THE fiasco that marred the distribution of the P1,000 monthly allowance for students at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) is an isolated case that scarred what was otherwise a perfect system and approach being implemented by all city officials in Manila when it comes to providing city-sponsored assistance to the residents since the pandemic began.
Mayor Isko Moreno, Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna and all the city officials down the line, have been doing everything humanly possible to make the lives of Manilans more bearable, if not totally easier, in these trying times, by letting the people know and feel that they have the city government behind them all the way, giving support and not letting go.
As we all know, Mayor Kois had ordered the simultaneous distribution of all city-sponsored allowances for the senior citizens, persons with disabilities, K-12, solo parents and students from the PLM and the Universidad de Manila (UdM), with the sole intention of giving the residents something to spend in time for Christmas either for themselves, their parents or their families.
The good mayor has also said he wants Manilans to feel assured that there are better days ahead and that there is hope, as long as the city government is there for them.
The simultaneous distribution of such allowances are being carried out effectively, swiftly and very orderly by assigned departments, bureaus and offices. Among those directly involved are the Office of Senior Citizens’Affairs (OSCA) headed by Marjun Isidro, social welfare department under Re Fugoso, the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau under its chief Dennis Viaje and the two city-run universities—PLM and the UdM.
Mayor Kois lamented that while these distributions have been ongoing all at the same time since the pandemic began, it is only now that it hit a snag, with what happened at the PLM under its president Emmanuel Leyco.
The mayor, in his live, public address, thanked and congratulated UDM president Malou Tyquia and all her staff, for the orderly and smooth delivery of the said financial assistance for the UDM students.
From that very happy note, Mayor Kois’ face turned melancholy when he took the same opportunity to apologize for what happened in the case of the PLM, headed by Leyco.
Repeatedly, the good mayor categorically said sorry to the students and their parents, assuring them that he had read all their posts and complaints over social media and did not mince words to take full responsibility, although what happened was totally out of his hands, since he had delegated the distribution of the students’ P1,000 monthly allowance to Tyquia and Leyco themselves. It was therefore up to them to establish a system and ensure that it is done properly.
It is such a wonder why Tyquia was able to accomplish the distribution without any hitches and Leyco was not.
By the way, Leyco is yet to issue a categorical public apology over the confusion which left the students super tired and hungry after lining up for hours. Parents, on the other hand, got worried for their children who went home late, since the processing went on into the night.
When things became chaotic at the PLM and the matter was brought to his attention, Mayor Kois immediately stepped in. He asked city treasurer Jasmin Talegon to make the city cashiers stay on and finish processing the students who bore the long queues owing to a botched system.
A colleague’s daughter told me via text message: “Hindi namandaw kasi ma-access ‘ýung CRS (computerized registration system). Kung ma-access man, di rin maka-upload ng docs kasi nagka-crash. ‘Yung students sumunod lang sa schedule nila kung anong araw pupunta base sa surname. Example, a b c surnames Wednesday, ‘yung ibang letra ibang araw din, kaso di natatapos i-serve ung for the whole day at pinababalik nila the next day, eh ung next day ibang letter surname na naman kaya humahaba pila at yung pumila the day before, pila again.. kaya inaabot ng more than five hours bago makakuha ng allowance… kaya kailangan may baon ka para di ka malipasan gutom.” OMG. Anyare?
It’s situations like this that makes one curious to find out whether the one put in charge is indeed, qualified for his post.
In the case of Leyco and all other university presidents, the basic qualifications they need to possess are doctorate degree (Ph.D.) or Ed.D. (Doctor of Education) and substantial administrative and academic experience as dean, vice president or chancellor of a university, among others. If one does not have at least one of what I mentioned, then he or she should have the decency to leave and give the post to someone who is qualified.
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