Pre-Emptive Response-A A +A
By DP Limlingan
Thursday, October 10, 2013
THE Pampanga Capitol is now requiring the registration or accreditation of non-government organizations (NGOs) and other people's organizations before they shall be recognized and entitled to any support from any government agency.
Governor Lilia Pineda urged various organizations in the province to get accreditation from the provincial government in order to be recognized as partners of development of Pampanga. She likewise advised those with expired accreditations to renew their documents if the organization still exists and functions.
A number of supposed NGOs and people’s organizations as well as marginalized individuals troop to the Capitol almost every day during office hours to solicit, mostly dole-out cash, from elected provincial officials’ offices.
There seems to be no problem with the act of seeking help. The issue lies however on the legitimacy of these organizations to exist, operate and promote their advocacy, if any.
Bogus organizations proliferate in our society today, regardless of what they promote and the size of their organization. The investigation on Janet Lim Napoles and the cries of the people to abolish the controversial pork barrel fund seems to be endless. National political figures are drawn into the limelight for being involved in the fund scam.
Capitol’s response to what is happening with these organizations, fake or otherwise, is but proper and fitting as our local officials are dealing with people’s money and other forms of assistance. The Capitol ought to protect the public coffers and wouldn’t let them be “victimized” by those who claim to be legitimate organizations where in truth and in fact are merely using the name of their organization for their own interests.
Some individuals on the other hand are soliciting money from local officials in the guise of being in dire need, to seek help for some money to spend in the hospitalization and other emergency needs of a member of the family or a relative.
Funny, but there are also those who seek assistance for capital for their small businesses, such as sari-sari stores. Again, we see nothing wrong in asking for help, if the giver is assured that his money or his public office’s money is really spent on micro-business ventures.
NGOs and other private organizations are supposed to be partners of development of local government units. These are a composition of individuals that promote or support some advocacies.
The Capitol is supportive of such groups; however, it merely imposes now some safety nets in order to avoid the use of these groups for some personal interests, like what happened to some senators and congressmen who were implicated in the scam that recently became a national issue.
Those involved were alleged to have pocketed huge amounts of money that were supposed to have been given to NGOs and private organizations. The supposed beneficiaries meanwhile were fuming mad as their names were used despite the fact that they haven’t received any.
Gov. Pineda has clarified that the registration of interested private organizations can be done with the help of the provincial board. However, only those accredited with the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) shall be entertained by the provincial government.
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Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on October 11, 2013.