Monday, May 3, 2010

Philippine DSWD Cards

WHEN local politicians threaten to de-list you from the government's premier subsidy program for indigents, if only to wrest from you a pro-vote for him, he is bluffing.

In fact, if he has replaced some beneficiaries from the list to accommodate his supporters, he can be warned for usurping the authority of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD); the agency mandated to implement the Pantawid sa Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

An advisory shared by the DSWD hints that local governments could not do that as the project implementation cost of the program solely comes from the national government.

"No amount of money is given to the provincial and municipal levels for the implementation of the program," the advisory states.

But with the government socialized family subsidy as a rich source of support that can be translated to votes, chief executives wittingly use the program to gain the edge in campaigns.

The 4Ps is a National Government program implemented by the DSWD, the social agency asserts.

By such, it is solely the DSWD who is responsible in undertaking the program's major activities including selection and targeting of areas and the enumeration and identification of potential household beneficiaries through the Proxy-Means Test.

Proxy means test is a simple statistical test to measure the socio-economic condition of the household and the National Household Targetting System undertakes this, DSWD said.

The same agency is looking into the enrollment and monitoring of compliance of the program's conditionalities as well as preparing the payments and release of cash grants directly to the 4Ps beneficiaries in coordination with the Land Bank of the Philippines.

Over this, the DSWD averred that the Local Government Units (LGU's) are just partners in the program implementation and are specifically responsible in ensuring the constant availability of supply-side requirements on health and education.

The DSWD would also be ensuring the effective implementation of 4Ps in their respective localities using all the systems, procedures, and components of the program based on the 4Ps policies and guidelines set by the DSWD National Office.

With this, DSWD warned about de-listing, replacement, and addition of areas or beneficiaries as this is as a task solely for the DSWD National Office and are therefore not in the powers of the local governments.

For details, DSWD said one may call the Regional 4Ps Information Officer Aileen Lariba (0917-381-5555) at tel nos. 2329505 / 2329507 or Asela Bella Tse (0905-403-0386) for related inquiries. (PIA-Bohol) 

Bohol Election Update 2010

All roads will lead to the clustered precincts in the 1,109 barangays in 47 towns, where thousands of registered voters will troop to savor the first poll automation next Monday even as the Commission on Elections is now ready to conduct the synchronized elections.

Nobody knows yet how many of the total 732,696 registered voters in Bohol will cast their votes on Monday. But some sectors believe that it would be higher than the last elections.

The Comelec provincial office yesterday bared that the official ballots have already been completely delivered to the municipalities while the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines for every clustered precinct have yet to be sent to their destinations.  

Comelec information officer-designate Joven Beniga said that PCOS machines will be delivered sometime this week or as early as tomorrow after their testing.

These machines for the first time of election automation are being tested by the Smartmatic and the Department of Science and Technology last week.

Beniga said that the official ballots and the PCOS arrived here last Wednesday. The poll agency started the delivery the official ballots to their destinations for three days - Wednesday to Friday but the PCOS were not because of the mandatory testing. So far, there have been no hitches on the testing, he said.

In-charge of the official ballots delivery is the Air21 and Fedex while those of the PCOS the Argo forwarder, Beniga said.

He said that the delivery of the ballots was escorted and closely guarded by the deputized police officers and the Philippine military men. The same situation will take place on the delivery of the PCOS machines this week.

It will be recalled that Comelec Manila completed ahead of the schedule the printing of more 50 million official ballots needed for the entire registered electorate in the country.

Meanwhile, the campaign will end on May 8, 2010. in accordance with the Comelec ruling. (RVO)

Update Philippine Elections 2010

With barely nine days left before the historic May 10 polls, Bishop Leonardo Medroso rallied the 1.1 million Boholanos to bend their knees in prayers for enlightenment and guidance in selecting the candidates they will vote on Election Day.

Bishop Medroso echoed the call together with the clergy during a prayer procession and mass held at the Cogon Shrine last Wednesday.

The call came as a 9-day novena prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate heart of Mary started yesterday and will wind up on May 9, eve of the election.

The church official said with the unabated corruption in governance, the electorates should carefully select their chosen candidates whom they think can make a difference in the call for clean governance.

"Each vote is sacred," he said as he reminded voters to check every candidate as to their integrity and capability to run the affairs of governance from the presidency down to the local officials.

"Everyday should be a day of prayer in the lips of every Boholano," the bishop appealed as this is the only way that the right leaders can be elected.
With the expected massive vote buying and intimidation in some areas, the more people should pray for the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, the church official stressed.

"We should elect people who are not corrupt and those bets who advocate pro-life," he said.

Medroso led the concelebrated mass which capped the prayer-procession that gathered parishioners from four jump-off points, namely St. Joseph cathedral, Lourdes Parish Church, Tubod chapel and at the HNU-Dampas gate.

Prayers and hymns were recited from the studio of station dyRD, beamed through the city streets.

The prayer procession and mass bannered the theme "Inubanan sa Pag-Ampo, Botohi ang Kandidato nga Ligdong ug Dunay Kakayahan nga Pinili sa Imong Nalamdagan nga Konsensya" (With prayers, vote for the right candidates based on your enlightened conscience).

The gathering of the faithful participated by various church-mandated organizations was spearheaded by the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (BCBP).

Philippine Election 2010 Issues

The electorate voiced out their sentiments regarding their most dreaded fears in next Monday's national and local elections.

Harassment or intimidation done by incumbent politicians and their men topped the "fear factor" of the electorate during a random survey conducted yesterday by the top-rated Radyo Merkado," over dyRD.

The independent weekly radio survey asked its listeners on the "things they fear would happen come Election Day?"

Some 34% of the respondents said harassment of voters would be the most dangerous thing expected to happen in the May 10 polls.

Majority of the respondents who noted harassment as their first fear, cited the dreaded City Task Force created by Mayor Dan Lim in the city which will be used as his private army and goons to demand votes from the electorate during the May 10 elections.

Twenty-two percent of those who fear "harassment on election day" as the primary concern cited the well entrenched members of the dreaded task force in the city who are already assigned in the city's 15 barangays. In fact, their mobility is already assured after Mayor Lim purchased "spider cabs for them" since he created the group which he called as the City Monitoring Team.

Even during the campaign trail, supporters of mayoralty bet Jose Antonio Veloso already reported of harassment made by the Task Force members to those who will attend his nightly caucus in the barangays.

Propaganda materials of congressional bet, former Gov. Rene Relampagos and mayoralty bet Veloso were ordered detached by task force members from tricycle units amid threat they will not be renewed of their city hall permits.

Veloso, during a radio interview, said the intimidation will even worsen on Election Day. He forecast that the task force members will be tapped by the mayor to block some of their supporters from going to the precincts which Lim did in the previous elections.

Some respondents, on the other hand, also expressed fear of the worsening intimidation in some towns in the second district in the congressional race contested by Gov. Erico Aumentado and Trinidad mayor Judith Cajes, wife of last-termer solon Roberto Cajes.

The survey showed that next to harassment, the electorate expects massive vote buying on Election Day. Some 29 percent of the respondents cited vote buying as a major election violation which is expected to be at its peak on the eve of and on the Election Day itself.

As of this time, the town of Loay was reported to have the most "expensive" vote buying which already started during the campaign trail. The mayoralty race is contested by re-electionist Mayor May Lim-Imboy and Willy Flores of Alona Kew Resort.

Some respondents revealed that special operations locally called as "pusil" will also be applied during Monday's election in the hotly contested mayoralty races in the city and towns.

"Pusil," according to the informant-respondent is done by tough guys supporting the mayoralty bet who will intimidate household members not to vote, and at the same time, will dole out few thousands of pesos in exchange for their compliance of their request for them not to go to their voting precinct.

Nine percent of the respondents in the radio survey expressed fear for computer malfunction and possible power interruption on Election Day up to the counting of votes.

Other concerns of respondents on election: insistence of some party leaders to expose the voters ballots through "internal agreement", lack of transportation in the hinterlands and a possible people power in the event the so-called "people's choice" might not win in the electoral counting.