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Rough Cuts | Pinoy firm helps build PNG

Last week we were twice made principal sponsors of wedding ceremonies. The first one was the marriage of a nephew and the other was the wedding of one of the scholars of Davao Light who was recruited during our watch at the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) department.

It was during the time when we signed the marriage document as one of the witnesses that we realized the government has finally recognized a mistake that has been in the institution for the longest time. What we mean as the institutional mistake is the term used in the document governing the union of man and woman in matrimony.

The document – Marriage Contract – has finally been revised and is now called Certificate of Marriage.
We had the opportunity to talk with the officiating minister in the wedding of the company scholar who first brought the issue to the attention of the visitors at the reception. According to the Reverend Pastor the then document – Marriage Contract – is suggestive of a specific time frame of coverage. But there is none. Instead, the contract term is assumed to be “Until death do us part.”

The new nomenclature, “Certificate of Marriage,” according to the officiating minister, carries a continuing term. That is, that the person involved is married and will remain married until his or her death, or the union is annulled by a competent court of law, or in exceptional cases, both by the civil law and the Church. That indeed, is clear and simple and less likely to be subject of jokes and taken advantage, in almost all cases, by gallivanting husbands.

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Early last week the President lifted his order to ban the operation of small town lottery (STL). The millions of all the numbers games covered by the STL operations were suddenly perked up with the thought that they can immediately go back to playing these games of chance. The STL franchisees were extremely elated as well.

But it appears that the jubilation was only at the initial. Most of the STL operators are not ready to meet the conditions set by the President in the resumption of the operations. One of these conditions is the putting up of a sizeable amount of bond. Another is the payment of a 3-month advance of the average estimated amount that can be earned monthly by STL outlets.

We can only assume of these possibilities: that most of the current franchisees are not really that financially capable to run an STL operations franchise covering certain specific areas; that they got their franchise through “connections” especially with those who previously ran the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), the operator of the Philippine Lottery (Lotto) and its spin-off, the STL.
Then we have some local government units like cities and provinces that are hesitant to allow the reopening of STL outlets in their areas of jurisdiction. They are claiming that while they hope the STL operations in their areas will boost their revenues to allow them more sources of funds for social programs, they said they haven’t got any except for business permit fees.

Ironically, one of these local governments that have reservations in allowing the reopening of outlets in its area is Davao City, the home city of President Rodrigo Duterte.

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We believe this information is worth sharing with fellow Davaoenos as well as the rest of the Filipinos.
One of Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) biggest investors of late is a Filipino business magnate who is into logging and its related industries. The businessman is also opening a large mining operation in the mineral-rich Papua New Guinea mountain ranges. And the Filipino-owned business conglomerate is run mostly by Filipino executives.

According to our source who works in PNG the name of the Filipino holding firm is Galeo South Pacific Ltd. owned by the family of one Miguel Gutierrez of Manila.

The main office of Galeo South Pacific, according to our source, is in Port Moresby. Its plants however, are located in the Province of Madang. It has also acquired a massive concession in PNG’s still virgin forest the duration of which is for 25 years and renewable. Galeo’s sawmill machinery was sourced from Australia, Germany and Singapore, we were told by our informant.

Meanwhile, its mining business has a concession area in PNG’s gold-rich mountains. And according to our source the various components of its operation had passed PNG’s technical, environmental and health standards.

Frankly, the owners of Galeo South Pacific Ltd. are not among those more-known business moguls in the Philippines. But they make every Filipino proud knowing that the holding company they own is helping our neighbor country develop economically.

And they are also helping our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in that country, of which there are plenty.

We hope for their continued success.

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