Archive for October, 2011
By Virgilio Sar. Maganes
ROSALES- Unless the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) entered into by the SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SMPHI), Hausland Development Corporation (HDC) and this town represented by Mayor Ricardo V. Revita is ratified by the Sangguniang Bayan (SB), the operation of SM City Transport Terminal is illegal.
This was bared by Councilor Mark Anthony R. Yu to the Northern Watch when interviewed last October 20 during the Sangguniang Bayan’s regular session here.
He said that the SB could not ratify the MOA because it was unconstitutional due to the provision of exclusivity rights in favor to the terminal operator.
This was Yu’s reaction to the letter dated October 18 of SM Mall Manager Jersey Y. Mendoza and SM Regional Operations Manager Cesar P. Bondoc reminding the SB that “ within 45 days from the execution of the MOA, (Rosales) shall promulgate the necessary and appropriate Sangguniang Bayan resolution/s ratifying said execution.”
The 45 days ratification period has already lapsed.
The said letter also stated that prior to the establishment of the town’s traffic management code, the SB shall formally declare that the location of the Carmen Rosales Central Transport Terminal (CRCCT) will be in SM Rosales.
“We have to craft a new MOA which is beneficial to the public and in consonance with the existing laws. The traffic management code is general in nature and will not affect at all the operation of SM City Public Transport Terminal,” said Yu.
Councilor Yu cited Memorandum Circular Nos. 2011-150 and 2011-151 dated October 12 from Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo which reiterated the guidelines in the establishment and operation of public transport terminals.
Memorandum Order 2011-150 stated that “LGUs blatantly disregarded said issuance (DILG-DOTC Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1, s. 2008) through the commission of any or all of the following acts: compelling vehicles merely passing through to use the public transport terminals established or designated by the LGUs and imposing fees thereon; closing down existing private terminals or curtailing the operation of said terminals for the purpose of using public transport terminals established or designated by the LGUs; and the LGUs failure to observe policies, standards and limitations on the establishment and operation of public transport terminals.”
On the other hand, Memorandum Order No. 2011-151 suspends the LGU imposition and collection of illegal fees and taxes and directing all local chief executives to “ refrain from enforcing any existing ordinance authorizing the levy of fees and taxes on inter-province transport of goods, regulatory fees from passengers in local ports, and other additional taxes, fees or charges in any form upon transporting goods and passengers; and cause the immediate repeal of the ordinance imposing the above cited fees and taxes.”
It will be recalled that on April 29 2011, SM Prime Holdings, Inc., the Municipal Government of Rosales and HDC entered into a MOA wherein rights to operate the CRCTT was transferred and conveyed by HDC to SM City in the amount of P56 million to be operational within 17 years and to be renewed for another 10 years.
The CRCTT, however, was not operated by SM Prime Holdings, Inc. Instead, it established a new transport terminal in front of the SM City Rosales where fees from transport groups are being collected.
The CRCTT was established with the intention of regulating the flow of traffic and centralizing all transportation terminals in one exclusive transportation facility within the territorial jurisdiction of Rosales.
Last week, I was surprised to hear over the radio that armed men mercilessly killed three teenagers who are third year high school students of Balungao National High School after coming from a vigil in San Raymundo village of Balungao. They were so young who were full of dreams. But those dreams have been shattered by the diabolic acts of persons who have no high respect on human lives.
The culprits were arrested but incessantly denied their participation in the killing spree in spite of a lone witness – another teenager in company of those killed but survived. What was disgusting is the participation of a police officer that is supposed to be a protector of innocent civilians. What drove them to do that dastardly act is still a mystery. Why kill those helpless teenagers who could not even retaliate to the fiery bullets coming from high-powered guns? Was the killing a vendetta? It was one of those being eyed as reasons by the investigating police officers. If then, why don’t those killers look for the persons they wanted to avenge with?
The crimes in Pangasinan are rising. That is real. If you go to Philippine National Police (PNP) offices in every town and look at their records, crimes have indeed increased. The situation cited earlier was only among those crimes against persons that is giving shivers down the spine of ordinary citizen. How about crimes against properties? We often hear carnapping. We even heard that even electrical lines festooned along streets and highways are stolen. How about other drug related crimes that oftentimes lead to the summary execution of the suspected pushers and users? Do our police authorities not avert these kinds of crimes? How about us citizenry? Do we just close our eyes to these and let the police elements do their work?
The enforcement of peace and order is not only the responsibility of policemen and other law enforcing agencies. We the ordinary citizens have to do our part. We should also do our reciprocal commitment and cooperation in combating crimes in the neighborhood. We should serve as watchdogs and be brave enough to work with police officers in crime prevention and the enforcement of peace and order.
The reason why crime prevention is not working in our communities is the fear of reprisal from criminals. At most, people are cowed. They don’t want to come out as witnesses. They fear for their lives including the lives of the members of their families because sometimes the government has no real program on witness protection. Another factor is the “bata-bata” system that when those involved are close to the politicians, the perpetrators of crimes have always the confidence to do their dastardly motives- be it killing innocent people or stealing properties of others. Sometimes, our justice system does not work well also. Because of the “due process of law,” this is being abused not only by lawyers but also the state prosecutors or even judges in delaying the delivery of justice.
While I said that reciprocal commitment is needed from the citizenry, there is also a need for police authorities to improve their community relations. Prosecution must be speedily dispensed and judges must also be wary of lawyers’ tactics of dragging and postponing case hearings.
Speaking of police community relations, the best allies for the prevention of crimes are the barangay officials including the barangay tanods. These force multipliers must be properly trained. They should be taught on proper handling of cases and on how to arrest erring persons. But sometimes, barangay officials are not even aware of simple human rights. They are not also aware of the demarcation line between law enforcement and their duties and responsibilities.
This government must also keep track of loose firearms. How many times I’ve witnessed that even barangay captains and tanods have in their possessions loose firearms? How many times I’ve seen ordinary citizens have their guns tucked on their waists without licenses and proper permits from the authorities?
Good relationship between police authorities and the citizenry, I believe, will boost our quest for peaceful communities.
And you must also do your share.
(For comments, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
By Virgilio Sar. Maganes
VILLASIS- In support to the agricultural sector and to enhance productivity of the different barangays of this town, 20 units Kubota mini-tractors (small farm tractors) with trailers were turned over to village heads by Mayor Libradita G. Abrenica last October 17 at the Agricultural Center, Barrca village here.
Abrenica said the small farm tractors are intended for public services only. However, these could be rented out to farmers on a short-term basis provided that all expenses will be shouldered by the private user.
“If used improperly and not in consonance with what we agreed upon, I will pull out the units from you, but of course with proper notice,” Abrenica told the village heads.
She said the units could also be pulled out from the barangays if the municipal government needs them for development operations.
Prior to the turn over, village heads signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) which stipulates the duties of the municipality as well as the barangay councils of the 21 barangays.
Through its designated farm operation manager, the municipal government shall monitor/inspect the units if they are properly used, provide general check up and change oil every three months. Cost of motor oil and filters will be shouldered by the barangays.
The barangays, on the other hand, shall have full responsibility in safekeeping the small farm tractors and shoulder the expenses for drivers, diesoline and their regular maintenance.
“This small farm tractor will be of great help to us in the barangay. We could use it for the hauling of farm products from our barangay to the market center,” said Daniel Ogana, village head of La Paz.
Alex Sison, village head of Zone I (Poblacion) said that the tractor and the trailer would be used in hauling wastes and garbage within his barangay.
“Collection of garbage will now be easier for us,” Sison further said.
The small farm tractors were funded out of the tobacco excise tax share of the town under former 5th District Rep. Mark O. Cojuangco.
Each unit including the trailer costs more or less P300,000.
CAMP BGEN OSCAR M FLORENDO — The Region 1 police formed Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) “Dela Cruz” to conduct an in-depth investigation of a shooting incident that led to the death of the village chief of Barangay Mestizo, San Carlos City, Pangasinan last October 20.
A report reaching the Police Regional Office 1 (PRO1) headquarters disclosed that the victim, identified as Abraham dela Cruz, a resident and Acting Barangay Captain of said place, was on his way home when unidentified suspects riding in tandem aboard a motorcycle shot him near his house at about 10 o’clock in the morning.
The suspects escaped after the incident, passing the barangays of San Juan, Baldog, Talang and Aponit, all in San Carlos City.
A hot pursuit operation was conducted following information that a certain Ramon Yanes, a Barangay Kagawad of Barangay Balaoac of said city, was one of the assailants. When approached by police officers to be invited for questioning, Yanes was found to be in possession of a caliber .45 pistol. Failing to present any document to legally possess said firearm, Yanes was put under arrest.
Also confiscated from Yanes along with the caliber .45 pistol were seven (7) live ammunition, two (2) magazines with seven (7) live ammunition, nine (9) live ammunition for M14 rifle, a camouflage pouch and a camouflage jacket.
Yanes, who denied participation in the killing, was subjected to paraffin testing and the confiscated firearm was also subjected to ballistics examination and cross-matching. He will be included in a police line-up for possible identification by witnesses.
Records show that Yanes has been the subject of several operations and investigation for his alleged involvement in gun-for-hire activities.
A case for violation of Republic Act 8294 is being readied against Yanes for illegal possession of firearm and ammunition.
By Venus H. Sarmiento
DAGUPAN CITY, 25 Oct – More and more Pangasinenses and Ilocanos are having jobs as employment rate in the region reached 91.9 percent in a survey conducted by the National Statistics Office.
Statistician Edgar Norberte said the quarterly survey for the labor force is still on-going but the July 2010 data are more or less the same as the 2011 data on employment.
Norberte said the concept of employment in their surveys are those working in the 15 to 65 year old age bracket and includes people working for at least one hour a day.
“Kahit isang oras ka lang nagtatrabaho sa loob ng isang araw, considered employed ka,” Norberte clarified during the ‘Pantongtongan Tayo’ radio program of the Philippine Information Agency aired over Radyo ng Bayan-Dagupan Tuesday.
No data, however, were given as to the percentage of employment per province.
He said the labor force survey is essential for government agencies and even local government units because the results will serve as the basis for planning of government programs.
It is one of the major surveys being spearheaded by NSO today plus two ride- on surveys: survey on overseas Filipinos and survey on children aged 5 -17.
Norberte appealed to home owners to cooperate with the enumerators or field interviewers once they are chosen as respondents. He said the surveys being undertaken are bounded by confidentiality, thus the human rights of the respondents are not violated.(PIA-Pangasinan)