THREE QUICK notes on the unfolding "train wreck in slow motion," as Manolo vividly calls it:
1. Rep. Teodoro Locsin, Jr. said Makati's rich coffers is one of Malacañang's motivation to carry out this brazen act. Buried in this Inquirer article is the following quote:
“There are crooks in Malacañang targeting Makati because they want to steal the P6 billion to P8 billion of its annual income. Once they have taken over, they can capture the money and pocket it.”Last year's annual audit report for Makati, available here, actually provides the details. The upper limit of P8 billion, I think, factors in the city government's enormous (by Philippine local government standard) cash hoard of P3 billion by end of 2005. The lower limit (P6 billion) is the more accurate measure of its resource base; it includes P1.1 billion in Special Education Fund (SEF) tax collection, which the eight-man Local School Board appropriates annually. (Sec. 235, Local Government Code of 1991)
That makes Makati, together with Quezon City, the only members of the LSB Billionaire's Club in the Philippines.
2. Maybe it is because of the above resource base, and because the process calls for it, that Mayor Jejomar Binay has turned to the Court of Appeals for succor. I can only wish him good luck. Our experience with the appellate court, in the light of the recent eviction case involving the Naga City Hall complex, has not been exactly reassuring. My previous posts here, here, here and here explain why.
3. While googling for figures on Makati's income, I found out from this site that Mayor Binay is actually a finalist for the 2006 World Mayor award, one of the 12 from Asia (together with Angeles City's Carmelo Lazatin) and 50 worldwide. If last year's procedure still holds, internet voting for the second round ends this month.
Which gives me a wild thought: Why don't we vote for Binay to become the 2006 World Mayor if only to dramatize our disgust over this recent development?