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BGLANTE's Advice: "asa man mi mag-agi ana, mayor"
« on: July 16, 2007, 08:36:05 AM »
Written By Boy Guingguing
Publisher of the Bohol Sunday Post

The last elections saw the emergence of new power players in the ranks of mayors and Sangguniang Bayans. The configuration may be in the form of the mayor controlling the SB because they obtain the majority because most of those elected belong to the same party.

There is an uneasy alliance if the mayor has to contend with a wayward SB. This will happen if the SB majority is not of the same party with the mayor's. Or vice versa.

There are exceptional cases where the mayor is left with a minority SB but in the end he managed to win over the hearts and minds of his political enemies. It happened in Tagbilaran at the start of Mayor Dan Lim's term in 2004. Left with only one SP winner in the 10-man slot, Mayor Lim succeeded in implementing his own executive agenda by turning the tables on his hostile SP and won their trust and confidence in the end. It was smooth sailing for Mayor Lim throughout his first term as a result of a cooperative SB.

How he controlled a belligerent SP was one feat Mayor Lim was proud of that any semblance of animosity in the present SP composition is a breeze for the reelected mayor. Knowing his flair for high-powered lobbying, the majority problem of Mayor Lim is just a mere walk in the park. We will not be surprised if the next time we hear all the wayward kagawads fall to the warm embrace of the amiable mayor.

If what happened last week was a portent of things to come where Mayor Lim and his group drew first blood from so-called independent-minded councilors, then they (independent dads) better be ready with Lim's shuttle diplomacy. To our mind "simple seduction" will do the trick if Lim is confronted with the same circumstance.

Even granting that there seems to be a mutual suspicion of bad faith between Mayor Lim on one hand and other kagawads not belonging to the mayor's party on the other, still we believe that he can do it with diplomatic finesse.

One flash point if the mayor-SB relationship turns sour is the division of the spoils. Under the spoil system, it is expected that both the mayor and the SB are presumed to understand the language of equitable sharing of whatever is "due for Cesar is for Cesar's."

One source of side income of both mayor and the SB is the so-called SOP or Standard Operating Procedure. Although it is honored more in whispers than in the open market of government transactions, SOP is a euphemism for kickbacks or commissions courtesy of suppliers who are willing to share his profits of a done deal with any local government.

There are projects and supplies where commissions are due. The supply of choice where commissions are relatively high are medicines and PA and PVC pipes.

If the mayor tells his colleagues in the SB that his priorities are medicines and pipes , the SB should lose no time in investigating. Especially if the mayor says that it's too good to be true. The more the SB will investigate because for sure there's more than meets the eye in the transaction. This Bglante's advice "asa man mi mag-agi ana , mayor. If the mayor says"ako ray mahibawo ninyo, then demand, nganong ikaw ra may mahibawo, mayor, pahibaw-a pod mi".

Trouble begun in a smooth mayor-SB relation when the town executive wants to pocket the SOP all by himself while the SB members are salivating for their part of the action. There are so-called "soloist mayor" and woe unto him if he will be haled to court for graft. He wants to corner everything all by himself and he will languish in jail all by his lonesome if found guilty.

There is no way that the SB can do it alone either. With eight different characters assembled in one policy making body, it is impossible for these people to pull off the SOP rug from under the feet of their mayor.

For a harmonious relation between two SOP-hungry public officials, they should consider themselves as co-equal creatures and therefore entitle to the equitable distribution of the spoils of war.. And they will leave happily ever after if everything is above board in sharing the loot..
The selfish mayor cannot for long go on with his merry ways. Chances are he will have to face a belligerent SB if his own agenda will be tabled for deliberations. It will become a blackmail material so that the mayor will come across if the SB membership senses that there is more than meets the eye in the mayor's money making initiative. So, sharing is the name of the game.

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