Not dancing and explaining Capitol’s finances-A A +A
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
MANY reasons prop up any decision to dance the Sinulog in Sunday’s grand parade. To compete and win a prize is one. To pay homage to the Sto. Niño is another. Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia says her reason for dancing in the Sinulog Grand Parade in the previous years has been the latter. That may not apply this year—if she ever decides to dance again.
After Councilor Margot Osmeña, the governor dancing the Sinulog has been among the attractions of the culminating activity of the grand parade at the Cebu City Sports Center. But those were normal times. Malacañang suspended Garcia last year. She responded by holing up in her office and refusing to leave. She’s still at it until now.
Her critics, including Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale, want her to leave Capitol obviously because her presence there symbolizes the questionable manner she was unseated. Talks about her being forcibly eased out of office persist. If she dances in the parade, she would be away from her office for a time. Magpale can just take over and bar her from returning.
Which means that any decision by the governor on whether she should dance in the parade or not will already transcend religious or cultural considerations and drift into the political arena. It does not help that President Noynoy Aquino, who signed the suspension order, will also be at the grandstand to watch the culminating program (although we do not know whether he will still be around when Garcia’s turn comes, if ever).
So should the governor dance this Sunday? I don’t think she should. Because no matter how good her motivation would be, it would be lost in the political fuss that would blanket the act. The call is to shield the Sinulog from politicking politicians. Not dancing will serve that end.
What Garcia should focus on instead is giving a comprehensive answer to the questions the acting governor has continuously raised regarding the status of Capitol’s finances. The latest claim is that Capitol has around P900 in payables while its general fund only has P91 million. That’s another way of portraying Capitol as “bankrupt.”
Common sense will tell you that the said portrayal of Capitol’s finances is skewed.
Unfortunately, Garcia is not helping clarify matters with her piecemeal answers to Magpale’s piecemeal allegations and her repeated challenge to Magpale for a debate on Capitol’s finances. Magpale is not accepting the dare, so what’s the point of hurling it?
What the public wants to know is the real financial situation of the Provincial Government. By “real” I mean objective and all-rounded and not subjective and one-sided. Overly focusing on the “payables” on one side and only on the “general fund” on the other is not the way to go. That is a defective and misleading approach.
Garcia has claimed that she knows more about the budgeting process than Magpale, which is true considering that she has been governor for eight years while Magpale is at it for only barely a month. If Garcia is not hiding anything, then she should present to the media a comprehensive presentation on Capitol’s finances if only to ease the worries now being felt by her constituents following Magpale’s pronouncements.
That would better serve her cause than dancing this Sunday.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 16, 2013.