Manila International Airport Authority hits fiscal record performance; Topacio vs Integrated Bar of the Philippines

Congratulations are in order for the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) after it hit a record-breaking fiscal performance in 2018 by remitting P3.42 billion in dividends to the National Government (NG).

Public affairs office chief Connie Bungag and media affairs division head Jess Martinez said that last year’s dividend payment to the national coffers was the highest in MIAA history, exceeding by more than 50 percent the 2017 remittance which was then the highest recorded dividend payment in the last two decades.  The MIAA is mandated to remit at least 50 percent of its annual net income to the NG after it was granted fiscal autonomy during the term of former President Cory Aquino.

Since the Duterte administration took office in 2016, Bungag and Martinez enthused that the MIAA dividend payments have significantly increased under the reins of its General Manager Ed Monreal.

On top of the P3.42 billion dividends, the MIAA, they said, also remitted P5.4 billion in corporate income taxes and NG share in MIAA’s gross revenues and departing passengers for 2018.

No less than Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade commended the MIAA for its stellar fiscal performance: ‘I am elated that the MIAA has once again exceeded its last fiscal performance. My congratulations to the leadership and ranks of MIAA for your sterling numbers. The Filipino people stand to benefit from your good work.’

Monreal, for his part, urged the men and women serving the country’s premier gateway to continue striving to further improve fiscal management and allocation of resources to ensure effective and efficient delivery of airport services at the NAIA.

“The MIAA remains committed in bettering its fiscal management, as we also work on improving the infrastructure and operations of NAIA. Ultimately, our fiscal performance should resonate in our efforts in making each airport passenger satisfied beyond expectations,” Monreal said.

The airport chief also thanked Secretary Tugade for instilling in all attached agencies the central directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to the DOTr to make the Filipino life comfortable through better operational management, transformational initiatives, and infrastructure spending.

“Through the guidance of our strong-willed Secretary Tugade, we push ourselves to achieve higher standards of public service. Sec. Art would hammer it on us that as public servants, it is our duty to serve our countrymen with excellence and efficiency. Our people deserve better fiscal management of government operations, so services become better, too, for the comfort of the Filipino,” Monreal said.

With its strong fiscal showing in 2018, it is not remote that the MIAA will again land a spot in the “Billionaire’s Club,” an elite circle of GOCCs contributing billions of pesos in dividends to the NG.

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Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio has asked Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin to investigate officers of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for allowing Peter Joemel Advincula, alias ‘Bikoy’ to hold a press conference at the IBP headquarters in Pasig City last May 6. There, Advincula admitted that he was the hooded narrator in Youtube videos that accused President Duterte’s, and that of his family’s purported involvement in illegal drugs trade.

In a letter to Bersamin, Topacio said that Advincula’s press conference in the IBP headquarters created an impression that the entire group was advocating Advincula’s allegations.

‘Much damage has been done to the IBP as well as to the legal profession in general  hence, the officers responsible for this reprehensible event should be investigated and held accountable,’ Topacio said, adding that the ‘disclaimer’ by some IBP officers saying they have nothing to do with the press conference was ‘difficult to believe’ because the function room where said press conference was held ‘appears to have been set up in advance considering the presence of numerous media, a sound system and tables and chairs.’

Well, Topacio may be a voice in the wilderness but he certainly has a right and a good point in seeking such probe.

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KIMONO KEN MET LIVE STAFF LAUDED -- A group of customers express delight at having tried the Kimono Ken restaurant at Met Live on Macapagal Boulevard recently.

They said it had been a long time since they last got a real taste of Filipino hospitality, so they are expressing particular gratitude to store supervisor Erson de Torres, server LJ and head casher Leonila Nicolas.

Truly, in food-serving establishments, sometimes it’s not just the food and price that matter. How the staff treat customers also play a role in one’s decision on whether or not the establishment concerned is worth another visit.

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Jokjok (from Annalyn Zarate of Vigan, Ilocos Sur) -- STUDENT NA MAARTE: Sir, kamusta po ang grades ko dun sa exam natin last week?/TEACHER: Ah, ‘yun ba? Kasing ganda ng buhok mo!/STUDENT: Talaga sir? Wow naman hah!/TEACHER: Oo, wow talaga. Parang buhok mo na bagong rebond... BAGSAK NA BAGSAK!!!

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