By: Rodrigo S. Victoria

Naval, Biliran (1 July) – The new governor of the province of Biliran, Governor Gerardo J. Espina, Jr. in his inaugural speech appealed for unity and cooperation of the Biliranons in his administration.

Photo by PIA Biliran

Governor Espina said “let us forget politics for it is now high time for all of us to move on for the sake of progress and development of the province”.

The new Biliran governor who once served as congressman of the Lone District in Biliran during the 13th Congress and as mayor of Nava,l promised to give support to any programs and projects that will be undertaken by the national government agencies and local government units here in the province of Biliran.

He also appealed to the employees of the provincial capitol to extend the same work ethics they gave to his elder brother who served for three terms as governor in the province of Biliran and who is now the newly elected Congressman of the Lone District of Biliran.

“I will continue the programs and projects undertaken by my brother that gave benefits to the Biliranons and try to work hard to give the same programs and projects or even surpass it for the betterment of the entire province”, Governor Espina said.

Video
Video by Ghavi Anasco

The new Biliran governor admitted that his position is a big responsibility and a great challenge to prove his worth in exchange for the trust and confidence given him by the Biliranons during the May 10, 2010 local and national elections. (PIA-Biliran)

Previous articleJoy and sorrow reign as local officials take oath in Naval
Next articleCaibiran mayor manhandles several constituents

18 COMMENTS

  1. The appeal for unity and cooperation will be heard and responded to if Gov Gerryboy Espina releases to the Biliranons the true state of affairs of Biliran. A financial report must be released on the state of indebtedness of the province to various financial institutions detailing the loan balances and loan amortizations being paid for by the Biliranons.

    Further, an accounting of how the loan funds acquired and IRA for the last 9 years were spent must be published for purpose of transparency. He must also outline his own plan for the development of Biliran. Generic statements saying he will simply continue if not surpass his predecessor’s projects reveals lack of his own program of government.

    He will have to work hard to earn the support of the Biliranons knowing that his track record as former Mayor and former Congressman does not give him good references in as far as his past performances are concerned.

  2. HONORABLE GOVERNOR,THATS A VERY GOOD PLAN AND FOR SURE THE PEOPLE OF BILIRAN WILL GIVE MORE TRUST AND CONFIDENCE IN THE COMING YEARS.WE KNEW WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO OUR PEOPLE IN NAVAL THATS THE REASON YOU SERVED FOR 3TERMS.
    MARAMING SALAMAT.

  3. ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS. LET’S SEE YOUR 1ST 30 DAYS SIR. MORAG NAGSUGOD NA GANI DIDTO SA CAIBIRAN ANG KAGUBOT….

  4. hello Pareng bert PILA MAY UTANG GOV GERRY BOY IMO? inggit ka lang unsaon pildi man imo amo, D VA? WAHAHAHA!
    CONGRATS GOV. GERRY BOY ESPINA! our life as BILIRANONS would b more progressive now. sus kung mano charley fa AMBORRT lang MAU NALANG JUD LA TUGOT GINOO!
    hi! ANITA MORILLO! HAIN KA NAMAN KARON? MINGAW NA TAGA DEPED IMO MANA, Y WALA KA NAMAN REPORT? BAKANTE NA IMO LINGKORANAN DID2! LA KA MINGAWA AMO MANA? DAGHAN RA BA IMO SUMAT AMO NGA PANGKIHAAN IMO AMO NGA C GLENA KUNG DAUG! HALA NO! BISAN WALA SALA KIHAAN NALANG DIAY! IKAW MANA LA PAY ABOT SUMMON BSAN 1? wa hulat2 lang kay abot ra na. basta yaw jud gawas Pilipinas ha!
    ty jalmz

  5. COMMENT 1,2 AND 5
    MGA EK EK NINYO……………. BWE HE HE HE WHAT A RU…………BB……………I…………E……………….SS……………………..
    ESPINA’S NAKAKASUKA…………… LETS GO FOR VOTE BUYING …………… NGEKKKKKKKKKK EOWWWWWWWWWWWW
    KUNG SANA WALANG DAYA …….. PERO KUNG UUPO NA ANG PAMILYA ESPINA ……..THEN FOR RECOUNT E E E EE E E MEDYO TAGILID PALA KAHIYA HIYA… SABAGAY SANAY NA SILA DIYAN……… LA NANG HIYA LALO NA YUNG DUMAYO PA SA KAWAYAN AGUROY………………. ANO PA KAYA MGA MAGIGING PROJECT NILA SA BUONG BILIRAN….. PATAYAN????????? DAYAAN????????????????

  6. takiang,
    hulat hulat lang gud kaw ba nagdali jud ka oi…hinuon ingna gerryboy nga paspasi dajun ug pangawat ang kaban sa kapitulyo kay nag OJT ra baya na sija..hehe ms u takiang

  7. Comelec retrieves ballot boxes for recount in Manila mayoral polls

    By Kristine L. Alave
    Philippine Daily Inquirer
    First Posted 15:23:00 07/06/2010

    Filed Under: Eleksyon 2010, Politics, Protest

    Manila, Philippines — The Commission on Elections is set to move for a recount of the votes from the city of Manila.

    Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal said the First Division would be calling for the retrieval of the ballot boxes
    and compact flash cards in Manila as part of the election protest case filed by ex-Mayor Lito Atienza against the proclamation of Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim.

    Larrazabal, in a media interview, said the Atienza-Lim case would be the “test case” under the new electoral protest rules for the scrutiny of digital evidence.

    In his petition, Atienza, who also served as environment secretary under the Arroyo administration, said there were technical glitches that hounded the May 10 automated polls that made it necessary for a recount of votes.

    Atienza asked for a recount of votes from all the 1,441 clustered precincts in Manila and asked the Comelec to nullify Lim’s proclamation.

  8. UNITY ba kamo???

    If he wants untiy, ngaman gipantanggal man nila ang almost 30 nurses dinha sa Hospital sa Naval?

    KAlooy lang pod sa akong classmate sa high school kay natanggal man xa as a nurse sa Naval kesyo Glenn Chong supporters cla.

    Ang nahibilin nalang og ang gipang hire karon ang mga Espina supporters nalang.

    If he wants UNITY, umpisahan nila sa fair Hiring sa positions,..

  9. MAAYO RA NGA GIYANGGAL IMONG CLASSMATE THITHO KAY KUSOG KA MODAUT SA MGA ESPINA. NAGPAKA BUTA UNGOL KA NGA ANG PAG PANGIMPLEYO DINHI SA ATO IS

    WHOM YOU KNOW!!!!!THEN NAILHAN IMONG CLASSMATE NGA PAREHO NIMO UG BALHEBO SO AYAW LANG KASUKO BODOY!

    BAHINI UG TUBUNGI NA LANG HINOON IMHANG CLASSMATE THIHHHH….OK?

  10. Hugaw man gud politics, kay gipauso mana ninyo.

    dili pakadaot ang among gi pang expose nganhi, those are reality at may mga ebidensya.

    ikaw man cguro ang buta og bungol.. PAGMATA NA..

    Luoy lang pod sa mga deserving nga empleyado..

  11. NAGPATAKA KA LANG THITHO,SO ANG IMONG BOOT IPAIBOT NGA ANG MGA CHONG ANG MAGDALA SA KAHUGAW SA ELEKSYON? ITS OVER SO,WE SHALL UNITE FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF OUR DEAR PROVINCE.UNDERSTAND?

  12. Comelec rejects Roxas demand for manual recount

    By Kristine L. Alave
    Philippine Daily Inquirer
    First Posted 20:03:00 07/09/2010

    Filed Under: Politics, Elections

    MANILA, Philippines –The request of defeated vice-presidential candidate Manuel “Mar” Roxas to manually recount the ballots is impossible, a member of the Commission on Elections said Friday.

    Election Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal said the manual appreciation of ballots, the process used in protests under the manual election system, has no place in the age of automated elections.

    He noted that the guidelines for the revision of votes state that ballots would be “re-scanned” by the vote-counting machine.
    Ballot images stored in the compact flash cards will be used in lieu of ballots that may have been destroyed in storage.

    Last Wednesday, Comelec Chairman Jose Melo said ballots under electoral protest would be re-counted by feeding them into the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machine. The recount should employ the PCOS machines so that it would not be “in conflict” with the official tallies generated by the automated election system.

  13. EDITORIAL – No more ‘puede na’
    (The Philippine Star) Updated July 10, 2010 12:00 AM

    http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=591867&publicationSubCategoryId=64

    The cheers that greeted President Aquino’s inaugural vow to end the unauthorized use of sirens or wang-wang drowned out his promise of zero tolerance for substandard roads, bridges and buildings. In his administration, he vowed, contractors must be held accountable for the quality of the infrastructure projects they undertake, and puede na — it will do — will no longer suffice.

    This promise will be put to the test with the start of the monsoon season, when many roads disintegrate in floods or even a heavy downpour, turning Metro Manila into a virtual moonscape of potholes and cracked pavement. The damaged roads provide opportunities for repair contracts throughout the rainy season.

    The President’s promise should include contractors of private utility companies that dig up roads. Anything built using public funds and destroyed by contractors must be restored properly.

    This inaugural promise will affect not only public works officials but also lawmakers and local government VIPs, who pick the contractors for building and maintaining roads and bridges. Criteria set by the Department of Public Works and Highways for selecting contractors are often disregarded, and kickbacks become the main consideration in awarding contracts. Those kickbacks are passed on to taxpayers through higher project costs. Contractors also cut corners to recover the cost of corruption, which results in roads that disintegrate in the rain and bridges that collapse due to weak foundations.

    While holding contractors accountable for the quality of their services and goods, the President should also discourage politicians from plastering their images and names on billboards to claim credit for infrastructure construction or repair. Signs on a government project should bear only pertinent details such as the name of the contractor, the target date of completion, specifications and cost of the project, and funding sources. Those sources are the entities that deserve credit for any project: the Filipino taxpayer and, where warranted, foreign donors. A sign on a road project should read: This is where your taxes go. And those taxes must be used judiciously.

  14. wala ba mo olaw Honorable gud tawon wala na sya modaog nakalosot lang ilang limbong pero deli pa tapos ang laban pag matalo sila manual recount SIKAT ANG BILIRAN ma preso ang espina..c jerry boy iyang gi tanggal ang mga nurse sa hospetal ka koyaw gud onsa pag too nya sya tag iya sa hospetal..mora oroy korek WALANG naman alam styye bootan sad pero super hambog pa wala naman pera magkano ba sahod mo mr jerrboy laki pa sahod ko oi..kahit tatlo espina pa pero naglibog ko kay di nako kaya magpahimo BILIRAN GARDEN…WA LAY KAWATAY PERO KAWAT MO LANG TULIS MAN GAYOD SA ATOBANG..KAPAL NG MUKHA MO…TUBAG MR JERRYBOY nag maskara ko oi..

  15. mr jerrboy espina BAKAG style na man sad gi oi warning ngan nya financier sa sugal suertress og pic3 pa ondang na…kay naka program nasad sa ilang PCOS MACHINE..si MR WILLIAM DIU mao mo puli nga finnacier.. pobreha gayod ang mga tawo sa biliran para deli maka eskwela mahimo bolok nag oyon nimo ka daghanan baya supporter nimo mga inosente

  16. COMMENTARY
    Harnessing people power in fight against corruption

    By Dennis M. Arroyo
    Philippine Daily Inquirer
    First Posted 03:28:00 07/19/2010

    Filed Under: People power, Graft & Corruption, Governance, civil society, government, Infotech

    “We relived the spirit of people power during the campaign. Let it take us to good and effective governance.”–President Aquino,
    June 30, 2010, inaugural address

    HOW THEN can people power be harnessed to promote good governance? The people can be involved with groups and use techniques that have been effective in fighting corruption.

    I previously did research for the World Bank on the best practices around Asia. Filipino NGOs are among the leaders in the field, but we can learn from our neighbors.

    It would be best for civil society to work with the government in applying the cutting edge to battle corruption: guarding the money, monitoring performance and leveraging information.

    Groups can express their priorities for the budget, monitor its crafting, analyze its details, and put its pros and cons in layman’s terms. The NGO Action Aid in Nepal scrutinized the national budget passed by the king in July 2003 without a sitting parliament. Its estimate was that more than half of development expenditure would not be implemented because of the security situation.

    Budget groups in India often analyzed public spending at the state level. One of them, People’s BIAS, analyzed the 2000 budget for Maharashtra state upon the request of the government. The report recommended doing away with budget secrecy, circulating vital documents before its presentation, and publishing subsidies.

    The Center for Budget and Policy Studies in Bangalore studied education expenditure at the district level in Karnataka state. Conducted with the cooperation of Karnataka’s Department of Education, the project served as a model for how civil society groups could work with the government without compromising their independence.

    In Indonesia, the Bandung Institute of Governance Studies (BIGS) focused on the housing needs of women. Within the archipelago, around 4.4 million families did not own their houses. But housing the poor was not gender neutral. In general, slum areas had more women than men. BIGS thus analyzed the impact of housing policy and budgets on the poor in the slums.

    The Center for Budget and Governance Accountability in New Delhi holds workshops at the national and regional levels to demystify the budget. For its part, the NGO PROOF holds a Mini-Discussion Series—more than 10 have been conducted in various parts of Bangalore—to present the performance data of the municipal corporation.

    Community-driven dev’t

    Kalahi-CIDSS is a prime antipoverty program of the national government in the Philippines and is supported by the World Bank. Given training, the barangays choose infrastructure projects to address their basic needs. They prepare budgets and proposals, and the best in the municipality wins the funding. Spending is closely monitored, for all the financial statements are posted on the village bulletin board and reported to the assembly.

    Our own Procurement Watch trains civil society organizations on the intricacies of procurement. It deploys observers, armed with checklists, to official bidding sessions. When anomalies are discovered, they are brought up to the superiors of erring agencies. Those who persist are reported to civil society watchdogs.

    Social audits involve the community in scrutinizing public projects and the amounts actually spent on them. The details of contracts are read during public hearings, so as to compare official sums with the reality on the ground.

    A leading exponent of this mechanism is the NGO called MKSS of Rajasthan, India. Another group, Parivartan has reviewed 68 public works in Northeast Delhi via hearings, and it has found that many roads exist only on paper. PROOF in Bangalore has persuaded the city government to release quarterly public statements on financial performance. These statements compare revenues and expenditures with the original budget estimates.

    In the Philippines, the NGO Concerned Citizens of Abra for Good Government monitors actual construction projects. Financial details are read aloud on its radio program.

    Citizen ombudsmen

    Corruption can be institutionalized among local officials, as in the case of Japan. The citizen ombudsmen of the city of Sendai was created in reaction to bribe-taking by local government politicians. The council launched a direct attack on Japan’s construction industry, which has long exerted a powerful hand on politics. Such companies went on bid-rigging scandals and donated millions of dollars to politicians’ campaign chests.

    Founded by lawyers in Sendai, the Citizen Ombudsmen Liaison Council now covers 47 prefectures. It monitors corruption by auditing local politicians’ expense reports. The ombudsmen conduct their investigation through an information request program. They probe bids, entertainment expenses and mysterious accounts of each local government. The information is also sent to the national liaison conference. That way, they can compare responses and create a national database.

    Lifestyle checks

    Philippine law requires all public officials to file a statement of assets and liabilities every year. If the assets are way above what can be accounted for by salaries, savings from corporate income, marriage, or inheritance, then they have likely come from crooked sources.

    Indicators include unexplained bank deposits, “manifestly excessive expenditures,” ostentatious displays of wealth, frequent travel abroad, and the like. Agents conduct lifestyle checks on officials by verifying statements of assets and liabilities. They conduct office and house visits.

    Monitoring performance

    Government Watch is a Filipino initiative to monitor the projects of public agencies. Volunteers deployed to the project sites filled out the matrix or monitoring tool.

    The “variance” was the deviation between the planned and actual results. The variance emerged along the dimensions of quantity (e.g., 45,000 textbooks were delivered instead of 56,000), quality (the highway was made of asphalt rather than the promised concrete) cost (the budget was overshot by 20 percent), or time (the road projects were delayed by six weeks).

    Because the NGO Lok Satta has organized citizens to monitor fuel bunks, cheating at the pump has effectively stopped in all the 1,500 gasoline stations of Andhra Pradesh, India. In many cities, the personnel at the property registration offices have been forced to refund the bribes they collected.

    Tracking textbooks

    This was in response to textbook corruption and the resulting shortages in the Philippines. In 2000, the ratio was five public schoolchildren sharing a single textbook; it is now 1:1.

    Civil society organizations monitored delivery and inspected the printing, binding and packaging of the textbooks in the warehouses. The groups then monitored the deliveries on-site. They looked into the condition of the delivered goods, and the accuracy of the book counts.

    Children’s road survey

    To curb public works corruption, children holding checklists were sent to monitor the streets of Bangalore. Aged 12 to 14 years old, they were first briefed on the need to drain water from the roads to maintain their quality.

    The lecturers explained the various critical road dimensions: the efficacy of the drainage system, impediments to pedestrian and road safety, and the quality of the riding surface.

    The children were then sent to observe 300 meters of each road and to fill out their checklists. Some of the indicators were: presence of drains, evenness of the surface, whether the footpath was covered with slabs, number of potholes and cracked areas.

    Investigative reports

    The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) specializes in in-depth reports, often on corruption. It has published over a dozen books and hundreds of articles in major Philippine dailies and magazines.

    The reports on graft and influence-peddling in high places have shaken the political landscape. In many cases, these accounts have forced the government to act. The PCIJ’s reports go beyond high-profile corruption cases. They also look into entrenched corrupt practices in key departments or branches of government.

    Citizens charters

    Indian civic groups like Praja and Lok Satta guide residents in writing a citizens charter for their municipalities. The charter spells out the responsibilities of the local government. After much discussion and revision, the people then present the charter to the officials. They pressure the bureaucrats to approve the charter. Once ratified, the citizens commit themselves to monitor how the public services comply with the charter’s standards. The groups hold regular meetings with the municipal corporations.

    Integrity Pacts

    This project of Transparency International Nepal (TIN) comes from the Bhaktapur region. An integrity pact is a contract or agreement from the local government to adopt a package of measures put forward by TIN.

    Public officials and employees pledge to implement the “integrity system”: no bribe-taking, simple and transparent decision-making, realistic construction budgets, openness and responsiveness to complaints by citizens. Procurement procedures and guidelines are defined, and a system for the redress of grievances is installed. A monitoring committee is set up, including a representative of TIN.

    Report cards

    Initiated by the Public Affairs Center in Bangalore and now replicated around the world, report cards are surveys on social services that impact on the poor. This is a chance for the people to grade the agencies that provide these services. It helps uncover problem areas in service delivery.

    The dimensions probed include access to the service, quality, affordability, willingness to pay, coping mechanisms, staff behavior, efficiency, reliability, adequacy of supplies, and, ultimately, user satisfaction. The report cards have been run for entire nations and states. They have been conducted as well at the community level, as in the case of Sri Lanka’s Gemi Dariya project.

    Citizen juries

    Residents in Andhra Pradesh are selected to study an issue that will greatly affect their community. They are fed much information on the topic.

    They listen to talks, watch videos, and study the readings. They interrogate the specialists on the subject and deliberate on its many angles.

    Finally, they render their verdict on the issue to the community, the authorities, and the media.

    Leveraging information

    The Right to Information Act of Goa, India, guarantees that any citizen can apply in writing for “any information relating to the affairs of the state or any local authorities.” Once the application is received, agencies have 30 days to furnish or refuse the information.

    Citizens can photocopy entire files pertaining to government transactions. The law also provides a procedure for appeals against requests that have been denied.

    Surveys on corruption

    Social Weather Stations in the Philippines, Transparency International Malaysia (TIM) and the Center for Social Development in Cambodia have run national surveys on corruption.

    The polls get data on people’s first-hand experiences with fraud and identify which agencies are most prone to it. They quantify the frequency of bribery in relation to paying taxes, getting licenses and permits, transacting business with and collecting receivables from the government. The surveys obtain data on the percentages paid to get government contracts.

    News scan database

    Transparency International Bangladesh compiles news articles about corruption cases and converts them into a comprehensive report. The database is available on its website.

    It is a valuable research tool for investigative work in expenditure tracking. The database is useful for follow-up research, for updates on ongoing corruption cases, and for keeping government officials on their toes. Stories that fade away in the public eye can be easily “revived.”

    SMS

    Another mechanism takes advantage of the popularity of SMS or text messages in the Philippines to contain acts of petty corruption by civil servants. Using their cell phones, people can report graft as it occurs and yet remain anonymous.

    For example, when a clerk at City Hall asks for grease money, the citizen quietly sends a text message to the hotline number of the Office of the Ombudsman. When the names of the same offenders keep appearing on the database, the claims are investigated.
    Websites as weapons

    Displaying the creativity found in many Net innovations, this category is spawning many mechanisms.

    Seoul’s Online Procedures Enhancement for Civil applications (Open) is a website that shows the status of applications made to the 54 agencies most vulnerable to corruption.

    It reveals “the contents of the application, approval time of the application, administrative procedures, names of the officials assigned to the applications, and their contact numbers.” The electronic trail easily suppresses the impulse to commit fraud.

    The impact of the Seoul’s Open system is supported by research presented in December 2001 by a team from Korea University. Of those polled, 74 percent replied that the Open system cut processing time, 86 percent said that application became easier, and 62 percent cited improved accuracy of applications.

    E-procurement

    Also pioneered by South Korea is e-procurement through the government’s website, GePS. The law requires more than 25,000 public organizations to list on GePS their bidding information.

    The system prequalifies suppliers and standardizes product information. The public can compare the prices offered by different suppliers. Private bidders can’t collude with each other because all the bids are disclosed online. For the same reason, government procurement officers can’t delay the placing of orders.

    In India, each e-seva (computerized kiosk) can handle more than 100 services, ranging from getting birth certificates, to paying examination fees, to buying tickets to cultural events.

    Utility areas served by the e-seva are many, such as electricity, municipal corporations, transport, hospitals, water supply and railways. By making transactions digital, the government gets to eliminate layers of middlemen, who exercise discretion. Putting data in the public domain also increases transparency and makes agencies more accountable.

    In the Philippines, the Department of Budget and Management posted on its website the names of blacklisted contractors. A banner flew through the site inviting visitors to click on the blacklist—the roster even ran up to seven pages. It showed which companies have had their licenses suspended, revoked or denied.

    Pork barrel

    Corruption can flow from the pork barrel of legislators. In the rural sector, Congress members can reward the areas that supported them with infrastructure projects, and neglect the rest. This sort of spending frustrates the objectives laid out in development plans.

    Shady legislators can collude with the local public works officials of his/her province. The bidding is rigged to favor certain contractors. The bad eggs among the legislators and public works officials, in turn, get a cut of the deal.

    Hence, another website by the Filipino civil society alliance Transparent and Accountable Governance, particularly its Congress Watch section, monitored pork barrel spending by legislators. The site reprinted in-depth articles on pork barrel which explain cases of blatant anomalies.

    The website of the Roads and Highways Department of Bangladesh contains much information on infrastructure projects: road and bridge data, names of personnel, financial project information, the contractor database, the tender database, the document database. It also includes audit reports. Every month the site updates financial and physical information on all of the department’s infrastructure projects.

    Innovations to fight corruption have multiplied across Asia. The government and civil society should thus work together to wield the cutting edge on these techniques. That way, ordinary Filipinos can take part in the great project of crushing corruption.

    (Editor’s Note: The writer is a former director of the National Economic and Development Authority. Comments to [email protected])

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here