Reforms

Reforms occur in every corner of the globe every second, minute, hour or day brought about by the need to improve or change for the better. Reform cut across structure, behavior, policies, systems and procedures in every organization be it government or private. Just like in our country, the focus on drugs, corruption and shift to from unitary to federal government are among the hot issues. Add to this is the brewing controversy on the aggressive behavior of the Chinese government in building structures in the contested islands in the West Philippine Sea.

It was a privilege that I was sent to the Town Hall Meeting with Basic Sectors and Regional Consultation on Federalism held at the Baguio Crown Legacy Hotel last June 26, 2018 to represent the CDA-CAR Office. The battery of speakers that compose the Constitutional Commission took turns in presenting facts and figures that point to the need to reform the existing government structure and make the services and resources nearer to the people. Local officials, academe, national line agencies, civil society organizations, cooperatives, and other stakeholders were invited to take part in the activity. Issued were raised on how autonomy would fit in given the current shift to federalism. Mayor Mauricio Domogan had consistently defended his position that it would be favorable to work for autonomy towards federalism. Several questions were addressed to the Commission and were answered by the members with some inputs from local government officials. While I enjoyed the roadshow on the attempt to change the existing form of government, my expectation to see the proposed amendment to the Constitution was not answered. I realized that maybe the Constitutional Commission would like to take inputs from the participants at the same time campaign for support on the proposed reform based on the presented rationale of the activity.

Further, another opportunity knocked as I was requested to take part in the formulation of some guidelines related to cooperatives. The current move of the CDA to effect better monitoring, supervision and evaluation of cooperative performance led me to Quezon City instead of Bolinao where CDA-CAR conducted its Mid-Year Assessment and Planning. I had no other option but to follow the Special Order and no hurt feelings as both activities are needed to institute reforms. My attendance to Central Office was related to some proposed changes on instruments and forms often used in report generation of cooperative activities. As cooperatives mature and level up in their business operations it was decided by top management on the need to revisit some documents to be appropriate and relevant to the present status of cooperatives.

Reform is important to all of us. During the discussions on constitutional change leading to a new form of government my mind was working hard. I was thinking on how the different leaders with different views on the subject matter succeed in pushing for the needed reforms. To some participants they are still wondering on how federalism will work in their respective areas. The fear of some people to revert back to the old set-up still haunts some local government officials in the Cordillera. In the case of some changes in CDA guidelines, it is still in progress. Common to both situations is the challenge on how to implement the needed reforms given some resistance to change both internal and external.

I do believe that reforms cannot be attained overnight. I consider it as process that needs to be carefully executed to ensure success. As some authors claim, there is no short cut to success. Some people need to persevere before they can install reforms in organizations. The best way to deal with it is to involve everybody. Participation of people from the formulation stage up to the completion is necessary. For all of us to be happy, let us get involved and support the proposed reforms in our country. ADVANCE HAPPY CORDILLERA DAY!

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