Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bohol and Makati As Sisters

The City of Makati, or simply Makati, is one of the cities and municipalities that make up Metro Manila, the greater metropolitan area of the national capital of the Philippines. It is the major financial, commercial and economical hub in the Philippines, often referred to as the financial capital of the Philippines since many global companies have their offices and headquarters in the city. Makati is also home to the influential Makati Business Club and the Philippine Stock Exchange. Ayala Avenue, running through the heart of the central business district is often called the Wall Street of the Philippines.[citation needed]

 Makati is noted for its highly cosmopolitan culture, also being a major cultural and entertainment hub in Metro Manila. Many expatriates live and work in the city. Makati is also home to many first-class shopping malls, which are located at Ayala Center and Rockwell Center. Makati also has the tallest buidlings in the Philippines like PBCOM Tower, G.T. International Tower.

 The city also has many of the country's five-star hotels like The Peninsula Manila, the Shangri-La Hotel Makati and the Intercontinental Hotel Manila. Independent business travelers also benefit from budget hotels like the Saint Illian's Inn, El Cielito Inn, The Copa Businessman's Hotel, and The City Garden Suites, while serviced apartments like The Salcedo Suites, Fraser Place Manila, The Sunette Tower, and The Oxford Suites are gaining in popularity among business-minded travelers as well.

 Makati came from the Tagalog word kati, which means tide. this primarily refers to the rise and ebb of the tide of the Pasig River on the city's northern border. The city was also known as San Pedro Macati during the Spanish era.

 Today the city is one of the most modern cities in the country and the Philippines' major global economic competitor in Asia. It faces challenges due to the disparate gap between the new city in the west, which contains the Central Business District, and the old city in the east, which is largely poor and where most of the city's slums are located. (With reports from Sen Guingguing)

State Within A State in Mindanao? Are You Kidding?

Is a State possible within a State?  This question is reverberating all over the country especially in Mindanao as the stalled Ancestral Domain Agreement to establish a BangsaMoro Juridical Entity enters a weeklong debate.  And because the issue is super sensitive, its being unresolved sends goose bumps in the volatile peace situation in Mindanao particularly my former home province of North Cotabato.  I cannot just watch the events unfold without saying anything about the issue.

 The agreement would have been signed in Malaysia last week had the Supreme Court not timely issued a temporary restrainingorder (TRO) to prevent the agreement from being signed and taking effect.  The government panel negotiating with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are saying that the signing of the agreement does not perfect the agreement because it has first to pass scrutiny by Congress and the affected people through a referendum or plebiscite.

 That is precisely the objection of my Sanos in Cotabato.  The process of arriving at the agreement was not transparent.  There was no consultation with the constituents, even if only through their leaders, on the scope and content of the agreement.  Cotabatenosare wary of such moves.  They know how things could be rammed down their throats especially if this reaches the plebiscite stage without them first being consulted.

 The territory of Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao has been delineated a long time ago when the people where asked whether they would want to be part of the ARMM.  There is no need to expand this without first putting it through a process they all accept.  To deviate from that is to them a betrayal.

 There is no mistaking.  Cotabatenos are for peace but it should be one that they understand and accept which can only happen under transparent processes.  They will not agree to peace they do not understand.  They have fought fierce and bloody battles in the past.  Unless they know what is being agreed and how this is going to make up their future, Mindanaoans (not only Cotabatenos) will always express what they think is fair and just. And if they must fight for it, they will.  There is too much at stake now in Mindanao to just leave it to the MILF and the government negotiating panel to agree on what is best to attain peace.

 Is government becoming a party to a systematic dismemberment of the State's territory? The original goal of the Muslims when they staged their rebellion beginning late '60s was to secede and establish their own BangsaMoro Land.  They learned later that they could not do thatwithout giving away precious Moro lives.  And so they accepted piecemeal settlements offered by the Marcos administration for the Matalam- led Blackshirts.

 To show that they did not mind having a protracted battle to attain their goal,  the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) of Nur Missuari was born only to accept a new settlement to establish the ARMM from the Ramos Administration. Now here is the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) that has advanced the cause to a much higher settlement of a Bangsa Moro Juridical Entity (BJE).

 Who could the next group be that will work for BJE's independence to finally achieve the original goal of a separate Bangsa Moro State?  The Abu Sayyaf?  Can the Abu Sayyaf transform from its present state of organized terrorists to one that can rally the Filipino Muslims to a just cause?

 When that time comes, will secession be the last peaceful solution to the Mindanao problem that government can concede?  May be.  But when it is given it must be one that  has gone through the process that is transparent and coming from the collective will of those who will be affected, especially the Mindanaoans. - Romy Teruel, Sunday Post

Philippine Special Weapons and Tactics (Swat) Unit

A FEW million pesos more and Bohol and Tagbilaran City will already have its own operational Special Weapons and Tactics (Swat) Unit.

  This after the government and the private sector here contributed or committed to contribute funds for the training, equipage and operation of the unit that can immediately address the threats of terrorism and criminality which are attendant to a burgeoning economy like that of the province and of the city.

  Gov. Erico Aumentado has raised P5.88 million so far. Sr. Supt. Edgardo Ingking, Bohol police provincial director, earlier presented an P8.5-million budget to operationalize a lean but mean Swat unit.

  As such, the governor sought the assistance of Mayor Dan Lim for Tagbilaran City to contribute P1 million for the project.

  Aumentado expressed high hopes that Lim will favorably consider his request contained in a letter dated August 7  "especially in the light of the fact that the unit's headquarters will be in Camp Dagohoy in Tagbilaran City, and therefore, the city will be the most proximate beneficiary of the project."

  To note, the provincial government has already allocated P1 million for the project. The Bohol Bankers Association headed by its officials Rodney Lumuthang of Chinabank and Argeo Melisimo of the First Consolidated Bank (FCB) committed P1.2 million to purchase a specialized vehicle for the mobility of the unit.

  The Confederation of Boholanos, USA and Canada, Inc. (Conbusac) headed by Carlos Cagaanan of Lila town who has now settled in Seattle, Washington also committed a minimum of P1 million.

  On the other hand, Reps. Edgar Chatto, Roberto Cajes and Adam Relson Jala of Bohol's 1st, 2nd and 3rd districts committed P500,000 each for the project even as the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) pledged P600,000.

  Aumentado also followed up the earlier verbal commitment of Dir. Gen. Avelino Razon, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) who committed P580,000 in trainings for the chosen elements of the unit and for whatever equipage it can make available to Swat Bohol.

  Trained members will need to serve Bohol under Swat for at least five years before they can apply or request for transfer.

  Aumentado has invited Razon to be the guest of honor and speaker at the opening of the training for the Swat unit. He will time the opening to coincide with another joint meeting of the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC), Provincial Development Council (PDC), Provincial Board (PB), the Bohol chapter of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) and Bohol's three congressmen.

Kia Cars On Sale in Bohol Philippines

Ever wonder why pint-sized cars are now the fastest selling vehicles in the local market?

A cursory look in Bohol roads would surely indicate that three of  five new cars are mini-compacts.

It is not hard to explain why this is so. With the soaring prices of fuel making a big dent in everyone's budget, the next big thing in motoring is to find fuel efficient vehicles.

As a car enthusiast, you don't have to look that far to look for cars that are fuel efficient.

In Bohol, with the opening of a Kia branch, the presence of pint-sized vehicles in local roads explains why  the Boholano motorist has finally found the answer to beat the ever increasing prices of fuel.

Sales of Kia cars in Bohol are so brisk that the local franchise decided to put up a new showroom for this Korean made compacts.

It used to be that Kia's showroom was located along Belderol St., but with its patronage climbing up in fast clip, the local owners decided to build a brand new outlet along the Taloto highway near the crossing to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary

The new building was  inaugurated last August 8 with Makati Mayor Jojo Binay and City Mayor Dan Neri Lim as principal guests. Fiscals and prosecutors from the city and province were also there to grace the occasion along with doctors who are friends of the owners.

The ribbon cutting ceremony was led by Markane Earl Goho, owner of Gateway Motors, Inc. (Kia Cebu), Mandaue and Gorordo branches.

Rev. Fr. Jose Conrado Estafia officited the blessing rites.

In the new showroom are such Kia models like  the Sportage, Carens, Carnival, Sorento, Picanto and Rio. - Sunday Post