PolWonk is a conjugation of three words policy, political and wonk which, in various aspects have been associated with the career and training she had over the years. PolWonk sums up her interests and advocacies. It is a weekly column, appearing every Fridays, in The Lobbyist

PolWonk is a conjugation of three words policy, political and wonk which, in various aspects have been associated with the career and training she had over the years. PolWonk sums up her interests and advocacies. It is a weekly column, appearing every Fridays, in The Lobbyist.
 

TODAY, crisis and turmoil are the new norms rather than the exception. War and terrorism are just part of the challenge. New companies, even industries, rise and fall faster than ever, elected officials no longer have a 100 day honeymoon before they start to lose voter confidence, and in the age of 24/7 news cycle, “breaking news” is ever present.” This was how Marco Cacciotto, chairman of the 47th Annual World Conference of the International Association of Political Consultants or IAPC summed up the theme Eternal Crisis: “Political Consulting in Changing Times,” which took place in the eternal city of Rome, Italy last 17-19 November.

It did not have a pejorative meaning but after its initial utterance, the question, “what are we in power for?” has always been the norm from administration to administration in justifying acts of omission or commission by incumbents.  Jose Avelino, the first Senate President of the Third Republic and a Liberal, asked the question then.

Recently, the Aquino cabinet met to have a compact that they will work doubly hard in the next 20 months.  They called it a Performance Pledge.  

How would one level the playing field with the Aquino administration actively endorsing their candidate hence loading the bases?  

We are three (3) weeks away from the anniversary of Yolanda and almost two months since the plan rushed by Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery Panfilo Lacson.  Lacson submitted to BSA3, last 1 August 2014, the PHP170.9 Billion Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan (CRRP) for communities devastated by Typhoon Yolanda.

My previous column focused on convergence and 2016. Convergence is the fusion of traditional and new media platforms. The point I was trying to make was that a candidate for 2016 cannot just focus on traditional media because of the psychographics of Filipino voters. 

Will the Speaker and the Majority Floor be spooked or would they rise up to the challenge and limit the debate on economic provisions? Truly a defining hour for Belmonte and Gonzales.  Let us see if they can wrestle with the spooks!

2016 should be a search for a leader who must be willing and able to “define reality with great clarity; engender trust by demonstrating a disciplined commitment to the selected strategies to make things better and provide more opportunity.” A lot of this can get lost in the fog of winnability.

If you defend a department during plenary debates, you get to get some extra projects within the department. If you stall plenary debates on departments or make it hard to get a department budget approved on plenary, then the legislator is asked what she or he wants and that is often given to her or him to get budget approved, a straight quid pro quo.

Why did I went through the various Budget Messages?  Because I wanted to give context in reviewing the PDAF cases and DAP.  After all, PDAF was a pillbox thrown to few and selected legislators while DAP was the reverse.  The Supreme Court caught the Executive  juggling funds.

If DAP was in good faith, it should have been in any of the 2011, 2012 and 2013 Budget Messages. There was no DAP but you can see some components of it in 2012 and 2013. What is clear is that there was no policy or program.

The only thing they missed out was DAP is all about trust. When trust is gone it would be hard to govern and manage. When trust is eroded, every act is suspect.