Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced Uruguay’s Jose Gimenez, center, heads the ball to score the opening goal during the group A match between Egypt and Uruguay at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Yekaterinburg Arena in Yekaterinburg, Russia, Friday, June 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)YEKATERINBURG, Russia — In a team that boasts one of the World Cup’s most potent attacks, two defenders combined to give Uruguay a late 1-0 victory over Egypt on Friday.Uruguay captain Diego Godin and teammate Jose Gimenez, who anchor the back line at Atletico Madrid as well as the national team’s traditionally solid defense, did their job in front of their own goalkeeper and then combined for the winning strike in the 89th minute.ADVERTISEMENT No live chickens at the World Cup for Nigeria fans Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film With its focus on defense, Egypt failed to capitalize on several mistakes from the Uruguay midfield.“Mo Salah is an important player for us, that is without a doubt,” Cuper said. “Perhaps if Mo had been on the pitch today the outcome could have been different, but we’ll never know that.”KEY TO SUCCESSUruguay won but doubts about the team’s attacking qualities remain.Cavani and Suarez didn’t receive the support they needed and at times dropped back to midfield as playmakers, not a role for a duo that has combined for 93 international goals.With its traditional defensive tactics preferred by Cuper, Egypt badly needs Salah and his goals to succeed. Marwan Mohsen as a lone striker is not likely to be enough for the team at this year’s tournament.GROUP DYNAMICSExpected to dominate Group A, Uruguay made its first step toward the next round.Anything but a win against Saudi Arabia on Wednesday would be a surprise. With a victory, Uruguay could reach the next stage with a game in hand against host Russia on June 25.To have any hopes of advancing, Egypt needs to avoid a loss against Russia on Tuesday and probably beat Saudi Arabia on June 25 in its final group game. Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls LATEST STORIES Godin, who was making his 117th international appearance, sent a free kick from the right into the area. Gimenez jumped and got his head to the ball, directing it into the net and giving Uruguay its first opening-match victory at the World Cup in 48 years.“Sometimes the ball will go to the back of the net, sometimes it won’t,” Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said. “I’m very proud of the team and the attitude they played with throughout the match.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownUruguay now has three points in Group A, but still trails Russia on goal difference after the host nation’s 5-0 victory over Saudi Arabia on Thursday.Egypt forward Mohamed Salah was on the bench for his country’s first World Cup match since 1990 after injuring his shoulder while playing for Liverpool in last month’s Champions League final. Salah was the Premier League’s player of the season after scoring a league-leading 32 goals, with 44 in all competitions. Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial He left the Champions League final in tears on May 26 after he was injured during a collision with Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos.“He didn’t play today because we didn’t want to have any risk or danger,” Egypt coach Hector Cuper said. “But I think he will be OK for the next match.”Uruguay strikers Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, the pair of players who make up that potent offense, missed their chances at the Yekaterinburg Arena. Suarez failed to beat Egypt goalkeeper Mohamed El Shennawy in two one-on-one situations and Cavani hit the post from a free kick two minutes from the end.“We’ve tried to play in a very orderly fashion,” Tabarez said. “I don’t think some of the players played as well as they can.”Egypt, which had zero corner kicks in the match, has yet to win a World Cup game. It managed two draws at the 1990 tournament and lost its only match in 1934.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew View comments In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours CURSE IS OVERFrom 1970 until Friday, Uruguay had lost three games and drawn another three in its opening World Cup games. Tabarez called it “secondary statistics.”Tabarez is leading Uruguay into a fourth World Cup after a first trip in 1990. That was followed by appearances in 2010 and 2014.Despite the winless streak, a team coached by Tabarez has always made it out of the group stage, including a semifinal appearance in South Africa eight years ago. In 1970, Uruguay also reached the semifinals.“This is football, in our history of football,” Tabarez said. “We’ve broken the spell.”RAMADAN FACTORFriday’s game was played a day after the end of Ramadan, the holy month that requires Muslims to fast and refrain from drinking or eating from sunrise to sunset. Cuper didn’t use it as an excuse.“During this period, all the players observed Ramadan,” Cuper said. “During the preparations (for the World Cup), we did everything possible to deal with the fasting. The Egyptian players are used to it. It’s not an excuse for the result of today’s match.”
The one-time UAAP champion added that he’s willing to play in the PBA if an opportunity arises.Mbala was almost tapped to be an emergency import for Magnolia in the Governors’ Cup after Romeo Travis suffered a hamstring injury during the Hotshots’ semifinals series against Barangay Ginebra.“I love the Philippines. Of course, I want to become an import,” said Mbala, who will travel to Cameroon to perform his duties as national team player. “That’s not even a question.”ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Haunted by last year’s botched shot vs Ateneo, Arvin Tolentino makes up for it big time Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal The two-time UAAP MVP was in attendance when his alma mater De La Salle bowed out of the UAAP Final Four race, losing to Far Eastern University, 71-70, in a way that can only be described as soul-crushing.Mbala, however, said that the Green Archers should take the loss in stride and learn from the defeat in order to move forward in the future.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“That’s basketball, that’s part of the game,” said Mbala, who even went into the La Salle dugout at halftime, Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. “You can’t just learn by winning, you also learn by losing as well.”Mbala is in the Philippines for vacation after his stint Seoul Samsung Thunders in the Korean Basketball League where he averaged 23.9 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks in 13 games. Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Ben Mbala’s return the UAAP scene wasn’t the one he expected.ADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Fans fill up Philippine Arena for SEA Games opening PLAY LIST 01:02Fans fill up Philippine Arena for SEA Games opening08:07Athletes treated to a spectacle as SEA Games 2019 officially ends00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award LATEST STORIES Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown View comments Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.
Ten staffers of the Ministry Of Posts And Telecommunications, who had undergone two weeks of vigorous training exercise in the Federal Republic Of Nigeria have returned home to put to work the knowledge acquired in that country.The employees were trained in the following disciplines: Mail Handling & Processing, Postal Security, IPS Light/Track and Trace, Postal Administration, Financial Services and Terminal Dues in Nigeria. They returned back in the country onThose who benefitted from the training include Inspector General George Peter of the Postal Inspectorate Bureau, Abraham Lakpor and Mary Garkoto of the Expedited Mail Services (EMS), and Feona Arman, Superintendent of Parcel Post,.Others were Philip Kiazolu, Atina Toe of Registered Letter Section, Buchanan Post Master Aaron Pailey, Susanna Conteh of the Finance Bureau, Chupee Keamue of Stamp Supply and Philip Jayjay of International Accounts.Since his arrival at the ministry, Postmaster General/Minister of Post and Telecommunications, Dr. Frederick Norkeh, , has always stressed Maintenance, Postal Operations, Personnel, Finance, Procurement and Logistics as key areas to consider for infusing dynamism, recommitment and motivation to appraise and consider the category of priority systemization of professional services of the Ministry.Minister Norkeh noted that in his anticipation of practical results from members of his staff, he has remained resolute to infusing all the quality training needed for a skilled and trained workforce required to dramatically improve bottom line performance.He emphasized the need to make overall operational delivery services easier to compete internationally with other postal administrations and meet the challenge of offering professional postal delivery service at affordable cost to all stakeholdersin Liberia. In order to do this, the Ministry must keep up with technological advancement and remain compliant with standards set by the Universal Postal Union of the United Nations.“It was against this backdrop that prompted my engagement with my Nigerian counterpart, M. Alhaji Ibrahim Mori Baba, who gladly accepted to have these ten postal personnel of the Ministry trained to help strengthen and sustain the Ministry’s capacity.My dream is to also collaborate in the future with partners such as the Roraima Group, which has been identified to help provide postal financial services to Liberians, and other residents in and out of Liberia through Liberia’s Postal Delivery System.The Post Master’s vision is to support the proposed establishment of local Internet Exchange Services in Liberia, as being done across Africa, through the African Union Commission, in Collaboration with the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications and Internet Society that conducted “Best Practice Capacity Building Workshop of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs)” in Monrovia on October 1, 2013.In a related development, Minister Norkeh has recently departed the country to attend the 2014 World Telecommunications Development Conference in Dubai, the United Arab Emirate (UAE).His trip is as a result of an invitation of the government of that country extended to their Liberian counterpart.The conference is scheduled to be held at the World Trade Center in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from 30 March to 10 April 2014.The World Telecommunications Development Conferences (WTDC) is convened every four years in the period between two Plenipotentiary Conferences and provides a forum for the consideration of topics, projects and programs relevant to telecommunications development and for the provision of direction and guidance to the Telecommunications Development Sector.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
NPA Pythons grabbed their first win over triple champs LPRC-Oilers in the semi final ‘best-out-of-three’ on Sunday night in the ongoing 2014 LBA league at the Sports Commission on Broad Street.Pythons finished off a dominant run game to take the lead 89-74 points that wrapped up the four quarters. The defeat marked the second heartbreaking game for Oilers in two weeks, losing to Mighty Barrolle 88-84 points.Pythons newly recruited side guard, Samuel Kpanie, was the day’s MVP, shooting 36 points.Kpanie had seven’s three-point shots, equal to 21 points; 12 points for rebounds and shots in the ring and lastly acquired three points for free throws.He was aided by captain Raphae Quaye, Joel Martor, Mohammed Zayzay and Clement Osung.The two teams are expected to play their second game if there is a favorable weather on Friday, June 20. A win for the Pythons will automatically qualify the Ahmed Diallo’s boys for the finals against the winner between Barrolle and Timber Wolves.But a defeat by Paul Hulson’s LPRC-Oilers will cause the two basketball giants to settle the score for the finals on a later day.Game one between Mighty Barrolle and Timber Wolves was rained off last Saturday. The two sides are expected to also battle in a ‘best-out-of-three’ to meet the winner between Pythons and Oilers in the finals.Meanwhile, at the kickoff of the 2nd division battle of the best-out-of-three over the weekend, Georgia Blazer whacked Uhuru Prince 59-39 points, while Timber Wolves (female) convincingly defeated Supreme Sisters, 72-26 points.In the second day’s derby, Bushrod Bull bowed to Heats 62-46 points and K-Delta thumped Phoenix 50-26 points.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Malaysian company, Sime Darby (SD), which has started an oil palm plantation in Liberia, last week broke ground for the building of a US$10 million oil palm mill that will add value to the palm oil it produces.Internal Affairs Minister Morris Dukuly hailed the company’s latest investment as just the kind of initiative President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is looking for–the production of goods, whether in the agricultural, forestry, mineral or oil sector, that will ADD VALUE to the raw materials produced.The company’s general manager, Rosi Mohammed Taib, told Minister Dukuly and others assembled for the groundbreaking that SD has bigger plans: the company intends to build an oil palm refinery, which is expected to produce many more value added products from the palm oil they produce in Liberia.We say Bravo to this, for Heaven knows it is about time that Liberia, after 167 years of existence, begins at long last entering the industrial age. BUT!We hope Sime Darby is not another Buchanan Renewables company which, under the guardianship of National Investment Chairman Richard Tolbert, came here few years ago and promised Liberians the world, including rehabilitating all old Liberian rubber farms at no cost to rubber planters; AND a 10-megwatt power plant that would bring electricity to Margibi County and parts of Monrovia. All of this would be in return for wood chips from the cut rubber trees, to be used to power the 10-megawatt plant. Everybody embraced this plan.But no sooner it turned out to be a complete hoax (fraud, deception), for the company started shipping out thousands of tons of wood chips to power electric plants in Holland and other parts of Europe!We have no reason to suspect that Sime Darby would ever turn out to be another Buchanan Renewerables. However, we at the Daily Observer took keen note of the caveat (qualification, requirement) which SD general manager Taib carefully and smartly laid under his company’s plan to build an oil palm refinery. We paraphrase (reword, interpret) what he told Minister Dukuly: “We will build the refinery if only we are given at least 100 thousand hectares of land for our plantation.”That is a lot of land even it is spread over three counties–Bomi, Grand Grand Cape Mount and Gbarpolu– whose people have been bitterly complaining against the company grabbing up all their farmland and sacred sites to plant oil palm. Fortunately, unlike the violent Nimba youths, who two weeks ago invaded the ArcelorMittal concession area and broke up parts of their infrastructure, the people of Cape Mount, Bomi and Gbarpolu have handled their grievances in a far more civilized and patient manner. Sime Darby, too, to their own credit, has been listening keenly and actively to the people, and made concessions, including extending social amenities, such as agricultural assistance for farming, health and medical facilities, improved housing, jobs, roads and schools, assuring the people that the company is not just there to take their land, but also to improve their lives. This is in a sense what the French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau called “the social contract,” which typically posits that individuals have consented, either explicitly or tacitly, to surrender some of their freedoms and submit to the authority in exchange for protection of their remaining rights.That is all that the people in these concession areas, where ArcelorMittal, China Union, Western Cluster, Golden Veroleum, Calava River Company and Sime Darby, etc. are asking for and rightfully demanding.It is our hope that SD is sincere and genuine in its initiative and promise to create not just an oil plantation but a modern oil palm industry in Liberia, using the Bomi-Grand Cape Mount-Gbarpolu corridor. Liberia has had more than enough Firestone Plantations that come 2016 would have been producing and shipping out of here, for 90 unbroken years, billions of tons of natural rubber to supply American factories to produce tires and other rubber products. And Liberia is yet unable to produce a rubber band!We pray–but not only pray, but we must TOUGHLY NEGOTIATE, WORK HARD AND GET FROM THESE COMPANIES WHAT WE WANT: VALUE ADDED PRODUCTS that will transform Liberia from a raw materials producer into an industrial country, exporting value added products, creating highly technical and other jobs and earning more hard currency to accelerate our development and modernity.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Dr. Gbollie (3rd from left) celebrates with some of colleagues.…Wins academic excellence awardFor many young Liberians and some individuals across the world, particularly in Africa, earning a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) remains a challenging sought-after dream. But for Charles Gbollie, a young Liberian scholar, it is a well-accomplished dream with distinction.The former independent Star Radio’s producer and presenter was on Thursday, June 20, 2019, formally awarded the enviable doctorate degree in Developmental and Educational Psychology. Charles Gbollie also worked at the Ministry of Education’s Basic Education Division as a director.The ceremony, according to a dispatch from China, was followed by an elaborate excellence award night on Wednesday, June 26, 2019, by the College of International Cultural Exchange (CICE) of Central China Normal University (CCNU) at which time Dr. Gbollie was a proud recipient of the Academic Excellence Award.According to the college, the honor was bestowed upon Dr. Gbollie in recognition of his academic diligence and excellent behavior at the university. The excellence award was also informed by favorable reports from the Academic Supervisor and foreign examiners of his scholarly works, including doctoral dissertation and international peer-reviewed journal publications.“Charles is an inspirational international student with great plans and clear goals. He is an active learner and a critical and innovative thinker with other exciting skills. He is a good communicator and team-player. His Ph.D. research is novel; the research design is more rigorous; the research process is standard; the statistical analysis method is scientific; and the research results are reliable.” Dr. Gbollie’ Supervisor, Professor, Dr. Shaoying Gong, wrote on the university’s website.Prof. Gong’s evaluation was further validated by foreign degree and research examiners, as one reported: “This research is a study with great practical and international significance. The theoretical foundation of the research is solid.“The research method is correct, the sampling is representative, and the tools used are appropriate. The relatively large workload also shows the researcher’s ability to independently conduct research design and implementation, with reliable results and correct conclusions. The writing of the paper is logical and the description of the problem and the conclusion are concise and clear,” the foreign examiner reported.The independent excellent evaluations both internally and externally earned the young Liberian scholar an enviable place for his doctorate and his 3rd Academic Excellence Award from the prestigious Chinese Normal University, particularly dedicated to training educators and other professionals.It can be recalled that Dr. Gbollie was in 2014 and 2018, also awarded “International Excellent Student Award and Academic Diligence Award,” respectively from the university.Dr. Gbollie expressed profound gratitude to God, the Liberian and Chinese governments and his family for making his educational sojourn a resounding success.He added, “This could not have been possible without divine arrangement and empowerment.”Dr. Gbollie, who is also president of the Liberian Student Union in China, said that his Ph.D. journey was mind-changing and life-transforming, expressing fervent confidence and hopefulness that his education and experiences overseas would go a long way in promoting societal transformation, especially for Liberia.According to Dr. Gbollie, there were a countless number of impactful developments in his life, far beyond his imagination. “During this doctoral journey, I transcended from being a student to a mentor, and coach for hundreds of people from all backgrounds. I transcended from not only submitting academic journal articles for review and publication, but became an international journal peer reviewer with excellent certificates. I transcended from having two academic peered review journal articles published to over five and three in queue, awaiting publication. I transcended from not only reading books written by others, but also ready to contribute to the knowledge economy with two books being launched this month. I transcended from being a member and committee chair to president of the Liberian students in China, and a role-model for many individuals,” Dr. Gbollie wrote on his Facebook page.On his post-doctoral graduation plan, Gbollie expressed strong passion to addressing critical issues related to human, social, and educational development of all individuals, especially youth and students.According to him, various programs are currently being planned under his two institutions: Foundation for Research, Education and Empowerment (FREE) Liberia, a Liberian-based NGO devoted to improving lives and interventions through research, education and empowerment programs; and the Youth Champions Alliance Network (You-CAN), which is being founded to focus particular attention on holistic youth empowerment and development.Dr. Gbollie used the medium to admonish his fellow young people to remain hard-working, devoted and persistent in their dreams, noting, “If God can change my name and history, He can also do it for you. The Heavens and Earth are on your side—keep pursuing your dreams.”He expressed the hope that many young Liberians will emulate the good example he has set and that government would make use of its best brains to drive the much-needed transformation and change in the country.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
…can lower child abuse in hinterlandIn an effort to lower the alarming rates of child abuse cases in the hinterland region, the Child Care and Protection Agency (CC&PA) will be launching advertisements in four different Amerindian languages as early as next month during the observance of Child Protection Week.This is according to Director of the Agency, Ann Greene during a recent interview with Guyana Times.According to Greene, the rates of child abuse in Amerindian villages are alarmingly high. In fact, she said most of the 481 cases of child sexual abuse occurred in Regions 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) and Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni).She explained, “The most challenging thing for us is this sexual abuse in Hinterland communities. If you look at the stats, our data shows out of the 481 (cases of sexual abuse) the rate of abuse is highest in Region 10 followed by Region Seven so we want to concentrate heavily on that in our programmes”.Greene said she is aware that in some communities, underaged sexual activities are accepted, although it is against the law, and so awareness, especially inCC&PA Director, Ann GreeneAmerindian communities, is crucial.“There is a gap between culture and law. There are some things that are social norms and cultural practices but it’s not in keeping with the laws of the land… in some communities there is a high tolerance level for under aged sexual activities. Sixteen years is the age of consent, but it doesn’t say that grown men should be having sex with 16-year-olds. They may be paedophiles,” she pointed out.Important to note, the Director said, is the laws of Guyana were not only crafted for the children on the coast, but also for those in the hinterland regions.She added, “So we can’t hear people (are) getting charged here (on the coasts) for various acts and (in) another group things are happening there and nothing is not happening”.The Agency, according to her, has been exhausting several efforts to educate and re-educate citizens on the issue of cultural practices. She said, although persons are entitled to their culture, the practices put children at risk.This year’s Child Protection Week will commence on September 23 under the theme ‘Supporting families to prevent child abuse through education and community involvement’.Several other major activities and programmes are being finalised and prepared for the much anticipated event. Among the major plans, the CC&PA will be launching its child abuse registry, which will be helpful in providing information in relation to a person’s biography.Greene pointed out that the perpetrators of sexual abuse will be publicised and exposed to the public, who will be able to access the requisite information on the Internet.She explained, “People were clamouring for that and so I gave a commitment to launch the child abuse registry. It is really to put online the persons who would have commit offences against children. If anybody wants to employ anybody, you could run the child abuse registry”.“A lot of information will be made available through the registry (like) the type of abuse, the person’s age, their name, where they’re from and so on, because when we set up this database we can do drafts and look and see where the abusers are. We can pull up the map and see where they are,” she related.As of June 2018, Guyana recorded an increase in reported cases of sexual abuse against children. Greene went on to explain that she believes the high number exposed itself only due to intensive work by the Department.According to her, “It’s not an increase to say it is more now than what it was before because we got more awareness, we got more channels to report. We encourage persons to report more so when we do all these programmes and all these awareness and so on, put in a hotline and all of that, the reports would increase, but it does not signal that there is more child abuse this year than last year”.She sought to point out that she believes the figure exposed is just a ‘tip of the ice berg’ since abuse, especially sexual abuse, is often hidden and goes unreported.
…claims Govt uncomfortable with some recommendationsThe much-vaunted Tax Reform Committee report, which contained a number of recommendations to the coalition Government — including recommendations that ministers and the President pay taxes — is still being reviewed.This is according to Finance Minister Winston Jordan in an interview with this publication. While he denied that the Government was hesitant, Jordan admitted that it was uncomfortable implementing some of the measures.“A report done by anybody and submitted to the client is for the client to determine what they will do to the report. It is for the client to determine. It is up to the client to determine the efficacy, timeliness of the recommendation.“Some of the measures we are uncomfortable with,” Jordan told this publication.“So we will not be implementing (them). I can say off-hand they asked for us to put a tax on pensions, and we refused to do that. It’s not about hesitancy. Every recommendation that has been made is just that — a recommendation; and it is up to the client to accept, reject or vary the recommendations.”Jordan claimed that otherwise, every consultant the Government hired could come up with recommendations that do not have a factual basis, and the Government would be forced to implement them.“We will go through each recommendation and we will either implement it in full, part, or none at all.”In 2015, the Government had established the Tax Reform Committee, headed by Dr Maurice Odle. The committee’s mandate was to examine the country’s taxation system and make recommendations for fixing it. The committee had reported its findings to the Finance Minister in January 2016.Among its recommendations were: an income tax threshold of $750,000 with progressive rates of taxation from 20% to 35%; reintroduction of estate duties, and levies on tobacco and alcohol.Last month, Chartered Accountant and reform committee member Christopher Ram had criticised the Government for the delay in implementing several crucial recommendations. Specifically, he had zeroed in on the administration’s failure to adopt recommendations that income tax exemptions be removed from office holders such as the President, Attorney General, Auditor General, and the Chancellor of the Judiciary.“Some of the recommendations were expected to be controversial, particularly those designed to have a redistributive effect: such as the reintroduction of estate duty and taxation of dividends above a certain level,” Ram had said. “There were also some that mixed revenue with social policy, such as a tobacco levy and a health levy on alcoholic beverages.“These are only some of the unimplemented measures available to the Minister of Finance. The Tax Reform Commission had estimated that its proposals excluding amnesty, government transfers, etc, would be revenue neutral, but that there would be some rebalancing in the system.”But the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) itself has announced intentions to reform its tax incentive system. According to GRA Commissioner General Godfrey Statia at a recent engagement with manufacturing sector representatives, they are looking at replacing exemptions with credits.According to the finance specialist, replacing exemptions with credit would assist in creating a level playing field.Instead of reducing taxable income, tax credits actually reduce the amount of taxes owed. But while tax exemptions are still available, Statia was critical of some businesses not taking advantage of them.“Many businesses also do not adequately realize various tax concessions available under the act. Until the advent of tax credits, maybe introduced instead of exemptions, businesses must trudge through the various acts. Small businesses in particular do not reap the rewards available under the Small Business Act.“Exemptions go a begging, and the various allowances are often not utilized. Yet, complaints are made when foreign companies benefit and local companies do not. These are available to all competitors in the market, and should be used,” Statia had pronounced.
…one year after agency took over drainage responsibility from GuySuCoBy Shemuel FanfairAs the Administration had moved to downsize the sugar industry in 2017, Government had, in June of that year, announced that the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) would be assuming responsibility for drainage of the West Bank Demerara corridor from the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo).However, several months later, farmers on the West Bank Demerara (WBD) corridor are still awaiting the Agriculture Ministry’s sub-agency’s assistance in clearing irrigation canals, which is a necessity in crop management and the maintenance of good husbandry practices.On Friday last, the National Assembly passed the 2019 Budget, tuned to the sum of $300.7 billion; and from this cumulative figure, the NDIA has been allocated just over $2 billion. Under the relevant programme, it was outlined, that allocation would account for the “completion, construction and rehabilitation of drainage and irrigation structures, pump stations and payment of retention.”On this publication’s recent visit to the WBD area, it was evident that several canals had been overtaken by overgrown bushes, including the channels leading to the Wales Sugar Estate, where punts would be pulled to offload farmers’ cane from fields.This situation was unlike what obtained when the Estate had been functioning, before the entity officially ended operations in December 2016. After 2017, there was little evidence of any rehabilitation of drainage and irrigation works beingBellvue farmer Balram Balkarranconducted in several of the canals in many of the surrounding farmlands.The village of Bellvue, WBD, where many residents farm on leased land, was affected by the closure of Wales Estate. Residents opted, with some challenge, to plant diversified crops, as their original agreements from the 1950s outlined that they could only plant sugarcane. Producers of the Bellvue Cane Farmers Co-Op Society petitioned President David Granger in 2015 to be allowed to plant diversified crops. They were finally given the go-ahead in 2017, and now that this has been sorted out after the shuttering of Wales was finalised, these farmers have encountered other problems, whereby the seeming non-assistance by the NDIA has caused them to sustain losses.Farmer Balram Balkarran told Guyana Times last Sunday that in October, when the dry conditions prevailed, Bellvue farmers lost “several acres” of bora, pumpkin, saime, watermelon, among other crops. He said this was owing to the poor irrigation in the area, due to blocked channels. He said that while farmers are overjoyed that the rains have come, the bush clearing in the waterways is vital to them sustaining their livelihood.Two farmers who have private pumps would lend their equipment to some of the others to utilise. Owing to their losses, the farmers have switched to other crops, such as cassava, plantains, bananas, sweet potatoes – which can better withstandOvergrown sections of the Bellvue, WBD canal (Adam Baksh photo)the weather conditions.“The NDIA supposed to provide the irrigation for us; they have the infrastructure. We don’t have the capacity, or the finance, or the machinery to excavate these overgrown weeds,” the farmer outlined.When Guyana Times met with them in October, they had been sourcing water. At that time, some farmers had estimated their losses at near $40,000 per acre, having noted that it had taken about $20,000 to $40,000 per acre to go into other crops. The farmers, who had provided 50 per cent of the canes at Wales, called for compensation, but to little or no avail.In December 2016, when Wales closed down, water in the access canals leading to the Kamuni Creek had flowed freely to the Wales area through the community of Renistyne.However, when GuySuCo stopped maintaining the many punt trenches in the area, many of the channels became blocked.In fact, some sugar workers living in the area were also affected, as they supplemented their income via fishing in the trenches. Fifty-seven-year-old Bellvue farmer Ramchuran Sukhnan had told this newspaper of the many expenses he has been paying since leaving the sugar industry, and he declared that he would be grateful for grants and subsidies, as he still had to acquire seedlings.He had said that he paid $50,000 in labour costs to clean one of his plots, and $40,000 to prepare the beds, in addition to other costs.
0Shares0000Runners at last year’s Stanchart Nairobi Marathon. PHOTO/FileNAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 24 – Former Standard Chartered Marathon winners will be eyeing to reclaim the title when the event gets underway on Sunday in Nairobi.The 2014 champion Reuben Kipruto Siwa and Joshua Kipkorir winner in 2016 will be back with an aim of setting a record of emerging as the first athletes to win it more than once. Sammy Kipyego placed 21st (2:17.22), Cornelius Chepkok who was in the 22nd position in 2:18.00 and the 27th place finisher Hannington Kimaiyo during last year’s event will be seeking for the first victories in the Stanchart marathon.The Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon champion, Elisha Barno (2:11:58), 2017 Amita Health Fit America Half Chicago bronze medalist Calvin Chemoiywo and Vincent Krop a 14th place finisher at the Singapore Stanchart marathon in 2009 (2:16.15) are in the fray.The BelfiusBrussells marathon Julius Kiprono (2:17.00), the Hainan Sanya International Marathon silver medalist William Ekai (2:20.53), the 2014 Khon Kaen (Thailand) winner Sammy Kipkorir (2:17.03) are also in contention.The defending champions Brimin Kipkorir and Celestine Chepchirchir are yet to express interests for their second straight titles as they are to confirm participation.Fresh from winning the Bank of Jiangsu Nanjing Lishui Half Marathon (China) Naomi Jepkorir is aiming for maiden victory of the Standard Chartered Marathon women’s crown.Jepkorir with a winning time of 1:17.05 ast the the Bank of Jiangsu Nanjing Lishui Half Marathon, starts as the favourite.The 2016 Rock and Roll Madrid marathon fifth place finisher Sylvia Jemeli in a time of 2:44.31 has expressed her interest for the race’s top honours.Spanish women’s all-comers’ best Valary Ayaibei will be defending defend her Half Marathon.Aiyabei clocked 2:21:38 to become the first Kenyan woman to win at the Chinese capital.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)