A whooping 13,000 applicants vying for jobs with the local government of Muntinlupa…… and judging by the manner in which they have responded, JRF’s team got caught with their pants down.
The fact that the previous administration did everything they can to make Mayor Fresnedi’s life as hellish as ever for the next 3 years, in so many ways ranging from the most petty such as unattended garbage at Pacwood compound (which until now is wreaking havoc to the noses of residents at Villa Carolina and nearby areas), to the more important such as leaving the city’s treasury bare and debts amounting to hundred millions of pesos, has literally escaped the consciousness of many Muntinlupenos.
One of the most evident anomalies in local governance is that in an election year, the mayor-elect assumes office in July, 6 months after the current budget has been in operation, a not that serious of a concern if the outgoing and incoming mayors are from the same political party which is more often not the case.
JRF did not run for mayor blindly, he knows what and who he went up against and surely is aware that the next 3 years would not be a walk in the park. But for whatever reason, the magnitude of the mess that he inherited boggles the mind of even the more simpletons amongst us.
For the next 6 months, this administration is left holding the bag empty as it is which brings us to the question of – where is the money?
INTERNAL REVENUE ALLOTMENT (IRA)
The Internal Revenue Allotment or IRA will continue to be a dependable source of funds. This is our share from the national government released every quarter of the year (still close to 40% of 300 million plus).
Already a work in progress based on recent pronouncements from City Hall, covering tax amnesty for real property tax and business permit taxes and fees due to the local government. This measure would need a City Council resolution or ordinance declaring the amnesty and duration. Score 1 for JRF
LOCAL GOVERNMENT BONDS
Ra 7160 authorizes the City Government to float bonds as an alternate source of funds. These can be offered to civic-minded but wealthy individuals, groups or corporations. These are short or long-term instruments of indebtedness that the present administration should not ignore.
PRIVATE-PUBLIC PARTNERSHIPS (3Ps)
3Ps need not be in multi-million peso projects. Experience in many developing countries show partnerships between the private and public sector are successful in even simple barangay-based projects.
Economic enterprises are LGU- administered facilities where services that require direct payments for its use – samples of which are public markets, satellite public markets, transport terminals and more recently as a growing trend in many LGUs – local hospitals.
Quality health and medical care is not a monopoly of privately-owned hospitals in terms of personnel, services and equipment. Many public hospitals now offer medical services for those with money and are charged accordingly but still at competitive rates.
There are many others such restructuring of the loans from DBP and LBP, these initiatives can be acted upon by JRF’s team now that cash flow is a serious concern and being espoused now and again by those who are supposedly in the know as one of the major reasons for the difficulties facing JRF and his team.
At the end of the day what is important is that the administration comes up with a rational response to the number of mumblings heard all around. Politics in the Philippines has always been one of patronage, whom-you-know and not what-you-know.
We can’t blame the administration for giving priority to loyal supporters using its own particular brand of patronage as its yardstick to measure who gets what first, but come to think of it, even these supporters themselves have their own perceptions and tools to measure the corresponding response of the present occupants of City Hall and anything that deviates from these even though how small can be treated as an outright let-down.
The word on the street nowadays is that even known Aldrin supporters were able to squeak past through the cordon of yellow guardsmen in the run up for positions at City Hall.
Blood is thicker than water others would say, but in this case blood is indeed thicker than politics.