Good and bad points PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 08 January 2016 14:22

Sound Snipings

BY Jimmy Cabato

That the National Electrification Administration (NEA) has approved a P187-million Stand-By Credit applied for by the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (ZAMCELCO), as announced by Re-electionist Congressman Celso Lobregat, bears one good point on one end, but likewise brings a bad point, too.

It is good because it assures Zamcelco’s capability to pay its bills with power suppliers, ensuring continued electricity for the city.

But what is bad is, that P187M  fund is a stand-by loan. And normally, NEA loans carry high interest rates, which are in turn passed on to us, the consumers.

The best is, increase collection efforts and reduce system’s loss to free the cooperative from relying on loans.

And the study of the Robinson conglomerate proposal should still be undertaken. No harm in that.

If analysis says it is beneficial, go for the jugular. Grab it. Set the loan aside only for contingency. If study says, negative. Simple, junk it.

At least, its pros and cons were unearthed.

* * * *

This corner never realized that the Integrated Bus Terminal (IBT) is a big money-earner for the city.

It is, yes! Assistant City Administrator and concurrent officer-in-charge of the City Administrator’s Office, Dr. Elmeir Apolinario reports, the (IBT) in Divisoria had served 2,760 buses from Dec. 8-31, raking in P1.3 million revenue for the city coffers. No joke. That’s within only a month’s time, and in its initial stage.

With this preliminary take-in, Apolinario expressed optimism for a robust IBT operation this year and in the years yet to come.

It’s pity, then that probably the city administration may not have expected this, too, which explains why it took years for the activation of the facility.

Accordingly, the baptismal income of IBT does not yet include the rental fees from its concessionaires.

Apolinario bared, the budget eaten by the IBT for salaries of personnel assigned in the modern terminal facility was P580,000.

And if rentals from its concessionaires are added up to its gross income, net proceeds will necessarily increase, adding up income to the city.

In another development, Apolinario said his office has also doubled its revenues at the abattoir in San Roque to P2.2 million in 2015

In previous years, the abattoir’s income in (2012-2014) was only between P1.3 million and P1.4 million, but in 2015 the revenues skyrocketed to P2.2 million.

The market revenues at the waterfront market and Sta. Cruz, Apolinario said, have yet to be assessed.

* * * *

For a known Binay tormentor to come up with such a statement as this, really bears weight. Watch.

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said Wednesday “the country would be better off with Vice President Jejomar Binay as president than Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte,” who had boasted about personally killing criminals and his enemies.

Speaking to ANC he said, it would be disastrous for the nation if Duterte wins the presidency in this year’s elections.

Explaining, he uttered, “I can’t imagine myself saying this, but it’s going to be so much worse if Duterte became president,”  Trillanes is running for vice president in May.

He added, a presidency under administration standard bearer Manuel Roxas II would be similar to the Aquino administration. (With MS quotes)

* * * *

Everybody wants to see the Supreme (SC) rule on the Poe disqualification at the earliest possible time, save for two of the far more interested petitioners.

This is gleaned from the actions taken by them, asking the SC to deny her plea to consolidate the disqualification cases filed against her at the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) and the Commission on  Elections (Comelec).

Filing separate petitions, they are Rizalito David and Antonio Contreras

Very clearly, it can be seen - even as the cases necessarily bear the same complaints and argue similar depositions - any grant of their petitions would surely cause delays in the SC rulings, for the hearings will have to be scheduled and heard separately.

* * * *

Cannot fathom the stand of the supposed independent Third Party Monitoring Team (TPMT), on the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

Alistair MacDonald, head of the TPMT warns, the Philippines risks facing extremism if a peace agreement forged between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is abandoned.

If it’s the grilled Aquino-proposed BBL he refers to, then by all means he must be apprised of our dispensations.

But if it is on the delay of its passage in both houses, then that may be understandable.

But to pressure us into the  Aquino-brokered deal, no way should government back down.

Friends, the CAB itself appears repugnant in form. It provides transitional modalities, power sharing, wealth sharing and normalization or putting the MILF combatants beyond use.

My, virtually that’s the BBL in form and substance.

Macdonald contends, the CAB, negotiated after 17 years of effort, and signed in front of the international community, offers by far the best chance of carrying the peace process forward to a successful conclusion.

But, gentleman, not at the expense of the majority Filipinos, please.

It is good, though, we have the likes of former Air Force combat pilot and Magdalo party-list Rep. Ashley Acedillo, who expressed disagreement with the MacDonald assessment that the non-passage of the BBL would lead to extremism.

He articulated surprise at the statements of Ambassador MacDonald for correlating what will be a surge in extremist terrorism as a result of the non-passage of the proposed Bangsamoro law. Everybody should be circumspect in their statements,” Acedillo advised.

Acedillo asserted, a watchful study of Islamic extremism throughout the regions of the world will contravene such assertion.

And that contention he concluded only serves to muddle an important issue of peace in Muslim Mindanao (With TMT lifts)

* * * *

Nations around the globe, in a show of concern to the deep-seethed Saudi Arabia-Iran tensions are  moving to ease the strain. In the lead, United Nations (UN) chief Ban Ki-moon has asked Saudi Arabia and Iran to avoid actions that could further escalate pressures even as he stressed that the break in Riyadh’s diplomatic ties with Tehran was deeply worrisome.

As this developed, Iran expressed desire to avoid an oil price war with rival producers and to only gradually lift exports once sanctions against it are lifted, a senior official said, in what would be a major shift away from planning to ship as much fuel as soon as possible.

Iran, which has some of the world’s biggest petroleum reserves, has repeatedly urged fellow members within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to make room for a supply jump from the Islamic Republic, pledging to ramp up exports as soon as sanctions on its oil industry are lifted under a nuclear deal with world powers.

For their part, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and US Secretary of State John Kerry held talks over the phone on Wednesday, agreeing to seek to resolve tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran through dialogue. (With MB reports)

* * * *

Hey, this is quite a revelation indeed. Presidential candidates in the Philippines are spending on media advertising more than what American billionaire Donald Trump has spent for his dream to sit in the White House.

This was revealed by Former Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello, an independent bet for senator, running on  a shoestring budget.

He then called on voters to declare war on what he called a “corruption of the political process.”

Bello cited data from the US Federal Electoral Commission that Trump, had so far spent $2 million (P94.18 million at an exchange rate of P47.09 to $1, or P13.45 million a month) from January to July last year.

Trump’s rivals for the Republican nomination, Ben Carson and Ted Cruz, each spent $5 million (P235.45 million, or P33.64 million a month).

Here, the Nielsen monitoring report on total ad spending for TV, radio and print from Jan. 1 to Nov. 30, 2015, showed three presidential candidates each spending more than half a billion pesos—Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Mar Roxas (P774.192 million, or P70.38 million a month), Vice President Jejomar Binay (P695.55 million, or P63.23 million a month) and Sen. Grace Poe (P694.603 million, or P63.14 million a month ).

“Binay, Poe, and Roxas each spent $9 million to $10 million each, presumably most of it in just the last two and a half months of 2015 and just on TV ads,” Bello said.  (PDI-based reports)

* * * *

Former general manager of the Metro Rail Transit-3, Al Vitangcol wants company in the case he now faces before the Sandigandayan. He said, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya should be charged alongside him for approving questionable maintenance contracts for the commuter train system.

“The one accountable for that contract is the one who awarded and signed that contract. If I’m the only one who signed the contract, then I’m accountable,” Vitangcol told reporters in Club Filipino.

But, he added, “The final approval came from Abaya,” noting that the Transportation secretary had signed the contract and renewed it several times. (He must be charged, too he said. (With TMT reports)