ORTIGOZA: We are screwed if they prevail

June 26, 2017 at 9:49 am Leave a comment

The acrimonious debate on the 1.2 hectares land donated to the local government of Dagupan City and the plan of the powers that be to relocate the new city hall at the PEZA (pssst, they call it Philippine Economics Zone Authority) approved growth area in Pantal-Lucao Road exposed the idiotic, the stupid, and the nuisance wannabe critics who opposed these development.
Some of their comments that proliferate on social media that pollute the minds of the gullible:
“The relocation of the city hall would financially burden the residents of Eastern Barangays like Tebeng, Tambac, Mangin, others”. “Motorized tricycle rides of those who have transaction with the officials at the city hall would be burdensome because of the perennially prohibitive charges by trike drivers”.
“Overcharging tricycle drivers for that almost two kilometers ride from the old city hall would surely punish Dagupenos?”
MY ANSWER: These scenarios could not happen because the new growth area, already approved by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), would give opportunity for the local government to pass a law for a new franchise for public utility jeep to have a new route from the old city to the new city hall and the new business establishments there vice versa.
“Even franchise of taxi just like in Iloilo City, Cagayan de Oro, Davao City, and Cebu City would be opened because of the additional stretch of business zones brought by the growth areas and the multiplier effects they bring.
One of the examples here is the 5,000 jobs to be offered by the Business Process Outsourcing-Information Technology (BPO-IT), the vaunted Sunshine Industry of the Philippines, in the next three years after these BPO-ITs put shops there,” I told recently my radio tandem Harold Barcelona.
The additional jeepney fares of those residents of the Eastern Villages in going to and from the new city hall and the commercial areas are minuscule price for the jobs and other economic opportunities for Dagupenos.
Moreover, the migration of the new city hall would decongest the decades long traffic snarl in the old city.
Critics also charges that Mayor Belen T. Fernandez and proponents would be subject to Anti-Graft & Corruption Acts (Republic Act 3019) complaint because the relocation of the city hall would be a windfall l for her kin because the lands around the periphery, the family bought decades ago, of the donated land would appreciate financially vis-à-vis the investors who want to buy a part of it.
I did not see any violation on the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Acts on the part of the mayor, whose brother Kerwin donated the 1.2 hectares as situs for the new city hall.
Here are some excerpts of RA 3019 that foes of the mayor discussed recently and would use in court in case they make true their threat.

“Section 3. Corrupt practices of public officers.
(e) Causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. This provision shall apply to officers and employees of offices or government corporations charged with the grant of licenses or permits or other concessions”.
MY ANSWER: Son of a gun, what undue injury? The one injured here was the brother of the mayor who donated out of benevolence his 1.2 hectares of land so we can have a presentable new city hall not the present barn- like rickety city edifice.
Damn it, he lost hundreds of millions of pesos because of his generosity.
Just imagine if nobody’s donated a land that would cost up to four hundred million pesos in prevailing market value, Dagupenos would be the one who would be in the disadvantage here because of reduced social services brought by the local government.
Why? The monies intended for them go to the amortization on the interest and principal of the P400 million or more loan from a government bank.
Moreover, why single out the mayor on the charges? She divested any of her pecuniary interest to the family corporation upon assumption in office as mayor.
Where’s common sense here you darned critics?
You’re just wasting time, effort, and even government resources in your anti-progress grandstanding.
“(g) Entering, on behalf of the Government, into any contract or transaction manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the same, whether or not the public officer profited or will profit thereby”.
MY ANSWER: The meeting of minds or contract between the city government and donor Kerwin Fernandez was not manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the local government, it’s the opposite My Dear Watson!
 The donation was manifestly and grossly ADVANTAGEOUS to the city government thus Kerwin and Mayor Belen should be given a medal for patriotism and altruism.
Moreover, why the fuss on the donation? No public fund was involved in the transaction. Involvement of government monies is one of the corpus delicti (body of the crime) of RA 3019
 After the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) has approved last June 17 the three growth centers in Dagupan City to be part of the more than 300 PEZA sanctioned areas and edifices all over the country, what we Dagupenos could expect from PEZA?
PEZA law, which was created during the administration of Fidel “El Tabako” Ramos in February 1995, gives both fiscal and non-fiscal incentives as well as ready-to-occupy business locations in world-class economic zones and IT parks or buildings to investors like BPO-IT.
According to an article “Why You Need to Seek PEZA-Accreditation ASAP”,  fiscal incentives include: income tax holiday for a certain number of years, which translates to 100% exemption from corporate income tax; tax and duty-free importation of raw materials, capital equipment, machinery and spare parts; exemption from wharfage dues and export tax, impost or fees; VAT zero-rating of local purchases subject to compliance with BIR and PEZA requirements; exemption from payment of any and all local government imposts, fees, licenses or taxes; and exemption from expanded withholding tax. Non-fiscal incentives, on the other hand include simplified import-export procedures, extended visa facilitation assistance to foreign nationals and spouses and dependents; special visa multiple entry privileges; and more.
With these come ons, the 5000 new jobs in three years Mayor Fernandez and the IT-Business Process Management executives projected in a summit held in Dagupan City last year could surely happen.
But in case the nuisance anti-progress critics of the mayor who have been rebuffed in their annual appropriation budget “heist”, er, procrastination in 2016, their gung-ho negative attitude on the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) and the zoning ordinance, and now their desperate opposition to the donation of lot and the construction of the city hall, then we are screwed in this city.
While the cities of Iloilo, Cebu, and others are relishing the benefits and perks brought by Adam Smith’s laissez faire (free enterprise, idiots!), we Dagupenos are kissing good bye the “New Wave Future Modern City” tagged by economists to us.
If these critics have their way out, they want to see us wallow in poverty like the Cubans or North Koreans, or they are just playing with that effing politics at our expense, sannamagan?
(You can read my selected columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at totomortz@yahoo.com)

Entry filed under: News.

EDITORIAL   Makatwiran ba ang planong paglipat ng Dagupan City Hall? MAGANES: Why all the fuss on Dagupan City’s CLUP and Zoning Ordinance?

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