It is very seldom that the two local government helmsmen find time to attend in our school’s GPTA assembly. So with all the nerves and excitement, we mustered all the courage we have in order to have a slick meeting so that important concerns are given priorities.
Our guidance counselor – designate tried her best to emphasize the collective role of parents and teachers in bringing out the best in our school children. Her brief yet provocative talk focused on the vital role of the school and the home in molding our learners to be productive members of the society. Thinking aloud, I couldn’t help myself telling Miss Joan and the rest of the staff, including Madam Annie, our school head, how Mam Bing persuasively discussed her topic like a DSWD officer.
Mam Cho, on behalf of Miss Charm presented the school’s miscellaneous fee, emphasizing the authorized collection as stipulated in DepEd Order No. 65, s 2010.
Mrs. L. H. Dominguez, the former GPTA Treasurer (SY 2009 – 2010) gave a detailed report on the monetary expenses and fiscal standing of the association. Although a bit uneasy as manifested in her gesture [probably because of stage fright], she was able to present a credible financial report before the body. Brgy. Coun. M. H. Labini, the former GPTA President also gave an update on the [ongoing] project initiated under her administration.
I, on the other hand, apart from serving as the assembly’s emcee talked on the importance of the student body in developing the independence and leadership capabilities among the students. I was re-designated as the adviser of the school’s Supreme Government Organization.
Significantly, for the very first time since our new school head assumed her post, she practically met most, if not all, of the parents of our schoolchildren. Having a very vibrant personality and a contagious buoyant aura, it was unsurprising that the parents liked her. Her sense of humor has kept the group unflustered despite the inconvenient setting agitated by the venue’s lack of ventilation and the unstable weather condition that day.
As usual, the parents were indulgent and generally positive of what transpired during the meeting. Questions pertaining some issues surfaced out and they were addressed accordingly.
Although it was not the first time that the school has called for a GPTA assembly with prominent personalities around, the meeting turned out almost inimitable because of the affair’s protagonists and the reasons of their presence.
I’ve learned that the mayor was raring to be present in our school’s GPTA assembly. I believed he’s taking every opportunity to converse with his constituents regarding his administration’s agenda; thus, he took advantage of events like GPTA assembly. I was right.
The good mayor’s prolonged talk kicked off with a thankful note for his electoral victory. Then with his almost monotonous pronouncement, he reiterated the platform of government of his administration. The sectors of health, education and environment were the core of his priorities.
As a seasoned political leader, he never hesitated to swank on his desire to uphold a transparent government in the local level. In fact, he had a very straightforward talk on crucial issues pertaining to the past administration specifically in its expenditure and obligations (i.e. the 500K + arrears for the LGU’s electrical consumption for a number of months).
Challenged by the shortfall of budget, the mayor positively assured the body that the LGU will get through with the present situation. He even mentioned that he was never fearful of the crisis, as he put it, ‘I love challenges… pagkaon ini kan sakong pagkatawo [challenges serve as the food of my personality]. Affirmative outlook!
Then the tone altered untowardly. As expected, the mayor began delving on an issue related to the operations of the barangay water system. He wanted the barangay chairman (who was also present) to clarify on some important points relevant to the issue. Though he stressed that it was ‘immoral, unethical, and inappropriate’ for the matter to be brought out during the assembly since the body has convened, after all, for reasons parallel to the concerns of the school.
Obviously, the mayor was up for something. He sought for explanations. So did the parents who were around… As member consumers, they needed enlightenment.
As the assembly’s emcee, I asked the chairman if he needed to respond too soon just after the mayor ended his talk. He said he would just follow the order of program we prepared. He was scheduled to talk before the GPTA President delivers his closing message.
I was about to introduce the next speaker when the mayor insisted that he needed to hear the chairman’s message (or perhaps, response). Wait, I was the emcee and as far as I know I and my fellow teachers arranged the order of the meeting. The mayor was [just] a guest (to be technically correct – a visitor, for he made himself invited during the meeting when our school head had a courtesy call in his office). ‘Let’s hear the message of the barangay captain,’ said the mayor.
I was tensed. The GPTA assembly resembled more of a barangay assembly. ‘Ok’, I said to myself, ‘the issue involves the parents and they are the affected consumers’. Period.
I complied with the mayor’s desire.
I introduced the chairman and the latter began talking. It was also a lengthy impromptu speech.
The chairman’s talk was sentimental yet objective. He started his talk on the reason why he ventured in the political arena and his ambitious plans for his barangay and his people. Perhaps, for the very first time before a large crowd, he bares his intention of not running during the 2010 barangay elections (if pushed through). He wanted to give Behianos the best of three year he can offer.
He also tried giving a rejoinder to what the mayor has previously spoken. Needless to say, the not-so-detailed clarification didn’t satiate the mayor’s query. In fact, the latter plead before the body to defer the scheduled barangay assembly [called for the same purpose] the following day. The GPTA assembly seemed to be a prelude of the event that has to unfold the next day.
Immediately after the chairman’s talk, the mayor left. I hoped he should have stayed longer so that he, too, just like the chairman, could have pledged assistance on the rehabilitation of the school’s dilapidated multi-purpose building. It was obvious that he took advantage of the event to deliver his ‘state of the town’ address, disclosing the lapses of the past administration and his plans to combat the fiscal paucity inherited by his administration. Nevertheless, his message was clear – he wanted reform in the local government. His high regard for transparency was something to look forward to for the next three years.
I understood, these two leaders are not political allies basing on the political party affiliations they have had during the May 10 Elections. But I was grateful that they were very civil with each other during the meeting especially in their exchange of views. Most importantly, both were not egocentric… It was verbally apparent that the interests of their constituents take precedence over their political intentions.
The GPTA assembly almost transpired as a political rally since most of the instances was devoted on heeding to the speeches of these political leaders. We didn’t arse around over nothing – that’s one thing for sure.