Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Lousy Press Club?


I could not understand Department of Education Pangasinan- I Superintendent Aurora Domingo.
When two media men asked Domingo in October 2010, how was her trip to the U.S, she snapped “It’s personal!”
When I asked her on that date about her takes on K+12 (Kindergarten plus 12 years in high school), she told me she could not comment on it because she did not read the data on K-12.

I could not believe what I heard from a very high education official. That was 2010 where even high school students know the nuts and bolts of K+12.
When media men Ruel Camba and RJ Jimenez asked her recently who was responsible for the demolition of the P15 thousand worth newly constructed renovated comfort room at the division’s office in Lingayen,  she asked the duo if there is a need to expose in public that “malfeasance” as it is an internal affairs of her office.
That made me joined the queries of the duo as I found the answer of Dr. Domingo leaving a bad taste in the mouth.
 “That is not an internal affair, maam. It is of public interest that people should know”.
I told her it involves government funded property that was destroyed upon the order of somebody.
I added that demolition can be considered as criminally-malicious mischief.
Assistant Supt. Shiela Maria Primicias was smarting earlier what her colleagues have done to her pet projects when she substituted Domingo as the Officer –In-Charge superintendent on August 2011.
I am calling my friend Board Member Ming Rosario to investigate this reckless abandon committed by high officials of the Dep Ed in Pangasinan
Somebody should answer for the monies of the government that went to the drain.

Last week I bumped with Councilor Joselito “Jigs” Seen of Dagupan City. Jigs, the chairman of the Finance & TradeCommittee, disputed my recent article that the Dagupan City government can use up to 100 percent of the Calamity Fund without anymore asking the imprimatur of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP).
He said that Republic Act 10121 ("An Act strengthening the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management System”) said that every quarter of the year the chief executive should ask the permission of the SP how much it is going to spend.
I quoted in my earlier article the statement of City Administrator Vlad Mata that the Lim Administration could not be sued with Anti-Graft & Corrupt Practice Acts after it released P13.1 million Calamity Fund as a result of Typhoon Juan in 2010.
Seen also bared that the proposed budget for fiscal year 2012 sent to the August Body by the executive was P581 million.
He disagreed with some political kibitzers who said that because  the SP – dominated by Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez and  allies – failed  to muster two-third votes to over ride the veto of Mayor Lim, the executive department reaped a windfall from the P487 million watered down version exacted by the council by going back to the reenacted P498 million 2010 budget.
As you know my dear Procopio, the Lim Administration’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2011 was P568 million.
But even with the failure of the SP to over ride Lim’s veto, the mayor, according to Seen, was not able to use the reenacted 2010 budget.
He said it was because of some offices like the City Tourism that were given a zero budget by the SP.
Seen said that the P487 million revised 2011 budget was declared as legal  by a memorandum from the Department of Budget & Management in Region 1 as based on its Budget Operation Manual for Local Government Unit.
He said however that because of the series of supplemental budget he and his colleagues passed this year, the Lim Administration enjoyed a P575 million budget for 2011.
I did not attend at the Dagupan City plaza the 2nd Anniversary of the infamous Maguindanao Massacre spearheaded by the Pangasinan Press Club.
I could not afford to be with hypocrite officials of the club who demand justice for those 57 waylaid members of the 4th Estate but could not help their fellow press club members in Pangasinan and Dagupan City.
Take the following instances:
Months ago, media man Anie Lagao desperately needed P5,000 for hospitalization because he vomited blood but PPC leadership would not help him, according to his text message to me.
“Dapat buwagin na ang PPC (Pangasinan Press Club) dahil walang silbi,” he told me.
The leadership justified its indifference because it wanted a stop for the past PPC’s leaderships practiced of soliciting monies from politicians and businessmen.
But look what we got here?
 A member told me that PPC discouraged solicitation to help its members but its leaderships solicited a bigger amount from these people to buttress its coffer.
 PPC Director Ruel Camba told me that Director Ruben Rivera wrote a scathing article at Northern Mirror assailing the club’s leadership of “hijacking” the term extension beyond the one year term as its officials’ term ended last November. Ruben discussed there that there should be election as the planned extension of the term of its officials for two years was not ratified by its members.
I was told that many grumbling members want an election and a change of leadership.
I will delve on my next column on the impropriety of a high official of the PPC who told a media colleague vis-à-vis the libel case of the staff of this paper filed by Board Member Alfie Alfonso.
Hindi na nga nakatulong, sinisiraan pa kami.
Veteran scribe Rhee Fer Hortaleza hit the nail on its head when he wrote lately at his column in Northern Times dated  November 30, 2011: “What is amusing or exasperating to note during the prayer- rally in Dagupan City was the presence of certain local media persons who are actually traitors to the profession as they have no qualms about downgrading their colleagues so as to endear themselves with certain powerful politicians. These are media people who are worse than the Ampatuans!”
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