Archive for December, 2010

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)

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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

SIMBANG GABI


Catholics employees join provincial government officials in Pangasinan led by Gov. Amado Espino,Jr. in attending the first of the 9-day Simbang Gabi celebration infront of the provincial capitol building in Lingayen last December 15. The other photos shows Archbishop Socrates Villegas of the Lingayen-Dagupan Archdiocese blesse Espino and Mrs. Priscilla Espino..CESAR RAMIREZ

December 22, 2010 at 8:09 pm Leave a comment

City dads lament the 5% poll expenses tax


By Virgilio Sar. Maganes

URDANETA CITY- After seven months after the May 2010 elections, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is still running after vice mayor and members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) who have not remitted their 5% withholding tax collections from their electoral expenses.

The officials received a letter from the BIR demanding them to remit their collections which have already accumulated 20% interests , surcharges, penalty for late filing and 3% penalty on late payment. Collections range from P6,000 to P20,000 from each of the city officials who ran for elections in May 2010.

“ Why are we obliged to pay the 5% withholding tax from our election expenses when these are supposed to be the responsibilities of the suppliers and donors?” Vice Mayor Onofre Gorospe questioned BIR Representative Florentino U. Das during their session last December 13 at the Session Room of the New City Hall at Anonas village here.

Das explained that what their office is invoking is the compliance of the elected officials of BIR Memorandum Circular 35-2009 in which candidates in the May 2010 elections were deemed designated as withholding agents.

In the said circular, the candidates being designated as withholding agents should deduct outright the 5% withholding tax from suppliers before paying their bills and the same shall be remitted to the BIR.

He further said that public consultations among candidates prior to the elections were conducted, but then they received no negative reactions from them.

City Legal Officer Dionisio Antiniw, who was also present during the session said that the suppliers should shoulder the 5% withholding tax on electoral expenses and not the candidates.

Councilor Jennylin Sison queried as to what will be the percussions and effects on them if they will not comply with the BIR letter/notice, Das said that they will be considered as delinquent taxpayers and the penalties and interests will accumulate.

Having not reached an amicable decision on that regard, Gorospe requested copies of circulars and memoranda on the issue from the BIR.

Das, on the other hand, requested the SP to put in writing whatever dissensions they have on the imposition of the circulars, so that the main office of the BIR could give its opinion on the matter.

Meanwhile, the SP approved unanimously a resolution granting authority to Mayor Amadeo Gregorio “Bobom” Perez IV to execute, sign and deliver the deed of exchange between the city government and the Fernandez clan for the swapping of 65.45 sq. meters property of the latter to the 80 sq. meters property of the city government for the use in the construction of the city’s overpass.

The remainder of the land area, as a result of the swapping, will be paid by he Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to the City of Urdaneta.

December 22, 2010 at 8:04 pm Leave a comment

Bani taps sun, wind for power


By Yolanda Sotelo

BANI – This western Pangasinan town is harnessing the power of the wind and the sun for its electrical power need, as a part of the town’s dream to become a Green City by 2020

Mayor Marcelo Navarro said the agricultural town initially wanted windmills for its power needs, but a 6-month test in an area facing the South China Sea proved that the wind velocity was not constant – strong at night but weak at daytime.

“Given this situation, the Japanese company made adjustments in such a way that at night, the windmills will be used, while at daytime, the solar power takes over,” Navarro said.

The local government has proposed 60-hectare area for the project and Mecaro Rio Vista Energy Corporation (MOREnergy) is looking for a ten-hectare area in the site where it would be best to put the solar panels, according to Michiaki Yuda, president of MOREnergy which is providing the technology and development of the project.

The company will start the establishment of the power plant, which costs $10 million, in January next year and will be operational after six months, he said.

Yuda said the initial cost is big but the plant can last up to 25 years. “Besides we really need to seek renewable energy,” he said.

He explained that the company will be using nano technology (defined by Center for Responsible Technology website as engineering of functional systems at the molecular scale), the most modern technology in power generation.

The company will also use Spiral Magnus wind turbine, a system that rotates with cylinders which have spiral-shaped fins coiled around instead of common propeller-type blades.

Yuda said it will be an 80-20 ratio for the sun and wind, with the sun producing 80 percent and the wind producing 20 percent of the power to be generated by the plant.

“We will generate 5 megawatt, initially,” he said.

Navarro said the old windmills like those used in Bangui , Ilocos Norte, were 60 meters high and of heavy materials, but the ones to be put up in Bani are only 12-20 meters high and are made of light materials.

Another plan of this town as its source of green energy is biomass-fueled co-generator plant. Feasibility study has been undertaken on the use of biomass for electrical power plant in the town. It will use rice hull and hay to run the turbines connected to a generator that can produce 15 megawatts of power.

Navarro said data gathered of rice hull and hay in Pangasinan first district showed that these were enough to run the biomass power plant.

“What’s good about biomass co-generator plant is that it won’t produce carbon dioxide that contributes to global warming,” Navarro said.

The project has two other components—palay driers which will use the hot air from the generator and which has a capacity of 500 metric tons a day, and a rice mill which also has a capacity of 500 metric tons daily.

The biomass-fueled co-generator plant project however, is still waiting for investors, he said.

December 22, 2010 at 7:54 pm Leave a comment

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