by Aquarius
Contributed Article
BiliranIsland.com

The incumbent leaderships of Rep Glenn Chong and Governor Rogelio Espina, has once again, missed the opportunity to introduce and work for a systemic reduction, if not elimination of patronage politics.

Whilst Gov Espina and the members of the Espina Dynasty, particularly former Congressman and Mayor of Naval Gerardo Espina Sr had abused the use of billboards as an on-going political propaganda in the last 12 years, Rep Glenn Chong, contrary to his pronouncements during the 2007 election campaigns, has opted to continue the practice of putting photos or his name on his projects for reasons of protecting his own accomplishments against undue claim by others.

Gov Espina used the latest rice distribution program, while Rep Chong, with his school bag distribution. Biliranons should be concerned if Rep Chong’s name or photo will be plastered on the proposed school buses similar to Gov Espina’s on the ambulances. Please refer to previous post on the same issue.

Both officials failed and are guilty of patronage politics. Biliran’s hope for a change will never materialize, unless the incumbent leadership will undertake a major turn around of their current practices and mutually agree to put Biliran ahead of their own political interests.

Rep Chong and Gov Espina will try to justify the need to put their names and photos on the billboards or any project that they treat as their own. In the final analysis, Biliranons can conclude, that it is all about patronage politics, and nothing else. Patronage politics is an evil practice that only serves the political interests of the incumbent leaderships, irregardless of which side you’re on.

There a lot of ways and means to label an accomplishment without having to plaster names, photos or both. Here below are unsolicited suggestions, that both leaders can get their staff to study on which would be appropriate and effective for their needs:

1. Official Press Releases through local and national print publications, radio broadcasts, web casts, and where economically practicable, TV/Cable networks.

2. Letters addressed to the beneficiaries of the project announcing the details of the project including, but not limited to: project description, funding sources, implementation schedules, and names of contractors …etc.

3. Quarterly Newsletter jointly funded by the Office of the Lone District of Biliran, the Provincial Government and LGUs that will serve as a provincial gazette that will inform the Biliranons about what is happening in Biliran. This can be run in conjunction with the Provincial Information Agency.

4. Billboards will still be erected on the project sites but will only show the following information:

Project Title: e.g. Concreting of 2 kilometers of Circumferential Road- (specify actual project description and location.)

Project Cost: P00000.00

Funded by: PDAF of the Representative of the Lone District of Biliran (specify actual fund source)

Or

Office of the Provincial Governor- IRA (actual fund source)

Or

MPWH (indicate budget allocation

Or

Funded by National Government (specify actual budget source)

Or

By the Municipal Government of ___________, budget allocation for year ________.

Or

By International Funding Agency (Prolend) –specify actual funding agency.

Estimated Time of Completion: Start: ______ End: ___________

Contractor: XYX Company (specify actual name of contractor)

Contact Tel. Nos. /Address

Under Supervision of: e.g. MPWH or Provincial Engineers.

Tel Nos.

For more information, please contact: Name____ Tel Nos. __________

5. Likewise, motor vehicles should only show the following:

a. FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

b. Name of Government Department

6. Suggested label of the forthcoming school bus:

SCHOOL BUS

Municipality of _________ (e.g. Naval)

Funded by: PDAF of the Office of the Representative of the Lone District of Biliran, 2008. (Specify source of funds).

The correct labeling of projects including motor vehicles and equipments will promote transparency and accountability of the particular government department which is responsible for its introduction and implementation.

Rep Glenn Chong and Gov. Roger Espina should act as catalysts for change. The momentum for change, in as far as the eventual elimination of patronage politics is concerned, must come from the top. All Biliranons should demand for this change.

The incumbent leaderships have two more years to prove to the Biliranons that they are serious about putting the interest of Biliran ahead of their own political interests.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. wala nay pag-asa olhi na:

    1. kc may mga nangamatay na.
    2. ang mga supporters dili mosogot,mas ganahan gyud sa away kay alegre ug may buhay buhay
    3. mopalit man gyud botos ang mga incumbents
    4. may magbaligya pa sa ila botos
    5. mas pabor sa mga politiko kaning g ingon na patronage politics kay daghang pobre sa nasud.
    6. knahanglan gyud modaog ang mga incumbents kay ma mangapreso man cila ?
    7. Sa karon, g- career na ang politika. Dakog kita ang maging politiko.

    para sa ako mag enjoy na lang ko. mag enjoy ko sa ilang circus bahala na.

  2. I strongly agree to this article…

    Young Blood like Cong Chong should be more idealistic than the conventional politicians. But sad to say, there is no difference between the two rivals.

    Glenn is new to politics and yet, the way he handles his office is identical to the way the Espinas handle theirs.

    How I wish there are still people out there who can be true to their words and put society’s interest over and above their personal interests.

  3. aquarius hit the nail on the head that should be d right thing but it seems Rep. Gleen has followed the TRAPO. Politicians now a days promised you the paradise during campaign and bring us to hell after they won. “better late than never” wishes i hope will come true…i wish. I hope there will be new breed or old breed politicians that will be doing justice to our wishes. If ever that politician or politicians will come to fore then i can him/her my 101% support. WE NEED CHANGE AND WE NEED IT NOW. Rep. Gleen is a blunder to us BILIRANON along with the ESPINAS. WE NEED A SELFLESS POLITICIAN OR POLITICIANS TO LEAD US. Calling all mayors, vice-mayors, councilors, vice-governor, board members, religious groups and other leaders to look for a selfless leaders to lead us NOW.

  4. REP. GLEEN CHONG IS A GREAT DISAPPOINTMENT AND THE ESPINAS IS A SUICIDE TO US BILIRANON. LET US LOOK AROUND US HERE INSIDE BILIRAN THERE MIGHT BE MIRACLE WHICH IS JUST SO ELUSIVE BECAUSE WE ARE NOT DOING SOMETHING TO MAKE IT SURFACE. AS BILIRANON…PLEASE DO YOUR SHARE IN FINDING ONE. GOOD LUCK!!!

  5. Hey Aquarius,

    From all the blogs that you have written, you are obviously a smart man. Where ever you are, GO HOME TO BILIRAN, JOIN THE FRAY, MAKE A CONTRIBUTION, AND PROVE YOUR METTLE. We know that you mean well, but DO SOMETHING! Ayaw na la ug sigi YAW YAW diha kay you are ALL TALK. Go home and make a difference! What are you waiting for? Christmas!

  6. It should also be pointed out that Rep Glenn Chong pointedly supported some candidates in the recent scholastic leadership elections at NIT, giving them financial assistance in return for putting his logo and picture on their campaign handouts. Maybe someone can explain what criteria Rep. Chong used to determine which were the most deserving candidates and to justify his role in influencing campus politics. Maybe he thinks he got good publicity, but he left a lot of embittered candidates and their supporters. His habit of alienating groups of people needlessly (generally considered unwise for a politician) appears to be costing him a lot and deservedly so.

  7. One of the sacrosant constitutional rights of every citizen in any democratic polity around the world is the right of free speech. It is guaranteed to every citizen based on the principle that speech, no matter how scathing, against governments and government officials actually serve the common good and preserve the institution we call democracry.

    As a startup public official, I take criticisms, from the benign to the most rabid (example: timbangan radio program), as part and parcel of public service in a democratic setup. I cannot force anyone to take my views. Neither can I totally disregard legitimate criticisms. Somehow, a balance must be struck between two opposing views, that of my critics and mine.

    Allow me to answer point by point the issues raised in this report, thus:

    1. When I was still a few months in office, the Espinas lambasted me on radio almost everyday for having done nothing, so far. Every single day that my programs and projects have not been implemented yet (fund releases were delayed because it is the start of the new term), they repeated the same message over and over again. Naturally, I wanted also to prove to our people, especially in the barangays, that I can make good of my promise. That’s when I decided to put, in all my 120 barangay projects (now completed), billboards uniformly measuring roughly 3 feet by 5 feet with bold words in red color ‘DINHI GIBUTANG ANG INYONG BUHIS NGA HINAGUANG GIBAYRAN MATAG ADLAW PARA SA MAHAYAG NATONG KAUGMAON!’ Below that is a picture of me and the President, measuring roughly less than 1 square foot each. To put it simply, the billboards carry the message that taxes are spent this way louder than proclaiming my name or face.

    2. In one barangay in Kawayan, my project was for concreting the barangay road. Governor Espina donated paint for the repainting of the Barangay Health Center a little farther from the national highway where my barangay road project started and going into the interior of the barangay. My billboard was erected a little farther from my barangay road project while right in front of the national highway and farther from the Barangay Health Center was a billboard stating ‘DAGHANG SALAMAT GOV. ROGER ESPINA SA PROYEKTONG IMONG GIHATAG KANAMO.’ I inspected the site and anyone who looks at it would make the conclusion that the road project was Espina’s and not mine. It was really very cleverly designed. I am not simply expressing fears that Espina might unduly claim what actually is my project, this is a concrete example of how far they will go to twist a glaring fact.

    3. In another project in Brgy. Manlabang, Caibiran, Espina cemented 400 meters of the national road and erected two billboards, one on each end. I had also a project cementing that national road from the end of Espina’s project extending to another 400 meters. As DPWH requires, two billboard have to be erected announcing the project, one on each end. When I visited the site, I found out that Espina’s ‘end’ billboard overlaps my ‘beginning’ billboard by about 4 meters. In other words, Espina’s ‘end’ billboard was not on the end part of the road he concreted but it went inside my project by about 8 meters (4 meters indention of my billboard plus 4 meters distance between his and my billboard). It was also very cleverly designed that if you come from the town proper and going out of town, it would look like the road was concreted under my term; however, if you travel from outside of town going into the town proper, it would look like the road was concreted by Espina. I pointed it out to the engineers working there and instructed them to replace Espina’s billboard to the right place, the end of his project. When I came back, it was still the same position but with one glaring difference… the distance between our billboard was just 1 meter (in other words, our billboards was now positioned back-to-back instead of the 4 meter distance). These clever manipulations are staring me right in the face. What do people expect me to do? Kneel down and pray?

    3. If an entire barangay road or a national road project can be so flagrantly falsely claimed by Gov. Espina by devious means, how much more 12,500 (and counting) school bags given to elementary students. In the same way, bearing in mind objections such as this, I asked my staff to devise a logo to be imprinted on each bag. It is circular, about 6 inches in diameter, with a 1-peso size logo of the House of Representatives and the words Lone District of BILIRAN (the word Biliran in larger print) and my picture measuring rougly 1.5 inches by 2 inches and my name without my official designation. If one considers the size of the picture to the size of the printable space of the school bag, one can deduce that it is not purely publicity that drives the printing of the logo. Without this logo, it would be much easier for the Espinas and their henchmen to falsely claim it as their own. Remember, they have an army of hundreds of 15-30s waiting for their respective assignments. With the logo, it will be much harder for them to claim it and it will save me and my staff of 10 much precious time which will be better spent on other programs and projects than in countering disinformation.

    4. For me, the main reason for putting these small billboards and logo is to put ordinary people on notice in a language they understand that I am channeling back to them their hard-earned taxes, and to guard against fraud and disinformation. It is never to lay claim on these projects as somewhat having come from my own personal funds. I always emphasize that these projects come from their taxes and are being invested to give them and their children a better future. All the small billboards emphasize that the money comes from their taxes.

    5. While I thank the author for the unsolicited advice, allow me to rebut them, thus:

    5a. Press Release – Press releases work out fine in a larger political jurisdiction where print media is vibrant. It does not work in the case of Biliran because their is virtually no print media in Biliran to speak of. The educational level is also another factor. Radio programs are fine but the problem is when it is my turn to speak, there is unannounced or unexplained power interruption, just like what happened last saturday. I paid 10,000 pesos for a hook-up with DYVL for the 9.00 to 10.00 slot and there was power interruption also falling within the 9.00 to 10.00 slot. Besides, Radyo Natin’s tower has been damaged severely by the typhoon that only a very small area of Biliran can be reached now. It is very expensive to tap radio stations in Tacloban. TV/Cable in Biliran is under the control of the Espinas, as much as BILECO. Where else can I go to counter an army ready at Espina’s disposal for any disinformation drive they wish to unleash?

    5b. Letters may be alright if we are talking of a few hundred beneficiaries. But what about if we are talking of 132 barangays with projects every year, or a total of 528 barangay projects in 3 years (100k/200k/200k/100k or 4 projects per barangay in 3 years)? Plus 32 municipal projects in 3 years (1m/2m/2m/1m or 4 projects per municipality in 3 years). Plus about 45 national projects for 3 years. And add the 4,000 beneficiaries of the free fertilizer we gave; 7,700 beneficiaries of rice and goods so far; 1,600 students whose tuition fees are partially funded by my office; 12,500 students who received free school bags (plus another 12,500 coming their way); 2,500 students who will benefit daily from the free school bus project; the projected 3,000 beneficiaries of TESDA training; and the people who received free medicines from my office daily, the students in 16 high schools who would benefit from my project connecting them to the internet, the students who would benefit from the first public library to be set up in Biliran. Sending out letters under this situation is something beyond the means of just me and 10 staff.

    5c. Suffice it to say, I can never work with the son of the man who stands accused of having a hand in the attempted assassination of my father. His father now stands accused before the Regional State Prosecutor for double murder, frustrated murder, attempted murder and grave threats. To work with him would be the height of hypocrisy. I am not a hypocrite!

    6. In the end, by labeling these projects and letting people know, they are actually made aware about government projects, taxes, accountability and competition in public service. Actually, by putting my name in such projects in such a calculated way (small but not big and bold as to be clearly a case of pure publicity), I have spurred competition in public service between me and Espina. Competition, be it in business or in government service, always work to the best advance of customers or the people.

    Whatever ill-effects are feared from such ‘publicity’ if you may call it, they are far outweighed by the actual gains our poor people get from increased competition between me and Espina.
    Our people are mostly poor and uneducated. They are prone to disinformation. These small billboards and logo serve to inform given their relative size and texts, rather than to publicize. They serve as a catalyst for increased competition among service providers like me and Espina. It actually empowers the ordinary people to demand more government services from public officials. Take this as an example: when Gov. Espina distributed his relief goods, the people where asking ‘what have Rep. Chong done to help us.’ Although I do not have calamity fund like Espina, I am hard-pressed to find funding so I can also give my share because people are asking. Its black and white. When I released my funds for barangay projects in the first 120 barangays, the people were asking about Espina’s projects too. When I made clear I will provide free school bus to students, Espina devised his own version. That’s real competition! The billboards or any other similar media are the means that drive such competition! It is akin to advertising in business. Advertising drives competition. Competition benefits customers and ordinary people.

    To look at billboards as a symbol of patronage politics (true if only one person or family controls the place but false in jurisdictions where their is competition) without looking at the benefits from increased competition and empowerment of the people is to take a very narrow view.

    Lastly, I was thrust into this fight by many people egging me to stand up for Biliran and for the freedom of its people. I took up the challenge at great and continuing risk to my life and that of my family. I am already here, do please understand that I have to survive in the political arena because anytime I lose that game, I also so my life and that of my family. By severely handicapping me in this fight is like feeding me to the dogs. Who else will stand up for all if I fail and fall?

  8. One more thing… Increased competition in government or public service actually removes public money from corruption to government action. More government services mean less public money diverted to corruption. If the corrupt does not compete in public services, he will lose the elections. If the corrupt responds to increased competition, that means less money is stolen. Those small billboards have their real use… and its not about patronage politics… its about COMPETITION!

  9. know what Rep. Gleen i don’t believe that reason called COMPETITION. you mean to say you want to compete in the corrupt practices of the Espinas? oh come on! or you follow the saying, ‘you have to be a monster to kill a monster’ the problem with that is that, everyone that follows that proverb did not revert to what he once was because he enjoy being a monster due to unlimited power. Rep. Gleen, i voted for you last election bcause of the very reason you are an alternative and not a TRAPO but it seems you’re slowly molding to be one. I am very very disappointed and if you will not revert to what you once was, I promise you, you will not get my vote come 2010 and hundreds of my friends at that. In David and Goliath, you are the David and maintain it that way and you will become a King.

  10. SA UNA MAO PUD UNTA NA ANG AKONG GUSTONG MAHITABO NGA WALAY IBUTANG NGA KARATOLA SA MGA PROYEKTO.

    PERO SA DIHANG AKONG NAMATNGONAN NGA MOSOROK MAN DIAY ANG MGA DUGO SA MGA BANDIDO NGA MAKAKITA UG MAKABASA NIINI – PADAYON BASTA DILI LA NANG “TRHU THE EFFORT…” KAY MORA MAN UG WALA SILAY UTANG NATONG MGA TAX PAYER.

    PADAYON CONGRESSMAN, KAY KADA BASA NILA SA IMONG MGA PROYEKTO, MAGDUGANG KINI SA ILANG KONSIMISYON.

  11. Glenn Chong is the one guilty of putting up misleading signs trying to take credit for the projects of others.

    The only competition is for who gives the most to the politician, and Glenn Chong is no different.

    Glenn Chong complains about being criticized by Espinas. This after he loudly called all of the Espinas murderers in the death of Danny and promised to put them in jail – with no substantial evidence.

  12. kanang gusto mahitabo ni aquarius maayo man na. kinahanglan mao gyud na ang mahitabo o pagabuhaton sa tanan politiko diha sa biliran.

    pero sa pagka karon nga naa pa ang mga ESPINA kinahanglan nga buhaton gyud ang unsa maka pukan sa ila, kay lisud nga mga ka atbang kining mga tawhana.

    Diha mismo sa NIT , kanang waiting shed gi sugdan na sa KIWANIs man siguro to o LIONS ba,. Sa dihang nahuman man, gipintalan lang ni Gov. Espina, wala na gani ma nanghid sa grupo nila Mr. Lora nga maoy nag sugod og nag human, karon sa ilang pag pintal lang, gibtangan na og daku kaayo nga letra nga project ni Cong. Espina, Gov. Espina og barangay Capt. Casas.

    Wala intawon maka tingog sila mr. Lora og uban pa nga miembro.

    Inig labay ninyo karon sa NIT, tan-awa ninyo ang waiting shed diha og unsa ang naka suwat.

    Sanglit mientras naa pa kanang mga Espina, kinahanglan, bantayan gyud ni Cong. Chong ang iyang mga project, pina agi sa pag sulat sa iyang ngalan , hasta iyang picture, kay kun dili gani, dakung kasiguruhan nga angkunon gyud dayon sa mga Espina, kay mga expert man na sila.

    Puhon kun mawala na na sila dinhi sa Biliran, mag pasaka na og ordinansya mahitungod sa pag sulat sa mga ngalan sa mga politiko.

    Pero sa pagka karon, uyon ko kaayo sa gibuhat ni Cong. Chong

    kanang iyang para sibya sa radyo kusog kaayo mosingit nga unsa man ang mga project ni Cong. Chong ? kun dili ipakita ni Cong Chong iyang project dakung sigurado gyud nga angkonon na sa mga ESPINa.

    Padayon Gleen Chong, we are still behind you all the way.

  13. uyon ba diay mo sa buhat ni CONG CHONG! eyang project mg bushos dili mg pasabot sa DPWH, sitaron sa mga, mo ingon lang nga nakabawo na CONG CHONG/CHARLIE then manawag mangasaba sa engineers concern ana nga project! Naa ELMAR CAMARINES pangutan a ninyo kay usa na sa contractor nga dili mosunod sa requirements magtuman sa ila gusto. kana administration congchong is just a continuation of the old standard maayo pa dili nalang mag sigue sulti.

  14. TO: GLENN CHONG:

    IT SEEMS THAT IN YOUR ZEAL OF DEFENDING AND JUSTIFYING YOUR PUTTING UP THE BILLBOARDS TO PROCLAIM YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS YOU HAVE SHOWN A PART OF YOU THAT I THOUGHT WAS NOT IN YOUR CHARACTER WHEN PEOPLE WERE ENCOURAGING YOU TO RUN. AGAINST ALL ODDS YOU WON THAT ELECTION BECAUSE THE PEOPLE WERE TIRED OF POLITICAL PATRONAGE STYLE OF POLITICS! WE ALL WANTED CHANGE IN THE WAY OUR POLITICIANS WERE RUNNING THINGS.

    YOU ARE USING GOVERNMENT FUNDS TO ENHANCE YOUR IMAGE WHICH IS WHAT THESE BILLBOARDS DO. FINANCING TO PUT UP THESE BILLBOARDS USING GOVERNMENT FUNDS IS STEALING GOVERNMENT FUNDS!

    YOU KNOW GLENN, PEOPLE WILL KNOW ONE WAY OR THE OTHER WHOSE PROJECTS ARE WHOSE. ONE DOES NOT NEED TO PROCLAIM THEM IN BILLBOARDS! IF PEOPLE WERE SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW THAT THE ESPINAS WERE JUST USING THEM AND FINALLY DECIDED TO KICK THEM OUT THEN I AM SURE THAT THEY ARE SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW WHOSE PROJECTS ARE WHOSE! I AGREE AND I AM SURE, SO DOES, A LOT OF PEOPLE WITH WHAT AQUARIUS WROTE. AND A PIECE OF ADVICE GLENN, WHEN ONE DOES WHAT THE DEVILS DOES YOU GO DOWN WITH HIM!

    AND REMEMBER THIS…WHEN THE PEOPLE OF BILIRAN FINDS THEMSELVES IN A NO WIN SITUATION WITH YOUR BICKERINGS BACK AND FORTH WITH THE ESPINAS A THIRD FORCE WILL RISE!! AND THAT’S FOR SURE!!!!

  15. Hi Minda,

    “YOU KNOW GLENN, PEOPLE WILL KNOW ONE WAY OR THE OTHER WHOSE PROJECTS ARE WHOSE. ”

    For my own opinion, angayan lang jud na mag butang ug billboards,
    kai to tell you honestly bisag ako ng libug ko pag agi nako sa cross country…

    May mga dagkong project na akong na agian, then walay naka butang na billboards, galibog ko kinsa nag pa semento, si Rep. Glenn Chong bah or si Gov. Roger Espina..

    Akong gi pangutana ang usa ka trabahante nga nag semento, kung kang kinsa nang project iyang gi trabaho, iyang tubag kai “ambot wala ko kasabot” .. waheehehe..

    wala gani kasabot ang nag trabaho… how much more ang nangagi…?

    And Instead nga mag away sa radyo, maypa idaan nalang sa mga project, mga katawhan pa sa Biliran ang maka benefit..

    Maayo sad ning nahitabo run na Espina ang Gov. then ang Congressman kai Chong..

    para malikayan ang mga pangurakot..

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