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ROUGH CUTS | The need to bite the bullet

 

 

 

NICE to know that in a published Revenue, Receipts and Disbursements Report from the Office of the City Treasurer, Davao City has an excess of P650,465,020.91 in collections over its total disbursements as of end of January, 2021.

The city’s total revenue and receipt was P2,138,797,169.27 while the total disbursements was P1,488,732.148.36.

Yes, every Davaoeno should be happy about the performance of the city since it is not much expected at this time when the economy is badly affected by the raging pandemic caused by the Corona Virus Disease 2019. Who would really expect that the City Treasurer’s Office will be able to collect such a huge amount of money due to the local government when everyone, businesses included, is hard up because of the forced stoppage of many economic activities?

While it is clear that the bulk of the revenues come from the Internal Revenue Allotment or IRA (Share from national taxes collected in the city) and the payments of business permits both new and renewal, it can be seen from the itemized report that the city is earning well from other various local fees.

We can only assume that the impressive performance of the men and women of the CTO under the watch of Acting City Treasurer lawyer Lawrence Bantiding is inspired by the latter’s servant leader persona. Meaning, he works and serve the city in his capacity even as he provides inspiring leadership in an office which at times could also be a sneak pit for the corrupt and their ilk.

And by the way, lawyer Bantiding has been in that office for some time already. Isn’t it about time that the word “acting” be taken away from preceding the position title City Treasurer?

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What is now the status of the third telecommunications company (Telcos) that was issued a franchise by Congress years back? Supposedly it is to provide a viable and even affordable alternative communications facility to the two existing telcos that are virtually monopolizing the business in the country. Are reports that it has suspended the construction of its cell towers in the Davao City true?

We got it from some sources who we believe to be knowledgeable of the said new telco operations that the tower construction projects are being temporarily suspended in this part of Mindanao.

If that is the case what is going to happen to their commitment to the government in terms of rolling out its services as early as last year? How can the said third player in the high stake industry provide a better option when it cannot even give its prospective subscribers updates on the status of its compliance with its own promise.

We are hoping that corruption at the local levels is not the major cause of the temporary suspension of activities of the said telco in the city.

We cannot help but entertain this negative idea because our experience working for a public utility company and having been tasked with paving the way for the establishment of a business here is still fresh in our minds. We even encountered an official who did not bother to raise an eye brow in asking us, “makakwarta ta ana pre?” Wow!

But of course we trust that the President has already sent his message across to those planning to make money by dilly dallying actions on certain regulatory requirements, especially at the local government level.
Nonetheless, we cannot also preclude the possibility that corruption is a monopoly of government officials. Even in the corporate sector corruption also exists and it can even be worse, at times.

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Here is one unfair arrangement that the government is bound to accede even if it does not like it that way.
We are referring to the indemnification clause that is included in the purchase agreement of vaccines specifically those manufactured by pharmaceutical firms from the US. And somehow this arrangement is also condoned or even encouraged by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Under the indemnification clause, the manufacturer of the vaccines that the Philippines will procure will be rid of the responsibility of paying for the cost of treating the vaccinated individuals of the side effect of their vaccines. It is the buyer government that shall shoulder the cost.

In other words, if so many Filipinos need medical intervention as a consequence of the negative side effects of the vaccine, we cannot run after the manufacturer. Instead it’s already outside of the manufacturer’s responsibility.

Yes, the vaccine makers are maximizing the application of the so-called caveat emptor or buyers beware dictum.

Indeed this time the manufacturer through the WHO is making it clear that whatever happens to the vaccinated individuals of their products, they are out of it, and no way the buyer country can run after them.
Sobra ka segurista! But can we do something about this when we are the ones badly in need of the vaccine? We’ll just have to bite the bullet?

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