Monday, July 16, 2007

Courtesy Calls

Since I am a freshman member of the sangguniang panlalawigan, I thought to visit all the provincial offices and pay the public officers there a courtesy call. i thought it was a good excuse to introduce myself and to get to know them. I started paying them a visit in June. I'm almost finished, with a just a couple of offices left.

I visited the Provincial Engineer. I learned about the President's Bridge Program wherein foreign countries would donate building materials for bridges. The problem was, even with free bridge parts, the cost of constructing them was expensive because of the specifications of those parts. For example, there are two bridges waiting to be replaced in Adams town. According to the provincial engineer the building materials are ready. In fact, they're already in the bodega. Di pa nila masimulan-simulan yung tulay dahil mahal yung pagkagawa. DAHIL pang-national highway yung design. Eh provincial road lang to. The thing is, the foreign government gave us building materials for a national highway. meaning, pang-national highway din yung cost of constructing. Kaya hindi masimulan-simulan. its too expensive.

I also met the Provincial Legal Officer, the Provincial Population Officer, and the Provincial Welfare Officer. The latter's problem was the lack of any rehabilitation center for troubled teens, battered wives and abandoned senior citizens, despite numerous laws providing for such. As usual, it's all about the money... or the lack thereof.

I paid a visit to the Provincial Budget Officer, the Accountant and the Treasurer. I found out that the province was very dependent on its Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) share. Of the 470 million peso budget of the province, 390 million comes from IRA. Meaning the province only earns 80 million from local resources. Thats a little over 1/4 of the budget. 75% of the province's expenses and projects come from the National Government?! What does that say of decentralization and devolution of powers? How about self-sustenance? Well, we definitely cannot depend solely on dole-outs from Malacanang. We have to make our own income.

I likewise visited the General Services Officer, and the Provincial Warden. I learned that not all has been devolved to the LGUs. For example, the provincial jail is not the only office that handles inmates. There still exists the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), an office of the National Government, that operate its own jail system in the province. Talk about confusion. May sari-sariling jurisdictions mga yan within the province.

I talked to the Provincial Agriculturist and the Provincial Veterinarian. I learned that we don't have enough eggs in the province and that we need to import them. I learned that most dogs in the area have not been given anti-rabies shots and that something has to be done about this before a tourist is bitten.

I learned a lot of things. Obviously, I can't right them all down (for security reasons).

To those who I interviewed, pestered and asked stupid questions, sorry sa istorbo. thank you for patience and your time. God bless our civil servants.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

This Course is Messed Up

I've been teaching in Miriam College since September last year. It all started when my law school blockmate, Joey Tapia, was looking for someone to replace her in her teaching load in Miriam. I had always wanted to teach so when I heard the news I called her up.

I took over her Business Law class. Last 2 weeks of the sem and I was supposed to teach Partnerships and Corporations. 4 classes of 90 minutes each.

Are you serious?!

What happened was we just breezed through those topics (2 separate courses in law school).

In came the 2nd semester and i taught taxation. In law school, tax comprised of Tax 1 and 2. So, here in Miriam's undergrad, okay lang na ipagsama sa isa.

Then this sem came. Back to Business Law. And I'm having a hard time teaching it because there's just so much to teach. Kahit breeze through lang ang hirap. Literally, after every class, i am out of breath.

Can you imagine in one sem I have to teach Obligations and Contracts; Sales; Agency; Partnership; and Corporations?! Even when I was an undergrad, these were separate subjects. Oblicon was 3 units. Sales and Special Contracts was another 3 units. Agency was separate. So was Partnerships. In law school, Corporations was 2 courses. And then here 5 topics in one class!


Right now I'm done discussing Kinds of Obligations. I hope to finish Extinguishment by next week so that I could start with Contracts. I hope to finish oblicon by the end of July so that maka-exam na kami and continue with Sales this August.

I will definitely write a letter to the upper-ups recommending to divide the course into two, or lessen the topics.

Naawa din kasi ako sa class ko eh. Di pa ako nagsasalita nakikita ko nang dumudugo yung tenga.