A sensible pragmatist-A A +A
At Close Range
Sunday, August 12, 2012
DESPITE the flak and criticisms heaped on Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist and former spokesperson Rigoberto Tiglao by some detractors and disenchanted supporters, paid hacks and allies of PNoy, Tiglao has some sensible, practical and implementable suggestions like: matching the P85 billion given to the poor thru the government's conditional cash transfer program to hatch and implement a massive flood-control infrastructure program; enact a law mandating Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office to set aside some 20% of their annual income to a fund that "will help build vast infrastructure such as hundreds of water-pumping stations and the dredging of garbage-filled rivers to prevent floods and provide the necessary equipment for rescue operations, etc."
Tiglao's recommendations may be well taken in favor of the dole out for the poor, which only makes them lazy and dependent.
PNoy's think-tank members could take note of Tiglao's suggestions and consider them for implementation rather than engage in instituting temporary measures. Isn't it about time Metro Manila and environs were spared from the debilitating deluge?
Palliatives do not cure the problem encountered by the National Capital Region residents. What are needed are long-term approaches to solutions to the perennial flooding and irresponsible garbage handling and management. Once in a while, sensible yet pragmatic solutions should be seriously looked into and adapted.
What is this I heard that Governor Lilia "Nanay Baby" Pineda was fuming mad last week, during the height of flood and inundation in several areas in the province, at Mayor Marino "Boking" Morales of Mabalacat City and Romulo "Romy" Pecson of Magalang for not inviting evacuees (even only half-heartedly and in tongue-in-cheek) from low-lying and inundated areas like Minalin, Sto. Tomas and Apalit to flee to Mabalacat City or Magalang as these were claimed by Morales and Pecson as having higher elevations and could provide sanctuary to the evacuees?
Paradise lost. In my conversation with Mabalacat City Budget Officer Roger Tanglao and Tourism Officer Guy (spelled and pronounced as GIE) Hilbero, I came to know that Paradise Ranch has indeed switched to Bamban in the payment of its business taxes and permits, conveniently forgetting that for the past several years it has paid its dues to then municipality of Mabalacat. This resort facility is operated by the Philippine Children's Fund of America, an organization based in the US but is registered at the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission as an "NGO, private and non-profit formed to provide programs and services for less privileged and poor children, their families, as well as their communities". Well, I learned that PCFA has stopped providing for the supposed beneficiaries and their communities and I would like to elicit comments or responses from either Erik Gomez or Roman Goce if indeed the facility has reneged on its commitments. PCFA is supposed to be a foundation yet Paradise Ranch in engaged in lucrative business earning millions of pesos annually. If this is so, should not the BIR look into this?
I also learned that Paradise Ranch top honchos Gomez and Goce are not on cordial terms with Barangay Calumpang Punong Barangay Jimmy Jimenez and that the two supposedly gentlemen do not recognize Jimenez's authority over the facility and has repeatedly snubbed the village chief's summons to hearings. Why would Gomez and Goce brazenly defy the village chief? Do they assume that Barangay Calumpang rightfully belongs to Bamban town already? On what legal authority did they base their assumption? As it is, Paradise Ranch is a tourism gem for Mabalacat City but as the operators would have it, it is under the jurisdiction of the neighboring town, Bamban. If I were Kap Jimenez, I will declare Gomez and Goce as persona non grata for their defiant acts and arrogant stance. I will also write the board of directors of the Philippine Children's Fund of America about American Erik Gomez's violations and have him deported post haste. In sum, the directors of PCFA should also be impleaded for the violations of their Philippine representative, Gomez. I need to have your side of this controversy, Messrs. Gomez and Goce, in the spirit of fair play and justice.
Incumbent SB member Elizabeth "Liza" Ramos Pineda is engrossed with the welfare drive for the senior citizens of Mabalacat City. She intimated to me that if elected Vice Mayor, she would introduce more legislation to uplift and improve on the elderly's status and benefits. "My hands are tied at this moment because I am only a member of the local collegial body, the Sanggunian. If I were elected Vice Mayor, I would have more "say" on the legislation and have a wider latitude in promoting the seniors' concerns", claims Pineda, who would be running in tandem with incumbent Mayor Marino "Boking" Morales. Other sectors, however, like women's, the youth, persons with disabilities and the multi sectoral, are also on the priority list of soon-to-be Vice Mayor Liza.
On Wednesday, August 16, Globrec Manpower, a POEA licensed and accredited recruitment agency based in Manila, will conduct a Special Recruitment Activity for domestic helpers, housekeepers and caretakers and will be spearheaded by no less than the Singaporean employer. This activity is coordinated by Peso Mabalacat headed by this writer and is supported by the staff Virgie Miranda, Alma Pontillas and daughter Maye, my son Joseph Bennett, Emmit, Jay, Irish Mendoza, Anna and Jem. The multi sectoral unit, headed by Gerry Dayrit and aided by Vidal Busa, Pilo Bondoc, Rolly Revolledo, Annabelle Atay and others, pitches in.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 13, 2012.