COLUMN: Adulteration

April 7-13, 2011

By Cha Monforte

We’re hearing that Nabunturan Mayor Romeo Clarin is girding to veto the ordinance being pushed in the town sanggunian authorizing him to contract an P82-million loan with the LandBank and at the same time engage in an P1.8-million buy-out scheme for the failed bond flotation consultant, Preferred Ventures Corp. We hope the veto would be made true, that is if the other provision of buying out the consultant with P1.8 million would not be deleted from the measure. Again, the bond float oppositors in Nabunturan have been wanting for a direct bank borrowing instead of the un-understood bond flotation, and incorporating the buy-out scheme to the borrowing measure is sort of adulteration.
Tagum City treasurer Edgar de Guzman just released last week the Top 20 taxpaying corporations and individuals in the city based on the real property tax payments they made for 2011. The NCCC Supermarket edged out Gaisano Grand Mall by only a margin of P2.6 million in the RPT payments. The city treasurer said that by next year Gaisano Grand Mall is coming to be the Top 1 corporate taxpayer as what has been assessed yet in the company is its land, excluding its huge building (the improvement) which still needs one-year occupancy before it is included in the tax assessment. It would be only this year 2011 that Gaisano Grand Mall’s building would be assessed per rules on tax assessment. NCCC Supermarket has been leading in the corporate taxpayers in the city in the last two years. Based on the RPT payments corporations and indviduals made last January’s tax payments for renewal of business licenses, NCCC and Gaisano Grand Mall owners paid their RPT (for land and improvement and machineries) over P7.7 million and P5.1 million, respectively, while Top 1 taxpaying individuals are Lorenzo/Lucila Rubinos, owners of the LYR chain of businesses. In 2010 LYR owners paid over P1.36 million, making them Top 5 payee in the combined list of corporate and individual tax payees. In 2011 Lorenzo/ Lucila Rubinos paid an increased P2 million plus RPT, making them Top 1 in the list of individual taxpayers in the city. There is high percentile jump of the total RPT collected by the city government from 2010 to 2011. It only shows the vigorous tax campaigns made by the city government as well as the acceleration of private investments to the city considered to be a sub-regional service centre that services not only its own province but also the surrounding provinces of Compostela Valley,Davao Oriental and even particularly Agusan del Sur.
Well,Tagum City Mayor Rey “Chiong Oy” Uy is undoubtedly the architect of city’s massive developments in most of the last decade and part of this decade. It’s really different when the chief executive is a honed businessman. In my recent interview with him, he said that he has to naturally return the benefits of effective and rationale tax collection to the city’s developments. He is conscious that it’s not only the city’s own people whom the city is serving but also the people in the province and surrounding provinces “who shop, dine, patronize our businesses, spend their money here.” Verily, monies from outsiders contribute much to the big bulk of money in circulation in the city. You see it in the sea of people shopping in malls and buying foodstuffs in the city’s public market.
The city is expected to attract and catch more spending people from other provinces when the Metro Gaisano Mall opens up late this year. It would have four modern cinemas. Time is coming for luxuriating people to no longer travel to Davao City during weekends to see movies at GMall or SM. From haywire of steel scaffoldings, the Metro Gaisano Mall now is beginning to have a face as outside wall portions are being placed while construction workers continue to pace on towards the completion of the city’s biggest mall.
After the 1st EDSA People Power in 1986, following the restoration of the democracy in the country, Tagum City experienced its first dramatic developments under the the leadership of then Mayor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio Jr. It was him who caused for the transfer of the public market from the present Trade Center and the construction of the integrated overland terminal and market complex to the present bustling location. The present location was once a wide swath of forested and agricultural area, and nobody thought that from it would rise up a market and terminal complex that widened the city’s urbanization and changed people’s mobility. Now Vice Gov. Baby is vindicated of his decision as the public market bustles up with brisk economic activities. He was actively backed up by the late stateman former Gov. Prospero Amatong who led the still undivided province after being appointed in 1986 as OIC governor by President PNoy’s mother- President Cory. I learned that Vice Gov. Baby had many difficulties in convincing Tagum landowners to donate roads right of way in the area, but eventually he had them agree to his development plans by convincing in the name of development, by diplomacy and sheer political will as to those landowners who uncharacteristically resisted change. The benign and landed Suaybaguio families themselves donated lands for roads for the new public market.
Until now I couldn’t yet see the validity in the act of Carmen Mayor Marcelino Perandos of putting a slogan of making his town a city by 2020 in one arc in his public market. Di na ta mangatik mayor kay di man gani na gina drop-pan ang imong terminal sa mga aircon buses sa Bachelor ug Metro Shuttle, taz moingon ka pa nga himoon nimong syudad ang Carmen walo ka tuig ug tunga gikan karon!
Davao del Norte Sangguniang Panlalawigan floorleader Boardmember Daniel Lu is always having a hearty laugh in steering sessions. His merry floorleadership seems to infect his colleagues to be cheerful, friendly and amiable to each other during plenary deliberations even when at times they lock horns over contentious issues that need to be clarified or resolved. But laughing always is not all there is in floorleadership, Board.
BLOGS AND BITS: Tagum City Councilor Geterito “Boyet” Gementiza is one of the fine Tagum politicians. Besides actively protecting the consumers through his consumer protection program, he’s one politician who represents the idealist and smart fortysomething Tagumenyos now. Many former Tagum youth leaders in his age mould have gone, either leaving the city for greener pastures or becoming apolitical full-pledged family men. Visibly, Councilor Boyet is rebounding now in his political, people’s leader career after losing a vice mayoral battle sometime. He’s the current best representation of ex-Gov. Yayong, who’s now silent and who must have already retired from politics after losing to Mayor Rey Uy in a three-corner mayoral bout last May with ex-Cong. Arrel Olano…. But where’s Olano now? As well as ex-BM Bong Bermudez and ex-BM Roger “Dangpanan” Israel, who both lost badly in the last polls?. Have they become political has beens?…. Ex-officio Boardmember Janrey Gavina has long been silent in his chair since when he was elected to be the councilors’ representative to the DavNor SP last year. He chairs the SP’s media affairs committee. Until this writing, he has yet no piece of legislation relating media/ information nor an activity for or with the media. Is he that media-shy? It’s been 9 months that he’s been in the SP. And we’re four months shy before that August 13, 2010 affair at Lakan Pakals. Remember, Room 17 Councilors?…. Ex-officio BM Vincent Floirendo of the province’s liga ng barangay is different. He’s just 3-month old plus in the SP since last January…. Nabunturan Councilor Mario Angelo “Dodong” Sotto has established good rapport with all kapitanes in the capital town. That’s expected of him because the councilor was once an elected barangay kagawad of Diwalwal. Councilor Sotto is actively pushing eco-tourism as linchpin program for the sustainable development of the capital town of Compostela Valley….. Inroads have been made in his move of creating a multisectoral council to tackle issues of mining in Nabunturan’s thriving mining villages of Mainit, Bukal and Tagnocon, the town’s golden triangle, particularly the incursion of mining activities in the Mainit Protected Landscape (formerly Mainit National Park). In the words of Comval senior executive assistant Belo Melendres, mining in the province “it’s damn if you do, it’s damn if you don’t” allow mining…. Try to visit Brgy. Bukal now. In the 80s it’s “no man’s land”, the bloody playing ground of NPA rebs and militarymen. Now, most of the houses there owned by ex-masa have cable TV antennas and flashy vehicles parked in the backyard. You’ll close your eyes on the evils of homegrown, endogenous mining. (For comments and reactions, e-mail:


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