Thursday, September 19, 2013

Bulacan Gov bats for pork-free gov’t

MALOLOS CITY—Amid the pork barrel scam faced by lawmakers, Bulacan Gov. Wilhelmino Alvarado offered a way out by proposing the shift to a “pork-free” government. In his speech before thousands who attended the commemoration of the 115th anniversary of the opening of the Malolos Congress here on Sunday, Alvarado said it is about time the country considered a shift to a parliamentary form of government. 

He explained that the first Philippine Government created by the Malolos Congress 115 years ago was a unicameral parliamentary government. “For decades we have seen and experienced a presidential form of government with bicameral Congress, and we end up in pork barrel controversy,” he said in an interview.

Alvarado added that controversial pork barrel scam will be totally eliminated noting that budget will be allocated in government institutions that will implement programs and projects.

“It will be a pork-free government because programs and projects will be implemented according to approved plans,” Alvarado said.

He said that cabinet secretaries in a parliamentary form of government will actually come from the parliament.

“We can strengthen our government institutions by changing our form of government from bicameral to unicameral parliamentary,” he said.

As this developed, Senate President Franklin Drilon said that they have not consider possibilities of a charter change. He said that it may not be time for charter change because the government is still facing many problems like the pork barrel scam and Zamboanga crisis.

However, Drilon said that decision for charter change depends on the people. “Let’s have the people to decide on what form of government they want,” he said in Filipino.

Drilon was here as guest speaker in the commemoration of the 115th anniversary of the opening of the Malolos Congress at the historic Barasoain Church. The said congress was convened and opened by the late President Emilio Aguinaldo on September 15, 1898, and gave birth to the first Philippine Republic on January 23,1899.

The said republic is considered as the first democratic republic to be established in Asia.  Dino Balabo

Secrets of outstanding Bulakenyos revealed

DANGAL NG LIPI (seated, from left with trophy) Engineer Roderick Dela Cruz (Bulakenyo expatriate), retired police Chief Supt. Enrico Salapong (Professional), Gregoria Simbulan (Trade and industy), Ma. Susana “Toots” Ople (Public service), Denisa Reyes (Culture and Arts), Dr. Flaviana Hilario (Science and Technology), Engineer Francisco Duran (Community service) (Dr. Allan De Guzman (Education), and representative of Vincent “Chot” Reyes (Sports). Not in picture are Secretary Mar Roxas (Tanging Dangal ng Lipi) and Dr. Alberto De Leon for health category.

MALOLOS CITY—We love what we do. 

This was how Susana “Toots” Ople summarized the secret of awardees in the annual Dangal ng Lipi, the highest recognition given by the provincial government to outstanding Bulakenyos.

As one of the 11 awardees on Sunday night, Ople, the youngest daughter of the late statesman Blas F. Ople, said advocacies pursued by fellow awardees are neither a job nor a burden to bear.

“It is part of our mission in life, a vocation, an extension of our humanity and a mirror of us as a Bulakenyo,” she said in Filipino as she delivered an impromptu speech in response after the awarding.

As president of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center that assists overseas Filipino workers especially victims of human trafficking, the young Ople said they pursued their advocacies without wanting anything in return.

However, she was thankful that what they are doing gets noticed, stressing that it is always sweeter to receive recognition from one’s own province. In behalf of Dangal ng Lipi awardees, the young Ople offered their services saying that they are willing to help the province as part of the provincial government’s council of advisers based on every awardee’s field of expertise.

Other awardees like Engineer Roderick Dela Cruz, a dam safety expert based in the United States said he is also willing to share his expertise. Dela Cruz received the award in the expatriate Bulakenyo category.

At present, Dela Cruz is planning to conduct an independent comprehensive flood study in his hometown of Hagonoy which suffers perennial flooding. Other Dangal ng Lipi awardees for this year are retired Chief Supt. Enrico Salapong of Bulakan (Professional), Gregoria Simbulan of Baliwag (trade and industry), Denisa Reyes of Calumpit (arts and culture), Dr. Flaviana Hilario of Guiguinto (science and technology), Dr. Alberto De Leon of Baliwag (health), Dr. Allan De Guzman of Baliwag (education), Vincent “Chot” Reyes of Malolos City (sports), Secretary Mar Roxas (Tanging Dangal ng Lipi), and Engineer Francisco Duran of San Rafael (community service).

Of the 11 awardees, Roxas and Reyes did not make it to the awards night as Roxas is busy with the Zamboanga crisis, while Reyes is guiding Gilas Pilipinas Basketball team in tune up games abroad.