FOR starters, Alice Eduardo is the chief executive officer and owner of the Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corporation, a firm linked to Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and said to have cornered all big projects inside the Cagayan Export Processing Zone in Cagayan Valley.
Within the constructors’ world, Eduardo is said to be one of the richest in the list of legitimate contractors in the country today with assets estimated at over hundreds of millions of pesos.
Some of her properties allegedly include a mansion at Melrose Place in Beverly Hills, California estimated around $5 million, a property at the Tagaytay Highlands worth at least P60 million, several condominium units in Makati and Taguig, and an array of luxury vehicles in her garages.
However, a quick check with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) website showed no Alice Eduardo on the top 100 taxpayers of this land for the year 2012.
Even her company the Sta. Elena Construction is not listed in the top 50 corporate taxpayers of 2012 in the Philippines despite the hundreds of millions and billions worth of projects it has cornered during the previous years.
And this is the reason why BIR Commissioner Kim Henares would love to get hold of the assets and liabilities statement of Eduardo and the income statements of Sta. Elena Construction starting from 2012 and back.
I am sure Alice Eduardo has nothing to hide? Or does she?
* * *
Is govt. Helpless in regulating over-speeding buses?
Just last week, 14 people died, including comedian Arvin “Tado” Jimenez and scores seriously injured when a Florida Bus fell into a 120 meter ravine in Bontoc, Mt. Province.
And over a month ago, several passengers died and more than a dozen injured when a Don Mariano Transit bus fell from the skyway in Paranaque on its way to Laguna.
The Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) immediately suspended for two months the franchise of Florida bus pending more investigation while the Don Mariano Transit had its franchise canceled indefinitely by the said agency.
Though the action of LTFRB may be swift, still it may have come too late for the victims and their families of these accidents, which could have been prevented if only the drivers were not over speeding.
Florida Bus lawyer Alex Versoza admitted the driver of that fateful bus may have over speeded while traversing a rough road in the area and blames the land Transportation Office (LTO) for failing to enforce the law against reckless and over speeding bus drivers like the one they have.
“We have stricter policies in the company but we can only do so much to monitor these drivers. It’s the LTO, who issue their licenses, should monitor these kind of drivers on the road,” Atty. Versoza said.
I definitely agree with the said lawyer. We lack strict enforcement of the law against these abusive bus drivers. Flagging and issuing traffic tickets versus these reckless drivers on the road may no longer be enough to stop these nincompoops from their wayward driving.
The LTO should ban these kinds of drivers indefinitely from driving and put them out of the streets once and for all.
Another suggestion came from Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino two years ago about revoking all licenses of all public utility drivers nationwide.
Tolentino suggested that all these drivers have to retake the whole process again but with stricter and tougher exams from written to actual exam to drug and coordination or reflex testing.
The problem is that nobody listened. And the big question now is, how many more lives should it take before the government takes this problem seriously?