Thursday, September 16, 2010

Lanzones Politics

Can PCL Rise to the Challenge?

by Ernesto T. Solidum

Kapehan Sa Aklan guests are (l to r) Hon. Vincent Navarosa - Libacao, Hon. Emmanuel Soviet A. Dela Cruz - Kalibo, Hon. Jonna M. Torres - Banga, and Hon. Basilides Tabernilla - Makato, all SB members.

Weekly Kapehan on September 11, 2010 at Smokehauz Resto & Bar discussed the topic: "Election of President of Philippine Councilors’ League (PCL), Aklan Chapter". The election is scheduled on September 15, 2010. Guests are SB member candidates: Hon. Emmanuel Soviet Russia A. Dela Cruz - Kalibo, Hon. Jonna M. Torres – Banga, Hon. Vincent Navarosa – Libacao, and Hon. Basilides Tabernilla – Makato.

Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino mentioned that based on RA 7160 section 467, duly elected Pres. of PCL is entitled to act as Ex-Officio member of the Sangguniang Pan-lalawigan. In Aklan, the post was left vacant by Atty. Ariel Igoy who is presently Mayor of Malinao. The forthcoming PCL election stirs away from the old practice of appointing people to the position without the electoral process. The voting is limited to all SB members in the province.

SB member Tabernilla as newly designated interim PCL member of the SP. He hopes to continue his advocacy of good governance and accountability. Now in his third term as SB member of Makato his focus is on strengthening the bond of cooperation among SB members in all 17 municipalities of Aklan. Hon. Tabernilla averred that strategy involves only two things namely: working out benefits for his SB constituents and be innovative and creative on proposed provincial legislations.

SB member Torres bats for continuing education and technology transfer particularly youth and rural women. As a hard working legislator and acutely aware of the problems of poverty and unemployment, she intends to pass legislation that will be coordinated with TESDA, DOLE and other government agencies. While most training is conducted in training centers, these may be reversed as trainers will undertake the skills training in the work places, said the young lady.

SB member Dela Cruz is into his second term but has sponsored 78 resolutions, authored three (3) ordinances and co-authored three (3) ordinances. His advocacy has an acronym, ASTIG: A-agriculture, S-sports, T-tourism, I-industry and G-good governance. He said that it is meritorious and deserving that ordinances although of local application like declaring March as Remembering Aklanon Martyrs and Patriots and Fish Conservation Measures on Angelwing clams can be adopted at the provincial level. It is obvious, angelwing clams are targeted. Other exotic and endangered species like tabios and bangus fry must be regulated.

Hon. Dela Cruz is vigorously supporting the move for opening a Legislative Academy as invaluable tool in governance. He is also interested to provide health and death benefits to all SB members considering the slow processing of claims by responsible government agencies on the matter. There is a need for a government lodging house in Kalibo that caters to stranded SB members while on official travel.

SB Navarosa is a neophyte but exudes energy and enthusiasm. He once worked with the Asian Development Bank and lured into politics by his father, Libacao Mayor Charito Navarosa. Libacao is known as the last green frontier and like its natural beauty of flora and fauna, another resource is her youth. The young Navarosa is the first to organize the first Binibining Aklan pageant. He is also involved in youth development, a non profit organization that mobilizes youth to protect the environment and assist in disaster relief operation. His priority is to establish teamwork among SB members in Aklan and be their voice in the SP.

The issue of lobbying by Mayor Charito Navarosa with Cong. Florencio T. Miraflores and municipal mayors for his son, Vince was asked by Broadcaster Rolly Herrera. Is the PCL election a done deal? Is traditional politics rearing its ugly head?

SB Vince Navarosa confirmed bombshell revelation is true only with lobbying. It remains to be seen whether promises of municipal mayors contacted could actually translate to votes. He clarified that there is no malicious intent of prostituting the electoral process but projecting a legitimate move to excel in the competition.
Hon. Tabernilla countered that the electorate must be shielded from outside pressure particularly lobbying by traditional politicians. "Independence is a key word in this campaign and those aspiring for the position must be of integrity and good moral character", Tabernilla pointed out.

Hon. Dela Cruz shared the same sentiment. He said, it is unfortunate election is on exercise of a privilege. His personal campaign sorties in the different towns are based on his strong performance and nobility of purpose. Here I have nothing to lose except my pride," he claims.

"What is immoral about bid daddy helping sonny or the other way around in an election campaign?" it is asked.

Despite adrenaline rush in the debate, plain answer is no. As long as activity is conducted above board the Omnibus Election Code does not prevent someone from doing it. This is normal in a democracy. In fact, token of gifts like fruits (lanzones from their backyard) is part of courting favor or even lanzones diplomacy. Vince said, it is just like courting a girl. "There is no evidence they are rejected anyway. Significant observation in this campaign: Lots of leg work and secrecy.

Indeed governance is an art and a science of serving the peoples’ interest and need (It is deception too). In an election, voters must know the background info of those running for public office. Obviously, talent and character must go together in a public servant. Unfortunately in most cases they either have one or none at all (in favor of personal interest).

What a terrible price to pay for mediocrity! First we lose our citizens and second loss of political direction. It appears that our goal of global competitiveness is empty rhetoric.

It is sensible and highly recommended that the proposed Legislative Academy under DILG be established in Region VI, Iloilo City and other parts of the country. Perhaps those outlandish ordinances like passage of labor code and declaration of official holiday be a thing of the past. Can PCL rise to the challenge? /MP

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