Community Whispers by Ray Junia
Community Whispers

Jockeying for positions

Jul 5, 2022, 12:22 AM
Ray L. Junia

Ray L. Junia

Publisher

The country has a new president. His first one hundred days started three days ago. The first one hundred days are always interesting as the new president sets his directions. And names his official family, both moves making great impact on trust building.

A career diplomat was named DFA chief. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor gets the finance portfolio, both picks boosting trust on the new dispensation.

OSG chief Calida got moved to head the Commission on Audit. This one raised eyebrows, what’s cooking?

The Department of Transportation is now headed by a corporate person, former head of struggling Philippine Airlines (PAL). The new DOTR promises to bring our mobility support to economic activities to international standards. My kapitbahay is praying we don’t end up bankrupt.

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Talks in coffee shops are on jockeying for positions in the new Marcos Jr. administration. Question is, who are the powers behind the President? Who are in the kitchen cabinet?

The first guess is, most influential are two first ladies. Many of the new appointees are picks of First Lady Liza, this is the talk of the town. I am inclined to believe the marites (or mare what is the latest?).

The other guess is the other first lady, the former FL and the mother of the brand- new President, Imelda. If you don’t notice, the chief of the Presidential Management Staff, the gatekeeper to the President’s desk is a waray-waray. Also it is reported that heading the support staff to the President is a proven Marcos loyalist who also comes from Leyte.

Being a waray is again an advantage, more so if you want to join the government.

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Sen. Imee is seeking deeper probe into agri smuggling. I thought the senate will not get into the next level in the fight against agri smuggling.

Sen. Imee has the balls and the muscle to make things happen and starting with prosecuting Department of Agriculture and Bureau of Customs people is perfect.

Mabuhay ka Ma’am Senator Imee.

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The call for food security should start with fixing the high cost of producing food in our farms. A review on the taxing of inputs to food production is a good start.

Taxes on farm inputs must be high enough to encourage businessmen to resort to smuggling. Smugglers don't pay taxes so the farm inputs they smuggle are priced according to their desire, hence high input costs would kill food production and discourage farmers from planting.

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Our finance experts are focused on using taxes that impact on cost of products to consumers to fund government spending. At some point in the equation, the zero-sum theory is reached but resulting in badly- diminished disposal income for Filipino families.

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Hot story today is the President’s veto on a bill passed by Congress granting incentives to locators in a proposed export processing zone in Bulacan.

Ecozones like Bulacan provide perks to invite foreign investors to invest in our country and local businessmen to bring out their cash from banks to fund enterprise in the economic zones. This is not new in the world scheme of encouraging businessmen to invest in foreign territories. We are, in fact, behind Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia, our immediate neighbors in the incentives we provide them. Others practically baby them just to stay.

From a briefer by the PEZA or Philippine Export Zone Authority, it was said that the Philippines lags behind in incentives offered to businessmen to locate their business here. In short, we are not competitive.


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