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.
 

LEADERS will have to take hold of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in light of the recent Basilan and Cotabato ambushes because the perpetrators are said to be young recruits of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) with which we have a standing peace agreement. This does not augur well since we are already on the last mile if you will go with the implementation of the peace process. Still, the list of codes passed by the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, or BTA, will have to be subjected to a midterm audit, which should have been done first before rearranging the composition of the second parliament of the BTA which was inaugurated last September 2022, with the President himself going to Cotabato City for the ceremonial opening.

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THE peace process for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) was settled in 2017 with the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (Republic Act [RA] 11054 or BOL) and the plebiscite in 2019. Then RA 11593 extended the transition to 2025.

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IN this day and age of technology and digital platforms, community feedback is important to feel government's care for constituents. Before even considering digitization for the whole bureaucracy, it is critical that a feedback mechanism be in place. Complaints and feedback are a community engagement hub; without it, the people/taxpayers who are customers are not part of governance. With the hub, it helps government understand what is working well, whether changes need to be made and makes the people/taxpayers feel that they are important to the administration in power.

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AFTER divisiveness in the latter part of the Aquino-Binay term and years of antagonizing the chief ex-ecutive officer of PH Inc. from 2016 to 2022, it seems that in the first 100 days, a common working front is felt. We can see cooperation and teamwork between President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. (PBBM) and Vice President Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio (VPSZDC). The VP knows her place and there is no upstaging happening in the first 100 days.

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WHAT is the plan of the country in reopening the economy? Is it tourism? Or maintain the perennial drivers: OFW and BPO? Do we remain a service economy, a creative economy or do we decide to provide first for the 110 million Filipinos with life sustenance before we even dream of being an industrial nation.

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The Presidential Communication Team, composed by the attached agencies of Office of the Press Secretary, has a crucial role in cascading the vital information to different government agencies from national to local level. Its communication apparatus is weakened by the advocacy of prioritizing vloggers than mainstream. Thus, the government network must fulfill its primal duty for the people: to deliver information and provide updates, especially during calamities as trust and accountability are valuable assets in communication.

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IN a landscape of toxicity and mistrust, how do you begin to govern? First is putting together a team of professionals whose sole purpose in recruitment is to be of assistance to the leader, to provide systems and approaches to solve problems, to work as a team so the leader can attend to the macro needs while the details are ironed out.

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THERE are several loose ends in the sudden decision of the Senate blue ribbon committee to end its inquiry into the sugar importation mess. Its committee report — released last September 8, with 14 of the 17 members signing the report and a dissenting vote from Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel 3rd — recommended the filing of anti-graft, anti-agricultural smuggling charges and a count of usurpation, against the four individuals who signed the questionable SRO 4. The sudden reversal of what appeared to be a mess left some critical loose ends: delegated authority issued by the executive secretary last July 15, 2022, the demurrage, the status of Agriculture undersecretary/chief of staff Leocadio Sebastian.

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THE country's 17th president delivered a good inaugural, a SONA that focused more on economics, put together an eight-point social agenda, and presented a budget message to the House of Representatives when the executive branch submitted its National Expenditure Program (NEP).

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"Since the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) was passed into law, achieving peace has been the ultimate goal of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro. This forged bureaucratic institution, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAP), known now as Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (Opapru), oversees the peace process and development in the Bangsamoro region. The Bangsamoro people aspire to return to their state of desired quality of life, participating economically and politically. Working together to achieve peace is fundamental to attain economic and political rights for an inclusive and developing Bangsamoro region."

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MUCH has been done at the feet of political campaigns. In order to win, branding and positioning are tools of the craft that have often used to capture the imagination of the voters. The 2016 elections taught us why authenticity was important because with it, candidates became close to the voters by being themselves; less luster and brilliance but appearing or sounding like voters gave candidates the chance to open the door and leave it ajar as the campaign progressed. Problems have croppped up when candidates positioned themselves according to some preconceived packaging so that the brand could shine or be made better. But fitting it to the candidate is the challenge. That is why some would rather be presented as is with less retouching and just plain persona. That is one of the strategies of PRRD that will have an influence in May 2022: who is authentic?

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A PRESIDENTIAL candidate once said that positions should not be inherited (hindi pinamamana). This mayor thought it would be a clear contrast and an early dig at a sitting president. If you look at the Philippines and other countries, there are dynastic influences whether at the national or local levels. Dynasties also fall because the nature of elections is one person, one vote. There are good and bad dynasties too. And that is what separates Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio from the rest of the kids of politicians: she does not want to be with her father in an election contest. It's either her or the father. It's her team or none. It's her way of running things or she walks away. Clearly, Duterte-Carpio does not want to be defined by anyone. Duterte-Carpio is her own person, and that is why today, she is not a presidential candidate.

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