Archive for May, 2014

OPINION: Remembering Laak Mayor Rey Navarro;  Well done, Mayor Reynav! Be thou at peace!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on May 30, 2014 by cha monforte

By Cha Monforte

Long-walking provincial mediamen in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley just call him Reynav. It’s just for among us in the way we shorten politicians’ names when we talk about them no-holds-barred. But in final print and professional broadcast, we call them with their exalted positions due to the mandate given by the people.

Laak Mayor Reynaldo Navarro was killed Wednesday morning in an ambush staged by 5-6 assailants, 2 of whom were killed by the return fire made by the mayor’s bodyguards. Mayor Reynav died while his driver and two of bodyguards sustained gunshot wounds. The mayor was 62 years old and has a long stint of rendering public service.

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I browsed my online stories about the mayor to remember him, some bits of his life and times. I haven’t seen him for about two years now. The last time our paths crossed was in Tagum City. He was president of the Comval mayors’ league at that time.

I interviewed him for several times when he was serving as Comval vice governor, as liga ng mga barangay president hence an ex-officio board member, and the last, as the Laak mayor. In 2010 he was elected the national vice president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines.

Laak, an outback, remotely interior town of Comval, has been Mayor Reynav’s turf.  His last term is in the 2nd round of his serving as a mayor of Laak. He led the town beginning at the cradle of its townhood. It was he who led for the change of the name of San Vicente to Laak. The town’s first name was hastily chosen, and so he petitioned for a holding of a plebiscite to rename the town to what has been called by Laakenos since a long time ago. That was 1994. And he was young mayor then – at 42.

While browsing his stories online, what first struck me was his succinct words for late Cong. and Gov. Pros Amatong: “In politics he was a legend, a real champion who has never tasted defeat. He was proud of his achievements yet he remained humble and accessible to friends and foes alike. To us his political students, he was a genuine, larger-than-life guru. We will forever miss him.” He texted those to me while I was writing on the passing of Comval and Davnor legendary leader in 2009.

Mayor Reynav is a great writer unrevealed- and as known by everybody- an excellent orator-speaker, two qualities that qualify him to become a good congressman. When he speaks onstage he puts his audience in awe with his crisp, his glib, flowing delivery, his articulate expression. He has sartorial elegance and legal acumen that I falsely thought he was a barrister. What has seared in the minds of Tagum and Davao City mediamen is that Mayor Reynav is a great media supporter and patron, he being once a media engaged as columnist using a nom de plume in the 80s.

Mayor Reynav is the acknowledged most seasoned politician in Comval. He is a portrait of a politician versatile- par excellence. He is an enduring politician who has not become political has-been while the rest of his colleagues, save the rare one or two, have been on indefinite political furlough after trying for comeback for several times. Mayor Reynav has only a short political furlough. After failing his vice gubernatorial comeback bid in tandem with Trino Tirol against Gov. Joecab Caballero in 2004 polls, he maneuvered to become a punong barangay of smallest Bullokan village, and from there, he sprang a surprise by being elected as the provincial Liga president, hence sit again in the provincial board.

He died without seeing the light of the pet project he wanted realized- a new municipality carved out from the big-territory Laak. It’s named Municipality of Lorenzo S. Sarmiento to be composed of 8 of the 40 barangays of Laak. The measure was just read by a congressional committee early this month of May. The townname is in honor to the mayor’s first political boss – ex- Cong. Don Lorenzo “Enchong” Sarmiento.

When the news of his death burst Wednesday morning, May 28, questions crossed in my mind about a political hot button being pressed on by sinister forces or a scenario of priming him up to become a collateral damage in the ongoing internecine strife in the country? The New People’s Army on the next day denied it has the hand in the killing, and stated in its e-mailed press statement that the mayor had helped their revolutionary cause for sometime in the past and had only warned the mayor “to stop his illegal logging activities.”

If waves of adversity besiege Laak now and a deep sense of loss has been felt by the Laakenos, in the wake of the ambush that has messed up everybody in Comval and Davao del Norte, it is because Mayor Reynav has met, touched and befriended many people in the provinces. The Laak town hall officials and personnel saw no abuse, no sin committed by their mayor.  He’s a mayor they all love as they credit most of Laak’s developments to him. I feel, too, a loss in this Laakenos’ tragedy for he was a kindred spirit.

We will miss Mayor Reynav of Laak- his ceaseless energy, his wit, his far-reaching intellect, his crisp and eloquent oratory, and we will miss that infectious grin and laughter of him. Well done, Mayor Reynav! Be thou at peace! (views of Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

IS BABY RUNNING FOR GOV? “YES!”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on May 29, 2014 by cha monforte

april 10-16, 2014

By Cha Monforte

“Is Baby really running for governor by 2016?” That’s the oft-repeated question of many people about the gubernatorial plan of Davao del Norte Vice Governor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio, Jr. as he is visibly the people’s choice.

In an interview last Monday, the last-termer vice governor was asked of the same question, and he said: “Yes! I’m running for governor. By 2016 I would have served four terms as a vice governor, God willing, and by then I have no choice anymore.”

“It is a long preparation, and not by spur of the moment,” he added.

 

Davao del Norte Vice Gov. Baby Suaybaguio, Jr.

Davao del Norte Vice Gov. Baby Suaybaguio, Jr.

“I allowed myself for four terms as vice governor, and it’s indication that I have prepared myself for that eventuality. That preparation started a long time ago since my first term as the vice governor. I have high respect to the governor and I believe on his leadership,” he added.

“I did not announce because it’s not yet the proper time, but actions speak louder than words,” Vice Gov. Suaybaguio waxed somehow poetically in debunking claim that he is not interested to run for governor.

“Qualification-wise, academically I have, and the on-the-job training has been there to speak for my qualification for the job. What more do I have? I have already known and have gone working closely with the people of the Capitol. If given the chance, I have already the people to work with me to assure the continuity of the good thrusts, programs and projects of the governor for the continued growth and development of the province of Davao del Norte,” he said.

“Let my record speaks for what I am,” he added.

The vice governor has been in public service in various elective posts for 28 years already starting in 1980. He started winning as councilor of the then municipality of Tagum, then he became the Tagum vice mayor, and Tagum mayor for three terms, the last term of which he and his entire slate secured so handily when they ran completely unopposed, a record that has yet to be beaten for a draw by any mayoral candidate and his entire slate in the provinces. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

OPINION: Idol VM Boyet offers to be mediator in Birds Park brouhaha

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on May 29, 2014 by cha monforte

april 10-16, 2014

HASHTAGS BREW

By Cha Monforte

Davao del Norte Vice Governor Baby Suaybaguio Jr confirmed and it’s all true that he’s running for gov to answer the recurring and oft-repeated question of many people in the province. It’s a Big Yes! Yes, Baby is running for governor by 2016!
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It looks like that Board Member Alan “Aldo” Dujali is the emerging vice gubernatorial tandem of VG Baby by 2016 polls. Maybe the Tuwid na Daan Party that Gov. RDR is organizing is the entry point for BM Aldo to join and ally with the LP top guns. The BM is a independent candidate when he ran and won in the last elections, though among those in the know, BM Aldo is an ally-leader-supporter of RDR since then. The gov already said that those who would be endorsed as the Tuwid na Daan Party’s gubernatorial standard bearer would be those from the LP. Which simply means it would be VG Baby who’s the most senior among the LP incumbents (compared to Cong. AGR and even to non-incumbent ex-Mayor Cee O uy), and he’s also the most qualified. Di ba gov? Klarex jud kaayo ni vah! But there is charge that the governor is complicating things. There’s order in LP Davao del Norte now. If ain’t broke, why fix it gov?
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Tagum City Vice Mayor Boyet “Idol” Gementiza wants and is prepared to be the mediator between the two opposing camps in the current Birds Park’s brouhaha. The camps of Mayor Allan Rellon and his ally councilors and of the former Mayor Rey “Cee O” Uy and his ally councilors at the current City Council led by Councilor Bong Aala are trading barbs on the allegedly illegal cutting of trees at the city’s Birds Park in New Balamban. Councilor Aala charged it was an illegal act. Ex-Mayor Uy posted in his Facebook what remained after the timber poaching at the park that he started. The name of the mayor’s brother Elmer Rellon, chief of Security Management Office, was dragged into the scene as the one who led the cutting of trees of hardwood species. Rellon denied and said they used the lumbers for a community project at Libuganon. It’s not yet a dead issue, Idol. But Idol VM Boyet offered he is ready to be the mediator between the two camps. For offering that, naging idol ko na rin si VM Boyet.
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Ex-Mayor Cee O Uy made his presence felt in the FB with many comments from netizens to his recent post which states: “This is d way the ct govt of tagum celebrates earth month. -by intentionally cutting down 2 narra trees and other 25 durian trees, 6 of which are already 60-80 yrs old, at the 5 has.ct bird park & sanctuary, Mandapaan, new balamban, for personal use. Picture taken personally on March 24, 2014”. He also uploaded several pics to support his post.
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Are the pilots spraying pesticides to bananas untouchables? Liga ng mga barangay president Edgar Castillo revealed that pilots doing aerial spray had included a school in Asuncion town. When invited in several times by the barangay to answer questions, the pilots never reciprocated the invitations, not even once. It’s high time to lodge a formal complaint to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) against abusive pilots, and corolarilly, the involved banana corporations and growers.
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When the Davao del Norte SP asked CAAP official Edgardo Salcepuedes about the ages of spray planes being used in aerial spray to bananas in the province, he said “some are 3 years old, some are 25 years old”. Santa banana! That’s why crash landing of spray planes has become common in banana provinces because of old and cranky planes. The recent crash at Visayan Village in Tagum City missed many houses. Banana firms which have been earning billions should now retire old planes and eliminate the risk of people being mowed down by crash-prone, crumbling spray planes.
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Nabunturan Vice Mayor Dodong Sotto is girding to challenge Mayor Romeo Clarin by 2016 polls. The mayor has still one more term to run to. VM Sotto is getting more popular because he has strong leadership and is helpful to his constituents. Leadership with political will and generosity is what Nabunturan needs now. Drug and peace and order problems keep on pestering the capital town of Comval.
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Detractors keep on sniping at IGACOS Councilor Alberto Ortiz because they don’t like seeing him sit as the next mayor of an island that has been largely undeveloped for almost two decades now during the long reign of the Antalans. Ortiz is a practical visionary and development-oriented leader. He is helpful to his constituents. It’s not the detractors and the sipsip and nakakalurkey councilors who decide the outcome of elections. It’s the people.
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Let it go, let it go, let their sniping go Councilor Ortiz and just continue serving your people! They won’t decide your destiny anyway. It’s Heavens Above.
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Davao City Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang went pfft when he spoke before councilors taking up baccalaureate, masters’ and doctorate degrees last March 27 afternoon at Davao City SP building. He said it’s not a loss (dili lugi) to be elected public officials as they have perks and pleasure to enjoy like secretary, car and travels including the enjoyment of you-know-what while travelling on official business (OB). May sakyanan ka, may secretary ka, ubanon ang secretary nimo sa Manila, he said something like that. Kaya pala he enjoys having 22 years being a city councilor on the “third round”. If he was sensitive enough as an old-turk politician, he could have dispensed that uncalled-for commentary. He seems to be boasting for the heck of the glory of being a elected official enjoying perks and travels. When he spoke that, there was muted cheer and jeer on the floor. Maybe, daghang naka third round kung mag-OB ang mga public officials, both the elected and the appointed.
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I covered the recent two-night Liga ng Barangay Congress of Davao del Norte at The Ritz Hotel at Garden Oases in Davao City and heard from a kapitana from Samal that their P30,000 had allegedly gone for “pakaw” meals. “Gipakaon lang mi ug pakaw,” she riled standing while another barangay official who is a woman tried to embrace her. The Samal group were still drinking at the convention center after the fellowship on the second night (April 3) ended. Maybe the kapitana was drunk already when she said that before her colleagues. There were six of them from their barangay who attended the congress and each paid P6,000 for the registration that went for the costs that included the meals, hotel accommodation, convention center fee and others. Several barangay officials said that “mas bongga ang sa una nga liga panahon ni (ex-FABC pres.) Enteng (Floirendo) ug ni (now Kapalong Vice Mayor and ex-FABC pres.) Maritess (Timbol).” Only one little lechon was served midway during the fellowship while barangay officials- kapitans, kagawads, brgy. secretaries and brgy. treasurers- were drinking beer and Emperador while watching a live band gig featuring the Tagum City Band. Several oldtimers recalled that in the previous two Liga assemblies they were served lechons “corner to corner” in the convention hall and so seemed to be unconsummable beers. Maybe, it’s hard time these days and nights. There were a total of 460 participants from 223 barangays, said Liga president Edgar Castillo, as of the second day afternoon. If we multiply those figures as of that time, the Liga could gross a total of P2.76 million collections. As of the second night, there were 78 rooms rented by barangay officials per agreed “corporate rate”, we don’t know. The hotel rates availed by the Liga ranged from P6,000 to P3,500, the lowest daily, at 4 persons per room. Meantime, we’ll wait for Kap Edgar’s liquidation.
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#TAGS & HASHES: Cong. Anton Lagdameo scolded IGACOS officials April 1 morning, fresh reports said. That was after the SOPA. We’re still investigating why the cong went into scolding binge right at the IGACOS city hall. What’s the reason and who were scolded?…. Who’s this mayor who sold a prime commercial lot owned by the municipality to a big business for a song? The Commission on Audit should revisit the terms of sale of that lot and look into the price. Is the price disadvantageous to the government?…. May utang na loob ko kang Vice Mayor Yuri Dayaday, earlier said Asuncion Mayor Joseph Nilo Parrenas. Ikaw na Yuri/Eufracio!….. Comval BM Ramil Gentugaya continues to go to remote villages of Comval, gracing affairs, giving services . So with BM Jayvee Tyron Uy. The former is running for gov, the latter for cong. They’re twokits kaayo…. Happy tight reading!

column – Mindanao Sun Chronicle

 

Samal resort owners insistent not to pay LGU penalty on “illegal” structures over water

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 29, 2014 by cha monforte

may 8, 2014

Several beach resort owners in Samal Island are insistent of not paying the “oppressive” penalty imposed by the City Government even as they have secured already an injunction in court to stop the 2009 ordinance revived to charge penalty on illegal structures over water.

Araceli Ayuste, adviser of the Samal City Resort Association, Inc. (SCRAI), said that resort owners find the old City Ordinance 2009-150 as “very oppressive and (its penalty) too high to comply”.

“It’s not even applicable us as majority of the beach resort owners have been operating in the island since the 1970s. The Paradise Island resort started operating in 1972. The law should not be retroactive to us,” she said in an interview.

Ayuste is the owner of the Punta del Sol Beach Resort and is the president of both the Davao del Norte Tourism Council and Mindanao Tourism Council.

There are more than 70 beach resorts around the island, 36 of which are members of SCRAI. Sixteen members of SCRAI did not pay a single centavo for the imposed penalty.

According to Ayuste, the old ordinance was suddenly revived when they were about to renew their business permits early this year.

They were told they could not renew their business permits without paying the penalty.

Beach resort owners then have been hounded by a charge that they have been fencing off and putting up illegal over-water structures such as fences, jetties and breakwaters thus closing open access of the public to shorelines in the island.

Armando Tejano Jr., leader of Nagkahiusang Mananagat sa Babak District, said that developers and moneyed people have left nothing to Samal people of a free public beach to swim on and open shorelines as jump off and fish landing areas of small fisherfolks.

He said that city government through the years has been “forcibly relocating” thousands of families in coastal communities around the island to the mountains using the Urban Development Housing Act.

“When the shorelines are cleared of coastal communities, they then fenced the shorelines, and developers cornered these including the mangrove areas, and later ang pamumulot ng coral rocks bawal na,” he said.

Island Garden City of Samal Mayor Aniano Antalan was sought for interview to get the city government’s side but he begged off.

In earlier interview, now resigned city administrator Cleto Gales said that “it is very clear that in the foreshore lease agreements with resort owners they have to provide public access, they can’t say they are not aware.”

He said that the city government offered three options to pave the way for open access of the shorelines and to avoid the over-water structures from being demolished by the city crew.

The options he cited were voluntary demolition of structures, paying of penalty for the structures at P250 per cubic meter of the over-water structures introduced, and upgrading of investment from P30 million to P70 million, all of which were rejected by resort owners.

Ayuste said that last year she paid P80,000 for her renewal of the business permit, but the penalty leveled when she tried to renew her permit was P43,000 “which is not clear if it is yearly or one-time payment.”

Before the court injunction, unresisting beach resorts had paid of the required 10 percent downpayment for the penalty, resulting to a collection of more than P1 million going to the city coffers.

Last March 26 the Regional Trial Court Panabo City Judge Dax Gonzaga Xenos issued a prohibition mandamus injunction in favor to petitioning Samal City Resort Association.

“The court ordered for a status quo, which means they will not collect, we will not also pay,” she said.

City Vice Mayor Al David Uy, on the other hand, admitted that the 2009 ordinance “is a defective legislation, made without thorough consultation.”

He said the City Council is now on the process of revising the ordinance, stressing for the need of a “win-win solution as beach resorts are windows of the island.”

Gales, city administrator already for 16 years, resigned effective May 1 following reported pressure from Davao del Norte District 2 Congressman Anton Lagdameo over his alleged inaction in several projects and matters asked by the congressman for fast-tracking and resolution, among which was the brickbat over the penalty issue.

The congressman had reportedly gone into scolding and got mad at Gales who was no-show in the supposed meeting with him and the mayor only at City Hall, morning of last April 1.

Who met the congressman were department heads, some city councilors and the mayor without Gales, who could not even be contacted by phone, turning the good mood of the congressman to bad, City Hall insiders said. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

Tagum’s new City Hall can be completed by remaining P200 M loan by Sept 2015 through turnkey project

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on May 29, 2014 by cha monforte

may 7, 2014

Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon said Monday that the estimated remaining P200 budget from the last bank loan that was left by the previous administration is sufficient to complete the new City Hall by September next year through turnkey project.  
 
He said that to assure completion he decided to contract the remaining construction phase as turnkey project.
 
Turnkey is a type of project that is constructed by a developer and turned over to the city government in a ready-to-use condition.
 
There is the delay in the resumption of construction activities for the almost P1-billion building as the Commission on Audit had first made audits and inventory of materials when Rellon assumed office last July 2013.
 
The finding on the sufficiency of the remaining amount of the last bank loan secured and partially used by the previous administration of former Mayor Rey Uy was made last week of April by the Advisory Committee that Rellon created.
 
The committee pegged the amount needed to complete the building at P130 million plus P10 million for the interior facilities.
 
The committee is composed of Vice Mayor Geterito “Boyet” Gementiza, Councilor Agripino “Jun” Coquilla Jr, City Engineer Roosevelt Corporal, and as observer members the representatives from the private sector, Development Bank of the Philippines and COA, the mayor said.
 
He said that the last bank loan was P231 million, which was started to be used but it was caught up by the election ban of the May 2013 election.
 
He said that about P22 million of it was already withdrawn intended “for mobilization”, an amount that is still being questioned by his legal office.
 
“Pwedeng file lan ug kaso nang P22 million para mabawi (A case can be filed to have that P22 million returned),” he said, lumping the matter to COA’s earlier audit memorandum advice on the some questionable expenditure items such as the prohibitive consultancy fee of a non-Filipino design consultant.
 
The mayor further said that he heard from previous implementing project officials that “there are still payables to be made” but he said he had not “seen purchase orders for it”.
 
“No case has yet been filed to the Ombudsman. Technically, it’s the COA which should file but I’ll not focus on that, I’ll focus on the completion, to be proactive,” he told reporters in a press conference Monday afternoon in his office after his birthday celebration at a school during lunchtime.
 
Last June P110 million of the P231 million was released by the DBP to the city treasury.
 
With the release of the almost half of the last loan, the mayor bared he has been signing three vouchers for the loan amortizations, “one is worth P16 million, the two worth P2 million each”, for the three separate bank loans made by the previous administration to build the colossal building located at Barangay Apokon.
 
Under the Rellon administration, the bidding for construction works for the completion of the new city hall was made only last February and the pre-engineering plans would be completed by last week of this May.
 
The mayor complained over the alleged dilatory moves of those project engineers and architect associated with the previous administration that he said he has weathered through creation of task forces.
 
He reckoned that completion works would wind up by September next year. 
 
“At, say P200 million, maka furniture pa seguro ko ana (maybe I can still purchase furniture),” the mayor said.
 
In separate interview, Vice Mayor Gementiza said that a fully completed new city hall would still take a total expenditure of “P211 million” for it to have an elevator, generator, CCTV and a complete dirty kitchen facility for the city employees.
 
The uncompleted new City Hall had become one of the leading issues in the last May 2013 election where Rellon, then third-termer vice mayor, won by a big margin over the second-termer former Councilor De Carlo “Oyo” Uy, son of former mayor who did not run for different post when faced with term limit in that polls. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

“We have disrupted the SOPs of corruption of smuggling syndicates”- BOC info chief

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 29, 2014 by cha monforte

april 25, 2014

The public information chief of the Bureau of Customs said that the running reform moves in the bureau have “disrupted the standard operating procedures (SOPs) of corruption” of the smuggling syndicates, individuals and groups that have long been profiting from illegal operations including those who gave and received tara (grease money).

BOC acting public information and assistance division chief Charo Logarta said Wednesday in Davao City that with the aggressive reform moves and strictness of customs’ commissioners led by Commissioner John Sevilla “we would like to think now that we have shaken them” in the bid to change the image of the Bureau as one of the most corrupt agencies in the government.

On the same day, visiting Commissioner Sevilla told reporters in Davao City that the BOC is investing with “hundreds of millions of pesos” to make BOC have a full digital, electronic-based paperless transaction starting June 2015.

“Mabusisi lang ang preparation for our IT (information technology) platform. We still have a partial view of the things we have been doing. If we go fully digital, shippers, brokers and including the media and all can dig whatever information they want in our website,” he said in a press conference at BOC Port of Davao office.

The full automation of transacting with BOC would mean that, for example, brokers would not need to go anymore in the BOC offices as they can only transact online, “brokers need not be known” and the BOC would “just email o mag text lang kami sa kanila” on the actions taken on their shipments, Sevilla explained.

The completed BOC website would also have many functionalities including that which gives accurate values of customs duties and taxes.

“It’s not only aimed for better service but also for higher collections,” Sevilla said. 

He hoped the full automation would also hasten the disposition of alerted and problematic shipments, which at present would take BOC to dispose in “weeks or sometimes months” when supposedly these should be disposed in three days only.

The commissioner could not however say how much the BOC’s budget for the BOC’s full digital system except saying “hundreds of millions of pesos, as the BOC collects P1.6 billions per day” of customs duties and taxes.

On the other hand, Sevilla also informed that the BOC in the first quarter has posted 33 percent higher compared to last year’s collection performance against target on the same period, though in terms of growth rate the BOC still needs to reach an additional 10 percent. 

At the sidelines of the press conference, Logarta said that the customs officials “are not ruling out” there would be sophisticated form of corruption that would come out from a fully automated customs’ transactions.

She was given the scenario of a deceitful broker texting a corrupt customs official for special personal transaction at a hotel before the latter filed his shipment application online.

“Humans are corruptible. But corruption in the customs is borne out by the fact that people dont’ know what we are doing. We just have to push forward with our reforms. We are having transparency, full disclosure policy now with our strict commissioners,” Logarta added.

She urged reporters to visit the BOC website and see the many transactions that the BOC has been posting for information to the public.

Logarta informed that the BOC this year has high target collection of P408 billion compared to last year’s target collection of P340 billion. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

Holy Week vacationists flocking in droves to Samal Island,  met with power outages of divided electric coop

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on May 29, 2014 by cha monforte

april 17, 2014

This Holy Week, vacationists and tourists are flocking in droves to Samal Island beach resorts but they are met by frequent power outages as the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (Daneco) continues to be wracked by infighting between two factions of the electric cooperative.

“Desperado na gyod mi aning Daneco. Because of its power outages and fluctuating power supply, some resorts are taking in only a half of the customers. They have their own generating sets (gensets) with limited capacity to serve. To appease customers, beach resort owners have to cut their entrance fee by half,” said Island Garden of City Samal (IGACOS) Vice Mayor Al David Uy in an interview.

There are more than 80 beach resorts operating around the shorelines of Samal Island including its small Talikud Island.

“Like this Holy Week, we know thousands of people are coming in the island like those from Tagum City and Davao City but they are met with power outages,” he said.

He said that for many years now Daneco is insufficiently supplying power to the island through the “dilapidated” submarine cable.

The 30-year-old  submarine cable can only carry about 5 megawatts of power, a load which can no longer sufficiently meet the full power needs and expansion of Samal Island.

Because of the deficient power supply that forced Daneco to make rotational brownouts, resort owners have to buy and operate their own gensets, “but with higher power costs at the burden of resort owners, in return, they have to charge higher entrance fees like P110, P150 or P200 per head,” the vice mayor added.

Uy expressed desperation that the protracted infighting between the two electric cooperatives has resulted to giving a heavy cross for the island to carry as the long-occurring power outages and deficient power supply have been responded only with “band aid solutions.”

He foresees that the problem on power outages would drag for a long period of time, saying that “it took even 20 years for the Vizconde massacre to be finally decided by the Supreme Court.”

The legal case on who should manage Daneco, whether it is Daneco-NEA faction or Daneco-CDA faction, is still on appeal by the latter at the Court of Appeals’ level and it is yet going to the Supreme Court.

Last year, Samal Island saw a 40-percent increase of tourist influx from 106,360 in 2012 to 177,382 registered tourists, reported the City Tourism Office. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)