Antipolo City government offers free land for Senate use

UNTV News   •   July 6, 2017   •   6192

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_070517_PROPOSED SENATE BLDG

 

MANILA, Philippines — A 25-hectare free land with no strings attached.

This is the offer of the local government of Antipolo City to the Senate of the Philippines, as the higher chamber of Congress deliberates on the perfect location for their permanent office.

The Senate is currently renting a GSIS-owned building in Pasay City.

Antipolo City Mayor Casimiro Ynares explained that placing the Senate in Antipolo City will help in decongesting traffic in Metro Manila, as compared to the possible situation if they push through with a potential location at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig.

“Ang mga negosyo ayaw po ng paminsan minsan ay may rally sa kanilang lugar. Nakakasira sa kanilang negosyo iyan. Pangalawa, you expose them to terrorism activities dahil nagiging target po ang Senado,” said Ynares as he cited reasons to move the Senate’s office to a different location.  (Businessmen do not like it if there are occasional rallies in their area. It’s  bad for business. Secondly, you expose them to terrorism activities when Senate becomes a target.)

“Dalhin natin sa Antipolo. Magkagulo man doon hindi po apektado ang ating GDP (gross domestic product) ,”  he added. (Let’s bring [the office] to Antipolo. Even if trouble erupts there, our GDP will not be affected.)

The mayor allayed concerns of senators that Antipolo City is too far to travel.

He said it will only take 45 minutes to travel from Ortigas and NAIA to Antipolo traversing Marcos Highway.

It is also a 30-minute drive from Batasang Pambansa where the lower chamber, the House of Representatives is located.

The area is also surrounded with more than 600 residential subdivisions, and is also near business establishments and commercial hubs.

With a space as huge as 25 hectares, Ynares said senators can even build their individual headquarters, given that they will save up to P4-billion if they choose the Antipolo site.

“Ang proposal ko po, sa apat bilyon isama na po natin two billion, two thousand economic lots for employees.  Iyong two billion na balanse magpagawa po ang 24 na senador na mansion; tig-iisa habang andoon sila sa Antipolo.  At habang senador sila gamitin nila at kung di na sila senador yung susunod na senador ang gagamit,” proposed Ynares.

(My proposal, with P4-billion, you can have 2,000 economic lots for employees at P2-billion. The P2-billion balance can be used to build a mansion for each of the 24 senators while they’re staying in Antipolo. And when they’re no longer in service, the new batch of senators can use it.)

Ynares said if Senate will choose their site it will bring in more jobs in the area. It will also boost the income of commercial establishments and infrastructures will also be improved.

The proposal has been presented to the Senate and the higher chamber is still studying the matter along with the proposed Taguig site. – Joyce Balancio | UNTV News and Rescue

P15M worth of misdeclared high-end goods seized at NAIA

Robie de Guzman   •   August 5, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A shipment of high-end branded goods that were misdeclared as personal effects was recently apprehended at the Port of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said.

In a statement, the BOC said the shipment, which consisted of bags, shoes, wallets and other luxury goods was valued at P15 million.

The items included high-end brands like Chanel, Hermes, Christian Louboutin, Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Balenciaga bags, shoes, wallets, and earrings.

The bureau said that the shipment was fraudulently declared as personal effects, consisting of shampoo, soap, towels, toiletries, canned goods, milk and chocolates, packed in 17 cartons. It was shipped from Milano, Italy through RRG Freight Service Forwarder in Paicargo Warehouse.

A physical examination of the subject shipment confirmed that it actually consists of high-end goods in commercial quantities.

The BOC said the misdeclaration is an apparent attempt to evade payment of correct duties and taxes by circumventing duty and tax free privileges afforded to balikbayan boxes.

According to Port of NAIA district collector Carmelita Talusan, the shipment will be subjected to seizure and forfeiture proceedings for violation of Section 1400 in relation to Section 1113 of the CMTA.

The records and details of the apprehension shall be referred to the Bureau Action Team Against Smugglers (BATAS) for case profiling and build up against the personalities involved in the foiled smuggling.

3 alleged human trafficking victims intercepted at NAIA – BI

Robie de Guzman   •   August 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Three people suspected of being victims of human trafficking and illegal recruitment have been intercepted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said on Monday.

In a report to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, BI port operations division acting chief Grifton Medina said the passengers were stopped last week before they could board their flights to the Middle East and Europe.

Medina said one of the victims was bound for Dubai while the two others were destined for Greece, all of them showing intentions to work illegally as undocumented workers.

According to BI’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU), the Dubai-bound passenger was intercepted last 25 July 2020 after the immigration officer noticed that the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) was not cleared and validated by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration – Labor Assistance Center (POEA-LAC) desk at the NAIA.

Verification with the POEA-LAC later revealed that the said OEC was tampered as it was issued to someone else and not to the said passenger.

The victim then admitted that her trip was processed by her handlers and that her documents were only given to her when she arrived at the airport.

The BI-TCEU also reported that the two Greece-bound passengers who were intercepted last Saturday, August 2, likewise presented fraudulent travel documents, including fake OECs and local employment certificates.

The bureau said that upon interview, they confessed that their documents were only handed to them at the airport. They also said they were recruited to work in Athens by their handlers to whom they each paid P95,000 in return for facilitating their trip and processing their documents.

“Thanks to the vigilance of our primary inspectors for foiling these attempts by human trafficking syndicates to sneak their victims out of the country,” Medina said.

The victims were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for investigation, according to the bureau.

NAIA Terminal 3 prepares as international flights resume on Wednesday

Maris Federez   •   July 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 confirms its readiness for the resumption of international flights on Wednesday (July 8).

The resumption of international flight operations, however, will still be at limited capacity in compliance with the directive of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) on the allowable number of passenger arrivals.

The IATF-MEID directive said the total number of arriving passengers on international flights must not go beyond 2,400 per day.

Half of this number is allotted to repatriated Filipinos, while the rest are for passengers from commercial flights.

Airport authorities said operations at Terminal 1 are once again transferred to Terminal 3 as the volume of passengers in international commercial flights continues to increase due to the easing of travel restrictions of other countries.

As part of the preparations, Manila International Airport (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal personally inspected the terminal 3 to check if the additional chairs to be placed near the check in counters at the departure area are complete.

Health and safety protocols, such as wearing of face masks and physical distancing inside the airport are still strictly implemented. —(from the report of Asher Cadapan, Jr.) /mbmf

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