A LOYAL follower of Education Secretary Jesli Lapus, taking exception to Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez’ top ten of corrupt government agencies based on the number of cases filed (as of 2007), said it was unfair to put the Department of Education at No. 6 because it happens to be one of the largest in the bureaucracy – 540,000 employees.
Gov. Daisy Fuentes of South Cotabato, whose province is among the Galing Pook “excellence in governance” awardees of 2008, made a wry remark when she and two other awardees appeared at “Bulong Pulungan” at Sofitel last Tuesday. She said “small amounts” (of kickbacks or bribes) are noticed, but when it comes to big money the fat cats get away.
Taguig City’s Mayor Freddie Tinga, looking at co-awardee Pampanga’s Gov. Among Panlilio, emphatically stated that 99 percent of the time politics (of the die-hard kind, I suppose) is behind any recall petition filed against an elected official.
Against the Ombudsman’s Corrupt Top Ten we might then pit Galing Pook’s ten best programs – those “that have gained measurable, positive results, empowered the people and enhanced service delivery.” With a stretch of the imagination we could even add that GP is arguably our own junior version of the RM Awards.
Fifteen people selected by the Galing Pook Foundation hunt for winners among LGUs and NGOs. The search is done without fanfare, the vetting conducted silently and seriously, the winners to be rewarded with a cash prize of P100,000 each. Sure, the amount is barely enough to build half a schoolbuilding, but it’s a start. Besides, neighboring barangays or towns are encouraged to pool resources to realize a dream project.
This year’s winners are Albay; Allah Valley Landscape Development Alliance in Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato; Barangay Sanito in Ipil, Zamboanga; Cotabato province; Marikina City; Pampanga province; Quezon City; San Carlos City; San Fernando City; and Taguig City.
Author: Julie Yap Daza