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ROUGH CUTS | Why the Al-ags are sure winners

Vic N. Sumalinog

ONE of the reasons why some candidates find it very hard to connect with the voters is their inability to effectively communicate the message they want to impart to them. By communication, we mean that it is not just the gift of tongue or articulateness in delivering their words.

     Selling oneself to the electorate comes in many aspects and not just a good voice or neatness in appearance. Even in identifying projects or presenting programs, it is not just the way to present them to the people that helps the candidate connect to the prospective supporters. Choosing the right projects either immediately implemented or committed to be undertaken, plays a key role in giving the people the idea that the aspirant deserves to be their right choice.

     Yes, for a time we have to ponder on one phenomenon that we struggled to get some answers to. We are referring to the nagging question of many from the third district why anyone from the Al-ag family always ends up in the top 3 or 4 among the winners for councilors in the 3rd district every after the local election.

     It was only recently that we realized that despite their lack of the gift of tongue, having chosen some projects that directly benefit the physical well-being of the people and the charisma that they have continuously manifested without any iota of change make people immediately recall the Al-ag name.

     For example, in most barangays in the third district, people complain of difficulty in accessing potable water. Yet their areas are known to have abundance in such God-given resources. Incumbent Nonoy Al-ag has somehow seen this problem as his best entry point to the area residents’ consciousness. From the start of his term as Councilor Nonoy Al-ag made it a point that those unluckily situated barangays or villages are installed jetmatic water pumps where the residents now fetch water for their household use. Gone are the days when they have to brave risky downward and climb routes in deep ravines where most springs are located. They, too, can easily blend themselves with the rural people even in their appearance and comportment. 

     Now, we wonder no more if any of the two Al-ags running in the May 9 local elections would still occupy the coveted position of being on top of the pack of eight council winners in the district they are hoping to represent.

     Water, the saying goes, is life, and whoever makes it easily available with the least cost in terms of money or risks had his or her name saved in the beneficiaries’ memory bank.


     Government economic managers prefer to give the so-called “ayuda” to the disadvantaged Filipinos in these days of plunging economy due to exceedingly high prices of basic consumer goods.

     No, they won’t buy the idea of suspending the imposition of the excise tax on oil products or scrapping some taxes included in the power bills of people. The economic managers believe that the scrapping of the excise tax and other taxes that have something to do with fuel and power will be detrimental to the country’s already devastated economy. According to the economic managers minus the taxes earlier mentioned will mean stoppage in the implementation of huge infrastructure projects, the jeopardy in the various health and other social services that have been badly battered by the nearing three years of the CoViD 19 pandemic, and now the Russia-Ukraine war. In other words, without the excise tax on oil products and such other taxes included in the bill for power use the Philippine economy will be further pushed down to the grounds

     Well and good – meaning staying the excise and related taxes on where these are right now. And many thanks to the offer of “ayuda” by those in government who define who these disadvantaged sectors are. But what kind of “ayuda” offer are the economic managers concocting? A figure was floated yesterday in the mainstream media perhaps to appease the growing dismay of the majority of the Filipino people. Yes, P200 monthly cash assistance for the hungry Filipinos? Wow, what can a family buy out of the P200 that can last for a month? A kilo of matambaka now costs between 200 to 260 pesos. For a family of five a kilo of fish when served as viand in its simplest form – tinola, fried, or paksiw –could hardly cater to two meals. Normally, it is even good for one entire meal only. So the P200 “ayuda” will be up to less than a day and the recipient will be waiting for the next P200 for the succeeding 29 days for the next take. By this time, the recipient of the cash assistance would probably be looking like only one of the remaining earthworms that need to sign his or her death warrant.

     Anyhow, that is the reality these days. The government also needs to execute some very difficult acts of balancing the economy so that those who are governed shall survive, and that the government must also need to do the necessary even if it hurts the people. After all, in the end, the people have to survive in order for the government to exist. And the government, on the other hand, has to exist for the survival of the people it governs.

     In other words, now that the country is faced with the most devastating catastrophe – economic debacle –the more that we need to move as one, make some sacrifices big or small. After all, we cannot expect people from other countries to help us rise again or lead us out from the road to perdition. 

     For comments and/or reactions we can be reached through our e-mail address:; Mobile No. 09392980435 and Landline 2372169.


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