chopper, PGMA landed at San Jose de Buan Elementary School quadrangle
where all students, teachers, parents, local officials, PNP and Army
were excitingly waiting.
The visit of PGMA in
SJDB gave more encouragement to the localities since the said
municipality is still a developing municipality.
PGMA inaugurated six
(4) KBP projects such as the two (2) units of school building, two (2)
health centers and two (2) street lighting projects, all constructed
by the Army Engineers since civilian contractors hesitated to accept
the said projects because of security concerns.
It can be recalled
that SJDB was known to be highly influenced by the terrorist NPA about
few years ago where encounters between the terrorist and the military
were just ordinary.
Mayor Melania Rebato
attributed the new SJDB (as what she described) to the military and
PNP who untiringly performed their mandated task to secure their
people and municipality. She especially mentioned the Social
Integration Program (SIP) of the government that gives second chance
and a new life to the former rebels.
She also said that if
she will assess the improvement of peace and order in her
municipality, she is assured of about 70% to 80% better as compared to
the previous years.
She also stated that
with the cooperation of the localities and the local officials to the
law enforcers and to the military, development in SJDB was given
Improvement of access
roads and highways are another projects being hoped for by the mayor
for according to her, the economy of his municipality will continue to
boom if they have more improved roads and highways.
General Arthur I Tabaquero, commander of Army’s 8th Infantry Division
who is operationally responsible for the peace and order in Region 8
said in a separate interview that his Division will continue to make
necessary actions in order to totally eradicate causes why development
is hardly infused in the area.
“Through the 34th
Infantry Battalion, your Army will continue to coordinate with the
municipal officials so as the peace and development is concerned”,
MajGen Tabaquero added.
“The only factor that
affects why a certain place is very hard to develop is the peace and
order situation. And now that the support of the civilian entities
and other stakeholders are visibly seen and felt, we can guarantee
that the insurgents in the area are soon be dismantled”, he sounded.
He also said that PGMA
might not have inaugurated KBP projects in San Jose de Buan if the
people allowed the local terrorist group to sabotage and destroy all
equipment and materials during its implementation.
“May I take this
opportunity to bring forth to other community to call for their
continued share of support in order to totally achieve our prime goal
in the province, and that is development”, Major General Tabaquero
PGMA calls for
immediate repair, improvement of San Jose de Buan road
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY –
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered the immediate repair and
improvement of the 39.5 kilometers Lokilokon-San Jose de Buan dirt
President Arroyo made
the directive during her March 19 visit to the hinterland town of San
Jose de Buan in the province of Samar, the second poorest municipality
and the most nutritionally poor municipality in Region 8.
for Eastern Visayas Cynthia Nierras informed the Philippine
Information Agency that the President has directed Defense Secretary
Norberto Gonzales and 8th Infantry Division Commander Arthur Tabaquero,
the Army Engineer Brigade and Samar Governor Mila Tan to coordinate
with one another in order to fast track the rehabilitation and the
improvement of the dirt road into an all-weather road.
Samar Governor Mila
Tan, PA Nierras said, told the President that the project would be
finished in fifteen days. For her part, Second District of Samar
Congresswoman Sharee Ann Tan said that she will facilitate the release
of P5 million for the project. The President, however, ordered the
reassessment of the road situation.
“So it’s really the
road that is hampering peace and development in this municipality,”
the President was quoted to have said.
PA Nierras informed
that the project is estimated to have a total cost of P44.5 Million.
When interviewed after
the Presidential visit, Mayor Melania Rebato of San Jose de Buan,
expressed her gratitude for the President’s visit. She said she has
always believed that President Arroyo will not turn down the LGU’s
request for the repair and rehabilitation of the one lane dirt road.
The President’s visit
has inspired the people and gave them a brand new hope that at last
their road problem would soon be solved, Mayor Rebato said.
Mayor Rebato said that
she will prepare as soon as possible a letter requesting the DND to
help the municipality solve its problem. The letter will be personally
handed to Secretary Gonzales by PA Nierras.
When the road is
improved, the travel time to San Jose de Buan will only take more than
35 minutes, a far cry from today’s travel time of nearly three hours,
from the Lokilokon Junction to the town proper of San Jose de Buan.
4Ps in Samar’s
frontier town thrilled by PGMA’s letter
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
March 20, 2010
CATBALOGAN CITY –
More than 30 beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program
(4Ps) from San Jose de Buan, a town located some 70 kms from Samar’s
capital city, are thrilled to see President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,
their latest letter sender.
Presidential Visit, the 4Ps folks wearing white t shirts, converged
with the welcoming party assembled at the municipal grounds for a rare
glimpse of their ‘pen-pal’.
Marina Rebato, 45,
from Poblacion is excited to share that only a few were given the
The letter which she
can’t memorize, said in part, ‘habang ako ay nandito, kayo ay
The first time she got
her 4Ps cash grant of P3,800 she bought a sack of rice, some vitamins
for her young kids, fruits which her kids can only see during
Christmas and fiestas like apples and oranges.
Her husband is a
farmer who grows kalinayan (upland rice), rootcrops and vegetables.
beneficiaries, they are also ever compliant of the conditions, lest
they be disqualified or suspended like the one mentioned by 4Ps
municipal link Dong Bernados.
In fact, to show they
deserve the cash grant, as initiated by Barangay Chairman, they have
planted veggies in their own backyards like pechay and upo.
They have made the
vegetables grow very healthy with the mustasa’s leaves growing almost
As PGMA arrived, even
as the rain drenched them, the 4Ps beneficiaries like Marina and Nori
Manoso shouted “Salamat PGMA from Buananons 4Ps beneficiaries!”
The President, wearing
a peach pant suit with brown hood smiled and waved at the crowd, in
Come March 23-24,
their shout might even become louder as they will again get their
second cash grant for four months!
8ID gains two (2) fire
arms killing one NPA
By DPAO, 8th Infantry Division, PA
Catbalogan City, Samar – The Army’s 8th Infantry Division recovered
two (2) high powered firearms and killed one New People’s Army (NPA)
in a two separate encounters in the municipalities of Mac Arthur,
Eastern Samar and Las Navas, Northern Samar, yesterday.
In Eastern Samar,
troops under 1Lt Mario Josue, commanding officer of the 14th Infantry
Battalion’s Alfa Company were conducting community works when they
received a text message from an unknown sender that some armed members
of local terrorist group will be conducting extortion activities in
the nearby barangays.
1Lt Josue allegedly
proceeded to the mentioned barangays to provide security.
Around 5:45 in the
morning when they reached the boundary of Brgys. Magsaysay and Roxas
both of MacArthur, Eastern Samar where they encountered some five (5)
armed men who believed to be members of SSk1, SECCOM NE, ESPPC of the
Eastern Vizayas Regional Party Committee (EVRPC) under Gavino Guarino
alias Mael crossed their way that immediately resulted to a firefight.
After about 30 minutes
of firefight, rebel scampered to different directions leaving one dead
unidentified rebel and one (1) M16 rifle with three (3) magazines
containing live ammos.
No reported hurt in
the government troops.
In Northern Samar, an
M16 rifle was also recovered by the government troops when the
elements of Charlie Company, 63rd Infantry Battalion led by 1Lt
Tuguinay Agoy responded from the civilian’s tip regarding some
unidentified armed men that were conducting extortion activities in
Brgys. Capoto-an and Sagod of Las Navas.
This resulted to a
15-minute firefight against the armed terrorist that resulted to the
recovery of one (1) M16 rifle and wounding several others.
These successful feats
caused MajGen. Arthur I Tabaquero, commander of 8ID to express his
appreciation to the civilian populace for the continuous show of
concern and support.
He also said that the
successive successes of the troops can be attributed to the full
support of the civilians. “While I congratulate the troops for the
successful performance of their duty, may I also congratulate our
civilians who are one way or another help accomplish our mission,”
MajGen. Tabaquero uttered.
“Election is fast
approaching. This is the reason why the terrorist is doubling their
effort in extortion activities in order to gain much finances for
their selfless agenda. May I take this opportunity to remind our
people not to give any sort of support to these terrorist in order to
pave the way towards our dreams of a peaceful Region,” he added.
He also said that
it is not just an accomplishment of the 8ID. This is also an
accomplishment of a united mind and body of all concerned individuals,
agency and stakeholders who are pursuing peace and development for the
BIR closes several
business establishments in EV under Oplan Kandado
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – The
Bureau of Internal Revenue in Region 8 is serious in its tax
Headed by Regional
Director Atty. Alert Alocilja, the
BIR Eastern Visayas or
BIR RR-14, recently
padlocked three business establishments in Tacloban and another one in
Calbayog City under its Oplan Kandado program.
Ms. Paulina Buitizon,
Revenue Officer 1, informed that the
BIR has padlocked the Superstar Marketing and Warehouse situated
at YKS Anibong District and two outlets of Red Roses Bakeshop located
at Burgos St. and
Rizal Avenue in
downtown Tacloban City.
Marketing is the first business establishment to be padlocked this
year, Director Alocilja said. It is engaged in brisk wholesale and
retail trading and was found to have committed violations such as
non-issuance of receipts and underdeclaration of more than 30% of its
sales which are flagrant infractions of Section 115 of the National
Internal Revenue Code of 1977, as amended, and salient provisions of
Revenue Memorandum Order NO.3-2009.
Armed with closure
orders signed by Deputy Commissioner for Legal and Inspection Service
Gregorio Cabantac, Director Alocilja served the order, ably assisted
by Benny Asis Mari, RDO Imelda Cebuano, and Asst. RDO Jesusa Cabello
together with the members of the enforcement team who recommended for
the temporary closure.
Meanwhile, in Calbayog
City, Oplan Kandado closure was served on Uragon Everbuilt Trading, by
Atty Edgar Quejada, RR-14 legal division chief and RDO Rolando Espina,
together with the Revenue Enforcement team of Revenue District 87
based in Catbalogan City.
committed more than 30% under declaration of sales involving P3
Million in deficiency taxes.
Director Alocilja said
that as of press time, the taxpayers, owners of the mentioned business
establishments have already pledged to settle their respective tax
disclosed that series of closures will be enforced on the perennial
violators in all the district offices under RR-14’s area of
jurisdiction, in order to manifest the Bureau’s determination to
continuously enforce “Oplan Kandado.”
Alocilja said that the BIR hopes to impress upon the taxpaying public
that BIR will not hesitate to sink in its teeth upon tax evaders in order to
raise the much-needed revenues for the country.
(with data from
Leyte forms Provincial
Anti Hunger Task Force
Media Relations Center
March 16, 2010
TACLOBAN CITY – With
the creation of the Leyte Provincial Anti Hunger Task Force just this
week, the committee is bent in seeing to it that hunger and food
shortages is prevented and addressed among the towns and city of the
Nutrition Council together with the Office of the Governor headed by
Gov. Carlos Jericho Petilla formally organized Monday the Provincial
Anti-Hunger Task Force (PAHTF) as per Executive Order No. 825 issued
by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo that will facilitate the
implementation of the Accelerated Hunger-Mitigation Program (AHMP) at
the local level, since the initiatives of National Government agencies
should be complemented by similar efforts of local government units.
As EO 825 came
through, Gov. Petilla immediately ordered the formation of the
provincial task force as part of the province’s commitment to
eradicate all forms of deprivation, including hunger, by pursuing the
achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
In implementing its
hunger mitigation measures, Gov. Petilla said provincial government
will build on its highly-efficient delivery of basic nutrition
services which have already been started even before the task force
The Provincial Anti
Hunger Task Force has, for its members, the Office of the Governor
through the governor himself, the Provincial Planning and Development
Office, Provincial Nutrition Unit, Provincial Health Office,
Provincial Population Office, Provincial Budget Office, Provincial
Social Welfare and Development Office, Provincial Agriculture Office,
Provincial Veterinary Office and the Local Office In-Charge of
Livelihood or its equivalent.
As members, their
duties and responsibilities are to coordinate with the national and
regional AHTF and oversee the implementation of the AHMP, and ensure
the convergence of services delivered by national government agencies
The members are also
tasked to monitor the implementation of the Anti Hunger Mitigation
Program (AHMP) provincial plan through preparation of monthly progress
reports on the AHMP implementation for submission to the Regional AHTF
through the National Nutrition Council Regional Office; conduct
regular meetings to update implementation and o discuss and resolve
implementation problems; conduct of annual program implementation
review to assess accomplishments and gaps, regular project site visits
and provision of feedback horizontally.
Members are also
expected to lead in advocacy for sustainable support to the program
and to provide the public with regular updates on the AHMP and to
recommend to the national task force policy and program adjustments to
improve program efficiency.
The heads of the
various offices of the provincial government are further enjoined to
ensure that hunger-mitigation programs are integrated in their
respective plans, ensure their smooth implementation and advocate for
The AHMP is the
landmark program of the Arroyo Government to address hunger both on
the aspect of supply or the unavailability or insufficiency of food to
eat and on the aspect of demand or lack of money to buy food.
NPA beheads village leader
By DPAO, 8th Infantry Division, PA
Catbalogan City – “Evil strikes back!”, are few but angry words
from the victim’s bereaved family referring to the New People’s Army (NPA)
for slaying and beheading their head of the family at Brgy.
Genaronagan, Lope de Vega, Northern Samar the other day.
disclosed that Hon. Luis Durico, Brgy Chairman of the mentioned
barangay was brutally killed by notorious NPA led by unidentified
leader using assorted high powered fire arms while on his way going
home from a barangay session meeting.
Not contented with
their brutality, the victim’s dead body was dragged towards the center
of barangay and with the presence of his family and constituents, was
beheaded to sow terror with them.
It is also worthy to
note that the victim was a former rebel and allegedly being
re-recruited by his former comrade but never showed any interest after
re-experiencing the social life in the full folds of the law. This is
one of the reasons his constituents see why the terrorists finished
their so called “father of barangay.”
It can be recalled
that similar incident transpired at Brgy. Sta. Cruz, Matuguinao, Samar
early this year when Arman Diaz of Brgy Madoroto, Matuginao, Samar was
shot dead by five unidentified members of NPA and also dragged its
dead body towards the center of barangay plaza to exhibit with the
Moreover, a certain Ka
Dayokdok, former rebel who returned to the mainstream society revealed
that the former group he previously belongs was responsible for
killing and beheading a 13 year old girl that was also exhibited in
the masses of San Jose de Buan for suspecting to be providing reports
to the military without further investigation.
This incident is no
longer new in the underground movement since it was being condemned
internationally for relentlessly violating human rights.
Who will forget their
nationwide anti-DPA campaign dubbed as, “Oplan Kadena de Amor,
Missing-Link, Ahos-Zombie, Purga, Paglilinis-hanay, etc.” as a result
of their “Kangaroo Court” butchering thousands of innocent
Who can’t recall the
famous bloody “Digos Massacre” that came out to the public knowledge
slaughtering even innocent children and beheading the UCCP pastor?
Roberto Gacuma a.k.a.
Ka Huling, the former top rank NPA official of Eastern Visayas
Regional Party Committee (EVRPC) that was captured by the government
forces sometime in 2007 has been exposing these un-Godly practices of
his former comrades in most of his media interviews in order to warn
those who are still being deceived by the local terrorist group.
The people of Samar
are already crying for justice and seeking help to the human rights
groups especially to the Katungod-Sinirangang Bisayas and other
progressive groups, that still doing nothing up to press time.
“These un-Godly and
barbaric acts of NPAs are no longer tolerable and must be given due
attention”, cried out by his orphans.
Major General Arthur I
Tabaquero, Commander 8ID said, “Let us remain steadfast in our effort
to sustain peace and order in our province. Let us remain vigilant
and cooperative to our different agency in order to knock down our
perennial problem in the country the soonest possible time”
“May I inform our
Samarnon that our task forces for peace and development are
continuously exerting its effort to bring forth a secured environment
that was long deprived by the insurgents in the province”, Major
General Tabaquero added.
Leyte guv, PNP
discussed security plans for peaceful May 10 polls
Media Relations Center
March 15, 2010
TACLOBAN CITY – Top
officials of the Leyte Norte Police Provincial Office briefed Governor
Carlos Jericho Petilla on the security plans being made by the
provincial PNP to ensure the sanctity of the May 10 elections during
the Command Conference held at the LNPPO Headquarters here.
The meeting, presided
by Leyte Police Provincial Director Sr. Supt. John Sosito, revealed of
the stepped up measure the police, including all of the municipal
police stations under it, are doing to prevent any election related
violence during this election period.
Also, in the meeting
it was revealed among others that five municipalities in the province
have been identified as under the Election Watchlist.
These are the towns of
Tabontabon in the Second district, Calubian in the Third district,
Kananga and Palompon in the Fourth District and Mahaplag in the Fifth
District. No municipality in the First District appeared to be within
the criteria given by the Comelec to be under the watchlist.
However, Dir. Sosito
said these areas pose no great threat to the peaceful conduct of the
May polls as political alliances have already been made among vying
candidates. No area in the province, he added, has been recommended to
be placed under Comelec control.
“These towns have been
identified as under the watchlist as per the parameters given by the
Comelec by which they are to be placed under watch; however, we saw
that political alliances have been forged over the past months that
can ensure a peaceful conduct of the elections,” Dir. Sosito said.
provincial director also told the governor that according to
intelligence report of the provincial PNP, there are two monitored
private armed groups existing in the province and that the municipal
stations have already been alerted on this organization.
The tactical movement
of all police forces during the campaign period, the creation and set
up of the Election Monitoring Action Center cascaded down to the
municipal level and the strict implementation of the gun ban were also
discussed during the meeting.
The Comelec Resolution
8646 prohibits the carrying of firearms, deadly weapons and even toy
guns during the election period. Only uniformed police officers,
military men and other law enforcement agencies are allowed to carry
Likewise discussed was
the security arrangement of candidates running in the local polls
according to Comelec rules and regulations.
EV women’s fertility
rate among highest in RP
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – The
fertility rate of the women in
Eastern Visayas posted the highest nationwide at 4.3 live birth per
This was revealed
during the regional data dissemination of the findings of the 2008
National Demographic and Health survey on March 4, at the Ritz Tower
Region 8 tied with
Regions IV-B or Mimaropa; XIII – Caraga; and Autonomous Region of
Muslim Mindanao or ARMM.
The region which has
the lowest women fertility rate is that of the National Capital Region
at 2.3, even lower than the national average rate of 3.3.
The other regions with
women fertility rates lower than the national average are Central
Luzon or Region III at 3.0; Calabarzon or Region IV-A at 3.0; and
Central Visayas at 3.2.
NSO 8 Director Raul
Dones said that although there is a slight decline from the past rate
of 4.6, the current rate is still higher than the national level of
3.3 and the international fertility rate at replacement which is
approximately between 2.0 to 2.5 children per woman, with extended
threshold for developing countries depending on mortality rate.
Director Dones said
that TFR is one of the major indicators that can be generated from the
results of the NDHS, indicators which can be utilized by other line
agencies of the government and other organizations in the planning and
direction of their programs mainly concerning public health.
Director Dones added
that the most commonly used measures of current fertility are the
total fertility rate and its components, age-specific fertility rates.
The TFR is a summary
measure of fertility and can be interpreted as the number of births a
woman would have, on average, at the end of her reproductive years if
she experienced the currently prevailing ASFRs for women at the age
bracket of 15-49.
The 2008 NDHS was the
ninth in a series of DHS nationwide sample surveys conducted at five
year interval since 1968. It is designed to provide up-to-date
information on fertility, family planning, maternal and child health,
and other health issues of the country.
The project is
sponsored by the United States Agency for Information Development and
Macro International which provided for the needed equipments and
technical assistance through the MEASURE Demographic and Health Survey
Program, respectively. (with data from NSO 8)
Army troopers exhume
victims of NPA’s “Oplan Ahos-Zombie”
By DPAO, 8th Infantry Division, PA
March 14, 2010
Catbalogan City, Samar – An untold graveyard of the NPA’s famous
“Opan Ahos” was uncovered by the Army’s 63rd Infantry Battalion (63IB)
at Sitio Hepat, Brgy. Cajecsan, Mondragon, Northern Samar, in the
afternoon of March 6.
Report reaching to
this office from LtCol Joel Paloma, commanding officer, 63IB disclosed
that the graveyard was discovered following a tip from civilian who
have personal knowledge on the atrocities carried out by the terrorist
sometime in 1980 as a result of their nationwide anti-DPA campaign.
Four (4) skeletal
remains were exhumed from three (3) different hollow pits of about a
hundred meters apart.
With the assistance of
the local PNP and barangay officials, elements of 63IB exhumed the
said skeletal remains for the family to give more decent burial.
Dug up from the first
pit is the skeletal remains that later identified as Modoy Martirez of
Brgy. Cajecsan; Esmen Adriasola of Brgy San Agustin in the second pit
while the father and son Francisco and Roque Tulin of Sitio Canawa,
Brgy. Mirador owned the third pit.
As of press time,
troops is continuously conducting search and retrieval operation for
more possible skeletal remains in the area in order to assist the
victim’s family in giving decent burial to their love ones.
According to LtCol.
Joel Paloma, “63IB will continue to provide any possible help or
assistance in order to give the victims a full justice.”
“This is a clear
manifestation of human rights violation that must definitely be given
due attention and make the people or group behind this pay their blood
debt against the law”, LtCol. Paloma added.
incident call for the commander of 8ID, MajGen. Arthur Tabaquero to
appeal to the local folks particularly those living in far flung areas
to work hand-in-hand with the Army in order to unveil the mystery
behind the atrocities of the Communist Terrorists.
Search for Mr. & Ms.
EVRAA kicks off 2010 regional sports fest
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – The
Search for Mr. and Ms. EVRAA 2010 which was held on March 12 at the
DepEd Regional Teachers Training Center, kicked off this year’s
regional sports fest under the auspices of the Eastern Visayas
Regional Athletic Association.
Chosen as Ms. EVRAA
2010 was Patty Burger of the Division of Biliran. She was crowned by
DepEd Region 8 Regional Director Rose Marie Felicidad Saet and Atty.
Tarcelo Sabarre, Jr.
On the other hand,
Leyte Division’s John Trevor Crucero was crowned as Mr. EVRAA 2010 by
Philippine Information Agency Region 8 Director Olive P. Tiu and DepEd
ARD Alberto Escobarte.
Ms. Burger and Mr.
Crucero vested five other candidates in their respective categories,
to win the most coveted title for the biggest annual regional sports
Proclaimed as the Ms.
EVRAA and Mr. EVRAA first runners up were Jaclyn Grace Duzon and
Arthur Casolan, both of the Ormoc City Division while Samar Division’s
Harriet Ayala and Biliran’s Jean-Mitchel Francisco were cited as the
second runners up.
The candidates were
judged not only for their over-all physique but for their talent,
intelligence and communication skills and sports participation
Best in Regional
Costume in the two categories were Ms. Patty Burger of Biliran and Mr.
John Trevor Crucero of Leyte.
Best in Sportswear
were Jaclyn Grace Duzon and Arthur Casolan, both of the Ormoc City
Chosen as Best in
Talent were Jaclyn Grace Duzon of Ormoc City Division and Ram Vincent
B. Cosipag of Eastern Samar Division.
The board of judges
was composed of Atty. Tarcelo Sabarre, Jr.,
ABS-CBN Tacloban Manager Clifford Nolido and PIA Region 8 Director
Olive P. Tiu who served as the chairperson.
This year’s EVRAA
hosts are the Divisions of Leyte,
and Tacloban City.
Absolutely no need for new taxes – Edu
P240B lost to
corruption, if recouped, enough to cover deficit, says VP bet
MANILA – The next
administration does not have to raise existing tax rates, or impose
new levies to bridge the budget deficit, administration vice
presidential candidate Edu Manzano said.
"The budget deficit is
staggering, but not insurmountable. The next administration should be
able to cover the deficit through highly improved governance – by
reducing losses due to malfeasance, and by raising revenue-collection
efficiency," Manzano said.
Manzano's remarks came
shortly after administration presidential candidate Gilberto "Gibo"
Teodoro vowed to balance the budget by 2014, while his rival, Liberal
Party presidential candidate Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, backtracked
on his pledge not to raise taxes.
Government expects to
incur a P293-billion budget deficit this year. This is on top of the
P298.5-billion and P68.1 billion deficits it incurred in 2009 and
A budget deficit
refers to the gap between government spending and income.
"If we lessen by just
one-half the annual losses on account of corruption, government would
be richer by P120 billion every year," said Manzano, former national
president of the Vice Mayors' League.
Manzano, one-time vice
mayor of Makati City, based his calculation on Office of the
Ombudsman's estimate that the government has been losing some P240
billion of the annual national budget to shady deals.
The potential savings
from diminished corruption should be supplemented by greater tax
effort, Manzano said.
A mere one-percentage
point increase in the tax effort translates to P12 billion in extra
government revenues, he pointed out.
The tax effort refers
to revenue collection as a percentage of economic output, or gross
domestic product (GDP). The country's tax effort has steadily declined
in the last three years to just 12.8 percent of GDP in 2009.
Economists have blamed
the tax effort's decline on rampant corruption, a weaker economy and
the passage of so-called revenue-eroding measures.
"If the next
administration raises the tax effort by four percentage points to 17
percent of GDP, which we already achieved before the Asian financial
crisis in the late 1990s, government can easily amass an extra P48
billion," Manzano said.
He cited the need for
government to quickly build up tax enforcement and compliance.