Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Trillanes slams water concessionaires, seeks Senate investigation

MANILA-Senator Antonio “Sonny” F. Trillanes files resolution, seeking investigation into the alleged act of water concessionaires of passing on their corporate income taxes and other expenses to consumers.

In a privilege speech delivered by Trillanes on Tuesday, he said that: “There is an urgent and imperative need to conduct an investigation into this very important matter, affecting as it does millions of Filipino consumers, not only in order to enact remedial legislation but also to once and for all clarify whether or not the two (2) water concessionaires are acting within the bounds of the law and their respective concession agreements with the MWSS.”

According to consumer advocacy groups, MWSS issued in 2004, Resolution No. 04-006-CA which permitted the concessionaires to transfer the burden of paying their corporate income taxes to their customers. It was also revealed that from 2008 to 2012, consumers have been shouldering about P 1.5 Billion and P1.6 Billion annually in taxes for Manila Water Company, Inc. and Maynilad Water Services, respectively, over the past five (5) years or some 15.3 Billion Pesos in total. Apart from their corporate income taxes, the water concessionaires have also allegedly passed on other charges to consumers, including their travel and entertainment expenses, advertisements, donations, training expenses and even expenses for flowers.

“It appears that the previous action of the MWSS Regulatory Office of issuing Resolution No. 04-006-CA in 2004 effectively runs in direct contravention of, and diametrically opposed to, the Supreme Court’s landmark decision that the burden of paying corporate income taxes should not be unjustly borne by consumers but by the party maintaining the facility,”Trillanes added.

Trillanes further explained that the investigation is made more imperative because of the fact that the MWSS has reportedly rescinded the resolution allowing these water utilities to pass on their corporate income taxes to consumers and has issued a new resolution superseding the former, which is currently pending approval and confirmation of the MWSS Board of Trustees.

4 ‘misbehaving’ Ecija cops axed, face probe

CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija-Four rookie policemen were restricted to a police station in Nueva Ecija and placed under investigation for allegedly barging inside while drunk and creating trouble in a restaurant in Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija last Sunday.

            Senior Superintendent Crizaldo Nieves, Philippine National Police provincial director, identified the four as PO2 Michael Pineda, PO1 Alexander Ordonio, PO1 Marvic Pasion and PO1 Robert Patrick Jan Tuquero.

            Pineda and Ordonio are both assigned at the Zaragoza police station while Pasion and Tuquero both belong to the Regional Public Safety Battalion based in Camp Olivas, Pampanga but on detail at the same station.

            Nieves said the four lawmen were placed under investigation based on the complaint filed by businesswoman Eva Escosa of Barangay Sto. Rosario Young, Zaragoza. Escosa, 48, is the owner of the Eva’s Restaurant in the same barangay.

            In her complaint, Escosa said the four entered her restaurant at around 6:30 pm last August 4, apparently drunk. They then approached three of the waitresses and started making advances by holding their hands.

            The waitresses, sensing that the lawmen were drunk, got scared and called up Escosa who was not around when the four arrived.    

             Nieves said the four were subjected to liquor test at the nearby La Paz Medicare Community Hospital and restricted at the station pending the results of the investigation.

             He said if found guilty, the four will be meted disciplinary sanctions. (Manny Galvez)

Legarda Wants Stronger Implementation of Tropical Fabrics for Gov’t Uniforms

MANILA-Senator Loren Legarda has proposed amendments to the Tropical Fabrics Law of 2004, also known as R.A. 9242, to ensure realistic and stronger implementation of the law, which mandates public officials and employees to wear uniforms made from natural fibers in the country.

Legarda, author of the Tropical Fabrics Law, said that she has proposed amendments to the law to consider the capacity of the local textile industry to meet the needs of government.

“It is lamentable that eight years after the law was enacted, its full implementation still needs to be achieved.  I have proposed amendments to the law to transform this policy into reality,” she said.

“In relation to this, I also enjoin my fellow senators and government officials to help achieve the goals of this law by wearing garments made from natural fibers in the country. In fact, as part of our call for the strict implementation of the law, my office has assigned Monday as Tropical Fabric Day. My staff and I wear garments made from tropical fabrics on Mondays,” Legarda said.

Under the proposed measure (Senate Bill No. 353), tropical fabric refers not only to textiles produced by spinning, weaving and knitting natural fibers originating from the Philippines, but also to textiles produced from a combination of synthetic and natural fibers, both of which should have originated in the country.

Furthermore, if local sources are incapable of supplying the natural fiber needs of the government, tropical fabrics can be purchased abroad with the following conditions: that the fibers used also originated from the Philippines, and that the Department of Trade and Industry issues a certification confirming the incapability of local sources to meet the tropical fabric demands of the government.

“Our goal is to promote the preferential use of goods produced using local resources and manufactured by domestic enterprises, adopt measures focused on making these products competitive based on global standards, and develop a self-reliant economy characterized by high employment levels. Ultimately, we want to instill patriotism and nationalism among Filipinos, with the government leaders as frontrunners in this endeavor,” Legarda concluded.


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