Random Thoughts

UNFORGETABLE VACATION. Ten members of a legislative body, their chief executive and five department heads were set to have their grand vacation  in Hong Kong last month.

Their volunteer-sponsor for an all-expense paid tour plus an expected “something for shopping” was their chief executive. Please don’t ask me if that trip was one of those you read in government projects like: This is where your taxes go.

Oh well, it’s a reward for being submissive to what their boss says and wants. Walang kontra kaya lahat ng gusto ni Bossing hayahay. 

When their scheduled flight came, everyone was excited and they arrived in succession at the airport. All in except for one.

The boss was no show! Everyone wondered what happened? Anyare? Lahat sila nganga. They could no longer back out since their luggage had been checked-in.

So off they boarded their plane and landed in HK like kawawang cowboy since most brought little cash with them – for emergency use only.

One of them said he was upset as he only had 200 Hong Kong dollars as pocket money.  Wawa naman.

But one of them was “unluckiest of them all” Wala syang baong pera. Mas wawa naman ang isang ito. He depended on their sponsor to give all that would make them happy.  (This is the same guy reported to be fond of issuing bouncing checks. Laging nangangailangan daw ng kadatungan).

The poor “byaheros” ended up eating in “turo-turo” and street foods to fill their empty stomachs, certainly not what they are used to.  Back home, as public officials, their special menu during their session are catered.

This group of kawawang cowboys is set to have another overseas trip, this time in Japan. But after their bitter lesson, they all agreed to impose a “money-down” policy on their patron.

Kailangan maging wais. Mahirap ma onse muli. Tita Roces

 

MISUSE OF TOBACCO EXCISE TAX SHARE – My friend Lalaine from Laoag told me when we met in Manila last weekend that the Ilocos 6 are now back to work in the Ilocos Norte capitol after being detained in Congress for two months for allegedly withholding information in connection with the alleged misuse of the tobacco excise tax share of the province of Ilocos Norte.

Well, the investigation in Congress continues with no less than Gov. Imee Marcos being made to answer questions from the congressmen. She maintains that no law was violated by her province when it used its share of excise tax in buying vehicles that are now a big boon to her constituents.

Good for Ilocos Norte, its people are now continuing to enjoy the tangible benefits from their share of the tobacco excise tax on Virginia tobacco.

But if Congress would really like to know if the shares from the excise tax are really being used to advance the interest of tobacco farmers, it should not limit its investigation to Ilocos Norte alone. It must include other provinces that are recipients of these funds, in the past, including Pangasinan.

I told Lalaine there was a talk that the tobacco excise tax was also misused in one Pangasinan district in the past in partly bankrolling a dairy farm that flopped and in rice processing plants that are now idling and are now virtually white elephants.

Yet, the former officials who built these projects were never questioned for their illegal acts.

In fairness to Gov. Imee and the Ilocos 6, Congress should not focus its microscopic eyes only on Ilocos Norte but also on other provinces similarly benefited by tobacco excise tax if it wants to craft a legislation to better protect this fund from further abuse. – Leonardo Micua