“Every project is an opportunity to learn, to figure out problems and challenges, to invent and reinvent.” –David Rockwell
To be clear, contrary to earlier reports, the San Miguel Corporation never categorically confirmed it would submit an “unsolicited proposal” to build the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Bridge. It was Senator Franklin Drilon who asked San Miguel President Ramon S. Ang to submit proposal out of frustration that nothing has been heard of the project since the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte administration discussed the project three years ago. Drilon made the proposal when he and Ang recently met in Leganes, Iloilo during the groundbreaking for a new factory.
As a courtesy, Ang reportedly told Drilon he would look into the matter.
To “look into” is the most logical and proper answer but is different from “agree to submit.”
While the two were trying to be courteous, some reporters took their conversations seriously and, to compound the matter, quoted each of them out of context.
The San Miguel Corporation can’t just gatecrash the project, which is being facilitated by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and National Economic Development Authority (NEDA). If they are really interested, they can submit a different proposal; probably after the first bridge is completed. That proposal should be for another bridge, like the twin bridges connecting Cebu and Mactan—San Miguel cannot piggyback on the same project already “started” by DPWH.
If a project is initiated by a private sector, it will have a different dimension and financial arrangement.
According to UN Secretary-General António Guterres, since its adoption 30 years ago, the Convention of the Rights of the Child and its near universal membership has created “unprecedented international solidarity around children’s rights.
The convention is the most widely-ratified international human rights accord in history.
“For the first time, governments explicitly recognized that children have the same human rights as adults,” the UN official pointed out.
He added, the document put a spotlight on the “specific additional rights that recognize their special status as dependents.”
A high-level meeting during the 74th session of the UN General Assembly was geared towards observing the 30th anniversary of the Rights of the Child, which recognizes the progress made in the advancement of healthy and sustainable livelihoods and is a call to action for member-states to strengthen their commitments.
To date, 196 countries have ratified the convention, with the exception of the United States of America, which has signaled its intention to ratify.
Alex P. Vidal, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo./WDJ