Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Why should Pangasinan intercede for convicted drug mules?

Board Member Ranjit Shahani

by Brando Cortez 
What is the reason why many Filipinos, we believe many of them are from Pangasinan too,  prefer to stay in Libya despite the ongoing civil war between Gadhaffi and opposition forces and the intervention of the powerful countries?
 The simple answer is that they prefer to take the chance of being killed crossfire than face the reality of having no work in the Philippines.                                             
What is the reason that Filipinos prefer to become drug mules to China despite the death sentence that goes with it once you are found guilty?
 The simple answer is that they prefer to take the chance of being caught and sentenced to death than face the reality of having no work in the Philippines.
 The three are Ramon Credo, Sally Villanueva of Balungao, Pangasinan, and Elizabeth Batain.
 Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr., has written China appealing for Sally Villanueva.
 The Sangguniang Panlalawigan is also writing China to appeal for Sally Villanueva.
 As people who have different faiths, the people of Pangasinan can pray for Sally Villanueva.
 The coming execution will be a painful experience for the Villanueva family of Balungao, Pangasinan.
 The coming execution of the three is a grave warning to Filipinos not to act as drug couriers in return for large monetary gain.
 There are now hundreds of Filipinos, some of whom may be from Pangasinan languishing in China’s prisons.
 They will not be in jail if they were innocent.
 When the three are finally executed as payment for their crime what will the provincial government do for the others who are in jail?
 Will the Governor and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan issue an appeal for every Pangasinense who is due for execution for being a mule?
 If you were the Chinese government and your Chinese national is found guilty of being a drug mule in the Philippines and is due for execution in the Philippines, will you appeal for the life of your Chinese national?

Camacho invites Pangasinenses to Bayambang fiesta

BAYAMBANG-Mayor Ricardo Camacho is inviting residents of Pangasinan towns to witness the different spectacles of this “buro” and onion producing town’s  fiesta celebration  from May 31 to April 9 
Camacho said the town  conducted mass weddings for indigent residents who have been living out of wedlock due  to lack of finances.
The project is meant  to give legal protection to their children, he said.
Together with the members of the Sanggunian Bayan, the mayor stood as wedding sponsors to 205 marginalized couples who exchanged “I dos” at the municipal gym here recently.
 “Everything is free. This is a yearly program of the LGU and this is the fourth year. We also give gifts to them. This project is to help couples legitimatize their children’s status,” Camacho said.
He said that the municipal government  paid the registration fee of the couples at the civil registrar’s office here.
“Kasi papunta sila dito. Nagbabayad ng registration fee. Sa hirap ng buhay hindi nakayanan ng pamilya. So napakaganda ang programang ito. Puedi tayong makatulong sa mga kapus palad,” Camacho said.

Urdaneta celebrates Dumayo Festival

Urdaneta celebrates  Dumayo Festival
Text and photos by Virgilio Sar. Maganes
URDANETA CITY-  This city celebrated its  1st Dumayo Festival, coinciding with the 13th city charter celebration last March 21. It was attended by the city officials, city employees, government and non-government officials and employees, businessmen, academic communities and barangay officials.
The four-day event (March 21-March 24) was also marked with the 3rd Regional Arts Competition among schools division in Region I which was hosted by the Urdaneta City Schools Division of the Department of Education (DepEd).
In the morning of March 21, a grand parade was undertaken which was led by Mayor Amadeo G.E. “Bobom” Perez IV and Vice Mayor Onofre “Bong” Gorospe together with the members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod who rode in a replica of the “galleon”, a ship where Fray Urdaneta rode in coming to the Philippines centuries ago.
This was  followed by the competition on street dancing at the city’s Cultural and Convention Center. The entry of Ilocos Sur with its “Tobacco Festival”  garnered the first prize, La Union for the 2nd prize and Urdaneta City represented by the Divine Word College for the 3rd prize.
Highlighting the opening of the Dumayo Festival on that day was the search of the “Most Attractive Carabao” which was participated in by the 34 barangays of the city which were clustered into ten districts.
The carabaos were dressed in fashion together with their carts full of products from their districts.
“This is the first time we will do this and it has already earned enthusiasm from the people. They wished that it will be by barangays in next year’s celebration,” said Rosary “Chinky” Perez, executive assistant to the Mayor and chair of the Dumayo Festival.
Cash prizes and trophies awaited the winners. First prize received P11,000 and a trophy, second prize has PP8,000 and a trophy, third prize got P6,000 and a trophy and other entries have P3,000  each as consolation prizes. The “most behaved carabao” got also a trophy.
The entries were judged on OTOP (district products)-25%, Uniqueness- 25%, Health status-30% and Decoration-20%.
The judges gave the nod to the entry of District 8 (Catablan, San Jose and Labit West) as first place, District 10 (Cayambanan, Nancalobasaan, Tolong, Anonas) as 2nd place and District 6 (Palina East, Palina West, Sto. Domingo, Sta. Lucia) as 3rd place. The entry of  District 9 (Nancamaliran East, Nancamaliran West, Pinmaludpod) was adjudged as the “most behaved carabao”.
Cash prizes and trophies were awarded to the winning entries by Vice Mayor Onofre “Bong” Gorospe.
In the afternoon, Ani ng Sining, featuring the school of performing arts of the Urdaneta City National High School performed to the delight of the audience. Raffle draws was conducted in between performances.
From March 22-23, the activities were concentrated on the Regional Arts Competition featuring rondalla, folk dancing, clay molding and choir singing.
The celebration was capped by the opening of the city’s Pasalubong Center last March 24, 2011. The Center is located at the ground floor of  Public Market Wing B which will showcase the products of the city such as recycld magazine bags (San Jose), baracbac (water lily) bags (Anonas), wooden frames (Sta. Lucia), chocolate cookies (Livelihood Training Center (LTC)), malnggay canton noodles (LTC), peanut tarts (LTC), recycled doormats/placemat and plastic flowers (Cabuloan) and T-shirts bearing the city’s logo and the “Cleanest, Greenest and Safest City”- the first prize  award garnered by the city for 2010 from the Regional Development Council (RDC).
The opening was graced by Vice Governor Ferdinand Jose Z. Calimlim, Jr. who in his message after the ribbon cutting said that the event was momentous because of the ingenuity of the city’s administration to help small businessmen in the city.
“The provincial government and Urdaneta City are partners in the promotion of products of the province,” Calimlim said adding that the critics of the city government were wrong to have said that Urdaneta City will not rise up due to debts.
“Due to the city’s leaders from former Mayor Amadeo R. Perez, Jr. and now Mayor Bobom,  the city has risen so swiftly and even having the highest income in Region I. You are a showcase in the whole province,” he further said.
Tourism Officers Rosary “Chinky” Perez and Pamela J. Tablada said that the opening of the Pasalubong Center will just be the start of promoting the city as a tourist destination.
“We will network with other towns to promote their tourist areas and Urdaneta will be their place to stay because of our hotels, resorts and restaurants. We have to organize the owners of these tourist facilities. We are eyeing also for the development of  the park of the New City Hall as a site for social functions such as garden weddings,” Chinky Perez said.
Meanwhile, Mayor Bobom Perez said that the engineered sanitary land fill in Catablan village will be formally opened on April 8, 2011 with no less than President Benigno S. Aquino III as the guest of honor and speaker.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

P-noy meets the ladies of the House

P-noy and the Ladies of the House: The 65-strong Association of Lady Legislators of the House of Representatives during the courtesy call to President Benigno Aquino yesterday in Malacanang.  The dialogue between the President and the lady legislators  lasted for three hours, with both parties agreeing to promote the best interest of the country, above and beyond politics and political affiliations.
    Photo shows President Aquino with ALL President Rep. Gina de Venecia of the 4th District of Pangasinan and the other congresswomen of the 15th Congress, namely:  Rep. Linabelle Villarica, Rep. Rachel  Arenas, Rep. Mercedes Alvarez, Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy, Rep. Trisha Bonoan-David,   Rep. Girlie Villarosa,  Rep. Herminia Roman, Rep. Mercedes Alvarez, Rep. Fatima Aliah Dimaporo,  Rep. Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo,  Rep. Anna York Bondoc,   Rep. Marlyn Primicias-Agabas, Rep. Bai Sandra  Sema, Rep. Daryl Grace Abayon,  Rep. Jane Castro, Rep. Juliet Cortuna, Rep. Marivic Sy-Alvarado,Rep. Tina Plaza, Rep. Emmi Calixto Rubiano,  Rep. Lina Bagasina, Rep. Ana Go and  Rep. Leah Bulut Begtang.

President Benigno Aquino met the ladies of the House in Malacanang last Tuesday, when the members of the 65 –strong Association of Lady Legislators (ALL) headed by Rep. Gina de Venecia of the Fourth District of Pangasinan paid a courtesy call and presented their plan of action for the 15th Congress.
In her speech, De Venecia said that the congresswomen will support the government’s initiatives that will improve the living condition of the Filipinos.
She also underscores the unity of the lady legislators at the House, saying “Totoong iba-iba ang aming partidong- pulitikal, pero pagdating sa kagustuhang mapabuti ang buhay ng bawat Pilipino, tungo sa daang matuwid, kami ay nagkakaisa.”
In an interview, she mentioned that aside from making legislations, the congresswomen have also agreed to become pro-active in implementing existing laws on women and children.  “One of which is the establishment of the Women’s and Children’s Desk in every barangay in our respective districts, pursuant to the Magna Carta of Women.
“We will also have a common stand on important issues, such as the anti-corporal punishment bill to protect children from unwarranted harm in the name of discipline.”
At the end of the dialogue that lasted for three hours, both parties agreed to promote the best interest of the country, above and beyond politics and political affiliations.
ALL is the group that pushed for the passage of the Magna Carta of Women of 2009, the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004 and the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.

Monday, March 28, 2011

“Extortionist” Fiscal convicted

by Mortz C. Ortigoza

Would those government prosecutors who allowed plunderer and disgraced general Carlos Garcia to plea bargain, and the protectors of alleged drug manufacturer Col. Dionesio Borromeo to post bail, suffer the fate of a mulcting City Fixcal, er, Fiscal?
Assistant Prosecutor Joselito Barrozo who was arrested by a team of NBI agents in Dagupan City sometimes in February 2005 outside his office was convicted by the Sandiganbayan (Anti-Graft Court for government officials) for direct bribery and special temporary disqualification. He was sentenced to four years to nine years, four months and one day imprisonment, and also ordered to pay a P60,000 fine.
According to the decision that media man Manny Celso emailed me, the Sandiganbayan gave evidentiary weight to the testimony of NBI special agents. They testified that Barrozo was caught red-handed in an entrapment procedure. The pay-off took place at the parking area beside the Dagupan City Justice Hall.
The decision narrates:
“During the conversation between (victim Jennie) Valeriano and Barrozo, the former put the money inside the left pocket of the latter’s pants without reaction from him. Valeriano gave the pre-arranged signal and the NBI agents approached Barrozo.”
“Seized inside the Honda civic car between the driver’s seat and the passenger’s seat where the handbrake is located was the P1,000 marked cash with the other 19 pieces of P1,000 dusted boodle money. Records showed that Valeriano was the respondent in cases of several counts of estafa and bouncing checks pending before Barrozo’s office. The estafa cases were dismissed and Barrozo demanded from Valeriano the said amount as his fee in resolving them in favor of the respondent”
I could only commiserate with Assistant Barrozo. It seems his crime started when he associated with Valeriano.
According to the decision, the estafa cases did not reach the court as they were dismissed by the disgraced Fiscal.
It seems this debacle ensued after the alleged “estafadora” could not take the excessive and almost confiscatory mulcting of the government lawyer.
Tsk, tsk, as what the Pilipino adage says: “Galit ang kapwa magnanakaw sa kapwa magnanakaw.” Look, nagka-onsehan na.
Kaya ang leksyon sa mga fiscals, don’t be too greedy otherwise you would be sold by your victim to an entrapment operation and eventually be feasted on by the media.
Take this complaint of a village chief to me lately. He said me there is a prosecutor in one of the cities in Pangasinan who extort monies for him so his case finds probable cause.
You watch dear folks, after this barangay captain come into open, I am going to publish here how that malefactor abuses his office.
(You can read my selected intriguing  but thought-provoking columns at You can send comments too at

Pigar-Pigar Festival mulls

DAGUPAN CITY – Aside from its delectable bonuan bangus, the city is known for another food delicacy known as pigar-pigar.
The delicacy’s basic ingredient is carabeef, thinly sliced and sprinkled with salt and deep-fried and garnished with sliced onion.  One can order with either cauliflower, sliced cabbage or carabeef liver.
Pigar-pigar Festival stalls are lined-up along Galvan Street. They usually open as early as 5p.m. until dawn.
Pigar-Pigar Festival has been for several years now one of the events in the Bangus Festival. 
This time, however, the pigar-pigar stall owners themselves will be the ones handling the event.
Formed into a group, the Dagupan City Pigar-Pigar Association is headed by Rommel Cerezo of Great Taste Fastfood.
In this year’s Bangus Festival, the Pyesta Pigar-Pigar is scheduled on April 15 and 16.
Cerezo said there will be a motorcade in the morning of April 15. Several cooking contests and the induction of the Dagupan City Pigar-Pigar Association by Mayor Benjamin Lim will be held in the afternoon.
The competitions include Pigar-Pigar Cooking Contest, Pigar-Pigar Eating Contest, Pigar-Pigar Best Chopper, Best Stall Decoration and Beer-Drinking Contest.
The event committee is finalizing the contest guidelines and the prizes. 
Cerezo admitted that all the pigar-pigar stall owners have a grand time during the duration of Bangus Festival with the many visitors flocking to the city.
The festival food cooking competition dubbed 101 Ways to Cook Bangues which will be held on April 29 at the Dagupan City People’s Astrodome.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Water World Day

Dagupan City Mayor Benjamin S. Lim (left, holding
microphone) addresses guests and participants during the recent Water
World Day program at the Agricultural Training Institue Barangay Tebag
East, Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan, to Lim’s left are Water World Regional
Director Joel Salvador Salvador, Pangasinan Department of Environment
and Natural Resources Officer Wendy Co and City Councilor Emmanuel
Cabangon of Sta. Barbara. (CIO Photo by Edwin Palaganas)


DAGUPAN CITY – The Bangus Festival 2011 executive committee will have
to depend on self-initiated funding after the Sangguniang Panlungsod
(SP) disapproved the budget allocated for the tourism and cultural
heritage program of the city.
This year’s tourism and cultural heritage program was
supposed to have a budget of P1 million each for a total of P2
million, but the SP disapproved it when they passed the appropriation
measure entitled “An Ordinance Authorizing the Annual Budget of City
Government of Dagupan for Fiscal Year 2011 in the Total Amount of
P487,116,296.73 Covering the Various Expenditures for the Operation of
the Dagupan City Government for Fiscal Year 2011 and Appropriating the
Necessary Funds for the Purpose.
It was observed, however, that for the last three
years, the city has been funding the festival especially during the
time when Vice-mayor Belen T. Fernandez was the executive chairman in
the 2008, 2009 and 2010 Bangus Festivals, which cost the city a total
of P10,375,000 million.
Records showed that the budget was taken from the fund
allocated for tourism and cultural heritage program in the amount of
P3 million during the last administration. Each program was allocated
with P1.5 million budget, which is higher than this year’s proposed
budget of only P1 million.
In the 2008 festival, several barangays were given
financial assistance each in the amount of P50,000 including the
Dagupan City National High School for their participation in the
The fund was released through Ordinance Nos.
1915-2008, 1933-2009, and 1946-2010...

Shame on you, Manny Pacquiao!

by Mortz C. Ortigoza, MPA
The "No Vote" of Manny (Filipino Superman except Superman’s handsome face) Pacquaio in Twitter was bad taste in the mouth. Voting him for congress work was a waste of precious government funds. He could not even attend a historical session recently that voted for an Article of Impeachment for the Senate to judge an alleged corrupt and incompetent Ombudsperson. The chap is only in Baguio-- a four-hour ride to the House of Representatives. Dereliction of Duty at its worst!

BM Uy: No to tax increase on productive agricultural lands

By Brando Cortez BALUNGAO-Farmers fear that the delay in the release of budget for the repair and rehabilitation of irrigation systems will not help in the government’s goal of increasing rice production in Pangasinan for this year.
Region 1 Farmers Irrigators Association President Oftociano Manalo, Jr. said that the National Irrigation Administration Agno River Integrated Irrigation Project Budget (NIA ARIIP) has not received its budget for repair and rehabilitation.
The farmers irrigators associations are partners of NIA ARIIP in the operation and maintenance of irrigation systems...

FOR VIOLATION OF WOMEN RIGHTS: Alaminos punong barangay jailed

ALAMINOS CITY—For frequently beating his wife and causing her psychological agony since 1991, a barangay captain here was arrested and had a short stay in jail.
Punong barangay Mario Rabadon of Victoria who was charged for violation of RA 9262 (Violation Against Women and their Children Act) was put in custody after a warrant for his arrest was issued by Judge Elpidio N. Abella of RTC Branch 55.
Rabadon, a close ally of former Rep.Arthur Celeste, was in a favorite cockpit when the warrant was served.
However, Rabadon was immediately set free after being able to post a bail of P48,000.
Based on the complaint of Gemma Rabadon at the city prosecutor’s office, her husband started to assault her physically and psychologically since 1991, when the latter started having affairs with other women.
The abuse continued until last January 25, 2011 when Gemma was hospitalized after seriously being injured by the battering husband.
Also based on Gemma’s complaint, concerned citizens who tried to pacify Kapitan Rabadon themselves took blows from him.
The punong barangay also threatened to kill a tricycle driver who offered help to Gemma.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

LAND TAX SPIKES: Abono will go to court or dialogue with prov’l officials

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

ROSALES- The Abono Party-list is planning either to go to court or to dialogue with the provincial officials to stop the implementation of the scandalous increases of the Real Property Tax (RPT) in Pangasinan.    
Abono chair Rosendo So said these are the two options that the group are planning after dialogues held with businessmen and farmers.
“ Ang RPT kasi  malaki talaga. Umabot iyung iba ng 500% increase. Iyon ang isang ni re-review natin,” he said.
Farmers told him that RPT for a hectare of agricultural land skyrocketed from P1000 to P4000 this year, while house and lots were levied P8000 this year from the P2000 last year.
“Nag-meeting naman tayo sa mga businessmen sa Eastern Pangasinan Filipino-Chamber of Commerce. Nag salita rin ang mga businessmen na opposing iyung increase property ng isa. Dati nagbabayand siya ng P38, 000 ngayon sinisingil siya ng P180, 000. So malaki talaga,” he said.
At the height of the protests by some quarters last year that the ordinance on the land tax was railroaded by the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, So said the provincial government should have undergone a massive consultation first in different municipalities.
He said that amid the howl raised by the tax payers, the municipal assessors deflect the complaints by pointing instead to the province.
“Kawawa naman ang mga board members saka iyung governor natin. Kasi sila ang nag –approve e, Dapat sa tingin ko e-review nila,”So said.
Meanwhile, an expert in RPT said if a taxpayer in a town pays a P10 thousand for his land every year, he would be paying P30,000 if the valuation of his land is 300%.
“But that would become P60,000 as the same tax payer is obliged to pay another one percent of the valuation of his real property for the Special Education Fund,” he explained.
According to Section 221 of the Local Government Code or Republic Act 7160, all assessments or reassessments made after the first day of January of any year shall take effect on the first day of January of the succeeding year.
After it was passed unanimously by the members of Sanggunian, the new land tax in Pangasinan was signed into law in December 10, 2010 by Governor Amado T. Espino thus its implementation this year.

Rep Gina explains vote vs Ombudsperson

I ran and was elected into office, (as congressperson of the 4th District of Pangasinan) through an overwhelming vote, on a platform of change. As a housewife, before being elected into office, I did my share of pushing for change by being actively involved in civil society efforts to bring about change, walking the streets of Makati and Manila, in an effort to voice our desire for change.

Today, I have the opportunity to take a clear and definite step toward bringing about this change. I do this in the exercise of my duty, as representative of the fourth district of Pangasinan, bearing in mind that this vote is sacred, and is an accurate expression of my constituency's stand in this particular issue.

I vote in favor of House Resolution No. 1089, setting forth the articles of impeachment because I believe this is the first step "tungo sa daang matuwid." I vote to forward the articles of impeachment, not to persecute anyone, but to allow those concerned to present their evidence to the people, so that the truth may prevail. Finally, I vote in favor of forwarding the articles of impeachment, to impress upon our youth that yes, there is hope in this nation if only we exercise our right to vote wisely.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Economic benefits of a Dairy Industry in Mangaldan

by Mortz C. Ortigoz
MOA Between Mangaldan and Carabao Center: To bolster the economic plights of the farmers in Mangaldan, Mayor Hermie Romero (front row 2nd from left) inked with Mrs. Gloria de la Cruz  (front row, 3rd from left)- the chief of the Philippine Carabao Center in Region 1.

MANGALDAN- According to the chief of the Philippine Carabao Center that oversees Region 1, and the provinces of Benguet and Mt. Province, the Memorandum of Agreement entered by Mayor Herminio Romero here bode well for the farmers as the artificial insemination they endeavor would increase the milk productivity of a “mestizo “ or hybrid buffalo from its present native ascendant.
 Mrs. Gloria de la Cruz said that the MOA could change the economic status of the farmers who are used to till their land and satisfied themselves with a pittance as earning from it.
She explained the multiplier effects of the program is the people of this town can produce pastillas, kesong puti, chocolate milk, other quality cheese, ice cream, and other products that need milk.
“Magkakaroon na kami ng isang association sa training sa pag-aasikaso ng kalabaw. Paano sila magpapasok, paano sila mag-handle ng meat, paano sila mag-market. Ang farmers doon lang siya sa bukid when in fact we could improve his standard with the carabao. Mag-start na iyan anytime from now. Iyung nasabi ko kay MAO (Municipal Agricultural Officer) and mayor na we will have a meeting with barangay captains. Then we will go to the barangay level na magkakaroon din ng carabao program.  Regarding po sa carabao baka pati sa other live stocks puedi kaming mag commit doon ng self-help activities lahat po ng training regarding sa livestock papasukin po namin,”she stressed.
De la Cruz added the dairy program will see fruition after three years when the hybrid animals start to produce milk.
She explained however that this town can start the program soon by buying female buffalo that are readied to be slaughtered at the abattoir here.
The male offspring, she said, as a result of the insemination could be sold to the market where its parts like those intended for “bulalo (beef, bone marrow, and vegetable soup )”.
“Because  ang meat (hybrid) kalabaw is comparable sa hollow breed ng South Korea which is very sumptuous and nutritious .”
De la Cruz was optimistic that the dairy industry she entered with Mayor Romero can go places.
“E develop din natin para magka-roon tayo ng industria na puedi tayo magkaroon ng export in the long run,” she opined.

Monday, March 14, 2011

BIR Top Exec found an ally

by Mortz Ortigoza
Assistant chief of the Revenue District -6 Bernadette Mangaoang of the BIR
BIR Assitant Regional Director Ernesto de Vota

URDANETA CITY- The Assistant Regional Director of the Bureau of Internal Revenue in Region-1 has found an ally in this city on the debates between the Valued Added Tax and the Percentage Tax.
Assistant Revenue District -6 chief Bernadette Mangaoang  zealously agreed to the public pronouncements of Assistant Regional Director Ernesto de Vota that Percentage Tax, just like in the U.S, is more efficient if the government wants to collect more taxes.
“Maganda! Kasi percentage tax is practically based on books. Wala na iyung mga deduction-deduction,” she opined.
She said VAT is burdensome on the part of the BIR as it has input taxes.
Mangaoang  added that input should be substantial as based on the tax scheme.
“VAT, medyo mahirap din. Kasi maraming computation na gagawin as based on the VAT suppliers. You have to get 12% based on the purchase then you get 12% ulit. Iyung talagang napapatawan iyung end-user kagaya mong household. Ang problema hindi niya na maipapasa (the tax credit)”.
She said that it would be different if it is a Percentage Tax. The number two top executive of RD-6 said the same tax is more simplified as the government only deducts a certain percentage like a hypothetical 3% to a P1 million sale.
“Kung P1 million ang benta mo, kunwari ang percentage 3 multiplied by P1 million, you would be paying P30 thousand.  Automatic na iyon!,” she explained.
In an earlier interview with this paper Atty. De Vota has proposed a 6% percentage tax. He said that there is already a bill that has been passed recently in the House of Representative to replace the VAT.
He commented that VAT has a lot of loopholes that cause slippage to tax collection.
“It is a tedious and complicated process from a receipt or a number of receipts of one businessman to another,” he told this paper.

BIR's Cardona allays fears on AIR

The new Revenue District-4 Chief Christine Cardona. She is a Career Executive Service Officer who is preoccupied now in collecting more revenues to help the country’s tax goal of P940 billion for this year
CALASIAO-The new Revenue District-4 chief here allayed fear that the Annual Information Return (AIR) would be applied for everybody as she disagreed that it is the same as the Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN) of government officials.
Mrs. Christine Cardona said that nowhere in the AIR were the Bureau of Internal Revenue asks for taxpayers to list their liabilities there.
She said that of the four million registered taxpayers all over the country, only 54,890 would be obliged to file it.
She declared that those taxpayers with a worth of P500 thousand are required to submit their form.
Cardona said that taxpayers are obliged to list their income that was not included in their Income Tax Return (ITR).
“Incomes that are not included in the ITR would be subject to final tax or an exemption under AIR, “she stressed.
She said that taxpayers that are in the data base of the tax bureau would be informed of this information report.
Cardona compared that if banks are being withheld or remitted by taxes, the AIR would bode well for the country with new revenues raised under it.
She further compared AIR to a corporation that declares a dividend by withholding the tax due of its stockholders.
The chief of RD-4, the premier tax office in Region 1, beseeched the taxpayers to religiously comply with AIR so the government knows how much one owes it.
Cardona said this “new” source of revenue is good for the country that reels with tax eroding measures that were aggressively passed under the Arroyo Administration.
She was fast to caution however that the implementation of AIR would be optional this year after it was assailed by some sectors in the country.
Cardona said that the government would implement it next year.
“A penalty of P10 thousand to P25 thousand would be imposed to those who would not comply,” the Career Executive Service Officer warned

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Maxima Martin of San Manuel, Pangasinan talks to her daughter, Lolita who is in Tripoli, Libya, during the launching of the OFW Desk and Crisis Hotline last March 10 at the Malong Building in Capitol compound in Lingayen. In photo are Pangasinan Gov. Amado Espino,Jr.(right) and Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Ranjit Ramos Shahani.CESAR RAMIREZ

Solon lauds PNoy on equal pork distribution

By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY – Fourth District Gina de Venecia hailed the “impartiality” of President Benigno Simeon Aquino on the distribution of the proceeds of the Road User’s Tax and the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
De Venecia said each of the 286 members of the House of Representatives would be fairly given the P15 million highway tax that was just approved recently in the 3rd Reading by the  Lower House.
She said that even the members of the opposition in the House would benefit on it.
The P15 million is on top of the P70 million PDAF given every year to each of the 286 solons.
“Opposition binigyan. Pero noong panahon ni President Gloria Arroyo maski isang kusing po walang ibinigay po dito sa distrito (4th) natin na galing sa  Road Users Board Tax na mga programa gaya ng pag pa-repair ng mga kalye,” she stressed.
She added that congressional insertion is a thing of the past. She explained that after President Aquino took power, he struck it out as a policy of his government.
Congressional insertion is a budget in the national appropriation intended to favored lawmakers.
“Bawal na po ang insertion. Ang lahat na nag naglagay ng insertion na mga congressmen si Presidente Noy e hinindian na po. Inalis po sa budget,’ she said.
Meanwhile, De Venecia said the impeachment case of Ombudsperson Mercedita Guiterrez at the House o could be elevated anytime to the Senate. However she was ambivalent if the unpopular Ombudsperson could be impeached there.
“Ang naririnig ko po sa mga kasamahan ko, baka ma-impeached siya sa congreso. Pero pag akyat daw sa Senado sabi nila hindi po enough ang reason. So we will see how it will go,” she explained

LCP ‘invades’ Supreme Court

In the special general assembly of the 122-strong League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) held recently at the Century Park Sheraton Hotel in Manila, its secretary general Hernani Braganza (Mayor of Alaminos City) thundered before the hundreds of saber-rattling mayors and their supporters that the entry of the 16 towns to cityhood would gnaw at P3.7 billion of the yearly Internal Revenue Allotment from the national government.
“11,000 employees’ ang matatangal, housing, PhilHealth, kalsada, farm-to-market roads, proteksiyon sa kalikasan...” Braganza rabble roused.
According to Pueto Princesa Mayor Edward S. Hagedorn, his city would lose P100 million a year if the 16 unwelcomed towns entered the LCP.
Thanks to the flip-flopping of the Supreme Court that for the third time about the cityhood status of 16 towns that according to the furious members of the LCP do not met the P100 million annual local income requirement.
“I’m ashamed to be a lawyer,” Atty. Cris Diokno emphatically told the LCP and their supporters.
He enthused that it is only in the Philippines that a final and executed case was resurrected by the Supreme Court because of a secret letter from Atty. Estelito Mendoza, counsel for the 16 towns, to the high court.
“Patay na nga, binuhay pa!”
Mayor Nani told me that he just “obliged” his friend Diokno in the last hour to be the resource speaker to explain the nuances of the flip-flops.
In that forum, some mayors want blood against the “bumbling” justices of the Supreme Court.
Caloocan City Mayor Enrico “Recom” Echiverri, a lawyer, declared in the Special General Assembly that  they do not have any new argument in case they file their Motion for Reconsideration asking the Court to reverse itself on its February 15, 2011 ponencia (decision) that favors the cityhood of the 16 towns.
He said it is a practice in futility.
But the majority led by LCP president Oscar Samson Rodriguez (mayor of San Fernando City) ask their livid colleagues to give the MR another chance.
The march to the Supreme Court last March 15 in Padre Faura in Manila was “historic.”
Clad in various colors of red, blue, and white tees with an embossed slogan of “SPUR“ ( for Stop illegal conversion of municipalities into cities, Protect the Local Government Code, Uphold the rule of law, Respect the Philippine Constitution)the LCP and its supporters marched to the high court with a band and a rock and roll band that put a fiesta atmosphere to the event.
Holly Molly, the hauler truck that ferried the rock band was decorated with two giant slippers as big as the door of the Supreme Court that symbolized its flip flopping decision.
MayorNani himself, who used to be a dyed-in-the –wool fire-breathing “proletariat” activist in his much younger days, was zealously shouting slogans against the justices at the top of the hauler truck as he rubbed elbows with the mostly “bourgeois” members of the LCP.
Oh before I forgot, at the press conference the day before the rally I should be asking a different question to the members of the LCP when I spotted former Senator Aquilino Pimentel who sat with the city mayors.
“Susmariosep, was this the guy responsible for the harrowing dilemma experienced by the LCP?” I asked myself.
 Pimentel (who by the way begged the crowd to stop calling him the father of the Local Government Code as it causes jealousy and suspicion among his wife and kids) has an exchange with former Senate President Franklin Drilon when R.A 9009 (An act amending Section 450 of Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991, by increasing the average annual income requirement for a municipality or cluster of barangays to be converted into a component city) in the Senate and was used by the Supreme Court as one of its basis on its February 15, 2011 decision penned by Justice  Lucas Bersamin in reversing itself for the third time.
In that interpellation, Drilon asked Pimentel if R.A 9009 (then Senate Bill 2157) if its P100 million requirement retroacts to the pending cityhood bills that include the 16 towns.
“Mr. President, it might not be fair to make this bill, on the assumption that it is approved, retroact to the bills that are pending in the Senate conversion from municipalities to cities,” Pimentel answered.
“So the understanding is that those bills which are already pending in the Chamber (those  24 bills that include the 16 towns) will not be affected?” Drilon asked Pimentel again.
“These will not be affected, Mr. President,” Pimentel retorted.
“Do you still stand today on your answers to Drilon?” This lowly columnist asked Senator Pimentel at that press conference.
His answer was not clear. But he told me that he agreed with the argument of Justice Antonio Carpio (the ponente of the August 2010 decision that favored the LCP) that amendment should be directly done on the Local Government Code (RA 7160), and not with RA 9009.
So, there you are ladies and gentlemen.
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