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ROUGH CUTS |  Lively, even hot, barangay polls expected

IT IS nice to hear that the ambassador of Singapore to the Philippines has found time to visit the District Office of the Bureau of Customs (BoC) in Davao City and has expressed his personal assessment that the Davao port can well qualify as logistics hub in the Association of South East Asian Region (ASEAN).

     Ambassador Gerard Ho visited the BoC-Davao Office together with his First and Second Secretary. They were received by Customs Collector Erastus Sandino Austria right at the BOC-Davao Compound in Sasa.

     Indeed it is heart-warming to get such recognition of the port from a top official of Singapore, a country known for its strictness in the implementation of its Customs law. It could only mean that what the similar office in his country state is doing he saw it at the Davao port practiced by the local Customs officials under Austria.

     But we hope his assessment of the port management is not only limited to what he saw by his naked eyes and what he heard direct from the people at the Bureau that he had talked with.

     The ambassador should be aware that at times one’s assessment and appreciation of things are clouded by the hospitality of the host.

     But of course we are not precluding the chances of the correctness of his evaluation of the Davao Port and how this is handled by the local Bureau of Customs officials under Austria. Since the present district collector was assigned in the port we have not heard of any single controversial activity to have happened in the premiere port of Southern Mindanao. And it has been meeting and even surpassing the revenue collection target assigned it by the Department of Finance.

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     Well, it seems the country’s present governance is in the right direction. That is, if we have to be in accord with the outcome of the trust ratings President Bongbong Marcos, Jr. and Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio got in the survey conducted by the UP-Diliman based OCTA Research Institute for the last quarter of 2022. Marcos Jr. and Duterte-Carpio got a similar over-all national trust rating of 86 percentage points.

     The survey also covered other major Offices of government. However we believe that people might be more interested on how the President and Vice President are doing.

     We got the results of the OCTA survey from a post shared to the public through Facebook by former Davao City Second District Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang. Danny, after the May 2022 elections, had remained very active in the social media sharing information on political activities especially those by VP Sara who he was actively pushing to run for President but failed.

     Gauging from his continuing exposure to the public we would not be surprised if Danny will be back again in the campaign trail for councilor in the next local polls. Of course there is no denying that his performance in the Davao City Council during the many terms that he had starting from his OIC councilor days, he definitely is deserving to be back compared to others.

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     The barangay election is still towards the end of next year. But already, we can see how those planning to run are making preparations. They have become more active in barangay activities where they can have the opportunity to expose themselves to the electorate. Others who are considered to be financially capable in the barangays are starting to be generous. Even their in-laws are manifesting their intention to “lend” money to those they consider worth joining the line-up of their sons- or daughters-in-law who are aspiring for the top barangay elective post.

     This is not of course unusual these days because chances are, the law that mandates the giving of barangay captains, Sangguniang Barangay Members and other functionaries fixed monthly salaries and benefits including GSIS, Pag-IBIG and PhilHealth coverage, will finally take effect. It is the Mandanas bill that was already signed into law. It was questioned in the Supreme Court but the latest we heard about it, the question was already resolved in favor of the intentions of the law.

     Once it is fully implemented all barangay officials, regardless of the class category of their villages, will have the same salary grade. Those who will have to face reduction in their emoluments are those officials of barangays like Sasa, Buhangin, Catalunan Grande, Calinan, Toril proper and other well-off villages in the city. But as always, the Filipino’s ingenuity will always find ways to make things equal. 

      Now, we will be looking forward to a lively, even very competitive and hot, barangay elections, including that of the Sangguniang Kabataan.

                                                                                   

     

                           

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