Wanted: Honest and dedicated barangay officials

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San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan: At a time where multiple cases are filed against government officials for allegedly pocketing at least P10.9 billion of government money from pork barrel and Malampaya fund, voters are thirsting for honest and dedicated public servants even in the barangay level which is the smallest government unit.

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Norma Aliman, Virgilio Capuno, Lolita Capuno and Pol Zabala of Brgy. Narra,  Francisco Homes Subdivision expressed such sentiments right after they casted their votes during the October 28 barangay polls.

Aliman, a Career Executive Service Officer who works in the Civil Service Commission, underscored that more than a stellar academic credentials, barangay officials should not be tainted with corruption and not take their jobs for granted.

“The candidates’ school records do not bear much weight for me. We need to see the results of the taxes that we pay our government so I want is somebody who is honest, would come to work everyday and ensure that services are provided for the residents of our barangay. You can be a cum laude but it doesn’t mean you would make a good public servant,” Aliman, 67, told The Manila Times.

“They should be able to ensure that our barangay is clean from trash, from corrupt officials, from criminals such as drug addicts. The installation of more lights could be the first step. I want to walk in a neighborhood where I feel safe 24/7,” Aliman added.

The 65-year old Virgilio Capuno and his wife Lolita agreed with Aliman, saying that good character is the basic criteria for a barangay official.

“I look at the character of the person. Would this person have enough time to attend to his or her duties in the barangay like participating in meetings and implementing projects that would benefit the community? Our barangay is not very big, so the good thing here is that you already know the character of the people in your neighborhood,” Mr. Capuno, who works in a private company concerning chemicals, said in a separate interview.

“That is why I chose those who are neophtye in politics, but are retired professionals who are still healthy. Since they are now retired, they really have the time to serve. No more familiar names for me this time because I haven’t seen them doing something good for the barangay,” Mrs. Capuno, a retired teacher, added.

The 26-year-old Zabala, for his part, cited that the barangay officials should have the political will to implement curfew for those under 18 years of age and ban people from drinking liquor along the streets and fronting sari-sari stores during the night.

“We need people in the barangay who can do these things to ensure that we have peace and order. But we have to remember that this kind of efficient service starts with officials’ complete attendance during barangay sessions and council meetings,” Zabala, a Criminology graduate, added in closing. LLANESCA T. PANTI

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