Tarzan template

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    HIT THE ground running.

    So Joseller “Yeng” Guiao promised, and there premised his candidacy for the first congressional district seat.

    Right on Day One, Guiao said, he would be first in the primera fila at the House’s Bill and Index Division with his pet bill – the conversion of the Clark Development Corp. into a Clark Development Authority.

    A CDA, he says, will unshackle the Clark Freeport from political chains as well as bureaucratic red tape, vesting in it the autonomy to chart its own course as an engine of national development.

    No, Guiao did not actually say that verbatim, I sort of verbalized his thoughts and feelings on the matter with all the intensity so characteristic of him.

    He said a CDA will level the playing field for investing in Clark, providing equitable  incentives to attract more local and foreign investors into the Freeport. This, generating more investments and translating to greater employment opportunities which in turn highlights the need to ensure that the Clark manpower pool matches the skills requirements of every investor locating at the Freeport.

    At the recent Regional Development Council-Central Luzon meeting, Guiao so convinced the assembly of governors, city mayors and private sector representatives – primarily businessmen, of the nobility and novelty, of the excellence and efficacy of his CDA advocacy that it was readily adopted as top priority.

    No less than the RDC chair, City of San Fernando Mayor Oscar S. Rodriguez, himself an incoming congressman, embraced Guiao’s CDA cause as his own: “Pag naging authority iyon, hindi na mapu-politika ang mga opisyal ng Clark at ang mga empleyado ay magkakaroon ng security of tenure.”

    Yeah, hallelujah!

    Not that I want to monsoon Guiao’s triumphant CDA parade. but may I just say that he’s copycatting – no second rate and trying hard, most certainly though – his House predecessor, the Honorable Carmelo “Tarzan” Lazatin?

    On June 8, 2011, listed – as introduced by Lazatin – in the House’s Bill and Index Division is House Bill 4843 – “An Act Creating the Metropolitan Clark Freeport Zone and its Governing Body, the Metropolitan Clark Freeport Zone Authority Replacing the Clark Development Corp.”

    No CDA there but MCFZA just as telling, no mere name-changing but as game-changing, for the Freeport. Consider some of its salient features:

    Section 8. Powers and Functions of the Metropolitan Clark Freeport Zone Authority — The Metropolitan Clark Freeport Zone Authority shall have the following powers and functions:

    A. To adopt, alter, use a corporate seal; to contract, lease, buy, sell, acquire, own and dispose, movable and immovable as well as personal and real property of whatever nature (including but not limited to shares of stock or participation in private corporations or in limited partnerships, or in joint ventures with limited liability), bonds, precious metals in bullions, ingots, and easily convertible foreign exchange; to sue and be sued in order to carry out its duties, responsibilities, privileges, powers and functions as granted and provided for in this Act; and to exercise the power of eminent domain for public use and public purpose;

    B. Within the limitation provided by law, to raise or borrow adequate and necessary funds from local or foreign sources to finance its projects and programs under this Act, and for that purpose to issue bonds, promissory notes, and other form of securities, and to secure the same by a guarantee, pledge, mortgage, deed of trust, or an assignment of all or part of its property or assets;

    C. To approve, accept, accredit and allow any local or foreign business, enterprise or investment in the Zone subject only to such rules and regulations as Metropolitan Clark Freeport Zone Authority may promulgate from time to time in conformity with the provisions of this Act and the limitations provided in the Constitution;

    D. To authorize or undertake, on its own or through others, and regulate the establishment, operation and maintenance of public utilities, services, and infrastructure in the Zone such as shipping, barging, stevedoring, cargo handling, hauling, warehousing, storage of cargo, port services or concessions, piers, wharves, bulkheads, bulk terminals, mooring areas, storage areas, roads, bridges, terminals, conveyors, water supply and storage, sewerage, drainage, airport operations in coordination with the Civil Aeronautics Board, and such other services or concessions or infrastructure necessary or incidental to the accomplishment of the objectives of this Act: Provided, however, That the private investors in the Zone shall be given priority in the awarding of contracts, franchises, licenses, or permits for the establishment, operation and maintenance of utilities, services and infrastructure in the Zone.

    With regards to airport operations, the Clark International Airport Corporation will be abolished and its control over the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport will be transferred to the MCFZA… (highlighting here, mine)

    G. To protect, preserve, maintain and develop the virgin forests, beaches, coral and coral reefs within the Zone.

    The virgin forest within the Zone will be proclaimed as a national park and will be covered by a permanent total log ban… Sec.  9. Board of Trustees. — The powers of the Metropolitan Clark Freeport Zone Authority shall be vested in and exercised by a Board of Trustees, hereinafter referred to as the Board, which shall be composed of a chairman, eight (8) members and six (6) ex-officio members.

    A. The chairman and eight members of the board shall be appointed by the President of the Republic of the Philippines to serve for a term of two (2) years and confirmed by the Commission on Appointments;

    B. The incumbent mayors of Angeles City, Municipality of Mabalacat, Municipality of Magalang, Municipality of Porac,  Tarlac City and the Municipality of Bamban are the ex-officio voting members;

    Sec.  12. Administrative and Chief Executive Officer — The President of the Philippines shall appoint a full-time professional and competent administrator and chief executive officer for the MCFZ whose compensation shall be determined by its Board of Trustees and shall be in accordance with the revised compensation and position classification system…

    Sec.  16: Dissolution of the CDC – Subject to the provisions of the applicable laws and rules and regulations, upon the dissolution of the CDC, all its powers, functions, assets, liabilities, records, appropriations, facilities, equipment, and all other properties shall automatically be transferred to the Metropolitan Clark Freeport Zone Authority.

    The current third level employees of the CDC shall be absorbed by the Metropolitan Clark Freeport Zone Authority, while the officials of the CDC shall only be given preference in the appointment to similar positions in the Metropolitan Clark Freeport Zone Authority.

    Unsolicited advice to Guiao: Get some briefing – if not coaching – from Lazatin.

    After all, he has virtually become your template. First in your promise to transform the Pampanga Agricultural College into a state university which Lazatin already delivered. And now in converting CDC into an authority which Lazatin had already filed in 2011 yet.

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