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Drama King

Bicol Mail

I may not write exquisitely the way local journalist here does but I guess I am entitled for my own POV (in my own space) of Bicol Mail editorial titled “Cat out of the bag” dated Feb 4, 2010.  Found a copy, cool editorial cartoon but I was bit bitchy about the editor’s opinion.  I have to admit I don’t read much local papers because there are other medium more detailed, more interesting, and available real-time for free. But somehow I feel obligated to react being a member of  the Naga City web-team.  If you’re interested you can read the entire article HERE.

On the substance of Ordinance 98-033 that leaves a strange taste in the mouth and the amortization takes 10 years and enough to cover three-terms for local politicians  and what qualifies as urban poor settlers…

I did not attend (or have never attended such forums), the BM editor may have a valid point here but I am also sure these were done in dialogue with the urban poor sector representatives and other independent parties as well.  In as much as I (personally) look at this urban housing program as spoiling the poor but I also believe that the city is giving them an opportunity to level off with society.   The 10 year period allotted for their amortization to fully settle their obligations is just.  He should ask GSIS, SSS or PAG-IBIG for that matter.  For me, the city is aiding them to empower themselves to do better in life.  Was there a sinister in the design?  Would you rather offer a piece of land cheaper those outside your constituency?  That would be pretty darn brainless when your mandate is for specific area only (in these case, Naga City), let other Local Chief Executives work on their housing issues.  Swerte  man nindang marhay kayan!

On the issue about political oligarchy in the city and the ordinance becoming a medium for the “perpetuation in power” of a local official …

Political oligarchs in the city, sounds like a movie to me.  Who are they?  Perhaps the father and son who has held the Capitol and Second District for so long and has been jumping fences from one party to another like changing diapers, that’s an oligarch for you.  But what the heck, it’s the electorates’ decision let them suffer for their wrong choices.  Has the church in decades help the flight of urban poor dwellers having owned vast lands here?  They would rather preach “go on and multiply” and point fingers to the government when problems related to ballooning populace reach its tipping point.  What has Naga really done for the past 20 years compared to other Bicol cities with its obvious handicap?  If he has lived in Naga that long  he won’t be needing statistical data, all he need is a tricycle-jeepney fare.  Population has boom due to migrants because they believe they’ll have a better chance of livelihood here.

As published in the website of Naga City, the budget for 2009 consists only of 33 pages. For these much pages, the city government claims transparency. But the budget actually consists of more or less 138 pages. Much of what are not published in the website —- the unpublished 133 pages —- are the more interesting pages of the budget.

True, the website is a work-in-progress and will always be; because there are still lots to offer online.  Seems to me he dipped his finger at the wrong pie.  Again how many local government have done such practice?  He needs to widen his horizon and name one local goverment (or national agencies) as detail as this website in terms of budget posting.  I bet he can’t find one in the Philippines, or even Southeast Asia for that matter.  So what made him so cranky?

P.S. For a well written, comprehensive and intelligent response by Nagueño entitled “The humongous elephant in the roomhere.

Interesting?  To who?  The budget as he said is more than 138 pages but are they really relevant?  I think vacant positions are management prerogative, if the current personnel roster can do their jobs just fine I would (also) keep the post vacant and wait for the ideal staff to come along.  Perhaps, he needs to research and dig deeper where the funds went; I bet at the end he would be surprised that one vacant has kept four or five people their job for years and fed their families.

Were one to ask a copy of this budget, a printing fee of P50 per page is demanded by the City Government, which evidently is very prohibitive…

It’s already available online, what part of the book interest him more, does personnel complement value much for him?  If it does I guess anyone have the right to ask for it as long as the purpose is valid.  Besides not everything in life is free, does his news business give ads for free?  Or did he try asking the Budget Officer to lend him the book and have it photocopied instead?

P.S.  Do check this well written article and very intelligent response by Nagueño entitled The humongous elephant in the room“.

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