Monday, March 18, 2013
Liberal Party raises fund through rice smuggling?
By MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
According to the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce U.S $20 billion or P800 billion is lost in the Philippines every year because of the unabated spate of smuggling of all kinds of goods.
U.S $6 billion or P240 billion of this is on rice smuggling. Consequently, Filipino farmers mull not to sow their crop next planting season because rice millers and traders stoped buying the staple at P17 a kilo. They prefer to buy those peddled by smugglers who dump Chinese and Vietnamese cheap rice in different harbors of the country.
According to Abono Party list chair Rosendo So, the national farmer group he belongs wrote recently President Aquino about their concern on the bane brought by the rampant and scandalous smuggling.
Is Malacanang behind the spate of this scourge against the poor and emaciated Filipino farmers? Many suspected it is behind this in exchange of billions of pesos to boost the stocks of its senatorial and other candidates in the Liberal Party.
In his column “Edsa repair may fund LP Poll campaign” that saw print in the Philippines Daily Inquirer in February 3,2013, Neil Cruz wrote about the sinister plan of the administration of President Aquino to surreptitiously expedite in May this year almost P4 billion worth of rehabilitation of the stretch of the 23 – kilometer highway EDSA.
Excerpts of Cruz’s column: “If it is not urgent, why is the DPWH (Department of Public Works & Highways) in a hurry to fix it now? The DPWH’s excuse is that there will be two international conferences here in two years. What a shallow excuse”. He said the delegates will not pass through Edsa. From the airport to their hotels, they will pass through Roxas Boulevard. He continued the DPWH says that after the repairs, Edsa will be as “smooth as NLEx.” Is it necessary to make Edsa “as smooth as NLEx”?
No. Vehicles will not be able to speed through Edsa as fast as they do on NLEx and SLEx no matter how “smooth” it is because of the traffic jams. Motorists will be much happier with the traffic flow made to move smoothly rather than with a smooth road with traffic jams”.
Cruz posed why the DPWH was in a hurry?
He said part of the almost P4-billion EDSA budget may be used to fund the administration’s election campaign. His sources said the private contractors get 50 percent of the contract budget before any work is started. Fifty percent of P4 billion is P2 billion. The average commission, or kickback, that a contractor coughs up is 30 percent. How much is 30 percent of P2 billion? Since I don’t have a calculator, my abacus said it is a whopping almost P 600 Million that the Liberal Party can get a share to finance its candidates nationwide from the P3.7 billion appropriation.
After the expose’ Malacanang helter-skelter and cowered by suspending the repair of EDSA because of the heat it would reap.
As anyone knows, it could undermine the “Birthday Party” of the LP”.
Does the Palace has a hand on the successful dumping of imported cheap rice at the expense of our poor farmers who would starve to death because nobody buys their staple anymore?
I therefore support the call of So for the head of Custom Commissioner Rozzano Ruffino Biazon. Biazon, a friend and a medical technology graduate, is an ally of Aquino, is the worst custom chief this country has ever seen after he plunged in a deficit of P60 billion of its custom tax target last year.
The deficit is the worst since the Bureau of Custom was conceived in 1902.
So explained that mabuti pa ang bulag kumpara kay Biazon kasi pag nahawakan ng bulag alam niya kung anong bagay. But Biazon is like the monkey who couldn’t see and hear about ubiquity of rice smuggling. (Send comments at firstname.lastname@example.org)