BIR: No extension in income tax deadline

General Santos City –Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) district officer Venerando Homez reminded residents of this city that there is no extension in the deadline of filing income taxes.

Deadline is April 15.

Homez said BIR head office in Manila did not give any orders to extend the April 15 deadline.

He said that some had already filed their ITR at the local BIR office but most Filipinos opt for the “last minute” filing.

Homez warned against those who do not pay their taxes that the government will be stricter in tax collection this time.

Incoming city treasurer denies being a midnight appointee

Former General Santos City administrator Atty. Jong Gonzales denied allegations that he is a “midnight appointee” of former mayor Darlene Antonino – Custodio.

Gonzales said he applied as chief of the City Treasurers Office (CTO) last June 25, 2012, well after the end of the election period.

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) initially denied his application saying that he lacked the mandatory five-year of related experience.

He appealed the decision and on April 8, he received the appointment from Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Cesar Purisima which was marked “validated and approved,” explained Gonzales.

He added that he has complied with the requirements of the Local Government Code.

Even though he is ready to assume office on April 14 Gonzales said he forwarded the letter to the mayor’s office in regards to his appointment to iron out all legalities.

“I always stick to what is right and legal,” Atty. Gonzales explained.

City Mayor Ronnel C. Rivera earlier this week said he sees no problem working with Gonzales as the city treasurer.

Gonzales is a known ally of former mayor Custodio.

DA 12 bats for “Organic Agriculture Region”

Officials of the Department of Agriculture 12 (DA 12) hope to turn Region 12 into “Organic Agriculture Region.”

Fred Dumasis, chairman of the SOCCSKSARGEN Organic Farmers and Producers’ Association (SOFPA), said they are strengthening organic agriculture in the region by organizing SOFPA to look into the said advocacy.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala already met with the officials of the newly formed SOFPA in his last visit to General Santos city. The group has shown their organic farming methods to Alcala.

Organic agriculture accounts for 5 percent of the country’s farm cultivated lands.

The group also said that organic agriculture is safer compared to conventional farming and can benefit not only farmers in the region but the nation as a whole.

The SOFPA is composed of farmers, manufacturers, consolidators, exporters including organic traders across the country, Dumasis said.

Official allay fears of dismissed workers

General Santos City – A group of workers dismissed by a local fish processing company in this city found an ally in Undersecretary Tomasito Villarin of the Office of the Presidential and Political Affairs (OPPA)

Villarin told the 35 dismissed workers of Mommy Gina Tuna Resource there is a good chance they will get back their jobs. He said the group has a strong case.

Villarin talked to the workers as they staged a protest action, telling the company they will not stop moving until they get back their job.

MGTR allegedly fired he workers after organizing a workers union.

The constitution guarantees that everyone has the “right to self-organization,” said Villarin.

Gensan: tuna capital no more?

General Santos City is known as the “Tuna Capital” of the Philippines something put into challenge by a recent study.

Studies by the World Wild Fund (WWF) Philippines and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) revealed that Occidental Mindoro supplies most of the tuna catch in the country.

WWF and BFAR findings show that Mamburao in Occidental Mindoro has about 600 tons of fish catch in 2011 till 2012.

The figure is way larger than what General Santos posted for the same period. In fact, Mamburao’s catch was the biggest recorded catch for the Philippines and internationally.

The town of Mamburao and Sablayan island in Occidental Mindoro supply tuna to Japan, Korea and Australia including parts of Europe like Switzerland, Germany and the United Kingdom according to Joselito Tiongson, site manager for WWF Philippines – Mindoro team.

Mamburao celebrates with “Tuna-Tonelada Festival” Mindoro’s 200 to 300 kilos of fish catch per week.