You are currently browsing the daily archive for April 28, 2009.

 

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

THE Senate approved Monday a resolution appropriating P8 billion for the Paglaum Fund which will be used to rehabilitate areas of Panay ravaged by Typhoon Frank last year.

 

Dr. Raul Banias, presidential adviser for Western Visayas, said Senator Edgardo Angara, Senate committee on finance chair, sponsored a bill appropriating P8 billion for the Paglaum Fund.

 

“Senator Angara sponsored and adopted House Bill No. 5604 which is sets aside a supplemental budget for the Paglaum Fund. He presented the bill in his sponsorship speech in the Senate. Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri co-sponsored the bill. The Senate unanimously approved the measure,” Banias told The Daily Guardian.

 

Banias said they expect the Senate to pass the Paglaum Fund bill after two or three sessions after it mustered the senators’ full support.

 

As regards the Simplified Net Income Taxation Scheme (Snits), which is the accompanying revenue measure of the Paglaum Fund, Banias said they are confident that the Senate will approve the tax measure.

 

“The support shown by the Senate for the Paglaum Fund gave us confidence that the Snits bill will also be passed smoothly. President Gloria Arroyo has already certified the Paglaum Bill as urgent so we expect its immediate passage,” Banias added.

 

The Snits Bill (House Bill No. 5257) filed by Antique Rep. Exequiel Javier limits the expenses that may be deducted from gross revenues earned by professionals and individuals running their own businesses to arrive at their taxable income.

 

The bill is in response to complaints that salaried individuals, whose taxes are automatically withheld by employers from their salaries, shoulder a much bigger share of the government’s income tax collection from individuals. 

 

Earlier reports said the Senate might not pass the Snits Bill because the Department of Finance doubts if the measure will increase tax collections.

 

The Snits is expected to raise some P12 billion, most of which will be allocated to the Paglaum Fund.

 

President Gloria Arroyo earlier ordered the release of some P481 million for “critical” rehabilitation projects in Panay.

 

The P481 million will be used for the replacement of the Tigum Bridge in Cabatuan, Iloilo (P160 million); replacement of the Tubang Bridge in Maasin, Iloilo (P10 million); replacement of the Daja Bridge in Maasin, Iloilo (P10 million); replacement of the substructure of B. Aquino Bridge in Leon, Iloilo (P40 million); and replacement of the substructure of Camanggahan Bridge in Guimbal, Iloilo (P60 million).

 

Other rehabilitation projects are the dredging of Aklan River (P100 million) and the Dungon Creek in Iloilo City (P50 million), Pototan Road Slip in Pototan, Iloilo (P30 million) and the Misi-Tampucao Bridge in Lambunao, Iloilo (P21 million).

 

The Department of Public Works and Highways will begin the bidding process of the projects next month while actual works are expected to commence June 2009.

NEWFOUND HERO The newly-crowned champ is accompanied by Mayor Ramon Yee (left), and his trainer and coach Frankie Jaro (2nd from right) and Warren Jaro (right). (Photo by Tara Yap)

NEWFOUND HERO The newly-crowned champ is accompanied by Mayor Ramon Yee (left), and his trainer and coach Frankie Jaro (2nd from right) and Warren Jaro (right). (Photo by Tara Yap)

By Tara Yap

 

CABATUAN, Iloilo– World Boxing Council (WBC) minimum-weight title holder Denver Cuello was given a hero’s welcome Monday here.

 

Twenty-two-year-old Cuello, who defeated Japanese Hiroshi Matsumoto to clinch the WBC belt in the minimum-weight division last April 18, thanked his town mates for their support.

 

Gapasalamat guid ako sa pagbuylog niyo sa akon.  Bugal ko guid nga taga Cabatuan, Iloilo ako (Thank you for the outpouring of support you have given me.  I am proud to say that I am from Cabatuan, Iloilo),” Cuello told the crowd who came to greet him.

 

Cuello is ranked number 1 by the Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF).       

 

The hero’s welcome boosted the morale of Cuello, who was earlier reported to have been discouraged by the lack of support from local officials and town mates.

 

Mayor Ramon Yee said the local government will support Cuello’s future fights. 

 

Yee said the young boxing champion “is a figure worth emulating by his town mates for his steadfast dedication and discipline.”

 

After arriving at the New Iloilo Airport, Cuello’s entourage held a victory parade that passed by towns of Maasin and Janiuay.

 

A short program and press conference at the Cabatuan covered gym followed the parade. 

 

Coach Warren Jaro of Jaro Boxing Stable said Cuello might fight Puerto Rican Ivan Calderon or Nicaraguan Roman Gonzalez this year.

REGISTERED VOTER Iloilo provincial administrator Manuel "Boy" Mejorada signs the Comelec registration logbook in Alimodian, Iloilo last Friday after completing the requirements for transferring his voter registration to Barangay Pajo, Iloilo. Mejorada said he is ready to challenge incumbent 2nd district Rep. Judy Jalbuena Syjuco in the 2010 congressional elections now that his residency cannot anymore be questioned.

REGISTERED VOTER Iloilo provincial administrator Manuel "Boy" Mejorada signs the Comelec registration logbook in Alimodian, Iloilo last Friday after completing the requirements for transferring his voter registration to Barangay Pajo, Iloilo. Mejorada said he is ready to challenge incumbent 2nd district Rep. Judy Jalbuena Syjuco in the 2010 congressional elections now that his residency cannot anymore be questioned.

 

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

ILOILO Provincial Administrator Manuel Mejorada is prepared to run for congressman in the second congressional district.

 

Mejorada signified his intention to join the congressional race in the second district after he transferred his voter’s registration record to Brgy. Pajo, Alimodian, Iloilo from Brgy. Amparo, Pavia.

 

Mejorada said allegations of graft and corruption in second district prompted him to join the 2010 race.

 

Rep. Judy Syjuco, wife of Tesda Director General Augusto “Bboy” Syjuco, is the incumbent congressman of the district.

 

Mejorada also said that Brgy. Pajo is close to his heart because of the warm welcome he received and the potential of the area in terms of tourism and agriculture.

 

“I built a house in Brgy. Pajo and maintains a small vegetable farm. I bought new agricultural technologies there to help the farmers,” Mejorada said in an interview with Ronel Sorbito of RMN-Iloilo.

 

Mejorada was delisted from the voters’ list of Pavia in 2007, a moved he attributed to the Syjucos when news rang that he was interested to run for congressman.

 

The former mediaman-turned-capitol official had exposed alleged anomalous transactions involving the Syjucos.

 

“If they petition to kick me out of Alimodian, that might mean that they are becoming jittery because of my intention to run,” Mejorada said.

 

Mejorada was earlier touted to run for vice governor in tandem with Barotac Viejo Mayor Raul Tupas who is running for governor.

 

Lack of list stalls Cheaper Medicines law

 

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

REP. Ferjenel G. Biron (Iloilo, 4th district) called for an investigation on the failure of the Department of Health (DoH) to come up with a list of medicines and the corresponding retail price cap relative to the Cheaper Medicines Law.

 

Biron said the effects of the law and its implementing rules and regulations cannot be felt by the public because the DoH has not come up with a list which will become the basis of price ceilings for medicines.

 

Biron, who authored the law in the House of Representatives, said this is the result of the deletion of the drug price regulatory mechanism in his version of the law.

 

“The drug price control board could have set the prices of drugs contained in the essential drugs list. But that mechanism was deleted and the power to regulate prices of medicines was given to the Secretary of Health,” Biron said in an interview with The Daily Guardian on Air over Aksyon Radyo.

 

Biron said he has asked the House committee on health to summon Health Secretary Francisco Duque and make him explain why they have yet to regulate prices of medicines.

 

“We will exercise our oversight powers on this matter and find out what’s taking them long to come up with the list. Secretary Duque might soon seek higher office but I don’t think the Cheaper Medicines Law will be implemented until he leaves the department,” Biron said.

 

The Ilonggo congressman said the investigation on the Cheaper Medicines Law will be scheduled end of April or next month.

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

DEPARTMENT of Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez Sr. warned banks and money transfer agencies in Iloilo City to be wary of a group of robbers from Luzon.

 

Citing unnamed sources, Gonzalez said he received information that the alleged robbers have been conducting surveillance operations on three major banks and a money transfer firm in the city.

 

The target firms are Banco De Oro, Metrobank, Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and Western Union in Aklan, Gonzalez said.

 

“The information is still being verified further. The planned robberies are linked to the 2010 elections. The money that will be raised will be used in the campaign next year. We want the banks to be careful at all times that’s why we are releasing this information,” he added.

 

The justice department chief also revealed that a group of rebels also from Luzon arrived in Iloilo to conduct extortion activities to raise funds for next year’s elections.

 

“They have tie-ups with local rebel forces to extort from businesses and candidates. They even sent extortion letters to two persons already,” Gonzalez said.

 

Alleged members of the Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPA-ABB) and the New People’s Army (NPA) have been accused of extorting from politicians during election season.

 

The rebels demand fees from candidates in exchange for “permits to campaign” in their strongholds.

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