UP survives ferocious FEU, bags crown via Finals sweep

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first_imgIsa Molde played like the Most Valuable Player that she is, firing 23 points including the go-ahead point, 14-13, in the fifth set before Ayel Estranero hit a service ace to clinch the title.“We tried to lift each other and tell ourselves that we can do it,” said Molde, who also won the MVP of the Finals and the First Best Open Spiker awards.“We are very happy because this is for the coming UAAP,” said Molde in Filipino. “In the end it was not just me but the entire team.’The Lady Maroons needed a short time to impose their fluid, highly systematic brand of game crafted by Kenyan mentor Godfrey Okumu, taking the first two sets with seeming ease.Molde and Roselyn Rosier took turns inflicting damage from left flank and in the second frame alone, UP outscored FEU, 16-5, in attacks.ADVERTISEMENT Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew It was the Lady Maroons’ first volleyball title in 36 years, and one that was won on their first ever finals appearance in the league.But it was not without some scary moments.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 ChrissFEU, a veteran of many finals battle, made a gallant comeback from two sets to none and 0-8 in the third set to bring what appeared to be short and lopsided match to a five-set drama.The Lady Tamaraws even threatened to give the Lady Maroons a dose of their own medicine—UP clawed back from the same two-set deficit to win Game 1—by taking a 12-6 lead in the fifth frame. 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 Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Young Filipino aces Milliam, Velez dominate Asian tennis meet Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Adamson beat University of Santo Tomas, 15-25, 25-20, 25-20, 25-19, to tie their own series for third at 1-1. But since the finals ended, the Lady Falcons bagged the bronze via quotient.Molde was surprised when she copped MVP award earlier in the day.“There are a lot of better players out there,” said Molde, who was also named Finals MVP. “I would like to dedicate these awards to my teammates; of course I can’t achieve this without their help.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ LATEST STORIES Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Isa Molde. —SHERWIN VARDELEONUniversity of the Philippines, riding on a slow-burn campaign all conference long, rocketed in a burst of brilliance all the way to its first ever championship Wednesday night.UP employed its brand-new system to capture the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference title via thrilling 25-20, 25-18, 23-25, 20-25, 15-13 victory over Far Eastern University at Filoil Flying V Centre.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titlelast_img read more

Knicks won’t rush Porzingis or future building plans

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first_imgView comments Joshua back ‘home’ to face Povetkin for heavyweight titles MOST READ Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown 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 Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Porzingis is eligible for an extension this fall, but the Knicks seem prepared to wait until next summer. That would allow them to have more salary-cap space in July if they try to sign a player they won’t mortgage any of their future for now.“We feel comfortable with our organization and where we’re going and what we’re developing here,” Mills said, “and we think that when it’s time for us to go after free agents, we’ll be a place to attract free agents and we shouldn’t use our draft picks like that.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal So while there are questions, the Knicks also feel they have certainty with the way they are building their team.They insist their future first-round draft picks will be used to select players for their own team, not to be dangled in trades that could land them an established player.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“We’re committed to following a plan and not just shifting and pivoting because we see something that we think is attractive and might fast track something,” Knicks president Steve Mills said Thursday. “I’ve seen that happen and go wrong too many times and that’s not what we’re going to do.”It’s happened in New York, where the Knicks traded young players and future assets in 2011 to acquire Carmelo Anthony, rather than sign him the following summer as a free agent with the cap space they had. This time, they say they will wait for the summer of 2019, when Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard could be among the free agents — even if one of them suddenly became available by trade now. Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption New York Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis, center, celebrates with team mates during the first half of a NBA basketball game against Sacramento Kings at Madison Square Garden in New York. APNEW YORK — Kristaps Porzingis is back with his teammates, though the New York Knicks don’t know when he’ll be back on the court.Joakim Noah won’t be back, though the terms of his departure still are being negotiated.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “We don’t want to jump at the shiny things,” coach David Fizdale said. “We want to make solid decisions and be patient with this process.”They will be patient with Porzingis, their All-Star forward who is still recovering from a torn ACL in February. He is back in New York and working out with his teammates, but faces more testing and rehab before the Knicks know when he can play.“As he meets certain milestones, we’ll continue his rehab process,” Mills said, “all toward the direction of when he feels 100 percent comfortable and we feel 100 percent comfortable that we’re not taking any risks with him, then he’ll be ready to come back.”Not so for Noah, despite the two years left on the $72 million deal he signed in 2015. He has been away from the team since clashing with former coach Jeff Hornacek last season. The Knicks remain in discussions with Noah and his representation to determine how he’ll leave the club.“The hope is that we can come to a resolution that is both advantageous to both Joakim and to the Knicks, and so that’s where it sits right now,” general manager Scott Perry said.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anewlast_img read more

NBA veteran Willie Reed goes No. 1 overall in G League draft

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first_imgLOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 19: Willie Reed #35 of the LA Clippers has his shot blocked by Andrew Bogut #66 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of the Los Angeles Lakers home opener at Staples Center on October 19, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. Harry How/Getty Images/AFPNEW YORK — Willie Reed was the No. 1 pick Saturday in the G League draft, his rights going to the Salt Lake City Stars.The 28-year-old Reed has spent parts of three seasons in the NBA, appearing in 152 games with the Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers and Detroit Pistons.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal His career NBA high is 22 points, done twice with the Heat in a span of four days in January 2017. And now he returns to the G League as part of Utah’s affiliate club, looking to prove himself again.“I’m ready to get around the guys and get to work,” Reed said. “I want to be able to lead by example and work on becoming a leader, trying to lead these guys and impart some of my wisdom that I’ve learned so far in coming from the G League to the NBA and now being back in the G League.”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 ChrissReed is a two-time G League all-defensive team player, and was a G League All-Star in 2015.Greensboro — the Charlotte Hornets’ affiliate — had the Nos. 2 and picks, taking Louisville’s Chinanu Onuaku and Fairfield’s Tyler Nelson. Serbian player Alen Smailagic was the No. 4 pick by the South Bay Lakers, and Murray State’s Terrell Miller went at No. 5 to the Atlanta-affiliated Erie BayHawks. MOST READ Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown LATEST STORIES Mourinho melee as United concedes late, draws 2-2 at Chelsea 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 Smailagic was traded to the Santa Cruz Warriors later in the draft. He was one of four international players taken in the first round, the others being France’s Darel Poirer (who was later traded to the Washington-affiliated Capital City Go-Go), Belgium’s Manu Lecomte to the Agua Caliente Clippers and Canada’s Jabari Craig to the Long Island Nets.Juwan Howard Jr., the son of Miami assistant coach Juwan Howard, went in the second round to the Sioux Falls Skyforce — the Heat affiliate.There were 198 players with G League experience on NBA rosters to start the season, including at least three on all 30 clubs. The G League’s 18th regular season — with a record 27 franchises — starts Nov. 2.ADVERTISEMENT Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Jarin says current NU team could go down as ‘one of strongest teams’ he’s coached

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first_imgJamike Jarin has had many talented players go under his wing during his tenures with San Beda in the NCAA and National University in the UAAP.Red Lions like Baser Amer, Art Dela Cruz, Ola Adeogun all played under Jarin albeit for just one year, ending in a runner-up finish against Colegio de San Juan de Letran in the NCAA 2015 title.ADVERTISEMENT All those names etched their marks in collegiate basketball lore but Jarin said his current crop of Bulldogs could very well surpass what his former Red Lions have done.Jarin said that the Sane Beda teams he handled in 2015 and 2016 are still his best squads in the collegiate level but the likes of Dave Ildefonso and John Lloyd Clemente could ultimately catch up with his Red Lions.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 San Beda team is full of talent and most of them are in the PBA,” said Jarin of Amer and Dela Cruz Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum after NU’s 79-74 loss to Far Eastern University.“Come back in four years and I might say this is one of the strongest or the best teams, but you’re looking ahead.” Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. MOST READ FEU gains share of 4th, clips NU Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crowncenter_img Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal LATEST STORIES View comments 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 Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Jarin’s current Bulldogs do have a dismal 3-10 record in the UAAP Season 81 basketball tournament while his San Beda teams reached the finals twice and won the title once.It was with Robert Bolick, Arnaud Noah, Javee Mocon, and Davon Potts that Jarin got his only NCAA title.Jarin added that Clemente and Ildefonso are only at the start of their rise and he’s sure that the two rookies would end up as the future leaders of the NU basketball program.“We’re excited not just for these players but also for the entire program,” said Jarin, whose team still has to play one more game this season against University of the East. “Dave and JLC, they’re just part of the NU program.”“And yes the foundation is set with the help of a lot of people.”ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA titlelast_img read more

Lady Eagles dump Lady Warriors for 3rd straight win

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first_imgEugenie Bouchard’s bid for Australian Open spot ends in qualifying Donovan Mitchell has career-high 46 to lead Jazz past Bucks Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Rogue cops marked as Gamboa’s targets in his appointment as PNP chief Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra Tolentino eventually finished with 13 points while Maddie Madayag added 11.Judith Abil put up 14 points for the Lady Warriors.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title MOST READ Ateneo Lady Eagles. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—Ateneo cruised past University of the East in three sets, 25-15, 25-21, 25-16, for its third straight win in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.The Lady Eagles are now tied with La Salle and University of the Philippines atop the standings with similar 3-1 records while the Lady Warriors fell to 1-3.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil 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 Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title UE was still in the game in the early parts of the third exchanging blows with the Lady Eagles for the 11-11 tie until the Lady Champions decided that they’ve had enough and went on a 12-2 burst to take the 23-13 lead after Mary Ann Mendrez’ attack error.Kat Tolentino then put the Lady Eagles at the 24-15 match point right before Bea De Leon skied in for the nasty quick kill that ended everything.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs“They worked hard for this one and the while week we prepared for this game,” said Ateneo head coach. “They really worked hard, they sacrificed a lot.”“We will not stop here, we will use this as a stepping stone for us to have a brighter future and for us to have a good outcome in the next games.” View commentslast_img read more

AFL Change of Command

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Bryant Eulogized in Death

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first_imgIt is customary that at the funeral, the unsavory side of the life of the deceased is not mentioned.So it was when families, friends and loved ones paid tributes to the fallen Chairman of the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL), Charles Gyude Bryant.They said of the former Chairman that his life did not harm anyone, neither did he deceive Liberia during the tough transitional period in 2005, when he handed a peaceful Liberia over to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.Several officials representing national institutions including the president of the University of Liberia, Dr. Emmet A. Dennis, the board and members of the B.W. Harris School (Episcopal owned), the Episcopal Church, and others noted in separate statements that the late Chairman Bryant chaired and co-chaired boards that supervised many of those institutions.UL president Emmet Dennis in a special way recognized the fallen Liberian son as a Visitor of the University of Liberia, who transitioned the academic institution from a time of turmoil to peace, emphasizing that Bryant appointed his (Dennis’) predecessor, Dr. Al-Hassan Conteh, who led the university up to 2009 prior to his (Dr. Dennis) takeover.In all the statements, care, humility, humanity, diligence and consciousness were among words that went to late Chairman’s credit.Tributes were also made by the ECOWAS Commission, Cllr. Varney Sherman and Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee.For the ECOWAS Commission, its statement noted that during Liberia’s tough times, it took rebel leaders and government of former President Charles Taylor 61 days to reach an agreement for the establishment of a transitional leadership in Accra, Ghana in 2003, resulting in the Accra Peace Accord.“There was a need for a neutral person to head the leadership; and Bryant, [chosen] through popular votes among the warlords and members of the civil society, was elected for this great task,” the statement read.The statement further noted that the chief peace negotiator at the time, General Abdul Salaam Abubakar, advised that for peace to be restored to Liberia, it would take the collective effort of all Liberians.In consonance with this advice, the ECOWAS Commission said Bryant took the challenge to head a leadership of warlords whose rebel groups took instructions only from themselves and their bosses.The Commission acknowledged that Bryant followed the guidelines and rules of the Accra Peace Accord and ensured that disarmament, demobilization and reintegration took place, and that elections were held, turning over leadership to a democratically elected government.Cllr. Varney Sherman, who chairs the ruling Unity Party, described Bryant as a kind and compassionate man who was humble and full of humanity.Cllr. Sherman, a one-time member of the Liberia Action Party (LAP), told the audience that Bryant’s life did not harm anybody, and that his role in Liberia’s peace process cannot be forgotten as evidenced by the transition of power that brought Liberia total peace.Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee in her tribute recalled that the transitional period from beginning 2003, was a memorable period that will not be forgotten in Liberian history.Madam Gbowee said during that period, Bryant did not divide Liberians but strived to empower Liberians and respect the rights of others.However, the praises showered upon Chairman Bryant for his role in the governance process of Liberia during the transitional period may not be in consonance with what transpired after he handed over power to the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf-led Administration.Upon turning leadership over to Madam Sirleaf in 2006, Bryant faced the wrath of her administration’s “fight against corruption.”The Sirleaf Administration took Chairman Bryant and some officials of the National Transitional Government of Liberia, including Montserrado County Representative Edwin Snowe, to court for corruption.Bryant at one point in time during the trial, was incarcerated; however, at the end of the trial Bryant and those accused were acquitted.When he died at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Center on April 16, family members stated that Bryant had written in his will that he did not want a state burial or any government participation in his funeral.Alleged ill treatment meted against him after turning over to the Sirleaf government is publicly presumed to be one reason why the fallen leader had allegedly ruled out government participation in his burial. As such, the former president did not lie in state as is customary for officials at that level of government.Since the Sirleaf Administration took Bryant to court for corruption, the fight against this national menace seems to be failing as doubt arises in every sector about the performances of public officials.Even the President herself has been criticized for the appointment of her children and cronies in key lucrative public positions, which the public considers nepotism.General Auditing and Anti-Corruption Commission reports have reflected the names of many public officials, but not much effort has been exerted to fully prosecute those involved.  The recycling of key confidantes of Madam Sirleaf between public offices has over the time also sparked criticism, as the public claims it contradicts her advocacy for social justice in Liberia.     Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Are we really addressing operations, viability of NIS?

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first_imgDear Editor,Recently, the media carried an article on the operations of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) arising from a bi-partisan Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Social Services meeting with the senior officials of the NIS. Having read the following: “NIS recorded successive deficits since 2015-GM “(General Manager),” “the current fund stands at $31.9 billion,” “this year, NIS is expected to pay out $23.6 billion with contributions projected to reach $23.2 billion.” As a financial analyst, what was reported was basically confusing to me. Hence, I will enlighten our citizens on my assessment of the operations and future viability of the NIS. 1. I have neither in recent times seen an audited nor unaudited Financial Statements (FSs) in the news media. As a public entity, I am appalled that FSs are not published. Certainly, citizens like myself will be interested in calculating and analysing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in order to assess among others, NIS’ financial position, its performance, its liquidity balance, and its future viability. Some KPIs which an analyst will need in order to determine the viability of this scheme are: its net loss/income margin, its return on investment, its debt to equity ratio, its accumulated surplus, its investment portfolio and income (if any) accruing from those investments, and last but by no means least, its funding of the asset deficit to meet future obligations. 2. I am of the view that since the NIS commenced its operations in September 1969, the composition of its Board of Directors leaves much to be desired. Based on published information over the years, this Board is and continues to lack the appointment of a director(s) with experience on Actuarial Valuation of pension schemes. 3. What should have been discussed at length at that meeting (not reported by the news media) is/are the Report(s) of the Actuary. If the Actuary is Bacon Woodrow and de Souza Limited from Trinidad, that firm is known to be doing high quality work on evaluating pension schemes in Guyana. What has been disclosed by the GM and I quote “based on the last actuarial report, the life of the scheme should come to an end in 2021/22. I am worried and confused by that revelation by the GM. It seems to me that NIS may not exist after 2022, which is most unlikely. Surely the Actuarial Reports (normally every five years) over the past two decades have been repeating the same issues, and no serious action is apparently being taken on those pertinent issues. 4. What is an actuarial valuation? It is a type of appraisal of the NIS’ assets and liabilities of which investment, economic and demographic assumptions are used in order to determine the funded status of this pension scheme. Mention has been made of GuySuCo owing in excess of $1.5 billion as well as other businesses. The management at that parliamentary meeting had indicated that it has been taking action to recover contributions owing which is a positive effort. However, as mentioned above, it is imperative that the authorities need to determine the required contributions needed to fund future benefits over time and in so doing will eventually eliminate the Scheme’s deficit. Persistent underfunding, as it appears to be, will ultimately jeopardise NIS’ sustainability. 5. Besides the actuarially valuation the efficiency level of the staff needs to be address and be improved. For example, why the payment of a benefit has to take two, three, four months to be made after the documentation has been accepted. Yours truly and I know of many others, who have had this experience. That being said, the financial position, performance and the ability to pay future benefits are cause of major concern of NIS’ current operations. Our emphasis, among others, has to be on the Actuarial Reports which information is indeed complex and can be difficult to understand for those who are not accustomed to working with this kind of information. It is my view that the authorities have to reveal financial information such as the extent of the Scheme’s asset deficit, the required contributions percent to clear this deficit, the period of time it will take to clear this deficit, who are to make these contributions, will it be the employers, the employees, the Government or all three parties. These are not easy decisions to make, hence it is imperative that the decision makers have a full understanding of the schemes’ operations and its implications in both the short-and long-term. I do not see the life of NIS ending in 2021/22. Let’s address the pertinent issues in a prompt and efficient manner, and we will need the involvement of the actuarial firm, and perhaps other financial specialists on the way forward towards this scheme’s viability.Yours sincerely,John Seeramlast_img read more

No future for sugar in Guyana under APNU/AFC

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first_imgDear Editor,Just before the May 2015 General Election, I warned that the Granger-led A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) had a sinister plan to close the sugar industry (SUGAR) in Guyana. David Granger and Moses Nagamootoo vehemently denied any plans to close SUGAR. In their four years in Government, they have downsized SUGAR by more than 50 per cent, as a first step towards the goal to close SUGAR. As a General Election looms again in Guyana, I again repeat my warning: APNU/AFC is determined to end SUGAR in Guyana.APNU/AFC is deliberately mismanaging GuySuCo, engineering its excuse to close SUGAR. While three sugar estates continue to operate, APNU/AFC is keen on finding an excuse to also close these estates. For more than 300 years, SUGAR was the most important industry in Guyana. The potential for SUGAR being an important industry for many decades more in Guyana still exists. It is foolhardy and reckless for anyone to give up on SUGAR. APNU/AFC wants to end SUGAR in Guyana for political reasons, resulting from their anti-Jagan, anti-People’s Progressive Party (PPP) obsession. But while spiteful and petty, closure of SUGAR in Guyana, with downsizing as a first step, has horrendous consequences, with the Guyanese people being collateral damage.For example, the starting of SUGAR closure, at the end of 2015, precipitated an unemployment problem. Four years into the APNU/AFC term in office, Guyana is mired in an unemployment crisis, a crisis that started in 2015 and crescendoed in 2016 by the closure of the first of the four sugar estates that are now closed. The total closure of SUGAR, if the Guyanese people allow APNU/AFC to achieve this goal, will mean that the unemployment crisis will be sustained for generations to come. OIL will not be able to rescue us.Even as RUSAL is threatening to close operations in Guyana, causing a loss of another 500 jobs, GuySuCo, still the largest single employer in Guyana, is bleeding from deliberate mismanagement, facing a precarious future. The last four years have not been good news for GuySuCo and for employment in Guyana. More than 37,000 jobs have been lost, according to conservative estimates, with SUGAR accounting for more than 7000 direct jobs and many thousands more indirectly. With the uncertainty of elections, a constitutional crisis after March 21 and possibly an illegal government by then, business activities have dropped by as much as 50 per cent, with hundreds being laid off.Meanwhile, Guyanese are dismayed at the sustained ugly disinterest APNU/AFC has shown towards GuySuCo. This deliberate disinterest by the Government and, particularly, by the Minister of Agriculture, has contributed to the overall mismanagement and incompetence in the operations of GuySuCo. Even as the operating estates are bleeding for more machinery, such as tractors and excavators, etc, Special Purpose Unit (SPU)/National Industrial and Commercial Investment Limited (NICIL) is selling off these same machinery, already owned by GuySuCo, from the closed estates. This is not incompetence and mismanagement, it is deliberate suffocation. The reported theft of significant amounts of sugar produced at the Uitvlugt Sugar Estate, far from being an isolated case, is symptomatic of every day, niggling and serious problems impacting the industry. These mounting problems will continue as disinterest sickens the industry.While insisting the treasury will not invest in GuySuCo, APNU/AFC, curiously, allowed SPU/NICIL to borrow $30 billion on behalf of GuySuCo. No one knows where the money is and what the SPU has done with the money. In the midst of suspicion and anger about the whereabouts of the money and what it is being used for, GuySuCo continues to claim it has not benefited from any serious influx of funding from the $30 billion. Several weeks ago, the Leader of the Opposition had to ask publicly for an explanation and the whereabouts of the $30 billion. I have continued to ask for more than a year now the same question – where is the $30 billion?The President has ignored these questions. APNU/AFC behaves as if it is no one’s business to ask. The Minister of Agriculture has made clear he has no idea where the money is, why the loan was taken and by whom and emphatically pronounced he does not want to know. Ignoring the queries from the workers, from the trade unions and from the management of GuySuCo is inexcusable, but behaving as if citizens have no right to know the whereabouts of one of the biggest single loans ever in Guyanese history is political malfeasance and corruption at the highest level.Just this week, GuySuCo’s management, out of utter frustration, berated the relationship with the SPU/NICIL, particularly with the SPU Head, who is also now the acting head of NICIL. This same man, about a year ago, announced and published a whole-page advertisement that there was a new GuySuCo Board to replace the Clive Thomas-led, Cabinet-appointed Board. The Ministry of the Presidency was forced to disown the SPU-appointed Board. It took the Cabinet almost a year after that to itself appoint a new Board. Cabinet announced it would clarify who was in charge – the Agriculture Ministry or SPU/NICIL. Nothing has happened. Such risible behaviour makes a mockery of one of the largest industries in Guyana, unless it is a deliberate strategy to end SUGAR.The treatment of GuySuCo by the SPU/NICIL, the disinterest in GuySuCo by the Government, in fact, reflect the long-standing strategy of the People’s National Congress (PNC) to end SUGAR in Guyana. It said so in 2014 and now in Government for four years, APNU/AFC has done everything to end SUGAR. Just like the Government’s deliberate strategy towards a constitutional crisis in its management of the elections timeline, the Government’s seeming disinterest is a deliberate strategy to end SUGAR. Clearly, APNU/AFC appears to have engineered an economic strategy in which OIL is the new economic pillar and that Guyana’s economy will be an OIL economy. There is no future for SUGAR under APNU/AFC.Sincerely,Dr Leslie Ramsammylast_img read more