POSTSCRIPT / April 19, 2015 / Sunday


Opinion Columnist

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Not true that Tugade resigned as CDC chief

LIKE REPORTS of Mark Twain’s alleged death in May 1897, the news of the resignation of Arthur P. Tugade as president and CEO of Clark Development Corp. was “an exaggeration”. To be more precise — and official — Tugade has not resigned from the CDC.

I rely on the official advice of Press Secretary Sonny Coloma who told me among other things in a text yesterday: “He (Tugade) has not resigned. He has not submitted any such letter (of resignation).” I understand Coloma has talked to Tugade.

As best as I can piece it together from CDC board sources, the reports sprang from an outburst from the outspoken Tugade in a board meeting the other Friday.

The CDC officers and directors had rated themselves and their peers using a GOCC form. When the ratings were tallied, Tugade landed 6th among the 11 members of the board.

Reacting, Tugade said aloud: “Bakit ganito? Kung ganoon… aaalis na lang ako.” Apparently hurt, he also remarked about some board members being virtually non-performing assets (“kukuyakuyakuy lang”).

It is an open secret that some elements in the Freeport have not been exactly happy with the strict management style of Tugade, who comes from a highly successful logistics business before he was tapped for the Clark job.

As soon as he took over in 2012, Tugade imposed the “tuwid na daan” rule of President Aquino. He made it clear to everybody, from top officials to the lowest workers, not to solicit or accept monetary or any material gift or motivation from CDC clients.

We have heard of occasions when gifts were returned untouched. If the GOCC rating were a popularity contest, Tugade could be expected not to land near the top.

Tugade not getting perks as CDC head

LAST YEAR, CDC grossed revenues totaling P1.389 billion, netting P555 million from operations. Exports churned out by Clark fetched a value of $4.675 billion.

Tugade does not take advantage of the usual perks, including executive housing. He motors from Alabang every morning, usually making it to Clark ahead of many employees.

For toll, oil and fuel, and driver’s salary alone, he personally spends around P4 million yearly – the first time a CEO is absorbing the expense instead of charging it to the office.

His pained outburst seems to have fed the discontent of those affected by his strict management culture – and fueled their excited leaks that he has announced his resignation during the board meeting.

As we were closing this piece, a text message came from the office of Tugade saying among other things:

“In my quest to restore decency in government and fight corruption in whatever forms, the reports (of my resignation) are intended to demolish me and my advocacy. But I shall continue to fight for what is decent, fair and just. I will not fail you and country in this advocacy!

“Let us not allow the noisy hypocrites and the lawless elements control what we desire to be a clean, decent and fair playing field. Let us endorse and support good performance, not the wanton and crazy and greedy cravings for money and undeserved authority.

“The Clark Freeport zone is a paradise waiting to be rediscovered. Let us join hands and make that discovery together!”

Retazzos turned into fabulous garments

SUDDENLY, simple retazzo cuttings are being transformed, by skilled and patient hands, into fabulous garments whose couture values are enhanced by inspired intricate details.

Stitched, embroidered and crocheted, the transformed dresses, pants, skirts, vests and jackets are coordinated and value-added with accessories from beading and collages of patches, buttons and cut-out designs.

Capampangans call this homespun re-creation “pidayit-dayit” (synonymous to pinagkabit-kabit), reminiscent of the “Pidayit” home economics project for grade school girls (while we boys busied ourselves with metal and native materials in industrial arts).

Adopting the pidayit idea, Capampangan fashion designer Philip D. Torres has launched the modest retazzo into a flight to haute couture, aiming to merge native pidayit fashion sense to foreign trends.

Viewing and touching his sample creations in a mini-preview at last Friday’s forum of the Capampangan in Media Inc. (CAMI) at Holiday Inn at Clark Freeport, one senses Torres’ creativity reaching back to his roots for ideas and inspiration.

In the last 30 years, he has shown his garments to audiences in Pampanga and elsewhere. For over five years now, he has been a major presence in the “Philippine Fashion Week” at the activity center of Glorietta Mall in Makati and the SMX Convention Center in Pasay.

On April 25, next Saturday, Torres will show his Pidayit creations in a 7 p.m. fashion-show-for-a-cause at the Plaza San Jose of the Holy Angel University in Angeles City.

Show proceeds will help restore the old municipio, a heritage structure built in 1922 which now houses the Museo ning Angeles. Since it was opened in 1999, it has become a venue for such activities as exhibits, art classes and concerts.

Declared by the national museum in 2012 as an ICP (Important Cultural Property), the structure may look preserved, but it is in urgent need of repairs. Many walls and windows are broken, the roof leaks and the ceiling needs changing before the rainy season.

The Pidayit show and the Museo’s restoration are being supported by Meralco, PAGCOR and San Miguel Corp. as well as Holy Angel University, the ISCAHM and the Angeles city government.

(First published in the Philippine STAR of April 19, 2015)

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