CORTEZ: Calamity in Kalibo

June 12, 2018 at 8:07 am Leave a comment


(This is a privilege speech delivered by Kalibo Sanguniang Bayan Member Juris Sucro on June 7, 2018 at the Sangguniang Bayan Session Hall)

I take this privilege to express my deep concern on how Kalibo would be able to face the challenge it is now facing one month after the closure of Boracay and its being declared under a state of calamity by President Rodrigo Duterte.

brando-maso

 KALIBO is the gateway to Boracay and other parts of Aklan. As per records of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, the Kalibo International Airport had a toal of 14 domestic flights per day and 34 international flight per day.

Ang daming biyahe…ano po? Hindi ganyan sa ibang provincial airports!

 KALIBO is the center of business and financial transactions in Aklan as evidenced by the number of banks in the area.

 Magbanggit kayo ng banko sa Manila at sasabihin niyo sa akin na meron branch dito yan.

 KALIBO is the nerve center of the provincial economy that supports the essential needs and economic requirements of Boracay as a tourist haven. Obvious ba?

KALIBO is host to the seat of the provincial government who dispenses with public goods and services for all local government units. Nandiyan lang po ang Capitol.

KALIBO is the educational center of Aklan. Nandito rin po ang maraming schools colleges and universities ng probinsiya…kaya naman ang daming collegiala o!

KALIBO is an example of how a munisipyo, its people and its economy are experiencing the negative effects of the closure of an island far to its north.

The impact of the closure of Boracay was immediately felt at the Kalibo International Airport.

If the Kalibo International Airport was one of the busiest airports in the country before the closure of Boracay, now there are no international flights going in and out of its runways.

Sad to say, there are only three planes that land and leave the airport on any given day.

 Kumusta na kaya si Manong Charlie at iba pang porters sa airport? Saan kaya sila kukuha ng dagdag na kita para mapakain ng sapat ang kanilang mga anak?

In terms of revenues, let me share this information with you.

According to CAAP, in March of this year, a total of P247,000 was collected as terminal fees for domestic flights but for the month of May, the collection went down to a measly P9,400.

Ang laki ng perang nawala ano po?

Terminal fess for March for international flights amounted to P60,611,000 and for month of May…ZERO.

 Kasi cancelled ang international flights.

Can we now imagine how much government will lose in terms of revenues in the form of terminal fees for the next five months?

If the average terminal fees collected is P60 million per month… then a six-month closure of the kalibo International Airport to international flights means losses of about P360 million.

How much of the P360 million would have gone to the provincial government as its share to augment its funds for social protection?

How much of the P360 million would have gone to the local government of Kalibo sa additional funds for health and social services?

For the Fiscal Year 2018, our budget is based revenue projections that will be collected from taxes and non-tax revenues.

What happens to Kalibo’s budget if it fails to earn the projected P128,943 worth of tax revenue which is basically tourism oriented?

 This is 34 percent of the total budget for 2018 that will definitely not be realized.

The failure of Kalibo to raise enough projected revenues to fund its expenditure program for 2018 is not caused by inefficiency in revenue collection and legislative measures… the failure to raise enough revenue is because of the temporary closure of Boracay!

With the decline in business operations and whose profits are going down, can Kalibo meet its target income from business taxes? I believe the answer is NO!

These business operations in Kalibo are not making profits because of mismanagement… these businesses are making no profits because government closed Boracay!

With the decline in business operations and the loss of jobs and livelihood, can Kalibo give social protection?…

Who will now shoulder the employers’ contribution on monthly premiums to the Social Security System, to the Pag-IBIG Fund, and to the PhilHealth for workers who have lost their jobs?

One cannot avail of a loan with the SSS if monthly premiums are discontinued.

One cannot avail of Pag-IBIG Fund benefits if monthly contributions are discontinued.

One cannot avail of the benefits under PhilHealth if month;y contributions have been discontinued.

Many students will have to stop going to school because their parents lost their jobs.

Some people will lose their faith in God because they lost their jobs.

Some may lose their values and start to commit crimes.

These workers did not lose their jobs for dismal performance nor for breaking company rules or breaking government laws.

These workers lost their jobs because government closed Boracay!

Boracay is now under a state of Calamity and the government is providing funds for its rehabilitation and assistance to displaced workers.

I agree one hundred percent with President Duterte on the rehabilitation of Boracay.

The same calamity is happening to Kalibo and its people.

This is a powerful calamity that is negatively impacting on the business community, on the workers and their families, and on the local government.

Business is not thriving, there is joblessness and the local government does not have the funds to immediately help the constituents, the business sector and the displaced workers. But no state of calamity is being declared upon us and we are not asking for its declaration upon us too.

The people of Kalibo, the business community and the local government have time and again united to rise from every calamity we have faced.

But for this powerful calamity, I believe that the MALASAKIT of the national government will show it genuine compassion to assist the immediate socio-economic needs of the people, the interest of the business community and the local government of Kalibo.

I believe that the national government agencies also have the MALASAKIT of President Rodrigo Duterte for the people.

I believe that the concerned national government line agencies have the capacity to develop and fund programs and projects for Kalibo’s medium term and long term goals of progress and development.

Boracay is closed today but will open again for local and foreign tourists. Paano kung hindi magbukas ang Boiracay after six months?

One day, the jobless workers of Kalibo will have jobs again.

One day, the business community will be thriving again.

One day the local government of Kalibo will have a leadership implementing sustainable programs and projects that provide the best opportunities to the people and the next generations of Kalibonhons to have and enjoy better lives.

So bless us God!

Entry filed under: News.

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