CAGAYAN DE ORO City, March 23, 2011â€”Various civil society organizations (CSOs) in Northern Mindanao are expected to present today to President Simeon Benigno Noynoyâ€ C. Aquino III a â€œbattleplanâ€ that they believed will carry forward his campaign promises of â€œchangeâ€ for the betterment of the ordinary Filipino.
A leader of a non-government organization (NGO) in Cagayan de Oro City said that during todayâ€™s Regional Consultation Forum with Civil Society Organizations in Region 10, different CSOs will give the President â€œa piece of their collective mind as well as their disappointment with some of his administrationâ€™s policies and programs.â€
Some of this so-called â€œpiece of their collective mindâ€ that the CSOs will present to Aquino are about transparency, honesty, consultative and participative government, equal and strict implementation of anti-corruption laws in all levels of government, social auditing, implementation of covenants signed with various groups during the campaign period, equitable distribution of goods and services, federalism, creation of an accountability commission, and regular publication of government programs and performance output of all government agencies.
During todayâ€™s consultation at the Pilgrim Christian College Gymnasium, the CSOs will present at least eight (8) issues of consensus by the CSO coalition.
In return, the CSOs want the President to commit to at least three (3) of these issues.
The NGO leader told this reporter on condition of anonymity that some of these recommendations have already been put forward during last Mayâ€™s consultation with CSOs in the city conducted by the People Power Volunteer Center (PPVC) at the Xavier University Center for Industrial Technology (XU-CIT).
PPVC volunteer Geo Ann Hernandez explained that the consultation was held to get the suggestions, comments and issues the people want Aquino to implement during his first 100 days in MalacaÃ±ang.
â€œHindi sa kanyang pagkahalal nagtatapos ang laban kundi dito pa lang nagsisimula (The battle did not end with his election; it has only started),â€ Hernandez said last May.
She said that the results of all the Peopleâ€™s Consultation will be integrated into all the programs that are specifically designed to achieve the peopleâ€™s aspirations and dreams for change.
â€œSa konsultasyong ito malalaman kung ano ang dapat itugon ng administrasyon sa ating mga problema (From this consultation we will know what the administration should do in answer to our problems). These will be used as inputs into the possible programs na maaring makatulong sa pinapangarap nating pagbabago,â€ she said.
But according to the NGO leader, who is also affiliated with the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro (ACDO), most of the recommendations forwarded by the CSOs during the consultations â€œwere ignored and were not even given an honorable mention in his programs and policies.â€
â€œIt is very disappointing that CSOs all over the country helped catapult Noynoy to the presidency only to be left behind in crafting the programs and policies of his administration because most of the programs and recommendations we crafted during the different consultations were not integrated into the Aquino government policies, contrary to what was promised us,â€ he said.
The NGO leader, however, said that despite the disappointment, CSOs still believe and trust the President and that he has the capacity to really implement â€œchangeâ€ in the country.
â€œHe only has to show leadership. He really needs to show he is the leader. But this does not mean that he will not listen to the peopleâ€™s voices, our voices. As what he stressed during his inaugural speech, the Filipinos are his bosses,â€ he said.
He said that the Aquino administration is in a very critical juncture in Philippine history and the President needs all the support he can get from the people who voted for him.
â€œThe battle is not yet over and we will be with him every step of the way towards the change we want this new government to pursue,â€ he said.
He also said that todayâ€™s consultation only shows that the Aquino administration is putting a premium on the peopleâ€™s inputs because the President really likes to fulfill his social contract with the Filipinos.
â€œThis also shows that Aquino is grounded, meaning that he knows his success or failure as President all depends on the active participation of the people or the lack of it,â€ he added. (Bong D. Fabe)