The 3-day seminar was meant to "empower" 330 Pasig barangay officials who stayed at Boracay Garden Resort "which has Triple A rating, the highest for local resorts," reported the Philippines Daily Inquirer today.
Neal H. Cruz's column at PDI today discloses that Quezon City has 26 councilors and each of them has 124 employees. Each councilor has an P800,000 monthly payroll. However, only 20 or so of the 124 employees can be truly flesh-and-blood accounted for. The employee data sheets of each councilor have photographs supposedly of employees. But lo! The owners of the photos are not even aware that their photos are being used to steal money from the Quezon City taxpayers! With all these ghost employees, it is a wonder why the Quezon City Hall is never featured in the Halloween Specials of Mel and Joey.
Now I know exactly why people kill and get killed even during barangay elections.
Where I live, the barangay officials went to Palawan for some seminar, too. This just a week ago. How did I know? Heck, I have the pics in my Facebook. One barangay official happens to be a friend of mine.
According to Interior Secretary Robredo, a memorandum circular released in February, "discourages local executives from conducting seminars outside of their region unless these are location specific like visiting a landfill or a project." Well, if you use the word "discourages" in a circular like that, expect it to be ignored. The memo ought to have been worded straightforwardly. They ought to have used "prohibits," "bans," "disallows," and other stronger, black-or-white words. "Discourages" is such a lukewarm, weak, chicken-hearted word. And I thought Sec. Robredo had balls?
Why is it difficult to change when personal comfort and gains are at stake? Or have I forgotten once again that this is the Philippines?
Still, I'm not losing hope.