Manalo as envoy

Last week, President Duterte announced that the island paradise of Boracay has become a cesspool. They threatened to close down numerous establishments. I asked: Whose fault is it?

After a few days, Secretary Roy Cimatu of the Department of Environment and National Resources said there were at least 51 businesses facing closure for their violation of the Clean Air Act. Many of them are posh hotels that did not connect their drainage and sewerage pipeline with the local government’s.

This explains why the beaches of Boracay are contaminated and foul smelling. Yuck!

Actually, this problem of Boracay is not new. It has been around for about 20 years but nothing was done about it.

Note that tourism secretary Wanda Teo claimed she knew about the problem. So why did she not do anything? If Boracay degenerates, we will lose foreign tourists.

If you go to Boracay, you would easily see where the problem lies. it’s overpopulated with so many establishments. it’s so noisy you wonder how people can relax.

In answer to my question on whose fault is it, my answer is that it is the government that is culprit.

* * *

Last week in my column, I talked about reports that Secretary Teo traveled to many countries to promote tourism in the Philippines but that she brought her makeup artist, her clerk, and many others in her department whom she called “little people.”

But I thought President Duterte was against excessive spending during government travels. So how come Teo has gotten away with what she’s doing?

Now we are told by Teo’s spokeman that she brought her executive assistant, not her makeup artist. We are also told that among the little people are bookkeepers, messengers, and drivers who have worked at the department for so long. This was their reward for their years of service.

There is talk that when the tourism department partnered with Star Cruises of Malaysia, the secretary was able to secure ten cabins for her staff.

Is Teo now the exception to President Duterte’s policy? He has fired several officials who travelled too much so what is he going to do about Teo?

* * *

“I did not commit a crime,” international evangelist and Kingdom of Jesus founder Apolo Quiboloy said. He arrived from Honolulu where he was detained because authorities found $350,000 on him along with gun parts in a suitcase.

The truth, however, was Quibuloy was detained and his private plane was embargoed after a female passenger admitted that said suitcase was hers. I wonder why she did that, it’s unbelievable.

We know that Quibuloy travels abroad preaching the gospel. It is not unusual for evangelists to have their private plane which they use to spread the word of God to as many places as possible. He also lives in a mansion.

Is that part of the good news that he preaches?

* * *

I wonder whether President Duterte would be as vehement if an OFW was killed in Singapore or Hong Kong instead. A 29-year-old overseas Filipino worker came home in a box. She had been found in a freezer in an abandoned apartment in Kuwait.

A total ban on OFW deployment to Kuwait is just too much. Abuse of foreign workers is not their policy. The Department of Labor and Employment must have some guidelines on what to do when a worker claims to have been abused by her employers.

* * *

The appointment of Iglesia ni Cristo Minister Eduardo Manalo as special envoy for overseas Filipino concerns has raised some questions. Is this payback time given that Manalo supported Duterte during the last elections? Does this not violate the separation of church and state?

Topics: DENR , Boracay
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