THIS is how I describe Governor Bong Lacson’s seven point-agenda. It is a hodge-podge of task list-based agenda.
His list-based agenda includes some important issues that must be addressed by his administration, but it does not give Negrosanon the bigger picture of what his administration wants to achieve in three years, or what difference will his administration be from his predecessors.
Governor Lacson’s Abanse Negrense is a poor slogan, not reflective of the realities and desires on the ground, no clear strategy which among the seven task–list plays the key to inclusive and sustainable development, not descriptive of the kind of changes in the quality of life of Negrosanon after three years, and what exactly is the so called Negrense brand of good governance when the United Nations, Department of Interior and Local Government and other public administration institutions have already laid down the standards for good governance.
In contrast, for example, Isko Moreno, a newbie local chief executive (LCE), started his crusade with a clear vision-goal of achieving a Bagong Maynila. His top ingredients for that includes restoring cultural heritage and symbols of the city, clearing public parks and other places, decongesting passage ways for better and efficient mobility of people, spending funds for inclusive development projects, hunting the crooks and syndicates within and outside city hall to ensure good governance, among others.
Vico Sotto, another newbie LCE, set a vision-goal to make Pasig a “premiere metro city with inclusive and sustainable development”, built on a strong people-first oriented governance. His strategy to achieve it includes building strong rights-based establishments and institutions, jobs for all, rights and climate-change oriented investment, social protection for the marginalized sectors, and a good local governance based on data-based, transparency, responsiveness and accountability.
Enough of motherhood lists, like agriculture and food security, building of infrastructures, roads and infrastructure, advancement of trade, investment and employment opportunities, sustainable environment management, education culture and sports, Negrense brand of governance, among others. Enough of hodge-podge of disconnected task list-based agenda.
Young visionaries like Isko and Vico have shown right, good and well examples. Simple vision-goals and right strategy are enough to stir the bees’ nest so to speak.
So, what will life be for majority in Negros at end of three years under Governor Lacson?
Will its image still be a predominantly monocrop sugar-based economy, where a great class divide between few big landed business families and majority landless and jobless exists; where a huge army of excess and slave labor suffer poverty and hunger throughout the year, and most especially during “tiempo muerto”?
Where wide and deep disparity in income, infrastructure, amenities and opportunities between urban and rural remains.
Where our plundered natural resource is further threatened by the attacks on our remaining frontiers from big power and mining companies; where food insecurity remain without a strongly develop agriculture and rural industrialization, while imported goods, GMO food, and basic items continue to flood ever growing invasion of supermalls and convenient stores threatening the survival of our small entrepreneurs.
Where majority of old political dynasties still rule most local government units, exercising patronage politics, and thus rendering inutile the national call for participatory governance based on transparency, responsiveness and accountability.
Does he and his team have these in mind? Are these not supposed to be what the Governor Lacson led local government should address?
If not, what exactly does his list-based agenda cum Abanse Negrense would like to achieve? Advance to where and from where, by whom, for whom and how?
Still, in the end, Governor Lacson can only achieve either to preserve the existing status quo where he is part of, or reform it by solving all the questions I’ve raised and be different from the past governors.
I’ve long been involved with the technical and academic groups which craft, monitor and evaluate strategic development plans, development road maps, and master plans of government and non-government institutions. It has been our consensus that agenda building begins with right appraisal of realities and people’s sentiments and aspirations, then setting the vision-goal and right strategy and key policies, and ends with defining primary and secondary programs with corresponding yearly plans.
In layman’s term, what will Juan and Juana Negrosanon expect from the ruling administration at the end of three years? While some of the main ingredients are there, there is yet no menu for the kind of food to be cooked and offered to Juan and Juana.
He should articulate and communicate clearly his vision-goal, strategy and programs, this early if he wants to get the support of the various active organized forces on the ground, not only the LGUs and the business community.
Unless Lacson comes up this early with data-based, vision-goal-driven agenda, he will just be repeating the bad practices of tasks listing and mechanical governance by his two predecessors.
And least I forget, the national administration and DILG in particular have emphasized that all local development plans including yearly investment programs should be closely linked with the medium term national development plan which essentially to improve the quality of life of Filipinos.