Panahom archive

June 1, 2009

HK-KH Show

Filed under: English — anol_cebu @ 10:49 pm
Tags: , , ,

PEOPLE seem to have different reactions to the Hayden Kho-Katrina Halili show on video and at the Senate hearing. There are those who looked at Katrina as the one who asked for it. Some machos also described Hayden as one who should be envied for having sex with the likes of Katrina, Maricar and the Brazilian model Mariana (never mind the one with Vicki Belo because this did not sell) with videos to prove his conquests blow-by-blow.

Nonetheless, most had frowned on Hayden’s sex-and-video capers. He was obviously taking advantage of women who thought he loved them. He was only trying to make X-rated materials for his consumption and maybe his barkada. This is not acceptable behavior even during today’s permissive atmosphere. Hayden clearly crossed the line and he is making things worse by not saying sorry and instead blaming everybody for all to see during the Senate hearing.

Yes, Hayden could have gotten away with the capers though had not somebody thought the sex videos would be better off seen globally through the internet. But why blame the one who uploaded the videos, the female partners, and the senators along with members of media who denounced him. We all know he started it all. There would have been no issue at all had Hayden kept his escapades undocumented.

The past two weeks, many wanted to see the sex videos for themselves. It seems as if you’re not “in” if you have not seen these celebrated scenes that were secretly taken by Hayden himself. While many condemn the sex videos, we just could not help but take a look or keep copies. At least, Hayden stopped short of also blaming us for being curious enough to watch the videos and judge for ourselves.

***

For those with access to the internet, viewing the videos is free. However, the videos proved to be a smash hit that video pirates had taken advantage off. At P150 per DVD, the pirates are making a killing. At least national and local customs authorities, especially the national X-ray unit under Collector Des Mangaoang, are giving them headaches by intercepting shipments here and in Metro Manila. The biggest haul so far involved 12 vans containing replicating machines from Hong Kong that Collector Mangaoang, Commissioner Boy Morales, and Optical Media Board chairman Edu Manzano inspected when the customs X-ray unit celebrated its second anniversary last Tuesday.

***

Cebu Customs stakeholders are happy that national authorities addressing their complaint against House oversight personnel who thought they could also act as examiners of imported goods. Their services were dismissed last week.

***

Shortly after I left for Ilocos Norte to join a media tour on renewable energy the other Friday, my wife’s staff member sent a package here in Cebu addressed to me in Fort Ilocandia, Laoag, thinking it would be delivered in 24 hours. After all, the 2Go personnel said this was possible. It was also the promise in 2Go ads.

I however expected the package to arrive Sunday considering the number of flights from Manila to Laoag. I was disappointed though. We had to leave Ilocos for Manila Sunday evening but no package arrived.

After we learned the package arrived in Laoag only on Monday, we asked 2Go to send it back to Cebu. But when Wednesday came, no package reached Cebu. When I told 2Go that I wanted to speak to the manager, they said it is not their policy. Much later, I learned that the package was still in Laoag and would still be sent to Manila. I finally received it on Thursday afternoon or seven days after we contracted their 24-hour service.

The courier company 2Go has to get its act together to realize its 24-hour delivery promise or it might as well scrap its commercials if it cannot deliver or call its service snail mail. This it should do to avoid liability for false advertising.

***

While in Manila last week, I gathered that the Senate would most likely approve some bills creating new congressional districts. If this comes to pass, a bird told me it might translate to support for the Liberal Party of Sen. Noynoy Aquino and presidential candidate Sen. Mar Roxas? The local beneficiaries would likely be generous to the people who were able to convince Senator Aquino to allow this to happen. Let’s discuss the local impact, if ever this pushes through, next week.

Sun.Star Cebu column on June 1, 2009

July 17, 2007

Crisis

Filed under: English — anol_cebu @ 11:45 pm

Sun.Star Cebu
JUly 2, 2007

THE Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group (PASG) apparently does not know how to look for smuggled goods without interfering with legitimate importations and thus, triggering a crisis at the various ports in Metro Manila. The situation is expected to get sympathetic reactions from Cebu.

The new anti-smuggling group, believing that it could do anything because of its “presidential” tag, has adopted the Gestapo-like policy of “arrest everybody first then sort out who is guilty.”

mporters and brokers at the National Capital Region have reportedly decided to avoid the Bureau of Customs today and everyday thereafter if PASG pushes on with its merry fascistic ways.

According to my source, the PASG had indiscriminately issued alerts on hundreds of container vans but after subjecting these under 100 percent examination, no smuggled items were found. Imagine, even a regular shipment of figurines was not spared.

Cebu got a taste of PASG when agents from Manila arrived with alert orders for 31 container vans containing steel coils. Maybe they thought the vans, because these were 20-footers, contained smuggled rice. But after a 100 percent examination, they found out that the shipment did not contain any smuggled goods.

The Philippines is supposedly one of the prime movers of free trade and trade facilitation for years now. But this presidential group does not care a bit as it delays the release of the most legitimate importations in Metro Manila and, initially, in Cebu.

Because possible “sympathy” actions by Cebu-based importers and brokers are expected, District Collector Boysie Belmonte should not just bow down to the whims of these new anti-smuggling lords who apparently don’t know how to stop smuggling. He should protect his turf especially now that he has surpassed his target for six consecutive months. Boysie should not allow this “alert-happy” group to spoil this record.

Nonetheless, I believe President Arroyo’s men have already been already dispatched to ease whatever tension the PASG has caused.

Perhaps, the group should hear out some unsolicited advice, like monitoring smuggling outside the customs area. After all, there are already Customs police and Customs intelligence men looking over each other’s shoulders there.

For example, there is this George Insek, who reportedly oversees the entry of smuggled goods from Metro Manila to Cebu through the domestic airport. The guy, whose family name starts with an O, owns a big warehouse in a secluded district in southern Cebu city.

PASG should also look into the arrival of tons of luxury goods in local malls and shops. The items did not pass the customs bureau for checking. The group should also look into how expensive signature jewelry, perfume and clothing have entered the country.

Worse, there was an entry of contrabands, like as guns and illegal drugs. I am sure the shabu supply that found its way to outlets, like Duljo and Ermita, were made from imported ingredients. Why won’t the PASG devise ways on how to stop the entry of these precursors?

Why is PASG focusing on going after legitimate shipments? Because the importers would rather give “tara” than pay the more expensive warehousing fees at the port? It seems they’d rather not import at all, guys.

(Please check out “In Between Columns” at anol.blogs.friendster.com/anols_blog)

Naga to surge ahead

Filed under: English — anol_cebu @ 11:41 pm

Sun.Star Cebu
July 16, 2007

SOME 10 years ago, Cebuanos expected the opening of the biggest ICT factory of Seagate in the Naga Township that should have pushed development in the southern tip of Metropolitan Cebu. The giant Seagate factory would have been the catalyst in bringing investors to the 250-hectare economic zone in Barangay Cantao-an managed by a firm of former governor Lito Osmeña.

Unfortunately, the Asian crisis came and the Seagate project did not push through. Today, the township only has Kyocera, a Japanese-owned factory.

Last July 11, however, Planters Development Bank inaugurated the country’s first SME Industrial Park comprising 40 hectares inside the Naga Township. And Plantersbank officials confided that several foreign ICT firms have offered to buy the Seagate property. I gathered that among the frontrunners is the printer maker Lexmark.

Sale of the Seagate factory and its eventual operation by another ICT giant will place the soon-to-be Naga City in the ICT world map.

Already, Peza’s Leila de Lima noted that the SME Industrial Park is unique in the country. Aside from granting big business benefits and incentives to small and medium entrepreneurs, the park is the first to already have eight sold lots on the day of the inauguration.

Among other plans, Mayor Val Chiong cited the construction of a seaport as one of his priorities—a project that immediately received the full support of Gov. Gwen Garcia and Secretary Cerge Remonde who represented President Arroyo.

With these positive developments, I think Naga City will surge ahead of Cebu’s three new cities. With powerful enemies at the Capitol and at the Lower House, I don’t think Bogo City can go far with its development plans. Carcar? Has Mayor Barcenas been talking about development plans?

***

Trouble is reportedly brewing inside the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). The present officer-in-charge at the regional office reportedly lost the support of his subordinates. Disgruntled employees are reportedly sending text messages to their bosses in Manila.

What are they quarrelling about? Is there unequal sharing of the loot? That’s the chief’s prerogative, guys.

Unfortunately for the chief, he was not yet around when the Asean asphalt project was carried out. The three percent SOP did not go to him. But why order “coring operations” now when the asphalt caper was already taken care of. Why rock the boat, sir?

Nonetheless, talks of the “coring operations” have encouraged some DPWH guys to reveal how the 60 percent SOP for the P800 million asphalting operation was shared. The SOP reportedly included auditors. Tinuod?

***

I found the palusot of Fr. Ben Ejares in the alleged lascivious acts on high school students during confessions quite amusing. Ayaw gyud og angkon, padre. Imo lang bitaw silang gipakalma, mao nga nangreklamo.

What’s wrong with accidentally touching the bra? In my worldly environment, Fr. Ejares, we call that “tsansing.” And “tsansing” should not be mixed with the sacrament of confession. If that’s your way of making young girls feel at ease with you, use it inside the VIP room of a karaoke house, the GROs won’t complain.

(Check out “In Between Columns” at anol.blogs.friendster.com/anols_blog)

July 14, 2007

PASG or Pasagad?

Filed under: Bisaya,English — anol_cebu @ 9:06 am

Panahom
July 9, 2007
Sun.Star Cebu
LOCAL customs officials are down-playing the current protest by importers and brokers against the so-called “Operation Pakilala” or shakedown by the newly formed Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group (PASG). But I’m sure Customs District Collector Boysie Belmonte is on top of the situation in Cebu. After all, if he cannot surpass his target, it will be his head on the chopping block and not PASG.

Nevertheless, the PASG men involved in the alert of 31 container vans containing legitimate cargo were already axed. Pasagad man og hasmag. Maybe, they should also include the PNP officials who introduced the PASG men to local importers.

In fairness to Sangil and company, however, their seniors in Manila are also doing what they did—meeting importers and indiscriminately issuing alerts—but are getting away with it.

***

A customs officer pointed out that the George Insek or George O mentioned in last week’s column did not just use the domestic airport to move his smuggled cargo from Metro Manila to Cebu. The official said bulk of the shipment passed through the Cebu seaport.

If PASG won’t go after him, perhaps the Customs Enforcement and Security Service and customs intelligence agents should take the initiative.

***

Certain media circles are now talking about another Asean summit-related anomaly involving over hundreds of millions that was allegedly shared by officials involved. In fairness though, let us give the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) the chance to present their side first by not objecting to requests for the results of their ongoing “coring” operations.

I gathered that there are “coring” operations aimed to check the thickness of the asphalting done on certain roads asphalted as part of the preparations for the recent Asean summit here in Cebu. I think the “coring” is timely because the asphalt used seems to be not thick enough as proven by the emergence of potholes when the rains began to fall.

However, it seems the DPWH and the Commission on Audit (COA) do not want to release the coring results. We just want to know if the thickness of the asphalt was indeed 2.5 inches throughout the whole stretch as specified?

If my information is correct, the officials made millions because of overprice and the application of only two inches or even less of asphalt. This is the reason for the potholes that are beginning to show.

According to the grapevine, there was this alleged huge SOP for officials from the national level that reportedly got a 20 percent share down to the one percent for engineers. Some local officials reportedly got a share of the take.

Present DPWH 7 officials and the COA are supposedly not included in the original arrangement. However, why are they afraid of giving to reporters who asked last week the coring results? Why are they not transparent? Na-areglo na, sir? Do we need to get an independent entity to do “coring” operations to assure the public that the whole P800 million plus Asean asphalting operation was aboveboard?

In fairness though, these are just grapevine talk and could easily be erased once the “coring” results are shown along with the COA report on the alleged overprice. If there is nothing wrong, perhaps DPWH and COA should spare members of the media the red tape and runaround.

(Check out “In Between Columns” at anol.blogs.friendster.com/anols_blog)

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