To create a robust future
FROM THE STANDS - Domini M. Torrevillas (The Philippine Star) - June 21, 2018 - 12:00am

They are the unheralded heroes of the country that drive the wheels of trade and commerce. They, too, fuel the economy with all sorts of cargo, mostly of strategic value to industries.

They belong to a largely unseen sector in our high profile society who own a vast fleet of trucks which travel great distances so that goods of all sorts reach economic zones which make possible the once elusive dream of dispersing industries to the countryside – countrywide.

They own and manage support facilities to transportation – under the large category of logistics – everything and anything you need to run large manufacturing facilities, diverse factories, sprawling agri-business establishments, a variety of hospitality and tourism sectors – everyone who must pursue growth with tools, instruments and machines which animate the country’s highly productive endeavors. 

Tomorrow, Friday, the invisible “movers and shakers of society” will be audible and visible for a major event billed the 2018  NLEX Leaders’ Forum June 22, with the theme “Driving Change in Transportation and Logistics” to be held at the  Luxent Hotel, Timog Ave., Quezon City.

This seems to be an event that ignites a much positive outlook for our transport and logistics sector, serving as a platform on which new visions, policies, trends, technologies, and concerns are discussed. 

Ranking government officials from the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and Department of Finance (DOF) will be speaking to a number of transport leaders, cargo and trucking business owners, among others.

Transportation Undersecretary Thomas M. Orbos, younger brother of our friend Oscar M. Orbos, will address the topic “Philippine Road Transport: New Realities and Fresh Initiatives,” which will tackle new visions, newly crafted policies, the regulatory environment, and the role of new technologies in driving growth in the transport and logistics industry.

DPWH Director for Public-Private Partnership Service Alex G. Bote, meanwhile, will discuss the topic “PPP: Driving Road Infrastructure Geared for Unprecedented Growth,” featuring the role of PPP in the Build Build Build Program of the Duterte Administration; forecast of new road networks; the challenge facing Right-of-Way Acquisitions; and notable DPWH-driven projects which present new opportunities for transport companies.

A ranking official of the Department of Finance will share his advance and intimate knowledge of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) with the topic “The TRAIN Law: Business as Ultimate Beneficiary.” He will cover the current implementation of the TRAIN Law, ruling out some misconceptions about the Law, and how taxation works for both business and people in relation to the transport and logistics industry.

This forum will highlight “a free and thoughtful exchange between and among public officials and transport industry actors and players,” according to Romulo S. Quimbo, NLEX Corporation senior vice president for corporate communication and stakeholder management, who will also discuss new projects of the NLEX and the role of expressways as a “critical enabler” for these industries to grow.

It’s amazing how the verve and energy of the transport industry, particularly those which move cargo – lots of them – feed and fuel our burgeoning economy. And  private industry is the “engine of growth.” These industry players keep that engine cranking out products which keep our economy going. This Leaders’ Forum is assembling a broadening base of these transport and logistics sector – which, by all accounts – is a socio-economic sector to reckon with.

Congratulations to NLEX for holding this forum every passing year. There surely is something new every time NLEX folks think of such no mean events!

* * *

From Cagayan de Oro City comes the good news that Peter Gerry Scully, the Australian national charged with multiple cases of child abuse, kidnapping, human trafficking, voyeurism, sexual assault and murder, has been  found guilty of one count of qualified trafficking in persons, and five counts of rape by sexual assault.

 The conviction concluded the three-year trial in the rape and Trafficking in Persons cases filed against the 54-year-old and his Filipina partner Carmen Ann Alvarez by two of the eight children he has allegedly abused. Both were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. But the two are still under trial for other criminal cases, including the production and distribution of films portraying the rape, torture and murder of Filipino children who they allegedly lured on the promise of food or money.

 Cully was arrested in February 2015, shocking Kagay-anons and the rest of the world that, according to a report, “unraveled the dark realities of online sexual exploitation of children that has made the Philippines a global hotspot.”

 Department of Social Welfare and Development Regional Director Nestor Ramos is quoted as saying the conviction “has given us a sense of justice that compensated the different efforts of the people who care for the welfare of these children. The evil guy Scully caused the children to live in unspeakable horror, with their childhood stripped away, and nightmares they still get up to this day.” Ramos says the fight is not over, as there are still cases against Scully, “to serve a more genuine justice for the children.”

 DOJ Region 10 Deputy Regional Prosecutor Merlynn Uy lauded the decision as “a victory for all – the child victims and all stakeholders.” She commends the trial prosecutors “who persevered despite the challenges, and successfully secured a conviction in these cases.”

 Judge Jose L. Escobido, Regional Trial Court, Branch 37, Cagayan de Oro city, issued a protection order to take down Daisy’s Destruction Video from the internet.  The Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group said the videos produced by Scully are under a Special Protection Order, and anyone fond to have them in their possession and sharing them  can and will be prosecute.

This case calls for stronger measures and concerted effort for the protection of children, said Virgie Demata, executive director of Philippine Islands Kids Foundation, Inc. (PIKIFI), an NGO that has been monitoring the case closely.

Bantay KASO (Kagay-anons Against Sex Offenders), a network of NGOs 

who kept a close watch during the trial proceedings, has called on Facebook to strictly enforce the protection order and report anything online accounts found to share said videos and photos to the authorities.

 “While we celebrate the conviction, we should not be complacent, this case should tell us parents, teachers, uncles and aunties, that we are the first line of defense in protecting children from online predators and exploiters, and we must stop people like Peter Scully and his network of customers all over the world,” said lawyer Buboy Mendoza, head of Bantay KASO.

 For inquiries, call Bantay KASO, 0927 550 0044.

Email: dominitorrevillas@gmail.com

DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION ECONOMIC ZONES
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