Thursday, October 16, 2008

Revilla backs sugar coops; says no to Charter change

Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. Saturday said he supports the opposition of sugar cooperatives to taxes imposed on their produce by the Bureau of Internal Revenue, and that he will vote against any move towards Charter Change at this time.

He stressed that government officials should instead focus on a mitigation plan for the inevitable effect of a global economic slowdown that could result in Filipinos losing their jobs.

The senator was in Bacolod City Saturday to sign a Memorandum of Agreement with the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital, and to speak before gatherings of the Philippine Councilor’s League, Negros Occidental Group of Contactors Inc., and the Motorcycle Philippines Federation.

“We will not allow additional taxes to be imposed on the sugar cooperatives,” he said, but did not elaborate on how this will be done.

Some sugar cooperatives will seek a Temporary Retraining Order against Revenue Regulation 13-2008 issued by the BIR last week, which, they said, has made it near impossible for them to seek an exemption from Advance Value

Added Tax on their refined sugar.

The coop leaders insist that the law prohibits taxing of cooperatives that are currently reeling from the high costs of production.


Revilla, who is an administration senator, also said he is not in favor of Charter change and will vote against it. For sure it will not pass in the Senate, he said.

He also said he does not think the Supreme Court will grant the bid for the House and the Senate to vote as one on Charter Change.

As to moves to again impeach the president, Revilla said focus should instead be made on the real problem of the nation that is poverty.

Impeachment cases that have been filed in the past have failed and if nothing happens again now we will just be wasting time and money, he said.


Asked is he is running for vice president in 2010, Revilla said “we will see when the time comes”
He said if the people want him to run for vice president, why not, but, “For now let us focus on work”.

According to one of President Arroyo’s economic advisers, the Philippines has yet to see the major effects of the financial troubles being experienced by top trading partner the United States, he said.

It is estimated that once the crisis hits full-blast, at least 250,000 Filipinos may lose their jobs, primarily in the export industry, because 35 percent of the country’s exports go to the US, he added.

“Hunger is the number one problem of the country right now, followed by unemployment. If this projection is not mitigated, another 250,000 will become unemployed and fall into hunger. Government has a responsibility to prevent this,” Revilla said.

Revilla said he is urging the Department of Labor and Employment to immediately activate its Quick Reaction Team to implement a mitigation plan to provide immediate alternative sources of income for workers who will be displaced.


In his speech before the Motorcycle Philippine Federation in front of the Provincial Capitol in Bacolod City, the senator thanked its members for their support for his road safety crusade.

Revilla said he is pushing for the passage of his Mandatory Helmet Bill and Kids Off Motorcycle Bill to prevent road accidents.

While the passage of these bills into law is being awaited, Revilla said he is urging motorcycles drivers and their riders to already wear helmets and not to allow children 7 years old and below to ride motorcycles, he said.

The Bacolod City government has already passed ordinances requiring those riding motorcycles to wear helmets and banning children, 7 years old and below, from riding on.


In his speech before the PCL, Revilla told the councilors: We have to remain grounded with the people we serve so that the laws and measures we enact are the expression of their will and not ours.”

While at the contractors’ affair, Revilla stressed the need for them to help fight corruption. “Because of corruption, our people are further set in to poverty,” he said. “We must act together to battle corruption at all levels,” Revilla told the contractors.

When he joined the Senate, Revilla said, the Department Public Works and Highways was listed as the number one most corrupt government agency and today it is in 5th place but there is still corruption.

“Let it not be said, therefore, that the construction industry is also in the list of corrupt-tainted businesses,” he said. “Police your own ranks and maintain a high standard of morality in your organization,” he said.

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