New DILG chief, MANUEL A. ROXAS II

Fresh from the oven news that DoTC Sec. Mar Roxas will replace the DILG post relinquished by the the late Sec. Jesse Robredo was confirmed last night by the Palace. Well, congratulations to Sec. Roxas. With reservations however, I am afraid of him being compared to the late DILG Secretary.

Robredo was noted for being an incognito worker– that is doing his job outside the limelight of cameras. In fact, DILG Memorandum Circular 2012-28 that proscribed putting any picture or name of any person in signage over government projects (which regrettably, contravenes the practice of our officials, both local and national) was implemented by Robredo.

Many, uncounted by the fingers, are guilty of breaking that memo. What about “Mr. Palengke”?

When I visited Roxas City last month, I was not surprised to see Mar Roxas’ face in a tarpaulin showcasing the different awards received by the city government of Roxas, for 2011. Not mentioning that Mar is a grandson of the late president Manuel Roxas, and son of former senator Gerry Roxas, who hails from the said capital of the province of Capiz, thus the name. Why I say I was not really surprised is due to the fact that I have had seen, not a few times, of officials, lawmakers themselves, who are likewise lawbreakers of the abovementioned DILG memo.

With that, we have to note that one of the DILG functions is to “advise the President in the promulgation of policies, rules, regulations…”. However, the advisers must also be the initiator in abiding to these policies. Thus the old adage saying, “You cannot be a leader, and ask other people to follow you, unless you know how to follow, too.” Leaders, so to speak. Not cheerleaders.

WHAT MEMO? Faces of Roxas City Mayor with Sec. Roxas and PNoy in a tarpaulin in front of the Roxas City Hall.

Alongside, I am afraid that as a DoTC secretary, Roxas has not, thus far, proved something extraordinary in his department. In fact, one of his former endorsers, the respected writer columnist Boo Chanco turned out to be critical with him. In a national paper, Chanco wrote, “I am totally sorry and admit to have been mistaken for thinking Mar would be a good DoTC Secretary. Mar is such a big disappointment.” Moreover, Chanco noticed the inept managerial dexterity of Roxas. He further pointed out that “Trying to win back his old Senate seat will be the best thing for Mar. Being a senator does not require managerial abilities, something Mar is proving he has little of”.

With the DILG’s vision to be a primary catalyst for excellence in local governance that nurtures self-reliant, progressive, orderly, safe and globally competitive communities sustained by God-centered and empowered citizenry, it indeed needs a management deftness-extraordinaire. With Roxas’ performance as DoTC secretary, what will happen to DILG? But as they always say, let us wait for him to prove something. Wait? Until when?

The same question asked when the president assigned Roxas as DoTC secretary will whoosh again: is he (re)appointed because PNoy is indebted to Roxas for giving way during the 2010 presidential elections?

Then again, PNoy must put in top of his head, the sentiments and interests of his bosses- the people.

With this, I am feeling better.

Or am I failing better?