eastwind MINI-EDITORIALS volume 1
 
LTFRB-SMART Monopoly in Davao
Mediatrix Devotion Spreads – Clarifying Vatican Issues
TRAIN Will Derail Our Economy
Bongbong Paid P80 Million +
 
by Bernie V. Lopez, eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com
 
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LTFRB-SMART MONOPOLY IN DAVAO
Duterte Helpless to Rescue Riding Public?
 
Davao City commuters are up in arms over an LTFRB-SMART monopoly, complaining that President Duterte and Davao City Mayor Duterte seem helpless to rescue them. Their protests in Davao print-radio-social media were simply ignored. The corrupt-prone LTFRB, instead of regulating and servicing, is going into business for itself. It is inducing monopoly which will yield run-away fares.
 
According to Davao taxi drivers interviewed, LTFRB has created HIRNA, its own GRAB-type service in partnership with SMART, which taxis are OBLIGED to join. Result, taxi rates have increased. Ultimate victims are riders and drivers for higher meter and boundary rates. Ultimate beneficiaries are LTFRB and SMART in the billions per year, and operators. LTFRB’s reply is yan ang batas (that’s the law). Drivers claim it is not the law. People claim people were hired to ‘legalize’ the monopoly on the local level. Help, Mr. President, Ms. Mayor.
 
The LTFRB is presently getting a windfall in handling the UBER-GRAB-TAXI dilemma. They have increased franchise fees to the high heavens charged to the riding public. They have catered to power politicians behind the taxi industry. LTFRB’s mandate is to service the riding public, not make a lot of money for itself, and induce monopoly. By law of supply and demand, new players will kill the monopoly eventually. GRAB’s 2-minute fee per minute is just the beginning of monopolistic practices. Greed is the issue.
 
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MEDIATRIX DEVOTION SPREADS
Clarifying Negative Vatican Declarations
 
This article aims to clarify negative Vatican Declarations on Our Lady Mediatrix of Grace, as many Marian devotees are confused and hesitant to join the devotion. In spite of Vatican negative declarations, however, the devotion is spreading rapidly, which the Vatican and CBCP ironically say is not forbidden.
 
The Vatican declared in the 50s that the apparitions and miracles attributed to Our Lady Mediatrix of Grace in Lipa City through visionary Sr. Teresing Castillo were ‘not of supernatural origin’. But when a Filipino Bishop admitted at his death bed that he was coerced to change his positive statement, with five other Bishops following suit later, a re-investigation was conducted.
 
The re-investigation was again questioned when there were inconsistencies in the Vatican declaration, if Pope Pius XII really reconfirmed it ‘not of supernatural origin’ or if it was just Vatican elements saying that. There were inconsistencies in dates, which Vatican elements were silent about to this day. A third investigation is brewing.
 
The Vatican and the CBCP issued statements clarifying that the THE DEVOTION IS ALLOWED EVEN WHILE THE APPARITIONS WERE STILL IN QUESTION. After all, who will say it is a sin to pray to Our Lady. This go-signal triggered a rapid growth of the Mediatrix devotion all over the Philippines – Batangas, Manila, Cebu, Davao City, Digos, Kidapawan, even California. About 85,000 Mediatrix statues are now in many churches and homes nationwide. There is no stopping the Filipino to be truly loyal to Our Lady.
 
Saint John Paul II, in his Ecclesia in Asia, cites 3 historical phases in the Church’s global evangelization – the First Millennium (31 AD, Christ’s death, to 1000 AD), in the the Old World, the Second Millennium (1001 to 2000 AD) in the New World, and the Third Millennium(2001 to 3000 AD) in Asia. Pope Francis looks up to the Philippines is the pivot for the evangelization of Asia today. Marian devotees believe the pioneer Mediatrix shrine in Nanjing, China, is part of God’s evangelization plan.
 
CLARIFICATION. In the first investigation, the Vatican declared  the Lipa apparitions as ‘not of supernatural origin’, but, together with the CBCP, declared that THE DEVOTION IS ALLOWED. When the investigation was questioned, a second one was conducted, which is again being questioned. A third investigation is brewing. Satan works hard thru unbelievers and doubters because he knows the Mediatrix is critical to Pope Francis’ Third Millennium thrust. Today, the Mediatrix devotion spreads rapidly in spite of Vatican concerns.
 
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‘TRAIN’ WILL DERAIL OUR ECONOMY
Call Centers, 4,000 PEZA firm, Power Rates, All Businesses Affected
Will Trigger Bigger Capital Flight
 
Some of the 4,000 PEZA firms may move abroad because of tax hikes from TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion). PEZA tax exemptions to attract business contradicts TRAIN tax hikes to discourage business. We better make up our minds. Do we want them or not? PEZA insists the tax exemptions hold, based on past Supreme Court decisions. TRAIN is a regression, and has vast implications on the national economy.
 
BPO is the second largest dollar earner next to OFWs, and the fastest-growing industry today. But call center owners predict NOT GROWTH BUT DECLINE OR EVEN DEATH because of TRAIN. There is right now a de facto freeze in expansion due to perceived TRAIN over-taxation. The government is just too greedy. Worse, the call centers may also migrate abroad as the government strangles the industry more. We may lose this billion-dollar industry in the blink of an eye.
 
TRAIN-2 will result in more power rates increases, on top of our having one of the highest power rates in Asia. TRAIN-2 will over-tax the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP, our power-grid manager), which will ultimately be charged to both home and corporate consumers. Many industries have resettled in Thailand and Malaysia because of the bad business environment here due to corruption and government red tape and over-regulation. This over-taxation is the last straw, the coup de grace to strangle the Philippine economy. It will kill many SMSEs. By the way, over-taxation actually induces more corruption, and vice versa.
 
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BONGBONG PAID P80M +
For Election Protest Filing Fee
 
Bongbong paid more than P80 million to file his election protest. Where did the money come from? Why is there no hidden wealth probe? Government agencies of course fear pro-Marcos Duterte, but how about the opposition or the public? What happened to the gold and money FM smuggled out of the country? Are they back to put his son to power?
 
by Bernie V. Lopez, eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com
Freelance columnist/journalist/blogger
Inquirer*Rappler*ex-Bus World*ex-Mla Times*ex-Mla Chronicle
Healing Ministry of Sr. Raquel, RVM * cancer-healer * inquire by email
 
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