“The measure of life is not its duration, but its donation.” Peter Marshall
By Alex P. Vidal
Whoever authorized city hall’s modus vivendi with the Casino Filipino for the latter to remit to the former P500,000 cash monthly since 2012 and operate in Iloilo City without a business permit, should be charged administratively or sacked.
Just because Claudius married Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude, Hamlet will no longer seek justice for the murder of his father by Claudius, who is Hamlet’s uncle?
To make the long story short, no one is above the law. Not even operators of the Casino Filipino, which has been operating in Iloilo City since 2012 without a business permit.
The city’s tax ordinance requires all business establishments, big or small, to secure a business permit before they can operate anywhere in the city. No ifs. No buts. The Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) is mandated to enforce the ordinance lock, stock, and barrel sans favoritism and exemption.
The monthly P500,000 cash remittance does not absolve Casino Filipino from dodging its obligation to secure a business permit. The law does not give any establishment or individuals a special treatment. No business permit means no permission to operate.
The argument that the fee the Casino Filipino would be paying for the business permit “is peanuts” compared to the P500,000 monthly cash remittance to the city hall coffer, is illogical and hogwash. It’s non sequitur.
A fee is intended for the business permit. A remittance can be relaxed or waved especially if it is not covered by any memorandum of agreement (MOA), which must be ratified first by the legislative body and approved by the executive branch. It is not mandatory.
Casino Filipino’s P500,000 monthly cash remittance to the city government since 2012 was never authorized by the Sangguniang Panlungod. If the treasurer’s office received it, the cash should be considered as donation. Any donation, cash or kind, cannot be invoked to hostage any ordinance or hold its implementation in abeyance. It should not be used as a bargaining chip to circumvent the law.
The origin of the “cash-sunduan”, or whatever we may call it, could have emerged from a poisonous tree and, therefore, irrelevant and off tangent in as far as the issue of requiring all business establishments in the city to secure a business permit is concerned.
Many Ilonggos were saddened by reports that their best bets for the presidential derby in 2016, DILG Sec. Mar Roxas and Senate President Frank Drilon, recently fell by the wayside in the recent approval ratings.
While they received the survey results with bated breath, Vice President Jejomar Binay’s ratings skyrocketed once more.
This could be the reason why each time Binay made an out-of-town visit, eager-beaver political underlings of administration governors and mayors were excited to be photographed with the diminutive political kingpin of Makati.
Binay, like the late former senator and Iloilo City mayor Roding Ganzon, has the habit of calling characters introduced to him for the first time by their first names. It’s a political strategy, of course. Calling individuals by their first names titillate them. They are thinking that Binay will remember them when the latter wins in the 2016 presidential polls and occupies Malacanang.
We beg to disagree. All politicians do the same to almost all those they meet in out-of-town sorties especially when the election is near. Binay, a traditional politician like Roxas and Drilon, et al, is not an exemption. Politicians want people forming a beeline and wall around them to feel a sense of belongingness. That these nameless individuals have become part of their “extended family”. Tralala.
Once they are in power– or in Malacanang, for that matter—they can’t even remember a mole on your face.