Integrity Pledge-A A +A
At Close Range
Thursday, September 5, 2013
SOMETIME in one's life, he makes important career or personal moves. There may have been errors of judgment, indiscretions, miscalculations, even misappreciation, everything.
But the situation is not that hopeless as there is a chance for things to recover, to go the distance, so to speak.
In the light of recent upheavals brought about by huge scams and scandals, juridical entities are now gearing to moral uprightness and fiscal tightness perhaps hewing closer to the President's avowed crusade of good clean and effective governance.
Local government units like Mabalacat City are making a firm step to solidify their cooperation with the national leadership's focus on transparency, accountability and responsibility. Like Clark Development Corporation and its mother company, the BCDA, the local government unit is preparing its own Integrity Pledge document to be signed by its Mayor, Vice Mayor, members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod and the department and office heads.
A good step in the right direction, this impending document to be crafted by the City Administrator Rosan S. Paquia, this writer and City Budget Officer Roger C. Tanglao and, of course, all the other officers who have good ideas to put into this milestone of a document.
Transparency, accountability and responsibility: three traits much desired of governing bodies, from the national post down even to the barangays. No one is spared or exempted in performing good, unadulterated public service to the people whom the officials, be they elected or appointed, are duty bound to serve and not the other way around.
In the face of all the financial problems the government is encountering, sometimes involving even its top officials, there is an urgent for house cleaning and clearing and new but good governance roadmap and directional guidelines be adopted to achieve true transparency, accountability and responsibility. It is a collective and united effort exerted by everybody and not by a few selected individuals.
The idea is good but will it last? If it lasts, will the results render good accomplishments? These are but two questions expected of critics who are lukewarm to so-called government breast-thmping, soul-cleansing acts.
Well, it's time for supporters and framers of the Integrity Pledge to prove the detractors wrong.
By all means, cut those old but still menacing acacia trees! With due respect to environmentalists, the acacia trees lining both sides of MacArthur Highway (or the Manila North Road to some) in Barangay Mabiga should now be cut or at least be pruned regularly so as to preclude accidents as what happened last week to Barangay Poblacion Punong Barangay Mar Tiglao and his family. Are the environmentalists so enamored with those trees that they opt to see more accidents to happen in the area than see the old decrepit trees cut down? These trees, you may recall, are some of the reasons why the so-called widening of the Manila North Road became a funny infrastructure work.
I have been hearing complaints from the GSIS members of the Mabalacat City hall that their loan applications have been disapproved due to alleged non remittance of premiums previously deducted from employees. I heard another version from Vice Mayor Christian C. Halili that the problem is with the delayed posting of remittances by the GSIS personnel that he saw it prudent to summon them to explain the so-called delayed posting. Why is this so? Is it fair to deduct the premiums even from those who receive little and then not remit the premiums thus far collected or deducted? Is it fair not to post the premiums remitted by the city hall to GSIS? This anomaly may be happening throughout the country and not in Mabalacat City only.
Last Wednesday, a pre-budget hearing was conducted at Xevera covered court, Lot only by the City Budget Officer Roger C. Tanglao. Department and office heads were required to attend said hearing, hosted graciously by GSO chief and Internal Control head Jun Magbalot who treated the attendees with sumptuous lunch and merienda. The preliminary budget hearing was de riguer before the actual budget deliberations are staged sometime in November before an en banc Sangguniang Panlungsod.
I extend my congratulations to SM Olongapo and other SM malls for getting the Apolinario Mabini awards given in Malacanang on August 28, 2013 for their considerable contributions to the concerns of persons with disabilities (PWDs). Fine job, Engr. Bien Mateo and company!
Belated happy and meaningful birthday to Magalang Mayor Romy Pecson on September 5 and happy birthday too (September 6) to Zosimo Gasmin, Jr. On September 21, Deng Pangilinan and I will observe our natal day.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on September 06, 2013.