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SERENO DARES DU30: QUIT Ousted chief justice ups the ante, hits out at President’s ‘failures’ By Rey E. Requejo and Vito Barcelo


USTED chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Thursday called on President Rodrigo Duterte to resign for having a hand in the plot to remove her as the country’s top magistrate, and tore into him on a wide range of issues, from his failure to stem rising prices to his policy toward China. Next page

VOL. XXXII • NO. 92 • 3 SECTIONS 16 PAGES • P18 • FRIDAY,, MAY 18, 2018 • •

Villar, Pacquiao Senate’s richest

DEMOCRACY, FEDERALISM. Ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno participates Thursday, along with retired Chief Justice Hilario Davide as resource speakers in a conference on democracy and federalism at the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City. The event named ‘Safeguarding Democracy: A forum discernment on Charter Change and Federalis’—hosted by the AdMU—was preceded by a Mass at the Church of Gesu inside the campus and a Solidarity Walk in support for Sereno, removed from her post as the country’s top magistrate via a quo warranto petition granted by the Supreme Court last May 11. Manny Palmero

By Macon RamosAraneta

BASED on their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth last year, Senator Cynthia Villar is still the richest member of the Senate followed by world boxing champion Senator Manny Pacquiao. Villar’s declared net worth as of Dec. 31, 2017 was listed at P3,611,260,766. Her wealth increased slightly as her net worth was higher than the P3,606,033,556 she declared in 2016. Pacquiao’s net worth was P2,946,315,029.93, lower than his net worth last year, at Next page P3,072,315,030.


6,000 drivers up for Grab(s) RIDESHARING firm Grab Philippines is seeking for the onboarding of about 6,000 drivers into its platform who were displaced due to the halt in the operations of its corporate rival Uber last month following their acquisition. This, as Grab has reiterated its commitment to work with transport regulators on replenishing the supply of drivers in response to increasing demand from its passengers. Next page

Palace bows to Senate on SC review By Vito Barcelo and Macon Ramos-Araneta PRESIDENTIAL Spokesman Harry Roque said Thursday they respect the senators’ move to sign a resolution asking the Supreme Court to review its decision ousting former chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno through a quo warranto petition. “They are free to sign the resolution asking the High Court to review its decision.

The resolution of course forms part of their inherent legislative powers,” Roque said in a Palace briefing, after 14 senators signed the document calling for a review. The Palace officials also noted the statement of Senator Panfilo Lacson, that the resolution appeared premature, because no articles of impeachment have been forwarded to the Senate for trial. The Supreme Court, voting 8-6, last week granted the quo warranto petition Next page

Liberals pounce on Villar’s ‘mountain’ By Macon Ramos-Araneta SENATOR Cynthia A. Villar came under attack Thursday after report said a mountain on Boracay Island was being leveled without a permit for a resort owned by the senator’s family. Liberal Party vice president Erin Tañada criticized Villar, who was quoted as saying: “There’s no mountain. It’s a titled land. I’ve seen the place, [that report] is exaggerated. You know, if it’s a titled

land, what’s wrong with it if we [develop it as a] joint venture?” But Tañada said the point was not who owned the land. “The point is not whether you own a title for the land or not. The point is that Boracay was closed, purportedly, to reboot the environment in the area,” Tañada said. With the closure of Boracay, he said, many residents lost their livelihood.



Senate reso backs Sotto as chief MAJORITY of senators have reportedly signed a resolution to install Senator Vicente Sotto III as the new Senate President, replacing Senator Aquilino Pimentel III. But Pimentel, who will seek a reelection next year, downplayed reports that he will be kicked out by his colleagues on Monday. “It is not true that there will be changes in the Senate leadership come Monday [May 21]. No such thing,” said Pimentel, president of the ruling PDP-Laban party and a key ally of President Rodrigo

By Rey E. Requejo

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Graft probers zero in on 13 govt officials PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday revealed a list of 13 government officials who are under investigation for graft and corruption. In an ambush interview after his bilateral meeting with Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill at Malacañang Palace, the President named some of them including two who, the Palace said, were asked by the President to resign or be fired for corruption. They are Department of Justice Assistant Secretary Moslemen T. Macarambon Sr. and Department of Public Works and Highways Assistant Secretary Tingagun A. Umpa. He also named Atty. Ambrosi Basman, Atty. Rohani Basman,


Duterte in the Senate. He, however, acknowledged that he will soon have to step down as Senate President when he files his certificate of candidacy in October. Pimentel said there is no need to conduct a loyalty check, noting that politicians “should not be too attached to the position.” “I am very willing to be replaced by someone whose term goes beyond June 30, 2019 so that we will still have a Senate president after that date. Senator Sotto complies with that requirement,” he said. Next page

Gun-toting fiscals get DoJ support By Rey E. Requejo

RISE, PHILIPPINE RISE. Government officials and the crew of BRP Davao del Sur wave Philippine flaglets during the buoy casting and commemoration of the renaming of Benham Rise to Philippine Rise in Casiguran, Aurora on Wednesday. The Rise is a seismically active undersea region and extinct volcanic ridge in the Philippine Sea 250 kilometers east of the northern coastline of Dinapigue, Isabela. PNA

JUSTICE Secretary Menardo Guevarra is supporting the decision of the public prosecutors to arm themselves for selfdefense following last Friday’s attack that killed Quezon City Deputy Prosecutor Rogelio Velasco. “Yes, I will support prosecutors getting firearms for self-defense,”

Guevarra said in an interview. Guevarra made the comment when sought for comment on whether arming the prosecutors would somehow discourage such killings, many of which have remained unresolved. But the Justice Secretary noted the Department of Justice had no funds to shoulder the procurement of firearms for prosecutors. Next page



FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2018

Lacson bucks Dengvaxia report By Macon Ramos-Araneta and Maricel V. Cruz ENATOR Panfilo Lacson has questioned the Blue Ribbon Committee report on the Dengvaxia controversy that led to the filIng of criminal and civil cases against former President Benigno Aquino III and some of his Cabinet and Health officials.


He also requested that the Committee Report 368, drafted by Committee chairman Senator Richard Gordon, be referred to the Committee on Rules for discussion and resolution due to several questions hounding it. Lacson made his statement even as the chairman of the House of Representatives’ committee on appropriations warned the public on the possible proliferation of fake Dengvaxia cards, which could worsen the situation for genuine vaccinees. During Wednesday’s briefing by the

Health department at the House appropriations committee, Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles, the head of the panel, said even the Health department-issued Dengvaxia cards were now being forged. He urged Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to put in place stringent safeguards in connection with the verification of the Dengvaxia cards. In his parliamentary inquiry aired on the senate floor, Lacson noted that out of the 22 members of the three committees that investigated the P3.4-billion Dengvaxia deal, only 14 signed the report.

The report on Dengvaxia was filed on April 30, 2018 by the Blue Ribbon Committee jointly with the Committee on Health and Demography and Committee on Finance. After reading the report, particularly its signature page and its various attachments, Lacson said he noticed that some members of the three committees signed the report with concurring and dissenting votes. In addition, he said, some senators signed with reservations, while Senators Franklin Drilon and Leila de Lima, joined by their colleagues in the minority, filed their separate dissenting opinions. Others or at least this representation did not sign. Lacson said he had a couple of issues to raise for the Committee on Rules to resolve. “First, may I inquire on the number of signatures needed in support of the com-

mittee report for it to be filed with the Bills and Index Division and considered for floor deliberation?” Lacson said. He also questioned if those signing with concurring and dissenting opinions were counted in determining the majority. “How about those signing with reservations?” said Lacson who has maintained he did not believe that Aquino was capable of corruption. The second issue, Lacson said, involved cases where several committees were conducting an inquiry in aid of legislation involving certain issues. Assuming that the primary committee prepared the report, Lacson asked if the majority requirement for purposes of filing and consideration by the Senate on a per committee-basis or all the members of the different committees were lumped together.

Tourism chief Justice head opposes PCGG-OGCC abolition puts promo project on hold By Rey E. Requejo and Macon Ramos-Araneta

By Sara Susanne D. Fabunan NEWLY appointed Tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat has suspended the P80-million Buhay Carinderia projects of the Tourism Promotions Boards after confirming it did not go through a proper bidding process. Saying she was also not comfortable with the TPB’s standard practice, Romulo-Puyat also ordered all existing projects that never went through a proper procurement process to be discontinued. “I want to discontinue...[and] I will not proceed with the Buhay Carinderia,” Romulo-Puyat said. “I am not comfortable if there is no bidding. It seems they’re always doing it at the TPB.” Romulo-Puyat summoned TPB chief operating officer Cesar Montano after a report came out that he paid P80 million in full for the Buhay Carinderia project to Marylindbert International Inc. president and owner Erlinda Legaspi. During her late-night meeting with Montano in a “private house,” Romulo-Puyat said Montano might have acted “in good faith” when he signed the memorandum of agreement with Legaspi. Montano admitted that the project didn’t go through a proper procurement process, but said TPB, as standard practice, enters into a sponsorship agreement with any private company. He also said all projects went through the legal team of TPB and those were “above board” despite the absence of a proper bidding. Romulo-Puyat then wrote a letter to the Commission on Audit and asked it to look into the Buhay Carinderia project and all other existing projects and determine those had gone through a a proper bidding process. “I wrote them and they’re the ones who will determine if the process was right. Until then, I will not proceed with the Buhay Carinderia,” she said.

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A draft copy of the unnumbered Senate resolution, however, has been released by various television networks Thursday evening. “By a majority vote of all the senators, Senator Vicente C. Sotto III is hereby elected as the new Senate president to discharge the duties and powers granted to him by the rules of the Senate,” read the draft resolution. The senators who have reportedly signed the resolution are Cynthia Villar, Juan Edgardo Angara, Nancy Binay, Joseph Victor Estrada, Gregorio Honasan II, Francis Escudero, Sherwin Gatchalian, Richard Gordon, Panfilo Lacson, Manny Pacquiao, Ralph Recto, Joel Villanueva, Loren Legarda, and Juan Miguel Zubiri.

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Amisa Lumodtod, Amelkier Macabando (ex-mayor of Marawi City), Atty. Samina Sambaco Macabando Usman (DOJ prosecutor), OIC Pasay City Prosecutor Atty. Benjamin Lanto, inquest prosecutor Clemente Villanueva, assistant prosecutor Florencio Dela Cruz, Naia District Collector Ramon Anquilan, Naia Intelligence and Investigation

JUSTICE Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday objected to the passage by the House of Representatives of a measure seeking to abolish the Presidential Commission on Good Government and the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel to further strengthen the powers of the Office of the Solicitor General. He said it was his position that the PCGG and OGCC should remain under the administrative supervision of the Department of Justice. “We respect the action of the HoR [House of Representatives]. But we’ll

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Speaking before the Quo Vadis, Quo Warranto forum organized by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines in Pasig City, Sereno recalled President Duterte’s earlier remarks that he would resign if it were proven that he had a role in her ouster. “Yesterday he said [talk of his involvement] was not true, and that he would resign. How many times have we heard him say he will resign?” Sereno told the forum participants in Filipino. “From his own mouth, he admitted that he started the campaign to remove me. So, Mr. President, resign now!” she said. She recalled that Duterte had referred to her as his enemy, in response to her question regarding Solicitor General

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The other senators who belong to the top 10 richest are Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto (P538.8 million), Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri (P152.09 million), Juan Edgardo Angara (P131.7 million), Franklin

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“I wish we could with bullet-proof vehicles to boot but we have to live within our means, and just do our job well,’’ Guevarra stressed. According to the DoJ chief, carrying firearms for self-defense might be necessary for those handling high-profile and sensitive cases and have death threats. Some sectors called on the DoJ to

maintain our position to keep the PCGG and the OGCC under the wings of the DoJ [Department of Justice],” Guevarra said in a text message. Liberal Party officials have warned that abolishing the PCGG would amount to abolishing the $10-billion plunder of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his family and cronies. Senator Bam Aquino said abolishing the PCGG could be part of a ploy to revise history about the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses. Erin Tañada, the party’s vice president for external affairs, said the CGG’s abolition would allow Solicitor General Jose Calida to reverse the gains made during the PCGG’s lifespan, including

the recovery of the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth. Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat, the party’s vice president for internal affairs, said the PCGG was created as a way of rendering justice to the Filipino people. But Senator Richard Gordon said he didn’t think the PCGG should be abolished. Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said there would be difficulties if the PCGG and the OGCC were abolished. Guevarra said he had not discussed the bill with President Rodrigo Duterte who could stop its passage through a veto. “It’s still far from being enacted into law. [And there is] No counterpart bill in the Senate,” he said.

Jose Calida’s quo warranto petition against her. At the time, Duterte even asked his allies in Congress to speed up the impeachment process, Sereno said. Sereno was ousted last week as chief justice after the Supreme Court voted 8-6 to grant the quo warranto petition against her, finding her unqualified for the position because she failed to file her statements of assets, liabilities and net worth—a failure that nine justices believed was a violation of the Constitution. In her speech Thursday, Sereno said Calida’s attempt to expel her would have ended if Duterte had no hand in it. “If he does not want it, it could have ended, but it did not end. Clear as day,” Sereno said in an interview after the forum. The ousted magistrate also raised the ante on her attacks against the

President, slamming his leadership for failing to arrest rising prices of basic commodities, the weak value of the peso, the perpetration of extrajudicial killings, his intolerance of dissent, his use of vulgar language as well as his foreign policy. She said when Duterte cursed a person out on national TV or threatened to shoot her in her sensitive parts, were outright threats and intimidation. Sereno also said the unsolved killings perpetrated by motorcycle-riding men is instilling fear in the public, reminiscent of what the country faced in the 1970s. She also noted the threats received by journalists for doing their job. Sereno also took offense at Duterte’s remarks that Chinese President Xi Jinping will not allow his removal from office adding that it seems Duterte has no respect for the Constitution.

Drilon (P93.727 million), Grace Poe (P90.674 million), Sherwin Gatchalian (P88.226 million), JV Ejercito (P78.953 million), and Richard Gordon (P69.508 million). Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has remains the poorest senator with P6,871,743.64 declared in his SALN. He was, however, P365,071.51 richer than last year 2016 when he posted a net

worth of P6,506,672.13. The second poorest is detained Senator Leila de Lima with a net worth of P7.9 million while the third is Senator Francis Escudero, with a net worth of P8.5 million. Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, meanwhile, was sixth in the list of poorest senators with a net worth of P18.110 million.

procure and issue bullet-proof vests and other protective gears to prosecutors handling sensitive cases. Velasco was the sixth prosecutor to be executed under the Duterte administration. In September 2017, Quezon Province Assistant Prosecutor Reymund Luna was shot dead while he was on his way home after attending a court hearing. Rizal Provincial Prosecutor Maria Ronatay was gunned down in a similar attack on July 18, 2017 while driv-

ing along Ortigas Avenue Extension in Taytay, Rizal. Other prosecutors killed by still unidentified assailants were Caloocan Assistant State Prosecutor Diosdado Azarcon, Assistant Quezon City Prosecutor Noel Mingoa who was ambushed on Jan. 11, 2017 and City Prosecutor Rolando Acido. Surigao City Prosecutor Manuel Tesiorna Jr. on the other hand survived an attack by a motorcycle-riding gunman outside his house in Canlanipa Homes, Surigao city last February 6.

‘‘Our immediate priority is to work with regulators to onboard the 6,000 displaced drivers who are not part of the LTFRB masterlist. We are continuously working with government agencies to find a long-term solution on the supply issue,” Grab country marketing head Cindy Toh said in a statement. To address the situation, Grab is regularly

releasing incentives to increase driver productivity by at least 15 percent per day. The firm also encourages its riders to utilize the Grab Share feature on its mobile app to share its available cars to fellow passengers and to save on fuel costs. Passengers may also use GrabCar’s Multi-Stop feature for multiple destinations instead of booking separately. ‘‘We also seek our passengers to plan their trips and book ahead of time,” Toh said. Grab currently receives about

600,000 passenger booking requests each day but only 35,000 vehicles are available to serve the riding public. The overflow in demand and severe undersupply of cars has resulted in longer waiting times for passengers or not getting allocated a vehicle according to the ridesharing firm. The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board has imposed a common supply cap of 65,000 transportation network vehicle services units in Metro Manila. PNA

Division Director Adzhar Albani, and Customs operations officer Lomontod Macabanto in the list. “They are all suspended, pending an investigation,” Duterte said. The President said the list will be forwarded to the Office of the Ombudsman. “I want the Ombudsman so that there will be no complaints. They are too many,” he said. Duterte apologized for giving their names “but I said do not go into corruption.” He said the list was provided by the

Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission headed by Dante Jimenez. As this developed, the Justice Department said it would also investigate the prosecutors identified by President Duterte as involved in graft and corruption. Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday said the probe will be conducted by the DoJ’s Internal Affairs Unit against the four National Prosecution members tagged by the President. “The complaint will most likely be filed with the Ombudsman, but it doesn’t

prevent the DoJ from conducting its own investigation through its Internal Affairs Unit,” Guevarra, said in text message. “With or without any instruction from the President, I will commence our own internal investigation within the DoJ,” Guevarra added. According to Guevarra, the complaints were “likely” to be filed before Office of the Ombudsman, said that the DoJ internal affairs probe would focus on the administrative aspect of the case. With PNA

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DILG usec told to show proof of poll fraud By Maricel V. Cruz A HOUSE leader said Thursday Interior Undersecretary Martin Diño must face lawmakers to substantiate his claims and identify the 100 congressmen whom he accused of vote-buying and other election-related offenses during the recent barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections. In a privilege speech on Wednesday, Deputy Speaker and Batangas Rep. Raneo Abu lambasted Diño for tagging some lawmakers and other local government officials as alleged vote buyers. “I am asking the House of Representatives to summon Undersecretary Diño to substantiate his claims against lawmakers,” Abu told his colleagues. At the same time, Abu dared Diño to release the names of several lawmakers whom he accused of influencing their respective constituents to vote for their chosen candidates and present evidence to substantiate his claims. Abu said if not, Interior officer-incharge Eduardo Año must order Diño to come up with the list of names of the 100 congressmen who are the subject of Diño’s allegation. “Diño must not only identify the congressmen but also show proof that will support his claims that these public servants indeed committed violations of election laws,” Abu said. Abu himself is facing charges at the Commission on Elections for alleged vote-buying. He said he was not defending himself from the allegations against him, adding it was the duty of every House member to defend the institution from baseless and unfounded allegations. Earlier, Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin and Gabriela Rep. Emmi de Jesus challenged Diño to identify and charge the 100 congressmen.

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filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida against Sereno. The resolution was initiated by the Senate minority bloc, which said the Senate should uphold the Constitution on the matter of removing a chief justice from office. The document also said that Calida’s petition sets a dangerous precedent that transgresses the exclusive powers of the legislative branch to initiate, try and decide all cases of impeachment. Those who have signed were Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Senators Risa Hontiveros, Francis Pangilinan, Antonio Trillanes IV, Leila de Lima, Paolo Aquino IV, Ralph Recto, Francis Escudero, Sherwin Gatchalian, Joel Villanueva, Grace Poe, Juan Edgardo Angara and Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III. Pimentel said he finds nothing wrong with the draft resolution and hoped that their colleagues would support the resolution. Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III and Senator Manny Pacquiao said they would not support any move questioning the decision of the Supreme Court, saying it should be respected as the final arbiter of the law. “I would not support any resolution to that effect because I don’t want to interfere with the judiciary,” stressed Sotto. With Maricel V. Cruz

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“So many of our countrymen swallowed this bitter pill—the illegalities of it notwithstanding—because of its pretext: That the environment was suffering, and we need to clean it up,” he said. In a statement, the chief legal counsel of Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc., a company owned by the Villars, said they have complied with all applicable laws and regulations and obtained all the needed permits and licenses in connection with their development project in Boracay. As early as February this year, said Ma. Nalen SJ. Rosero, they slowed down development work and had accordingly reduced the amount of equipment and the number of workers in the area. Significantly, she said the images appearing in the published articles on the issue do not pertain to their project site. She said the area subject of Vista Land’s development was a developed resort with existing facilities. “Moreover, it is our policy to respect and preserve the natural topography of the land. To do so is not only structurally sound but more importantly, environmentally friendly,” she said.

News PDEA to go after ‘narco’ brgy execs who won in polls By Rio N. Araja THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency on Thursday vowed to go after 60 barangay officials who have won in the barangay election, but are in the narco list. In a radio interview, PDEA chief Aaron Aquino said “win or lose, we will continue still to file charges against them,” referring to PDEA and the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s list of 90 barangay chairmen and 117 barangay councilors involved in the illegal drug trade. “Secondly, we will continue to conduct monitoring activities, buy-bust operations and [the [implementation of] search warrants on them. Thirdly, we will ask the Philippine National Police to conduct Operation Tokhang on those who won and even on those who lost [in the recent barangay elections],” he said. Of the 207 barangay officials in the narco list, 36 punong barangays and 24 councilors have won, he said. “I have told regional directors to start filing cases against those in the drug list by next week,” he added. He said the release of the narco list divulging the names of the barangay officials involved in illegal drugs was able to guide voters on who to support. “I think the list was successful, otherwise 90 percent or 100 percent of those in the list would have won,” he added. He claimed that several candidates used drug money to fund their campaign. “There was massive vote buying using drug money,” he said. “They paid voters P300 each voter, and even P20,000 per family,” he said. Aquino called on DILG Secretary Eduardo Año to file cases against barangay officials who have not taken any actions to fight the drug problem amid the activation of their barangay anti-drug abuse councils. “I am asking DILG why charge only those who have not activated or reactivated their barangay antidrug abuse councils, and why not also charge those who have their own councils but have not done anything,” he said.

Bam files bill seeking to suspend TRAIN excise tax on fuel By Macon Ramos-Araneta WHILE there are many elements contributing to the increase in prices of goods and services, Senator Bam Aquino stressed the need to focus on factors under the government’s control, like the excise tax on fuel under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law. Aquino said the imposition of TRAIN and taxes on petroleum can be controlled. “Let us give the Filipino families small comfort, let us suspend excise tax, Aquino said, referring to his measure to stop the collection of excise tax on fuel under TRAIN once the inflation rate breaches “target range.” Aquino filed Senate Bill No. 1798, the excise tax on fuel under TRAIN will be suspended when the average inflation rate surpasses the annual inflation target over a three-month period. During the TRAIN’s deliberation, he introduced an amendment to include a safeguard where the implementation of TRAIN Law will be stopped once inflation rate breaches the “target range.” Fellow senators approved Aquino’s amendment but the provision was not included in the bicameral conference committee and the approved version of the measure. Aquino expects his colleagues to support his measure since many of them approved it during the deliberation of the TRAIN Law. The Philippine Statistical Authority inflation figures showed a three-year high increase in prices by 4.5 percent as of end-April 2018. If further reported that inflation disproportionately affected the poor, with low-income households carrying the burden of a record-high 5.3 percent price hike. Pulse Asia also previously released the results of two polls—one indicating that 45 percent of Filipinos view inflation as an urgent concern and another stating that an “overwhelming” 86 percent of Filipinos were “strongly affected” by price hikes on food, topped by rice; sugarsweetened beverages; electricity; fuel and transportation, among others.


FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2018

‘Pols intervened in jewelry, drug smuggling’—PACC By Vito Barcelo


T LEAST P10 billion worth of smuggled jewelry and drugs passed through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport through the intervention of several high-ranking government officials, according to Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission Commissioner Greco Belgica.

The PACC chief said the gold came mostly from Dubai and Bangkok. Belgica said that the gold from Dubai are 22 carats but the smugglers will only declare it at the Bureau of Customs as 18 carats to reduce its duties and taxes. Belgica said the government officials who frequent the airport to “assist” their clients include someone from the Pasay City prosecutors office, a Justice assistant secretary, Customs supervisors, BOC-CIIS director, and a former mayor. “The latest that we caught has been traveling for 133 times since 2014. So mga twice a week siyang bumibiyahe, walo po iyon—so an average of ten million pesos ang nilalabas nila,” he

said during a Palace briefing. “They smuggle many, many things. Jewelry and drugs kasi, ginamit nila puwesto nila,” Belgica told reporters. The PACC commissioner also identified a certain “Mimbalawang” as the alleged smuggler of drugs and jewelry into the country through Naia Terminal 3. “These people have probably links to rebels but we will still investigate,” he said. “The fundraising activity was for illegal activities. They are part of a group that raises funds for certain groups. It could be terrorists or rebels,” Belgica said. He added that only recently, the Mimbalawang couple were

apprehended at Naia Terminal 3 for smuggling 1.9 kilograms of assorted pieces of gold jewelry valued at more or less P6 million. Belgica also identified a customs supervisor named Lomodot Macabando who was trying to assist Mimbalawang in an attempt to smuggle gold. Recently, President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered two senior officials to leave their posts, bringing to 16 the number who have left office since 2016 over corruption, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said. Assistant Secretary Moslemen Macarambon of the Department of Justice and Assistant Secretary Tingagun Umpa of the Department of Public Works were asked to resign, otherwise, they would be fired. Macarambon allegedly intervened for gold and jewellery smugglers at Pasay City’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Umpa, on the other hand, allegedly asked for commissions from contractors at the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in the southern Philippines. “These were based on the investigations done by the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission,” Roque added.

BILATERAL TALKS. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill pose for a photo following a successful bilateral meeting at the Malacañan Palace on May 16, 2018. Presidential Photo

PH, Russian gov’ts to enhance security relations By Francisco Tuyay THE Philippine government and Russia is expected to enhance security relations as senior officials from both countries meets today in Moscow for bilateral meetings on matters mutually-beneficial to both nations. National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon will meet with Secretary Nikolay Patruchev of the Security Council of the Russian Federations to tackle the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding on Security Cooperation forged between the two countries two days ago. An inter-agency delegations composed of officials of the national security sector led by Esperon will hold a two-day bilateral meetings (May 18-19) with their Russian counterparts aims to enhance

security relations for both countries. “The bilateral discussions builds on the successful efforts of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano in solidifying Philippines-Russia diplomatic relations along with President Duterte’s independent foreign policy, when he met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the same city on May 15, 2018,” Esperon said in a statement. “The strengthening of security cooperation between the Philippines and the Russian Federation will be the main objective when an inter-agency delegation holds bilateral meeting with their Russian counterparts,” he added. Russia has so far donated at least 3,000 assorted assault rifles that were transferred to the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines. In May last year, Duterte visited Russia

which form part of the strengthening diplomatic relations in the government’s independent foreign policy. In response, Russian destroyer Admiral Tributs and sea tanker Boris Butomatoila, a flagship of the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Navy docked at the Manila South Harbor in a four-day goodwill visit. Duterte boarded the Russian Destroyer Admiral Tributs and was welcomed by Russian navy officials and Ambassador Igor Khovaev. The Philippine national security sector delegations includes the Department of National Defense, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Justice, the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, the Philippine Coast Guard, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, AFP and the PNP.

Sandigan junks case vs ex-PGMA co-accused By Maricel V. Cruz THE Sandiganbayan has acquitted former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office general manager Rosario Uriarte, who was the remaining accused in the P366-million plunder case involving Arroyo administration officials, leaving no respondent left in the case. The anti-graft court’s First Division said the Ombudsman failed to present new evidence against Uriarte. Uriarte is the sole co-accused of former President and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Arroyo was removed from the list of accused by the Supreme Court last year. The SC found insufficient evidence to charge Arroyo and her co-accused of the non-bailable offense. The high court ruling, however, came long in coming as Arroyo has already been detained for more than five years when it was issued. “The prosecution has not adduced any new or compelling evidence to warrant a finding different from what has already been rendered by the Supreme Court,” the Sandiganbayan said in its May 11 decision. “Thus, as the High Tribunal categorically cleared Uriarte of culpability from the instant charge of plunder, it behooves this Court to acquit her,” it added. The anti-graft court ordered the lifting of the hold departure order against Uriarte and the cancellation of her bail bond. In 2016, the SC dismissed the plunder case against Arroyo and former PCSO Budget and Accounts manager Benigno Aguas due to weak evidence presented by the Ombudsman. The SC ruled the charges against Arroyo were “unwarranted” and “unsustainable,” adding that the prosecution failed to prove that she was the “main plunderer” in the case. The Court added the prosecution “did not properly allege and prove the existence of conspiracy among Arroyo, Aguas and Uriarte.”

Duterte attends granddaughter’s graduation rites at PICC PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte attended the graduation rites of granddaughter Isabelle Lovelie Duterte held at the Philippine International Convention Center on Thursday. Isabelle, daughter of former Davao City vice mayor Paolo Duterte, was among the first batch of senior high school graduates of San Beda College Alabang. She graduated with a degree in Humanities and Social Sciences. Isabelle’s parents Paolo and Lovelie Sangkola-Sumera were present during the ceremony. The President arrived at the PICC Plenary Hall and was accompanied by Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go and PICC general manager lawyer Renato Padilla. Duterte, who is also a San Beda alumnus, allowed several students to take a selfie with him. Before the end of the commencement exercises, the President went up to the stage and greeted the officers and staff of San Beda College.

Group lauds passage of ALS bill By Ronald O. Reyes

SMUGGLING PROBE. Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission chief Greco

Belgica (center) talks to media on the result of their probe on the involvement of highranking officials from various government agencies in a smuggling syndicate in Naia. Norman Cruz

A SECTORAL party-list group on Thursday lauded the passage on third reading of House Bill 7392 or An Act Institutionalizing the Alternative Learning System. Leyte First District Rep. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez authored the original draft of the bill. “Widening the access to and improving the quality of basic education is crucial to regional development. Thus education deserves the fullest of our lawmakers. We are thankful that Rep. Romualdez has taken the lead in institutionalizing the Alternative Learning System as the ‘other lung’ of Philippine education,” said Philip Jude Acidre, first nominee of Tingog Sinirangan. The House Bill 7392 was finally passed on third reading at the House of Representatives on May 15, 2018. “This will definitely benefit thousands of young people who by particular social or

economic circumstance cannot go through the formal school and enable to continue with their studies at the senior high school level,” Acidre told Manila Standard. According to Acidre, many of these ALS learners are determined individuals who faced challenges or made sacrifices, which led them to stop formal schooling. “Rather than being discouraged by reality, these ALS graduates have found strength in the adversities they faced, leaving us with inspiring examples of the power of education and the hope that it can provide,” he said. Jake Laurence, an ALS teacher in Leyte Division, said this development will make ALS “be more capacitated to serve more than its current standing.” “It is obvious that the current implementation has some financial constraints. Institutionalizing ALS means it will serve more and will be more effective in reaching its goals,” said Laurence, who has been teaching for the past 10 years.



FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2018

Reading the Constitution underscore the role of the unwritten, the importance of the tacit. There would be neither motive nor reason to write the text FR. RANHILIO of the constitution if there were no antecedent social covenant to accept the ConCALLANGAN stitution as fundamental law and to abide AQUINO by it. What does a Constitutional provision HERMENEUTICS engages priests and jurists with the same intensity. After all, mean? In fact, the very question is diffithe most important texts that humankind cult. Philosophy has taught us sufficiently has ever had to interpret were Sacred not to identify textual meaning with “authorial intent”. And so while we find the Scripture and codes of law. Even before going to the text of the Con- Supreme Court often mining the records stitution, I venture an application of Prof. and the journals of the Constitutional Hart’s celebrated distinction between Commission for clues to the construal of “primary rules” and “secondary rules.” a particularly nettlesome provision, it is Law is often taken to be a collection of as fundamental a precept of constitutional rules about what to do and what not to do. construction that what the constitution But Hart, in A Concept of Law, argues means must principally be sought from that this will not do and will never, of itself the text of the charter itself! In fact, where make a legal system come about. How, for there is a conflict between what the auone, does one recognize which are rules thors of the 1987 Constitution claim that and which are not? Why does one treat they meant, and what the text communithe penal provision of adultery differently cates, it is the latter that prevails. Constifrom the Catholic precept of abstinence tutional interpretation should never be a matter of “mental on Fridays of Lent? archaeology.” But The clear answer the temptation peris because we recsists—to vainly ognize the first as look for the meana legal norm, the Consistency is ing of the Constitusecond as a reli- necessary to enable law tion in what its augious teaching. thors were thinking So, Hart argues, to fulfill its functions of when they wrote one needs another stabilizing behavioral the text. Aside layer of norms that expectations and from having been will include norms shown to be both for recognizing enabling society to impossible and primary norms, as cohere. idle, it also ignores well as norms govthe fundamental erning the change hermeneutic prinand the applicaciple known as “the tion of primary autonomy of the norms. When the Constitution then requires that any search text.” When the text has been written (or be authorized by court-issued warrant (a spoken), the text enjoys an autonomy that guarantee that our draft in the Consulta- severs it from whatever mental processes tive Committee has both expanded and accompanied its production on the part of strengthened), that is a primary rule. its authors. There will then be both continuity and When it vests legislative power in Congress of the Philippines and provides for distance between the thought of the authe passage of law, such provisions consti- thors of the constitutional text and the tute rules of recognition and are, in Hart’s thought of those who must either interterms, secondary rules. The Constitution pret, apply or invoke the text: continuity then, is a combination of primary and sec- because the text of the Constitution stands ondary rules. While I absolutely have no as the ultimate limit of interpretation, and reservations about arguments in favor of distance because of the distinct horizons textualism, I must point out that underly- of writers and readers. So it can very well ing the written text of the Constitution is be the case that a judge, or a law professor, an underlying unwritten “social contract” or a law-enforcer take a constitutional pro—the basic norm of recognition: the social vision to mean something that the authors covenant to recognize the Constitution as may not have exactly meant (or intended) fundamental law! That, I repeat, is not a because ultimately it is not the authors’ inpoint against textualism. It does however tent that is pivotal, but the text. Turn to A5

Adelle Chua, Editor




Remittance dampener

HE diplomatic row with Kuwait has quickly taken its toll on the money sent home by Filipinos working overseas. Remittances declined 9.8 percent in March to $2.36 billion from a year ago, the biggest drop in 15 years, due in part to the repatriation of Filipinos from Kuwait. The disappointing March figure, a reversal from the 4.5-percent growth in February, brought cash remittances in the first quarter to $7 billion, just up by 0.8 percent from $6.953 billion in the same period last year. It would not be entirely correct to blame the lower March remittances to the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte in February to prohibit Filipino workers from heading to Kuwait after the discovery of domestic helper Joanna Demafelis’ corpse in a freezer in her employer’s home. The labor row worsened when Mr. Duterte declared on April 30 that the ban on Filipino workers

leaving for the Gulf nation was permanent and urged Filipinos there to come home if they were being mistreated. Bangko Sentral Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said the negative remittance growth in March was primarily due to base effect following the sharp increase in remittances in March 2017 at 10.7 percent. But the official conceded that the continued repatriation of migrant Filipino workers from the Middle East countries could have affected the inflows of cash remittances. Preliminary data from the Labor Department showed that some 1,124 workers were repatriated from Kuwait as of Feb.

8, 2018. The Foreign Affairs Department estimated that around 262,000 Filipinos work in Kuwait, nearly 60 percent of them domestic workers. The Philippines fortunately on Wednesday lifted the ban on migrant workers heading to jobs in Kuwait. The decision followed the signing of an agreement between Kuwait and the Philippines to regulate and protect the hundreds of thousands of Filipinos seeking higher-paid employment in the wealthy Arab state. Lessons were clearly learned from the diplomatic spat with Kuwait. The Philippines was right in protecting the interests of the Filipino workers in Kuwait. But it should not have opted for the rash decision to ban the deployment of workers to Kuwait or any other country for that matter. The stakes are just too high.

China’s proxy president? Sea against Beijing in The Hague international arbitration court but we have not invoke this favorable ruling. This is defaulting on the country’s legal right. ALEJANDRO In his rambling speech, Duterte also DEL ROSARIO ranted the US also meddles in Philippine politics. He claimed that “Americans are afraid to die.” What? Mr. DuPRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has terte might have forgotten his history raised eyebrows again. During a send- that Americans got involved in World off to a group of Filipino scientists to War II to help Britain from being inexplore the Philippine Rise seabed, Du- vaded by Nazi Germany. Americans terte said Chinese President Xi Jinping were also in the Pacific war against the told him that “China will never allow Japanese who bombed Pearl Harbor. Digong to be taken out of office.” American troops were in the Korean That’s the President’s own words and Vietnam wars. They also fought quoted live on three major TV net- terrorists in Afghanistan and invaded works. Not a misIraq for threatenquote, not taken ing world peace out of context. If and sponsoring true that Xi said terrorism. Now, that, then it must that’s hardly being Those were Mr. be a reciprocal afraid to die, is it? expression of af- Duterte’s own words; he fection after Du- was neither misquoted Meralco’s terte recently exmadness claimed: “I love nor taken out of The Manila context. Xi Jinping.” Electric Co. anXi Jinping’s nounced an adboast (or Duterte’s ditional P2,000 as deposit for claim) did not sit well with some senators, particularly customers. This is additional burden with opposition lawmakers. Senators for our people who are already reeling Franklin Drilon, Francis Pangilinan and from the high cost of living brought independent Panfilo Lacson expressed about by the thoughtless TRAIN law. their concern that this is a national seThose who are comfortable in their curity issue if the Chinese president in- mansions in gated communities, ride deed said that. The Xi statement implies in their air-conditioned limousines— a foreign power’s intent to interfere in the like highly paid Meralco spokesman country’s internal affairs. Joe Zaldarriaga—obviously do not feel Has this government’s subservience the heat nor care about the hardships of to Beijing made Xi Jinping think the other people. Philippines is already a province of Isn’t Meralco earning enough as a China? If Xi cannot take over renegade monopoly power distributor? Some province Taiwan, why not the Philip- people can be heard pining for the pines with its richer natural resources? days of the Marcos strongman rule We can’t really blame Xi for his delu- which dismantled the Lopez olision. Manila won the case in the ter- garchy. Will President Duterte who Turn to A5 ritorial dispute in the West Philippine


Why Sereno was removed VIRTUAL REALITY TONY LOPEZ IN ITS May 11, 2018 decision removing Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno, not only did the Court find Sereno not filing her SALNs. She did not file her SALNs “properly and promptly. Said the decision: “The failure to file a truthful SALN not only puts in doubt the integrity of the officer, but such failure to file a truthful, complete and accurate SALN would likewise amount to dishonesty if the same is attended by malicious intent to conceal the truth or to make false

b. Her SALN as of Dec. 31, 1998 was statements.” The Court noted that the SALNs filed filed only in 2003, or five years late; c. Her SALNs for the years 1997, 1998, by Sereno covering her years of government service in U.P., “appear to have 1999 and 2002 were notarized only on been executed and filed under suspi- August 21, 2003 ; d. Both the 1996 and 1997 SALNs were cious circumstances.” subscribed and sworn to by respondent before Zenaida P. Cruz (Administrative Officer IV, Human Resource Development and Records Section, U.P. Law Center) on June 29, 1998. However, unHere is what the der the Notarial Registry of Eugenia A. Supreme Court said. Borras, four SALNs of respondent were acknowledged before her on August 21, 2003. It appears thus that there were two SALNs for 1997 executed by respondent; a. Her SALN as of Dec. 31, 1996 was She failed to file her SALNs for 2004, accomplished and notarized only on 2005, and 2006 which were the years June 29, 1998, or two years late; Turn to A5 Rolando G. Estabillo Publisher


Published Monday to Sunday by Philippine Manila Standard Publishing Inc. at 6/F Universal Re Building, 106 Paseo de Roxas, corner Perea St., Legaspi Village, Makati City. Telephone numbers 832-5554, 832-5556, 832-5558 (connecting all departments), (Editorial) 832-5554, (Advertising) 832-5550. P.O. Box 2933, Manila Central Post Office, Manila. Website: www.


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FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2018

A hidden history of evil FROM WHERE I STAND

ERIC JURADO “TRUMP is a fascist!” “Duterte is a fascist!” For decades, this has been a favorite smear of the left, aimed at those on the right. Every Republican president—for that matter, virtually every Republican —since the 1970s has been called a fascist; now, more than ever. This label is based on the idea that fascism is a phenomenon of the political right. The left says it is, and some selfstyled white supremacists and neo-Nazis embrace the label. Duterte appeared to liken himself to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler when he said he would “be happy” to exterminate threemillion drug users and peddlers in the country. “I will admit that I am a fascist,” Duterte said when he branded the New People’s Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, as terrorists. When people describe particularly evil individuals or regimes, why is it that they use the terms “fascist” or “Nazi,” but almost never “communist?” Given the unparalleled amount of human suffering communists have caused, why is “communist” so much less a term of revulsion than “Nazi?” Communists killed 70-million people in China, more than 20-million people in the Soviet Union (not including about five-million Ukrainians), and almost one out of every three Cambodians. And communists enslaved entire nations in Russia, Vietnam, China, Eastern Europe, North Korea, Cuba, and much of Central Asia. They ruined the lives of well over a billion people. So, why doesn’t communism have the same terrible reputation as Nazism? Reason Number 1: There is, simply put, widespread ignorance of the com-

munist record. Whereas both right and left loathe Nazism and teach its evil history, the left has never loathed communism. And since the left dominates academia, almost no one teaches communism’s evil history. Reason Number 2: The Nazis carried out the Holocaust. Nothing matches the Holocaust for pure evil. The rounding up of virtually every Jewish man, woman, child, and baby on the European continent and sending them to die is unprecedented and unparalleled. The communists killed far more people than the Nazis, but never matched the Holocaust in the systemization of genocide. The uniqueness of the Holocaust and the enormous attention rightly paid to

Why doesn’t communism have the same terrible reputation as Nazism? it have helped ensure that Nazism has a worse name than communism. Reason Number 3: Communism is based on nice-sounding theories; Nazism isn’t. It’s based on heinoussounding theories. Intellectuals in general—including, of course, the intellectuals who write history—are seduced by words, so much so that they deem actions as less significant than words. For that reason, they haven’t focused nearly as much attention on the horrific actions of communists as they have on the horrific actions of the Nazis. They dismiss the evils of communists as perversions of “true communism.” But they regard Nazi atrocities (correctly) as the logical and inevitable results of Nazism. Reason Number 4: Germans have thoroughly exposed the evils of Nazism,

have taken responsibility for them, and have attempted to atone for them. Russians have not done anything similar regarding Lenin’s or Stalin’s horrors. To the contrary, Lenin, the father of Soviet communism, is still widely venerated in Russia. And as regards Stalin, as University of London Russian historian Donald Rayfield puts it: “People still deny, by assertion or implication, Stalin’s holocaust.” Even less so has China exposed the greatest mass murderer and enslaver of them all, Mao Zedong. Mao remains revered in China. Every Chinese currency note has his picture on it. Until Russia and China—and Vietnam, and Cuba, and North Korea—acknowledge the evils their countries committed under communism, communism’s evils will remain less known than the evils of the German state under Hitler. Reason Number 5: Communists murdered mostly their own people. The Nazis, on the other hand, killed very few fellow Germans. “World opinion”—that largely meaningless and amoral term— deems the murder of members of one’s own group far less noteworthy than the murder of outsiders. That’s why, for example, blacks killing millions of fellow blacks in Africa elicits almost no attention from “world opinion.” And Reason Number 6: In the view of the left, the last “good war” was World War II, the war against German Nazism and Japanese fascism. The left does not regard wars against communist regimes as “good wars.” For example, the American war against Vietnamese communism is regarded as immoral, and the war against Korean communism—and its Chinese communist backers—is simply ignored. Until the left, and all the institutions influenced by the left, acknowledge how evil communism has been, we will continue to live in a morally confused world. In the meantime, all good people owe it to the victims of communism to learn what happened to them. Even worse than being murdered or enslaved is a world that doesn’t even know that you were.

Why... From A4

when she received the bulk of her fees from the PIATCO cases. Per Sereno’s own admission, she received a total of P30.269 million as government’s lawyer in the PIATCO case: P7.05 million in 2004, P11.53 million in 2005, P2.63 million in 2006, P4.67 million in 2007, P4.07 million in 2008, and P301,552 in 2009. (e) Her SALN for 2006 was accomplished only on July 27, 2010 and unsubscribed, only to be later on claimed by respondent to have been really intended as SALN as of July 27, 2010; The decision said, the SALNs that Sereno submitted in support of her application for Chief Justice likewise bear badges of irregularities: (f) Her SALN for 2009 was not accomplished under oath, was likewise belatedly filed only on June 22, 2012 and indicates therein that she was an Associate Justice of the Court when her appointment came only on August 16, 2010; (g) Her SALNs for 2006 and 2009 did not reflect the fees she received as counsel for the Republic in the PIATCO cases. The Bureau of Internal Revenue’s report shows that respondent received from the OSG the total gross amount of P32,494,805.27 as fees from 2004 to 2009 for the PIATCO cases. The BIR report also shows that she paid the withholding taxes on said fees in the total amount of

P4,599,504.71. By mathematical computation, respondent would have had P27,895,300.56 as her net disposable income. This net disposable income was not reflected in respondent’s SALN for 2006 (which she claims to really be her SALN as of July 27, 2010) nor in her SALN as of 2009. Her SALN for 2009 revealed a net worth of only Pl7,936,353.00; (h) The unaccounted income from the PIATCO cases could not have been due to losses or liabilities considering that respondent have had an increase in her net worth from 2002 to 2009. Her SALN for 2002 shows a net worth of only P3,804,000.00 while her SALN for 2009 shows a net worth of Pl7,936,353.00, her net worth thus increased by P14,132,353.00. While the BIR Report shows that respondent received approximately P27M in disposable net income, her SALN only shows an increase of approximately P14 million in net worth. The difference between the two, in the amount of an estimated P13M, was conspicuously missing in the SALNs filed by respondent; (i) There is a glaring difference between the two 2010 SALNs filed. The total value of respondent’s personal properties in the “SALN as of July 27, 2010” is P9,000,000.00, while the value of her personal properties as declared in her

“SALN as of December 31, 2010” increased to Pl1,723,010. Respondent, therefore, enjoyed an increase of approximately P2,700,000.00 in personal properties in just a span of five (5) months after having been appointed as Associate Justice. (j) It is contrary to human experience that the SALNs purportedly recovered by respondent’s husband were not stamped received by the UP HRDO. It is unusual that respondent did not bother to demand that her personal copy be duly stamped received with particulars as to the date and initial, at least of the party who received the same as proof that she timely filed her SALN. (k) There is no indication from the stamped “Certified Photocopy” and initialed by Rosemarie Pabiona on the SALNs that she is the official custodian of the same, and whether the photocopies of the original are on file, contrary to Section 24, Rule 1322 of the Rules of Court. Said the Court: “The above circumstances betray respondent’s intention to falsely state a material fact and to practice deception in order to secure for herself the appointment as Chief Justice. It is therefore clear as day that respondent failed not only in complying with the physical act of filing, but also committed dishonesty betraying her lack of integrity, honesty and probity.”

Human rights advocates in Asia under attack By Andrew Gilmour

mon—they have been charged with defamation, blasphemy and disinformation. They are increasingly threatened and targeted for their work, indeed some have been labeled as terrorists. There were also accusations of activists being drug addicts or mentally unwell. Some governments feel threatened by any dissent. They label human rights concerns as “illegal outside interference” in their internal affairs; or as an attempt to overthrow regimes; or as an attempt to impose alien “Western” values. Opposition to economic development and investment projects seems to incite particular ire. Agribusiness, extractive industries, and large-scale energy initiatives, including those that involve indigenous peoples’ land, often bear the brunt of the backlash. Women’s rights activists and advocates of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons seem to be particularly targeted. Many are ostracized by their communities, labelled as outcasts, or branded as immoral. Sexual violence is part of this backlash, including rape threats. Those working for religious freedom have been called “anti-Islam,” they and their families threatened or harassed. When advocacy for religious tolerance intersects with that of women’s rights and sexual freedom, the stakes can be even higher. Civil society in the region face visa restrictions, confiscation of passports, travel bans, and arbitrary police investigations and detention. Activists’ movements are thwarted and their interactions with those abroad restricted. They are facing administrative and legal repercussions for their advocacy—selectively applied laws, or measures undermining their legal legitimacy or ability to receive funding to survive. In some of the most extreme cases, arbitrary detention, denial of medical treatment, extra-judicial killings, and disappearance are the result. Despite what they are facing, the strength and resilience of many of the defenders that we deal with is heartening, and we owe it to them to support their efforts. There are many countries where civil society remains vibrant, and we are working closely with them. Governments that are worried about dissent should see the expression of new ideas as an opportunity for dialogue. At the same time, violations by non-state actors must be taken as seriously as those by government actors. The international community must continue to be attentive to these worrying trends. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is important for the collective human rights community, and the UN membership at large, to recall the circumstances that led to the development of this Declaration and its unanimous adoption. The Declaration is the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages, and it is as relevant today as it was on the day that it was proclaimed. The fact that a growing number of governments (all subject to the Declaration) are engaged in intimidation and reprisals against members of civil society whose “crime” is that they cooperate with the UN would have the original drafters of that noble document turning in their graves. We are taking these allegations seriously, and addressing particular incidents of reprisals with governments. Civil society has to be heard—for the sake of us all.

IN FEBRUARY, hundreds of Filipino participants in the peace process, environmental activists and human rights defenders were labeled “terrorists” by their own government. The security of the individuals on this list is at stake, and some have fled the Philippines. The UN independent expert on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, was on this list. This followed the vilification only months before of another UN independent expert, Agnès Callamard, who deals with extrajudicial executions. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared that he wanted to slap her, and later announced that he would like to throw other UN human rights officials to the crocodiles. The National Commission on Human Rights in the Philippines was threatened with a zero budget and its former chair, Senator Leila de Lima, is in detention for her advocacy. Even if extreme, such sweeping threats against hundreds of civil society representatives, defenders of human rights, and UN experts labeled “terrorists” in the Philippines are symptomatic of worrying regional trends. If governments in the region can target high-profile human rights defenders and those associated with the UN with impunity, what is the message to others at community level who are not afforded the same visibility? This is likely to increase fear in those seeking the protection of the UN and other human rights actors. Human rights advocates the world over are increasingly threatened, attacked and silenced. The message is clear. No one is immune and many advocates across the region will be unable to operate freely and without fear of retaliation. In the runup to the 2018 national elections in Cambodia, the government has cracked down on the opposition, independent media and civil society. In February it publicly targeted human rights defenders, including election watchdogs, groups that had monitored the 2017 commune elections, and land activists accused of supporting a purported foreign-backed “revolution” to topple the Government. Within the general backlash against human rights in various corners, there have been a number of cases where individuals have got into trouble—faced intimidation or reprisals—after sharing information with the UN or participating in a UN activity. In Myanmar, there were reports of violent reprisals by Tatmadaw, the armed forces, against civilians who met with Yanghee Lee, UN independent expert on Myanmar, following her visit to Rakhine State. These include killings, beatings, and rape. Lee received credible information that Tatmadaw attacked a village in Rakhine a couple of days after her visit as a measure against the community for those that spoke to her during a visit to the village in 2017. The Tatmadaw gathered the village men and women together and subjected them to severe mistreatment, beatings, and assaults. Bogus accusations of abetting terrorism are a common justification that we hear from governments to defend the targeting of the UN’s important civil society partners. We have countless cases of advocates charged with terrorism, blamed for cooperation with foreign entities, or accused of damaging the reputation or security of the state. I recently met with a group of human rights defenders from across Southeast Asia and South Asia about their experiences, which in some cases have been Andrew Gilmour is the UN Assistant made worse by speaking out or if they share information with the UN. The Secretary-General for Human Rights, stories about these reprisals were com- New York


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In this respect, I shall advert to the role of the Supreme Court. In Habermas’ ponderous volume, Between Facts and Norms: Contributions to A Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy, he thinks of a constitutional court as the apex of a legal system’s self-reflection, and the guardian of the consistency of the legal system. Obviously, then, in its task of interpreting the Constitution, the Supreme Court will not only endeavor to be faithful to the text of the constitution but will construe its provisions in such wise as to achieve a consistent whole! Aside from being a logical ideal, consistency is necessary to enable law to fulfill its functions of stabilizing behavioral expectations and enablintg society to cohere. And this is where I rejoin those who correctly hold that we need not make a choice between a textual approach and a structural interpretation of the Constitution. This to me is exactly what the text-context dynamic is all about. And


so while we have always taught our law students that the only constitutional court is the Supreme Court and that all other courts may be abolished by statute (except perhaps for the Sandiganbayan that the 1987 Constitution expressly ordains should continue in its operation), the fact is that, structurally, the Constitution does require the existence of lower courts. When it vests the Supreme Court with appellate jurisdiction, the necessary structural requirement is that there are lower courts, otherwise the grant of appellate power is vacuous. But this brings me to the last point I to which I respectfully invite attention: It has always been the persuasion of what has been known as “radical hermeneutics” that because texts are always interpreted in contexts, and contexts are open-ended (as all life is!), then there can be no determinate meanings, if by determinate one means “fixed” and “unchanging.” That is not to say that there are no fixed reference points. In the area

of human rights, for one, there is agreement that reason makes demands—such as the protection of human life and the guarantee of fundamental liberties. Whether one refers to these as demands of natural law or as the precepts derived from practical reasonability, the point is that the textual guarantees and liberties enshrined in the constitution demand some clear, determinate juridical consequences. Our commitment to the text of the Constitution should allow it to be what every constitution ought to be—the ultimate socially structuring document of the body-politic. And if that should be so, then rather than feeling threatened about expanded or even evolving meanings of constitutional provisions, we should be excited in the same measure that we should be critical!

made it to TIME Magazine’s cover as a strongman together with Russia’s Vladimir Putin order Meralco to cease and desist? Electricity customers earlier complained about Meralco passing on to them what it called “power system loss” or the electricity pilfered from illegal line connection by squatters in the urban areas. But that’s Meralco’s lookout and problem. With its vast earnings that run into billions, Meralco should be able to handle this problem. What will Meralco think of next to fill up its coffers to the brim at the expense of poor people? Energy Regulatory Commission officials should not wait for President Duterte to take the necessary step to rein in Meralco. The President has enough on his plate dealing with affairs of state. Montano on Broadway No, Filipino actor Cesar Montano is not appearing on Broadway, New York as part of the cast in a play or a musical.

The former husband of Sunshine Cruz cut short a scheduled speech he was supposed to deliver before the Pinoy community in New York last week .Montano shortened his speech to two minutes and a few lines because he said he was “going to be late for a Broadway play.” Montano is the head of the tourism promotion board of the Department of Tourism. May we remind Mr. Montano that he spent DoT money for his trip to New York to promote Philippine tourism and not to see a Broadway play. He wasted government money for his trip. Montano is also in hot water for advancing payment for his Buhay Carinderia tourism project which has not been fully implemented. New Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat wants Montano to explain the expenditure for this project and why it was paid in advance. She wants to know if there was proper public bidding in the award of the millionpeso contract.



FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2018

Destroy all obstructions —MMDA By Joel E. Zurbano

SOLIDARITY PROTEST. Some Filipinos hold placards during a protest rally Thursday near the US Embassy in Manila to express solidarity with Palestine near the US Embassy in Manila. Israel has come under international pressure after its forces opened fire on the Gaza border on May 14, killing 60 protesters who had massed alongside the fence to protest the move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Norman Cruz



SPP Case No. 18-118 (PLM)

ORDER Acting on the Manifestation of Intent to Participate1 filed on 27 April 2018 (“Manifestation”), the Commission En Banc hereby directs KABAYAN to publish at its own expense the said Manifestation together with the instant Order in two (2) newspaper of general circulation. Any interested party may file with the Office of the Clerk of the Commission a verified petition seeking to deny due course to the Manifestation within five (5) days from the date of publication pursuant to Rule 3, Section 7, paragraph 12 of Comelec Resolution No. 93663. SO ORDERED. Given this 4th day of May 2018, Manila Philippines. FOR THE COMMISSION:

AL A.PARRENO Acting Chairman 1 2 3

Records, Office of the Clerk of the Commission Case Folder, pages 1-2. “Sec.7. Petition to deny due course to a manifestation of intent to participate. - A verified petition seeking to deny due course to a manifestation of intent to participate.” Rules and Regulations Governing the: 1) Filing of Petitions for Registration; 2) Filing of Disqualification Cases Against Nominees or Party -List Groups or Organizations Participating under the Party-List System of Representation in Connection with the May 13, 2013 National and Local Elections, and Subsequent Elections Thereafter.

(MS-MAY 18, 2018)

‘Web of corruption’ in fake land titles


HE Senate Blue Ribbon Committee has exposed a “web of corruption” involving fake land titles that have deprived the government of billions of pesos in revenue and victimized legitimate businesses. Committee chairman Senator Richard Gordon at a committee hearing Wednesday, said these titles, in turn, had been offered to government for its right-of-way acquisitions. Gordon disclosed that in General Santos alone, 167 folders of road right-of-way claims” have been unearthed amounting to P5.6 billion.” “This is a whole syndicate involving the Department of Public Works and Highways, the registers of deeds that go all the way up,” Gordon said, adding he would file plunder cases against government officials involved in these massive corruption. In a hearing attended by representatives of government agencies, Gordon called on all sectors with a claim against false titles coming out from

the Land Registration Authority “to come to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee—and we will investigate such anomalies.” Gordon castigated the LRA, saying: “What will we do now with LRA? It is fooling everyone in the countlry, and destroying the integrity of land titles?” He added he would ask President Rodrigo Duterte to overhaul the entire LRA for its failure to protect the integrity of land titles. He cited the anomalous case of a land title which only covers 90 square meters but was passed off as a 25,000 sq. m. property—and made the government pay for it. He scolded the DPWH, saying: “What is the DPWH doing; aren’t you

checking the facts from the Register of Deeds?” He was incensed upon hearing the testimony of lawyer Ma. Theresa Pescadera, General Santos City Register of Deeds, who testified that her office certified the land titles referred to “are not true.” Gordon trained his guns on an 8,000 sq. m. piece of land which was misrepresented as a 27,713 sq. m. piece of land, and government paid for it in cash at a whopping P255.55 million. “It is a web of corruption involving LRA that manufactures fake titles in their computers, involving DPWH on the ground that doesn’t even bother to check the size of the land for right of way,” he declared. He added: “This is not right-of-way —this is the wrong way.” Earlier, Gordon said the Committee was close “to unmasking those behind the scam that has been defrauding the government of billions of pesos in false and illegal ROW payments.”

DoLE orders work stoppage at Hanjin yard SUBIC, Zambales—An accident at a shipyard site which injured three workers and killed one prompted the Department of Labor and Employment to issue a Work Stoppage Order to Binictican I-Tech Corp., a subcontractor of Hanjin Heavy Industries Corp. Philippines. The WSO was issued to the company based on results of an Accident Investigation on a mishap that occurred at their worksite at the Hanjin shipyard premises last weekend. DoLE-3 Regional Director Ma. Zenaida Angara-Campita reported to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III that the accident resulted in the death of one worker and three others injured. “On May 12, around 3:30 in the afternoon, four workers fell from a scaffolding after suddenly tipping down. Prior to the incident, at least nine workers were on the said scaffolding shaded by a blue canvass for their protection from the heat of the sun while taking their break,” Campita said. The injured workers who reside in various towns in Zambales were Gerry Bayuta, Johnny Alegre, and Vailian Dela Cruz. They were immediately brought and treated at the nearest town hospital. The lone fatality, who passed away in the hospital two days later due to internal organ injury, was identified as Ferdinand Leuterio. Technical Safety Inspectors Angelito Longos, James Ramos, and Arvin Fabian conducted the investigation at the accident site located at the Dockhead 6 P166-A02C within the Hanjin shipyard. The TSIs reported to RD Campita that the concentrated weight of the workers and raw materials and equipment might have caused the tilting of the scaffolding.

CONTINUING CRUSADE. NCRPO Chief Camilo Cascolan visits the MPD headquarters in Manila on Thursday, a day after he and PNP chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde sought anew the help of local government units in building spacious police stations and detention facilities to help address jail over-crowding brought about by the crackdown against illegal drug trafficking and abuse ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte. Norman Cruz

PCSO slams Globaltech’s complaint THE Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office on Thursday slammed the complaint filed by an employee of Globaltech Mobile Online Gaming Corp. after the agency led the closure of the firm’s illegal operation of “peryahan ng bayan” in Bacolod City. “The peryahan being operated by Globaltech in some parts of the country is illegal and must be closed,” PCSO general manager Alexander Balutan said. “This is plainly harassment,” Balutan said of the complaint filed against his executive assistant VI Manuel Fraginal Sr. Last April, Fraginal led a team and padlocked Globaltech’s draw center in Bacolod in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order No. 13, his allout war against illegal gambling. The EO aims to “strengthen the fight against illegal gambling and clarifying the jurisdiction of concerned agencies in the regulation and licensing of gambling and online gaming facilities.”

It defines illegal gambling as any game schemes not authorized or licensed by the government. In 2016, PCSO terminated Globaltech’s Deed of Authority to operate peryahan for various violations. The firm owes PCSO an estimated P100 million of unremitted revenues. In October 2017, the Pasig City Regional Trial Court Branch 161, junked Globaltech’s prayer for Writ of Injunction. “PCSO has not authorized any other entity to operate peryahan. Any operation of peryahan is unauthorized and illegal,” Balutan said. Fraginal, also chief of the Nationwide Inter-Branch Security Monitoring division of the PCSO, received a subpoena on May 15, 2018 for “Alarm and Scandal and Grave Coercion” issued by Investigating Prosecutor Edward C. Pascua from the Bacolod City Prosecutor’s Office. The complaint was filed by Lito Estember, officer-in-charge of Globaltech’s branch office.

THE Metro Manila Development Authority on Thursday ordered illegal establishments and other obstructions in a barangay in Tondo, Manila dismantled following complaints received through President Rodrigo Duterte’s Hotline 8888. MMDA chairman Danilo Lim gave the outgoing and incoming village officials of Barangay 206, Zone 19 seven days to self-demolish structures including the Barangay Hall itself, which is encroaching on the sidewalk area along Dinalupihan Street in the city’s second district. Lim earlier formed his men from the Sidewalk Clearing Operations Group and Task Force Special Operations and spearheaded the inspection in the area. He said the agency acted on obstruction complaints coursed through 8888, the President’s Hotline dedicated to complaints against fixers, scalawag officials and poor government services. Illegally parked vehicles, mostly private, were towed and obstructions like canopies and ambulant stores were cleared off the sidewalks. “We received lots of obstruction complaints in this area about road obstructions and we have to act on it to widen the road and provide pedestrians a safe place to walk,” Lim said. Ederlinda Mercado and Romeo Marcellano, outgoing and incoming barangay chairpersons, respectively, pledged cooperation to clear the sidewalks in their barangay. Lim, for his part, said the MMDA would return after a week to ensure that demolition and clearing was done, as committed by the barangay officials. He also urged all newly elected barangay officials to exercise their authority as front-liners and cooperate with the government to avoid encountering bigger traffic problems in the future.

New scheme up for cop applicants THE National Capital Region Police Office on Thursday launched a new scheme for police applicants to ensure that only the best and fit individuals would be allowed to enter the police force. NCRPO chief Camilo Cascolan said the the scheme, called Ronmedds (Robust, Neuro-Psychiatric, Medical and Dental System), would make sure that the applicant would be mentally, medically and physically fit before he became a police officer. “Moreover, this new scheme is in line with the advocacy of the chief PNP to intensify the Internal Cleansing Program and Zero tolerance on corruption,” said Cascolan. The Ronmedds is a full computerization, bar-coding and nationwide database of Regional Health Service dispensation of Police Applicants. The new scheme is an incorruptible and fast system for the Neuro-psychiatric, Medical and Dental processing of Police Applicants. Cascolan expressed his appreciation and gratitude to the private firm SM Foundation for donating the Medical Equipment. “This is a manifestation of your concern in building the trust and confidence of the public to PNP personnel. The equipment also plays an important role so we could thoroughly screen police applicants and avoid corruption at the very first step,” Cascolan said. Joel E. Zurbano

2 engineers dismissed By Rio N. Araja THE Office of the Ombudsman on Thursday dismissed from service two officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways for grave misconduct in connection with the anomalies in the rehabilitation of two bridges in Negros Occidental. The Ombudsman indicted district engineers Haydee Alunan and Elsie Sabay for two counts of graft. Apart from the dismissal from service, the court ordered the forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification from holding public office. On Feb. 10, 2014, the respondents commenced the implementation of the rehabilitation of the bridges scheduled to be completed on June 29, 2014 by issuing notices to proceed in favor of OPELL Construction and Development Corp. During an ocular inspection on Dec. 3, 2015, the field investigation office discovered that the Mabua bridge in Barangay Poblacion and Bagambayan bridge in Barangay Tiling, both in Cauayan, Negros Occidental were unfinished. Alunan admitted the delay in the completion of the projects, claiming the delay was caused by intervening factors, such as the removal of the water pipelines attached to the bridge railings, relocation of the electrical post, heavy rains and floods.







30 Filipino riders join Le Tour de Filipinas T

HIRTY Filipinos, led by national champion Jan Paul Morales, will mix it up with 50 foreign riders in a bigger Ninth Le Tour de Filipinas that kicks off this Sunday from the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City and finished in Burnham Park in Baguio City on Wednesday. Morales, leader of the Philippine NavyStandard Insurance team, rides alongside Ronald Oranza, a fellow grizzled rider in the

race co-presented by Air21, Cignal and Cargohaus Inc. and organized by Ube Media Inc. “We will give our best in the Le Tour.


We have been training hard and we will surely give the foreigners a tough fight,” said the 32-year-old Morales three days before the four-stage International Cycling Union race returns up north in the co-called Cradle of Philippine Cycling. There are 17 teams in the Le Tour de Filipinas this year, up by two from the traditional 15-squad roster of the event that is also sanctioned by the PhilCycling,

Minimum Maximum

BANTAYAN ISLAND POWER CORPORATION (BIPCOR) AND BANTAYAN ISLAND ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC. (BANELCO), Applicants. x ---------------------------------x NOTICE OF PUBUC HEARING TO ALL INTERESTED PARTIES: Notice is hereby given that on 25 October 2017, Bantayan Island Power Corporation (BIPCOR) and Bantayan Island Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BANELCO) filed a Joint Application dated 20 August 2017 (Application) seeking the Commission’s approval of the second amendment to the power supply agreement between Bantayan Island Power Corporation (BIPCOR) and Bantayan Island Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BANELCO), with prayer for provisional authority.

4.1.8 Operation Mode

BIPCOR and BANELCO alleged the following in its Application: 1.0 PARTIES 1.1 BIPCOR is organized and existing as a private corporation under Philippine laws. It is classified as a generation company under Republic Act No. 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPlRA), and it is the only New Power Provider (NPP) in the small island of Bantayan, Province of Cebu. Its principal office is at the 4,h Floor, Northside Business Hub, G. Lopez J aena cor. A.P. Cortes St., Tipolo, Mandaue City, Cebu. It may be served with processes and papers through the undersigned counsel. 1.2 BANELCO is organized as an electric cooperative under Presidential Decree No. 269 and it exists as such under Philippine laws. It is classified as a distribution utility (DU) under the EPlRA, and it is the sole DU with a franchise and a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to distribute electricity in the island of Bantayan, Cebu. Its principal office is at BANELCO Building, Barangay Bantigue, Bantayan, Cebu. It may be served with processes and papers through the undersigned counsel. 2.0 STATEMENT OF FACTS 2.1 BIPCOR-BANELCO POWER SUPPLY AGREEMENT 2.2 On June 11, 2004, BIPCOR and BANELCO executed a Power Supply Agreement (PSA), under which BIPCOR agreed to generate and supply power from its Diesel Power Plant to BANELCO at Net Capacity of 2.7 MW during the first three (3) years of the Cooperation Period as defined in the PSA, and thereafter, to generate and supply the total power requirements of BANELCO (base-load and peakload demands) after the said 3-year period and throughout the Cooperation Period of 15 years from the Commercial Operations Date. The PSA was submitted to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for approval in ERC Case No. 200S-036RC, and the ERC approved the PSA with modifications in its Order dated February 15, 2006. 2.3 BIPCOR started its commercial operations on November 8, 2006 with base-load operation for its two (2) units of 3.0 MW bunker oil-fired diesel engine generators while NPCSPUG supplied the peak-load requirements from 2006 to 2009. 2.4 Starting July 1, 2009, NPC-SPUG stopped its operation for peak-load requirements and BIPCOR carried the total load demand on a 24-hour basis with the support of the small peaking units of 2 x 319 kW capacities. When the peak demand increased to 3.5 MW in 2011, BANELCO and BIPCOR amended the PSA for the addition of a 1.7 MW diesel engine generator and to increase the Minimum Dependable Capacity (MDC) to 4.892 MW to make the power supply situation in the island stable. The amended PSA was submitted to ERC for approval in ERC Case No. 2012-01ORC, and the ERC approved the amended PSA with modifications in its Order dated April 2, 2012. 2.5 SUPPLY-DEMAND SCENARIO 2.6 In the meantime, the maximum electrical load demand in the island grid of Bantayan has increased and exceeded BANELCO’s forecast resulting to an inadequate standby cold reserve capacity and the reduction of the MDC as required by the Grid Code for BIPCOR’s existing Diesel Power Plant. This situation could eventually result to BIPCOR’s inability to maintain a safe and reliable power supply to all consumers under BANELCO’s franchise area. Shown below are the supplydemand curves covering the years 2013 to 2021. Bantayan Island Supply-Demand Scenario

The Plant shall continue to be operated twentyfour (24) hours a day following load requirements of BANELCO.

3.1 In view of the observed extraordinary load and energy growths, BANELCO requested, and BIPCOR agreed, to expand the plant capacity. A feasibility study was initiated by BIPCOR which confirmed that a 3.0MW capacity addition is the most appropriate to address the increasing load demand. Thus, BANELCO and BIPCOR entered into the second amendment of the PSA on April 27, 2016.

There shall be no minimum power or energy off-take; however, BlPCOR’s Plant shall be the exclusive power supplier to BANELCO for the whole duration of the Cooperation Period. 4.1.9 Terms o/Payment Energy Fee

3.2 The agreement to amend the existing PSA was premised on the right of BANELCO to request for plant capacity addition when it is necessary to cope with the increasing load and energy demands beyond what had been guaranteed pursuant to Article 2 Section 2.7 and Article 8, Section 8.1 ofthe PSA. It was also taken into consideration that the period for the amended PSA shall be within the Cooperation Period for 15 years. 3.3 BIPCOR’S PROJECT




the national federation for the sport headed by its president Tagaytay City Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino and chairman Alberto Lina, acknowledged as the godfather of Philippine cycling. “This will be an exciting edition of the Le Tour de Filipinas because there are more Filipino riders seeing action this time around,” said Tolentino, also the chairman of the Philippine Olympic Committee.

For the energy delivered by BIPCOR, BANELCO shall pay BIPCOR an amount based on the Amended Tariff Formula hereunder as approved by ERC in its Decision, ERC Case Nno. 2012-010 RC dated April 2, 2012:


3.4 BIPCOR’s present installed capacity of 8,519 kW with MCR of 7,488 kW only is now operating at a risk during the peak hours when the power demand is at a maximum of 5,300 kilowatts. At this level of power demand, the Plant operates without sufficient cold reserve equivalent to at least an MDC of 2,700 kW. BIPCOR’s required MDC is 2,700 kW when any of the 2 x 3.0 MW units are in operation. Presently, however, the cold reserve at peak time is 2,088 kW only, which is short of 612 kilowatts. 3.5 In an island where the Plant is operating as a standalone power generating station, the spinning or hot reserve and the cold or standby reserve are to be provided by the Plant itself. The MDC or simply cold reserve should be at least equal in capacity to the biggest unit capacity in operation. This contingency reserve should be ready at all times to start and substitute any of the biggest unit in operation that may conk out or may be shut down for repair and maintenance. Any shortfall in Plant capacity resulting from the breakdown of a unit in operation, which is not being replaced due to the absence or the inadequacy of the cold or contingency reserve, would definitely cause, and has caused, power supply shortage and load-shedding.

Fc = Fuel Cost Recovery Fee Actual Fuel Rate = Wtd. Ave. of Fuel Prices Delivered at the Plant site and consumed during the Billing Period using the approved fuel mix of 95% HFO and 5% LFO Where Fuel rate in liter per kWh is 0.2611 or the actual fuel consumption rate whichever is lower. Prices of fuel oil shall be in Pesos per liter. LOc=Lube Oil Cost Recovery Fee Actual Lube Oil Rate x Weighted Ave. of Lube Oil Prices Delivered at Plant site and consumed during the Billing Period.

3.6 Hence, the urgency and the necessity to address any power supply shortfall now and until the next five years justify the immediate implementation of the 3.0 MW Plant Capacity Expansion Project.

Where Lube Oil Rate in liter/kWh shall be 0.0022 or the actual consumption rate whichever is lower.

3.7 DELAY IN PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION 3.8 This Project was originally intended to be operational in the second quarter of 2017. However, the delay in the filing of this application deferred the project implementation which caused the recurrent power outages in BANELCO’s franchise area. The filing of the application did not materialize in view of BIPCOR’s inability to procure its Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC). This was primarily due to the permanent environmental protection order and writ of continuing mandamus issued by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Mandaue City, Branch 28 which enjoined the DENR from accepting, processing, and approving applications of Certificate of Non-Coverage (CNC) and Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) upon all constructions and projects pending the completion of the Protected Area Management Plan for Bantayan Island. In deference to the Commission’s directive to secure first the ECC before the application will be accepted, BIPCOR exerted all efforts to follow up on the status of the protection orders and continuing mandamus with RTC of Mandaue City, Branch 28. Finally, on August 4, 2017, the Environmental Management Bureau of Region 7 issued the amended ECC for the 3.oMW plant capacity expansion project. 3.9 PROCUREMENT PROCESS 3.10 In the parties’ attempt to comply with ERC rules and regulations relative to the conduct of the Competitive Selection Process (CSP), BIPCOR, in a letter dated September 19, 2016 (attached hereto as Annex L-1), sought clarification from the Department of Energy (DOE) if the PSA between BIPCOR and BANELCO was covered by the Competitive Selection Process (CSP) raiSing among other things the following grounds for consideration (1) Bantayan Island is an off-grid area; (2) pursuant to Article 2, Section 6 of the PSA, BANELCO shall, at no cost to BIPCOR, purchase all of its electricity requirement from BIPCOR’s Plant on a priority basis throughout the Is-year Cooperation Period; and (3) BIPCOR is the only power provider in the island of Bantayan.

O&M= Operation & Maintenance Costs Recovery Fee 1.5215 per kWh This is the combined weighted average of the New Plant (3.0 MW) and the Existing Plant (8.519 MW), based on the existing Amended PSA of P1.2384 per kWh but adjusted to the CPI as of March 2016 which is 146.2 from the CPl as of April 2011 which was 119.

The energy tariff shall be subjected to adjustment due to inflation but for the O&M Cost Recovery Fee component only starting on the First Billing Period after the Effectivity date of this Amendment PSA. The formula to be applied in computing the adjusted Energy Tariff shall be:

CPIo = Consumer Price Index for Cebu Province published by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) for the month upon signing of this Agreement The agreed Energy Tariff Adjustment is PhPO.7246 per kWh, computed from the forecasted Energy Sales from 2017 to 2021 of 159,986,000 kilowatt-hours with tbe 3.0-MW New Plant’s energy share of 64,000,000 kilowatt-hours (40%) and the existing Plant’s energy share of 95,986,000 kilowatthours (60%), as shown below:


It is understood that the interim relief sought by the applicants that may be granted by the Commission, shall be subject to adjustments and other conditions that the Commission may impose after hearing and final determination of the Honorable Commission. RELIEF


approve this Application;


grant the applicants Provisional Authority to implement the Project and to charge the corresponding Energy Tariff Adjustment;


treat Annexes B, M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, and CC as confidential information; and

Finding the said Application sufficient in substance with the required fees having been paid, on 14 March 2018, the Commission issued an Order and Notice of Public Hearing, setting the case for hearing on 03 May 2018. On 19 April 2018, BIPCOR and BANELCO filed an Urgent Motion to Reset Initial Public Hearing dated 17 April 2018 (Motion) praying that the 03 May 2018 be reset to another date due to lack of time to publish. Finding the said Motion in order, the Commission granted the same. Hence, the hearing on 03 May 2018 is cancelled.

4.1.2 Supply

Accordingly, the Commission sets anew the instant Application for determination of compliance with the jurisdictional requirements, expository presentation, Pre-trial Conference, and presentation of evidence on 30 May 2018 (Wednesday) at ten o’clock in the’ morning (10:00 A.M.), at BANELCO’s principal office at BANELCO Building, Barangay Bantigue, Bantayan, Cebu.

The works called for in this Project shall include the financing, design, procurement, permitting, construction, transport, installation/erection, completion, testing, commissioning, operation and maintenance of the additional 3.oMW engine generator of the existing powerplant. 4.1.3 Capacity

The breakdown of the rate impact, as computed by BIPCOR and BANELCO, respectively, is submitted herewith as Attachment 1 and Attachment 2.

In view of the urgency of the Project and the length of time to be able to complete its financing, installation, testing, and commissioning, applicants BIPCOR and BANELCO pray for a provisional authority to proceed with the Project and to charge the applied Energy Tanff Adjustment or such tariff that the Commission will allow, subject to the final decision on this Application. Applicants adopt all the allegations herein and all submissions in support of the prayer for a Provisional Authority.

(4) grant the applicants other equitable relief.

The term consists of the twelve-month period commencing on November 8, 2006 and every year thereafter for fifteen (15) years.

With the proposed Tariff Adjustment, an increase of 0.7246 per kWh in the true cost generation rate (TCGR) is expected.


Applicants BIPCOR and BANELCO pray that the Honorable Commission:

4.1.1 Term

4.1.5 Rate Impact

Applicants replead by reference the foregoing allegation and further aver:

CPIc = Consumer Price Index for Cebu Province published by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) for the month at the date of determination of the Billing Period

4.1 The supply of the contracted energy under the amended PSA shall be subject to the following salient terms and conditions:

BIPCOR shall guarantee the delivery of the 9.6 MW as minimum Guaranteed Net Capacity of the plant to BANELCO. BIPCOR shall guarantee the delivery of 37,500,000 kilowatthours of electricity annually to BANELCO easured at the high voltage side of the main power transformer of the plant.




4.1.4 Guaranteed Annual Energy Delivery and Plant Capacity


Adjusted Energy Tariff = CCR + Fc + LOc + O&M (CPIc/CPIo)

3.12 Thus, the PSA between BIPCOR and BANELCO is not covered by the CSP requirement as certified by the DOE.

With the additional installed capacity of 3.0 MW, the Net Capacity of the power plant or the maximum dependable capacity shall not be less than 9.6 MW as measured at the high voltage side of the main output transformer at the site and design conditions provided in Article 4.1 of the First Schedule.

6.2 These documents contain valuable proprietary interests and information relating to the business and operations of BIPCOR and they are not available to the public. Hence, they must be perpetually protected and not disclosed to any third party.

4 .1.10 Tariff Adjustment

3.11 In its reply-letter dated September 20, 2016 (attached hereto as Annex L), the DOE clarified that it has “recognized BIPCOR as the New Power Provider of BANELCO that will generate and supply the total power requirements (base load and peak load demands, including ancillary services) in Bantayan Island throughout the Is-year cooperation period as provided in their PSA.”

2.8 The average daily load curve is shown below:

6/49 00-00-00-00-00-00 P0.0 M+ 6/42 00-00-00-00-00-00 P0.0 M+ 6 DIGITS 00-00-00-00-00-00 3 DIGITS 00-00-00 2 EZ2 00-00

LongTerm Loan including the schedule of Original Loan and Updated Balances.

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 3350 3551 3764 3990 4229 3850 6201 6573 6967 7385


ERC CASE NO. 2017-099 RC


4.1.11 Project Cost Details of the Project Cost are included in this application as Annex W. 4.1.12 Summary Analysis of the Amended PSA A summary analysis of the impact of the increased electricity infusion as to capacity and cost is as follows:

All persons who have an interest in the subject matter of the instant case may become a party by filing with the Commission a verified Petition to Intervene at least five (5) days prior to the initial hearing and subject to the requirements under Rule 9 of the 2006 Rules of Practice and Procedure, indicating therein the docket number and title of the case and stating the following: 1)

The petitioner’s name and address;


The nature of petitioner’s interest in the subject matter of the proceeding and the way and manner in which such interest is affected by the issues involved in the proceeding; and


A statement of the relief desired

All other persons who may want their views known to the Commission with respect to the subject matter of the case may file their Opposition or Comment thereon at any stage of the proceedings before Applicants rest their case, subject to the requirements under Rule 9 of the 2006 Rules of Practice and Procedure. No particular form of Opposition or Comment is required, but the document, letter, or writing should contain the following: 1)

The name and address of such person;


A concise statement of the Opposition or Comment; and


The grounds relied upon.

All such persons who wish to have a copy of the Application may request from Applicants that they be furnished with the same, prior to the date of the initial hearing. Applicants are hereby directed to furnish all those making such request with copies of the Application and its attachments, subject to the reimbursement of reasonable photocopying costs. Any such person may likewise examine the Application and other pertinent records filed with the Commission during the standard office hours. WITNESS, the Honorable Chairperson and CEO AGNES VST DEVANADERA, and the Honorable Commissioners ALFREDO J. NON, GLORIA VICTORIA C. YAP-TARUC and GERONIMO D. STA. ANA, Energy Regulatory Commission, this 23rd day of April 2018 in Pasig City.

4.1.6 Payment

JOSEFINA PATRICIA A.. MAGPALE-ASIRIT Oversight Commissioner for Legal

Details of the payment arrangement between BIPCOR and BANELCO can be found in page 20 of the 2016 Amended PSA. 4.1.7 Sources of Funds/Financial Plans; Cash Flow Submitted herewith are the following: (a) a discussion on BIPCOR’s cash flow, including information related thereto; and (b) a copy of Philippine Veteran’s Bank Certification of

(MS-MAY 10 & 18, 2018)



Riera U. Mallari, Editor Reuel Vidal, Assistant Editor


FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2018

30 sports approved for SEA Games

WITH 30 sports disciplines initially listed in the calendar of events, Filipino organizers of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games are looking forward to a successful hosting and a great performance from the Philippines. SEAG Federation Council president and Philippine Olympic Committee President Ricky Vargas said this following the conclusion of the first meeting of the SEA Games Federation at the Shangri-La Hotel of the Bonifacio Global City on Thursday. “There are two things that will make this a success. First, we show our best foot forward as hosts and give the best we can. Second, we at least improve our performance and make it to the top 3. But it will be best if we get the overall championship,” said Vargas. Vargas talked to the media at the end of a two-day meeting attended by some 80 sports leaders from 10 countries in the SEA region. The council initially approved the inclusion of 30 sports disciplines in the calendar events of the Games to be hosted by the Philippines from Nov. 30 to Dec. 10, 2019. Approved for inclusion are athletics, aquatics, archery, badminton, baseball and softball, basketball, billiard sports, tenpin bowling, boxing cycling, equestrian and polo, fencing, football, golf, gymnastics, judo and jiujitsu, karatedo, sailing, sepak takraw, shooting and squash. The council also gave its nod to taekwondo, triathlon, volleyball, weightlifting, wrestling and kurash, wushu, arnis, dancesport and muay. Vargas said there will be more sports to be added as they still await for recommendations from member countries until the June 30 deadline. Representatives from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste and Vietnam joined sports leaders from the host country in crafting the overall look of the SEA Games. Vargas discussed the calendar of events during the meeting with POC chairman Rep. Abraham Tolentino, POC secretary-general Patrick Gregorio and Planning and Coordination Office executive director Tats Suzara, along with SEA Games Federation chairman Celso Dayrit and Indonesian National Olympic Committee Chairman Eric Thohir. During the meeting, the council also approved a proposal of the women in sports committee to hold a program called “Me and My Champ.” That program, which was crafted by Cynthia Carrion and Karen Caballero, will have mothers of athletes who are aged 16 years and below going into the network that supports sports and education programs. Peter Atencio

New venues for Best Center THE award winning Best Center will have four more provincial venues this summer, while new sessions are set at the Ateneo covered courts starting June 4. According to Basketball Efficiency and Scientific Training Center founder and president Nic Jorge, students presently enrolled in the Milo-sponsored clinics have requested for new rounds of sessions. The Ateneo clinics will be from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. They will be held on June 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16 and 19. The provincial schedules begin May 21 to 26 in various venues. Tagaytay City, at the Tahanan ng Mabuting Pastol SVD Road, Mag-asawang Ilat hosts Levels 1, 2 and 3. Contact persons are Xander or Marbs at tel. nos. 0917102-1591 and 0917-906-2909. Valencia, Bukidnon at the Goodwill Giants Sports Town hosts Levels 1 and 2. Chow Vega could be reached at 0955-1252502 and 0917-717-2104. Laoag, Ilocos Norte at the Ilocos Norte National High School Gym hosts Levels 1 and 2. Organizer is Lito Custodio (0916274-8359/ 0922-291-5399/ 0919 679 8765). Sundays-only classes are set in Balagtas, Bulacan at the Don Pedro Cayetano Sports Complex for Levels 1, 2 and 3. Organizer is Tina Miranda (0936-202-5763). Last day for enrollment is on May 20. The Best Center is a recipient of the Olympism Award from the Philippine Olympic Committee and is a Hall of Fame awardee by the Philippine Sportswriters Association.

MANILA TRAINING. Sporting a new haircut, Senator Manny Pacquiao is shown during his first training session in Manila, under coach Buboy Fernandez. Pacquiao fights WBA champion Lucas Matthysse on July 15 in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. SONNY ESPIRITU

Marcial: Ray Parks welcome to join PBA Testy day for PH bets at world golf LUBAO, Pampanga—Former world junior golf champion Rupert Zaragosa matched par-72, Taipei Universiade campaigner Jonas Christian Magcalayo struggled with a 76 and Lanz William Uy had a 77 on another testy day for the Filipinos in the 2018 FISU World University Golf Championship at the Pradera Verde Golf and Country Club here Thursday. Zaragosa, who is best remembered for leading Lyceum of the Philippines to three straight national inter-collegiate championships, birdied the par-5, 502-meter 18th hole for a 72. Together with his opening-day 77, the 5’2” Zaragosa had a two-day score of five-over par 149 in the tournament organized by the Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines and supported by the International Sports University Federation. That’s 10 shots behind two-day leader Henry Tschopp of Swirzerland, who carded a one-under-71, and nine strokes behind the Jaoanese pair of Daiki Imano, who fired a 68, and Taisei Shimizu, who hit a 71. The two other Filipinos also had sad stories to tell on a hot and humid afternoon at the well-designed, par-72 course North of Manila. Magcalayo, the best-placed Filipino player after the first round Wednesday, lost his focus with three birdies and seven bogeys for a 76, while Uy had only one birdie and six bogeys in nines of 3938 for a 77. “I played bad today with some bad decisions on the course. I did my best to lessen the damage done with my score. Hopefully, I can recover,” said Magcalayo. Magcalayo, the 21-year-old engineering student of Mapua, had a two-day score of 147 for a tie for 16th place. Yu, a mainstay of Technological University of the Philippines, had 153 for 27th place in the 36-player, 21-nation tournament.

By Peter Atencio


INCE Bobby Ray Parks has already played for the national team in the past, he can play in the Philippine Basketball Association.

But there is one condition he must meet. “Pa-draft lang siya,” said PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial. Parks recently felt slighted after the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League initially deemed him as a Fil-foreigner. Parks was supposed be drafted by the Mandaluyong team with his Alab Pilipinas teammates, but MPBL Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes said there’s a new rule limiting Fil-foreigners to just one per team and no taller than 6’4” Parks, son of seven-time PBA best import, American Bobby Ray Parks and was born and raised in the Philippines, considers himself a full-bloodied Filipino. “First time in my life I was considered an American in my own country,” wrote Parks on his Twitter account @ray15parks. Marcial said there are no issues over Parks’ citizenship since he has already played for the national team in the past. He is therefore welcome to join the PBA, provided he enters the draft. The MPBL is another case, though. In a new development, Duremdes said the league will look at the documents of Parks to see if he will qualify as a local or a Fil-foreigner. On Wednesday, Bernice Ilagan, co-owner

of the Mandaluyong El Tigre, asked Duremdes on the status of their prospective player Parks as well as another Fil-foreign player, Lawrence Domingo. Both were teammates at Alab Pilipinas Team. “In a press release, you categorized Ray Parks as a Fil-Am and also Lawrence Domingo. In your statement, you said we must only choose one. Either si Ray Parks or si Lawrence Domingo,” said Ilagan. “Doon naman kay Lawrence, he was considered Fil-Am. Then we measured him and he was measured 6’4”. But given all these, can we consider Ray Parks as a local?” Duremdes responded: “Titingnan natin ‘yung papel niyan. We cannot decide right away kung wala ‘yung mga documents. Malalaman natin doon kung at the time of his birth ba ay ‘yung father ba niya is a naturalized already or American citizen pa at that time? Kung American citizen pa ‘yung tatay niya at that time of his birth, he’s considered a Filipino-American.” The elder Parks was not a naturalized citizen and so the decision of the MPBL considering Parks as a Fil-foreigner, stands. He is therefore is barred to play for Mandaluyong team, unless another MPBL team without a Fil-foreigner hires his services.

FESSAP honorary president David Ong (second from left) is shown after handing certificates of recognition to Marius Aseron (third from left), Organizing Committee Chairman and his Vice Chairmen Emmanuel (left) Edward Co and Benito Techico for their invaluable support in the staging of the 2018 WUGC. Not in photo is Rolando M. Romero.

Rockets level series with Dubs LOS ANGELES—The Houston Rockets ramped up the intensity on Wednesday, powering past the NBA champion Golden State Warriors 127105 to level their Western Conference finals series at one game apiece. Houston’s Most Valuable Player candidate James Harden scored 27 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. Eric Gordon added 27 off the bench as five players scored in double figures for a Rockets team chastened by a 119-106 series-opening defeat on their home floor on Monday. “Total team effort,” Harden said. “We played harder and smarter than game one. That was the only difference.” The Rockets signalled their intentions early. Their seven fast-break points in the opening quarter more than doubled the three they mustered in all of game one. Houston connected on three-of-10 from three-point range in the first period while the Warriors were zero-forseven and coughed up seven turnovers. Up 26-21 after one quarter, the Rockets wouldn’t trail from there. They led 64-50 by halftime, with four players already in double figures as they stepped up the pace and tightened the defensive screws. “Everything was fueled off our defense,” Gordon said. “We hit the open man at the right time and guys were knocking down shots and when we play that way it’s just a fun game.” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said there was no major change in strategy —just more intensity and better execution from a Houston team that led the league with 65 regular-season wins. “I don’t want to be cantankerous,” D’Antoni said. “You have one of the best offenses of all time, at least, with Golden State and we’re trying to prove we’re up there with them. You’re not going to come in and change the way you play. AFP

Streaking Bolts, Hotshots clash; TNT eyes 4th win By Jeric Lopez STREAKING teams cross paths as Meralco and Magnolia both stake their winning runs on the line when they face each other in the resumption of the 2018 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup. Both carrying two-game winning streaks, the Bolts (3-1) and the Hotshots (2-1) face off in a highly-competitive bout at 7 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum today. In the curtain-raiser, erstwhile unbeaten TNT KaTropa (3-1) attempts to get back on track when it meets still winless Blackwater (0-5) at 4:30 p.m. Slowly but surely, Meralco and Magnolia have both raised their level of play, resulting into victories in their previous assignments. After losing their opener, the Hotshots have regained their momentum from their finals stint in the Philippine Cup to rack up two wins in a row. They tripped GlobalPort and Columbian Dyip, respectively, over the past week and are now gaining steam. However, today’s game against the Bolts will be Magnolia import Vernon Macklin’s last as he is bound for the NBL in China for greener pastures. Before exiting though, Macklin wants to deliver another win for his current squad. “I’m still here in Magnolia so that’s my focus. I want to get another win for the team,” said Macklin, who also acknowledged that he’ll have a tough opposition in Meralco’s former Best Import Arinze Onuaku. “I know Arinze (Onuaku) and he’s a very good player. It will be a good challenge.” On the other side, Onuaku and the Bolts scored big in their last game as they gave Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beer a tough time with a 93-85 victory. After tasting its first defeat the last time out, the Tropang Texters will look to add to the woes of the hapless Elite.

Villamor backs staging of Philippine Masters THE Villamor Golf Club has re-affirmed its commitment and support to the ICTSI Villamor Philippine Masters following its successful revival last year, guaranteeing its staging up to next season with an eye of making VGC a top golfing destination. “It’s all systems go. We’ll be hosting the Phl Masters in 2018 and 2019,” said Lt. Gen. Lt. Gen. Galileo Gerard Kintanar Jr., Commanding General of the Philippine Air Force. “That’s our commitment. The PAF acknowledges that Villamor is the Masters original home and we are happy to be part of this international event.” Clyde Mondilla edged Tony Lascuña, Jhonnel Ababa and American Nicolas Paez to win the Masters’ revival on a six-under 282 aggregate with organizers expecting a fiercer, tougher battle for top honors in the rich event firing off May 23. PGT general manager Colo Ventosa said some of the foreign players who competed last year will be

back in the four-day championship over a relatively flat but challenging layout noted for its length, tight tree-lined fairways and roughs that will surely provide problems even for best of the best. “We’ll have some of the international players who joined last year in the field again,” said Ventosa, who recently met with Kintanar and Villamor GM Guillermo Molina Jr. to finalize plans and ensure the smooth staging of the blue-ribbon event sponsored by ICTSI. Though there would be no major changes this year as far as the course preparations are concerned, it will undergo a significant facelift next year. “The playing condition would be probably the same as last year. It will be as tough, as usual, as Villamor has never been regarded as an easy one,” said Molina, adding that the roughs were grown to at least three inches to make it at par with international standards.

Lt. Gen. Galileo Gerard Kintanar Jr. (left), Philippine Air Force commanding general, shakes hand with Philippine Golf Tour general manager Colo Ventosa after sealing the ICTSI Villamor Philippine Masters staging till 2019 at its home course, the Villamor Golf Club. At right is VGC general manager Villamor GM Guillermo Molina Jr.

Most viewers in NCR switch to digital TV By Darwin G. Amojelar MORE than half of Metro Manila homes are now watching television via digital terrestrial television technology, according to the latest surveys conducted by Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations. The two poll groups conducted surveys in March, which showed that 51 percent of Pulse Asia respondents and 56 percent of SWS respondents in Metro Manila owned a DTT box, which provides a better TV viewing experience and more choices in terms of programs and channels. The surveys also found that 16 percent (Pulse Asia) and 17 percent (SWS) of households nationwide had a DTT box. Results showed that more consumers were making the big switch from analog to DTT. ABS-CBN reported that it sold a total of 5 million ABSCBN TVplus boxes as of May 3. ABS-CBN Tvplus, which was launched in 2015, enables viewers to enjoy clearer picture and audio quality, affordable pay-per-view services and free exclusive channels without any monthly and installation fee. With the robust sales of ABS-CBN TVplus driving the rise in DTT penetration, ABS-CBN is ahead of other broadcast companies in supporting the government’s mandate for the full shift from analog to DTT by 2023. ABS-CBN TVplus expanded its signal coverage in the country to reach residents in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Rizal, Laguna, Pampanga, Tarlac, Benguet, Cavite, Metro Cebu, Cagayan De Oro, Iloilo, Bacolod and Davao. Meanwhile, GMA Network Inc. said it would spend about P700 million to roll out its DTT service by June this year. “GMA’s digital signal is now available in Mega Manila up to parts of Tarlac. We will reach Mindanao by end June this year. When our digitization project ißs completed, we will cover 83 percent of the Philippines with our digital signal,” GMA Network chairman Felipe Gozon said.


Ray S. Eñano, Editor Roderick T. dela Cruz, Assistant Editor FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2018


Fitch unit hikes PH growth might slow down in the coming quarters, as monetary conditions were expected to tighten further. USINESS Monitor “On the back of a stronger-than-expectInternational, a unit ed real GDP growth performance in the first quarter, we have raised our real GDP of Fitch Group, on growth forecast for 2018 to 6.5 percent Thursday upgraded its 2018 from 6.3 percent previously. However, we are sticking to our view that economic growth forecast for the growth is likely to moderate over the comPhilippines to 6.5 percent ing quarters,” BMI said. from the previous estimate “Even as the Philippines continues to enjoy positive demographics, the econoof 6.3 percent, after the my is showing signs of overheating, and gross domestic product we expect the deterioration in the busiexpanded 6.8 percent in the ness environment to weigh on private investment,” it said. first quarter. BMI said inflation steadily rose to BMI, however, warned that growth

By Julito G. Rada


4.5 percent in April from 4.3 percent in March, which both exceeded the target range of 2 percent to 4 percent set by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for the year. BMI said while the Monetary Board increased the benchmark overnight rate by 25 basis points to 3.25 percent on May 10, inflation would likely remain an issue over the coming months. “We continue to forecast another 25 bps hike to 3.50 percent by the end of the year. Such a move may slow domestic demand and will likely act as a dampener to growth,” BMI said. BMI said the main drivers of growth in the first quarter were government consumption (which grew by 13.6 percent year-on-year) and fixed capital

formation (which increased by 12.5 percent y-o-y). BMI said both components were driven by President Rodrigo Duterte’s expansionary fiscal policy and were likely to continue to provide support to headline GDP, allowing for growth above 6 percent over the coming quarters. The Philippine economy expanded 6.8 percent in the first quarter, faster than the 6.5-percent growth a year ago and 6.6 percent in the fourth quarter. Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said the economy could have expanded faster if inflation was more subdued. Inflation in the first quarter settled at 3.8 percent based on the 2012 price index.

SM Prime set to open fourth shopping mall in Pampanga By Jenniffer B. Austria

BLOCKCHAIN FORUM. Internet marketing executive Carl Ocab (left) and wealth coach John Calub hold a news briefing for the upcoming Digital Marketing, E-Commerce and Blockchain Congress 2018 to be held on May 26 at Luxent Hotel in Quezon City. Manny Palmero

SM PRIME Holdings Inc., the country’s largest mall operator and developer, said it is set to open on Friday its fourth shopping mall in Pampanga province. SM Prime said in a disclosure to the stock exchange SM City Telabastagan in San Fernando City, the third mall to open this year, would have 55,000 square meters of gross floor area. “The unwavering support of our fellow Pampangueños and the fast-growing economy of the province have led us to open yet a new mall, this time in Telabastagan,” SM Prime president Jeffrey Lim said. “Alongside our first three malls in the province, SM City Pampanga, SM City Clark and SM City San Fernando Downtown, we see SM City Telabasta-

gan contributing further to the continuous development of Pampanga, providing both job opportunities and modern lifestyle and entertainment to its residents,” Lim said. SM City Telabastagan, located along one of Pampanga’s major thoroughfares, McArthur Highway, will open with two floors of shopping, multicultural dining and entertainment zones adorned by indoor pocket gardens that add a touch of nature, improving the overall ambiance of the mall. SM City Telabastagan will open with 84 percent of space lease-awarded and will feature six digital cinemas and wellloved local and international brands. SM Prime opened two other malls earlier this year, including SM Center Imus in Cavite on Feb. 16 and SM City Urdaneta Central in Pangasinan on May 4.



FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2018

Stocks tumble; Ayala, BDO drop


TOCKS sank Thursday

on further profit-taking, with blue chip issues that rallied in the previous sessions leading the retreat.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index plummeted 175.44 points, or 2.2 percent, to 7,694.12 on a value turnover of P7.2 billion. Losers overwhelmed gainers, 121 to 69, with 62 issues unchanged. Conglomerate Ayala Corp. slumped 5 percent to P940, while unit Ayala Land Inc. decreased 3.7 percent to P41.70. BDO Unibank Inc., the biggest lender in terms of assets, fell 3.9 percent to P131.50, while SM Prime Holdings Inc. of retail tycoon Henry Sy Sr. declined 3.7 percent to P36.75. Asian traders, meanwhile, were biding their time in early trade on Thursday

as a healthy lead from Wall Street was tempered by geopolitical concerns and caution ahead of high-level China-US trade talks. All three main US indexes finished in the green thanks to another positive round of economic indicators and corporate results. However, traders remain on edge with expectations that inflation will pick up pace pushing key 10-year Treasury yields to seven-year highs and making it more likely the cost of borrowing will also go up. In Hong Kong the Hang Seng Index fell 0.4 percent, Shanghai eased 0.5 percent and Sydney was 0.2 percent down while Seoul shed 0.5 percent. Taipei was also down. However, Tokyo climbed 0.5 percent, with exporters boosted by a generally weaker yen. Singapore added 0.1 per-

cent, while Bangkok and Wellington was also higher. Thursday sees the resumption of talks between the US and China on resolving a tariff spat that has seen each side threaten duties on billions of dollars of goods and which some fear could spark a damaging trade war. China’s Vice Premier Liu He, Xi Jinping’s pointman on economics, is leading a delegation in Washington to meet Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. However, it has emerged that China critic and top White House trade adviser Peter Navarro will not attend. There are hopes they can find a breakthrough after a recent gathering in Beijing ended without agreement. Developments on the Korean peninsula are also in focus after the North’s

leader Kim Jong Un warned he would pull out of a historic summit with Donald Trump because of Washington’s demands over its nuclear program. When asked Wednesday about whether the talks would still go ahead, Trump said “we’ll see”, adding he had not been informed of any change of plan yet. On currency markets the dollar has benefited from bets on higher US rates, keeping it around multi-month highs against its major peers, with retail data this week having provided further support. “The consumer remains the economy’s backbone, and if this robust trend in the retail space continues to build, factor in a bit of wage growth pressure and the US dollar will continue to move higher on the back of higher yields,” said Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trade at OANDA. With AFP




FINANCIALS 58 2,100 99 2,559,710 3 8,000 131.5 2,044,400 1.48 269,000 34.8 93,500 16.72 20,600 15.82 1,367,600 3.8 213,000 1.5 7,000 0.56 1,534,000 83 2,205,600 1.08 199,000 12.2 12,300 52 65,650 209.2 3,540 106.5 630 86.6 250 37.85 145,500 200.2 1,321,050 1,945 50 89.1 28,750 1.2 22,000

121,905 254,754,891.50 24,080 272,034,353 387,990 3,259,555 344,528 21,716,604 804,890 10,500 848,330 183,355,285.50 211,470 150,216 3,413,428.50 742,500 67,165 21,650 5,509,570 264,524,498 97,125 2,559,474.50 26,400

-39,911,845.50 -127,818,129 512,855 332,824 -3,420,944 7,253,036.50 -33,920 -2,093,648 -13,692,242 -285,818 -

39,807,840 13,366,872 9,119,720 39,910 2,185,115 724,990 20,803 39,594,040 15,115,088 231,280 23,334,730.50 256,170 18,185 105,964.50 910 103,900 12,975 162,590 20,099,178 37,918,610 87,326 821,967 18,547,492 1,790 7,061,462 126,771 1,171,008 82,392 16,601,536 7,321,770 123,168,468 410,515 259,680 33,005,200 21,998,294 76,770,875 81,073,900 99,500 115,175 14,805,310 1,650,290 26,205,925 273,457 58,863 695,610 357,482 34,780,772.50 906,800 384,450 92,350 1,182,480 5,819,420 37,657,128.50 4,221,483 106,190 99,060 117,094,105 2,650 77,861,140 1,339,930

-32,840,565 1,465,770 -12,800 161,850 -8,641,020 -726,082 -12,525 -113,450 -325,616 16,429,320.00 -18,230 -306,513 5,033,441 619,478 15,924.50 194,000 817,152 -814,310 -22,301,494 -25,745 95,550 8,966,370 6,710 -45,733,875 -54,699,212 -320,820 -374,630 11,610,744 -19,890 -9,662,707.50 -545,000 600,976 5,895,673.50 -28,237,870 1,091,800 -8,300

329,650 106,622,097.50 95,925,340 215,040 11,130,540 2,968,830 293,553,455 121,707,159 40,164,518 135,153 135,040 147,786,535 130,607 87,334,333.50 11,187 86,990 1,316,710 169,622,120 1,456,180 193,500,908 188,900 103,830 6,543,930 46,941,065 115,200 479,321,915 800 312,610 74,910 1,788,418 2,460 2,567,490

-54,466,671.50 5,019,444 320 1,227,810 -157,801,850 -3,278,384 -20,998,912 -62,017,860 -38,087,453.50 3,582 -760,370 -15,603,480 54,720.00 -82,105,072 752,710 12,684,725 -297,700,105 -510,000 -

3,056,061 6,049,860 75,580 42,490 221,650 461,505,115 299,580 31,866,310 94,800 3,300 9,174,400 18,990 256,380 861,920 175,500 7,587,975 22,630 32,380 4,237,800 1,853,520 1,812,100 126,515,910 315,741,490 2,028,900 1,077,400 7,044,680

-1,566,414 -545,350 4,150 -70,238,265 192,640 -3,873,480 -926,000 -1,157,245 -1,702,820 6,600 -2,899,720 363,440 -29,030







58.95 99.7 3.04 135.5 1.45 34.85 16.72 16.26 3.72 1.5 0.56 83.2 1.06 12.72 51.95 213.8 107 86.6 37.9 200 1,940 89 1.2

58.95 101.8 3.04 136.5 1.48 34.95 16.74 16.26 3.85 1.5 0.56 84 1.08 12.72 52.1 213.8 107 86.6 38.1 202 1,945 89.25 1.2

58 99 3 131.5 1.41 34.8 16.72 15.76 3.7 1.5 0.55 82.8 1.05 12.2 51.95 209 106.5 86.6 37.85 200 1,940 89 1.2



38.6 14.92 0.68 1.26 21.1 0.225 131 3.2 17 250 51.9 24.7 57 67.95 91 1.98 5.19 9.46 11 16.3 12.2 7.18 5.17 1.79 15.02 64.95 19.4 8.77 18.04 2.18 286 5.04 3.4 27.25 13.78 22 325 0.195 6.99 2.4 4.55 9.39 6.1 7.97 1.47 12.54 51.95 4.7 2.05 3.7 1.9 13.5 65 5.48 0.132 1 140.5 2.65 3.66 0.84

39 14.92 0.68 1.26 22.6 0.228 131 3.3 17.02 253 51.9 24.9 57 68 91 1.98 5.19 9.46 11.06 16.36 12.2 7.19 5.28 1.79 15.3 64.95 19.4 8.77 18.2 2.26 286 5.15 3.45 27.3 13.9 22.95 325.6 0.196 6.99 2.45 4.55 9.55 6.1 7.97 1.47 12.6 52.1 4.7 2.1 3.7 1.9 13.88 65.05 5.5 0.137 1.01 140.9 2.65 3.74 0.84

38.4 14.62 0.61 1.24 20.5 0.224 126 3.07 16.1 250 50.95 24.2 56.6 66.15 91 1.94 5.19 9.45 10.98 16.08 12.1 7.17 5.17 1.79 15.02 63.8 18.9 8.76 17.8 2.15 284 5.03 3.23 27.2 13.4 21 319.2 0.195 6.85 2.37 4.38 9.21 5.8 7.95 1.4 12.54 51.35 4.68 2.05 3.69 1.8 13.42 64.8 5.28 0.132 0.98 137.3 2.65 3.45 0.82

INDUSTRIAL 38.4 1,036,200 14.64 908,100 0.63 14,322,000 1.26 32,000 22.35 99,700 0.226 3,220,000 126 160 3.08 12,440,000 17 893,300 251 920 50.95 452,740 24.4 10,400 56.95 320 68 1,560 91 10 1.95 53,000 5.19 2,500 9.45 17,200 10.98 1,822,400 16.22 2,340,700 12.1 7,200 7.17 114,500 5.23 3,544,600 1.79 1,000 15.2 465,500 64.25 1,980 19.28 61,200 8.76 9,400 17.88 925,400 2.19 3,318,000 285 432,100 5.14 80,500 3.38 77,000 27.25 1,211,500 13.48 1,631,300 21 3,521,100 319.4 252,900 0.195 510,000 6.85 16,500 2.43 6,149,000 4.4 373,000 9.3 2,785,500 5.89 46,100 7.95 7,400 1.43 494,000 12.6 28,400 51.35 671,680 4.7 193,000 2.09 185,000 3.69 25,000 1.88 645,000 13.6 429,700 64.8 579,580 5.47 771,300 0.136 790,000 1.01 101,000 137.3 841,990 2.65 1,000 3.47 21,918,000 0.83 1,613,000


0.255 63.1 13.46 0.92 0.68 0.68 980 6.41 10.9 7.68 0.211 1,040 7.18 60 5.97 0.62 4.5 21.4 0.58 5.26 0.039 1.13 3.21 140 2.56 928 0.8 1.63 540 255 0.246 0.255

0.265 64.25 13.6 0.95 0.68 0.69 980 6.42 10.9 7.68 0.211 1,040 7.18 60 5.97 0.62 4.5 21.85 0.59 5.26 0.04 1.15 3.27 140 2.56 928 0.8 1.64 540 263 0.246 0.255

0.255 62.4 13.16 0.89 0.65 0.66 940 6.38 10.24 7.67 0.211 1,002 6.86 58.5 5.1 0.6 4.35 21.25 0.56 5.1 0.039 1.12 3.2 138.9 2.56 905 0.8 1.62 532 255 0.246 0.24

HOLDING FIRMS 0.265 1,270,000 62.7 1,697,650 13.16 7,132,100 0.93 234,000 0.67 16,632,000 0.68 4,419,000 940 309,940 6.4 19,017,100 10.24 3,851,000 7.68 17,600 0.211 640,000 1,003 146,025 7 18,400 59.2 1,476,110 5.92 1,900 0.62 144,000 4.36 297,000 21.6 7,888,000 0.58 2,546,000 5.1 37,730,000 0.039 4,800,000 1.15 92,000 3.27 2,021,000 140 336,110 2.56 45,000 905 528,070 0.8 1,000 1.63 192,000 532 140 255 6,960 0.246 10,000 0.244 10,440,000


7.14 1.02 14.6 2.06 0.85 42.9 3.44 4.92 6 6.6 0.47 1.06 1.01 0.241 0.45 31.6 0.65 0.124 1.65 1.32 1.12 4.75 0.64 0.47 0.54 3.81

7.14 1.05 14.6 2.06 0.85 43.1 3.45 5.06 6 6.6 0.475 1.06 1.01 0.245 0.45 31.6 0.65 0.124 1.68 1.32 1.13 4.82 0.72 0.47 0.55 3.84

7.02 1.01 14.4 2.01 0.83 41.7 3.44 4.86 6 6.6 0.455 1.05 1 0.239 0.45 31.2 0.62 0.119 1.64 1.31 1.06 4.66 0.64 0.46 0.53 3.6










29.3 20 2.07 3.24 38.15 1.14 10.34 0.79 6.51

29.3 20.1 2.1 3.32 38.7 1.14 10.34 0.79 6.65

29.3 19.6 2.04 3.24 36.75 1.11 9.98 0.79 6.37

29.3 19.88 2.06 3.26 36.75 1.13 10.12 0.79 6.42

200 3,412,300 204,000 5,163,000 13,646,300 1,326,000 376,000 40,000 6,401,500

5,860 68,109,335 423,350 16,784,130 513,837,470 1,486,710 3,783,532 31,600 41,122,725

11,482,532 -49,150,230 21,200.00 -28,987,887


15.54 27 0.47 0.047 13.1 12.64 0.056 90.85 7.7 8 2.16 20.5 940 1,766 5.62 301.4 4.14 2.18 82.15 13.1 8.15 0.116 1.38 3.38 15.38 4.6 1.03 26.45 0.52 4.22 5.98 3.19 18.78 8.38 11.3 9.55 2.9 130.9 6.01 1,400 1.02 0.395 47.9 88 7.17 2.27 1.31 0.425 4.8 0.87 12.1

15.9 27 0.475 0.048 13.1 12.98 0.056 91.9 7.79 8 2.16 21.4 940 1,766 5.69 306 4.14 2.18 82.7 13.1 8.2 0.117 1.4 3.65 15.6 4.6 1.04 26.95 0.52 4.4 6 3.2 18.78 8.39 11.3 9.85 2.9 131 6.01 1,400 1.03 0.395 47.9 89.9 7.17 2.3 1.31 0.435 4.81 0.88 12.3

15.54 26.5 0.465 0.046 13 12.5 0.055 90.85 7.3 8 2.16 20 940 1,707 5.6 301.4 4.01 2.18 81.4 13.1 8.15 0.114 1.38 3.38 15.3 4.52 1.01 25.1 0.52 4.19 5.48 3.14 17.04 8.1 11.28 9.55 2.89 129.5 5.95 1,354 1.01 0.395 47.35 86.2 7.13 2.27 1.29 0.42 4.78 0.85 11.88

SERVICES 15.7 27 0.47 0.048 13 12.98 0.056 91.6 7.45 8 2.16 20.55 940 1,710 5.6 306 4.03 2.18 82 13.1 8.2 0.114 1.4 3.64 15.3 4.52 1.04 25.45 0.52 4.35 5.65 3.14 18.74 8.13 11.28 9.6 2.89 129.5 5.98 1,354 1.02 0.395 47.55 89.9 7.13 2.29 1.3 0.435 4.81 0.86 11.98

28,100 62,000 1,180,000 12,000,000 4,200 9,821,000 3,370,000 86,130 4,240,400 1,000 4,000 104,600 20 32,710 258,800 1,700 1,301,000 2,000 2,855,990 700 20,000 1,810,000 112,000 421,000 24,000 854,000 147,000 4,117,400 1,000 120,000 12,919,600 641,000 2,000 3,784,400 500 10,900 10,000 2,660 88,600 58,900 522,000 1,650,000 224,800 611,130 6,000 300,000 3,545,000 9,700,000 1,759,000 416,000 2,395,600

437,710 1,656,005 554,700 555,800 54,730 126,060,744 187,010 7,888,034.50 31,699,515 8,000 8,640 2,155,675 18,800 56,580,495 1,457,675 519,142 5,252,780 4,360 233,693,530 9,170 163,750 208,810 154,770 1,505,560 369,334 3,881,550 150,090 105,352,170 520 506,590 73,128,426 2,023,510 36,860 31,027,089 5,644 104,340 28,930 346,366 530,133 80,248,235 531,150 651,750 10,674,970 54,563,678.50 42,796 686,200 4,608,990 4,145,650 8,456,580 359,200 28,894,048

-3,140 -14,410 63,270,430.00 2,240 930,769 -7,131,390 -25,861,350 -654,980 -37,742,336.50 -3,380 9,380 -7,635,040 -23,998,041 -173,430 -260,541 -5,644 7,836 -57,752,270 -153,000 88,240 -9,053,659.50 -331,850.00 223,150 -282,900 -3,204,000.00 7,509,758


0.0027 1.65 4.4 17.06 1.62 0.3 7.36 2.27 0.2 0.139 0.144 0.0085 1.41 5.07 1.2 0.53 0.96 0.012 0.011 2.06 5.6 12.94 29.85

0.0028 1.67 4.4 18.78 1.71 0.31 7.48 2.3 0.2 0.14 0.144 0.0085 1.44 5.08 1.27 0.56 0.98 0.012 0.012 2.1 5.6 12.98 30

0.0027 1.64 4.33 17.06 1.61 0.3 7.09 2.22 0.189 0.138 0.144 0.0085 1.41 5.04 1.18 0.52 0.92 0.012 0.011 2.05 5.5 12.6 29.6

MINING & OIL 0.0027 161,000,000 1.65 1,282,000 4.35 61,000 18.78 3,800 1.7 112,341,000 0.3 1,920,000 7.46 10,000 2.22 2,581,000 0.198 880,000 0.138 1,700,000 0.144 10,000 0.0085 3,000,000 1.44 21,000 5.07 1,040,700 1.2 383,000 0.56 140,000 0.98 61,000 0.012 3,600,000 0.012 81,700,000 2.05 19,000 5.5 369,300 12.66 1,480,000 29.8 1,421,500

439,600 2,114,350 264,650 65,924 187,656,700 576,200 73,997 5,839,500 167,800 236,100 1,440 25,500 29,640 5,268,773 463,840 73,340 58,100 43,200 954,900 39,370 2,032,891 18,861,192 42,304,045

-21,480 -117,210 -18,660 491,410.00 -2,365,285 -409,214 -709,526 -17,348,325


26 500 504 101 109 505 5.63 978 983 100.4 106.6 104 111 1.95 976 77 79.9 75.5 76 79.45 77

27.3 500 504 101 109 505 5.72 1,000 995 100.9 106.8 104 111 1.95 985 77 79.9 75.5 76.8 79.5 77

26 500 504 101 109 505 5.63 970 983 100.4 103.7 104 111 1.95 970 76.7 78.2 75.5 76 77.9 77

PREFERRED 27.3 800 500 2,940 504 40,000 101 42,170 109 6,000 505 20 5.72 260,000 1,000 1,430 995 2,010 100.9 75,410 106.8 700 104 50 111 480 1.95 3,000 985 1,950 77 29,890 78.6 45,010 75.5 53,000 76.8 2,750 77.9 31,590 77 3,800

21,710 1,470,000 20,160,000 4,259,170 654,000 10,100 1,486,617 1,389,600 1,975,950 7,600,674 74,595 5,200 53,280 5,850 1,906,250 2,295,776 3,548,170 4,001,500 209,800 2,487,365 292,600

48,800 -768,266 -3,147,884 -





WARRANTS 2.69 232,000




5.35 2.87 3.58

5.38 2.87 3.65

5.13 2.83 3.31

5.15 2.86 3.35

7,578,709 133,900 18,683,920

-31,487 -1,090








10.14 10.2

10.14 10.26

10 10.2

63,350 102,547.80



PROPERTY 7.13 1.02 14.4 2.01 0.83 41.7 3.45 4.94 6 6.6 0.455 1.05 1 0.241 0.45 31.25 0.62 0.124 1.65 1.32 1.07 4.66 0.72 0.46 0.53 3.6

429,800 5,930,000 5,200 21,000 267,000 10,874,100 87,000 6,398,000 15,800 500 19,770,000 18,000 256,000 3,590,000 390,000 242,600 35,000 270,000 2,563,000 1,405,000 1,665,000 26,576,000 454,689,000 4,370,000 1,996,000 1,913,000


















1,445,000 47,000 5,450,000

EXCHANGE TRADED FUNDS 117.5 20,200 DDS 10 10.26

6,300 10,000

PSBank’s profit increased 25% to P641.1m in first 3 months By Julito G. Rada PHILIPPINE Savings Bank, the thrift bank unit of the Metrobank Group, said net income in the first quarter jumped 25 percent to P641.1 million from P511.1 million a year ago. PSBank said in a disclosure to the stock exchange the profitable results were due to strong revenues, composed of net interest margin and other operating income. “The improvement in our performance this quarter is a result of the year-on-year momentum brought about by our strategy to focus on exceptional customer experience, digitization of products and channels and automation of backroom processes,” PSBank president Jose Vicente Alde said in a statement. “These resulted in an expansion of our market stronghold and good bottom line performance,” Alde said. PSBank posted a 15-percent growth in total operating income to P3.7 billion in the first quarter from P3.2 billion a year earlier. Total loan portfolio rose 11.7 percent to P149.2 billion, driven by the bank’s consumer loan business. Resources expanded 9.4 percent to P224.8 billion, as deposits increased 9.2 percent to P186 billion. Total capital adequacy ratio―a measure of financial strength―stood at 13.7 percent while common equity tier 1 ratio was at 11 percent, both above the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ minimum required level. PSBank booked a net income of P2.65 billion in 2017, or 8 percent higher than P2.45 billion in 2016.

IN BRIEF Cosco allocates P5.5b for 2018 expenditures

COSCO Capital Inc., the retail holding company of billionaire Lucio Co, said it budgeted P5.55 billion for 2018 capital expenditures to expand its supermarket, real estate and specialty retail businesses. Cosco Capital said in a presentation during a recent investors briefing that it earmarked P3.65 billion for the store expansion of Puregold Price Club Inc. It also allocated P1.5 billion for the development of community malls, P300 million to strengthen the market share of Liquigaz Corp. of the Philippines whose business is predominantly wholesale distribution of LPG. The remaining P100 million will be allotted for the expansion of specialty realty store Office Warehouse. It said this year’s capital expenditures would be funded by internally generated cash and untapped credit lines. Cosco Capital said first-quarter net income went up 9.4 percent to P1.95 billion, as revenues grew 13.9 percent to P36.8 billion. The group’s grocery retail units, Puregold and S&R Membership Shopping Club, contributed 58 percent of total profit, followed by the commercial real estate segment with 23 and liquor distribution with 14 percent. Jenniffer B. Austria

Coconut exports hit $2.27b in 2017

COCONUT exports jumped 33 percent last year to $2.27 billion from $1.7 billion in 2016, data from the United Coconut Association of the Philippines Inc. show. “It is the biggest agricultural export, yet there is way more we can do especially in higher value product exports. Local demand for coconut oil can also be bolstered to help augment revenues lost for farmers due to external market forces,” said Ucap chairman Dean Lao Jr. Coconut exports amounted to 1,692,759 metric tons of copra in 2017, up 26.7 percent from 1,335,752 MT in 2016. The country’s coconut exports include copra, coconut oil, copra meal, desiccated coconut, oleochemicals, coco shell charcoal, activated carbon, virgin coconut oil, coco water, fresh coconuts and other products. Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority in 2016 showed that there were 3.6 million hectares of land planted with about 338.7 million fruitbearing coconut trees nationwide. That accounted for about 26 percent of total agricultural areas in the country. Of the 81 provinces, 68 are considered as coconut producing areas. The Philippines produces 4,000 nuts per hectare annually. This compares to the world leader, India, which produces about 10,000 nuts per hectare yearly. “Coconut oil can be used to produce countless products―from cooking oil to food ingredients, medicines, and natural consumer goods like soaps and detergents,” said Lao. Othel V. Campos

Monsanto warns vs illegal Bt corn


VALUE 1,916.80 (down) 26.15 1,039,334,392.15 FINANCIAL INDUSTRIAL 10,991.67 (down) 119.99 1,060,245,769.243 HOLDING FIRMS 7,585.82 (down) 190.94 2,132,864,386.109 PROPERTY 3,782.79 (down) 121.09 1,532.66 (down) 17.30 1,639,208,209.17 SERVICES MINING & OIL 10,208.95 (down) 45.53 996,292,810.995 PSEI 7,694.12 (down) 175.44 267,608,934.328 All Shares Index 4,678.74 (down) 76.06 7,164,365,839.53 Gainers: 69; Losers: 121; Unchanged: 62; Total: 252

MONSANTO Philippines asked the government to address the proliferation of illegal Bt corn seeds and prevent damage to farmers and industry. Monsanto Philippines regulatory policy and scientific affairs lead Gabriel Romero said the increased incidence of counterfeit seeds could affect local corn farmers and the country’s corn industry. “Adulterated seeds or fake seeds directly affect our farmers. The seeds may be low-priced but they are also of low-quality. Worse, they come out without proper stewardship measures, and thereby threaten GM technology and farmers livelihood,” he said. The biotechnology company estimated that more than 10 percent of the Philippines Bt corn seeds were produced illegally by unauthorized companies. These seeds are produced with Bt and RR traits but are sold to the market as conventional seeds, it said. A 2015 survey showed that farmers who used counterfeit seeds observed a significant decrease in their yield and negative net income brought about by issues like smaller grain, unfilled ear and higher susceptibility to pests. Othel V. Campos

World IN BRIEF Australia restricts live sheep exports

FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2018

Search for babies born of rape C

OX’S BAZAR―Aid workers are scouring the world’s largest refugee camp for pregnant Rohingya rape victims, with a rush of births anticipated nine months after Myanmar forces unleashed “a frenzy of sexual violence” against women and girls from the Muslim minority.

SYDNEY—Horrific footage of dead and dying sheep on ships bound for the Middle East has prompted sweeping reforms to Australia’s live export trade, but Canberra stopped short of an outright ban Thursday. Video images taken last year showed heat-stricken sheep crammed together in small, stifling pens and covered in excrement, shocking the Australian public when it was released by animal activists in April. Agriculture Minister David Littleproud on Thursday labeled the footage “disgraceful” but resisted calls to outlaw live exports entirely after a government review. “There will be no ban to the live sheep trade in the Middle Eastern summer,” he told reporters. “However, as a result of this review, we will be making serious and meaningful change to the industry.” Exporters will now be required to increase cargo space for sheep by up to 39 percent, varying according to seasonal temperature. Independent observers will also have to travel on all ships carrying cattle or sheep. Companies in breach of the new rules could face fines of Aus$4.2 million (US$3.1 million) and directors jailed for up to 10 years. Animal welfare activists accused the government of “double standards” on animal protection, calling for a ban on live exports. AFP

EU reaches out to Balkans under Trump’s shadow SOFIA—European Union leaders will meet their Balkan counterparts Thursday to hold out the promise of closer links to counter Russian influence, while steering clear of openly offering them membership. The summit comes a day after a dinner of the 28 EU leaders focused on forging a united front in the face of US President Donald Trump’s “capricious assertiveness” on the Iran nuclear deal and trade tariffs. Six Balkan leaders from Albania, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Kosovo will attend the summit. Spain’s prime minister is staying away because his country, roiled by the Catalan independence drive, does not recognize Kosovo’s 2008 split from Serbia. “We will meet our Western Balkan partners collectively for the first time in 15 years. It will be an opportunity for both sides to reaffirm that the European perspective remains the Western Balkans’ geostrategic choice,” EU president Donald Tusk said. Tusk said the bloc would invest in infrastructure connections with the Balkans to boost development and bring them up to EU standards. “I hope to bring our Western Balkan friends closer to the EU.” The EU is increasingly looking to take its fate into its own hands as a transatlantic rift grows with Trump, who withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal and wants to slap tariffs on European steel and aluminum. AFP

Chilean students condemn sexual violence SANTIAGO—Thousands of women chanted “No means no!” during a march in Santiago Wednesday called by students to protest sexual abuse and harassment, part of a new feminist wave sweeping Chile. Banners called for the introduction of “non-sexist education” and the end of “sexual violence” following a number of cases of abuse against women and deep-rooted practices in universities and schools. To the rhythm of drums, dancing and the chants of “No means no”, the students, mostly women, filled a large section of the Alameda Avenue, in a largely peaceful protest, with only isolated incidents reported towards the end of the march. “Today we are condemning what my aunt ignored and my mother experienced and kept quiet about,” said one of thousands of placards. One group marched topless but with their faces covered by hoods. “It´s the time to say ´enough’— enough abuse, violence and discrimination,” said Maria Astudillo, 26, a student at Catholic University, where students are occupying some faculties. The first protests began a month ago in Austral University where a professor was accused of sexual harassment. Since then, nearly 20 faculties and schools, including the prestigious law department at Chile University, have joined the movement. AFP


Cesar Barrioquinto, Editor

SCREENING. Executive producer Princess Firyal of Jordan greets the Alhalabi family during the ‘This is Home: A Refugee Story’-New York Premier Screening at the Crosby Street Hotel on May 16, 2018, in New York City. AFP

Mexican town swept up in royal wedding frenzy ROSARIO, Mexico―A sleepy Mexican resort town has found itself swept up in the frenzy around the royal wedding thanks to the antics of the once-anonymous American retiree who is now its most famous resident: Meghan Markle’s dad. Thomas Markle, future father-in-law of Britain’s Prince Harry, has had gossip pages aflutter covering his on-again, offagain plans to walk his daughter down the aisle Saturday and the emergency heart surgery that, it now appears, will prevent him from being at Windsor Castle for the ceremony. The scene of Markle’s painful misadventures with the tabloid press is Rosarito, his adopted Mexican hometown. Rosarito, population 70,000, sits on Mexico’s Pacific coast about a half hour’s drive south of the US border. Its pretty beaches and sunny climate have made it a popular retirement destination for Americans, who make up an esti-

mated 15 to 30 percent of its population. Markle, 73, was just another aging “gringo” soaking up the sun until his daughter Meghan got engaged to Britain’s Prince Harry. And that is when the royal shenanigans erupted. Hounded by the paparazzi―his complicated relationship with his family suddenly hot news to gossip magazines around the world―Markle apparently decided to try to reclaim control of his image by staging a series of tabloid-style photos with a celebrity photographer. What at first seemed candid, heartwarming pictures of Markle getting fitted for a suit, reading up on England in a Rosarito coffee shop and browsing pictures of the happy couple in an internet cafe were in fact prearranged, according to Britain’s Daily Mail. In Rosarito―where Markle lives in a gated community in an upscale neigh-

borhood―the strange story has thrust those who happened to cross his path along the way into a most unexpected world spotlight. That is the case of Yadira Martinez, the owner of Tuxedos Martinez, where Markle and Los Angeles-based celebrity photographer Jeff Rayner arrived on April 7 to take photos of the bride’s father supposedly getting fitted for a suit. “He came here looking for our business. But it was like 9:30 in the morning on a Saturday, and we were closed,” she told AFP. So Markle and Rayner went to another business next door, a party supply shop, and picked a young student employee to “measure” Markle, according to those who were there. That student was 17-year-old David Flores, who recalls awkwardly telling Markle: “But I don’t know how to take measurements.” AFP

Specialists and Rohingya volunteers are racing against time to find women in the giant camp who are thought to be hiding their pregnancies out of shame, as fears grow that newborns could be abandoned and new mothers may die without care in coming weeks. Tosminara, herself a Rohingya refugee, has spent months coaxing these women out of the shadows, promising discretion. “We tell them a password they can use when they arrive at the hospital or health post. The guard then sends the woman directly to the right spot,” said Tosminara, who goes by one name. “They often are shy. Sometimes they are afraid to come forward.” The Myanmar army crackdown last August drove roughly 700,000 Rohingya into Bangladesh and the number of pregnancies resulting from rape is not known. But UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour said there would “inevitably” be a spike in births soon given the “frenzy of sexual violence in August and September last year”. Marcella Kraay of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) also said “a fair number of pregnancies” were expected. An estimated 48,000 women will give birth in the camps this year. Those who were raped will be delivering imminently, mostly in secret and without medical care on the floors of bamboo shacks overlooking the BangladeshMyanmar border. Rohingya community leader Abdur Rahim said he knew two women personally who were raped by soldiers and due within the month. He had heard rumours of many others in a similar position, he added. “The Myanmar military raped them. These babies are... evidence of their crimes,” he told AFP. Tosminara says she is trying her best to find these women in the heaving camps. But volunteers must contend with a deep-rooted stigma that keeps many from revealing their ordeal. “Sometimes neighbours say ‘don’t do anything, it will humiliate you further’. So they don’t want to come,” said Nurjahan Mitu, a doctor who trains midwives through a UN Population Fund program. AFP

All classes hit by Venezuela’s economic crisis MARACAIBO, Venezuela―On an avenue in Maracaibo, the once-thriving heart of Venezuela’s oil industry, the buses no longer run. Instead, people squeeze onto a dinky tourist train to take them home. Maracaibo’s crippled transportation system is symptomatic of Venezuela’s deterioration, locked in a deep economic and political crisis despite sitting on the world’s largest oil reserves. Transportation decay, creaking power and water grids, endless supermarket lines, rising crime: in a country ruined by falling oil prices, mismanagement and political turmoil, the crippled economy has cut a swathe through every stratum of society. In Venezuela’s second city, 52-yearold Victor Colina drives the jaded little tourist train which he has pressed into service as public transport. “I’m going to see how I get on with it,” said the former appliance repairman. About 20 people board its single carriage. The other two no longer run, because Colina has no tires for them. In the capital Caracas, shop assistant Alida Huzz has a modest dream: to eat a nutritious meal with protein sometime soon. “I’ve been dreaming of chicken, rice and potatoes for a long time,” she said. “I have rice and potatoes, but no chicken. You work and work for nothing. Before we could eat what we wanted, but not now.” Her neighbor, Reina Rojas, receives a government food parcel every six weeks at subsidized prices, but it is too little to live on. “There are only three kilos of rice! Three packets of spaghetti and oil! Who can live on that?” asked Rojas. It’s the kind of pressure-cooker despair that, in most countries, jolts rulers from their perch come election time. AFP

ARRIVAL. Czech model Petra Nemcova reacts as she arrives on May 10, 2018, for the screening of the film ‘Sorry Angel (Plaire, Aimer et Courir Vite)’ at the 71st edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France. AFP

Malaysian police search ex-premiere Najib’s home KUALA LUMPUR―Police conducted an extensive search of the home of Malaysia’s scandal-tainted former premier on Thursday that his lawyer decried as “harassment”, as the new government presses forward with probes into a massive graft scandal after seizing power in historic elections. Police arriving in a dozen vehicles converged on the home of corruption-tainted Najib Razak in Kuala Lumpur beginning late Wednesday, drawing crowds of journalists and onlookers. A lawyer for Najib said officers were searching the home and a separate apartment in a “money-laundering” probe. The search at Najib’s home continued into Thursday afternoon. The new government headed by 92-year-old former premier Mahathir

Mohamad, who secured a stunning election victory last week, has vowed to probe allegations that Najib oversaw the looting of a sovereign wealth fund. But Najib’s lawyer Harpal Singh Grewal said his client, 64, viewed the search as “harassment”. “The police just took some handbags and some clothes,” Harpal said. His mention of handbags prompted snickering on Malaysian social media. Najib’s wife Rosmah Mansor is ridiculed over her reported penchant for jet-set overseas shopping trips and vast collection of designer handbags, clothing and jewelry, all symbolic―critics say―of the ousted government’s lack of concern for economically struggling citizens. Harpal said the house contained only

personal belongings, though he added that police also were attempting to open a safe, the key for which had been “lost”. “This is harassment. Whatever... is in the house is not commensurate with the allegations,” Harpal told AFP. “[Najib] has told them: ‘Tell me what you want. We will give.’” Harpal said the search left Najib “very tired and visibly upset”. There was no indication that any arrests were planned. Police officials confirmed the search to AFP but declined to give details. The police action adds to a sense of rising legal peril for Najib, who was barred from leaving the country just days after the election over allegations that he, his family, and cronies looted billions from state investment fund 1MDB. AFP



FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2018

Motoring Macau GP announces SunCity Group as title sponsor

Batch 1 of HDCP scholars showed their commitment to excel as skilled automotive technicians with a mural of their handprints on the Hyundai Dream Wall.

Dream center H

YUNDAI Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI), the official Philippine distributor of Hyundai vehicles, has inaugurated the Hyundai Dream Centre Philippines, a world-class training and education hub for underprivileged Filipino youth on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at the Hyundai Logistics Center (HLC) in Calamba, Laguna.

The HDCP is the fruit of the partnership between HARI, Hyundai Motor Group (HMG), and global humanitarian organization Plan International. It aims to elevate the level of vocational-technical skills in the Philippine automotive industry by providing bright, young Filipinos with training scholarships on vehicle repair and maintenance. Hyundai has established Dream Centres in collaboration with local vocational schools over the past five years in Ghana, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Vietnam. This is the first time Hyundai has partnered with a distributor to design and implement the training courses for a Dream Centre. The launch event was attended by representatives and board members from the three partner institutions, officials from the national, provincial, and local government, as well as by the first batch of HDCP scholars. The program commenced with a short backgrounder on the Hyundai Dream Centre program, followed by the unveiling of the Centre’s marker by HARI President and CEO Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo, Hyundai Motor Company Asia-Pacific Regional Headquarters Head, Yong Suk Lee, and Plan International Deputy Country Director

for Operations Patrick Kirwan. In her opening message, Agudo said, “When you dream alone, chances are you will stay dreaming. But when you dream a dream together and pursue it, then that dream becomes a reality. Built on the pillars of commitment, inclusiveness, and human capital, the big idea comes alive before our very own eyes--Hyundai Dream Centre Philippines!” After the three officials delivered their remarks, representatives from Government congratulated Hyundai and Plan International for the successful launch. On behalf of Laguna Governor Ramil Hernandez, Provincial Public Employment Service Office Manager Mary Jane Corcuera expressed support for the Centre, as well as for Hyundai’s future undertakings in the province. Mylene Somera, Supervising Specialist for the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Women’s Center, commended HARI for its “culture of service excellence,” and expressed TESDA’s willingness to work with Hyundai in providing equal opportunities to women. Finally, Calamba Mayor Hon. Justin Marc Chipeco thanked Hyundai and Plan International for choosing Calamba

Hyundai teams up with distributor to set up a world-class training hub

HARI president Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo interacts with automotive technicians along with Hyundai officers and local government officials.

to be part of their development programs and exhorted the HDCP scholars to make the most of their scholarships. Also in attendance to congratulate Hyundai and Plan International was Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Assistant Secretary for Legal and International Affairs Joji V. Aragon. HDCP scholars capped off the program by creating a colorful mural of handprints, representing their dreams for the future and their contributions to the program as members of the pioneering batch. HDCP partners and guests responded with the symbolic release of butterflies into the

HLC campus, signifying Hyundai and Plan International’s objective to provide Filipinos with the tools they need to seek out new careers and opportunities. The Mandaluyong Children’s Choir enlivened the program with rousing renditions of songs about shared dreams. “HDCP symbolizes not just our commitment to contribute to human capital development in the automotive industry, but our dream of improving the lives of Filipinos as well. We are especially proud that our partners could meet the first batch of scholars and witness their progress firsthand,” concluded Agudo.

Civic Type R returns in October

MACAO’S annual international sporting event – the 65th edition of the Macau Grand Prix – to be held from 1518 November 2018, officially chosen Suncity Group as the event title Sponsor. Event organbizers said the press conference was attended by Pun Weng Kun, President of Sports Bureau of the Macao SAR and Macau Grand Prix Organizing Committee Coordinator; Gina Lei, Senior Vice President of Public & Social Relations of Suncity Group; Lo Keng Chio, Chairman of the Automobile General Association of MacaoChina; Chong Coc Veng, President of Automobile General Association of Macao-China and Coordinator of Sporting Subcommittee of MGPOC; Allen Lau Cho Un and Christine Lam Lin Kio, Vice Presidents of Sports Bureau of the Macao SAR Government and Deputy Coordinators of MGPOC. Pun and Lei marked the signing of the sponsorship agreement with the presentation of a giant cheque, as Suncity Group supports the Macau Grand Prix for the fifth consecutive year. This year’s event is officially named the Suncity Group 65th Macau Grand Prix. Safety, medical, rescue and official vehicles will be provided by BMW Concessionaires (Macau) Ltd. The Suncity Group 65th Macau Grand Prix will continue to work with the FIA to hold three world-class races: the FIA F3 World Cup, the FIA GT World Cup and the WTCR FIA World Touring Car Cup. In addition, the four prestigious headline races also include the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix – 52nd Edition. Together with Macau Touring Car Cup and Greater Bay Area Cup, the race programme will feature six thrilling races this year. The MGPOC is planning a series of events to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the Macau Grand Prix with Macao citizens and visitors including collecting photographs and short videos on social media platforms and a family friendly Macau Grand Prix carnival and car show, providing an opportunity for the public to experience the atmosphere of the Macau Grand Prix through different channels.

Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix is one of the three featured races.

HONDA’S automobile business unit in the Philippines is making available once again the Civic Type R this year. With the Civic being one of Honda’s pillar models, the Type R reprises its role as the highest performance vehicle in the Honda stable . Powered by a 2.0L VTEC Turbo engine that produces a maximum power output of 310 PS and peak torque of 400 Nm combined with its 6-speed manual transmission and bespoke chassis set-up, the Civic Type R aims to deliver an exhilarating and gratifying drive both on the track and on the road. The Civic Type R has become one of the most desired performance vehicles in the country. Upon its official introduction and availability, the iconic Civic Type R received multiple recognitions from local award giving bodies in the country namely C! Magazine’s Best Driver’s Car 2017, Car Awards Group Inc.’s 2017 Best Sport Compact Car and Top Gear Philippines’ Car of the Year 2017. With the successful launch of the Civic Type R last year, Honda said that another one hundred units will arrive in the Philippines. Initial deliveries are targeted in October 2018. Together with the signature Championship White and Rallye Red color lineup, Honda will also introduce a new Polished Metal Metallic color for 2018.



Jimbo Owen Gulle, Editor FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2018



Binay reiterates support to Makati peace and order, disaster readiness By Joel E. Zurbano

WB: Urban areas key to PH devt TANGIBLE GROWTH. In this file photo. high-rise buildings in Makati City are seen in the twilight, tangible results of the country’s economic growth after the Philippines


recently received its third investment rating from major debt-watchers, according to Moody’s Investors Services.

S EARLY as the turn of the millennium, the World Bank Group pinpointed the country’s urban areas as the linchpin for the Philippines’ development.

In a discussion paper entitled “Challenges of Urban Development: Meeting Urban Development Challenges” developed exclusively for the Philippines, the international development bank noted that the country’s future “will largely depend on the performance of its urban areas.” The study – still hugely relevant nearly two decades later -- noted that at least 40 million Filipinos live in urban areas, which are “beacons of opportunity” as incomes there “are 2.3 times rural in-

urban poverty alleviation, urban competitiveness, migration management, and infrastructure development. The framework would require joint efforts at both the national and local level,” it added. The contribution of urban areas to economic growth comes” and already account for the majority or 70 is even greater, the development bank noted. For expercent of the country’s economic output. ample, it said that the “largely urbanized Philippines The World Bank Group noted that this called for heartland (the National Capital Region plus Regions 3 a coherent national framework toward urbanization, and 4)” alone accounted for 60% of economic growth. owing to its importance for both growth and poverty. “The objective of such a framework should be to Background develop the Philippine urban areas into livable and The country has experienced one of the highest globally competitive regions which can truly serve urbanization rates in the developing world, regisas engines of growth. Key elements of the frame- tering 5.1% annual urban population growth from work include: urban and metropolitan management, Next page

MAKATI City Mayor Abigail Binay on Friday reiterated the city government’s strong support for the city police and fire departments to maintain peace and order and promote disaster readiness, resilience and sustainability in the country’s financial center. Addressing members of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Binay said her administration remains firmly committed to strengthening the city’s protective sector in the face of growing challenges posed by climate change and rapid urbanization. “Let me assure you of our commitment to transform Makati into a real ‘smart city’, a city that is not only in step with the digital age but is fully equipped to maintain a safe and healthy environment for all its constituents and stakeholders to grow and prosper,” she said. Binay said the city government recently turned over modern emergency response vehicles and equipment to the Makati police and fire departments, to enhance their capability to fight crime as well as respond to disasters. Makati was named among the top ten “safest and most peaceful cities in Southeast Asia” by Numbeo, a global crowd-sourced database which provides current information on global living conditions, including cost of living, health care, traffic, crime and pollution. In a report released by Numbeo, Makati ranked fifth among the region’s top ten safest cities, with Turn to C6


FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2018


WB:... From C1 1965 to 1995, the paper added. Though expected to slow down, urban population will continue to increase much faster than average population growth and will account for 75% of the total population by 2030, according to the United Nations World Urbanization Prospects report in 2001. The increase of the country’s fast population growth will all occur in the urban areas, as rural population is projected to decrease slightly over the next 30 years. According to UN projections, close to 1.4 million people will be added into the urban system each year in the next 10 years. High rural-urban migration feeds urban growth, adding to the high natural growth rates in urban areas themselves. The continuing rural-urban transition is rooted in the fact that urban areas, as engines of growth, offer opportunities for the rural poor. The urban areas are where localization and globalization forces intersect, innovation occurs, new jobs are created, and lifestyles are largely set, the paper said. The Philippine economy has already been successfully transformed to an urban economy, where most of the economic activity emanates from the services and industry sector. Agricultural employment has been in absolute decline, the paper noted, and nonagricultural employment (manufacturing, services) has accounted for all employment creation. The future of economic growth and employment generation thus will largely depend on the competitiveness and productivity of the urban areas. Nevertheless, the performance of the Philippine urban system over the last two decades has been below par relative to most other East Asian countries, the World Bank Group noted. Improving urban area performance, in terms of poverty alleviation, as engines of economic development, and as attractive living environments, is one of the major challenges facing the Philippines. “The stakes are high. If not properly managed, urbanization could exacerbate environmental damage, congestion, lack of basic services, ill health and insecurity especially among the poor. Sound policies to manage urbanization are therefore critical,” the World Bank Group said. The role of city governments in developing and implementing key policies that affect quality of life has grown in scope and importance “and perhaps

become even more vital than that of na- and between government, civil society tional government,” the paper added. and local business.” Urban Poverty. Poverty rates in urban areas are typically well below Key Issues Meeting the challenges brought by those in rural areas, consistent with urbanization will be a daunting task, the fact that productivity and incomes the WBG noted. The following areas are generally much higher in urban arof concern, it said in the discussion pa- eas, the discussion noted. About 29% per, should be addressed to be able to of the urban population live below the enhance the productive capacity and $2 a day poverty line in Philippines compared to 60% in rural areas. the quality of life of urban dwellers: People migrate from the countryside Competitiveness and employment creation. Creating enough jobs, espe- to the city precisely because of better cially in urban areas where population opportunities for escaping from poverty, is growing fastest, is the single most the bank added. “However, while urban important task that needs to be ac- income and productivity is high on avcomplished to significantly improve erage, inequality is also higher. This is the quality of life of Filipinos. Even at not only socially problematic but raises the time of the discussion, urban un- questions about the sustainability of curemployment was rising, from 11.6% in rent development patterns. Furthermore, 1994 to 13.1% in 2001. Unemployment because the urban population is increasrates were even higher in Metro Ma- ing much more quickly than the rural, nila (or NCR) where unemployment the share of urban poverty in national poverty is rising sharply.” levels stood at 16.5% in 2001. The urban share of national povAside from the high population growth, chronic weaknesses in invest- erty in the Philippines increased from ment attractiveness of the Philippines 23.5% in 1988 to 31% in 2000, the relative to other countries, and the com- discussion said. “Also of considerable plexities and rapid shifts in competitive concern is the fact that official data inadvantage within the global and East dicate that the incidence of poverty in Asian economies, adds to the challenge urban areas has increased from 17.9% of creating more jobs for its productive in 1997 to 20.4% in 2000.” Therefore, the WBG said policies population, the discussion noted. Philippine urban areas have their targeted at the specific problems of the competitive strength, which needs to urban poor have become more imporbe fully utilized, the bank said. These tant. Significant proportions of the urinclude: continued English language ban poor live in communities “which competency; relatively high education lack access to basic services like piped level (though it noted the advantage “is water, sanitation, drainage, paved being eroded quickly with low perfor- footpaths, electricity, etc.” It is commonly held that lack of inmance” in the last decade before the study); advanced decentralization with come is the reason why the poor lack considerable power now vested in local basic services, the discussion said. government units or LGUs; endowment “However, this is not the case. Surof natural resources, particularly for veys indicate that low income slum tourism; and continued active civil soci- and squatter communities have the resources and would be willing to ety participation in governance. The Philippine government “needs to pay for basic services if government quickly take actions to address weak- programs and policies were better ness in the urban areas to enable them designed to provide such services in to be competitive in a global economy,” these communities.” “In fact, they often have to pay high the discussion added. These include: poor infrastructure service conditions; prices for alternatives to these servicdeteriorating urban environment; urban es, for example by buying water from security concerns; low capacity at local vendors who can charge many times government level in economic devel- the price of water from a municipal opment; and serious national and local tap,” it added. The Millennium Development Goals government fiscal constraints. International best practice points to include targets to “halve by 2015 the a series of actions that national and lo- proportion of people without sustainable cal governments can take to bolster the access to sanitation and safe drinking local investment climate and improve water,” and “to have achieved a signifiproductivity and competitiveness, the cant improvement in the lives of at least WBG said. “Many of these require co- 100 million slum dwellers” by 2020 – operation across levels of government, two years away from now. “Meeting urban residents’ needs for among different local jurisdictions,

This chart shows the ‘Strategic Framework to Ensure People-centered, Clean, Efficient, and Effective Governance’ under the Philippine Development Plan for 2017-2022. NEDA image

access to basic services, land tenure and environmental quality is a fundamental challenge for the Philippines,” it said. Urban Governance and Management. The fact that decentralization, which empowered LGUs, took place earlier than most of its neighbors is a competitive strength of the country’s urban system. However, much of this strength “is negated by strong countervailing forces that need to be addressed,” the Bank noted. Local governments “have yet to fully rise to the challenge of development as mandated under the Local Government Code,” it said. Ironically, LGUs have become more dependent on the national government for funding because of Internal Revenue Allotments or IRA. Provinces are the most dependent, exhibiting a financial autonomy ratio of only 18% in 1999 (versus 36% in 1990), compared with 23% for municipalities (48% in 1990) and 49% for cities (68% in 1990). “This increasing dependence on the IRA, untied to performance, acts as a disincentive to local governments to raise local revenues and to deliver more effective governance,” it said. Also, the WBG there are “few incentives” for local governments to raise own revenues to deliver services more efficiently. Better performing LGUs are not rewarded fiscally, nor are poor performers sanctioned. “Of most concern in terms of economic performance is the fact that very little LGU expenditure is for capital improvements or development related. LGUs spend almost invariably less than 10% of their budgets on real capital spending. The result is that LGUs do not have money available for catalytic projects, e.g., infrastructure,” it said. Even when local governments embark on critical infrastructure projects, their capacity in designing and implementing these projects has often been limited. Under the leadership of the League of Cities, close to 40 cities have successfully undertaken participatory City Development Strategies, and these initiatives need to be enhanced, mainstreamed and the results need to be implemented, the paper recommended. Regional and Metropolitan Scale Infrastructure. Beyond individual LGUs, there is a crisis in governance of larger urban-

regional scale infrastructure networks, which require inter-jurisdictional coordination and collaborations, the Bank said. Many government functions, such as regional transportation, solid waste, economic development planning and promotion, need to be coordinated at the extended urban regional level, beyond any individual LGUs. “This is not only critical for large metropolitan regions such as Metro Manila (including Regions III and IV), Cebu and Davao, but also important for even medium and small sized urban areas because of the generally small size of cities and municipalities in the country,” it added. Because of the inability to effectively plan and implement infrastructure expansion in and around cities to accommodate growth, “the price of scarce land that does have infrastructure services is bid up, thus raising the cost of business investment as well as housing,” the Bank said. Unplanned development that takes place without infrastructure has caused severe pollution and environmental damage. Retrofitting infrastructure after development is always much more expensive to governments than planning and implementing infrastructure in line with development, it added. “Given the emergence of growing metropolitan regions, corresponding growth in infrastructure and capital investments will be vital in ensuring a livable and competitive urban system. Access to basic infrastructure is already a problem. The need for both urban competitiveness and poverty alleviation would require significant improvement in urban infrastructure such as urban transportation, water supply, sanitation, solid waste, air quality improvement, and Information Technology infrastructure,” the Bank said.


The importance of urbanization for both growth and poverty alleviation calls for a coherent national framework toward urbanization in the next Medium-Term Development Plan, as has been proactively done in other East Asian countries such as China and Thailand, the Bank said. “The objective of such a national urbanization framework should be to develop the Philippine urban areas into livable

LGUs 2ND ANNIVERSARY Board Member and Chief Legal Adviser: Former Chief Justice Reynaldo S. Puno OIC-Operations: Anita F. Grefal OIC-Sales: Baldwin R. Felipe Editorial Board: Publisher: Rolando G. Estabillo Managing Editor: Ramonchito L. Tomeldan LGUs Editor: Jimbo Gulle Supplements Head: Paula Marie A. Reynoso Contributors: Joel E. Zurbano F. Pearl A. Gajunera Rio N. Araja Sales Team: Bessie Good Babes Good Ron Tamayo Shirley Umali Mary Jane Dulay Albert Legaspi Advertising Support Group: Sheila Marie Suarez Joan Velasco Eric Jutic Edilyn Elamparo Layout Artist: Rex Perzeus Sardinia

Turn to C6


FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2018


‘With comprehensive planning, San Juaneños are the winners’ C

OMPREHENSIVE planning, research and development of programs and projects are always being implemented in San Juan’s local government. Every department of the city government works to serve every San Juaneño so they know the direction, mission and advocacy of their offices, to meet the needs of those who come here. The yearly program and projects we have implemented are prepared and outlined one year before they can be implemented.

It covers the study of priority projects that are timely and responsive for each barangay. There is also budget planning to ensure that every citizen’s tax is reinvested in them through

responsible management, infrastructure projects, and various types of public services including educational, health and other improvement projects. We call it the “7K” program after the categories of programs and

San Juan City Mayor Guia G. Gomez

projects we implement -- about Family, Nature, Health, Hygiene, Economy, Peace and Prosperity (Kalinga sa Pamilya, Kalikasan, Kalusugan, Kalinisan, Kabuhayan, Katahimikan at Kaunlaran). Because of the planning sessions we conduct, our management is well-organized. It also strengthens the organization of each department, because everyone has a job and quality of their mission to unite in the fulfillment of local government goals. It also became the key to why San Juan City continues to receive recognition and awards in various branches of governance. Our receiving the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) from the Department of the Interior and Local

Government (DILG) is the result of our joint efforts, followed by other awards such as the eight awards from the National Nutrition Awards Committee, Seal of the Child Friendly Local Government from the DILG, and Gawad Kalasag Award for our excellent disaster preparedness and rescue programs. I am very grateful to all the recipients for our recognition and award. Each one’s cooperation has caused us to succeed in them, allowing us to surpass other local governments as well. But in every reward, we must also prepare for the challenge and responsibility. We must not stop, slow down, or be overcome by trials, because it is only the beginning of a higher level of service – higher than self, our own department or office, but one for the welfare of our beloved San Juaneños!


FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2018


‘SUPERBRAND’ MAYORS. Superbrands International, the so-called independent arbiter of branding, recently named several local government executives as the 2018 Most Outstanding Mayors in the awarding ceremony held at City Club Makati. They are (from left) Mayors Carmelo Villacete of Piat, Cagayan; Rolly Guiang of Sta. Marcela, Apayao; Eric Verzosa of Dasol, Pangasinan; Dr. Cezar Quiambao of Bayambang, Pangasinan; Edwin Santiago of San Fernando,Pampanga; Dino Reyes Chua of Noveleta, Cavite; Maynardo Sabili of Lipa City, Emmanuel Alejandrino of Arayat, Pampanga; Geronimo Cristobal Jr, of Norzagaray, Bulacan; Aimee Vistan-Casaje of Plaridel, Bulacan; Lani MercadoRevilla of Bacoor City; Olivier Dator of Lucban, Quezon; Ramil Rivera of Cabiao, Pangasinan; Ferdie Estrella of Baliuag, Bulacan and Celestino Marquez of Pandi, Bulacan.

Joy: Help drug addicts, don’t condemn them

By Rio N. Araja


S CHAIRPERSON of the Quezon City Anti-Drug Abuse Advisory Council, Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte on Friday called on residents to help drug addicts and pushers instead of “condemning” them.

Belmonte oversees the city government’s anti-drug campaign in partnership with the local police, barangays, religious groups and the private sector. “Instead of condemning them, we should help them,” she said. Through various seminars and counseling, the Office of the Vice Mayor is offering a crash course on baking for drug surrenderers. QCADAAC is implementing a community-based rehabilitation and treatment program for surrendering drug users—either a 15-session, communitybased rehabilitation, counseling, or a six-month rehabilitation in a facility, all at the expense of the local government. Belmonte said drugs and substance abusers could still be reformed through encouragement and support, both from their families and the government. She cited the case of two former drug users who were later hired as barangay watchmen under the council’s program. At least 1,296 ex-drug dependents have graduated from the city’s community-based drug rehabilitation and treatment program. “From being drug dependents, they

are now responsible citizens. They have chosen to take the right path. You see, you just have to give them a chance, an opportunity, to correct their mistakes,” she said. Meanwhile, the Quezon City Council has passed a resolution allowing a company to construct a parking area in their building in Barangay Socorro in deviation from restrictions posed by the city’s zoning ordinance. City Resolution 7432-2018, introduced by Councilors Oliviere T. Belmonte and Marvin C. Rillo, authorized the issuance of a Certificate of Exception to Silver Finance for the construction of a four-storey office building with penthouse along 14th Avenue in Barangay Socorro. The resolution allows the deviation from the restrictions of Ordinance 25022016, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance of 2016. “The applicant shall comply with the provisions of Ordinance 2582-2017 which mandates owners and developers of a building either condominium or office building seeking exemption from parking lot requirements to provide at

least a minimum of five percent of the total parking lot/space requirements pursuant to the QC Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance exclusively for the use of visitors, clients or customers,” the resolution read. “The proposed project will not adversely affect public health, safety and welfare and is in keeping with the general pattern of the development in the community,” it added.

PCCI PLUM. Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian receives a plaque of recognition from

Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Alegria Limjoco for his efforts in making Valenzuela one of the ‘Most Peaceful and Safest Spots in Southeast Asia.’The awarding was one of the highlights of the PCCI and associate business organization’s Second Joint General Membership Meeting held at the Centennial Hall of the Manila Hotel. Jun David

REBUILDING HEALTH CENTERS. BDO Foundation recently rehabilitated the Municipal Health Office of Pilar town in Capiz province, an initiative that is expected to benefit a catchment population of more than 46,000 people from 24 barangays (inset). The initiative is aimed at enabling health workers provide patient care more efficiently to their constituents, especially the underprivileged.

Free entrance today, QCX Museum says

VISITORS will get to enjoy the groundbreaking Quezon City Experience (QCX) Museum for free today, May 18, on the occasion of International Museum Day. QCX, the country’s newest and most modern local museum, announced free admissions to all visitors on Friday as it participates in the global event aimed at highlighting the role of museums in society. The museum is composed of 15 galleries that highlight Quezon City’s history and development through installations and interactive displays. It presents Quezon City’s momentous events from its founding by President Manuel L. Quezon to the current administration of Mayor Herbert M. Bautista when it became the country’s most progressive city. QCX head museum officer Michael A. Ogalinola said more Quezon City residents must visit the museum to know more about the city and its unique role it played in Philippine history. “Going to museums is part of being Filipino. Through the museums, we can understand the history of our communities, “ Oganinola said. International Museum Day was first organized in 1977 by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and has been celebrated worldwide every May 18.


FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2018


PASIG-MARIKINA CHANNEL. Minister Keiichi Ishii of Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), Ambassador Koji Haneda and Public Works Secretary Mark Villar recently attended the inauguration ceremony of the Pasig-Marikina River Channel Improvement Project Phase 3 in Pasig City. At the ceremony (inset), Secretary Villar expressed his gratitude to the Japanese government and said he is looking forward to Japan’s continued support for Phase 4 of the project. As a coastal lowland area, Metro Manila has suffered from serious flood damage. This project completed major works such as construction of revetment with river wall, dredging and construction of dikes by utilizing Japan’s disaster prevention technology at the Pasig-Marikina River. Combined with the project’s phase 1, where detailed designs of the following projects were developed, and its phase 2, which implemented 16.4 km of river improvement works, phase 3 of the project is expected to contribute to flood damage mitigation and sustainable urban economic development of the National Capital Region.

Davao poised to review city Investment Code after 5 years

By F. Pearl A. Gajunera


AVAO CITY—Mayor Sara Duterte and officials of Isla Lipana & Co. Inc. on Thursday signed a memorandum of agreement that will pave the way for the review of the Davao City Investment Incentive Code.

According to the agreement, Isla Lipana will act as a knowledge partner in updating the Investment Code by guiding the city government on the relevant information required in the study and process for evaluation and analysis. Duterte said she is hopeful the guidance that Isla Lipana would would result in fruitful outcomes for Davao’s business sector. “The investment guide was a great addition to the marketing collateral that we provide to our potential investors,” she said. The mayor also added that the review and updating is vital, given that the city’s investment code was last updated five years ago.

“It has been five years since the Code was updated and with the changing economic landscape and the many development projects being implemented in the city, we need to keep up and adapt to the trends,” she said. Lemuel Ortonio, chief of the Davao City Investment and Promotion Center (DCIPC), said the signing formalizes the partnership between the city and Isla Lipana, the Philippine member firm of renowned PricewaterhouseCoopers. The review will include the updating of preferred investment areas in Davao City and investment incentives that will be offered to potential businesses. Alexander B. Cabrera, Isla Lipana & Co. Inc. President and Senior Partner,

Bacolod’s growth spills over to other Negros Occ. cities BACOLOD CITY—The growth of Bacolod has spilled over to other cities in Negros Occidental, based on the big improvements in the competitiveness rankings of three component cities -- Bago, San Carlos and Kabankalan -- in 2017. This was the observation of Joselito Basilio, acting deputy director of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)-Department of Economic Research, during the BSP Conference on Gearing Up for External Competitiveness held at the Seda Capitol Central here on Tuesday. “I don’t exactly know their geographical locations, but it seems there’s a spillover in the sense that their jump (in the rankings) is really high. One of those three (referring to Bago City), jumped 45 steps up. So that’s a big jump,” he said. “This is precisely because the potential of the region (Western Visayas) is really high. More than the agriculture side, there is the industry and services side,” Basilio added. The rankings of the cities are based on the sum of their scores on four pillars: Economic Dynamism, Government Efficiency, Infrastructure, and Resiliency, as shown in the 2017 Cities and Municipalities Competitive Index. Among 145 cities, including 33 highlyurbanized and 112 component cities, Bacolod was in the 22nd spot. Kabankalan was in 62nd place; Bago, 67th; and San Carlos, 100th. However, in the 2017 Most Improved Rankings among component cities, Bago zoomed to number one after leaping 45 spots -- from 108th in the 2016 Rankings

to 63rd in the 2017 rankings. San Carlos placed sixth after placing 75th in 2017 from 101th in 2016, or up by 26 spots. Kabankalan, which was ranked 14th, improved by 14 places -- from 49th in 2016 to 35th in 2017. To the south, Bago is situated right next to Bacolod while Kabankalan is about two hours away. San Carlos is the northernmost city, but only about a two-hour drive from Bacolod via the Negros Translink Highway. The three cities are the only ones from Negros Occidental included in the top 15 of the most improved component cities list. Among highly-urbanized cities, Bacolod remained in the 20th spot in the past two years. Basilio said Bacolod can still grow further given its potentials. “You have the potential in terms of labor growth, employment, and human resource. You have good schools here,” he said, adding that one important growth factor is also science and technology. In his presentation, Basilio cited the strengths of Negros Occidental and Bacolod City, which include local economy size, growth and structure; education, health, information technology, and financial technology capacity; land use, early warning system, risk reduction plans; and employment. In Western Visayas, from 2015-2017, the three-year value-added growth per sector is 3.5 percent in agriculture, forestry and fishing; 9.7 percent in industry; and 7.5 percent in services. PNA

met with Ortonio in February 2017 to discuss the company’s proposal for two projects in the city: Building Better VisMin Investment Guidebook and the Review of the Davao City Investment Incentive Code. The review of the Davao City Investment Incentive Code is among the priority projects of DCIPC. Isla Lipana & Co. Inc., a member firm of the UK-based Pricewaterhouse Cooper (PwC) global network, provides a variety of services

such as audit and assurance, tax and advisory services within and outside the Philippines. It is involved in various industries engaged in consumer and industrial products and services, financial services, technology, information, communications and entertainment, other services and emerging enterprises. The Isla Lipana team consists of experienced professionals that include accountants, tax advisers, systems

analysts, economists, human resources professionals, project development managers, industrial engineers, and investment advisors. Duterte previously stressed the need to review the city’s Investment Code to spur investment and business climate. The review is expected to be completed by the end of the year or early next year. “Isla Lipana has already done an initial review based on the documents submitted,” Ortonio said.



FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2018

WB:... From 21 and globally competitive areas which can truly serve as engines of growth for the country,” it added. Such a framework, the discussion said, should include these key elements: (a) improving urban and metropolitan governance and management; (b) enhancing competitive-ness of urban regions; (c) alleviating urban poverty; (d) developing infrastructure; and (e) managing migration. The framework would call for a comprehensive set of actions and policies both at the national and local levels. National government plays a critical role in creating an incentive structure for local officials to improve the efficiency of urban service delivery, the WBG said. The priority actions at the national government level include: • Setting up performance standards and independent monitoring and ratings systems that permit benchmarking different urban local governments against national and international indicators, including, for example, services, regulation, licensing, land policy, environment regulations, public safety, tax policy, cultural opportunities, and trade logistics; • Revising intergovernmental fiscal transfer formula to promote regional equity with incentives for increasing LGU own source revenues. In the short run, while IRA formula is understandably difficult to change, the use of other source of fiscal transfers (such as the allocation of national government project or investment grants to LGUs) should be optimized to provide such incentives; • Fostering new forms of institutional management to govern the metropolitan regions and ensure much better interjurisdictional cooperation. Quite a wide range

MAKATI’S 46TH CENTENARIAN. Makati Mayor Abby Binay (second from right) poses with the city’s latest centenarian, Vicenta C. Nuestro of Barangay Palanan, while handing her a P100,000 check, bouquet of flowers, and a plaque of recognition at her residence. Also in photo are Vice Mayor Monique Lagdameo (left) and Councilor Michelle Bernal of Barangay Palanan (right). Nuestro is the 46th Makati centenarian to be recognized since the program started in 2012 through City Ordinance No. 2012-099.

of models used in other countries can be studied and adapted locally; • Revitalize and scale up national programs to upgrade and regularize slums, through provision of basic services and secure tenure to slum residents. Such improvement will increase community pride, reduce crime, and significantly reduce illness and child mortality. To be scaled up, the design of such a program should be constrained to fit within specific overall budget limits that are affordable for governments (both national and local) and program beneficiaries. • Reforming local government financing, to allow wider access by urban local governments to tap the capital market for infrastructure development. Key actions under the reform program include allowing selected private financial institutions to take deposits from LGUs, operationalizing the reform of MDFO, and further strengthening of the municipal bond market;

• Reform land administration and property registration to facilitate a functioning property market. • Institutionalizing, in coordination with local academia, training programs for urban local officials. A national certification program may be considered for urban management specialists (urban managers, urban planners, assessors, and others). Urban local governments across the country can also take actions to make their cities more competitive and livable. The priority actions to be taken at local level include: • Increasing accountability through wider citizen participation and transparency in public processes; • Increase local resource mobilization to meet financing gaps; • Develop and implement broadbased, participatory development strategies and plans for local economic development and poverty alleviation. Realistic land use plans supported by infrastructure develop-

ment should be formed and enforced in urban areas; • Adapting local institutional structure, including, for example, reducing municipal workforce, unbundling services to allow outside providers, and modernizing management structure. • Implement programs to upgrade and regularize all slums in the entire cities; • Improving the efficiency of local service delivery through coordinated capacity building of LGU officials, professionalization of local staff, and performance benchmarking among cities. • Marketing a city’s products nationally and globally by setting comprehensive marketing strategies. Nearly 18 years since this paper came out, the Philippines has yet to address most of these recommendations, even as the current administration is proposing a change to a federal form of government. It may be up to the country’s city governments to force the change that the Philippines deserves.

39.56 percent crime rate and 60.44 percent safety rate. The PCCI invited Mayor Binay to its special joint general membership meeting held last May 16 at the Manila Hotel, where Makati and four other Philippine cities that made it to the list were feted. Through a plaque of recognition presented to the mayor, the PCCI praised the city government for “exemplifying commendable initiatives towards good governance reforms that promote trade and investments, and significantly contribute to local economic development.” “We are glad that our continuing efforts to promote safe and sustainable communities are appreciated, especially by the PCCI whose members include Makati’s corporate citizens and industry leaders,” said Binay. She acknowledged the vital role of the business community as the city’s “steadfast partners for progress and development.” Last March, Binay also led the turnover of new disaster response vehicles and equipment to the two national agencies. The police received one Mobile Command vehicle and two rescue boats, while the fire bureau received one Mobile Command vehicle, a chemical fire truck, two rescue boats with one fire pump, 10 sets of mobile fire suppression equipment (motorcycles, protective helmets, portable foam compressors), and two extra foam compressors. The mayor said the continuing upgrade of the local police and fire agencies “aims to ensure that their systems and operations conform to international standards as befits the country’s financial center.” Aside from equipment turned over to the said agencies, other state-of-the-art equipment recently acquired by the city government include an aerial fire ladder which can extend up to 56 meters and reach the 18th floor of a high-rise building, a super tanker, an advanced emergency communication vehicle, two mobile command vehicles, chemical fire trucks, rescue boats, rescue trucks, and mobile kitchens. According to news reports, Numbeo based its report on a survey conducted on netizens who visited its website, They further quoted Numbeo stating that “crime index is an estimation of the overall crime in a given city or country, while safety index is the opposite of crime index. If the city has a high safety index, it is considered very safe.”

Manila Standard - 2018 May 18 - Friday  

The digital edition of Manila Standard: A nationally circulated newspaper published daily in the Philippines since February 1987.

Manila Standard - 2018 May 18 - Friday  

The digital edition of Manila Standard: A nationally circulated newspaper published daily in the Philippines since February 1987.