Assuming Office

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Monday, December 2, 2013

WE HAVE new sets of newly elected and re-elected barangay officials at this point in time, either starting their mandates or assuming their refreshed ones.

Last November 30, noontime to be exact, barangay officials in the country have assumed their offices that will last until the year 2016, or three years after they have started doing their duties and responsibilities.

For those who have lost the fight last October 28 and whose terms of office have ended, it’s a respite from politics and on to a quiet life until the next barangay election comes once again.

Those who have just managed to refresh their mandates, it’s a business as usual for them as they will just continue and go on with what they have been doing for the last three years or so.

It’s a different case for the “rookies” who have just transformed their private lives into public, as they embark on their new roles as public servants who will be serving their constituencies for the next three years. Even their names need to have now the prefix “Hon.” or honorable as they were elected by the people and they will be representing and serving the people not only those who voted for them but the whole population of their respective barangays.

Assuming their offices means not only having the powers enshrined in their positions and exercising them. It entails too the endless responsibilities inherent with the offices they were voted upon.

The neophytes would just have to deal with their “honeymoon period” with the positions and titles they hold now. They have been transformed into public properties, susceptible to critiques and public opinions.

Their lives will now be open books.

In terms of governance, they will manifest their aggressiveness in serving their people at least for several weeks or months from now. They cannot get away with their excitements in their new roles in the respective barangays.

Of course those barangays with new barangay captains and new sets of kagawads will experience changes. First on the line maybe is the refurbishing of their barangay halls which several months from now will be occupied by our new barangay leaders. New political motifs such as the official color of the barangay will be observed too.

Then there is the scrutinizing of records and documents and the properties that barangay governments have. Inventories will happen that will result into missing computer sets and other office implements.

Barangay vehicles will be mostly rendered "unserviceable," I bet.

Included in the position of a barangay captain is the power to name other barangay officials with appointive positions. They must not forget however that the concurrence of barangay kagawads is needed to complete the appointment process.

There will be new signatories of bank accounts of some barangays with new heads, thus the need to transact business with official depository banks. Neophytes will now be empowered to allot and disburse public funds thus they are expected exercise transparency and accountability in dealing with people’s money.

Just like during the start of the political season in barangays, the assumption into the offices of some barangay officials was made pompous and lavish. It’s like the start of their reigns as new rulers of their kingdoms.

On the part of the ruled, we give high expectations to those re-elected to further what they have already achieved and accomplished. For the newly-elected meanwhile, we expect some changes for the better, if not for the best. We expect reforms for those which were left undone that the predecessors ought to do during their stays.

As part of every barangay constituencies, we expect our barangay leaders, old and new alike, to perform well in their mandates. While their tasks may not be easy, we have elected them and along with our votes is our trust and confidence that they may serve us with the services they are to deliver.


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Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on December 03, 2013.


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