17 January 2010

Choosing to see the glass half-empty

THROUGH my Newswires widget. I came across this Vox Bikol column by Atty. Jose Maria "Che" Carpio. The article is taking issue with the 2009 State of the City Report of the Robredo administration, which can be accessed here.

To set the records straight, I sent him the following email:

"Dear Attorney Carpio,

"I just read your Vox Bikol column, which raises the question: "Is 'Intermediate' the 'Best'?”

"I cannot fault you for taking a negative stance on the matter. It's the classic hall-full glass: in your effort to find fault with the city government, you have chosen to ignore the obvious, which I am quoting below. Funny how you can miss this when it is found on the very same page quoted in your column.

The overall FMA score of ‘Intermediate’ for Naga City reflects its moderately developed level of financial reporting and fairly high level of disclosure, adequate performance in annual budgeting and debt management skills which are more sophisticated than most local peers. On the other hand, the score takes into account the basic practices of Naga in elements of FMA like expenditure management and medium-term planning.

Notably, Naga City’s overall FMA score is the highest among assessed Philippines LGUs to date, reflecting the city’s more balanced developments in its FMA practices for most key areas, as opposed to some local peers who may demonstrate sound practices in certain elements such as revenue management, but at the same time scoring poorly in other areas like debt management, budgeting etc. Nevertheless, the Naga city government’s lack of computerization in most aspects of financial management such as annual budgeting, financial reporting, tax collection and disbursement have emerged as a constraint on these respective scores. A comprehensive computerization of the city’s system could potentially see improvement in Naga’s overall FMA and individual element scores. (Underscoring mine)
"So, to answer your question, an "Intermediate" score is the best among Philippine LGUs according to that S&P report. But you opted not to see that, and would not accept it, because you chose to see the glass half-empty, as you always have with the city government."


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