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NOY'S CORNER THIS PAST WEEK...
(MINI-READS followed by FULL REPORTS below)

P-NOY ON BALIKBAYAN BOX INSPECTION: LET CUSTOMS DO ITS JOB


AUGUST 24 -President Aquino said he will meet later this afternoon with Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and BOC Commissioner Albert Lina to review the agency's stricter inspection of balikbayan boxes. File photo President Benigno Aquino III on Monday urged the public to let the Bureau of Customs (BOC) do its job of inspecting balikbayan boxes.
However, Aquino also asked the BOC officials and personnel not to abuse their authority. "Tulungan natin 'yung Customs na gawin 'yung kanilang trabaho at dapat naman siguraduhin ng gobyerno na wala namang karapatan ng taumbayan na mapipinsala dito sa paghahabol ng pangangalaga ng kapakanan ng lahat," Aquino said in a media interview in Cebu. The BOC has drawn flak for its stricter inspection of balikbayan boxes sent by overseas Filipino workers. The president said he will meet later this afternoon with Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and BOC Commissioner Albert Lina to review the agency's move. "Pipilitan nating ilagay lahat ng safeguards para walang abuso," Aquino said. "Pero palagay ko wala naman sigurong magmumungkahi na huwag na nating tignan dahil trabaho ng Customs 'yung pangalagaan yung inaangkat dito sa ating bansa," he added. READ MORE...

ALSO and then: Noy orders to stop random inspection of balikbayan boxes


AUGUST 25 -Travellers push their balikbayan boxes at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 in Pasay City yesterday. KRIZ JOHN ROSALES
President Aquino stopped last night the random or arbitrary inspection of balikbayan boxes from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) after it drew flak from various sectors. As a result of this, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) issued a directive, saying that “all containers of balikbayan boxes should undergo mandatory X-ray and K-9 examination at no cost to the sender or the OFW.”  “Only in cases where there are derogatory findings from the X-ray or K-9 examination will there be a physical inspection of goods,” it said. “In the event of an inspection, the bureau will request that an Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) representative or a designated officer of an OFW Association be present, with provisions for CCTV monitoring of the inspection areas,” it added. The BOC warned employees who would violate these protocols and engage in pilferage would be prosecuted and punished. “We encourage the public to submit videos and photographic evidence of illegal acts to the commissioner of Customs,” it said. The BOC said it is confident that public concerns would be addressed while enhancing the state’s capacity to fulfill its obligation to the people. It is set to hold a demonstration or walkthrough of the system for the media so that the public can see how it works. The President met with the secretary of finance and the customs commissioner yesterday to discuss the balikbayan issue. OFWs, netizens up in arms over new balikbayan box rules  Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their relatives have turned to social media to express their anger over the decision of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to conduct random inspection of balikbayan boxes entering the country. READ MORE...

ALSO and now: Mandatory X-ray will replace box opening


AUGUST 26 -Lina
THE Bureau of Customs backed down Tuesday on its policy to conduct random inspections of balikbayan boxes and said they would all be subjected to mandatory X-ray examination instead, after President Benigno Aquino III stepped in to defuse public outrage at the plan.
“We will follow the President’s directive on balikbayan boxes effective immediately,” said Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina. “Instead of random physical inspections, we will do a mandatory X-ray examination of containers of consolidated shipments and balikbayan boxes at no cost to the sender or OFW,” he added. Lina said the bureau would seek the help of freight forwarders to install X-ray machines in their own warehouses to expedite the examinations. The commissioner also urged the public to report Customs employees who conduct unauthorized inspections of balikbayan boxes and to submit photos and videos of these acts to helpdesk@customs.gov.ph.  The President met with Lina and Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima Monday night after their new policy on balkikbayan boxes drew heavy fire from overseas workers and politicians on both sides of the political fence. “There will be no random or arbitrary physical inspection of balikbayan boxes. Moving forward, all containers of balikbayan boxes should undergo mandatory X-ray and K-9 examination--at no cost to the sender or the OFW. Only in cases where there are derogatory findings from the X-ray or K-9 examination will there be a physical inspection of goods,” the Finance Department said late Monday. The Customs bureau continued to draw flak, however. Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo called the policy of opening and inspecting the balikbayan boxes “a nickel-and-dime operation” that targeted overseas workers when well entrenched smugglers of rice, fuel, sugar, pork, cigarettes and liquor continued to roam free. Romulo filed a resolution seeking an investigation into the bureau’s use of its intelligence funds aimed at detecting, identifying, and apprehending big-time smugglers. READ MORE...

ALSO P-NOY: ABAD IS MY 'APOLINARIO MABINI'


AUGUST 25 -Abad
—Liberal Party standard bearer Manuel Roxas II on Monday said President Benigno Aquino III had likened Budget Secretary Florencio Abad to national hero Apolinario Mabini because Abad was the “brains” of the Aquino administration’s straight path policy. Roxas made the announcement after he introduced Abad during the People’s Dialogue on Daang Matuwid at the Cebu Normal University in the presence of Aquino and other cabinet members. Mabini is known as the brains of the Philippine Revolution against Spain. “He’s [Abad] the ideologue of daang matuwid [straight path] like Apolinario Mabini. He also makes sure money is used in the “Daang Matuwid” way,” Roxas said quoting Aquino. READ MORE...

ALSO: Kris Aquino gets visit from PNoy, sisters after being rushed to hospital for high blood


AUGUST 25 -Kris Aquino was rushed to the Medical City Monday night (August 24) after her blood pressure shot up due to working excessively. The actress’ brother, President Benigno Aquino III, and sisters Ballsy, Pinky and Viel, immediately went to the hospital to check on Kris’ condition after hearing the news.
There is still no word until when she will be staying in the hospital or if she has been discharged. Kris has admittedly been sickly nowadays as she continues shooting her upcoming film, “Etiquette for Mistresses.” Recently, she shared on Instagram. that she woke up with a throbbing headache because she has been working non-stop. She has also been suffering from an aching body and sore throat. She said she has been working 16-hour days despite feeling ill on several days because she wants to “honor my job commitments.” READ KRIS INSTAGRAM POST...

ALSO: Amid word war, Binay still considers P-NOY a friend


AUGUST 25 -Vice President Jejomar Binay said that he still considers President Benigno Aquino III as a friend despite the fact that their camps are engaged in a verbal tussle.In an interview aired over Radyo Inquirer 990 AM on Tuesday, Binay said that it is his responsibility to point out the lapses of the Aquino administration. “Basta ako, ang pamilya nila, siya ay tinuturing kong kaibigan. Nagsisiwalat lang ako ng mga bagay-bagay na dapat malaman ng taumbayan (In my end, I consider him and his family as my friends. I only revealed things that the public needs to know),” Binay said. Binay issued the reaction after he was hit by Aquino in his two speeches in Cebu City on Monday. In his speech at the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Region VII Monday morning, Aquino said Binay should see an optometrist to see what he has done for the province of Cebu. READ: President twits Binay: See your eye doctor “Problem is, those who pretend to be blind will not see anything even if we give them good glasses,” Aquino said. READ MORE...

ALSO Smuggling utterly out of control under Aquino regime: P4 trillion in last five years


AUGUST 25 -by RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO While President Aquino and his Bureau of Customs have moronically focused on opening OFWs balikbayan boxes to squeeze more revenues, smuggling by big-time traders has exploded to unprecedented levels under this regime.Nearly one-fourth of imports into the country in the last five years have been unreported and untaxed, totaling $94 billion – for an astronomical P4 trillion. That’s more than four times the estimated smuggled value of just $21 billion from 2005 to 2009.The Aquino government lost revenues from duties and value-added taxes on these smuggled goods in the last five years, totaling P760 billion, as a result of the massive collusion between traders and the Bureau of Customs, the likes of which had never been seen in the country’s postwar history. To give you an idea of the magnitude of those P760 billion foregone revenues, that could have doubled the budget of the public works department to start the building of two MRT-type of mass transport systems to solve the horrendous traffic problem in the metropolis. Alternatively, it could have doubled the education department’s budget so that the poor will enjoy totally free education. Aquino’s failure to curb corruption is one of his biggest sins against the nation, which remarkably though he has been able to keep largely unnoticed. These figures are based on data from the International Monetary Fund’s Direction of Trade Statistics, which allows us to compare exports to the country as reported by the exporting country, and the Philippines’ imports, as reported by the Bureau of Customs, to come up with an estimate the value of smuggled goods.The discrepancies in the two sets of figures may in part be due to reporting errors, for instance due to different reporting times. However, especially when the discrepancies involve significant amounts and when a time-series is available, the methodology approximates the magnitude of smuggling in a country. The methodology has been routinely used by international-trade economists and multilateral institutions. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

PNoy on balikbayan box inspection: Let Customs do its job


President Aquino said he will meet later this afternoon with Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and BOC Commissioner Albert Lina to review the agency's stricter inspection of balikbayan boxes. File photo

MANILA, AUGUST 31, 2015 (PHILSTAR) By Louis Bacani - President Benigno Aquino III on Monday urged the public to let the Bureau of Customs (BOC) do its job of inspecting balikbayan boxes.

However, Aquino also asked the BOC officials and personnel not to abuse their authority.

"Tulungan natin 'yung Customs na gawin 'yung kanilang trabaho at dapat naman siguraduhin ng gobyerno na wala namang karapatan ng taumbayan na mapipinsala dito sa paghahabol ng pangangalaga ng kapakanan ng lahat," Aquino said in a media interview in Cebu.

The BOC has drawn flak for its stricter inspection of balikbayan boxes sent by overseas Filipino workers.

The president said he will meet later this afternoon with Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and BOC Commissioner Albert Lina to review the agency's move.

"Pipilitan nating ilagay lahat ng safeguards para walang abuso," Aquino said.

"Pero palagay ko wala naman sigurong magmumungkahi na huwag na nating tignan dahil trabaho ng Customs 'yung pangalagaan yung inaangkat dito sa ating bansa," he added.

READ MORE...

Aquino said he was initially told by Purisima and Lina that the stricter balikbayan box inspection aims to strengthen the government efforts against smuggling.

"Ang pangunahing layunin nito ay makatulong doon sa kampanya natin laban sa mga ilegal na droga," Aquino said.

The president said he has received reports that even firearms, ammunition and dismantled motorcycle parts are being smuggled into the country through balikbayan boxes.

Aquino said it was explained to him that x-ray machines will be used to inspect balikbayan boxes and only the suspicious ones will be physically opened.

He said independent observers were supposed to be deployed to the BOC to ensure that the contents of the boxes will not be stolen by inspectors.


PHILSTAR

Noy stops random inspection of balikbayan boxes By Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 25, 2015 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Travellers push their balikbayan boxes at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 in Pasay City yesterday. KRIZ JOHN ROSALES

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino stopped last night the random or arbitrary inspection of balikbayan boxes from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) after it drew flak from various sectors.

As a result of this, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) issued a directive, saying that “all containers of balikbayan boxes should undergo mandatory X-ray and K-9 examination at no cost to the sender or the OFW.”

“Only in cases where there are derogatory findings from the X-ray or K-9 examination will there be a physical inspection of goods,” it said.

“In the event of an inspection, the bureau will request that an Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) representative or a designated officer of an OFW Association be present, with provisions for CCTV monitoring of the inspection areas,” it added.

The BOC warned employees who would violate these protocols and engage in pilferage would be prosecuted and punished.

“We encourage the public to submit videos and photographic evidence of illegal acts to the commissioner of Customs,” it said.

The BOC said it is confident that public concerns would be addressed while enhancing the state’s capacity to fulfill its obligation to the people.

It is set to hold a demonstration or walkthrough of the system for the media so that the public can see how it works.

The President met with the secretary of finance and the customs commissioner yesterday to discuss the balikbayan issue.

OFWs, netizens up in arms over new balikbayan box rules

Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their relatives have turned to social media to express their anger over the decision of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to conduct random inspection of balikbayan boxes entering the country.

READ MORE...

Almost 80,000 people have signed an online petition urging Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago to stop the BOC from implementing stricter rules on balikbayan boxes.

“We all know how much corruption is happening in (Customs) right now. We cannot deny it,” wrote United Arab Emirates-based Julius Lajara in a Change.org petition.

He questioned the BOC statement saying that OFWs can report to authorities if items were lost in the boxes following the conduct of inspection.

“Who (are) the authorities (whom) they are saying? Even if that happens and we report (the loss), we all know that there will be no good output,” he said.

Less than a week after it started, thousands have joined Lajara in his call.

“I’m signing because the items inside our balikbayan boxes are the fruits of our hard earned money, blood, tears, sadness, hunger, insults, our forgotten dignity, our sacrifices to be away from our loved ones, all our Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries spent alone in a very hot and humid country, being sick alone and still getting up because we are required to,” said Bahrain-based Mariefe Raya.

Zyrelle Deleon from Qatar said the random inspection is against the right to privacy of an overseas worker.

“This will only lead to a massive form of corruption and the victims will be the OFWs who have been working so hard just to provide a better future for their families which our government failed to accomplish for the past years,” she said.

BOC Commissioner Alberto Lina earlier announced plans to implement stricter rules on inspection of balikbayan boxes, which he said are being used to smuggle commercial goods into the country.

But he clarified that the agency does not plan to impose higher taxes on these boxes.

Long, winding thread On Facebook, a post of deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte gathered hundreds of comments from OFWs complaining against the inspection policy of the BOC.

“For those with concerns, comments, reports on the BOC balikbayan box regulation, please post your comments on this thread. I am compiling your posts so you can all be heard by the BOC,” Valte said.

Some of the comments pointed at the “desecration” allegedly committed by BOC personnel when inspecting the boxes. Some also reported losing some of the contents in the boxes.

Many asked that the boxes instead be inspected using x-ray machines or scanners to avoid such incidents.

Even presidential sister and actress Kris Aquino, who received a barrage of complaints, has weighed in on the issue.

“I already forwarded your concerns which you very clearly stated on my thread in my previous post to those in a position to not only address them but hopefully study, clarify and act on policies that have a direct impact on you, your sacrifices and your love for family that motivates not just you, but all of us to work hard,” said the actress in a post on her Instagram account.

“I make no promises because I’m not in government, but your concerns did not fall on deaf ears, and in my own small and humble way I do hope I was able to help,” she added.

Various memes and open letters have also circulated online, with many calling on the BOC to instead focus on catching the big smugglers instead of picking on the balikbayan boxes sent by OFWs.

Balikbayan box rules Based on the BOC website, only non-commercial goods or goods not in commercial quantity which are strictly for personal use, such as wearing apparel, clothing, food, grocery items and canned goods are allowed in balikbayan boxes.

Rules also state that the value of the contents of each box should not exceed $500.

“One consignor or sender is allowed to send one box during a six-month period,” added the rules.

The BOC also said that 100 percent examination of consolidated shipment is necessary to protect the interests of the government and the sender, as well as curb smuggling activities.

In defending the stricter rules on inspection, the agency cited an instance when they found appliances such as refrigerators concealed in the boxes.

Safeguards in place But no less than President Aquino assured the millions of furious OFWs that there will be safeguards in the BOC’s inspection of balikbayan boxes.

Aquino told reporters in Cebu yesterday that he had set a meeting with Lina and Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima about the matter.

While saying that this will be reviewed, the Chief Executive stood pat on the plan to open the packages, which is expected to come in by the thousands, especially since the Christmas season is drawing near.

He said such boxes are not exempt from examination, as these may yield drugs, ammunition, guns and the like.

He urged the public to support the BOC in its job but at the same time vowed that the government will make sure that the rights of OFWs will be protected.

Congressional probe In response to the online petition to stop the BOC plan, Santiago, who has been on prolonged sick leave, filed Senate Resolution No. 1534.

Sen. Grace Poe also filed a separate resolution urging the Senate to investigate the plan to inspect and further tax balikbayan boxes sent by OFWs.

“Balikbayan boxes are often channels of private and personal communication between migrant workers and their families in the Philippines. Is nothing sacred anymore for the Bureau of Customs?” Santiago said.

Poe said she wants to invite Lina to explain the BOC regulation, noting that this shows the agency’s dismal failure and ineptness to address smuggling.

Even the House of Representatives is set to conduct an inquiry into the controversial BOC policy.

The inquiry was prompted by a resolution filed by Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, who said it appeared that Lina wants to penalize OFWs and their families with this anti-poor directive.

He said that while the Aquino administration claims that OFWs are the country’s new heroes, they are being treated like smugglers.

He said international carriers and business forwarders are not only exempt from value added tax and three percent carrier duties but also from stringent inspection measures “while OFWs’ padala will be heavily inspected and taxed just because they are not big business carriers or forwarders.”

More than willing Lina, for his part, said he is willing to attend congressional hearings on BOC’s inspection of balikbayan boxes.

“I would be happy to go to Congress or Senate to clarify the issue,” Lina said, adding that they are only implementing the law.

He reiterated in a radio interview that they do not intend to make the life of OFWs miserable but instead, only want to make sure that balikbayan boxes are not being abused and used for smuggling purposes.

“To separate the legitimate OFWs from the smugglers, they should declare everything they are shipping to the Philippines in their Bill of Lading. They should also make a packing list so that the BOC would know what are the contents of the box,” Lina said.

He added that they would rely on the packing list prepared by the sender OFW.

“We would take your word for it because honesty is the best policy,” he said.

“If you could send the information early to the BOC, if you could send an electronic manifest, then maybe we would even pre-clear it because the documents have been examined,” he said. “But if the documents are incomplete or if BOC personnel found the cargo suspicious, then it would be examined.”– With Janvic Mateo, Delon Porcalla, Evelyn Macairan, Edith Regalado, Christina Mendez, Paolo Romero, Mayen Jaymalin, Eva Visperas, Edu Punay, Lalaine Jimenea


MANILA STANDARD

Mandatory X-ray will replace box opening By Vito Barcelo, Maricel V. Cruz and Sandy Araneta | Aug. 26, 2015 at 12:01am

 

Lina

THE Bureau of Customs backed down Tuesday on its policy to conduct random inspections of balikbayan boxes and said they would all be subjected to mandatory X-ray examination instead, after President Benigno Aquino III stepped in to defuse public outrage at the plan.

“We will follow the President’s directive on balikbayan boxes effective immediately,” said Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina.

“Instead of random physical inspections, we will do a mandatory X-ray examination of containers of consolidated shipments and balikbayan boxes at no cost to the sender or OFW,” he added.

Lina said the bureau would seek the help of freight forwarders to install X-ray machines in their own warehouses to expedite the examinations.

The commissioner also urged the public to report Customs employees who conduct unauthorized inspections of balikbayan boxes and to submit photos and videos of these acts to helpdesk@customs.gov.ph.

The President met with Lina and Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima Monday night after their new policy on balkikbayan boxes drew heavy fire from overseas workers and politicians on both sides of the political fence.

“There will be no random or arbitrary physical inspection of balikbayan boxes. Moving forward, all containers of balikbayan boxes should undergo mandatory X-ray and K-9 examination--at no cost to the sender or the OFW. Only in cases where there are derogatory findings from the X-ray or K-9 examination will there be a physical inspection of goods,” the Finance Department said late Monday.

The Customs bureau continued to draw flak, however.

Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo called the policy of opening and inspecting the balikbayan boxes “a nickel-and-dime operation” that targeted overseas workers when well entrenched smugglers of rice, fuel, sugar, pork, cigarettes and liquor continued to roam free.

Romulo filed a resolution seeking an investigation into the bureau’s use of its intelligence funds aimed at detecting, identifying, and apprehending big-time smugglers.

READ MORE...

“We want the (House) ways and means committee to ascertain the manner by which the bureau has been spending its intelligence funds to run after these tax evaders and economic saboteurs,” Romulo said. “If the money is not being used effectively, then we might as well strip the bureau of the funds.”

Vice President Jejomar Binay, who was formerly the presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers affairs, said the workers were not criminals who smuggle goods through balikbayan boxes, which contain gifts they send home to their families.

He said the Customs bureau was following the wrong premise in going after them.

The Palace on Tuesday said the President’s move to stop random inspections was not politically motivated.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., said the move was motivated instead by his concern for the welfare of Filipinos working abroad.

“The President listened to the sentiments of his bosses among the OFWs,” Coloma added.

Coloma said, however, that it is the duty of the state to stop the smuggling of contraband.

This is why the President ordered the use of X-ray machines and K-9 units to examine the packages, and open only those boxes that looked suspicious, he said.

But Senator Nancy Binay said it was the Palace’s original instruction for the bureau to implement the random inspections.

Binay said Lina may just be following orders from his superiors.

“Chairman Lina is a good soldier and may just be following orders from his bosses,” she said.

Coloma denied the allegation.

“It is a normal process being done by the Bureau of Customs, the inspection of items being brought to the country (to avoid entry contraband) and ensuring that right taxes are paid on dutiable items. That is the context,” said Coloma.

“There is no truth to the allegations. According to Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina several sectors are trying to take advantage of their use of the balikbayan boxes,” Coloma said.


MANILA STANDARD

Aquino: Abad is my Apolinario Mabini (MANILA STANDARD) By John Paolo Bencito | Aug. 25, 2015 at 12:01am —


Aba

Liberal Party standard bearer Manuel Roxas II on Monday said President Benigno Aquino III had likened Budget Secretary Florencio Abad to national hero Apolinario Mabini because Abad was the “brains” of the Aquino administration’s straight path policy.

Roxas made the announcement after he introduced Abad during the People’s Dialogue on Daang Matuwid at the Cebu Normal University in the presence of Aquino and other cabinet members.

Mabini is known as the brains of the Philippine Revolution against Spain.

“He’s [Abad] the ideologue of daang matuwid [straight path] like Apolinario Mabini. He also makes sure money is used in the “Daang Matuwid” way,” Roxas said quoting Aquino.

READ MORE...

Abad was the Liberal Party’s campaign manager during the 2010 presidential election that brought Aquino to power. He is also the “chief architect” of the administration’s Disbursement Acceleration Program that the Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional.

With Roxas in Cebu were Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman, Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Education Assistant Secretary Rey Laguda, PhilHealth Director Risa Hontiveros, and presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda.

Roxas said the foundation of the Philippines as an emerging strong nation had been laid by the current administration through its various poverty alleviation projects.

He said the integrity, transparency and accountability of the Aquino administration had also been instrumental in greatly boosting the country’s economy. John Paolo Bencito


POLITIKO.COM

Kris Aquino gets visit from PNoy, sisters after being rushed to hospital for high blood 158 SHARES FacebookTwitterEmail politiko_kris Like Ko6 Hate Ko2

Kris Aquino was rushed to the Medical City Monday night (August 24) after her blood pressure shot up due to working excessively. The actress’ brother, President Benigno Aquino III, and sisters Ballsy, Pinky and Viel, immediately went to the hospital to check on Kris’ condition after hearing the news.

There is still no word until when she will be staying in the hospital or if she has been discharged. Kris has admittedly been sickly nowadays as she continues shooting her upcoming film, “Etiquette for Mistresses.”

Recently, she shared on Instagram. that she woke up with a throbbing headache because she has been working non-stop.

She has also been suffering from an aching body and sore throat. She said she has been working 16-hour days despite feeling ill on several days because she wants to “honor my job commitments.”

FROM KRIS INSTAGRAM:

I I am blessed to have such loving & understanding kids, I woke up still w/ a throbbing headache & because of the nonstop work- my immunity is really down. (Full disclosure, I didn't post pics for much of last week because we were shooting sequences that are part of #EtiquetteForMistresses ending & Friday night at the height of Ineng's strength @chinitaprincess & I shot outdoors in Subic until 4 AM, starting when rain was just a drizzle, stopping when it became too strong, then attempting to shoot again hence my headache, bodyaches & sore throat now.😷) The 2 boys told me it's okay for me to just sleep in & they'll wake me up when it's time for me to get ready for Mass. Never did they complain that now that I'm finally home they are getting an exhausted & unhealthy mama. I am proud of my work ethic, tomorrow & Tuesday I'll tape @kristvofficial_ig, then for the rest of the week it's #EtiquetteForMistresses but I've been putting in nonstop 16 hour work days because I am honoring my job commitments, and the truth is my health is really suffering. I read this verse over & over again to give myself proper perspective regarding surrendering to God as my Healer & Redeemer. Have a Restful Sunday to all of you. 😇❤️❤️❤️😴💤 14.9k likes 535 comment


INQUIRER

Amid word war, Binay still considers P-NOY a friend AUGUST 25, 2015


VP BINAY

Vice President Jejomar Binay said that he still considers President Benigno Aquino III as a friend despite the fact that their camps are engaged in a verbal tussle.

In an interview aired over Radyo Inquirer 990 AM on Tuesday, Binay said that it is his responsibility to point out the lapses of the Aquino administration.

“Basta ako, ang pamilya nila, siya ay tinuturing kong kaibigan. Nagsisiwalat lang ako ng mga bagay-bagay na dapat malaman ng taumbayan (In my end, I consider him and his family as my friends. I only revealed things that the public needs to know),” Binay said.

Binay issued the reaction after he was hit by Aquino in his two speeches in Cebu City on Monday.

In his speech at the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Region VII Monday morning, Aquino said Binay should see an optometrist to see what he has done for the province of Cebu.

READ: President twits Binay: See your eye doctor

“Problem is, those who pretend to be blind will not see anything even if we give them good glasses,” Aquino said.

READ MORE...

The Vice President earlier said that the slide of Cebu’s ranking in the competitive index was due to the administration’s failure to provide its fair share in taxes and major infrastructure projects. He also slammed the Liberal Party for its alleged selective appropriation, with other provinces luckier than others.

Meanwhile, in the “Gathering of Friends” held at the Cebu Coliseum Monday afternoon, Aquino twitted Binay anew, saying that he will derail the supposed gains of “Daang Matuwid.”

Despite the President’s rebuke, Binay maintained that Aquino has indeed neglected the vote-rich province of Cebu.

Binay was also in Cebu province on Monday.

Since he resigned from his Cabinet posts last June, Binay has become a staunch critic of the administration. In several occasions, the vice president slammed the government for being “bumbling and insensitive” to the plight of Filipinos. Aries Joseph Hegina/IDL


MANILA TIMES BY ROGOBERTO TIGLAO

Smuggling utterly out of control under Aquino regime: P4 trillion in last five years August 25, 2015 11:17 pm  RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO


by RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO

First of a two-part series

While President Aquino and his Bureau of Customs have moronically focused on opening OFWs balikbayan boxes to squeeze more revenues, smuggling by big-time traders has exploded to unprecedented levels under this regime.

Nearly one-fourth of imports into the country in the last five years have been unreported and untaxed, totaling $94 billion – for an astronomical P4 trillion.

That’s more than four times the estimated smuggled value of just $21 billion from 2005 to 2009.

The Aquino government lost revenues from duties and value-added taxes on these smuggled goods in the last five years, totaling P760 billion, as a result of the massive collusion between traders and the Bureau of Customs, the likes of which had never been seen in the country’s postwar history.

To give you an idea of the magnitude of those P760 billion foregone revenues, that could have doubled the budget of the public works department to start the building of two MRT-type of mass transport systems to solve the horrendous traffic problem in the metropolis. Alternatively, it could have doubled the education department’s budget so that the poor will enjoy totally free education.


Straight path, of smuggling expansion. (Based on accompanying table).


Aquino’s failure to curb corruption is one of his biggest sins against the nation, which remarkably though he has been able to keep largely unnoticed.

These figures are based on data from the International Monetary Fund’s Direction of Trade Statistics, which allows us to compare exports to the country as reported by the exporting country, and the Philippines’ imports, as reported by the Bureau of Customs, to come up with an estimate the value of smuggled goods.

The discrepancies in the two sets of figures may in part be due to reporting errors, for instance due to different reporting times. However, especially when the discrepancies involve significant amounts and when a time-series is available, the methodology approximates the magnitude of smuggling in a country.

The methodology has been routinely used by international-trade economists and multilateral institutions.

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Smuggling has been institutionalized.” Source: Based on IMF DOT data

The validity of the method is such that other the import figures for other countries known to be relatively free of smuggling – such as Europe and Saudi Arabia– do not show such massive discrepancies. (Read the note at the end of this column if you’re interested in the details of this methodology).

The accompanying table and chart show that the estimated value of goods smuggled into the country jumped as soon as Aquino took office, rocketing in 2009 from just $8 billion in 2009 or just 15 percent of the imports as reported by the exporting countries to $26 billion last year, more than a fourth of the actual imports.

“It’s the biggest open secret in Manila,” a veteran broker put it. “Biggest as I’ve never seen such blatant smuggling ever in my 30 years in this business. Open because we brokers all know it and how to do it.

And secret, as this government has managed to keep under the public radar, what is really their biggest racket.”

The broker added “Just go to Divisoria or any mall, or any supermarket, and you won’t have a doubt at all that smuggling has been so rampant under this administration. It’s been institutionalized.”

“I don’t mind, of course,” he quipped with a smile.. “A Johnny Walker Black 1-liter costs $55 (P2,400 at P44 to $1) in places I’ve visited abroad. Here a popular supermarket sells it for just a bit less than P1,000.”



As I will show on Friday, the biggest chunk of smuggled goods in the country under Aquino is coming from his favorite country: China.

Notes on the Estimates

The estimates on smuggling are based on data from the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Direction of Trade Statistics (DOTS), which starting this year were made available by the IMF without charge, and can be accessed through their website.

The DOTS provides two sets of data. The first set has the value of export to the Philippines, as reported, for example, by China. The second set of data has the value of imports from China as reported by the Philippines.

To compare the two sets of data, economists use various formulas, the simplest of which involves reducing the export value by 10 percent to account for the cost of freight, insurance and other shipment costs.

The difference between the exports of China, less freight and insurance and other costs, and the Philippine reports of its imports from that country represents the estimates of smuggled, i.e., unreported goods.

The foregone revenues are computed as follows. First, the import duty is applied on the value of estimated value of smuggled goods, converted into Philippine pesos. I used a very low 6 percent duty, which is the average weighted duty on all imports of the country.

The value of the shipment plus the duty is then used to compute the 12 percent value added tax, which is actually the bigger cost for imports now even as the country has been lowering its duties to comply with the WTO and ASEAN commitments.

When I first estimated smuggling under Aquino using IMF data when I was still a columnist of the Philippine Daily Inquirer (“Smuggling at its worst under Aquino,” November 12, 2012) then BOC head Ruffy Biazon replied, also printed by the Inquirer:

“What may be reported by China as an export to the Philippines may not be reported by the Philippines as an import if it is [sic meant for the Freeport Zones and Economic Zones which utilize imported products in the production of goods which do not enter the domestic market for local consumption.”

In my reply to his letter (“Biazon doesn’t understand arithmetic”) I quoted BOC operating procedures which plainly showed that while it doesn’t collect duties in such zones, it was required to report the dutiable values to our statistics office, and that such imports to duty-free zones are included in our trade figures. No wonder he couldn’t run the BOC properly and got booted out. He didn’t even know what he was supposed to monitor.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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