DOING THINGS THE LEGIT WAY. Filibustering according to the Webster’s dictionary, is an act in legislation of obstructing a measure through the delivery of long speeches.
Many believe this is what Dagupan Councilor Redford Erfe-Mejia has been doing in the city council albeit unfounded, to block the passage of measures even in the face of being abandoned by his three colleagues in the minority.
Erfe Mejia’s latest attempt at obstruction was the passage of a resolution proposed by Councilor Lino Fernandez seeking the closure of Galvan and Zamora Streets to give way to the putting up of a baratillo and food strip and authorizing Mayor Belen Fernandez to sign contracts for the same.
To block it, Erfe Mejia wanted the measure to be shelved unless the City Treasurer is made to appear ostensibly to be made to account for the revenues earned by the fiestas.
To blunt his attempt, the measure was initially split by the majority into two, one for the closure of the two streets and the other for the authority of the mayor to sign contracts for both baratillo and food strips.
The two were eventually skillfully passed with the help of Councilors Chito Samson and Nick Aquino, both former colleagues of Erfe-Mejia in the minority.
They, together with the majority, were one with the opinion that the presence of the city treasurer was irrelevant to the voting for the two measures under consideration.
On this issue, Councilor Chito, the most senior among the legislators, stood to address his fellow councilors and asked who among them had served as hermano mayor in the past.
Samson surmised that this could be the reason why Erfe-Mejia insisted on the presence of the city treasurer because in those days when he was the hermano mayor, the funds paid by baratillo and food strip concessionaires were considered public funds.
While Erfe Mejia admitted that he was once hermano mayor, he said he was not in the know how the revenues were accounted for.
This prompted Samson to chide him citing the call of The Sunday PUNCH to three councilors at the bottom of its front page to liquidate the funds they received from fiesta activities. He asked who it was who belatedly complied but only after months of seeing their names weekly in The Punch.
One of those called out by The PUNCH was Erfe-Mejia.
The liquidation was demanded because the funds sourced from the city coffers in addition to their full access to the revenues from the baratillo, food strips and sponsors that reportedly run into millions of pesos.
The clarification was made by Councilor Jigs Seen during the five-minute recess called by Councilor Maybelyn Fernandez, the presiding officer. He said the incomes from these two activities were used to bankroll activities of fiestas and festivals since COA strictly prohibits use of public funds for these two events.
Jigs, holder of two doctorate degrees in public administration, had to add the fact that Mayor Belen Fernandez never had to dip into the city’s funds to run the fiesta and the Bangus Festival because she refused to be dragged to the Ombudsman for the illegal use of city funds.
So, Seen maintained that the city has no jurisdiction over the funds from baratillo and food strips precisely because these are purely fund-raising activities of the executive committee to bankroll the fiestas and festivals to ensure their success.
Then some people also wondered why the councilor from Tapuac did not raise a howl during the Lim administration knowing fully well that city funds were being used to fund the fiesta activities, a violation of COA rules.
Did Erfe-Mejia actually believe that the Fernandez administration is doing as the Lim administration did, violating COA rules? – Leonardo Micua
HOSPITAL BUSINESS: BUSINESS FIRST? There were lessons I learned about hospital business in Dagupan City over the past weeks as I sought hospital care for my ailing father.
When your choice of hospital is fully occupied, be prepared to be told that your patient can only be accommodated initially in their emergency room while waiting for a patient to vacate his/or her room.
Ganun pala kadami ang pasyente, parang sa hotel na laging fully booked.
Most hospitals only have one ambulance like this famous hospital. It means if the ambulance is already engaged, your patient needing ambulance service will have to wait for the ambulance to return.
Admitting policies in hospitals differ.
One of the top Dagupan hospitals will simply ask the companion of the patient to sign papers for identification and other concerns in order to admit your patient. Nothing unusual.
But be ready when you bring your patient to another famous hospital. You will be asked: 1. Who’s going to pay for the bill. 2. What your work or employment is. 3. Who will help you shoulder the hospital bills and, this – 4. You have to give at least two names as reference, including their work and where they are employed or what their business are.
Disgusting, right? Pero sige lang kasi andyan na yan eh. My patient had to be admitted.
But I wonder what the hospital’s response will be to concerned citizens who bring in a road accident patient or someone with gunshot wound to their hospital?
Gagamutin din kaya maski hindi alam nang nagdala kung sino ang magbabayad ng bill? To be a good Samaritan will no longer help?
Them, some hospitals will give you your bill if your patient is ready to be discharged based on doctor’s advice.
But be ready when you encounter the other hospital. It will give you a daily account of running bill then asks you to give partial payment to cover new bills even if the patient is now ready to be discharged.
I wonder if the hospital will stop treating your patient if you cannot shell out money on the day you are asked to make a partial payment.
Paano na lang yung mga walang perang pambayad agad, o kaya ay nag-aantay ng padala ng kamag-anak?
If we cry foul to hospitals’ policy asking for deposit before your patient is admitted, aren’t the business practices mentioned here just as offensive, if not inhumane? —Eva Visperas