‘Pagbabago’-A A +A
My Palm Notes
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
"PAGBABAGO Sa Balibago," a foot ad in this paper states.
Or to be more exact as we see it, it should read: "Alfie Bonifacio: Pagbabago Sa Balibago" as the 10-inch-plus colored ad had the picture of the former Angeles City Councilor and that famous monument for the great plebian Andres Bonifacio.
After his unsuccessful run for vice mayor in this year’s local elections, the dentist-turned-politician is seeking the chairmanship of the city’s revenue-rich barangay.
His platform is obviously on reforms as he has aligned himself with Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan and will try to defeat incumbent Barangay Captain Tony Mamac. It might be a tall order but it is not impossible.
The order of the day now is reform on many fronts. The name of the game is good governance, fiscal and resource management, transparency, honesty and integrity.
While I am not saying that Mamac has been found wanting in his leadership, Bonifacio may just be able to present himself a better and more sensible alternative to the current Balibago barangay administration.
Given the renewed vigilance of the people on the use of taxpayers’ money, the electorate might just swing to a reform-anchored platform of governance.
That, of course, will also have to depend on how Bonifacio will be able to get his key messages across and get more credible people as allies.
It will now be a very interesting Mamac-Bonifacio tussle as other wannabes have reportedly gave in to boost the candidacy of the 40-year old former city councilor.
That is not a guarantee though that Mamac’s chances have all too suddenly diminished, given what he has achieved for Balibago in the past few years.
Besides, Mamac landed second spot in the recent vice mayoralty race in Angeles City, leaving Bonifacio behind by about 7,000 votes.
But that’s altogether a different story now as there will only be the two of them contesting the fight for Barangay Captain (there were five of them in the race for vice mayor last May).
This, coupled by the results in the 2007 Balibago barangay elections where Mamac won by a close margin of 39 votes over Bonifacio, will have to be a rally point for the latter. That result, Bonifacio said, was tainted by the operation of Dagdag-Bawas.
The Pamintuan factor could also give Bonifacio a big lift.
Among the reforms that Doc Alfie would want to put in place will be boosting the economic potentials of the Barangay where he projects some P30 million annual revenues or almost 100-percent increase from the current P17-million mark.
"Improving tax collection to boost our revenues to as high as P30 million year is on top of my priority," Bonifacio, who has been in politics for six years now, told media recently.
Bonifacio said he also wants to streamline the tax collection ordinance and other regulations passed by the barangay council to make it consistent and uniform with what the city government is implementing.
"I find some of them, especially the tax ordinance, inconsistent with the city ordinances, and the situation creates confusion and unfairness because it tends to allow double taxation which is not supposed to happen," Bonifacio said.
Doc Alfie authored the City’s newest Revenue and Investment Codes and given that, he knows what he is talking about.
He makes sense and he could just boost the coffers of both the city and the barangay without necessarily creating new burdens and woes for investors and businessmen.
The dentist in him would also want to see local traders don their smiles when paying dues to the government. His six-year political career was hallmarked by a program titled SMILE, something he plans to pursue in Balibago.
His “pagbabago” platform will also delve on Angeles City’s Sin City image where he observed that perception has gradually changed, given the Pamintuan Administration’s plans and programs to make Balibago purely a wholesome tourist and entertainment district.
It would be interesting to note that Mamac’s battlecry or move also has “Pagbabago” (Sagip Pagbabago Movement).
One local paper carried a news story about this side by side with another article about Bonifacio’s own battlecry written by colleague Ashley Manabat.
Quoting one Rudy De Guzman, the story about Mamac’s own “pagababago” filed by two lady on-the-job trainees states “Balibago changed a lot…(we) don’t want changes and improvements to be discontinued.”
So, which “pagbabago” now would be more acceptable to the people of Balibago?
We will find out in next month’s elections.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on September 04, 2013.