Nasaan Ang Tone-toneladang Bigas?

Nasaan   ang Tone-toneladang   Bigas?

Ni  Apolinario Villalobos

 

Simple lang   ang  tanong   ng   marami: nasaan   ang tone-toneladang   bigas   na   sinasabi  ng National   Food   Authority (NFA)?  Kung  interbyuhin   ang   mga  taga-  NFA,  may  kayabangan pang sinasabi  nila  na  hindi   magkakaroon  ng   problema ang  bansa  sa  kakulangan  ng  bigas. Pero,nasaan   nga?   Dahil   ang  hindi   namalayan  ng   marami,  biglang   sumirit   ang  presyo  ng   bigas  sa  lahat   ng  pamilihan, lalo   na  sa  mga grocery  stores.  Wala nang   makitang   magandang   klaseng   commercial   rice  na  mababa   sa 40pesos  ang  presyo.  May  regular na  “NFA  rice” mura   nga   pero   inirereklamo  ng   mga   tao  dahil   durog-durog  at  may mga   malilit  na   butil   ng  bato.  

 

Nang    pumutok  ang   isyu  tungkol   sa  smuggled   rice,   ang   inasahan   ng   mga   tao ay   ang   pagbagsak    ng   presyo   nito   sa    pamilihan,  dahil   sunud-sunod  ang   pagdating   ng  mga   bigas   na   hindi   napatawan    ng    karampatang   buwis,  kaya  dapat   mura   ang   bentahan   sa    mga    pamilihan.   May    mga    pinagyayabang       ang  Bureau  of  Customs  na   nakumpiska    nila, pero   saan   ang    mga    ito?  Kung   meron  man bakit   hindi   na    ilabas at  ibenta    sa   murang   halaga   sa   mga    tao?

 

Hindi  pa   malinaw   hanggang   ngayon   kung   anong  hakbang   ang   gagawin   ng   mga   ahensiyang    may  kinalaman    sa   bigas    upang    masolusyunan   ang   roblema.   May   mga   iniimbestigahan    nga    subali’t    nang    masapawan   ng   isyung   eskandalo   ni   Vhong Navarro,     nakalimutan    na    yata    ang    pag-imbestiga  at  wala     nang   ginawa   upang   mapatawan    ng   parusa    ang    mga    sangkot   sa illegal    na    pag-angkat    ng    bigas.  Samantala,   ang    mga   Pilipino   ay   maluha-luha  habang   nakatingin   sa   mga  presyo   ng   bigas   sa   mga      pamilihan….kung    hanggang   kaylan,    siguro hanggang  ang  mga  tiwaling   opisyal   sa   pamahalaan    ay   kapit- tuko    sa   kanilang    mga    tungkulin.

 

 

Rod Duterte and Davao City

Rod Duterte and Davao City
By Apolinario Villalobos

For those who just read news about Rod Duterte, mayor of Davao City, the impression they get is the seemingly arrogance of the guy. But those who have known him for a long time, the feeling is admiration for having the guts to declare war against the smugglers who are sabotaging the country’s economy and the involved government officials. His action has become the favorite subject of rumor mongers in piers, coffee shops and even the houses of lawmakers. Who will not be irritated by the laxity of the people who are supposed to check on this activity and people behind it? And, so, can Duterte be blamed for giving warning to, DavideBangayan a.k.a. David Tan who is already identified as the perpetrator of this illegal activity in his turf?

During a Senate hearing about rice smuggling, Duterte, with profound coolness, let go of a simple introduction of his purpose in attending the hearing and as a finale, showed a photograph of David Bangayan who desperately kept on denying that he is also known as David Tan. But he failed to match the fire in the eyes of Duterte who, once more let out a stern warning that he (David Bangayan) shall be shot if he continues to smuggle rice into Davao City, adding that, he will do it for the country, and that he is ready to spend the rest of his life in jail. His pronouncement did not please de Lima of the Department of Justice who declared that the National Bureau of Investigation must “gather”, yet, additional evidences before necessary charges can be filed against Bangayan. As if such unpleasant statement of de Lima is not enough, Etta Rosales of the Commission on Human Rights took her position in the limelight by asking the Senate to charge Duterte with contempt. The acts of the two ladies just put substance to the statement of Duterte which implied that the government has more talk than act.

Before the administration of Rod Duterte, Davao City was a notorious hideaway of criminals from surrounding provinces, cities and towns. Touted as the biggest city in the world in terms of area, lawless elements made use of the wide domain in eluding the arms of the law. Agdao, a seaside district even became known as a “killing field”. Local tourism did not gain much as regards arrivals due to the unsafe atmosphere of the city despite its being gateway to Mt. Apo, the highest mountain in the Philippines at 10,311 feet above sea level, its being the showcase of famous fruits of the south, such as durian, oranges, rambutan, and the world famous Pearl Farm Resort. Fortunately, those bad impressions are now relegated to the past withDuterte’s assumption of the city’s stewardship.

Davao is the only city in the whole Philippines, known to strongly impose no-smoking policy in restricted areas and such reminder is being echoed by flight attendants just before incoming commercial flights taxi their way into the tarmac of the Davao International Airport. It is also the only city in the country where fireworks are not allowed during New Year celebration. Based on my experience, it is the only city where I found taxi drivers who return fare change to the last centavo!

And, now, with smugglers trying to invade the peaceful turf of Duterte, who sadly admitted that all he could do is conduct covert investigations, as his frequent checking at the piers might be viewed as connivance, made do with stern warning declared publicly, putting his reputation at risk. The detractor grabbed the opportunity by letting go a tirade of accusations, in an effort perhaps to earn a mileage of publicity and public sympathy, to which the impatient Filipinos, especially the direct victims, are not sold.