The Tribune wanted to report on the expenditures claimed by candidates in the May 9, 2022 local elections, notably those who ran for provincial posts as well as for mayor, so we sent an official request to the office of the Provincial Elections Supervisor for a copy of the documents.
Likely in compliance with the Commission on Election’s policies regarding Freedom of Information (FOI) and the Data Privacy Act, the request was sent to the COMELEC regional office.
When the request for the documents was approved, we had no idea that it would cost us a total of P3,525.00 for what the election office said were notarized copies.
Conscious of the dent it would make on our finances (the amount is roughly equivalent to a third of the weekly printing cost), we have decided to take back our request.
Just the same, the local COMELEC office said, we would have to write them anew to inform of our change of mind.
This, as well as the previous incident regarding our request for nutrition data from the Provincial Nutrition Office, demonstrates how hard the FOI and Data Privacy Act have made work more difficult for the media, especially in Catanduanes.
The fact that not all of the 315 barangays in Catanduanes were assessed as to compliance with the criteria for the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) should not take anything away from the victory of Progreso, San Miguel as the only village in the island to get the coveted seal.
Based on its performance in 2019, Progreso passed all three core areas of Safety, Peace and Order, Financial Administration and Sustainability, and Disaster Preparedness, and at least one of the three essential areas, which are Social Protection and Sensitivity, Business-Friendliness, and Competitiveness or Environmental Management.
It is just unfortunate that instead of including all barangays nationwide, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has decided to continue the pilot testing of the program, meaning there will be only one barangay to be entered in the contest.
It is worth noting that examination of the criteria and its indicators show that nowhere among them is the requirement for a “clean” audit report from the Commission on Audit.
This means that even those who were included in the biennial audit of the 315 barangays and had obtained an adverse finding would still be considered for the good governance award.
With the COA not even publishing the results of the every-other-year audit, constituents of the 315 barangays would not be aware if their respective incumbent barangay officials have scrupulously performed their duties and responsibilities to the letter.
The other week, FICELCO GM Engr. Raul Zafe told this writer that the skyrocketing prices of fuel has forced the cooperative to continue inviting investors to set up renewable sources of energy on the island.
The management’s strategy is apparently intended to address what is going to happen in the next few years when the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) grants the petitions of SUWECO and, to a lesser extent, NPC, to recover the fuel price increases through power rate increases or charges to the Universal Charge-Missionary Electrification (UCME) fund for which all consumers contribute every time they pay their power bills.
Hard times are ahead….
ROBOT FOR SALE. A father buys a lie detector robot that slaps people when they lie.
He decides to test it out at dinner one night.
The father asks his son what he did that afternoon.
The son says, “I did some homework.”
The robot slaps the son.
The son says, “Ok, Ok, I was at a friend’s house watching movies.”
Dad asks, “What movie did you watch?”
Son says, “Toy Story.”
The robot slaps the son.
Son says, “Ok, Ok, we were watching p*rn.”
Dad says, “What? At your age I didn’t even know what p*rn was.”
The robot slaps the father.
Mom laughs and says, “Well, he certainly is your son.”
The robot slaps the mother.