Fast Forward

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by Francis de Guzman

AMID the negative (manmade and natural disasters) and positive (high percentage rate for the economy as a whole) both footnotes left behind by 2013, the country enters the New Year with a glimpse of hope that 2014 would be a much better year for all.
No less than a recently conducted survey just before the year-end, revealed how much Filipinos (a large 94 percent) value life vis-à-vis great hope for a good future ahead. What touches the heart is that the very same survey showed: “hope remained high even among residents in the disaster areas.”

Per Philippine Star editorial on its New Year message, it emphasized the important part hope plays in the overall picture –“High hopes for a better year ahead are anchored partly on the belief that good governance will remain a high priority for the administration. There are daunting challenges ahead, many of them built up over several decades: high electricity costs and unreliable supply, an elusive peace in the south, and the need to create more decent jobs and make growth inclusive.”
We can only pray for God to grant all of us Filipinos a truly blessed, fruitful and joyful 2014!
On the hot issue of the sudden holiday increase of power rates that caught majority of Filipino consumer’s off-guard, perhaps it is best that retained Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla, plays it fair and square for all Filipino users of electricity. Just during holiday period, Petilla was reported by major dailies to have “received flak for maintaining the planned P 4 per kilowatt hour increase by Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) which is under top business honcho MV Pangilinan’s turf. No less than the Palace via Press Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr., reiterated its clarion call that “the national government always bears in mind the welfare of the consuming public, and only wanted rates to be “reasonable and just.” That of course, could remain better said than done, if it (the Palace) could not or is not able to contain Petilla’s seemingly pro-Meralco stance, whereby progressive-minded lawmakers assailed him for, due to his said statement.

In this particular case, it is always the poor Filipino consumers that end up “victims’ of electrical power surges that more often than not, benefit the ones that hold the keys to such power. The Palace backing of Petilla’s stand vis the rate hike, can indeed lead to a great backfire. A flicker of light in this dark tunnel could be Sen. Sergio Osmena III statement that tries to draw hope “that Pres. Aquino would have Congress amend Presidential Decree 910, allowing the administration to tap about P 10 billion of the Malampaya Fund to subsidize the recent Meralco increases.”  This is something to watch out for folks.
RETAILER RE-OPENS DOORS 2014. Considered the country’s pioneer retail firm – Cherry Foodarama, re-opens at its original site in Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City this 2014. Established in 1952, the retailer now has two other branches –Congressional Avenue, Quezon City and its largest site at the Marcos Highway, Antipolo City. The new Cherry Foodarama Building will provide Filipino consumers with its famous “low-low prices” for local and imported brands and food items. It also celebrates its 61st Year Anniversary on 14thFebruary 2014 by giving-away two (2) brand new 5-seater Toyota Avanza during its Grand Draw in Antipolo City, under the direct supervision of the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI).
QUOTABLE QUOTES: “If we had more plants come in, the power supply situation would be more stable.” –Luis Miguel Aboitiz (President, Philippine Independent Power Producers Association (PIPPA), the ‘Group of 28’ power generation companies).
WORD OF LIFE: “Take heed to yourselves: if thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.” – (Luke 17:3,4 The Holy Bible, King James Version)
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