Tribute to Dr. Lucio Tan

THE SOUTHERN BEAT - THE SOUTHERN BEAT By Rolly Espina () - February 4, 2006 - 12:00am
Bacolod is in a tizzy. Bacolaodiat is ongoing. And plans have been finalized to welcome Dr. Lucio Tan, the Tsinoy taipan, with pomp and pageantry when he arrives at 10 a.m. today aboard a Philippine Airlines plane.

But the tarmac reception will not be long. Dr. Tan and his entourage will be whisked off immediately to the Bacolod City Hall. There he will be installed as honorary mayor of the city for the duration of the Bacolaodiat Festival.

The Sangguniang Panglunsod (SP) will also present him with his formal adoption as a son of Bacolod.

There will be a testimonial luncheon in Tan’s honor at the Garden Royale (the former Casino Filipino Hotel) at the Goldenfields Commercial Complex.

Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra will deliver the invocation and opening prayer.

Tan Wee Kiat will lead the singing of the National Anthem, while Vice Mayor Renecito Novero and the SP members will deliver welcome remarks. The taipan will then deliver his acceptance speech.

Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia and Alfredo Barcelona, chairman of the Negros Tsinoy and honorary chairman of the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, will present a token of appreciation to Dr. Tan.

Then, there will be an audiovisual presentation and symbolic turnover of the various projects of Tan to some local recipients.

Mayor Leonardia will then deliver his response.

There will be a cultural presentation by the Bacolod Tay Tung High School, St. John’s Institute and the Trinity Christian School.

What follows is the "tiamgan" ceremony (touching the eyes of the lions to give life to all of them). Negros Occidental Gov. Joseph Marañon, Dr. Tan, Francis Chua, Rep. Monico Puentevella, Assistant Transportation Secretary Ricardo Tan, Mayor Leonardia, Fred Barcelona and James Chua will participate in the "tiamgan."

The Bacolaodiat Festival is actually the brainchild of Carol Ong, an alumna of the St. John’s Institute and associate creative director of BBDO Guerrero Ortega.

It won the support of the confederation of 31 Tsinoy organizations in the province under Fred Barcelona.
Dr. Tan and his family, through the Tan Yan Kee Foundation, will turn over nebulizers and kits to the health centers of Barangays Sum-ag, Granada and Montevista. This is part of Project Asthma of the TYKF to help Filipinos with respiratory ailments. Several barangays of Murcia town will also receive nebulizers.

There is another donation — a schoolbuilding for the Bacolod SPED Center. This is under the Operation Barrio Schools of the FFCCCI, which Dr. Tan heads as chairman emeritus.

"This philanthropic act of donating a schoolbuilding to Bacolod’s SPED mirrors Dr. Tan’s deep understanding of the human spirit, especially that of our differently abled brothers and sisters. It is an act such as this that lights the tunnel of darkness for some who would have lost hope for a better life," said Leonardia of Tan’s donation. Kung Hei Fat Choi to everyone.
Tribute to the Zaldivars of Antique
So focused were the Iloilo mediamen on the Dinagyang that they overlooked an equally important event during the visit of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. It was an event worth writing about.

This was the presentation of the Central Philippine University award to the Zaldivar family of Antique with no less then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo gracing the tribute to the family’s loyalty and contribution to the CPU’s endeavors.

The Centralian Family Loyalty Award and the plaque of appreciation for the Zaldivar family’s support to the EXCEL and the Centralian Development Fund Campaign of the CPU were presented to the Zaldivar children at the university’s Rose Memorial Hall.

All the five successful children of the late Supreme Court Justice Calixto Zaldivar are alumni of the CPU. They are Antique Gov. Sally Zaldivar-Perez, his brother Ambassador and former Rep. Enrique Zaldivar, diplomat Nona Zaldivar, educator Dr. Lorna Segovia, and director Calixto Zaldivar Jr.

Justice Zaldivar was named to the Supreme Court after he had served as executive secretary of the late President Diosdado Macapagal.

Thus, Gov. Perez expressed her desire to serve President Arroyo with the same unswerving loyalty and dedication as her late father.

In her response, President Arroyo listed the late justice’s contributions to her late father’s administration. And she cited Justice Zaldivar’s loyalty to democracy by maintaining a dissenting voice to the declaration of Martial Law.

In short, this was an event that should have merited mention in Manila’s dailies and TV network news. But it got drowned out by the Dinagyang.
Sugar — unexpected confusion
The presidential go-signal for the importation of 50,000 metric tons of sugar in July plus her denunciation of "hoarders" had their unexpected impact on sugar trading. This partly paralyzed some mill districts. And some producers waited in vain for the "small players" which Trade and Industry Secretary Peter Favila said would enter the bidding game as new players. They never showed up and the bidding game halted in some mill districts, affecting 80 percent of sugar producers who are considered small farmers. They are those who own from one to 10 hectares and depend on the weekly liquidation of their quedans to pay the salaries of their employees.

That was the situation yesterday in Negros Occidental. That was when Negros Occidental Gov. Joseph Marañon came out four-square against any attempts to control the sugar market, stressing that free enterprise should prevail. Besides, he added, sugar farmers should be allowed to recover their losses in the past years when prices were down through the current good prices.

"We should just allocate a certain portion of production to be sold at lower rates for the poor," he added. The Sugar Regulatory Administration has set aside three percent of expected production as B2 sugar. This will be sold to the National Food Authority and in turn, resold through its mobile stores.

Ledesma, meanwhile, issued Sugar Order No. 6 implementing the Sugar Board’s nod to the counter-trade sugar swap program where 50,000 metric tons of sugar will be exported through the Philippine International Trading Corp. (PITC) to fill up the additional US quota and in turn, import tariff-free from the world market also 50,000 metric tons of refined sugar as replenishment.

The sugar order stated that to cover the withdrawal of sugar for export under the counter-trade sugar swap program, P30,000 shall be paid per metric ton as clearance fee under Administrative Order No. 1, Series of 2002-2003.

But the funny thing was that mill district officials of the Victorias Milling Company, First Farmers and the independent Escalante-Sagay planters’ cooperative waited in vain yesterday for the so-called small players which Favila said would enter the bidding Thursday. None arrived, and the sugar farmers would have to wait for another week for the disposal of their sugar stocks. That could have unexpected consequences on the unsuspecting sugar workers.

That’s what happens when some people poke their fingers into a situation where market forces are boosting the price of sugar.
‘General’ and four officers get burned
Former Bacolod mayoralty bet and Gen. Julio Quirino of the "International Police" found himself behind bars together with four of his officers for assaulting Police Precinct 3 in Barangay Mandalagan Thursday night.

Senior Superintendent Pedro Merced said Quirino entered the police precinct to demand the release of one of his men who had figured in a traffic mishap in Barangay Bata. The man was detained for illegal possession of a caliber .45 pistol, according to SPO2 Larry Benitez.

Benitez said Quirino barged into the precinct, apparently smelling of liquor, brandished his gun and shouted, "We will kill each other if you don’t release him," referring to his officer.

A policeman parried Quirino’s gun, which discharged a bullet on the ground. The officer whom Quirino wanted released was "Captain" Norman Aliquin Bitar, who had reportedly hit a child with his motorcycle about 8:30 p.m. in Barangay Bata.

Bitar was brought to the precinct after cops confiscated his unlicensed caliber .45 pistol.

Quirino was accompanied in his assault by three of his officers — "Colonel" Manuel Basa, "Captain" Julius Santillan, and "Captain" Rolando Espanola, all members of the "Interpol."

Merced said Quirino will be charged for illegal possession of the caliber .45 pistol and another caliber .357 revolver in his car.

Well, this is one "Interpol" officer who will have to answer a lot of questions from the real police of Bacolod.

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