BOC to raise funds for LP bets?-A A +A
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Four million people are expected to watch this year’s Sinulog on Sunday. It’s such a huge crowd and I wonder if the streets of Cebu City could accommodate all these revelers coming from different places in Cebu and other provinces.
Once again, we are calling on the revelers to keep the religiosity of the festival, which is held every January in honor of the Holy Infant Jesus, the patron of Cebu City and the province.
People come to Cebu City to enjoy the Sinulog festival and not to spoil it. Most will join the street dance to feel the beat of the drums and shout, Pit Senyor! Revelers should not forget to respect other people’s rights.
The election season began on Sunday after the gun ban was implemented. Politicians should be circumspect. They should not take part in the grand parade and take advantage of the popularity of the Sinulog festival.
Aside from just watching the Sinulog parade on the sidelines, the politicians, particularly the legislators, can perhaps pray for guidance from the Sto. Niño so that Congress would pass and approve the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill. Pit Senyor, everyone!!
Atty. Ronnie C. Silvestre, district collector of the Port of Cebu, will bow out of office on Jan. 25, leaving foot prints that will somehow be difficult to fill by his successor. Silvestre will swap posts with Clark District Collector Edward de la Cuesta.
Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon announced the revamp on Jan. 11 in Tagaytay City during their seminar. This was allegedly to improve revenue collections. However, there are district collectors who failed to meet the target collections but were not transferred.
Manila International Container Port (MICP) District Collector Ricardo Belmonte, brother of House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, and Port of Manila District Collector Ding Son, an Iglesia ni Kristo leader, have a combined target shortfall of P59 billion but they kept their respective posts.
It is rumored that the goal of the revamp in the Bureau of Customs (BOC) during this election period was to raise funds for candidates of the Liberal Party (LP), President Aquino’s party. However, not one of the collectors would comment on the allegations.
The administration will certainly deny this wild claim that BOC would be used to raise funds for LP candidates (national and local). Undeniably, however, the opposition would use this issue against the administration bets.
Silvestre was collector of the Port of Cebu for more than four years. He did well despite a slump in economic activity. Under his watch, the Port of Cebu last year posted a surplus collection of P13.3 million or 15 percent against the annual target set by BOC.
Collection Division Chief Rady Abarientos, in his report, stated that the Port of Cebu has an excess revenue collection of P9 million against the 2012 annual target.
Other BOC officials who were reassigned are Ma. Lourdes Mangaoang from BOC X-Ray Inspection Project to the Port of Cagayan de Oro, Roberto Sacramento to the Port of Zamboanga, and Acting Chief of Staff Adelina Molina of the Office of the Commissioner (Ocom) to the Port of Subic.
It was also reported that at least 16 junior officers from the different BOC ports are included in the revamp. Those who were assigned at the administration offices of the BOC were transferred to the assessment offices.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 17, 2013.