P-Noy resignation counter-productive

April 16, 2015 at 15:15

P-Noy resignation counter-productive

FILIPINO WORLDVIEW By Roberto R. Romulo (The Philippine Star) | Updated April 10, 2015 – 12:00am

He is not going to resign, nor will he be impeached. So let us stop wasting time and energy on this unproductive rant and give him the last 15 months to prove that he can manage and lead the country as we all hoped when we voted him into office.

“Daang Matuwid” is a great tag line, but nobody mentioned the ruts and cracks along the way that need to be filled if we are to make progress down this road. These are the sort of things that may seem small in the scale of things that are important to governing a fractious country.

In truth, these are all that matters for the majority of Filipinos and it is what shapes their perception of what good government is all about. That permits and licenses are issued promptly and with the minimum of fuss, that garbage is collected, that trains run on time, that they don’t get mugged coming home from work and that basic health care is available, etc.

In other words, things that make daily life to be a little less burdensome through the effective provision of the basic public services that the respective government agencies are mandated to perform. And this effectiveness boils down to a matter of good and effective management of these agencies.

Unfortunately, mismanagement seems to be more prevalent in many government agencies. And one that seems to be the poster boy of them all is the DOTC which is proving to be one such formidable rut to “Daang Matuwid”.

As I  stated  last January: “The DOTC is the government agency that perhaps has the most daily interaction with the public because they oversee our land, air and sea travel and our communications infrastructure – the lifeblood of the country. Sadly, it is also the most ineffective. The mismanagement of the MRT/LRT is a continuing saga and now they are even asking for a fare increase, which at the very least, is at the same level of bad timing as rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.” Of course, my personal pet peeve is the inability to secure license plates for a new car in a reasonable period of time as opposed to six months or more. For someone who had excellent credentials, the DOTC chief has mismanaged his department in multiple ways.”

Three months later, such mismanagement style has reached a new low. With the obvious go signal of the DOTC Secretary, LTO came out with the ridiculous policy of “No Plate, No Travel” effective April 1. When I read the LTO announcement on March 31, I immediately called my Chevrolet agent (Kristofferson Santuille) and berated him for not having secured my license plates since my purchase six months ago. After further reflection, I realized it is not the dealer who created the customer inconvenience, but the LTO who for years has failed to deliver license plates promptly. Adding insult to injury, I am now told ridiculous fines including impounding the car, can be imposed. The consumers are now being penalized for the shortcomings of government.

More incidence of such ineptness is just coming to light. I am told that the LTO has also run out of driver’s license paper supposedly because of the port congestion. Have they ever heard of EOQ (economic order quantity)?  LTO has a data base from which historically they can project how much paper is needed at any given time.  And for goodness sake, if the need was so acute, they could have air freighted enough quantities to meet immediate demand.  But not everyone at LTO is as dumb as one would have you believe. The word around town is that if you are told by an LTO office that they are out of paper, just go outside their offices and someone will approach you and allegedly offer to secure a valid driver’s license for a fee. Someone is using his coconut – but for the wrong reasons.

Phl goldmine emerging from murky pit

Ralph Jennings, contributing editor in Forbes magazine, in a recent article described the current state of the mining industry in the Philippines as a murky pit. His use of the adjective was quite appropriate. Murky is defined as dark, cloudy, foggy, gloomy…..  He then proceeds to describe the current situation: “Mining made up just 0.72 percent of the impoverished Southeast Asia country’s economy in 2012 as gold production fell 50 percent to 15,602 tons that year. The 1980s marked the beginning of the “klutzy laws”,  environmental battles and land rights issues which has deprived the nation of the $1.4-trillion revenue for the mining sector.

One of the most steadfast champions of mining has been Manuel V. Pangilinan, the chairman of Philex Mining. Forbes rates Philex as one of Asia’s best under a billion in 2012. His vision of mining providing the veritable mother lode of wealth and progress for the country, particularly in the underdeveloped areas, faces opposition from vocal environmentalists, segments of the Catholic clergy, NGOs, and legislation banning open pit mining such as in Cotabato.

Local analysts informed the Forbes writer that the outlook is brighter in the future citing pending legislation which will clarify which parts of the country will be open to mining. Another analyst was more reserved, stating that “there are a lot of mineral deposits in the Philippines, but everybody is on hold till we come up with a clear regulation on how to handle things…” Interestingly, those interviewed skirted the issue of President Aquino’s position on mining although the general perception is that he is at best indifferent to the importance of mining to the country’s future.

Ironically, the so-called small claims mining in the country is benefiting from this attitude by smuggling minerals out of the country.  Obviously, it is the local politicians who turn a blind eye.  A confidential report given to me estimates there are 500,000 small scale miners operating in 30 provinces.

I have been informed that the massive export smuggling of minerals to China has led to major tax losses to the nation. Government statistics have been cited.  For example, official government data reflects legal gold exports to Hong Kong in 2010 and 2011 at approximately just three percent of the volume recorded by Hong Kong authorities as imported from the Philippines.

Corruption and manipulation of the law has rendered national agencies helpless in regulating and monitoring small scale mining operations. Provincial mining and regulatory bodies often become rubber stamp institutions of local politicians in cahoots with mining companies.

The state of our small scale mining, clearly demands aggressive action by the national government. This is one area begging for “Daang Matuwid” to be successfully demonstrated to the benefit of the country.

Source: https://www.philstar.com/business/2015/04/10/1442134/p-noy-resignation-counter-productive

  All rights to the stock images are owned by Getty Images and its image partners and are protected by United States copyright laws, international treaty provisions and other applicable laws.
Getty Images and its image partners retain all rights and are available for purchase by visiting gettyimages website.

Arangkada Philippines: A Business Perspective — Move Twice As Fast | Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines