairmen.

Two weeks after the election victory of Pantukan Mayor JC Celso “Tok” Sarenas her daughter Anna Jhoanna Sarenas voluntarily resigned as the SK federation president citing that she wanted to “give balance representation for the youths” in her Pantukan town.

The mayor and Governor Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy has a current political tiff that began before the onset of the campaign period of the last polls. Evidently, Jhoanna’s resignation was an offshoot of the tiff.

By operations of law on SK, SK federation vice president and Maragusan SK municipal president Ji-Eam Cuizon succeeded Jhoanna but only until Wednesday when he had his oathtaking as regular member of the Sangguniang Bayan of Maragusan. Ji-Eam ran for councilor as independent in last polls and landed fourth placer getting 9,186 votes.

Former SK federation presidents who are now holding higher political posts in the province are now Congresswoman Maricar Zamora-Apsay (Monkayo), followed by now last-termer Vice Governor Ramil Gentugaya (Monkayo), Adrian Relampagos (New Bataan) and Sarenas (Pantukan).

“I’ll really work hard for the unity of the youths in the province, and to strengthen the SK as an organization so it could live true to its name in literal sense,”she said in an interview with the Valley Chronicle.

She said also that she is opposing the recent proposal of Vice President Jojo Binay to abolish the SK saying that it is only the SK with which the youths can rely on for representation in governance.

She though thinks that Binay’s proposal could not materialize under a P-Noy’s presidency which she said believes on the youths’ power to contribute for good governance.

The rest is history and more history to come for Ramsha Rhesa Navarro. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

OPINION

The oathtaking and after

By midday of June 30 all of our newly elected and reelected officials in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley must have already taken their oath of office. The oathtakings we observed thus far were largely simple and especially not so expensive although there were few that were having much funfare. Municipal oathtakings were mostly simple with the traditional ceremonies and modest snacks or meals, bread and softdrinks or packed lunches tendered to guests and the audience- as far as the quantity could offer. This must and should be so. After all, the oathtaking serves as the last expenditure of the exiting set of officials and the first expenditure of the newly elected and reelected set of officials. It would not augur well to the public if they see that there’s too much hoopla and feast at the time they started serving the people’s mandate. Those who have made their oathtakings simple have sense of delicadeza and must have been fueled by a gut feeling that their newly mandated administration could not have a good start if they have it so costly following a so costly election they all suffered but had them anyway elected.

Their mandate alas has officially started. We start anew to serve after thanking for the people’s support and assuring constituents of continued good public service. This is the common them of inaugural speeches. Quite understandably, the theme is so much logical in the season of oathtaking that has just ended. And now elected officials have to fold up their sleeves and buckle down to work.

The scene of having family and relatives of poll winners witnessed and stood during the oathtaking under the glare of public watch is imbued with the message that while their politician kin took oath they, too, are tied up in public office as the law says so that family members and relatives of elected officials, by consanguinity or affinity, have to be revealed and declared and they are at the very least prohibited from bidding for supplies and contracts under the administration led by their kin, chief of whom is the chief executive, the mayor or the governor, who is the most influential official in every local government unit.

But the results of the war of over the spoils of local political war has yet to be known in our LGUs as done deals for the employment or designation or the transfer, reassignment or demotion of Mr. and Ms. so-and-so have yet to be put in effect after the oathtaking. But this is in so far as the politically vindictive, vengeful ones are concerned. The heads to roll inside the local bureaucracy have known the expected and what is forthcoming right after the candidates they covertly or actively supported lost in the polls. Often they been prepared for their fate notwithstanding the voluminous civil service laws under which they can take refuge to ward off the onslaughts of politically-motivated memorandum orders that threaten their security of tenure or at the very least their current designation or assignment. But the last thing newly mandated but insecured elected officials do not want are unrepentant termites and political spies that would slowly gnaw their administration.

We have long known of the fact that the even civil service- eligible and permanently employed government workers who have not been neutral in the last elections and whose mayoral or gubernatorial candidates were defeated by among those vindictive or turf-conscious officials can run but they cannot hide. This is to say: they can hold their ground on or take a leave of absence, but they can never prevent the chief executive moving on political reprisal from “floating” them to insignificant assignment or burdensome tasks. Otherwise, when they could not take the toll, they have the honorable exit of resigning and saying goodye to government service.

Often, these come up as prize of political freedom of individuals and results of mighty political power carried out in executive decisions under newly received people’s mandate.

BLOGISTA

By Cha Monforte

Estimating the INC bloc votes, playing a statistical fire

My broadcaster friend, who is a member of the monolithic Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), said that in the last polls they, INC members, chose and voted for the ABS (Arts Business and Science) partylist organization. Truly and since time immemorial in our elections, the bloc votes of INC have been the much sought-after votes of all candidates. The reason is quite simple: the INC votes give the immediate lead of votes of candidates even before the actual casting of votes. When you’re the candidate not fortunate enough to be chosen by the INC, you start at zero vote while those chosen have already the votes equivalent to the number of INC members who would actually vote during the polls.

With the ABS partylist votes, we can now at least reckon how many were the INC votes and the degree of influence of the INC votes in the last elections. In the race to any other posts, the number of votes is a mixed of the votes from many unknown someone from the registered electorate who voted in the last polls. Thanks, now we have a given.

I venture to reckon that the total ABS partylist votes can practically be assumed to be composed of at the very least 99-percent INC votes knowing of the large obscurity of the ABS in our provinces. Not all of the INC members who are voters in a legislative area voted during the last polls. Some of them failed to vote for one reason or another- sickness, self-disenfranchisement due to the long queues and the heavy rains, PCOS machines not counting the invalid votes and others. In Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley, actual votes cast for partylist organizations are smaller compared to votes cast to all presidential candidates or to all mayoral candidates, if you sum each of their votes. There’s still this generally lower level of awareness among the voters to the partylist system, implying that many voters failed to vote in the partylist section in the ballot.

Personally, in my coverage during the last campaign period, I never had a glimpse of an ABS tarp poster nor met ABS sectoral campaigners on the ground nor heard and seen an ABS media ad. But the ABS partylist organization has a good showing both in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley. Of the 187 partylist organizations competing, ABS is Top 9 in Davao del Norte with a total of 6,994 votes throughout the province, and Top 8 in Comval with its 5,313 votes throughout the province. But the figures are just tip of the iceberg in my own projection.

There are more INC votes or voters, greater than the votes obtained by ABS. The INC voting bloc constituted about 8 percent of the total voters who actually voted in the last polls. Davao del Norte and Comval have 464,788 and 349,766 total registered voters, respectively. Based in Comval election statistics alone, at least there are still more than 16,000 INC member-voters out there besides the votes obtained by ABS, and hence, at this onset, the estimated total INC bloc votes comprised more or less 22,000 in the last polls in Comval.

Comval has 263,635 voters who actually voted of its 349,766 total registered voters. It has 75.37-percent general election turnout with only 86,131 of the total registered voters failing to vote. Partylist organizations combined, on the other hand, have only a mere 57.27-percent turnout (against the total registered voters). Provincewide, there were only 200,300 actual votes cast to all 187 candidate partylist organizations, and hence there were 63,335 voters who voted but did not vote in the partylist section.

The question that stares in the mind then is: with the ABS votes of 5,313, how many are the estimated INC voters throughout Comval? Since the partylist turnout (against the total number of voters who voted) is 75.98 percent, so the percent of those who voted to other candidates but did not vote to the partylist must be 24.02 percent. With these percentages and with the ABS given, by ratio and proportion, we derive to project that there are more or less 22,000 INC votes in Comval. And for the unopposed Governor Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy, who got a total 206,921 votes in the last polls and who was the INC’s no-other choice, that INC figure constituted roughly 11 percent of the total votes he obtained for his new, second-term mandate, I dare to reckon.

I offer this as my simple statistical route in estimating the INC bloc votes, given the ABS figures which can still be downloadable from the Comelec website. I’m no stats geek though. But since many have been quarrelling over factors of defeat especially on the INC factor to the point that candidate losers and their leaders, I’ve heard, have been pointing their fingers against each other, this statistical route can mend soured relationships. We have long known of the fact that the INC has really the advantage of united numbers, but we don’t usually know of the INC number of votes except the verbal they-say-so’s. But really, this can’t cure the greatest factor of defeat, that is vote buying, especially so when the envelops went to the personal pockets of vote-buying leaders and did not reach to the destination- the vote-selling voters. We can play a statistical fire in municipal data with my stats route.

BLOGS AND BITS: Kodus to Tagum PNP Chief PSupt. Giusseppe (pronounced Joseph) Geralde. Under sweltering sun during the oathtaking of Davao del Norte provincial officials he directed his police force in successfully guarding the affair at the Capitol’s Bulwagan.

The PR man behind Vice Gov. Baby Suaybaguio is his older brother Nick Suaybaguio Sr., ex-BIR district officer and father of reelected City Councilor Nickel Suaybaguio, and uncle of reelected City Councilor Atty. Mylene Baura, CPA. The family name Suaybaguio has been a political institution in Tagum City. It’s becoming provincewide in scope with Baby’s votes of 230,220 in the last polls against BM Dangpanan Israel’s 80,075 votes. The margin of 150,145 votes is still so loudly deafening even these days.

Tagum City’s BIR 112 RDO Manuel Trias Jr seems to have Al Capone as his idol. He has the Godfather’s poster hanged in his office room. “It takes a thief to catch a thief,” says a catch sentence of the poster produced by BIR’s US counterpart. Now, who are the thieves in the BIR? (e-mail: chamonforte@yahoo.com)

Konsehal Titing Sebumpan, Maco’s new nino bonito

Now, Maco has a new political nino bonito- No. 1 Councilor Anthony Merlin “Titing” Sebumpan.

The Maco electorate have all been known to choose nino bonitos among councilors.

They have already produced at least three nino bonito councilors who subsequently rose up in the political ladder in town, like Atty. Mario Sapilan Jr, a three-termer councilor and now the town’s vice mayor, ex-Councilor Atty. Armando Seras, who later became boardmember for three terms in District 2 of Compostela Valley. Ex-Vice Mayor Charles Suelto was once also Maco’s nino bonito.

Councilor Sebumpan had his first running in the last polls but he topped the councilors’ race getting 15,705 votes, higher than the votes of reelectionist vice mayoral candidate Suelto, who got 10,127 votes, but close to Sapilan’s 16,654 votes.

Sebumpan, 29 years old and a licensed nurse, told Valley Chronicle that during the last campaign period he had only a few plain, not known and ordinary campaign workers of his youthful age.

He belonged to the party of reelected Mayor Voltaire Rimando, Lakas-Kampi-CMD.

Youths interviewed by Valley Chronicle said that Konsehal Sebumpan is so accessible and approachable, “dali maduolan” by his looks alone.

He is the fourth of the five children of Daneco board director Dr. Antonio Sebumpan, MD, who became also a councilor for two terms from 1995 to 2001.

Dr. Sebumpan was Maco’s municipal health officer for 24 years.

His brother Dr. Jose Mychel Sebumpan also came ahead of him serving as a town councilor for two terms also from 2004 to 2010. Dr. Mychel now is working in Australia.

Before his election, most of the time Councilor Titing has been assisting his father physician in his clinic in town.

He said he did not rotate the town’s barangays, and it was only the last campaign period that he did with the mayor’s slate.

“I’ll focus my efforts in improving the health program in the municipality, such as working for the doubling up of the budget for the medicines,” he told the Valley Chronicle.

Fine words for a doable plan from Maco’s new ninobonito. (RUN/cm)

RDR spends only P1.2 M in election

As far as his election expenditure report to Commission on Election is concerned, Governor Rodolfo del Rosario, unopposed in his latest candidacy, spent only a total of P1,204,400 out of his personal funds during the last elections.

He topped as the highest spender among provincial officials in Davao del Norte.

New Boardmember Daniel Lu of Santo Tomas (District 2) is the lowest spender with his claimed total election expenditure of only P30,520.

In the governor’s sworn statement of contributions and expenditure, prepared and submitted by provincial administrator Rufo Peligro and notarized by provincial legal counsel Atty. Jennifer Namoc, his itemized expenses stated that P550,000 went to Cortess Printing Press and P544,400 to Periodico Norte, both for propaganda materials, and P110,000 to Rolly Yap for sound system, rally and stage preparation.

The governor had not received any contribution from any political party or private donor, his statement claimed.

On the other hand, Congressman Antonio Lagdameo Jr of the second district claimed to have spent P444,541.07 and Congressman Antonio Rafael “AGR” del Rosario of the first district spent P542,241 during the elections.

The expenditure statement for the Comelec of Cong. AGR was prepared and submitted also by Peligro and notarized also by Atty. Namoc. For his itemized expenses, P337,500 went to Cortess Printing Press and P139,741 to Periodico Norte, both for propaganda materials, and P65,000 went to Nemesis Nunez for the sound system, rally and stage preparation.

Among local media outlets, the Periodico Norte appears to be Del Rosarios’ media favorite as it cashed in on a total P684,141 from the personal pockets of Del Rosarios for their propaganda materials.

Periodico Norte is a daily tabloid which circulates in Davao del Norte and owned by Bert Gorgonio.

Among the elected boardmembers in the two districts, the highest spender was new boardmember Dr. Alfredo De Veyra of Tagum City who spent P301,982.57, followed by another new boardmember Atty. Raymond Joey Millan of Tagum City with an exact P200,000-worth of election expenses and placing third was reelected boardmember Janet Gavina of Panabo City who spent P149,755.

Vice Governor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio Jr spent a total of P1,094,400. His report has thick attachments consisting of photocopied official receipts and cash withdrawals of his campaigners.

Reelected District 1 Boardmember Antonio Lagunzad spent a total of P119,000 but he received a total contribution of P90,000 from political organization and other groups.

For the other provincial poll winners, Boardmember Alan Dujali (District 2) reported to have spent P123,710, reelected Boardmember Ely Dacalus (District 2) P94,000, new Boardmember Hernanie Duco (District 2) P93,650, comebacking Boardmember Shirley Belen Aala (District 2) P65,000, and new Boardmember Vicente “Enting” Eliot with P51,500. (Cha Monforte)

Good Week ‘syano

P-Noy

Now it’s P-Noy for President Noynoy Aquino III. Once read, the portion of PBB’s hit song “Pinoy ako, Pinoy ipakita sa mundo” immediately keeps on playing inside my ears. It’s a musical reflex I couldn’t stop. I don’t know. Maybe the P-Noy’s administration ushers a happy interlude for Dabaonons and Comvalenyos and for other probinsyanos. It was then PGMA which ushered a sad note in our history. Now the militants and the ever-critical writer Ninez Cacho Oliveros have their new acronym P-Noy to lambast on. They lambasted so much PGMA, who is now a congresswoman, while Conrad de Queros of PDI might go the way of Adrian Cristobal, who became an administration apologist. My current stance is to give P-Noy a time, a honeymoon, since he’s the President who has received much mandate with his record of getting the biggest margin beating Erap’s record. As one sexist, discriminatory joke says: “wa pa gani ka plastar sir, gina fire na”. I must say to the militants and Ninez: we’ll give first a sweet time for our very own P-Noy to complete the Talaingod-Bukidnon road, and make it concrete, so from Tagum City we can reach Valencia, Bukidnon for only two hours. Remember fellas that Davao del Norte Gov. RDR and Cong. AGR are Liberal Party men and they could easily connect and lobby with P-Noy. – Al Rosero

June 24-30, 2010

Valley & City Chronicle

Chief Supt Tango: DavNor’s police to go vs. all forms of gambling, video karera, Last Two

Regional police chief superintendent Atty. Pedro Tango bared that his directive to all police units in the region including in Davao del Norte to run after all forms of gambling has remained to be in effect and without let up.

He said before local reporters after Wednesday’s blessing and inauguration of the P14-million provincial police headquarters in Tagum City that particularly in the province he heard many station reports on arrests of persons engaged in gambling “especially video karera”.

“But it is not only video karera”, he said adding that, “other illegal gambling activities including last two are included”.

He said that his policy remains to give no special treatment to criminals and offenders.

He also said that would still be “no let up” in the cleansing of bad eggs in the PNP.

Police Chief Supt. Tango said that the making of the PNP as a capable, effective and credible organization through the PNP’s transformation initiatives has been going well and it included the laying of infrastructures needed by the police like the just inaugurated new PHQ building.

The PNP transformation program has also the objectives of improving police methods, systems and procedures including the strengthening of human rights observance and moral recovery program in the PNP, he said. (RUN/cha monforte)

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