I returned to Mansalay on the evening of October 13, 2014 to attend what I thought was the third and final reading (and passage) of the pending Mangal Marine Protected Area (MMPA) Ordinance of Mansalay. I was horrified when I met with the Secretary of the Sangguniang Bayan, Mr. Gregorio De Chavez, on Tuesday, October 14, 2014, and was informed that the regular SB session held last Wednesday, October 8, 2014, did not conduct the second reading of the pending Ordinance. As such, the second reading will only be conducted in the upcoming regular SB session on Wednesday, October 15, 2014. The thoroughly inefficient and wasteful process of the government bureaucracy never ceases to disgust me!
On Wednesday, October 15, 2014, only two (2) members of the SB showed-up. No quorum; therefore, no session. These people are paid and expected to show-up for work once a week. That's once a week and some apparently think its optional. No wonder it takes virtually forever to get the simplest things done in government. There is no sense of urgency even on an ordinance that addresses the most basic human need--food on the table. This cavalier attitude borders on criminal and is a great disservice to the poorest in the community.
Mayor Joel tries to make-up for lost time by requesting the SB to hold a special session on Monday, October 20, 2014, for the purpose of completing the second reading, such that the third and final reading (and passage of the Ordinance) can be accomplished on the next regular SB session on Wednesday, October 22, 2014.
Monday, October 20, 2014, comes along and the special SB session requested by Mayor Joel proceeds. The second reading is done and I am once again perplexed that the provisions not directly relevant to the pending Ordinance (and therefore deleted by Mayor Joel and Lynn of PAGO during the first reading) were reintroduced into the draft document. Another waste of valuable time due to the sheer inexperience of De Chavez (the son), who was imposing on everyone else's time just so he could get a bit more OJT on crafting legislation.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014, the regular SB session proceeds without a hitch. The third and final reading is virtually done without much controversy until the Parking Area provision is discussed. It was as simple as, Mayor Joel asked for it on behalf of the fisherfolks and my family agreed to grant it. I had already cleared the details with Don Pedro Barangay Captain Alan Fabila, who passed a barangay resolution on the matter. I also crafted the appropriate language for insertion into the Ordinance. Between Fabila's barangay resolution and the language in the Ordinance, there was little left to the imagination as to what and where the Parking Area was going to be.
It was alarming to observe that some SB members either did not read the relevant document / provision or appear to have a basic reading comprehension problem. But the one that takes the cake is De Chavez (the son), who introduces and stubbornly insists on the utterly stupid notion that the government should dictate on a private property owner, which would have driven away any bonafide investor as far away from Mansalay as possible. Naturally, the Ordinance did not pass as planned because the inexperienced De Chavez was once again training on the job at everybody's expense.
After the third reading while having a late lunch at Aileen's, Konsehal Gustilo drops by and graciously offers a simple solution to the apparent impasse on the Parking Area provision, negating any provision allowing government to dictate on a private property owner. In short, if Barangay Don Pedro specifies the coordinates of the Parking Area in a barangay resolution, then the Ordinance is done.
Shortly thereafter, Konsehal Gustilo, Cocoy, Ige of Planning (who brings his GPS device) and I proceed to Don Pedro. Kapitan Fabila and Kagawad Porek accompany us to the vicinity of the Parking Area at Mangal Estate, where Ige takes note of the 50 x 50 meter coordinates of the area using his GPS device. I assist Kapitan Fabila on the barangay resolution and, later, Ige on the illustration attachment to the barangay resolution. I craft a cover letter to the SB proposing the appropriate insertion for the Parking Area provision, which was submitted by Kapitan Fabila to Sec. De Chavez on Monday, October 27, 2014, together with the barangay resolution requested by Konsehal Gustilo.
If, for any reason, the SB does not accept its own proposed solution to the Parking Area provision, then the failure to pass the MMPA Ordinance of Mansalay would fall squarely on the inexperience and stupidity of De Chavez (the son) and the complicity of the SB at large for tolerating such ignorance. The boy is in dire need of some basic schooling on the principles of free-market enterprise and the market-oriented economy.
The boy seems to think that government is the solution to poverty, when the sole role of government is to catalyze the participation of private enterprise in the local economy and then to get the hell out of the way--Singapore is a prime example of this phenomenon. The alternative (and the reality thus far in poor towns like Mansalay) is years upon years of government subsidy, which only perpetuates the prevailing political patronage system that pimps dependency and fuels more poverty.
The boy seems to think that private sector participation is something to be tolerated. Well, I've got news for you. The only truly sustainable source of economic progress is private sector participation (which should be welcomed, embraced and celebrated) and, in the case of this inexperienced boy, it's not because of the supportive efforts of government but in spite of the obstructive behavior of government. Until this idiot is properly schooled, he should be kept as far away as possible from potential investors in Mansalay, particularly in his capacity as a member of the SB.