Category: Society

Sporting a skinhead is trending when no less than former Davao City mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio had her head shaven Tuesday to show support for her father, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who is being pushed for the presidency by millions of Filipinos.

After castigating a netizen for accusing her of being selfish for what was publicly perceived as her opposition to her father from running for the highest post in the land, Sara Duterte-Carpio posted an instagram photo Tuesday showing her sporting a skinhead with the hashtags #Duterte2016, #kalboparasapagbabago, #NohairWecare, and #justDUit.

Her instagram post was perceived by many as the daughter’s implied support for Mayor Duterte’s presidential bid.

Many of Duterte’s supporters also had their head shaven in support of the Duterte for President movement. Wednesday afternoon, several Davao City councilors will also be having their heads shaven at a barbershop here to express their support on Duterte’s presidential bid.

Nationalist Peoples Coalition (NPC) Congressman Win Gatchalian today scored the Aquino administration’s failure to check the rampant smuggling of agricultural products, which has reportedly ballooned to P182 billion from 2010 to 2014.

According to the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag), composed of at least 33 organizations of farmers, agribusiness operators and party-list groups, the amount of smuggled agricultural commodities during the first four years of President Aquino almost double the contraband valued at P95 billion from 2005 to 2009.

Sinag chair Rosendo So explained that the government lost some P60 billion to P80 billion on the importation of rice, pork, sugar, chicken, onion, carrots and garlic—considering that tariffs on these items were set at 30 percent to 40 percent.

Gatchalian said the data on agricultural products smuggling is alarming since the Bureau of Customs, which serves as the frontline agency against smuggling, is practically doing nothing to help curb the illegal entry of imported agri products.

“It is ironic that despite the so-called ‘Daang Matuwid’ of the Aquino administration, it has miserably failed in the anti-smuggling front and this puts hundreds of our farmers in a disadvantage,” said Gatchalian.

Gatchalian noted that the BoC still uses manual processing, which explains the lack of systematized data collection.

“The ultimate solution to the unabated smuggling in various ports is for the Customs to completely automate all its operation. This requires all port entry transactions to be posted in the website of the BoC to promote transparency,” said Gatchalian.

Gatchalian pointed out that in the interest of transparency, all importation data should be posted online, including information on goods that are being imported, how much duties and taxes are paid, as well as the names of importers or their consignees.

The “full computerization” of the BOC was initiated by former Commissioner Ruffy Biazon, building on an earlier project that started in 2009 with the aim of eliminating paperwork and fixers, for a faster corruption-free process.

“With computerization, there will be no contact between the importer and customs employees. No paper work. Everything will be by computer. Aside from curbing corruption, transactions in the BOC will be quick. Fixers will be put out of business. And collections will increase,” former Commissioner Biazon had said.

Gatchalian is now asking the BoC whatever happened to the planned computerization that was supposed to integrate all customs processes in a single environment replacing the current multisystem setup, and paving for much faster and efficient customs transactions.

“If the Aquino administration is sincere in its campaign againsy smuggling, it should order the BoC to immediately implement the full computerization of the bureau as envisioned by former Commissioner Biazon,” Gatchalian concluded.

Authorities are calling for the registration of motorized bancas for easy monitoring and prevention of the vessels from being used in the perpetration of crimes.

The call arose from the kidnapping incident in the Island Garden City of Samal where three foreigners and a Filipina were abducted at a resort and brought to Sulu onboard a motorized banca.

The banca was said to have been purchased in Samal for P300,000.

Police Regional Office 11 spokesman Supt. Antonio Rivera said they are now checking the information. He however refused to give any details.

Philippine Coast Guard Davao Commodore Joselito dela Cruz meanwhile suggested for the registration of motorized bancas. He said that like carnapped vehicles, boats can also be used in criminalities thus the need to have a system for easy identification and monitoring.

He also called on the local government units to be aggressive in the registration of motorized bancas in their respective AORs.

Commodore dela Cruz said that they are presently conducting seaborne operations with Task Force Samal to secure the resorts in Samal after the September 21 kidnapping.

He said the resort owners themselves are now initiating the implementation of tight security measures in the island to ensure that the kidnapping incident would not happen again.

Dela Cruz said that prior to the kidnapping, resort owners are hardly coordinating with the authorities in the security measures of the island.