Advance and reviewed copy, Dec. 19, 2014, 5:05 am I do not expect this article to get published immediately for next weeks issue. But I take the chance, hoping the import of this article may help both protagonists of the Abela-Dadivas rift. Perhaps this will be my last article for 2014, before I take a brief leave. Im going to Manila first week January 2015 so that I can see the Pope, the third Pope I may see. The Capiz Times Point & Counterpoint Above all, Humaneness Virgilio Clavel It takes prodigious sense for a person to “change his mind.” The decision of Vice Mayor Ronnie Dadivas to attend the December 15 special session was a genuine act of statesmanship. As he put it, “(N)anaug na gani ako kay kabalo guid ako nga importante ma aprobahan ang suweldo kag bonus sang mga empleado.” The same session started a few minutes after Dadivas left the Mayor’s Office where it was designated to be held. x x x Beyond the lustre of legislative debates, despite the profound ideas and noble intentions – one great lesson was lost: “balatyagon,” or in Tagalog, “pakiramdam.” Ang tawo nga wala balatyagon okon “wala nang pakiramdam” mabudlay mahangop kag madangatan ang ginatawag nga pag-isigkatawo (pakikipagkapwa-tao), the cornerstone of Filipino value system. Pag-isigkatawo, borrowing U.P. Prof. Enriquez’s postulation, is “shared inner feeling, shared responsibility.” Balatyagon is a focal “healing” value in Capisnon culture. x x x Pag-isigkatawo is never too late; it always sutures the painful wounds that produce a wide divide. It is a fitting value that can best explain public welfare. More than a year after the Yolanda’s 2013 devastation, the housing materials given by the National Housing Authority (NHA), consisting of G.I. sheets, plywood and nails, were a bundle of relief to those Capisnons whose houses were destroyed by the super typhoon. Two outstanding community-driven acts of pag-isikagtawu deserved to be commended. My informants told me that the housing materials given to all barangays in Roxas City could not sufficiently address the need for housing materials of Yolanda’s victims. So creative, so touching, so inspiring was the humanitarian spirit s of those barangay officials who upheld the Capisnon value of pag-isigkatawu kag “may balatyagon.” I salute the chairperson of Barangay Libas. My great respect for the officials of Brgy. Baybay headed by Chairperon Rey Magallanes, and assisted by Kagawads Rolly Degones and Erwin Oroceo. What was the outstanding act of pag-isigkatawu shown and acted upon by the resident of Brgys. Libas and Baybay, and perhaps in other barangays which followed the lead? The residents in these two barangays convened in a barangay assembly and decided collegially to “fairly and equally” share the housing materials. As a result, in one barangay for example, an additional 150 plus beneficiaries got a share of such NHA materials. Complaints were trivial. Those who agreed to share a piece of materials to those victims similarly situated but were not included in the list of beneficiaries experienced the overwhelming bliss or healing comfort of a community upholding pag-isigkatawu in one of its glorious episode during the last twenty years. x x x Christmas season is not alone giving the excess of your bounties. It is also a lifetime of sharing a part of us, of sharing those precious things, moments and feelings beyond pecuniary estimation. Adverting to the senseless squabbles of opportunists and whisperers still damaging the Sanggunian Panlungsod of Roxas (SP-R), the local legislators must now realize that the issues of legality or obligation of the city government to its personnel in terms of cash gifts/bonuses and unpaid monthly compensation are not as important now. May ara ayhan kamo pag-isigkatawu? Kon kamo man sa ila sitwasyon, pagpangutang sa 5-6, nagutman nga mga kabataan, naglala nga mga sakit kay wala ibakal bulong, nag-untat nga mga kabataan sa pag-eskuwela, mga linghod nga kabatan-on nga nangin parte sang flesh trade bangud sa kaimolon, diin inyo balatyagon? Although I promised my colleagues in the third estate to refrain from commenting on political issues this Christmas season, I can no longer remain silent while the rest are suffering when an easy practical solution can be done. Humanity has taken over me. My position is: If the appropriation ordinance for the payment of unpaid monthly wages/salaries and Christmas bonuses/benefits is being questioned, which now is under review by the Sanggunian Panlalawigan, the solution is simple. First. Mr. Dino Beluso, a very wholesome person, can sign on the document. Vice Mayor Dadivas, having shown a sterling act of statesmanship, will also have to certify on the appropriation document. This solution cures the defect. Whether this document emanates from the nine (9) councillors holding the special session, or one coming from the proceedings of the regular session is beyond the review power of the provincial sanggunian. Second, the “regularity discourse” is the best position for both political camps in the SP-R could take. There is such thing as “curative” legislation. The review power is vested by the 1991 LG Code to the provincial sanggunian, not to the budget office or any regular department of the provincial government. The appropriation ordinance may be referred to the budget office or any regular department of the provincial government for comment, but the budget offices authority stops when such comment is submitted to the sanggunians proper committee. The decision to determine whether or not the same appropriation ordinance is ultra vires actus of the city government is given by law to the Sanggunian Panlalawigan. The law is clear--- “The general welfare provisions, any provision on the powers of an LGU, x x x and (A)ny fair and reasonable doubt on the powers of the LGU(s) shall be liberally interpreted and resolved in (their) favour; and in cases involving lower and higher LGUs, in favor of the lower level of LGU. (Art. 5 (a and b), RA 7160). An enlightened 2014 Christmas season to all. A year of mercy and compassion is ahead of us in 2015. God bless us all!
Posted on: Thu, 18 Dec 2014 21:19:50 +0000
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