Bottomline chance for a new reformed governance - the barangay election-A A +A
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
EVERY enlightened and concerned voter in the barangay election on October 28 has a unique chance to contribute to the over- all plan for a new reformed governance in our country. By now all the candidates for Barangay Kapitan and the seven Barangay Kagawad must have submitted their COC (certificate of candidacy) to the Commission on Elections.
I hope we have enough candidates to choose from. You are aware that in this country, every Juan, Pedro, and Jose thinks he is fitted for the office.
First, make a list of voters whom you know, who are non- partisan, enlightened and wise. Start with a core group in your barangay.
Gather them in an assembly, talk to them. Make your agenda for the group. Do not include dubious persons. You know them also.
Next step is to carefully sreeen each and every candidate. The secretary should record all the facts. Then choose the candidates with the ideal qualifications for each position. These are the decent persons, presentable with morality and integrity, educated and well- bred. In any given barangay we have the A , B, C , D, and E groups of citizens.
If possible, choose from the first three for obvious reasons. They are better prepared to do the work of governance more effectively. Make this your list of your group's candidates. Talk to each of them and inform them that you will campaign for them. Avoid the "patronage politics" style of working for a candidate here. There are no money, no promises for paybacks later if elected, etc..
In your list do not include candidates with known questionable records. They are notorious characters, "goon-like" in their stance. They swagger around with the "vote for me or else" attitude. They are "terrors". They support gambling and "jueteng", delinquent in office, drinkers or alcoholics, drug addicts, or pushers, womanizers. This is not fiction; I had seen them.
In one barangay hall, the mistress of the Kapitan lived in the second floor of the barangay hall. Some barangay offials looked awful in sandos and shorts, unshaven, in slippers. Some smelling of alcohol from a night drinking spree. Some squander with the barangay funds. Each kagawad has his own "tongs " from tricycle drivers, vendors, and bribes for permits. Unbelievable? No, all of these actually happen.
Please help voters from the C, D, E groups. Educate them with kindness not looking down on them but treating them as co-equals. They are those who sell their votes to the highest bidder; they make do with all the questionable leaders. Their reasons are "walang magagawa kalakaran na yan sa lugar naming.” Please, make this a thing of the past in our campaign for a reformed governance.
Remember there are good and exemplary barangays. Make them your role- models.
The late Sec. Jess Robredo of Naga set the example of excellent LGUS. This includes the barangay level. Know about his each person empowerment in a community. You have a right to claim this. Have self esteem. The barangay unit has the power to decide by law what will be profitable and progressive for its citizens. Among them are agricultural extension and site research (DA), community based forestry projects (DENR), field health and tertiary health services (DOH), public works and infrastructure using local funds (DPWH), school building program is very important (DepEd),social welfare services (DSWD), tourism facilities and promotion development (DOT), telecommunications services for provinces and cities, housing projects, investment support, mining proposals, indigenous tribes rights to their domain.
The LGU units have also regulatory power for inspection of food products and quarantine; enforcement of natural building code, operation of tricycles, processing and approval of subdivision plans, establisment of cockpits , resettlement of informal groups of settlers.
I am fortunate to have lived in exemplary barangays like Barangay Fortune in Marikina City, a city known for its disciplined and law abiding citizens. The barangay kapitan helped me to evict a delinquent, impolite, and disrespectful tenant renting my house. He also helped in giving our permanent correct residential addresses. There were five Mrs. Hidalgos and our mails were often missent to the wrong address. This was problematic especially when bills for due taxes are misplaced.
I lived in Marikina from 1975 to year 2000 and had no problem with my barangay. In year 2001 I transferred to Davao City. Here my barangay is Poblacion just near our residence. It also helped me a lot to transfer my official pensioner records from the main SSS office in Quezon City, MM to SSS, Davao division. My barangay here also facilitated my application for my Phil Health plan before I had my cataract operation. This must have cost me, 75k pesos. With my plan, I paid some P35,000 only. These are good services rendered by a good and efficient barangay.
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Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 15, 2013.