More mature-A A +A
Sunday, June 24, 2012
WITHDRAWAL of the controversial religious freedom bill last Thursday convinced me that today’s crop of student activist leaders are a lot more mature and democratic than those I marched with before Edsa 1.
The tumultuous times during the snap election campaign near the end of the Marcos dictatorship saw the broad youth-student movement divided because of the boycott call. Those who believed boycott was a mistake were ostracized even after the dictator’s fall.
I happened to attend the historic Kadena convention that issued the first resolution openly criticizing the boycott position a month after Edsa 1. I know the stories how colleagues shut them out when they returned to the provinces. This happened despite the fact that a year later, these same colleagues ironically agreed with the criticisms of the boycott call.
Last week, I could not believe that the Kabataan Party-list would adopt a position that effectively earned the ire of their allies, supporters and constituents. I immediately contacted my eldest son Karlo, Kabataan Party-list 4th nominee, and felt relieved that he did not share the position.
Apparently, some of their young leaders mistakenly thought of legislating the separation of church and state. I found this wrong, especially at a time when church leaders are correctly acting on their prophetic role.
The storm signal number four this stirred drowned out what I now gathered as frantic internal exchanges within the group. The internal democratic process, aided by today’s digital communication technology, crystallized into the decision to withdraw the controversial legislation just days after it was filed.
I realized that most members did not agree with the bill and the party-list group had a system where majority can air their views and heeded by their representatives.
Compared to the boycott experience decades back, I realized that the Kabataan Party-list wired into its system speedy yet democratic consultations with its membership. It is not a political dinosaur that takes so long to change course amid rapid political developments during the time of Facebook and Twitter.
Kudos to ABS-CBN and Jun Tariman for pioneering the Kapamilya Tech-Forum over AM radio yesterday as part of the 17th anniversary of radio dyAB. I hope Tariman and ABS-CBN will make this a regular endeavor. We need to bridge the technology gap between rich and poor. The first in the Visayas, Tariman said, the program provides a forum where ordinary radio listeners can interact with telecom industry leaders and spokesmen.
During yesterday’s forum, Tariman’s panel of resource persons included Atty. Allan Felix Macaraya of the National Telecommunications Commission, Atty. Mac Gordon and Jerry Yntig of Globe Telecom, Ruben Licera of the Cebu Bloggers Society and Dominc Perez, Kapamilya Negusyo finalist.
Joy Lodonia of the Abante Barangay Movement led a delegation representing their group during the simple affair. She said Totol Batuhan, who founded their movement, supports this initiative that helps bridge the digital divide at the barangay level. Among local politicians, Batuhan along with Rep. Tommy Osmeña are the ones more active and visible online.
With the support of both Rep. Tomas Osmeña and Mayor Mike Rama, the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) won’t suffer the fate of other development projects in Cebu City like Ciudad. I saw both officials during the press briefing over the weekend. Still, I am not as optimistic as the Cebu BRT group in the immediate resolution of expected objections from PUJ drivers and those who will be affected by the road expansion needed.
Nonetheless, Colin Brader of the Integrated Transport Planning bared a consultation process with PUJ drivers. The PUJ industry, he said, will also be involved in operating the BRT aside from being a source of employment. Hmmm, let’s see.
While I appreciate the effort to integrate environmental concerns into the plans, I am quite curious at how members of the Movement for a Livable Cebu will react if invited to a similar briefing.
This project will be initially funded by a $185-million loan from the World Bank and the French Development Agency.
Being a member of the Nacorda clan, which is adversely affected by the so-called material recovery facility in Barangay Quiot, I attended a meeting called by the Solid Waste Management Board last week. I was alarmed when I read a paper that claimed that a hearing about the project earned the approval of residents. I recalled attending that September 2011 hearing and all present opposed the project.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 25, 2012.