Hardworking senator
SEARCH FOR TRUTH - Ernesto M. Maceda (The Philippine Star) - October 30, 2015 - 10:00am

Senator Ernesto “Boy” Her- rera of Cebu and Bohol died of cardiac arrest Thursday at the Manila Doctor’s Hospital on United Nations Avenue, Manila. He was 73 years old.

Boy Herrera was one of the most hardworking members of the Philippine Senate. Despite his physical disability, he was active in all Senate activities as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and the Committee on Labor.

He was a close friend who supported our ascen- dancy to the Senate presidency.

Herrera was a member of the Agrava Fact-Finding Board on the assassination of Senator Benigno Aquino

Sr.

In 1983, he was elected general secretary and vice president of the Trade Union Congress of the Philip- pines (TUCP).

He was first elected to the Senate in 1987 and was reelected in 1992. Thereafter, he ran and won for Con- gress representing the First District of Bohol.

He is responsible for landmark reforms in voca- tional education and training that both resulted with the establishment of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

In June 2015, the Supreme Court (SC) confirmed his presidency of the TUCP.

Herrera also formed the Citizens Drug Watch and was very active in the Anti-Illegal Drug Watch cam- paign.

Boy Herrera will be missed by his legion of friends and followers, especially in the labor movement.

* * *

Philippines drops in WB report

The Philippines dropped six notches from 97th place to 103rd place in the World Bank Group’s latest report of 189 countries in terms of the ease of doing business, despite reforms made by the Aquino administration.

Singapore topped the list. Malaysia was 18th while Brunei and Vietnam got the 84th and 90th places, respectively.

The WB Doing Business ranking provides a gauge on how easy it is for a local entrepreneur to open and run a small to medium size business complying with relevant regulations. In addition, the WBG will also measure the quality of the implementation.

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, National Com- petitiveness Council (NCC) co-chairman Guillermo Luz and some Philippine officials questioned the methodology of how scores were computed, which Roberto Galang, operations officer of the Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice Group of the WB’s International Finance, accounted for the rank in the 2016 report.

Luz noted that the Philippines had been ranked 95 in the 2015 report when it was presented last year, but the ranking for the same year had been changed to 97 when it was updated during the 2016 edition of the report.

“Erratic methodological changes year after year severely threatens the reports credibility as a reliable global measure of competitiveness,” Purisima said.

The WB report said that inefficient regulations re- sulted in a P100 billion opportunity loss, also resulting in 60 million jobs lost.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the Philippines, totaled only $6.2 billion, is sixth place in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) where Singapore has consistently been on the top rank for 10 years, with $72 billion in FDI.

While in starting a business, the Philippines is among the lowest ranked countries at 165, from rank 157 in the 2015 report, because it takes 16 steps to do it in the country. The NCC proposed to reduce the steps to start a business to six steps in eight days, which was already launched last April of this year, and was now being rolled out in malls and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) branches all over the country. They accomplished the proposed procedure by eliminating the regulatory maze and the back and forth among agencies.

As for tax payments, the country’s rank slightly shifted from 125 in the 2015 report to 126 in the 2016 report.

There are reports that some small business opera- tors are complaining how difficult it was for them to register and pay their annual taxes.

Following the WBG’s six-point drop report, Vice President Jejomar Binay is bent on making the country more attractive to business, especially for micro, small and medium enterprises, by providing a friendly envi- ronment to business, primarily by further streamlining the business registration system. With more investors in key industries, we will generate jobs that will help address the problem of poverty, according to Vice President Binay’s head of media affairs, Joey Salgado.

* * *

Grace Poe’s Senate ticket

Senator Grace Poe formally announced her sena- torial candidates at a meeting at Club Filipino last Thursday.

The so called “Magic 12,” which included 7 guest candidates, were called “Partido Galing at Puso.”

The guest candidates included Senators Tito Sotto (NPC) and Ralph Recto (Liberal Party), former Senators Dick Gordon and Miguel Zuburi, Rep. Sherwin Gatchal- ian (Nationalist People’s Coalition-NPC), Overseas Fili- pino Workers (OFW) advocate Susan Ople (Nationalista), and Lorna Kapunan (Aksyon Demokratiko).

Completing the slate is Rep. Neri Colmenares, Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, Rep. Roman Romulo, actor Edu Manzano, and retired general Samuel Pagdilao.

Senator Ping Lacson was dropped and his place was taken by Edu Manzano, who is on the same ticket as Senator Recto. Both have relations with Governor Vilma Santos.

Senators Zubiri, Gordon, and Sotto and Ople are part of the senatorial slate of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) while Recto is part of the Liberal Party (LP).

Gordon, being a guest candidate of the two tick- ets, said he would not be endorsing any presidential candidate. He stressed that he would just assist who among the two wins.

 

ACIRC AGRAVA FACT-FINDING BOARD AKSYON DEMOKRATIKO ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS BOY HERRERA BRUNEI AND VIETNAM BUSINESS DRUG WATCH EDU MANZANO LIBERAL PARTY REPORT
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