Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Its Christmas! Whatever the age, race, or gender, the spirit of Christmas is felt all around! Gifts, love, forgiveness are popular themes! But most important, Christ is the central figure. Striving to be heard and seen amidst the merry-making!

Merry CHRISTmas!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Election, election, and election!

2010 is election year indeed!

The sycnchronized national and local elections was conducted in 10 May 2010. Then a few months later, in October, the election for barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan officials was also held nationwide.

The CASURECO 2 also conducted elections for its Board of Directors from the districts of Calabanga, Canaman, Milaor, and Tinambac/Siruma in November 13. This was followed also by a similar elections for CASURECO 1 Board of Directors!

The SK and Liga ng mga Barangay then elected their federation officials December 4 and 7 respectively!

Whew! Election season indeed! 2010 is election year!


RENNE F. GUMBA is presently the Executive Director of the Institute of Politics, Ateneo de Naga University. He is also a faculty of the Political Science Program in the Department of Social Sciences of Ateneo.
Mr. Gumba is a well- known political analyst. A favourite resource speaker for many trainings and conferences among non-government and government organizations. He is a well-travelled lecturer, having taken part in many conferences in the local, national, and international level.
His work experiences included stints in the Ateneo Social Science Research Center as a Research Associate, in the House of Representatives as Political Affairs Officer, and in the Ateneo de Naga as faculty of the Social Sciences.
Mr. Gumba took AB Political Science and graduated magna cum laude and valedictorian of the Ateneo College Graduates of 1992. He was a consistent first honor student From Kinder to High school, and completed both his elementary and secondary education as the Class Valedictorian in the Naga College Foundation.
He was also a seminarian in the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary Pre-College Formation Institute and eventually joined the Jesuit Pre-Novitiate Program in his college days. He is now married and has three children.
Naga City has organized the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (BADAC) in the city’s twenty seven (27) barangays. BADAC is mandated by a Memorandum Circular from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). The officers and members of BADAC will soon be taking their oath to be effective instruments in a community-based approach to combating the abuse of illegal drugs.
The initiative to re-orient and set up BADAC was undertaken by Mayor John Bongat with the assistance of city councillors Raoul Rosales and Rey-An Cedric Rentoy. The City Government is also assisted by the Naga City peoples Council and the Institute of Politics of the Ateneo de Naga University.
An ordinance that created the Naga City Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) is also being reviewed by the Sangguniang Panlungsod . The DDB is expected to coordinate, plan and implement various anti-drug abuse programs.
Some people are wondering why there is BICOL AUTONOMY MOVEMENT (BAM) in spite of the perceived shortcomings in the country’s autonomous regions.
I wish to cite at least two considerations glimpsed in recent discussions why autonomy is still an option: (1)some of the autonomous set up in the country are really intended as anti-insurgency mechanism and did not effectively generate the consensus of the people towards autonomy, and (2)no genuine autonomy was really granted to the regions.
Thus, for the BAM to be effective, autonomy must be born out of peoples’ consensus, generate development directions, and provide meaningful economic as well as political autonomy.
The Government Procurement Reform Act (GPRA) has mandated, among others, the creation of BAC with observers from the civil society, non-government, and peoples organizations. It also required the posting of the notices related to bids and awards in the PHILGEPS, a web portal for all government procurement transactions. Unfortunately, this is not consciously observed by many local government units and government agencies.
The initiative of the Procurement Watch Inc. to network with other organizations nationwide and train BAC observers to be effective in their mandates is a welcome initiative. The Naga City Peoples Council and PWI had trained and deployed observers in the BACs of several agencies and LGUs in the province since October of this year.
There is now a clamour for more organized network of trained and accredited observers that will provide institutional support for observers, including legal assistance in cases of anomalies and irregularities in the bidding process.
Much has been said and done about the predicament of the electric cooperatives. But still, there is a lingering sense of trouble and unease, particularly among the consumers. Where is this coming from?
Many of the things that bother the consumers come from what they do not know. And in this area, a lot can be cited. Is the CASURECO2 a cooperative? How does CASURECO2 conduct its projects and procurements? What is really the role of the consumers in CASURECO 2?
Many of the things that bother the consumers also come from what they know. Consumers are paying high electricity cost partly due to incompetence of some leaders in electric cooperatives. Many contracts are entered into without the awareness of member-consumers. Elections, it seems, are influenced by entrenched politicians. And as far as consumers are concerned, they are made to feel like mere end-users or “buyers”, not owners of the electric cooperative.