Random Thoughts

WISH LIST FOR 2018 — The provincial board is set to start its initial session this January 15 for 2018.

As a frequent visitor covering their sessions, I am sharing my short wish list this year:

  1. That there will be lesser resolutions authorizing the governor to enter into agreement with this and that group but more pieces of legislation that are meaningful, timely and relevant for Pangasinenses. Sayang naman ang pagod ng media sa pag-cover kasi wala naman palang balita. Same same lang. Pwede namang magbasa ng mga latest news sa national scene para doon pwedeng mag-craft ng resolution na applicable din locally.

  2. That board members who rarely stood up and talked only to lead the opening prayer would learn how to speak and exchange ideas with their fellow board members. Mas mabilis kasing dumami ang bacteria daw sa bibig pag napapanis yung laway.

Oh by the way, kindly read first the prayer by yourself and when in doubt of some words, please ask the assistance of your knowledgeable secretariat how to pronounce their prepared prayer for you. Nagtitinginan kasi ang mga audience sa isa’t-isa sa mga mispronounced words po ninyo, sa totoo lang po.

  1. That board members who appear in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan for the roll call only and later quietly go out pretending to attend to personal necessities will finally stay until the end of their session. Nakakahiya naman kasi sa mga taxpayers. Minsan na nga lang mag-session sa isang linggo, na bo-boring pa sa ilang oras lang ng session.

  2. That board members will listen attentively to their colleagues to avoid repetition, especially on questions already asked and answered during their session. Hindi po yan gaya ng call and text na pwedeng unli. Nakaka-irita kasi yung paulit-ulit.

  3. That board members will go back to their basic grammar, like subject and verb agreement, para naman tunog professional naman kayo. Kung isa, dalawa, tatlo, apat na nagkamali pwede pang intindihin kaso kapag lagi naman, napaghahalatang ewan sa English. Hindi naman po kasi bawal magsalita ng Filipino kaya wag na lang pa-impress.

  4. That board members who score perfect attendance in a month will be properly acknowledged in their first Monday of the month session para naman ganado silang magtrabaho. More applause and cheers for those who have the most number of resolutions or ordinances authored. But jeers must also be given, I think by the media to those who did nothing except to be physically present but mentally absent. Kailangan maging mapagmatiyag.

Of course, based on my personal assessment, I must say the provincial board of Pangasinan fared well in 2017. Masyadong maganda ang samahan ng mga board members. Pagdating sa session hall, plantsado na ang usapan. Wala nang opposition. Pag may medyo sumesemplang sa discussion, alerto ang presiding officer para mag recess para maayos ang anumang gusot.

Nakaka-miss naman yung mga panahong bakbakan sa galing makipag-debate ang mga board members tuwing session. And that was about two decades ago and few years later.

Like in a song, “Sana maulit muli“, I wish there will be a return to the caliber of legislators we had that time.– Eva Visperas


ERRANT COUNCILORS — We were informed there was no quorum during the first scheduled regular session of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Dagupan on January 8 at 2:00 p.m.

Perhaps, the honorables in the city council over-extended their Christmas break which was why they decided to forego with their first regular session of the year.

We asked a member of the secretariat what were calendared for discussion in that aborted first regular session, and she told me there was nothing big, except budgets of the barangays.

Well, to me those are important too because without their budgets approved by the city council, the barangays can not move as freely as before as they had to operate on a reenacted budget starting January 1.

Remember that time, during the first term of Mayor Belen Fernandez, when some smart aleck in that august body tried to pull the rug under the feet of the mayor when they dilly-dallied action on the city’s annual budget and held it hostage until Mayor Belen would come to them on bent knees and grant them what they prayed for–their PDAF?

Consequently, the city had to operate on a reenacted budget for a few days and derailed the execution of new projects whose funding was provided in the budget.

Of course, Mayor Belen did not give in to their demand for their PDAF particularly, because the Supreme Court had already ruled PDAF as illegal. But even without a budget, she pushed her programs and rallied city hall employees to her side.

Emergency workers volunteered their services.

Realizing that public opinion was not on their side and that many suffered because of their irresponsible actions, some SP members relented and finally went on to approve the city’s annual budget without getting what they prayed for.

This did not happen last year with the new SP. The city’s annual budget was approved more than a month before the beginning of the calendar year.

The seven majority members and three from the minority members approved the city’s annual budget sometime in early November without any objection.

That time, the vice mayor and one councilor from the minority (who would likely register his lone dissenting vote) were out of the country, in the Netherlands, where the vice mayor was elected world president of Jaycees International.

Going back to the failure to muster a quorum during the first session of the year of the SP, this was unfortunate because no matter what their agenda was, they were under obligation to report for work and serve the people.

The city council should be working harder this year, knowing that the vice mayor will soon be very busy touring various parts of the globe in his capacity as Jaycee World president.

Will the councilors again change their session’s schedule, presently set every Monday afternoon starting at 2:00 p.m., just to allow its presiding officer to do his job? lIs public service now dependent on our elected officials’ availability? – Leonardo Micua

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