DPWH confident Makati to Cubao trip in 5 minutes possible by December

Robie de Guzman   •   August 7, 2019   •   539

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on Wednesday expressed confidence that it will be able to achieve President Rodrigo Duterte’s target of reducing the travel time from Cubao in Quezon City to Makati City to five minutes by December.

There are only four months left before the president’s deadline which was issued early this year but the DPWH said the shortened travel time will be made possible through a “combination” of infrastructure projects in Metro Manila seen to be completed this year.

When asked which projects will help shorten the drive, Anna Mae Lamentillo, who heads the DPWH’s Build, Build, Build Interagency Committee, admitted there is no singular way to do it.

She added that a bigger announcement will be made on how the target will be achieved.

“There is no singular strategy for this program pero ayaw kong ma-preempt ang (but I don’t want to preempt the) formal announcement for this project. I hope we can wait for the formal announcement on how this will be done,” she told reporters during a Malacañang press briefing.

Some of the projects under the Duterte administration’s infrastructure program are designed to reduce road traffic and travel time especially in Metro Manila’s major thoroughfares, Edsa and C5.

These include the Metro Manila Skyway Project, North Luzon Expressway Harbor Link, C5 South Link, and the NLEx-SLEx Connector Road which are seen to offer access and alternate routes for motorists.

Also being constructed are bridges seen to link business hubs, as well as railway projects that are envisioned to reduce the travel time and ease road congestions.

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar earlier said that some of the projects are expected to be completed within this year

“What we have right now is a master plan that will effectively decongest Edsa and C5 by about 300,000 vehicles in total,” Lamentillo said.

Solving traffic woes in Edsa is one of Duterte’s promises that is yet to be fulfilled. He previously asked Congress to grant him emergency powers to solve the problem but to no avail.

In his fourth State of the Nation Address, Duterte ordered local governments to clear public roads being used for private ends.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has responded to the chief executive’s order by directing mayors to conduct a 60-day operation to clear roads of illegal vendors and structures obstructing sidewalks. (with details form Rosalie Coz)

Duterte pitches for gross taxation to address corruption in gov’t

Robie de Guzman   •   September 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is pushing for the use of gross taxation system over net tax collection in a bid to eliminate corruption in the government.

Duterte floated the idea on Thursday, saying the adoption of gross taxation system would significantly reduce corruption, starting in the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

The president previously made mention of this proposal during a media interview in Malacañang on Tuesday.

“Pag gross, wala na. ‘Yang mga examiner, wala nang trabaho ‘yan. Dito ka sa neto eh kasi may mga ano, bayaran, exemption ganun,” he said.

“Kung sinsero talaga kayo and you are on my side to stop corruption, if media would really help government and the Filipino people, all you have to do — tayong lahat, we agitate Congress, gross na tayo,” he added.

The president, however, did not elaborate on how the suggestion will be implemented.

Gross income tax is a tax assessed against the money somebody earns and is applicable to income from a job, as well as to funds that are set aside in an estate or trust.

While net taxes, are levied on production less subsidies received. It also paid to the government less transfer payments.

Net taxes are a simple version of a checkbook balance for governments as they measure the inflows and outflows of the state’s tax activities.

Duterte said that the need for examiners will be eliminated if the computation system of corporate taxes will be changed.

“I guarantee you, ‘pag pumunta tayo ng gross, wala ng examiner, wala ng deduction then they do not haggle for anything. ‘Pag nandiyan na ‘yung resibo, ‘yan na ‘yun,” he said.

The chief executive said this form of tax is already being used in foreign countries, including Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan.

In response to Duterte’s suggestion, the Department of Finance (DOF) said it will look into shifting to gross taxation.

Aside from adopting new system of taxation, the president earlier suggested the removal of brokers in the Bureau of Customs to curb corruption.

Duterte monitoring 100 more Customs execs linked to corruption

Robie de Guzman   •   September 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is monitoring 100 more Bureau of Customs (BOC) officials allegedly involved in corruption within the agency.

In a speech during the launching of Bataan government center and Business in Balanga town on Thursday, Duterte said he received a list of 164 BOC executives purportedly engaging in corrupt practices.

The president then quoted a former Customs’ employee who said that removing these officials would rid the agency of corruption.

“At itong Customs, I was given a list of 164. They have been there already for 38 years, 15 years, 20 years, 25 years,” he said.

“Sabi nung taong ma-acquit sana, an ex-employee of — sa Customs, ‘itong mga tao na ito, ‘Mayor, kung matanggal mo ito, mawawala ang corruption sa gobyerno,’” he added.

“In the meantime that I am investigating the 64, I think they were already suspended by the Ombudsman, I’m still trying to look for these 100 idiots, these sons of a b****,” the president further stated.

Sixty-four of these officials have already been placed on floating status in July and are facing administrative and criminal charges for unlawful activities.

READ: Duterte orders freezing of several Customs officials, employees

Duterte earlier suggested the removal of brokers and examiners at the Customs bureau to significantly reduce corruption in the agency.

He also suggested that instead of brokers, the BOC may be allowed to accredit or designate individuals or companies to arrange their shipment.

READ: Duterte wants brokers, examiners removed from PH Customs

Following Duterte’s proposal, BOC executives met on Wednesday (Sept.11) but have yet to release any information on their discussion on a new system seeking to eliminate the use of brokers in the processing of shipments in the port area. RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

DPWH to inspect SEA Games venues

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 13, 2019

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will be inspecting the venues for the Southeast Asian Games to be held from November 30 to December 11.

DPWH Secretary Mark A. Villar has directed offices on the inspection and maintenance of roads and structural assessment for the said venues.

“Along with the festivities and excitement brought by the forthcoming games, vigilance and safety of the participants and audience must always be of highest importance to avoid undesired incidents,” according to Villar.

On-going constructions along the SEA Games venues will also be temporarily suspended for five days before and after the SEA games events.

The DPWH also said they will coordinate with the local government units (LGU) in various cities and municipalities of Region 1,3, 4A, and the National Capital Region (NCR) “for the conduct of structural assessment of billets and hotels that will accommodate the SEA Games participants and guest.”—AAC

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