For millennials only: Run for kagawad
GOTCHA - Jarius Bondoc (The Philippine Star) - March 26, 2018 - 12:00am

A group of reformists is enjoining millennials to run for barangay councilman on May 14. Its name is its very aim: “One Millennial Candidate for Kagawad in Each of the 42,000 Barangays.” The call strictly is for non-”trapo” youths. “Trapo,” Tagalog for rag, is also derisive for traditional politico. The 42,000 new but motivated kagawad would be able to direct barangay affairs nationwide. They also would form the core of the country’s future leaders.

The group is spreading its cause via social media. One of its grandpa advisers is former Cabinet member, congressman, and vice governor Willie Villarama. He e-mailed some info:

Objective: to produce young non-”trapo” candidates for the position of Kagawad in each of the 42,000-plus barangays this May 2018 election.

There are 25 million millennial voters – 18-35 years old – this year.

They are the change-agents of the future.

 Why run for Kagawad only?

(1) Running for Barangay Chairman is physically dangerous.

(2) To guard the IRA, or Internal Revenue Allotment given to barangays. Twenty percent goes to so-called “Barangay Development.” That money is what crooked barangay officials steal.

P103,254,353,178 – total IRA of the barangays for 2018.

P20,650,860,635 – 20% that can be used for right or wrong projects.

(3) Help solve the problems of their barangay.

(4) Learn to be future non-trapo political leaders of the Philippines.

Differences between “trapo” and non-”trapo”:

Trapo” cheats, buys votes, has unexplained wealth, is supported by notorious characters, un-respected, for whom money is the key to winning, and will only enrich himself.

Non-”trapo” never cheats, never buys votes, lives modestly, is supported by respectable friends, respected, and treats as key projects for the good of the community.

After the election they will continue to organize, participate, and help solve the problems of their barangay.

 How to guard the use of barangay funds? Tie up with government agencies mandated by law to fight corruption. Tie up with anti-corruption people’s organizations and NGOs.

• IRA Watch Module: Teaches how to “fiscalize” the use of barangay funds. Prepared by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines and its National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice, and Peace. “We assembled a handbook that takes up the nature and methodology of IRA Watch, as well as the dynamics governing barangay planning and budgeting.”

• Gising Barangay Movement Inc.: Established by Manuel E. Valdehuesa Jr. (Check him out on facebook.) “Time to awaken real powers among the people in the barangays. Everyone of us lives in the barangay. We are part of the grassroots. But we surrender its affairs to others. We let ‘trapos’ dominate it. So local politics and economics are controlled by only a few; people with dubious motives, competence, or dedication to public service. Worse, too many of them are corrupt. They abuse power and misuse our common wealth. They buy the loyalty and support of people who don’t value their vote or who don’t pay taxes. They pamper those who don’t care about good governance as long as they get handouts and other favors.”

Essential attributes of the barangay:

It is a small republic.

It has a full-fledged government.

It is a corporation.

It is an Economy.

Organizations that can help “fiscalizers”:

(1) Office of the Ombudsman www.ombudsman.gov.ph

“... protectors of the people … promote integrity, efficiency, high ethical standards in public service …” It does not only act on complaints filed before it but must also investigate corruption cases reported by the media. The Office on its own initiative can investigate any report of wrongdoing by people in government.

(2) Commission on Audit www.coa.gov.ph

“… accepts reports on allegations of fraud, waste, abuse or mismanagement of public funds … ensure accountability for public resources, promote transparency, and improve government operations … COA can deputize citizens into the Citizen’s Participatory Audit … Section 31. Deputation of private licensed professionals to assist government auditors.”

(3) Dept. of Justice www.doj.gov.ph

“… Effective, efficient and equitable administration of justice … investigates the commission of crimes and prosecutes offenders through the National Bureau of Investigation and the National Prosecutorial Service.”

(4) Public Attorney’s Office www.pao.gov.ph

 “… provide indigent litigants, the oppressed, marginalized, and underprivileged members of society free access to courts, judicial and quasi-judicial agencies.”

(5) Integrated Bar of the Philippines www.ibp.ph

“…always faithfully and vigilantly stand for the rule of law, respect of human rights, and upholding the Constitution … The national organization of lawyers in the Philippines. It is the mandatory bar association for Filipino lawyers.“

(More on Wednesday)

*      *      *

Catch Sapol radio show, Saturdays, 8-10 a.m., DWIZ (882-AM).

Gotcha archives on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jarius-Bondoc/1376602159218459. , or The STAR website http://www.philstar.com/author/Jarius%20Bondoc/GOTCHA.

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