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Archive for the month “June, 2018”

Opinion: OVP Robredo cannot the filing options for travel expenditure, isn’t that weird?

Newly elected Philippine Vice-President Maria Leonor Gerona Robredo delivers a speech after taking her oath during an inauguration ceremony in Quezon city, metro Manila, Philippines June 30, 2016. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

Well, it is just me, but I am not surprised anymore, but the Office of the Vice President Leni Robredo had first in 2016, under used funds, but in 2017, the same office cannot deliver the supporting documents in time. That is just weird, as this is the next-highest public office under the President. It isn’t merely public servants in a get-away and remote island dozens of miles away from Manila. No, this is one of the highest regarding places close to the Malacañang. Therefore, that this office is under scrutiny for their practices are not a good look.

MANILA – The Commission on Audit (COA) has flagged cash advances for local travels made by personnel of the office of Vice President Leni Robredo that were not liquidated within 30 days. In its annual audit report on the Office of the Vice President, the COA said traveling expenses of the agency amounted to P26.446 million for local travel and P953,550.75 for foreign trips in 2017. Delays in liquidation ranged from two days to 116 days” (Ayalin, 2018).

It is hard to believe that the OVP employees and secretaries, public officials in general are that lax with recites and with transactions papers, that they are losing it or forgetting to fill the forms for 116 days. They just don’t do that, unless it is deliberate. You don’t wait months upon months to deliver what your obligated to deliver. That is what you do in a public office and to prove your spending of the state coffers. That is all natural. Unless, you want to hide your spending and usage of the funds. Since using up to 116 to show where the money is spent is ruthless at best.

That VP Robredo should feel ashamed, she should, as her office is not following standard practice. Even if they might have cleared the accounts and the funds, that has been in question. Still, it opens up a huge level of doubts and possible misuse of state funds. Because, if the employees and the officials within the office are using so long to fill the forms and prove the spending. Than, in practice, it can go to mistresses, to pay for businesses or even perks beside the offices. Who knows right? They might spend it elsewhere and not on local travel as part of the job. Since the proof of that is coming months later and are later proven.

At this point, when the COA can find this maladministration and this lack of compliance with the codes of conduct as public servants/officials, you know there are underlying problems and somewhat something else beneath numbers. If there was even more to question, it should be digging into as well. Since these offices could be doing more with the funds they are getting. This is just the travel expenses and the advanced payouts, what about the salaries itself or the other perks as the high office it is?

That should be real question and since the COA is flagging it and the OVP says they have complied. Why should COA not have the proof of the real transactions, while the OVP trying to clean their hand of dirt? They have already not complied and not shown character, they are already proving lack of trust and lack of care for public funds. Peace.

Reference:

Ayalin, Adrian – ‘COA flags delayed liquidation of OVP cash advances; Robredo’s office says amounts ‘fully liquidated’’ (29.06.2018) link: http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/06/29/18/coa-flags-delayed-liquidation-of-ovp-cash-advances-robredos-office-says-amounts-fully-liquidated

SPLM/A-IO: On The Allegations By The Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, of Eastern Lakes States (30.06.2018)

Kenya Regulatory Commission: Addendum to the Maximum Retail Petroleum Pump Prices Released on 30th June 2018 (30.06.2018)

Toyota explains the Trump Administration: How damaging the tariffs are on the Auto Industry!

Just as the letter is leaked from Stephen Ciccone, Group Vice President of Government Affairs within the Toyota Motor North America INC, who had written this leaked letter to the Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. Who has defended the tariffs on steel and aluminum, which has been on the European Union and NAFTA trading partners.

The reason why this letter is interesting, is because what he reveals, that the Government and Trump Administration will not reveal. The cost of the tariffs will be in jobs in the United States and also for the consumers. The most popular car produced by Toyota, the Toyota Camry with 30 % Foreign Parts, will be costing $ 1,800 more. The company has translated the cost, if the companies put the cost and compensation on the consumers. It would be 25%, an estimated loss of sales because of it could be up 2 million units or 10 % annually. If these numbers are true, than the Trump Administration are not only destroying imports, but local production and car-sales in general. That all because of the tariffs on these set-fixated goods, which is used to produce cars.

Therefore, these tariffs made are directly as the Toyota Company in the United States through the whole chain from factory to the consumer are around 470,000 people hired through the chain. While the manufacturing piece alone is 137,000 in 10 factories (soon 11). They are in Kentucky, Indiana, Mississippi, Texas, California, Alabama, Missouri, Tennessee, Michigan and West Virginia. So it is not like this is just hitting the favorable blue-states, which the Republicans hate. This would hit in the middle of the rust-belts and heartland f the Trump Voter.

Toyota Motor has really put themselves strategically in the United States, as well as put themselves in the midst of ironic territory. As they are in the areas where the President got the most support and also has the strongest loyalty, even as they are not serving the principals of the trade. The cost will be taken by the same people who voted him in and the added cost will be on the voters themselves. Either in lose of jobs in manufacturing, if not in lack of sales as people cannot afford to buy as many cars as they could before. That is not weird as the wages in the United States has been stagnant for so long. Therefore, the rise of prices combined with lack of surging wages, they cannot manage to afford the luxury of new cars, even used ones.

Just imagine the sudden rise of 25% on each imported car and also close to 2 Grands more expensive Camry. That will be costly for plenty of people. That is not mere cents on the can of beans as Wilbur Ross did on TV after the tariffs was made public. This here is much more costly and actually affect as many as 470,000 people in the United States. That is only in Toyota, what about the all American General Motors or FORD? Who knows how they will be hurt or how much added cost this will have on the consumer? Even how many people in their production chain from manufacturing to the consumer will be hurt by these efforts made by the state?

If Toyota is sending this warning and show the real affects on the economy by doing so. In just one company, what will it do to the whole industry and also the possible outcome of the provisions made by the tariff. That should be striking, but wisdom is rare in this administration. They are not concern with other, than their own pride and deluded acts of ignorance. This is destroying industry, not creating or salvaging anything.

Toyota is sending a signal to the Trump Administration, but will they care? No they won’t, unless they are Russian Oligarchs or Putin’s henchmen in the US. Peace.

UNESCO World Heritage Committee inscribes Kenya’s Lake Turkana as “in danger” over Gibe Dam impacts (28.06.2018)

SSOA Press Release on Khartoum Declaration of Agreement 2018 (28.06.2018)

Uganda – Public Notice: OTT Tax (29.06.2018)

SPLM/A-IO: Declaration of Permanent Ceasefire (28.06.2018)

OAS Draft Resolution: Impact on the Human Rights of Migrants of the Policy of the Government of the United States of America of Separating Migrant Families (29.06.2018)

More Musevenisms as the cronyism is real!

Danger, danger, be alert, this here will be sinful text. As the sins of the minds and spirit is shown again and again. By the same system and the same lord, nothing is changing only the names on the boards and on the appointments, but the same insignificant attributes continues. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has during the last appointed and re-appointed twice Residential District Commanders, he has also redirected appointments directly at Makerere University and to top it off, he has sacked and re-appointed a Executive Director and board for Uganda Investment Authority (UIA). All of these within days.

What is striking is how the State House is all involved in these matters, how connected the actions of the President and his will is the main factor in the decision made by the state. The government is de facto the President, we all knew this, but with the RDCs, UIA and Makerere, the Ministers and the Ministries, the experts and whatnot’s all have to wait for the blessing from Museveni.

It isn’t weird things are going slow, as the rubber-stamping son-of-a-gun in Entebbe has to deliver the verdict and put his seal on the matter, as he has to validate and secure every single appointment, even the janitors are surely hand-picked by the President. This is the proof of cronyism if there ever is one. The way he has to single-handedly decide and give people merits. After a month of speculation and a claim from Hon. Evelyn Anite that the Executive Director of UIA was corrupt and now the President has re-appointed someone else, while the former ED is challenging the merits of the case. It is really astonishing.

Just like the one day, a new batch of appointments and redeployment of RDCs came about, a day later revealed that some had been dead, one all the way back to 2014. Therefore, kind of hard to be a RDC when your deceased. That is why, on the 15th June 2018 the new list came into circulation and people started to speculate. However, by 24th June 2018, the RDCs fraternity had to be calm down await new orders, as the list was changed and by 25th June 2018, Uganda Media Centre had to write similar to calm it down. It just shows the madness in system and the erratic behaviour has consequences on the ground.

Jolly Kaguhangire, the now former ED of UIA is the crown-example of cronyism in the time of Museveni. The relative of the First Lady Janet Museveni. Who has been the ED since 2017 and now fired in mid-2018. Certainly, the stand-off, the whistleblower to the IGG and the whole farce will continue and persist as the family squabble will hit the headlines. There aren’t anything, which that will stop that at this point. The UIA is used as pawn in a game and the reality is that the Musevenism is the end-game.

This here will not end with the squabble between the board of directors, neither the IGG or even the Minister Anite who has used her role as the one with oversight to look into the activity of the UIA. But this will end with either ruthless activity, re-appointment or even being posted somewhere else, the ED of UIA is a family member, she will in the end be shielded. However, this shows why the family sagas and the interference are dropping the level of integrity and transparency, as they are obliged to be in-charge. Not on merits or skills, but because of their entitlement to the first family.

This is cronyism at its worst, where the ones either in family or loyal to the President get favours, either as RDCs or as Executive Director of some sort of government Authority. It is just a play of games with the taxpayers, with the citizens and the ones hurt is the innocent, while the elites created by the President continues to merge and surge. There isn’t anything that they will not do to get the cash-in-full. Peace.

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