Palangga will be back!

SPY BIZ - S.A. Maguire () - December 5, 2006 - 12:00am
Spybiz got wind of information that top society columnist Maurice Arcache will soon be back at The Philippine STAR to regale readers once more with his entertaining "Arca-chats." Maurice went on a two-year hiatus from the STAR after a misunderstanding with the late STAR publisher Max Soliven. It’s common knowledge, however, that the "trés charmant" Maurice has always been a part of the STAR family, with his columns avidly followed by readers for its trademark "Frenchified," witty expressions. Informed sources said Maurice himself had always wanted to come back, and it was said Max Soliven was becoming amenable to the idea, saying Maurice could come back "in due time." The idea of palangga coming back perhaps in time for the Holiday Season will certainly be welcomed by Maurice’s avid readers. As one fan at the STAR desk said, "We’ll be reading Maurice sooner than soon, dahlings!"
Higher tax for PUVS proposed
There’s a proposal to upgrade the tax liabilities of public utility vehicle (PUV) operators, but there are concerns that drivers and passengers might bear the brunt of the proposed higher taxes in the end. Negros Oriental Rep. Herminio Teves said the "obsolete earnings" index of PUV operators has caused extensive revenue losses for government over the years, and is proposing a bill that would prescribe new indicators based on prevailing boundary rates set by these operators on their drivers, with reviews and revisions to be conducted every two years. Teves is the main proponent for House Bill 2807, transmitted to the Senate sometime in October. Under the Comprehensive Tax Reform Act of 1997, the accepted minimum quarterly gross receipts of PUV operators for Metro Manila would be P2,400 for jeepneys, P3,600 for taxis and up to P7,200 for passenger buses. The numbers are obviously out of proportion with the current minimum daily boundary of P500 imposed by operators on jeeney drivers, while taxi drivers have to shell out an average of P800 daily for their operators. Just how this proposal will sit with the operators remains to be seen.
Library hubs project needs private sector
The successful rollout of 300 "library hubs" worth P1.5 billion would need the support of the private sector for it to fly. These hubs, which had been described as warehouse type, large volume libraries’ meant for public schools are expected to build up the basic education of public school students, as well as reinforce their sagging English language skills. Each hub requires about P5 million for capital outlay, equipment, furniture, books and operating expenses for the first year, disclosed House deputy majority leader Eduardo Gullas. Several hubs have been set up in Batanes, Gapan, Pasig, Naga, Bacolod, Sagay and Davao cities, with 16 more additional hubs under construction. A blend of fresh budget support for DepEd and the private sector via the Adopt-a-School program is expected to bankroll the project over the next four years, Gullas said, who along with then youth Rep. Anna Marie Periquet authored the bill which established the Adopt-a-School program in 1998. Private entities who would assist in this project would be getting extra tax deductions equal to 150 percent of the value of their contribution, and several business groups have indicated strong support for this project.
Tidbiz: Traffic causing ‘commissioners’
Eye-spies reported that IT and PC shops located along Gilmore Ave. between Aurora Blvd. and N. Domingo are wreaking havoc on pedestrians, with the security guards of these shops reportedly allowing cars to park all over the place – for a fee. Of course, the whole racket is allegedly in connivance with several "commissioners," forcing pedestrians and students at the nearby St. Paul University to gingerly walk on the very narrow street. Traffic jams have now become very common because cars leaving often block the entire street.
Spybiz-mis: JV Ejercito to tie the knot soon
Ear-spies reported that San Juan Major JV Ejercito might be getting married in Tanay this February to a Filipina flight attendant for Cathay Pacific. JV, who is strongly rumored to make a go at the Senate in the 2007 elections, is apparently so enamored of this Cathay Pacific flight attendant. In fact, our Spybiz informant told us that the San Juan mayor planned a trip to Hong Kong, and while waiting for his flight at the NAIA smoking room, he was amazed to see his Filipina bride-to-be there. It turned out to be a pleasant surprise. The young mayor has never been married before, but had lived in with fashion model Patty Betita with whom he has one child.
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