PCC Elections – And They’re Off and Running

March 1st, 2014 · No Comments

First there were none – and now there are three.  Despite much hesitation in taking the cajoles for the Philippine, Community Council of NSW (PCC), there are now three contenders for the PCC presidential seat for 2014.  Jun Relunia, Danny Peralta and incumbent, Elsa Collado have declared officially that they will be running for the much coveted seat in PCC.

The PCC Elections are scheduled for 15 March at The Hub, Mt. Druitt.  The Annual General meeting will be preceded by a special general meeting.

Jun Relunia hails from Bicol, is a lawyer by profession, and is currently employed with retail giant, Woolworths.  He is a proven community leader and is known for his advocacy for the Senior citizens having had a long-time association with Philippine Australian Senior Citizens Inc. (PASCI).  He is also a member of the Filipino Cooperative, which is responsible for the running of the child Care Centre at Mt. Pritchard; and was the founder of the Australia Devotees of Our Lady of Peñafrancia (ADOLP).  Jun was also a part of the Federal Filipino Ministerial Consultative Committee in 2011-2012; and currently sits on the State Advisory committee. He is also the current Chairperson of PCC’s Committee for Seniors.

Relunia campaigns for a change in PCC and vows to bring back the same traditional values which he – believes in – respect, reliability and responsibility.  He stands for leadership, oneness in advocacy, vision and engagement (acronym of Love).  Jun further promises transparency and to continue his advocacy programs for the betterment of the community.

Danny Peralta is a senior commercial accountant and financial director who runs his own Travel Agency and a Migration Agency.  The recently established Tagalog Association is to his credit. Peralta, will bring to PCC, his management and business acumen, and pledges to “reform PCC.”  In his campaign letter, Peralta outlines the weaknesses of the current board and guarantees more effective governance and accountability; to establish a professional, respectful, honest and truthful communication among leaders and members; and to ensure PCC’s role as a peak body, performing in the interest of its members and the community.

Incumbent president, Elsa Collado has declared her bid for a re-election. Collado entered PCC in 2007 and first ran for president in 2010, then returned in 2013.  Collado’s 2013 Board has been plagued with problems, in particular the issue with the Office Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR).

Collado has not released any campaign material.  We have tried to request for information but no response has been received from Ms. Collado as of press time.

Both Relunia and Peralta are strong believers of PCC as the peak body and believe that changes need to be effected and have already released their campaign platforms.

While leadership is of utmost importance, those who sit on the Board are equally as vital. While PCC has not yet released the official list of candidates, some have signified their intentions to run for office.  From the current Board: Mercy Jones, Daryl Swadling and Nenita Weekes.  Although there has been no confirmation, rumours are swirling that Alric Bulseco and Emma de Vera will still run for a seat on the Board.  Bulseco will have to find a new organization to represent, as Ateneo resigned as an affiliate member in 2013.  It will also be interesting to see which organization De Vera will represent. Still unconfirmed are Millie Banan, Evelyn Beed, Bert Rejante, Emily Rudd and Solina Lapalma.  Robert Bock and Angie Jenkins have said that they will no longer be contesting for any position this year.  “I’ve served two years. Tama na, to give a chance to others.  Besides new people will bring new ideas to PCC,” said Ms. Jenkins.  Newcomers, Lee Meekan, Jade Cadelina and Pykes Garcia have expressed their intentions.

Volunteering for PCC is an arduous task. Likewise, there is no doubt that there are people around who are quite capable and who could make a difference to PCC and the community.  However, by the numbers of those who have raised their hands for a position on the Board, it would seem that interest in PCC has waned and Collado has managed to bring the interest in PCC to an all time low.

Affiliates have expressed mixed feelings and are wavering in their decisions whether or not to renew their affiliation with PCC, depending on who seats on the Board.   Members have expressed also their dissatisfaction with the current 2013 Board, for the lack of communication and transparency.

But for now, the race is on.  For us, mere mortals, it’s a wait and see.

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