Archive for June, 2011

COMMENTARY: Leisurely spending in 4Ps

Posted in 4Ps davao del norte with tags on June 2, 2011 by cha monforte

Feb 17-23,2011

So Pinoy’s proclivity to leisurely spend despite hard times and limited money vis-a-vis Tsinoy’s noted and long-cherished thrift is noted again in the case of still undetermined number of beneficiaries of the national government’s Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4 Ps) in Davao del Norte. They are doing the hard habit to break.

That leisurely spending is naked in shopping malls and shang-shang bazaars offering you lots of cheap China-made goods to buy out from your less of PH pesos on hand. It’s the immediate relative of Pinoy’s ningas cogon and collective amnesia that forgets, for one, the first EDSA Revolution we had in February 1986, and from which model, People Power uprisings in other countries were made by brave and united peoples like the recent one in Egypt that toppled a dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak, whose reign started when the over 40s now were still in their high school days.

Social welfare and development officers now in Davao del Norte noted and observed cases of misspending of the CCT cash grants when the money supposed to go to the nutrition and schooling of CCT beneficiary children went as bets to tong-its (Last 2 was forgetten), as payment to existing debts, to videoke singing and the like. Who can actually prevent someones from the thousands of the CCT beneficiaries in the province from misspending for leisure or for quick spending, when the government directly gives the cash to them, and by putting the money in their hands, they now own that money and they like the Talaingod natives have all the rights under the sun where to spend that money after all those long years that they have no much money in their pockets and circulating in their households? There’s this intergenerational poverty of the extremely poor households long existing that the government take notice of this and intervenes to directly give them cash to be withdrawn from the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). It’s true, “there’s empowerment” in seeing the Talaingod mothers knowing now how to deal with that ATM that is not found in Talaingod. Is the ATM only for literate, professionals, moneyed? Of course not, as this time around the millions of penniless in the country are afforded the chance to deal with the ATM and happily withdraw their money deposited by the government for them to buy nutritious food and school supplies for the schooling children while what the government only asked from the beneficiary parents is to have their children aged 1-14 regularly immunized, treated and checked up in health centers and diligently support them through the CCT cash so their children won’t drop out from school, skip or absent from classes, and as parents, to get actively involved in purok and barangay assemblies and endeavors. So long as beneficiaries comply the conditionalities, they won’t be delisted and disqualified from the CCT or 4 Ps, and never mind that reckless spending and misspending.

Don’t delay the spending, this is a government project on the run. (cha monforte)

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CISA CONTRACT NOT YET OFF THE HOOK

Posted in congressman anthony del rosario with tags on June 2, 2011 by cha monforte

Feb 10-16, 2011

The controversial P6.3-million “CISA contract” that ties the hands of Mankilam Capitol is not off the hook yet.

The transaction leading to the sudden awarding and implementation of the security services contract by Davao del Norte executive department’s officials to the Christian Investigation Security Agency (CISA) is to be checked and studied yet at presstime as to its legality by the provincial audit team of the Commission on Audit (COA).

The COA’s review and audit came a week after Governor Rodolfo del Rosario chided several questioning boardmembers for “grandstanding” over the contract which was awarded to CISA last December 28 and four days after, on January 1, 2011, had the CISA guards already securing the Capitol complex, replacing the over 60 contractual security personnel even without the required Notice to Proceed of Vice Governor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio Jr, who was the acting governor at that time in view of the travel of the governor in the United States in time of the Christmas Season.
In an interview Monday with the Valley & City Chronicle, COA auditor Susan Querequincia said she received “all the papers” relating to the transaction with the CISA just last Friday and that she would have to “to check and study yet the signatory, legality and scope of the contract”.

Asked on who signed the contract for and behalf of the province and when was it signed, the auditor said it was Gov. Del Rosario and it was “signed after January 8, 2011.”

The governor re-assumed office on January 8, 2011, also the day when he revoked the authority of the Vice Gov. Suaybaguio to be the acting governor. He left the the country on December 20, 2010.

When he left the country on that day to be with his son Congressman Anthony del Rosario in Palo Alto, California for the Christmas and New Year, automatically the vice governor assumed as the acting governor per provision of local government code.
In a check to the DILG’s official website, an entry post in the summary of foreign travel authority issued by the interior department to local officials and employees nationwide stated that Gov. Del Rosario was given authority to travel to USA on personal leave from Dec. 19, 2010 to Jan. 6, 2011.

Pressed to give more details on the documents relating CISA, Querequincia said she would have still to check and study the papers, and pledged she could have her findings bared to the media in two weeks time.

Having only a Notice of Award of the bid and without the required Notice to Proceed, some 38 CISA guards immediately moved in on New Year’s Day to start their posting presumably on the order of provincial administrator Rufo Peligro, whom reports said was “on leave but on call” at that time since last December 28, and of the provincial Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) chaired by Samson Sanchez.

Earlier, Sanchez said that the BAC duly followed the bidding processes for the security services and that its documents and legality of the BAC actions were scrutinized and cleared by the provincial legal officer Atty. Jennifer Namoc, who is also a BAC member.

Sanchez added they could not afford to have a vacuum of security considering the expiration of the contracts of the contractual security personnel of the already deactivated Civil Security Services of the Capitol, an assertion which was rebutted by questioning sources in the Capitol that it was an alleged cover up for the “mysterious haste” and “shortcut” in the awarding and implementation of the contract of CISA.

He also said that based on Republic Act No. 9184, or the Government Procurement Reform Act procuring security services is like procuring goods and services and does not require the prior approval of contract by the SP. But the law says that in such case there is still a need for a Notice to Proceed to be issued by the head of the agency within seven days after the contract’s approval.

CISA is the second lowest bidder of the transaction following the Butuan City-based United Field Sea Watchman and Checkers Agency (UFSWCA), which won the bidding but was knocked out by the BAC for failure to submit final bidding requirements making it an unresponsive bidder.

In a separate interview, Vice Gov. Suaybaguio said that he is leaving the issue to the decision of the COA as to whether the transaction is legal or not.

But as to the claim of Sanchez about the need “to fill up the vacuum of security services”, the vice governor said that considering there is a need yet to assure the papers relating the transaction he could have called in then the assistance of the provincial police to beef up the remaining 17 permanent security personnel in protecting the Capitol complex while all requirements under the law on government procurement have yet to be completed and the issue of the contract’s legality like as to whether the contract has to pass the provincial board or not. is yet to be resolved.

“Whatever would happen to the Capitol, by command responsibility, I am responsible to it,” he said referring to the time when he served as the acting governor.

The vice governor was not furnished with the bidding and award papers although Peligro had promised to give him instead a report of chronology of the transaction which did not materialize at all during the time when he sit as the acting governor.
The outcome of the sudden awarding of the contract to CISA last December apparently took turn for a worse threatening to put the executive and legislative departments in the Capitol into full collision course after Gov. Del Rosario chided questioning boardmembers for “grandstanding” over the CISA contract.

During last Monday’s session, the governor’s grandstanding charge was rebutted by Boardmember Shirley Belen Aala who threw apparent potshots to the governor for his earlier utterances in a news report. She expressed that by grandstanding definition it would mean that boardmembers were not grandstanding but only questioning official matters.

As this developed, sources said that the governor had asked the SP members including the vice governor for a closed-door dinner-meeting last Tuesday at the governor’s Tahanan in the Capitol complex with concerned executive officials including Peligro, Samson Sanchez and Namoc.

However, provincial photo news e-mailed to newspapers showed that not all of the boardmembers were present at Tahanan, also less the presence of Peligro, Sanchez and Namoc, three executive officials who were tagged by critics to have bypassed Vice Gov. Suaybaguio and the SP. Boardmember Antonio Lagunzad was absent during the meeting. Late reports however said that the meeting failed to resolve issues of the controversy.

In his earlier grandstanding charges, the governor made serious charges to the questioning boardmembers.

“They have over stepped on their responsibility as local legislators when they insisted the presence of two of his most trusted lieutenants before the august body, supposedly to shed light on the new security setup at the Capitol,” he said.
He said SP members “not to grandstand at the expense of the executive office. They must also have the right and legal basis and should put it in the proper perspective if they do so.”

“I don’t care if they do grandstanding everyday. But, if it affects the integrity of the executive branch, we cannot allow them to go ahead and step on our toes,” the governor added.

But the governor’s statements apparently did not sit well to the boardmembers, one of whom told this paper that instead of issuing such “he should have instead investigated his men who put him in the bad light.” (cha monforte)

The “trusted lieutenants”

Posted in boardmember shirley belen aala, cong. rommel amatong, davao del norte COA auditor Susan Querequincia, vincent "enteng" floirendo with tags on June 2, 2011 by cha monforte

BLOGISTA
By Cha Monforte

An ex-Comval boardmember who is now out of public office said to me after reading our last week’s issue that transactions like the CISA transaction were always thrown by ex-Governor Jose “Joecab” Caballero to the Comval Sangguniang Panlalawigan for their prior authority and approval. He was one of the member of the so-called Comval SP Eight, the majority that blocked Joecab’s executive and supplemental budgets during the 2005-2006 budget wars in Comval. He said the new law on government procurement was already there existing and operational, and yet transactions like the CISA transaction of the Davao del Norte provincial government, passed to their scrutiny.

Maybe, sir, Comval’s precedent was different because ex-Gov. Joecab became already a virtual lameduck governor by your too much fliibustering and obstructionism in the SP. But “no” the ex-Comval boardmember retorted, adding, “Joecab always makes it sure there will be no legal liabilities on his part later in whatever contracts he would implement for and in behalf of the province.” The ex-BM who had three terms said that during his first and second terms he was a good, loyal ally of the ex-Gov. Joecab. He is a lawyer. I saw him only shaking his head while reading our issue bannering the headline, “AALA’s THUNDER COMES TO SNUBBED SP”.

There were evident rush and shortcuts in the awarding and implementation of the security services contract of CISA, in so far as the period Dec. 28, 2010-Jan. 1, 2011 is concerned. Why? We take Dec. 28 as more of a day of notifying, complying all the documents with a questionable e-mailed document at that, and a day of awarding. There were still Dec. 29 and 30, two days that the Capitol Triumvirate composed of provincial administrator Rufo Peligro, BAC chair and PGSO Samson Sanchez and PLO Atty. Jennifer Namoc could have appraised the sitting Acting Gov. Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio Jr on what had happened to the bidding before the CISA guards would move in to secure the Capitol complex, but oh, my gulay! they just didn’t. Why, oh wow? So there was no Notice to Proceed sent to CISA until the supposed last day (Jan. 6, 2011) of the required timeframe to issue such under Republic Act No. 9184 (Government Procurement Reform Act), when the vice gov was still the acting gov.

Since Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario signed the contract “after January 8, 2011”, as bared by COA auditor Susan Querequincia in an interview with us, the more the CISA guards are not allowed to swing their presence around in the Capitol from Jan. 1 to Jan. 8, 2011, assuming that the contract does not need a prior authority and approval from the SP.
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If I dub Boardmember Shirley Belen Aala as the “tigress” (a female tiger) in the DavNor SP, I am tempted to dub the Liga ng Barangay provincial president Vincent “Enteng” Floirendo as the sleeping lion in the same provincial board. Obviously, BM Vincent (to differentiate with the other BM Enteng- Eliot)is still on the threshold of his learning curve as a provincial legislator. Wait ‘til the lion is awake and he would no longer be silent during sessions. I saw and covered his Manong Tonyboy as a boardmember in the mid 80s and the latter showed that among equals in the SP he was oozing with influence. The sleeping lion now is preeminent District 2 congressman who would succeed Cong. Anton Lagdameo after his last/second term.

I chanced upon last week ex-Panabo City Mayor Rey Gavina in a shoe shine shop in his city’s downtown and I asked him about his bent of running as drawn by political pundits who are always meeting and plotting in the kapihan under the acacia trees fronting Panabo’s Hall of Justice. He said he’s yet hopeful that the “agreement” between him and Mayor Joe Silvosa Sr “will be implemented”. Considering the pundits’ says so that it would be a “long way for the Gamaos and Gavinas” in Panabo’s politics with no less than his son, city councilor and PCL president BM Janrey “Biboy” Gavina as a faraway city mayor after the three mayoral terms of the expected next Panabo mayor, current Vice Mayor James Gamao, starting 2016, if I were on his shiny shoes, I’d better not run for a mayoral comeback by 2013 so as not to risk the good prospect in the political careers of his kins- own son BM Biboy and brother-in-law VM James. After all, ex-Mayor Gavina had already his sweet time in serving well the city of Panabo.

The CISA controversy erupted at a time when Gov. RDR visibly needs a rest, literally and figuratively. He spent about 18 hours in air travel from US to PH and here he was met on the first week of the year by a raging controversy not of his own making but by the rush and shortcuts made by his “trusted lieutenants” (to borrow words from the news that hurt SP members) to implement the CISA contract. Perhaps, if they are indeed loyal to the governor they should have cared for his health. There’s apparent work-related stress spawned by the controversy that hit all of the concerned – in both sides of the pros and cons, which could have been avoided had there were no rush and shortcuts made. Though the CISA controversy is largely now about a question of law as well as a question of fact, but, since the cat was already out in the bag when the fire in the house was started after Peligro burned the bridges anew with his vice governor in continuity of the past wranglings between them, and this time around- with the unresolved issue about the bypassing of the SP’s prior authority, the snubbing of the SP’s invitation to him, to BAC chairman Sanchez and to CISA owner Rolando de la Cruz, and the grandstanding charge from the governor- the coverage of the chasm has been extended to several questioning boardmembers, if not to the entire SP as an institution. At 76, behind the too long years of the governor’s illustrious and exemplary political career, the CISA controversy is quite certaintly an unwanted thing to come at a time when he is often guessed at by pundits to be planning for a much needed retirement from politics by 2013, as there’s sunrise early in a day and there’s sunset late in the day. Sadly, the CISA controversy is amidst us, compliments of the governor’s “trusted lieutenants”.
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For all his eye to the 2016 governorship in Compostela Valley, second-termer District 2 Cong. Rommel “Bobong” Amatong is better challenged now to establish his own identity provincewide, or particularly to the District 1. It is quite a public knowledge that Cong. Amatong won his first term because of his legendary father Pros, who was still alive in 2007 polls, and he was reelected last May 2010 polls because his stateman father Pros died and the legend of Pros Amatong was proven in the massive outpouring of grief and love of the people to him in the wake of his death due to an accident in the US. There was indeed that people’s burial of the legend-hero-stateman Pros Amatong which preceded the last May 2010 polls. Now, Cong. Amatong must extricate himself from the shadows of his late father, for what the people see in him is his father. He has to barrel through his own leadership to the District 1 like the way ex-District 1 Cong. Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora is barreling through now his own leadership to Amatong’s very hometown and bailiwick of Nabunturan, in his own legislative district. Cong. Amatong has to answer now the first question why ex-District 2 Cong. Way Kurat has already penetrated District 2, and why he (Amatong) is yet to penetrate District 1. (For your reactions, e-mail: chamonforte@yahoo.com)

COMMENTARY: Insult to position

Posted in davao del norte officials, vice governor victorio "baby" suaybaguio with tags , on June 2, 2011 by cha monforte

Feb 10-16, 2011

Fresh official actions are coming out now relating to the controversy on the security services contract bagged by the Christian Investigation Security Agency for the Davao del Norte provincial government.

On Tuesday, Governor Rodolfo del Rosario met with the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan including Vice Governor Victorio Suaybaguio Jr purposefully “to patch up perceved differences” relating to the CISA controversy, and so far we heard that the dinner-meeting failed to resolve issues relating to the CISA transaction as the meeting was reportedly more of a monologue than a dialogue (although at this writing we still don’t know what really happened).

If things on the current controversy over the CISA transaction can be appraised by the public, the attention to what has been let out thus far by concerned officials on events and official statements relating the issues is valuable. The matter at hand is a public interest issue given the key figures or entities essential to provincial governance involved in here- the executive and legislative departments, and consequently their current relationship, the controversy’s implications to politics, and each of their powers that have apparently collided. Above all, this is about transparency and public accountability as the CISA transaction was obviously kept under wraps during the December 20, 2010-Jan. 8, 2011 incumbency of the acting governor whose position is ought to be respected by the Capitol Triumvirate composed of provincial administrator Rufo Peligro, Bids and Awards Committee chairman and PGSO Samson Sanchez and provincial legal officer Atty. Jennifer Namoc, even if shall we say the person temporarily occupying the acting governorship is not to be respected.

Still, there are new questions to be asked – now particularly on what happened in the hours of December 20, 2010 when the transaction was awarded to CISA. What were the deficiences of the lowest bidder United Field Sea Watchman and Checkers Agency (UFSWCA) that it was knocked out by the BAC on that day? What time was it when the BAC decided to knock out UFSWCA? What was the gap of time on that same day when CISA was informed that it was the bid winner and the time when CISA Manila headquarters e-mailed the lacking/insufficient document? The Notice of Award, as told by CISA Tagum Branch officials, was dated and presumably received on the same day. What time was it received? Verily, there was only a matter of hours that the probing COA auditor can count from one BAC activity to another last Dec. 20 while really the concerned executive officials led by Peligro were racing a limited time as the year 2010 was almost about to end.

Dec. 29 and Dec. 30 were still working days and within these days they had never formally informed the sitting acting governor about the CISA transaction like he was made a scarecrow in the field. Who is he who sit as the acting governor from Dec. 20-Jan. 8? He is an elected vice governor and by the law he was serving as the very governor at that period, who had all the powers of the governor except the (hiring and) firing of the triumvirate. He was a former mayor for THREE TERMS of the city of Tagum, and one of the few living senior politicians-incumbent in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley provinces, a so cautious and careful chief executive in matters of government finances and governmental rules and regulations, also a stateman (to borrow an apt description of Tagum City Vice Mayor Allan Rellon). And evidently, they bypassed Vice Gov. Suaybaguio when they hid all the BAC bidding and awards documents from him and had ordered- by their obsessed reasoning and invocation of the new law on government procurement- the posting of the CISA guards on the New Year’s Day, a manpower change that is certaintly new when it threw out over 60 contractual security personnel from their work, their source of livelihood for their respective families, and drastically changed the way the security is handled for the Capitol.

They, fearing for a vacuum of security? This is a cute reasoning as the sitting acting governor has all the powers to mobilize personnel and resources for the exigency of public service and demand obedience from the provincial police to beef up the 17 remaining permanent guards to secure the Capitol while contract issues have yet to be resolved, command virtues which cannot and will not be fully found in the appointed officials. The last thing the triumvirate should do pending the COA finding is to apologize in public to the vice governor for insulting his position mandated by the people and law. (cha monforte)

NEA decides to re-publish vacant DANECO GM post; Laniba out

Posted in Alan Laniba, Allan Laniba, Daneco GM with tags , , , on June 2, 2011 by cha monforte

Feb 10-16, 2011

The National Electrification Administration (NEA) has recently given the go signal to the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (Daneco) board of directors to re-publish the notice of vacancy for the general manager position.

The NEA’s recent decision to seek for new applicants for general manager nationwide is seen as its usual paying of respect to the independence in the decision-making of the Daneco’s board whose current majority dislike Daneco insider-employee Allan Laniba to become the regular GM.

Last January the Daneco board in a resolution recommended to the NEA to re-publish the notice of vacancy of the GM post rather than go for the option of confirming Laniba to become the regular GM.

NEA Administrator Editha Bueno gave an advisory last December to either re-publish the notice of vacancy for the GM post or confirm Laniba, for which the board opted for re-publication visibly thumbing down the prequalification of Laniba following his short-lived OIC GMship in 2009.

For over two years now NEA has been noted to be often throwing back Daneco boardroom’s contentious issues for ultimate decision of the board.
NEA’s rules however provide the board of power cooperative to have the final say on the choice of the regular GM although it is NEA which tests, preselects, shortlists GM post candidates and recommends to the board.

Daneco insiders interviewed said that with the NEA’s decision and with the strong sticking out of the Daneco’s majority led by board president Dean Briz to give no-confidence measure to Laniba’s managerial capacity, “he has no more face to insist to become our GM”.

Reports said earlier that in the 12-man board only one director is supporting Laniba.
Laniba is currently defending charges of mismanaging the small affairs of the recently abolished Barangay Power Associations (BAPAs) where several BAPA officers were accused of pocketing several millions of power bill collections, which they failed to remit to Daneco’s coffers.

Engr. Nelson Balangan has been acting as the Daneco OIC GM since April 2010.(cha monforte)