By Chito Chavez
The preparation for the May 14, 2018 Barangay and Sangguniaang Kabataan (SK) elections remains full-blast as the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) shrugged off claims of its postponement for the third time since no law has been passed to warrant its delay.
DILG officer-in-charge (OIC) Eduardo Año clarified that at present the election will push through as he hoped the Barangay and SK elections will not be postponed for the third time to allow the public to rid rogue and non-performing barangay officials in their respective communities.
Año said there is an urgent need to clean the barangays of corrupt and unqualified barangay officials as he expressed alarm over the consolidated report of PDEA revealing that out of 42,036 barangays in the country, 32.3 percent or 6,744 barangays are moderately affected, while the remaining one percent or 208 barangays are seriously affected by the drug menace.
“With almost 7,000 barangays moderately or seriously affected by illegal drugs, the forthcoming elections will allow the public a chance to change their leaders in their communities and install leaders who will be more active in fighting illegal drugs and supportive of the government’s thrust to stamp out illegal drugs, criminality, and corruption,” Año said.
The DILG chief was also disgusted to discover that numerous barangay officials have not even organized their Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (BADACS).
“How can we win the war on drugs if our barangay officials are non-performing? We need a new set of barangay officials who are supportive of the agenda of change of the President. Let’s hold the elections so that the people can choose a new set of officials,” he added.
He added that on the local governance perspective, elections are all about accountability citing that without it there is no way for the public to hold their officials accountable for their performance.
“Holding the elections as scheduled will allow the people to hold their barangay officials accountable for their performance while in office,” the DILG chief said.
“The incumbent barangay officials have been elected by the people for a 3-year term only; at present they have already served for almost 5 years. That’s already enough. Let’s allow the people to either give them a new mandate or remove them from office,” he noted.
In a bid to remove non-performing barangay officials, the DILG together with Comelec launched last month its campaign for Matino, Mahusay at Maaasahang Barangay and SK officials to encourage the public to choose leaders who possess these three minimum qualities that are important to carry out meaningful peace and development initiatives in the communities.
DILG spokesman Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya said a barangay and SK official who is “Matino” exhibits the following traits: 1. hindi “corrupt” at lumalaban sa katiwalian; 2. lumaban at lumalaban sa iligal na droga; 3. tapat sa serbisyo at bukas sa publiko; 4. magaling at may disiplina; and 5. walang kaugnayan sa masasamang tao or grupo.
For a ‘Mahusay’ candidate – 1. may platapormang pangkaunlaran at pangkapayapaan; 2. huwaran at modelo ng kanyang mga kabarangay; 3. sumusunod sa mga alituntunin ng pamahalaan at ng komunidad; 4. maayos makitungo sa mga kabarangay; and 5. may patas na pagtingin sa iba’t ibang problema sa barangay.
While for a ‘Maaasahan’ candidate, Malaya identified the following: 1. maalam at may kakayahan sa pagpaplano; 2. alistong tumutulong sa panahon ng sakuna; 3. nagmamalasakit sa kapwa; 4. madaling malapitan sa oras ng pangangailangan; and 5. subok sa pagtulong sa pagpapanatili ng kapayapaan at kaayusan.