Turnaround is up to all of us

BIZLINKS - Rey Gamboa - The Philippine Star

As the country enters the serious phase of rehabilitation in the provinces that were damaged by Super Typhoon Yolanda, much needs to be done to help bring our affected countrymen back on their feet. It is time that a comprehensive rehabilitation plan is quickly approved and started. The recent appointment of a rehabilitation czar, hopefully, is the right step forward.

In terms of funding resources, the World Bank had recently approved a $500-million quick-disbursing budget support that the Philippine government can use in dealing with the short-term recovery and reconstruction efforts. This is a soft loan which has a grace period of 10 years and a final maturity of 25 years.

If used well, this loan could help mitigate any adverse economic and social impact on the affected areas in the medium term, and on the overall growth forecasts for the country’s economy in the short term.

By the World Bank’s reckoning, a rapid and effective recovery and reconstruction program by the government would even bring the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth to 7.1 percent in 2015, or higher than the pre-Yolanda forecast of 6.8 percent.

With the World Bank’s monetary as well as technical assistance, it is now up to us – our government officials and the people most affected by Yolanda – to muster all effort to rebuild their homes, livelihood, and public roads and bridges – to turn a bad thing into a good thing.

Uplifting lives

One of our readers, Tony Serquina , sent a comment on an email of another reader that was featured in a past column. He says: “After reading Mr. Torrente’s observations with regards to what appears to have transpired from before and after Typhoon Yolanda, it would be interesting to hear what the LGUs in the areas affected have to say about the matter.

“While it is sad to admit, most Filipinos have become too dependent on others for their own survival. Does the phrase “Juan Tamad” ring a bell? No amount of praying is going to uplift the lives of the poor and underprivileged.

“If they really are sincere in their quest to uplift their lives, then they must:

1) Refrain from having too many children they could not adequately support anyway.

2) Have their children attend school and strive for excellence (not this “pwede na” attitude).

3) Obey the laws of the land always and not only when it suits them.

4) Stop squatting on other people’s properties (this is a form of stealing which is morally and legally wrong).”

Door-to-door or CIF?

Another reader, Manuel Q, Bondad, sent another email about the current rice situation of the country. It is a good update of how our government is trying to fine tune rice importations so that there is less wastage and more value derived from these transactions. Read on.

“The National Food Authority (NFA) has opted to import 500,000 metric tons (MT) from Vietnam on a “door to door” or “free on warehouse” basis, a departure from the past using the CIF basis (where seller shoulders all costs until the port of discharge), to a new scheme where the cost of spillage, damages, inland cargo handling, and transport are included in the offered price of $462.50 per MT.

“It was not complicated to judge previous NFA importationon a CIF basis because standard reference points on ocean freight, survey fees, etc. are available, although unfortunately not on ‘short landings,’ demurrage, damages, and cargo handling to the various NFA warehouses.

“But what’s important here is that an attempt is made to determine if the “door to door” scheme is advantageous.

Reference points

“Three principal inputs were identified based on Commission on Audit (COA) report on the NFA for calendar years 2008 to 2010 to be used as reference points:

1) NFA losses from imports due to short landings and stock dispersal by sea ranged from a low of 0.34 percent to an average high of 0.82 percent of imports.

2) Typhoon and marine damages reached a maximum of P24.2 million, while demurrage (penalties for delayed discharging) reached P1.126 million at one point.

“About $21.853 million differentiate the $462.50 “door to door” price from the estimated  $415/MT cost on a CIF basis, less the maximum 0.82 percent spillage factor as reported by the COA (500,000 MT less .0082 percent x $462.5 less 500,000 MT x $415).

“Deducting the estimated $1.701 million value of short landings on a CIF basis leaves a balance of $20.152 million or P866.547 million, or P841.22 million if typhoon damages and demurrage of P25.326 million is accounted for.

“Bear in mind that the arrival of the staple under consideration coincides with the summer season, and the volume represents only a third of imports in the COA audit.

“The question remains if the P841.22 million is reasonable for domestic cargo handling from the port of discharge to the NFA warehouses. Should government revisit the scheme?”

Champions League (PCCL) 2013 National Collegiate Championship

From over 250 collegiate teams from all over the country, the number has been trimmed down to 45. After the regional and elimination games, 16 teams advanced to the Sweet 16 step-ladder phase. In the knock-out games where losers go home and winners advance up the ladder, only two teams survived – both being champions in their own respective rights.

Southwestern U Cobras won the Overall Southern Islands championship knocking out the perennial CESAFI champion, University of Visayas Green Lancers. Far Eastern University Tamaraws grabbed the last slot in the Final Four winning the championship of the Luzon-Metro Manila leg by eliminating the 2012 National Collegiate champion, UST Growling Tigers.

Both champions join the early qualifiers, UAAP champion, De La Salle U Green Archers, and the NCAA champion, San Beda College Red Lions, in single round robin Final Four series.

The top two teams will play the best-of-three games for the National Collegiate title, and the right to possess for one year the Manuel V. Pangilinan Perpetual Bronze sculpture “Abutin Ang Tagumpay,” the symbol of collegiate basketball supremacy.

All Final Four and Championship games are televised live by ABS-CBN at channel Studio 23 starting 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on December 9, 10, 12, 16, 17 and 19. Tickets are available at SM Tickets.

Facebook and Twitter

We are actively using two social networking websites to reach out more often and even interact with and engage our readers, friends and colleagues in the various areas of interest that I tackle in my column. Please like us at www.facebook.com and follow us at www.twitter.com/ReyGamboa.

Should you wish to share any insights, write me at Link Edge, 25th Floor, 139 Corporate Center, Valero Street, Salcedo Village, 1227 Makati City. Or e-mail me at [email protected]. For a compilation of previous articles, visit www.BizlinksPhilippines.net.

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