Wednesday, October 10, 2007

100 days as a Magician

My term started on 2 July 2007.
Last 8 October 2007, I celebrated my 1st 100 days in public office.

As a local legislator, I have filed ordinances concerning consumer rights (Exact Change Ordinance); peace and order (Anti-Street Gang Ordinance); animal welfare (Rabies Control Ordinance); and students rights (Anti-Student Fees Ordinance).

I have also initiated resolutions asking Congress to pass a People's Initative Act; a law providing for the elections of Sectoral Representatives; another law empowering local sanggunians to declare Local Public Holidays; and to block HB 2417, postponing the Barangay and SK elections.

I've also sponsored resolutions condemning the brutal killing of a parish priest in Pinili town; and calling for the construction of the Provincial Library.

Likewise, I've lobbied for funding for the local chapter of the Philippine National Red Cross.

But after 100 days, nobody knows about this. Nobody cares about my legislative achievements, the job I signed up for.

Instead, for the past 100 days, people have come to me to pull rabbits out of a magician's hat.

I've been asked to give them jobs.
The best I could do was make recommendation letters and pay for their application to a job-matching firm.

I've been asked to produce mountain bikes, aircons, tents, sports equipment, books, bags of cement, paint, GI sheets, grass cutters, tables and chairs, among others.
I've managed to come up with a couple of items, given the hard time I have with my BDF.

I've been approached to help them win in the barangay elections, like I'm a sorcerer or something and that I could magically make their opponents disappear.
All I could do was stare back at them and thought, if had that power I'd make THEM disappear.

Finally, I've been asked to shit money. People have come knocking on my office asking for money to go home, to pay medical bills, to buy medicine, for their church, to pay the tuition, to pay for lodging, like I have a pocket as deep as the marianas trench.
How many times do I have to tell this people that I'm not a magician?! That I'm no different from them, that I also work to make a living. It's just that I chose to serve the public by being their legislator. My salary is for me. I want to save money for my future family. For my future children's college fund. For my future wife's dream vacation. For my future house.

But people don't care. In their minds, they make no distinction. As long as we voted you, we can squeeze you dry for money, money, money. Nevermind that nowhere in the Local Government Code does it say you have to give us financial aid, and that your primary duty is to legislate. We don't care about that. What's important to us is that you will give us the money we ask! You will pull out rabbits out of your hat! Because we didn't elect a board member. We elected Kris Ablan, the Magician.

1 comment:

mayorjesi said...

yeah. i sympathize. apart from serving the people, i think we should also educate them about what the government's real function is or what's their relationship with the government. people do not know that a board member's primary job is to pass good laws, not really to dole out money. people see government officials like, yeah, magicians, or gods of fortune. click. too bad. government is not about money.

i guess, as young government officials, this is a good thing to do with our fellow youth, of course hand in hand with the schools. it's like preparing them not to behave like the oldies.