‘Target collection’ ng Bureau of Customs, ‘malabo’ na?

December 11, 2018

THE bells of Balangiga are back.

And quick to take away the credit that is due to Pres. Rody’s adoption of an “independent foreign policy” is the ‘Yellow Hoard’s’ Sen. Risa Hontiveros, who is “quick to the draw,” so to speak, in claiming that the bells’ return yesterday, December 11, 2018, should be credited, instead, to the Filipinos’ “strong sense of history and justice.”

Heck, a lot of people did not fail to note that Hontiveros issued her statement -- and quickly turned into “news” by the PDI -- even before the formal ceremony of the bells’ return were concluded yesterday at the Villamor Air Base.

Talaga rin naman itong mga “Dilawan” -- basta mga isyu na pabor sa administrasyong Duterte, “kandarapa” sila sa paglalabas ng mga “pagkontra” at “batikos,” ahahay!

Of course, with her latest diatribe, Hontiveros is just covering up over the pathetic result of the Dilawan’s own effort to have the bells returned during their unlamented years in power under Ngoyngoy, err, Noynoy Aquino and his three predecessors, from FVR to Erap and GMA.

It should be noted that it was during FVR’s term, around 1996, when the “idea” of having the bells returned to us entered the public discourse.

But then, why should the Americans take serious effort in having their “war trophy” returned to us under the previous dispensations?

When the Americans knew all along that our previous leaders are not worth their respect for their lack of pride as leaders of our nation?

Most especially of course is FVR, a known ‘Amboy’ all his life and, Noynoy, the most spineless among those who gets to occupy Malacañang that he would not hesitate to use the country as ‘cannon fodder’ in US Imperialism’s drive to push China into an armed conflict.

As for Erap, we would never have known what could have happened with his own effort because he ended up as a victim of a US-backed “regime change” in 2001 resulting to GMA becoming president, who, in turn, found no time to push for our claim earnestly because of the resulting instability that hounded her administration.

Thus, when Hontiveros yesterday took the cudgel for the “Dilawan’s” assault against PDU30 over the bells’ return, she is not only downplaying the positive result of our new foreign policy but also, obfuscating the role that US Imperialism played in the shaping of our history.

We should be reminded that when our foreign affairs secretary, then our UN ambassador, Teddy Locsin was asked last year by then US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, as to when PDU30 plans to visit America, his curt reply (according to his narrative of the incident) was that Pres. Rody would not step into US soil until the Balangiga bells were returned.

And now that the bells have returned to us, their more “symbolic” implication is not that it highlights the “long standing friendship” between our two countries.

More importantly, it shows that under PDU30, we have now won the “respect” of the United States not just as a friend but as a sovereign state.

With the bells’ return, our relationship with the Americans is now anchored on a more “equal” basis, unlike before. Mabuhay ka, Pang. Rody!

* * *

Sa mga nalalabing araw ng 2018, “naniniwala” ang ating mga miron sa pantalan na “bomalabs,” as in, “malabo” nang “makuha” ng Aduana ang ‘target collection’ nito na P598 bilyon.

Bagaman itinatago, err, hindi pa inilalabas ng BoC ang ‘actual collection’ nito sa buwan ng Nobyembre (unang buwan ni Comm. Jagger Guerrero sa puwesto), “aminado” na ang ilang mga nakausap nating opisyales na “salto” ang kanilang koleksyon.

Translation? “Kasabay” nang umalis ni Comm. Sid Lapeña (na inilipat sa TESDA) ang “ambisyon” ng Aduana na “makuha” ang inasahan nitong buwis kaya “tsugi” na rin marahil ang “pangako” na P1 milyon ‘bonus’ ng mga kawani ngayong taon, huhuhu!

Dangan kasi, hanggang noong Oktubre, ang huling buwan ni Comm. Sid sa Aduana, “ipinagyayabang” pa niya sa lahat na kaya pa ngang “lampasan” ng BoC ang ‘target collection’ nito -- patunay na sa loob ng 8 buwan ngayong taon, pulos ‘surplus’ ang nakolektang buwis ng ahensiya.

“Kantyaw” naman ng mga miron, hindi rin “binigo” ni Comm. Jagger ang kahiya-hiyang ‘record’ ng kanyang mga pinalitan sa puwesto -- Comm. Bert Lina at Comm. Nick Faeldon -- na parehong “butata” sa koleksyon sa kanilang unang buwan sa puwesto (halos P11 bilyon kay Comm. Bert at higit P13 bilyon kay Comm. Nick).

Subalit, “pagbigyan” naman natin si Comm. Jagger, hindi ba, mga kabayan? Kasama kasi tayo sa mga naniniwala sa kanyang sinseridad na maglingkod ng tapat sa Aduana at sa kanyang pagnanais na huwag “biguin” si Pang. Rody sa tiwala nito sa kanya.

‘Yun nga lang, DoF secretary, Sonny Dominguez, papalapit ang Pasko, kung saan dapat ay “pumapalo pataas” ang transaksyon sa Aduana, nagiging “matumal” yata?

At ang “itinuturo” na dahilan ng mga miron ay ang mga umano’y ginagawang “paghihigpit” at “reporma” ng ‘Team Jagger’ na hindi anila “pumapabor” sa ‘trade facilitation.’

Isa sa mga sinasabing “kontrobersiyal” na “reporma” ni Comm. Jagger ay ang “pag-alis” ng kapangyarihan ng mga ‘district collector’ sa ‘assessment function’ ng mga ‘customs examiner/appraisers’ at paglilipat nito sa “IAS” (Import Assessment Service) -- na ang “rekord” ng kapalpakan at mga pagkukulang sa pagkakaroon ng BoC ng ‘reliable valuation data base’ ay hindi pa rin naman nabibigyang solusyon sa simula pa lang -- at  hanggang ngayon!

‘Valuation issue’ ang palaging malaking usapin sa bawat transaksyon sa Aduana.

At sa gagawing “pagdidikta” ng IAS sa bawat halaga ng mga kargamento, eh, sinong ‘importer’ ang nakahandang “makipagsapalaran” aber?

Aber, “sino” ang gustong “tamaan” ng ‘double whammy’ sa pantalan -- ”mataas” na ‘benchmark’ subalit ang “tara” hindi naman binawasan, hehehe, ayy, huhuhu!

Oops! “Meron” nga pala -- ang ‘Davao Group,’ yeheyy!!!

Ang ‘bottom line’ dito mga kabayan?

“Malabo” pa umano sa tubig ng Manila Bay na makuha ngayong taon ng BoC ang koleksyon nito. At “isama” na rin natin ang sa susunod na taon, ayos!