Ambrosio R. Villorente
Sen. Chiz Escudero has filed a bill in the Senate which will penalize a person representing oneself for another person having transaction with the government.
Senate Bill No. 102, "An Act Penalizing Influence Peddling" seeks to nip corruption at the bud and prior to any damage inflicted upon the government’s coffers.
But what is the proof of consideration in influence peddling? It is difficult to prove. Is the act of influencing a public official to perform his duties constitute a crime? A public official may have forgotten to perform his duties. Is it a crime to remind him to act on matters brought on his table under this bill?
How easy is it to prove and confirm if money of any substantial gift was given and received to seal a specific corrupted deal? However, the said bill if approved into law may clip corruption at its inception even before any gift or present is given and even before the actual intention in connection with a particular request, Escudero hopes.
Senate Bill No. 102 is envisioned to punish any person who engages in influence peddling as defined in the bill. A punishment will be meted out to a person found guilty of influence peddling of not more than six years imprisonment or a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand pesos or both, and disqualification from holding public office.
Aklan SP Resolution To BFI
The Boracay Foundation, Inc., (BFI) with all its strength, opposes the P260 million Marina Project of the Aklan Provincial government.
In its Resolution No. 001, Series of 2010, the Aklan SP members described the BFI opposition "as mere perceptions and generalizations which are not anchored on definite scientific, economic, social and political studies. According to the Aklan SP members, "Section 13(3) (VII) of Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991, the provincial government is authorized to undertake reclamation projects".
The same resolution states that the project is designed to provide infrastructure and building facilities for both private firms and public offices such as banks, airline offices, travel agencies and others.
The BFI resolution cited "environmental, economic, social, and political impacts. However, the citation does not include any data to back up its recitation of negative impacts. The opposition is devoid of any study conducted to show that the proposed Marina Project will bring about ill effects to the people and their environment particularly in Caticlan, Malay.
What is the negative impact on the sustainability of the tourism industry of Aklan? BFI cited nil.
On the other hand, the proposed Marina Project is highly supported by recognized authorities on environment like Dr. Javeloza who has pursued professional environmental impact studies and possesses lifetime experience on man and his biosphere.
The Marina Project, according to the SP Resolution, involves beach zone restoration, protection of shoreline of Caticlan against beach erosion, and mitigates the effect of climate change and global warming.
The LGU Aklan is granted Environmental Compliance Certificate and authorized to proceed with the implementation of the project by the Philippine Reclamation Authority.
What does BFI offer to promote the success of the tourism industry in Aklan?
First, it must follow the laws, rules, regulations, and ordinances promulgated by the national, provincial, and municipal governments. Even the ordinances enacted by the four barangays in Boracay Island, BFI is duty bound to comply. Some of the resorts owners do not comply for instance the "no build zone".
Second, these tourism businesses must pay their respective taxes in correct amount. The BIR padlocked a resort hotel last month for failure to pay taxes due the government. The said resort hotel was reopened only after paying P2.5 million the BIR and Third, conduct studies to support their position on matters BFI agrees or opposes.
A one day orientation workshop on the new performance evaluation system of government employees was held last week with the Civil Service Commission as facilitator. The workshop was exclusive for SP Aklan regular employees.
The performance management system is a strategy for assessing office performance of individuals within the smallest operating unit of an organization as reported by Richie D. Oloroso. /MP