Archive for December 26, 2010

LAST SALUTE



These young soldiers give their final salute to their mistah, Air Force Capt. Jojo Baya, who was buried at the Mapandan Cemetery last December 22. Baya, a member of the Philippine Military Academy(PMA) Mandala(Mandirigmang Dangal ng Lahi) Class of 2006, met an accident late October in Dagupan City and died last December 9 after almost two months in coma.CESAR RAMIREZ

December 26, 2010 at 1:46 pm 1 comment

Rosales folks slam soaring land taxes


By Mortz C. Ortigoza

ROSALES- The residents of this bustling town are planning to launch a rally after learning that the valuation of their lands skyrocketed to 500%.

With the 500% increased of the fair market value of their real property, they are obliged to pay 500% of the one (1) percent total assessed value of their land that they used to pay the treasurer here every year since 2003.

In a “Comparative Statement of Market Values and Unit Costs as Embodied in the Previous and New Schedule Showing Average Percentage Increase/Decrease for Each Class of Real Property” that was prepared by Elvira Untal and noted by Nestor Quimbao of the provincial assessor’s office, the market value of a first class residential land increased by 500% from its market values (MV) of P250,00 in 2003 to its 2011 MV of P1,500.

“The increases are just too much,” a local businessman said.

Beth Salazar, an Officer-1 of the Provincial Assessor said the meteoric rise of the valuation of the first class residential lands here apply only to the peripheries of giant retail store SM that put up a mall in the town two years ago.

The new schedule of the valuation shows that a second, third, and fourth class’s residential land have increase by 355%, 374%, and 233%, respectively.

Quimbao told this paper in a telephone interview that the Provincial Board, including Board Member Alfonso Bince who is a resident of this town, approved the hikes.

Atty. Verna Nava-Perez head of the secretariat of the SP told this paper that she could not give a copy of a draft resolution because it was the provincial assessor’s office which drafted it.

When asked to furnish this paper a copy, Salazar said she could not give a copy as it is not yet final as it can be amended by the members of the SP. She added that Governor Amado T. Espino has not yet signed it into law.

In the new schedule a third class industrial land increases by 173% from P550 MV in 2003 to P950 MV in 2011, a first class commercial land increase to 329% from P700 MV in 2003 to P3000 MV in 2011.

A hectare of a first and second classes irrigated land increases by 100% from P100, 000 and P90,000 MV in 2003 to P200,000 and P180,000 MV in 2011, respectively.

A hectare of first and second classes un-irrigated rice lands increase by 118% and 117% from P85,000 and P75,000 MV in 2003 to P185,000 and P162,380 MV in 2011, respectively.

A hectare of a first and second classes of corn Land increase by 151% and 144% from P68,000 and P63,000 MV in 2003 to P171,000 and P153,000, respectively.

A hectare of a second and third classes bamboo land increases by 294% and 367% from P32,000 and P21,000 MV in 2003 to P126,000 and P98,000 MV in 2011, respectively.

A hectare of a first class and second class poultry farm increase by 100% and 143% from P95,000 and P70,000 MV in 2003 to P190,000 and P170,000 MV in 2011, respectively.

Other lands that are covered by the increases of valuation are industrial, mineral, un-irrigated rice (Upland), tobacco, mango, cogon pasture, forest, orchard, fishpond (mudfish), and citrus.

According to Section 221 of the Local Government Code or Republic Act 7160 all assessments or reassessments made after the first (1st) day of January of any year shall take effect on the first (1st) day of January of the succeeding year.
Moreover, the same Code says that it is not only one (1) percent the province collects from every land owner but another one (1) percent will be collected that would go to the Special Education Fund.

December 26, 2010 at 1:42 pm Leave a comment

16 city applicants should meet P100M requirement – Braganza


By Mortz C. Ortigoza

ALAMINOS CITY – League of Cities of the Philippines Secretary General Hernani Braganza said that this city and the members of the LCP have diligently met the requirements for cityhood..

Braganza, the mayor of this city, deplored the bid for cityhood of 16 towns which skirted the requirement of P100 million annual local tax income that should be earned for two successive years before they qualify for cityhood.

He added that this requirement is on top of the other two qualifications of land area of 100 square kilometres and a population of 150,000 or more.

“We said we worked hard to be qualified as city. But the 16 new cities were approved by the Congress and Senate which we are questioning. For the record, we are not against the conversation of becoming a city,” he stressed.

The bid of the 16 towns caused uproar among the LCP because it would gnaw from their share from the Internal Revenue Allotment from the national government.

Braganza said that a favorable decision of the Supreme Court to the motion for reconsideration of these towns last August would bleed this coastal city by P13 million of lost revenue from IRA every year.

“In the case of Makati (City) almost a hundred of million ang mawawala. Ang Palawan malaki rin mawawala. Kaya uma-angal din sila.”

Dagupan City fears to lose P18 to P20 million a year.

The cityhood bid of these towns was a roller coaster ride for the LCP after the high tribunal favoured their appeal to be snatched later after the 16 towns filed a motion for reconsideration.

After former president Gloria Arroyo signed into law the conversion of the 16 towns in 2007, the Supreme Court nullified the laws that granted their cityhood on December 29, 2009.

Last August 24, the high tribunal issued a “final decision” revoking the cityhood status of the towns. But the adamant mayors of these municipalities filed another motion for reconsideration through lawyer Estelito Mendoza.

“So we are just waiting for the decision. Ang prayer ng LCP ngayon kung pu-puedi ay itung decision is final already. Kasi the first time ang League of Cities granted, itung pagiging ciudad ng labing anim, e the final decision was rendered purportedly na nag-execute na ang decision ma-implement na iyung decision tapos biglang nagbago. M.R, M.R (Motion for Reconsideration) nagkaka-gulo,” he said.

The 16 towns and their respective income are: Batac, Ilocos Norte (P43.9 million); Baybay, Leyte, (P17.1 million); Bayugan, Agusan del Sur (P16.9 million); Bogo, Cebu (P24.9 million); Borongan, Eastern Samar (P15.7 million); Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte (P13.7 million); Carcar, Cebu (P21.6 million); Catbalogan, Samar (P29.9 million); El Salvador, Misamis Oriental (P17.4 million); Guihulngan, Negros Oriental (P9.4 million); Lamitan, Basilan (P7.5 million); Mati, Davao Oriental (P36.7 million); Naga, Cebu (P56 million); Tabuk, Kalinga (P13.5 million); Tandag, Surigao del Sur (P15.1 million), and Tayabas, Quezon (P29.1 million).

December 26, 2010 at 1:36 pm Leave a comment

Manny Pangilinan’s TV5 to put shop in Dagupan



TV5’s Top Brass:(from L-R): Raul Dela Cruz, Provincial Operations Head; Bobby Barreiro, EVP AND COO and Percival Intalan, Entertainment and Creative Production Head

December 26, 2010 at 1:35 pm 3 comments

TV5: The new kid in town


GMA-7 and ABS-CBN TVs move aside! The juggernaut TV-5 is coming in Northern Luzon to give both of you a run of your monies.

Recently, the gods of Manny Pangilinan’s MediaQuest that operates TV5 descended in the Bangus Capital of the World Dagupan City by meeting selected media men at the conference room of Lenox Hotel.

Mr. Robert “Bobby” Barreiro, Executive Vice President and the network’s Chief Operation Officer, told us that within the first quarter of 2011 they would be constructing somewhere at the new De Venecia Highwaya P30 million worth of studio and modern transmitter. He said that this amount is part of the company’s P5 billion expansion next year to buttress the company’s race to programming, infrastructure, and technological superiority.
He said that they are innovating by tapping state- of- the- art technologies like cameras that used sim card-liked chips to send its signal, microwave technology, and wireless camera.
According to Wikipidia, by the last quarter of 2011, MediaQuest would be using digital technology as mandated by an order from the National Telecommunication Commission that all boob-tube networks should have ended their analog broadcast on December 31, 2015.
According to the press release given to us at Lenox, other improvements to be introduced by TV5 are the used of Metra. It is a global leader in timely and accurate weather reporting system, and the Lifeline Rescue for an emergency quick response (EQR) system that will allow TV5 to assist Filipinos in need anywhere in the country.
It says there too, that it gears to go mobile and online. It would be the first local website to use adaptive rate streaming. At the same time, it would have an online page that visitors will enjoy less buffering and downloading for videos. It added that TV5 will be online by the first quarter of 2011, with a catch-up TV and video on demand (VOD) being uploaded on the TV5 website.
***
While inside the van that ferried us to TV-5’s Willing Willy lived-airing in Lingayen, I asked Mr. Raul de la Cruz, Provincial Operations Head, why they preferred Dagupan instead of Baguio City as their hub in Northern Luzon where it has already a functional transmitter there. He told me the comparative advantage of Dagupan as compared to the Summer Capital. He said the city is not only the financial centre but a media centre of Northern Luzon. He said the management saw the pecuniary opportunities that can be given by the huge burgeoning Pangasinan Province and her easily accessible surrounding and bustling provinces Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, and La Union. Not to mention the province of Benguet and the two Ilocos provinces that would be recipients of TV5’s signals.
I told him that his observation was similar to what the management of provincial newspaper Sun Star has seen as it wants to resurrect its daily tabloid. Sun Star saw the bullish environment of Pangasinan after SM Prime Holding Incorporation opened a branch in Rosales, and another branch in Dagupan City. Notwithstanding Robinsons opening next September a sprawling mall branch in Calasiao town.
According to the paper’s former manager, Sun Stars “drools” on what the stall holders that sell branded product of these mammoth malls could offer to the tabloid.
Moreover, the press release stated that last December 8 and 10, Willing Willy landed number one at the expense of rival shows ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol and GMA-7’s 24 Oras.
But what is this?! Susmariosep, my blogger – friend Simon Francis Blaise Vistro wrote in his whatsupdagupan.blogspot.com that the December 18 airing of Willing Willie( that was gobbled by an estimated, believe it or not, record breaking 100 thousand spectators) ricocheted to 37% rating that stumped six feet below the ground temporarily its two rival TV programs.
When I told Mr.de la Cruz that Willing Willie has not only been giving a lot of scare in the rating wars with GMA-7 “24-Oras” and ABS-CBN “TV Patrol”, but threatened them with the vaunted Face-to-Face hosted by Amy Perez.
He said TV-5 wants to be different with its rivals. It wants to put an alternative show to the viewers of prime time news of “TV Patrol” and “24 Oras”. On Amy’s Face- to- Face, it does not only broadcast the acrimonious rifts that sometimes become physical but show to it that after emotions died down both parties are amicably settled.
“Mi mga pari, abugado, psychologist duun,” he quipped.
“So that what made the show ticks compared to Jerry Springer and his jolting stunt of breast-barring female spectators,” I told myself.
***
Oh by the way, hi to the passionate PR women of TV5 Judy Magdame and Lhot Ortega. Lhot told me they are under the PR Team of Peachy Guioguio. To Willing Willie’s pretty lasses and kasimanwas Miss Lovely “Ikay” Abella and Aprilyn “Congratulation!” Gustillo: O, wala na kamo mahambal sa akon. Ari na kamo karon sa internet. Mabasahan na gid kamo ni Manny “Midas Touch” Pangilinan.
***
Elected officials of Dagupan City should gather their acts together otherwise neighbouring city Urdaneta would dust them off to oblivion. Why? My Golly, if you saw the published ordinance in this paper that Urdaneta is all system goes to meet 2011 with its vaunted P652, 645,824.50 city budgets.

Susmariosep, that’s P84, 645,824 bigger than the P568 million the City Hall of Dagupan prepared. But it seems the Bangus Capital of the world will be meeting 2011 with a thud since its politicized and vindictive opposition-led Sangguniang Panglungsod relishes to see its executive counterpart plunge into the morass short by P40 to P50 million as it operates with a short-changed 2010 re-enacted budget.
***
If the P652, 645,824.50 annual budget of Urdaneta City is her upside story, the idiocy of the members of her council is her downside story.
Why? Its vice mayor and some of its dads decried why they were obliged by the Bureau of Internal Revenue to pay the 5 % withholding tax that suppliers of their campaign materials should supposedly pay the tax bureau.

Jesus Christ my Lord and Savoir, because that was what the law says.

Because that was what BIR Regulations 8-2009 says when the BIR sent them letters through the Commission on Election making all candidates withholding agents.

Because that was what the taxman said when he incessantly repeated on TV and radio broadcasts before the May 2010 national and local elections.

These city dads should have been the first one to know – compared to us “ordinary mortals”- because they are made by law as lawmaker.

Now they are called as lawbreakers because they would be penalized by the 25-percent surcharge and 20-percent monthly penalty for late remittance from the time they were required to pay what they are mandated to do. And I am not talking here yet about their criminal liabilities as tax evader.

They should remember what grade school pupils are taught: “Ignorance of the law excuses no one”. This if they could not understand what college students are taught on the meaning of “Dura lex sid Lex” It means “the law is harsh but it is the law,!”
(Send comment to totomortz@yahoo.com)

December 26, 2010 at 1:12 pm Leave a comment


December 26, 2010 at 1:03 pm Leave a comment

‘Tis the season of gift giving?



Whoever invented the celebration of Christmas and the mythical Sta. Claus could have been laughing out with gusto?

Christmas celebration is no longer the way it should be eons ago when the celebration was focused on the birth of Christ, the savior of the human race. Although, its origin is still bleak as of now, Christmas is becoming a worldwide celebration sparked with too much commercialism and partying among people. The real essence of Christ’s birth is being sidetracked or sidelined, and already replaced with Sta. Claus and the unending gift-giving.

Who would not be glad and happy to receive a gift? Who would not enjoy eating sumptuous food? Who would not be enjoying the benefits of a bonus and a 13th month pay? These are the materials that are worth looking forward to. Materialism through massive commercialization from businessmen makes the celebration devoid of spirituality.

All right, we go to the malls. What you will see are the decors, photos and even statues of a big fat man clad in red and white known as Sta. Claus. Over the air lanes, we will hear music associated with Christmas carols but when we go deeply to their lyrics are not even applicable to the Philippine settings. Who would not be amused hearing lines such as “ Dashing through the snow…(Jingle Bells), ” “may tatlong haring nagsidalaw..( Ang Pasko ay Sumapit), “ and out of the world lyrics that instead of stirring the minds for better understanding the Christmas season are enticing us to be more materialistic.

Catholics, “born-again Christians” and other Christian religions are having their feasts on the coming of the season. Of course, the Catholics in the Philippines have their 9-day novena called the “Simbang Gabi” which will culminate on the alleged “birthday of Christ” on the 24th of December. The “born-again” Christians who are known to be Biblically fundamentalists are also joining the frays. They have also their Christmas celebration, gift giving and parties. But then, what is the real essence of Christmas.

I am not adept on the Bible or claimed to be an authority, but this Christmas celebration reckoned from the gospels of the New Testament particularly St. Matthew and St. Luke. The latter vividly described the birth of Christ, from the trip of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem where they will register during the Roman Empire’s census of population to the birth of Christ wrapped in a swaddling cloth in a manger and the visit of three “magis” or wise men (not three Kings as claimed by many).

It was a birth associated with many pragmatic views. Was Christ really born in a manger? Was it on December 25 ? Pragmatists on religion claimed otherwise. They said that Christ as a King could have not been born in a manger or in the month of December, being a wintry month in Israel and Palestine. December 25 has been claimed as the birth of Saturno, a Roman god, which through the years due to the mixture of pagan and Christian practices evolved as the birth of Christ.

But why are we that concerned about Christmas? Jesus Christ when he was still on earth never celebrated His birthday. There was no recorded birthday celebration in the Bible, not even His apostles and disciples celebrated such during their time. The ever recorded birthday celebration was that of Herodes which claimed the head of John the Baptist as the gift to Herodias. Don’t you think, Christ deliberately did not celebrate his birthday because later on in His ministry, He has to tell people “You must be born again”. Don’t you think what Christ’s in mind is not a physical birth but a spiritual birth designed to make people back to the “Godhead”?

The issues of religion, belief and faith are debatable. Those will depend on how strong our faith and belief should be.

Christmas? So be it. Gift giving? Receive if someone will give one to you, and give also to your heart’s desire. “Tis a reason to enjoy life too. After a rigorous year of working, we deserve to have a relief from it.

“Christmas” could be the best time for it.

(for comments, email me at emperorvirgil@yahoo.com)

December 26, 2010 at 12:48 pm Leave a comment

Livelihood training center to rise in Villasis


By Virgilio Sar. Maganes

VILLASIS- Former 5th District Rep. Mark O. Cojuangco led the ground breaking of the Livelihood Training Center Building at Barraca village here on December 15.

Cojuangco was joined by Mayor Libradita G. Abrenica, Vice Mayor Centenielo Rizal R. Costales. Councilors Roderick Emmanuel R. Mina, Arvin B. Castro, Rolando Morden, Cheryl Zarate-Tan, Nicholi Louie Q. Sison, Paz Sison-Rafanan, Rosario Lopez-Limos and former Mayor Nonato S. Abrenica.

Mayor Abrenica expressed her profound gratitude Cojuangco and his wife, incumbent 5th District Rep. Kimi S. Cojuangco for the fruition of the project which was just a “ dream” during the election campaign in May 2010 elections.

“The livelihood training center was conceptualized by Mayor Nato (Abrenica) and Congressman Mark (Cojuangco) during their last terms in office and we will just implement it with Rep. Kimi,” Mayor Abrenica said.

She said that the building, once completed, will have training rooms and facilities where Villasis residents will be trained to enable them to start their livelihood projects or to seek employment.

“There will be skills training on welding, food processing, automotive mechanic and other skills demanded by the labor market. I am requesting the DepEd to assist us in designing training curriculum for the various skills together with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). Kayang –kaya natin kung sama-sama, “ she told the audience composed of school heads, barangay officials and municipal department heads and employees.

The proposed two-storey livelihood training center will have a total floor area of 442 sq. meters and will cost P6.14 million. Its construction will start in late January 2011 and is scheduled to be completed in six months.

It will be constructed within the 1.418 hectares Agri-Industrial Complex which will also be the future sites of the town’s warehouse for farmers’ farm products and drying facilities, motor pool for farm equipment and machineries and seedling bank (nursery).

Cojuangco lauded the leaderships of former Mayor Abrenica and his wife Mayor Dita for their acceptance of his projects.

“ It will be easy to provide help if the leaders have their open minds and hearts to accept projects that will be established in the towns. I have seen this in Mayor Nato and now Mayor Dita. A political leader is only a catalyst for change. He will give his best efforts for change, however, real change will start from the people themselves,” he said.

Cojuangco further said that aside from the Livelihood Training Center, a 4,000 sq. meters “ Bodega ng Bayan” (warehouse) will also be established to be used to store farm products of the farmers especially when prices are low. The warehouse, he said, will also be complemented with drying facilities, farm equipment and transport facilities to increase the income of farmers.

“I found no reasons why these projects will not succeed. It is up to the people themselves to make the facilities successful. The people should participate in these kinds of endeavors. The funds to be used in these projects are from your share from the tobacco excise tax. These are your money. We are only the stewards of the funds,” he said.

A total of more or less P300 million is the share of the town from the tobacco excise tax.

It will be recalled that Cojuangco was among the six representatives of the province together with Abono Partylist who lobbied for the release of the tobacco excise tax from then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo after it was shelved for 10 years.

December 26, 2010 at 12:47 pm Leave a comment


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