Tuesday, 24th October 2017
2:30:12am

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July 14 - 20 (3)

By Ralph John Mijares & Edalyn Acta

 

ROXAS CITY—The Metro Roxas Water District (MRWD) management wants to add P 184-million to its planned P847-million loan takeout which increases the amount to P1.031-billion.


In a meeting with MRWD’s interim board of trustees on July 11, General Manager Gonzalo Glen Delgado said that the management has proposed to add P 184-million more to their proposed loan takeout with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP). However, the entire proposed loan takeout has yet to be approved.


If Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) rejects the entire proposed takeout, the MRWD has to implement a 29% water rate hike because of its poor financial condition, Delgado said.


In a previous interview with The Capiz Times, Delgado claimed that MRWD is mired in some P1-billion worth of debt and is currently operating on loss.


Once the P1.031-billion loan takeout is approved, the water rate increase could only reach 10%. And there might be no rate hike within the next five to 10 years, he added.


Then in a recent city council session, Delgado said that MRWD needs to increase its water rates to pay off its loan with LWUA, lessen operation and maintenance expenses and add to their cash reserves. The same will also be used to fund its planned capital expenditures for projected service expansion, provision of additional water supply capacity in 2017 and further nonrevenue water reduction.


He said that the loan takeout with the DBP is for MRWD’s loan from LWUA used to finance its expansion and improvement projects.


With the additional loan takeout, MRWD wants to further reduce the proposed interest rate from 5.3% to 5%, Delgado said. The current interest rate of the two different loan accounts is 8.5% (P184M and P847M are two different loan accounts).


Delgado said that MRWD proposed to LWUA for a water rate increase supposed to take effect on January 2014 and cited three scenarios regarding this proposal:


1. If there would be no water increase by 2014, and the P25-million loan takeout with DBP was approved, there would be negative projected net cash flows from 2014 to 2018 and negative projected total ending cash balances from 2016 onwards;

 

2. If the 29-percent water rate increase is approved in 2014, with P25-million loan takeout with DBP, there is positive projected net cash flow and total ending cash balances from 2014 onwards; and


3. With a 10-percent water rate increase in 2014, a P25-million take-out loan with DBP, and a P827-million 15-year takeout loan with DBP, this would contribute to a negative projected net cash flow in 2014, but with positive cash flow amounts from 2015 onwards and positive total ending cash balances from 2014 onwards.


According to Delgado, the P 25-million takeout with the DBP was approved by LWUA’s Board of Trustees on March 20, but has reduced to P19,142,831.16 because the water district has been paying off the part of the amount for more than a year now.


A takeout is done with a bank that is willing to pay off the loan’s principal amount in behalf of the payee and would only charge the latter at an interest rate lower than its previous lender.

WHILE THE WORLD’S attention has been focused on Samar and Leyte after Yolanda ravaged the Visayas with rain and destructive winds with the velocity of up to 350 kilometers per hour, Ateneo Grupo 58 was on road three days after, delivering packages of relief canned goods, soap, rice and corn grit to Northern Cebu up to Daan Bantayan and the whole of Capiz up to coastal town of Pan-ay.


It was in Pan-ay, in the barangay of Butacal, the last stop of the group’s relief effort, that Danny Olivares, the group leader, saw the devastating havoc that Yolanda wrought on the hapless barangay.


The storm surges 20 feet high swept 2 kilometers inland, destroying houses, flattening coconut, mango, and banana trees and polluting the farm lands with salty sea water where no rice would grow.


Right there and then Olivares decided to focus and adopt the barangay, concentrating the funds and resources of the group and their other sponsors like the Salt and the Light for Christ Catholic Charismatic Community in Manila, the Radiowealth Finance Corporation in Roxas City, and the Prince of Peace Parish in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the United States to rehabilitate the livelihood of Butacal’s fisherman whose fishing boats were totally destroyed by Yolanda.


Using the wooden hulls saved by the fisherman, Olivares and classmate Timmy Nivera, with the help of Pan-ay’s Mayor Bermejo and his entire staff and Butacal Barangay Captain Bebot Belviz, started manufacturing wooden boats twenty four and thirty feet long.

 

Eight wooden boats fully equipped with 7 and 10 horsepower engines, outrigger, rudder, propeller and fishing nets, were rewarded to deserving fishermen by the end of January 2014. Eight more fully equipped fishing boats were awarded by the end of April.


The group produced ten more wooden pump boats from the remaining salvaged wooden hulls and then resorted to fiberglass river boats, producing twelve also fully equipped riverboats which were awarded to fishermen from sitios Blas, Limon, and Bagong Barrio, all of Barangay Butacal Friday on July 11 by the beach in front of San Antonio Resort in Baybay, Roxas City.


Olivares reasoned that helping the Yolanda victims with relief goods would not help them get back on their feet to be productive again. The best way to help rehabilitate them would be to give them back their means of livelihood, which is fishing.


Also, giving the boats would not be enough. The boats must be fully equipped with engines and bets so they could go to the deep to fish.


Ateneo Grupo 58 has also taught them to be legitimate fishermen by registering their boats with the municipality and paying their license fees. Further, while the boats were given free, the group taught them to “pay forward” and help their fellow fishermen by donating a sum like ₱500 monthly to a fund which would be used to finance more boats for those who had not yet received their boats.

ROXAS CITY—A public hearing was held July 3 on the proposed city ordinance requiring would-be couples to plant one tree as additional condition for the issuance of a marriage license.


Led by Councilor Powell Del Rosario, presiding chair, together with Honorable Sanggunian members, namely: Trina Almalbis, Cesar Yap and Cora Balgos Tiangco.


Key players of the ordinance attended the public hearing, including City Registrar Ali-Salvio Limbaña, Department of Environment & Natural Resources Dennis Villa, Mt. Carmel Parish Church, Mr. Fernando Billones, City Population Office (Virgie Azarcon), and other representatives from the Association of Barangay Chairmen (ABC) office, the Capiz Provincial Press Bureau, The Capiz Times, IBC-DYJJ, Radio Bombo and the Roxas City Press Bureau.


The highlights of the hearing were summarized by Dr. Yap, to include, 1) the supply and availability of tree seedlings, 2) the problem of space or site, 3) and possible infringement on the couples’ rights to contract marriage.


Almalbis was worried that there might not be enough or accessible site for tree planting within the urban proper, “basi sa gwa na, ang iban sa kabukiran.” The City Agricultural Office (CAO) must be tasked to identify or designate this site, in coordination with the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council. So far, there are 3 land areas in 3 barangays that can be made as site, she added.


Tiangco saw the importance of information dissemination, particularly formulating an information, education and communication (IEC) campaign plan or strategy. The mass media must come in and take more active roles. She stressed that in any project, “it’s not easy in the beginning, but if methods or systems are put in place to address the implementation problematics,” the process will be manageable. There are always “birthing problems,” the system will take care of these. On the available supply of seed trees, she said that a mechanism must be designed in which the CAO can accept the same, in say “pots” in case no site has been designated yet. On this point, Almalbis suggested that the Department of Education (DepEd) be tapped as project partner to encourage public school pupils to not only grow vegetables in gardening activities but at the very least “plant” one tree as a matter of curriculum requirement, and perhaps deposit it to the CAO for use of marrying couples.


Almalbis clarified: In certain cases couples can ask seed trees for free from their neighbors. Should the barangay units take the lead in “seed trees bank,” in great number the latter can be a community-based incomegenerating project.


President of Parish Pastoral Council Billones of Mt. Carmel Parish recommended that tree planting activities must be give priority to areas “nga gina-agyan” or “alagyan sang baha.” He also expressed his commitment to help in the IEC aspect during pre-marriage counseling.


On the whole, Del Rosario considered to make certain amendments on the draft TREE /1 ordinance, like a provision on an oversight committee or task force.


After listening to the opinions and/or suggestions of the attendees, Del Rosario suggested that the date of implementation of the proposed ordinance will be set on August 1, next month. Hearing no objections, he assured that the effectivity date can be done because there are no penal provisions. Thus there is no need for publication, just posting copies of the ordinance in three (3) conspicuous places as required by the 1991 Local Government Code will do.


The tree planting requirement prior to issuance of marriage license translates the policy of the city government “to promote and encourage community involvement in the attainment of a clean and green environment and development that is sustainable to ensure that future generations will have a better place to live in.” (Charl Boie)