Earliest bird catches the worm?
By Leonardo Micua
SO it was Senator Manny Pacquiao who was the earliest bird to file his certificate of candidacy before the Commission on Elections for the highest position of the land. He beat all prospective presidential candidates to the draw by being the first to file, which means he’s really that dead serious to succeed as next President of the Republic of the Philippines.
Pacquiao, president of the PDP-Laban Pacquiao wing, filed with his running mate Buhay Party list Rep. Lito Atienza, former Mayor of Manila. The two did not make any announcement on who their candidates for senators are. May be none.
Perhaps, believing in the old dictum that the early bird catches the first worm, the boxing icon who amazed the world with his eight division titles in a career that spanned for more than two decades, was already up in bed before the crack of dawn on October 1. His camp’s video uploaded and shown on Kapamilya Channel showed him getting final blessings from pastors before finally embarking on a short journey to the Comelec, which relocated to Pasay City this time.
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Just for the record, the Large-scale Offshore Mining Project in the Lingayen Gulf by Iron Ore and Vanadium Philippines Inc. was negotiated by the company with the national government through a contract signed by the company with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea representing President Rodrigo Duterte.
You see, the company filed its application to undertake the project on September 15, 2015 and it was only on November 24, 2020 that it secured a contract to undertake exploratory work to determine if the minerals underneath the Lingayen Gulf are of commercial value.
And then no mineral extraction of commercial quantity can be undertaken without the company passing through different rigid processes such as environmental impact assessment, including scoping and public hearings before it can be finally issued an Environmental Compliance Certificate.
Since it is a project approved by the national government, the provincial government at its own level may not be in the position to oppose it. But it should monitor the project to make sure that the company shall faithfully comply with the conditions prescribed in its ECC if finally issued by the DENR central office.
Once the company finally gets its ECC, it may commence its mineral extraction activity by the third quarter of next year or after the election when the new President of the Philippines has just begun his or her reign.
It was learned that company representatives already called on the different mayors along the coastal areas adjacent the project site to seek their cooperation but have not made any call on the officials of the province.
This is the reason why the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, on motion of Sec one District Board Member Von Mark Mendoza is inviting representatives of the company during its Question Hour anytime this month of October to answer some relevant questions relative to the project.
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There is a strong indication in Pangasinan that the Delta COVID-19 variant is on the way out. Except for Dagupan City which as of September 28 still has 821 active COVID-19 cases, still the highest in Pangasinan. Proof of this is the fact that there are now only three towns with three digit figures in their numbers of still active COVID-19 cases: Bani, Sison and Umingan.
Finally, we can soon breathe a sigh of relief and get back to the status of the less restrictive Modified General Community Quarantine from the present GCQ with restrictions that will still last till October 31.
Methinks we owe this a lot to the GCQ with heightened restrictions sought by Governor Amado Espino III that drastically brought down the number of cases in our midst. But for Dagupan, I doubt if the new order for the closure of public and private cemeteries from October 28 to November 3 can swipe the 23 Delta variants out that were reported to have gained their entry into the city.
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