AT last, a senator is making sense by wanting to dissect a memorandum issued by the National Electrification Administration (NEA), because the memo “does not make sense.” Senator Raffy Tulfo wants to change the NEA memo.
He wants to look into NEA Memorandum No. 2017-035, which says that no electric cooperative will have a general manager without undergoing the process of NEA, such as intelligence quotient and emotional quotient tests.
Sen. Tulfo further commented during the Senate Committee on Energy hearing two weeks ago that the NEA memorandum has to be changed. “I have to look into that, I will change that. It has to be changed,” said the senator.
NEA Deputy Administrator for Legal Services Atty. Rossan Rosero-Lee invoked the memorandum as the basis for appointing a new general manager for the Benguet Electric Cooperative (Beneco) despite Sen. Tulfo’s comments that the memo doesn’t make any sense.
“I don’t see a reason why that will flourish. There is no common sense in what you are saying,” the senator told NEA officials. “That memorandum has no common sense, I’m sorry. For me, it doesn’t make sense, for the nth time.”
While a majority of the Beneco board supports and backs Engr. Melchor Licoben, the duly recognized GM who was appointed according to the rules and by laws of the cooperative, the NEA-appointed person has been rejected too many times already.
For Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, he looks at the NEA memorandum circular as “micro-managing” the electric cooperatives if NEA officials who are in higher positions to choose the general managers for electric cooperatives.
With this latest update in the senate, we hope to see an early relief for consumers-members-owners of Beneco who have been tied to a management issue brought about by NEA’s actions described by Sen.Tulfo as nonsense.
Too much noise has been generated by issues related to the importation of agricultural supplies, including vegetables, sugar, and salt. But many of us, including elected and appointed government officials cannot seem to diagnose the symptoms of the problem.
And even while senators disagree about what is causing the problem in the first place, then we might not be seeing a solution to it except to continue to allow importation as the answer and as a band-aid cure to food shortage.
The reason for taking part in senate blue ribbon hearings for agriculture is in “aid of legislation” for the benefit of farmers, not for political grandstanding and taking the chance to hit or put the blame on political enemies as we have seen in the latest senate hearings.
The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee (SBRC) is called such because it is supposed to be composed of lawmakers with “blue ribbons” on their chests. They are considered the “best and brightest” in coming up with their tasks. But is it so?
What happened to the Pharmally Pharmaceutical corruption case that was heard by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee for 18 long days? On Feb. 1, three weeks before the start of the election campaign this year, Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the SBRC, released the 113-page report.
It required at least 11 signatures of the 20 senators of the endorsing committee to be accepted as an official committee report before it could be submitted for discussion by the plenary. But, a month after the May 9, 2022 election; only nine senators, including Sen. Gordon, signed the report.
It is so frustrating for taxpayers that the SBRC failed to get the 11 signatures required by the report. With that, the guilty would just go away scot-free as if no plunder and corruption happened. On the part of the SBRC, there was failure to finish their duty. While they exerted time and effort to come up with a report, it is now trash.
The SBRC draft report recommended the filing of plunder and other criminal charges against Pharmally executives – Health Secretary Francisco Duque, former Budget Undersecretary Christopher Lao, Overall Deputy Ombudsman Rex Warren Liong and Chinese businessman Michael Yang. The report now is nothing but waste.
Chinese businessman Michael Yang was President Duterte’s economic adviser who helped Pharmally, a new “pharmaceutical” company with only a P625,000 paid-up capital win a P10-billion contract with the government.
While the SBRC hearings exposed to the public through television and social media the anomalous deals of Pharmally, senators not affixing their signatures to the report makes me conclude that they were part of the conspiracy to steal peoples’ taxes. They should not be reelected. They should be shot.
It looks like the reason why President Marcos Jr. took on the agriculture portfolio is because he might have been aware previously that the department was overwhelmed with too many problems.
Just last week, while the president was in Indonesia, the new chief of the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) of the Department of Agriculture uncovered irregularities in the purchase of P1.737 billion worth of 1,346 tractors.
PHilMech Exec. Dir. Dionisio Alvindia said the tractors were purchased for P1.298 million each under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF)-Mechanization Program funding for 2021. The actual price of one tractor was only P1.2 million.
It is a case similar to the purchase of medical supplies by government officials from Pharmally. To make stealing people’s taxes legit, private businessmen would have to be in cahoots with highly-placed government financial officers.