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July 28 - August 3 (3)

By Ralph John Mijares and Edalyn Acta

 

ROXAS CITY— Hours before President Benigno Aquino III’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 28, The Capiz Times went out to the community and asked what “his bosses” had to say.


Rey Villegas, a lumpia vendor of Brgy. Culajao here said that Aquino should work on making the grassroots feel the effects of the country’s growing economy because prices of commodities continue to rise.


He is “okay” with Aquino’s leadership, but suggested that Aquino should work on making prices affordable.


“Wala pa gid nabatyagan sang pumuluyo ang pagasenso (The people could not yet feel the economic progress),” he said.


Jonard Francisco, public information officer of Kadamay, a group representing the poor from Brgy. Culasi, also wants prices of commodities be reduced.


Some families are unable to send their kids to school; neither could they eat three full meals daily, according to Francisco.


“Maayo na nga makakaon sila isa ka beses sa isa ka adlaw (Some would be fortunate enough if they can eat once a day),” he said.

 

More job opportunities with higher pay should also be offered, Francisco said.


Further, Jobert Carandang of Hukbong Transport Capiz, wants the oil deregulation law and value-added tax from petroleum be removed.


Carandang, a native of Manila married to a Capiceña, gave Aquino a rating of “two out of ten” because he “did not do his job well.”


“Sabi niya na tayo ang boss niya, pero parang nalimutan na niya (Aquino said that we are his bosses, but it seems he had forgotten about it),” he said.


Aquino should prioritize programs alleviating poverty, Carandang said.


Meanwhile, some 10,000 people joined the protest of the Bayan Capiz, marking the president’s SONA, because of rain and lack of vehicles to accommodate the number of participants, according to its spokesperson Kashmer Diestro.


Senior Supt. Ulysses Caton, Capiz provincial police chief said that only 2,000 people joined. Protesters from different municipalities and parts of the city assembled in different convergence points through the province before heading to the bandstand at the Roxas City plaza.

 

Meanwhile, to show their silent protest to the administration, local court employees also wore black during the SONA.


Capiz capitol employees were very happy when the national TV camera panned to Capiz Gov. Victor Tanco.


After Aquino’s one and half hour speech, Capiz was not at all mentioned despite the fact that the province was also devastated by Supertyphoon Yolanda.


In a radio interview, Tanco said that until now they are still collecting the recovery plans from the different municipalities.


Among others, Sangguniang Panlalawigan Secretary Zoe Herrera said that this year’s teary-eyed SONA of PNoy only indicates that he is just human.


Giving Aquino 7 out of 10, Herrera said that even though there are promises in the 2013 SONA that he was not able to fulfill, Filipinos could not rely all things onto the government.

Terminal fee reduction uncertain

Monday, 28 July 2014 00:00

FOR NOW, the Roxas City government remains ‘uncertain’ about lowering the terminal fees at the Roxas City Integrated Transport Terminal, its economic affairs consultant said.


Carmen Andrade said that the city government’s P51- million loan with the United Coconut Planters Bank for the construction of the terminal is a ‘big’ reason why.


Three-fourths of the net income and revenues shall be used to pay off the loan whereas the remaining will be used for operational expenses, Andrade said.


As per Section XI of said ordinance establishing the terminal, the following fees are set: Public Utility Buses, Php100; Public Utility Vans, Php40 (for routes with a distance less than 45 kilometers) and Php 80 (for routes more than 80 kilometers); Public Utility Jeepneys, Php25; and Public Mini-buses, Php 90.


Terminal fees are collected from public utility vehicles prior to their dispatch.


The different petitions of operators/owners of Acacia Group, Rodulfo Abella and Santiago Buyco, Jr., and Hugpong Transport for the review and reduction of terminal fees were rejected by the city council in a regular session on July 22.


In a July 8 letter addressed to the council, Acacia owners said that there is a “discrepancy” of Php20 between fees charged for public utility vans and the Ceres Bus Liner, which has more seating capacity, thus asking to reduce fees for vans to Php40.


Hugpong Transport wants fees to be fixed at Php15 (public utility jeepneys), Php25 (L300 vans), and Php40 (municipal buses).


According to Councilor Jose Agdalipe, chairman of the committee on public utilities, it is too early to file such petitions because of the terminal opening around a month ago.


Consultations with the transport sector were also held prior to the terminal’s construction in 2013, Agdalipe added.


According to Agdalipe, the terminal’s oversight committee might evaluate the need to reduce the fees if it finds the charges burdensome for the operators in the long run.

By Ralph John Mijares

 

ROXAS CITY— A representative for the transport sector said that terminal fees at the integrated terminal here should be reduced because he claims they are shouldering the loan incurred to build the terminal.


“Ang transport sector ang nagbabayad ng inutang ng siyudad,” Jobert Carandang of Hugpong Transport Capiz said.


Carandang said that City Councilor Jose Agdalipe should know that the integrated terminal is an ongoing concern; it will continue earning income in the future.


Thus, he is asking the councilor to reconsider.


Agdalipe’s committee on public utilities rejected the transport group’s request because it was filed prematurely due to the new terminal operating about a month and consultations held with the transport sector.

 

According to Carandang, drivers have no other choice to dispatch despite having a few passengers onboard because of a time limit imposed by the respective associations.


Despite operators participating in the city government’s consultations prior to the terminal’s construction, their concerns were unheard, he added.


“Sila pa rin ang nasusunod,” Carandang said.


Some public utility vehicle drivers revealed that those who are going to ply their routes must either be raffled or change turns everyday (those who get the first trip today will start second tomorrow and so forth).


Alfredo Villa, 47, a jeepney driver-operator plying Jamindan–Roxas City route and vice versa, said that he only gets to make one to two trips a day and has “inconsistent” income.


City Economic Affairs Consultant Carmen Andrade said that there is no guarantee that terminal fees will be decreased soon because the city has to pay off the loan.


“The next administrations might be the ones who will decide on that,” she said.