THE WORM’S EYEVIEW: How not to make a state-of-whatever report

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/07 August) — There’s been a spate of local executives delivering a State-of-the-Province- City- Municipality (-even Barangay) addresses a la PNoy’s SONA.

It would be so admirable if these so-called status-of-affairs accounts were really bona fide reports to the people, delivered in the proper spirit and perspective.

But they’re not really reports. They’re vanity monologues detailing the failings of the previous administration while highlighting the virtues and achievements of the incumbent one.

Bragging, boasting, crowing about how great the report-giver is and how much greater are his achievements, what’s bad for solidarity in the community is the overdose of condemnatory blaming of the previous officeholder, ascribing every imaginable wrong to him or her, just like PNoy did in the case of Gloria during his first SONA . But in the case of our local government executives, their report sounds like an out-of-season campaign speech. At least PNoy can no longer run for re-election.

In any case, such was the “State of the Province Address” the other day of Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny “Bambi” Emano, son of defeated Cagayan de Oro Mayor Vicente “Dongkoy” Emano—who’s jobless now but, in a bid to stay at center stage, got his son to appoint him consultant at the capitol.

Conjuring up the pomposity of Dongkoy (no mean demagogue and theatrical speaker himself), Bambi delivered a “report” consisting mostly of his claims of “achievement” including the petty, the insubstantial, and the downright partisan.

Such “State-of-Whatever” reports reveal more about the speechmaker’s mental condition and character than about the jurisdiction’s social, political, or economic state of affairs.

Like a typical trapo’s campaign speech, Bambi’s “report” nitpicked the record of the previous administration, poured venom on its achievements, and belittled its programs.

Expressed in language calculated to project him well in advance of the 2016 re-election campaign, the report insulted the intelligence of the people of the province in its presumption that they’re stupid enough to fall for his unseemly out-of-season bragging.

Poor fellow, Bambi didn’t realize how it projected him as a mean, petty, and inveterate fault-finder, exposing him and his team as power-greedy trapos.

What is inexplicable is the fawning sycophancy of vice governor Joey Pelaez who lends his illustrious family name to the Emano Mafia family. Is he so desperate for recognition?

In any case, there they were, looking like a ragtag bunch of insurgents desperate to social recognition. It’s pathetic how trapos can strike a self-righteous pose and wallow in the illusion of unsurpassed achievement without being self-conscious about it as they grandstand before an audience of sycophants who readily applaud on cue. Like father, like son!

And so a bystander can only grin and bear it as he listens to a litany of “achievements.” With all the millions at the disposal of these trapos, of course there are bound to be some achievement! No big deal there.

Perhaps someone should produce a manual on how to prepare a State-of-Whatever-Report: what to highlight so it’s informative and instructive; what to avoid or omit so it’s not off-putting or boring; and, not least, what to say about the future so it will be a guide or road map as well as a message to inspire and move people to unite behind government and work in solidarity.

Status reports should not make people feel they are being treated to the usual self-serving campaign speech of a power-greedy trapo! It should be inspirational, unifying, and uplifting; not obnoxious, petty, or condemnatory.

Bambi’s report, like his father’s croaking monologues on radio, made as if he’s God’s gift to the people of Misamis Oriental, the greatest, and not likely to be surpassed in achievement—not especially by someone who looks like an Oscar Moreno!

How many such self-glorifying reports have you heard or soon will hear in the many government units of our dysfunctional republic?

Manny is former UNESCO regional director for Asia-Pacific; secretary-general, Southeast Asia Publishers Association; director, development academy of Philippines; member, Philippine Mission to the UN; vice chair, Local Government Academy; member, Cory Govt’s Peace Panel; awardee, PPI-UNICEF outstanding columnist. He is president/national convenor, Gising Barangay Movement Inc.