By: Ferdz M. Brizo / FB Eye
I am one of those in favor of amending the Constitution, provided that the first action taken is on the political dynasty provision, which should be engraved in the Constitution to prohibit political dynasties. This is one of the most crucial provisions that should have a fixed policy rather than leaving it to Congress, as it has been neglected for 30 years.
The law on Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) may be the reference to prevent third-degree relatives from simultaneously holding office, ensuring that governance is not monopolized by a single family. If this happens, it truly shows the legislators’ concern for the Filipino people, prioritizing the nation’s survival over personal interests.
After 30 years since the Constitution was established, little has been done to address the provision prohibiting political dynasties because it is stated as “as may be provided by law,” leaving Congress with control over how to implement limits on families in governmental posts. I strongly believe that congressmen and senators will not support this, as they would be affected by the restrictions they impose on themselves.
In the Senate, for example, we see the Cayetano and Estrada brothers. If there were a prohibition, such situations would not occur. Even in the current proposals, there is no discussion about fixing the anti-political dynasty provision. The focus is mainly on economic provisions and extending the terms of elected officials.
Tourist arrivals in Catanduanes have increased, according to Provincial Tourism Officer Carmel Garcia. This is a good indication that Catanduanes is thriving in terms of tourist arrivals, and it is hoped that the numbers will continue to rise in 2024 with the help of relevant authorities. A boost in foreign and domestic tourists would greatly benefit economic activity in the province.
However, efforts should be increased to improve tourist spots. It appears that there is more emphasis on promotion than on the actual enhancement of destinations. Tourists should leave satisfied, not with a sense of disappointment.
President BBM mentioned in a meeting with private and government stakeholders that tourists observe a lack of organization in the transportation links to destinations and upon departure. This calls for a unified approach rather than individual bookings and travel contracts. Encouraging travel agencies to offer coordinated packages, including transportation, accommodation, meals, and other attractions, could simplify the process for tourists.
In a political update on the national level, the unity team between the Marcoses and Duterte has disbanded, and each side is now pursuing its own agenda. Was this intentional or not?
In my opinion, it wasn’t planned but emerged due to personal interests, particularly related to the issue of confidential funds. The question is whether unity can be restored. There is always a possibility, but if there are wounds, reconciliation may be challenging, especially on the side of Speaker Romualdez and VP Sara.
If the unity team faces problems, it could be an opportunity for the opposition to strengthen itself, providing alternative senators aligned with Senator Hontiveros and Koko Pimentel. A robust opposition is essential for checks and balances in favor of the Filipino people.
On the local level, it seems that a group is forming within the camp of former Congressman and Governor Jun Verceles to counter Governor Joseph Cua’s group. The question is, does Verceles still hold enough influence to be a kingmaker?
Verceles’ political career in Catanduanes has ended, so he may now serve as a kingmaker or supporter. His past victories include the Sanchez-Cua tandem in 2009 and the Wong-Teves tandem in 2013. Currently, names emerging as possible candidates supported by Verceles include the Sanchez-Rodriguez tandem or Rodriguez-Azanza tandem. Although discussions are ongoing, they are in negotiation to challenge the Cua-Laynes tandem.