Friday, September 11, 2009

‘Nanding’s debts caused delays in buyback deal’

CAGAYAN Journal (BEN BALCE / Sep 11) - Mayor Constantino Jaraula has asserted that Councilor Reynaldo Advincula owed UKC Builders Inc. some P2 million in unpaid rent at Cogon and that the local legislator’s debts served as a stumbling block in negotiations for the buyback of the public markets.

Advincula, who denied owing UKC Builders P2 million, faulted city treasurer Lino Daral and accused the executive of carrying out a ‘‘demolition job’’ against him. He accused Daral of making up a story against him and, probably, even doctoring documents to put him in bad light.

Jaraula, who exposed Advincula’s alleged P2-million debt because of his market-based business, maintained that the councilor owed that much. He said a highly placed source in UKC Builders informed him that Advincula owed the firm some P2 million in unpaid rent.

‘‘Hapit na gani ko matumba niana,” Jaraula told local radio.

Jaraula claimed city hall’s negotiations with UKC Builders for a buyback deal covering Cogon and Carmen markets were delayed because of Advincula’s debts.

Advincula, the chair of the city council’s economic enterprise committee, earlier said Jaraula did not get his facts straight. He admitted that he owed UKC Builders but claimed the debt, which grew from September 2005 to December 2008, amounted only to over P100 thousand and not P2 million.

He blamed Daral and accused the treasurer of fabricating a story about his alleged P2-million debt.

Advincula said Daral has an ax to grind against him because the councilor pushed for a measure would reduce market stall rentals by as much as 30 percent. He said Daral strongly opposed the move.

The city council earlier passed an ordinance reducing stall rentals at Cogon and Carmen markets by 30 percent. The Jaraula administration said it had no idea how to cushion the impact of the revenue loss as a result of the rent-reduction


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Oro 2nd district representative vows to block text tax again

CAGAYAN JOURNAL (Susan Palmes / Sept 11) - CAGAYAN de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez of the city’s 2nd District yesterday expressed his opposition to the proposed five-centavo tax for every text message sent.

Rodriguez said, ‘‘I am opposed... this is an additional burden.’’

Rodriguez said the text tax move was blocked in the past by him and other congressmen. He said the same group would oppose fresh moves to get Congress’ green light.

‘‘We have tried our best to lower (the rate). In fact, we have our hearing in Congress to reduce the tax,” Rodriguez said.

He said the National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) has recently issued an order to lower the tax passed on to the users. ‘‘And now this.’’

He said taxes such as this should be shouldered by the companies and not by the users.

‘‘This is not a ‘sin tax’ like the taxes we impose on liquor and cigarettes. Majority of the 92 million Filipinos could only afford texting as a means of communication,” Rodrriguez said.

Meanwhile, Malacañang cited three conditions for the administration to support a proposal to tax text messages.

Deputy spokespersons Anthony Golez and Gary Olivar said the tax should not be passed on to users. Also, they added, it must be made clear how the tax is implemented and who should shoulder it; and, finally, the tax must be utilized for specific purposes such as education, healthcare or computerization.

The proposed measure, now at the committee level of the Lower House, still has to pass through debates and periods of amendments in the plenary session.

Unfortunately, according to Golez, candidates in next year’s elections are now using the proposal to advance their political interests. He said however that people would see through them.

Olivar said short message service (SMS) is the most popular form of communication for Filipinos, especially overseas based workers. “We must not pass on the tax burden to the consumers and the Palace will make sure of this,” Golez said.

He said Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s stance on the text tax issue “is not (meant) to protect the telcos but to make sure that the tax is not passed on to the consumers.”

“He is just consistent with his protection for consumers even when he previously investigated the missing load issue in the Senate hearings,” he said. - with reports from PNA


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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Roxas meets Ilonggos

ILONGGOS give Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas a hero's welcome as he arrives at the Iloilo port after a day of meeting with youth and political leaders in Bacolod on Tuesday. Roxas withdrew his bid for the presidency to give way to Senator Benigno "Noynoy" S. Aquino III, who announced yesterday (Wednesday) he was accepting the challenge to lead the reform ticket for 2010. Aquino also announced he has asked Roxas to become his runningmate. (Photo by Gil Nartea)


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