PCC Affiliates Drop From 52 to 33

April 25th, 2016 · No Comments

If numbers are a way of telling an organization’s status, then the Philippine Community Council (PCC-NSW) is in dire straits.  The PCC’s 2016 Annual General Meeting saw a big drop in affiliate membership from 52 down to 33.  This is despite a few “sneaked in” additions to the fold.

Kate Andres is recycled as president and returns for the third time and beat Bobby Lastica by only one vote.  Kate Andres served as PCC President from 1994 to 1995, and returned in 2003-2004.  Andres returns “one more time with feeling” and may feel she is the answer to PCC’s woes that have plagued the organisation for the last three years.   She sees herself as the “saving PCC” which is tantamount to an admission that there is a problem.  Andres’ terms however, were not without controversy and during her terms, questions re constitutional changes were raised.   However, for Andres to fix the current problems– one must first know what the problem is. Unfortunately, no one can identify what the real problem is.

The question now on everyone’s lips is: “Can an organization still claim to be the umbrella organization when it no longer represents the interests of the majority?”  According to one supporter, “PCC is an institution”.  Perhaps, it is on paper but the reality is far from it.  It may claim longevity but not in  numbers.  The drop in membership bring back PCC to the early nineties despite the fact that the Filipino population has increased tenfold. And if anyone dared to look closer, the membership of the clubs is also questionable.  Organizations have either low membership numbers (if any at all) and there is a lot of duplication, wherein one individual belongs to three or four clubs.  Has it really been reduced to a “barkada”  (gang) system?  It would seem that the organisation has gone a full cycle and is back to the days of Consul General Abadilla who said “when you have the following of the majority, then I will follow you too.”  With over 200 clubs and associations, now  in existence, can they still claim to be the umbrella organization when the majority is not covered.  However, don’t go thinking that the alternative on offer may have the answer ,for neither do they have the numbers.

And talking about being covered, it was confirmed at the AGM that the PCC insurance does not cover the members’ events without having to fork out extra fees.  Ergo, we’ve all been left standing in the rain.

The ills of PCC have been ongoing for the last three years but unfortunately, no one even knows how to fix it.  And more importantly what the problem is!  Amusingly, the few that remained signed in, went around mumbling about the need for change and yet not knowing what change was really needed.

In one of the twists of the PCC election, Bulseco stopped me from asking a question re the 2015 AGM  wherein I was present.  According to Bulseco, since I did not renew as an affiliate, I am not entitled to speak or  join in the proceedings, even if the question was referring to the time when I was present.  But how can anyone ask a question when they were not there?  According to Bulseco’s new rule, non-members and the media are not allowed to participate and ask questions.  I guess, if the community is not allowed to participate, why  would anyone go then  –  to just to take their picture?  In the past, the media were allowed to question, and in the case of Dennis Laxamana who spoke at the 2014 and 2015 elections.  During Sayas’ term, there was all inclusive policy for the community, which saw the entry of Lastica, Morden and Relunia.

While the word “achievements” kept being mentioned, none were actually reported.  Only the flash of activities in pretty pictures.  Beed’s report card is a blank.

The rest of the 2016 officers include:  Alric Bulseco (VP external), Lillian de los Reyes (VP Internal), Daryl Swadling (Secretary), Joy Robinson (Treasurer), Ethel Mendiola (Auditor), and Penny Perfecto (PRO). Returning as directors:  Mercy Jones, Emily Rudd   plus newbies, Albert Prias, Nerissa Revesz,  Rowena Turnbull, Demi Robinson, and Sarah Ann Johnstone.

After losing the presidential seat, Lastica who was representing the Eastern Suburbs group withdrew all his nominations for other positions.  Bulseco ran unopposed or so it seemed.  The truth is that the nomination of Nenita Weekes of Bathurst for External VP was disqualified for having nominated herself.  This of course is conflict of interest.  Obviously, balance of power does not exist and the Board solely decides on what goes when it suits them.

It is now up to Kate Andres as president and Penny Perfecto, the PRO to salvage whatever they can and that is if it is at all, still possible. It’ll be a task and a half to wheedle their way back in the good graces of those of who have been scarred.

With fewer attendees and new faces dragged into the fold but without a clue why they are even there in the first place,  we, the community can only hope against hope.  Another AGM is survived and almost without a major incidence. Oh, well almost, except for the few screams at the end.


Tags: Grey Matter