Knowing and judging our political leaders

A Boholano’s View by Jose “Pepe” Abueva
The Bohol Chronicle
June 7, 2015

How do we know about the performance of our Boholano political leaders and our top national leaders: President B.S. Aquino III and Vice-President Jejomar Binay?

Dili tagna-tagna. Not by guessing, but scientifically, through a reputable social survey organization that conducts an annual poll of the sentiments of Boholanos on social, economic, and political issues of local and national concern. This is the Holy Name University Center for Research and Publications established in 2000. As a fellow of SWS for many years, I know personally that the SWS, led by former U.P. economist Dr. Mahar Mangahas, helped in organizing the HNU survey organization.

Led by Project Manager Ma. Paz Jiminez-Espiritu, the Bohol Poll 2015 (political survey) was conducted by the HNU-CRP from March 26 to April 17, 2015. The public presentation of its report was made on April 28, 2015. The report was carried in the Bohol Chronicle on May 3, 2015. I am depending heavily on the report of the HNU-CRP as published in the Bohol Chronicle. Daghang salamat sa HNU-CRP ug sa Bohol Chronicle! 

Gihigugma nato ang Bohol: “Heart of the islands, truly Philippines!”

Bol-anons care for their home province and are personally and politically conscious as citizens and coprovincianos.  They want their needs and opinions known to their local leaders and local governments. They can also see and feel what their provincial and local leaders do to serve them if they do.

According to the Bohol Poll 2015, Bol-anons are highly pleased with our Governor and Vice-Governor, our Tagbilaran City Mayor, and our three Congressmen.   

But Bol-anons are dissatisfied with President Aquino III and Vice-President Binay.  Bol-anons also care for our whole nation and the National Government. But they see our top national leaders from a greater distance, much less personally, and mostly through their images and reported work, praise, and criticism in the mass media.

Bulahan jud tang mga Bol-anon sa atong mga lider sa probinsya. We should know that Bohol has been noted  “The best governed province” in the Philippines. And Governor Edgar M. Chatto is reputed to be among the best governors of the Philippines. A Galing Pook awardee, he is also chairman of the Central Visayas Regional Council. 

Although I am a non-resident Bol-anon, how do I know Governor Chatto? As a long-time U.P.

scholar on political leadership, and a member of Governor Chatto’s U.P. Advisory Council, I came to know him personally in our several meetings. He is “a sensitive, progressive, modern, and transforming “Servant Leader.” Occasionally, I also attend the Governor’s meetings in Tagbilaran.

Last February I attended a meeting of the Bohol Sangguniang Panglalawigan chaired by Vice-Governor Concepcion Lim to discuss Bohol’s commitment to be “a nonkilling province,” the first province to join the national “Movement for a Nonkilling Philippines.” This was on Governor Chatto’s initiative.

Tagbilaran is now fortunate to be led by City Mayor John Geesnel “BABA” Yap. Angayan na tan-awon, maayo pang magdumala. Maayong laki! 

“Excellent  rating” of Chatto administration. Boholano voters in the provincial survey gave the Governor and Vice-Governor an “excellent” and a “very good” awareness and satisfaction rating. A great majority of Boholanos (88 percent) was satisfied with Governor Edgar M. Chatto’s performance.  This was a net “excellent satisfaction rating of +83, an increase by one from last year’s +82. Only very few (5%) expressed dissatisfaction with Governor Chatto’s performance.

Vice-Governor Concepcion Lim scored a “very good” net satisfaction rating from 73% of Boholano voters,  with  +62 points, an increase by 3 points from +59 in 2014.  

But in controlling Graft and Corruption, almost half of the provincial voters (41%) judged the provincial government as “poor,” with a net satisfaction rating of -14, a loss of 12 points from -2

in 2014. Providing support for the promotion of Agriculture showed the biggest drop of 29 points from last year. The program of ensuring adequate food supply fell short of one-third of Boholano voters.

Although majority (55%) of the voters were satisfied with the efforts to protect the environment, still the net satisfaction rating of +32  considered “good” fell by 20 points from 2014. We should recall that Bohol was buffeted by natural calamities: earthquake, flood, and a month-long blackout that hit the province. Promoting tourism suffered a 24 point drop from +68 to a net satisfaction rating of +44 with a slight majority (62%) satisfied with the government’s effort.

With efforts to protect life and liberty close to half of the voters (49%) showed satisfaction. Promoting investments remained good at +32, despite the 12 point drop from (+44). 

91% “Excellent satisfaction” for Tagbilaran Mayor John Gessnel “Baba” Yap. He went up 20 points from his rating in 2014 in the same citizens’ survey by the HNU-CRP. What an overwhelming majority!  Tagbilaran voters surveyed gave these 2015 ratings to Mayor Yap (2014 ratings are given in parenthesis): (1) Promoting Investments: +51 (+47); (2) Protecting the Environment: +55   (+45); (3) Providing Livelihood Opportunities and Employment: +24 (+25); (4) Traffic Management: +49  (+28); (5) Reducing Graft and Corruption: +6  (-1); (6) Ensuring Adequacy of Drinking Water: +69  (+66); (7) Protecting Life and Property: +36  (+31).

A believer in sincerity, transparency, and accountability in governance, Mayor Yap’s ratings also clearly show his effectiveness in serving his Tagbilaran constituency and uplifting the condition of our capital city of Bohol. 

Our  Congressmen. All three congressmen of Bohol fared well in the 2015 survey. Congressman Arthur Yap, 3rd District, had 74% of his constituents satisfied, the highest satisfaction rating among the three congressmen in the province. The survey showed Congressman Yap leading with net rating of +69, followed by both Congressmen Aumentado and Relampagos with +63. 

Majority of Yap’s constituents remained in the bandwagon Bohol HEART program, citing economic development in the third district, and impressive bills passed in the House of Representatives. [I know him to be approachable, hardworking, and helpful. JVAbueva]  

Congressman Erico Aristotle Aumentado, 2nd District, had 73% of his constituents satisfied with his performance, and 10% dissatisfied. 

Congressman Rene Lopez Relampagos, 1st District, had 70% of his constituents satisfied and 7% dissatisfied. He said:As a public servant, knowing that people appreciate what I am doing fuels me to work harder for the Boholanos. xxx Somehow, it is a validation that I am in the right track and that what I am doing has truly helped the Boholano people improve their lives.” [As chairman of the House Committee on Tourism, Relampagos has high public visibility nationally; and he is well appreciated for his needed impact on tourism in Bohol. [My observation and impression, JV Abueva.] 

President B.S. Aquino III and Vice-President Jejomar “don’t seem good anymore.” This is what the Bohol Chronicle said in reporting the Boholanos’ assessment of their leadership by Bol-anon voters in the 2015 poll by HNU-SRC.

President Aquino’s net satisfaction rating took a plunge of 24 points—from +67 in 2014 to +43 in 2015. Six out of ten (63%) Boholano voters were satisfied with Aquino’s performance, while two out of ten were not satisfied. 

Vice-President Binay’s net satisfaction rating also nose-dived by 39 points from +71 to +32. Majority of the Boholano voters (54%) expressed satisfaction with his performance, while a plurality (22%) were dissatisfied.

 

 

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