Back online 4

I’m up early this morning to prepare for another busy day.

I will speak at the Davao Christian Leadership Breakfast Forum at 7 a.m. at the Grand Men Seng Hotel. This would be my sixth appearance at this fellowship attended by priests, pastors, laypeople and their guests.

I will discuss current issues confronting our consumers from food shortages, high prices, product standards and consumer rights.

After this forum, I will be off to Felis Beach Resort for the Mindanao Island Consultation for the upcoming Global Forum on Migration and Development which will be held in Manila in October. This regional consultation will be attended by civil society groups, while the global forum would be attended by UN member countries.

I would be wearing two hats in this meeting. First, to represent Mayor Rody Duterte during the opening rites, and Second, to participate as the official representative of Unlad Kabayan Migrant Services Foundation where I currently sit as Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Results of this island-wide consultation will be presented during the Manila global forum.

Yesterday, the City Council held a special session to discuss the monetization of part of the city’s Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) in 2001 and 2003. Due to the reenacted budgets of the national government during these two years, the city has a differential amounting to P142 million.

I presided the debates of the City Council on how best to get this sum. The national government is offering us two ways:

Option 1 is to get this money by seven installments starting May 2009 to May 2015; or

Option 2 is to get the P142 million now at a discounted rate of just 70 percent.

But during the discussion, we looked at another option – borrow money from Land Bank against this unreleased IRA share. That way, we get the whole amount and pay the interests from our regular IRA.

For lack of time, we decided in postponing the decision until the July 1 Regular Session. But, offhand, many of our colleagues are favoring the third option.

What do you think?

3:43 a.m.

Update – I added an online poll on my right sidebar – A P142 Million Question. Please vote!

5:49 a.m.

8 Responses to “Back online 4”

  1. Frederick de la Cuesta Says:

    Hi Pete,

    Unwire Davao! What is that and how?

    Use the money to:

    Set up a city owned wireless broadband infrastructure using Wimax to cover the whole city including rural areas. Compared to Wi-fi which is limited to few meters hotspot, , wimax could reach up to 30 kilometers in terms of broadcast range from the base station. That means ubiquitous connectivity which also means High Speed Data, video, Voice and streaming media over IP for everyone and everywhere.

    What are the scenarios with a Davao City owned Wimax ?

    1. Free broadband internet connectivity to all barangay halls, health centers, public schools and government offices and police stations and precincts, etc
    2. In schools – e-learning (enhanced with video and streaming media) IP video enhanced elearning will give opportunities even schools from remote areas to experience world class instructions and lectures
    3. In Barangay Halls ( Tele-presence, VOIP)
    4. In Barangay health Centers (Tele-medecine)
    5. For public safety: IP Video Surveillance with video analytics like Automatic License Plate Recognition, Missing or abandoned Object Detection, Intrusion Detection, No parking violation detection, smoke belching violations, etc. The IP video surveillance cameras can be managed and monitor in a command and control center under the auspices of PNP or designated law enforcement agencies for quicker response to emergency cases.

    A business model can be developed where commercial establishments (like banks) can subscribe for IP video security services. This will ensure full project cost recovery in few years time. In your option 3, the project can pay for the interest and even create hefty profit from which i suggest will be flowed back for projects that will bridge the digital divide. (new passion fro aging activists 🙂

    Here are some resources from the internet that can help illuminate the idea:

    On Wimax:

    On Tele-medicine and E-learning for Rural Students:

    On mobile elearning:

    On Public safety (wi-fi based and very expensive, the wimax solution is 10 times cheaper)

    On video analytics (anti carnapping/ALPR)

    With the wimax infrastructure it will be easy to demystify complex technical knowledge and it evens the playing field for everyone:

    Why wireless? Wired technologies are expensive and will never reach remote areas. Davao needs to exercise “freedom from wires”

    This is all for now.

    Best regards,


  2. What to do with P142 Million? « Peter Laviña New Blog Says:

    […] Here’s one feedback sent to us by Frederick – see comments at Back online 4. […]

  3. gloria ramos Says:

    Please read Pimentel vs. Aguirre Ruling of the Supreme Court [G.R. No. 132988. July 19, 2000]. It is unconstitutional for the Executive Branch to deduct a single centavo from the IRA. IRA can never be subject to conditionalities. To quote a portion of the Ruling:
    ” A basic feature of local fiscal autonomy is the automatic release of the shares of LGUs in the national internal revenue. This is mandated by no less than the Constitution. [28] The Local Government Code [29] specifies further that the release shall be made directly to the LGU concerned within five (5) days after every quarter of the year and “shall not be subject to any lien or holdback that may be imposed by the national government for whatever purpose.” [30] As a rule, the term “shall” is a word of command that must be given a compulsory meaning. [31] The provision is, therefore, imperative.”

    This is the same Ruling of the SC which gave rise to the obligation of this National Government to give to the Lgus the IRA amount withheld by Presidents Ramos and Estrada.

    Diminishing the amount further is contempt of court, don’t you think so?

  4. Ernie Tomas Jr. Says:

    Hi Sir Pete,

    I really agree with the suggestion with Mr. Dela Cuesta to make use of wireless technologies so the public can have free access to the Internet. Other areas in the US like San Francisco and Philadelphia are already doing these…If this will be done, Davao City will be the pioneer city in the Philippines to do this!

    There will be tremendous benefits to the city and to the public. Just giving the public a convenient way to send and check emails and text messages will promote efficiency and productivity – a lot of savings will be done not only on energy costs among others. This will also promote the city as an ICT savvy area…giving flesh to the just approved city ordinance that adds ICT as a city preferred investment areas among the other priority sectors. More investors will be investing here…giving jobs to Davaoenos.

    Really, Wireless communication technologies will be cost-saving and convenient while answering the demand of the current generation.

    Hope this will be implemented, wishful thinking.


  5. Frederick de la Cuesta Says:

    There are however, criticisms and counter-arguments that an idea like this encounter:

    Here’s one example:

    Question: People in the rural areas need food and not Information technology

    My answer:

    Poverty is a fact indeed especially in rural areas. But it depends from what perspective (strategic or tactical) a local government would like to address that. From a strategic perspective, low productivity in most rural areas are attributed to these intertwining factors:
    1. Lack of a good production plan. With the right ICT infrastructure, downstream applications like a simplified but Automated Farm Planning Software can be developed with its user’s manual integrated into the local school curriculum for students to a study and apply to their parent’s farm.
    2. Lack of access to financing resources. The farm planning software may have a budgeting module, that when applied, can increase the “bankability” of farmers to access financing even to formal, non-usurious financial institutions. In another note, so much money has been poured into the economy by OFWs and yet a large bulk of these usually goes to consumption rather than production. Maybe one of the reason is the lack of communication infrastructure that will allow them to monitor investment projects at home.
    3. Lack of market visibility. Less traders that know the production outputs of a community results to less competition, and results to monopolistic, low price offering for the farmers’ produce. ICT can be an enabler in breaking down this vicious cycle.
    4. Lack of access to adequate technical knowledge. With ubiquitous broadband in rural areas, some crop infestation for example can be directly “beamed” real time to UPLB for consultation and best advise, (in cases, the local DA’s competency is not enough to address the problem.)
    5. Poor support services from relevant agencies of LGU because of poor coordination. Maybe a seamless multi-media communication system (video conferencing/telepresence) between the Bgy and City Hall) can be addressed by a broadband infra.

    Land is the most important resource in a plain agricultural society. But we are unfolding into the so called new economy, where knowledge and information tends to create more productivity value than the land itself.

  6. Frederick de la Cuesta Says:

    “A more detrimental mistake for knowledge
    societies would be to regard technology as an
    end in itself.The social value of IT investment
    should be the main criterion in determining the
    amount of public resources going to information
    infrastructure, for example.” from Building E-skills for the Information Age. Here’s the full text:

    There are collaborative initiatives by Private Corporations and Civil Society Organizations that address the need to bridge the digital divide. One of which is the Intel’s World Ahead Program sponsored: three-day “Regional Workshop on Community-Based ICT Integration” last 14 March with thirty-one participants from six Asian countries attending. A representative of Phildhrra Davao served as one of the conference speakers discussing ICT and Rural Development.
    Here’s the link to the insightful presentations during the conference:

  7. Guillermo Prat Says:

    Gloria Ramos has a point Peter. If the LGU’s have a legal basis, supreme court decision at that, I hope we are not giving our money away by borrowing. Are our legal people sleeping?!!!!!!!

  8. Guillermo Prat Says:

    Mr. de la Questa, great proposal!!!

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