PCC – 30 Years of Schemes, Whims and Screams

December 12th, 2020 · No Comments

by Benjie de Ubago

It could have been a year of celebration.  And it should have been a year of celebration!  However, for the Philippine Community Council of NSW (PCC-NSW), as the year draws to a close, it’s been a year fraught with battles, denials and woes.  Except for the Picnic reunion organized by 10 of the former presidents in September, on its foundation month, nothing else has been done to mark the important milestone. In fact the picnic was met with disdain.  This is also despite some of the Board directors saying back in April words to the effect – “stop bothering us – we’re busy with the planning and the preparations of the 30th anniversary.”  But really, nada!

Sure, the pandemic was a pain and lockdowns prevented any big time celebration but the Board led by their ferocious leader could have still thought of something to mark such an important event.  Regretfully, they did not.!  They have not! They could not! A Christmas party is planned for Sunday, December 13 clearly emphasizing the two warring factions. I personally could have thought of at least three (3) activities that would have marked the occasion and would have lifted the profile of PCC. 

The election debacle on the constitution breaches, i.e. two representatives from the same association dragged on throughout the year with Bulseco out to stop – block  and ignore every move of the former presidents.  Talks, compromises were not acceptable. 

The concerned past presidents in a meeting.

Let me summarize the frustratingly, non-consequential year. Ladia and Bulseco both represented the same organization – AusMin – a clear breach of the constitution. And when brought to their attention, Ladia conveniently jumped ship to CRFCC, the Campbelltown organization, three months after the elections.  Then they broke the very election rules they made. Not to forget the Bicol Inc. fiasco.

When the concerned PCC presidents called for a Special General Meeting, Bulseco was quick to reject this meeting as unauthorized.  “Not sanctioned by the Board,” he claimed.  And yet, the PCC Board shouldered and paid for the expenses of the SGM.  A complete contradiction! Also three sitting directors attended the SGM.

Despite all of Bulseco’s antics, the SGM proceeded and affiliates approved constitution amendments to ensure the same mistakes would not happen again. But the high and mighty were adamant that no one else could make changes to the constitution except the “chosen ones” – the constitution committee.  The SGM also slapped  a “vote of no-confidence” on Bulseco. As expected, a defiant Bulseco refused to step down. Again, the results of the SGM was ignored despite Ray Manoto’s comment that the “rule of the majority” should prevail.  Obviously, there are two sets of rules – theirs and everyone else’s.

The convenor, Jun Relunia submitted the amendments to the Office Fair Trading (OFT) for approval. Surprisingly, the OFT rejected the amendments submitted.  Despite the SGM being in accordance with the constitution, somebody in the PCC Board allegedly wrote to the OFT disclaiming the SGM. The alleged devious writer  stated that this SGM was organized by a “break-away  group”  but no copy of the letter was provided to the group. This is even if PCC paid for the said meeting and even if three bravehearts from the PCC Board dared to defy and attend. The trick is to exhaust you till you go away and give them free reign.  

Sadly, they have failed to see the end result.  Bulseco can stay there for the rest of his life, but what he fails to understand is that people don’t care anymore. They have lost trust!

To date, the concerned past presidents and affiliates have sent five letters to the PCC Board requesting for the financial records and bank statement.  It has been passed on from the treasurer (Alice Tayaban), to the Public Officer (Serna Ladia) and then back to Alric Bulseco who then used Covid as the reason for their inability to provide the documents.  It’s delaying tactics at best! One can’t help but wonder if there’s something they are trying to hide.  

The attitudes of the 15 Board directors leave a lot to be desired. Their silence is complicit to the actions of a president that has been asked to step down. Over the year, it would seem that what one wants (or the barkada)  – goes! It would seem that the rest of the directors are far too timid or turn a blind eye for fear of recrimination and/or intimidation.  Then again, some could not care less.  If they do not care – neither do the affiliates. The attitudes prevented any attempt to find resolutions.

Through the years, PCC has had more than its share of schemes, whims and deafening screams have drowned out  sensible discussions. There have been walkouts, complete with foot stomping, head tossing and ‘kampi-kampi’ have been only far too common. From the time of Lopez and Amores in 2006 and 2007, the constitution’s membership rules have been ignored.  In 2007, Amores won the election by 88 (registered) vs. 98 (voted) and yet Ruben Amores was allowed to continue his term. In 2010, Amores & Lopez walked out. In 2013, the issue of PADER was covered up. And of course, Bulseco’s terms in PCC has been likened to a malignant virus that has spread over the years.

 While the some of the leaders had vision, direction and good intentions, others who stepped into the ring have been absolutely clueless except for their skills with selfies. Deny as much as you wish, but the reality is that sadly, the organization has since digressed from the ‘peak body’ to ‘pick a buddy.’  Even the Consul General has expressed not to believe in a peak body. Respect for those who have served in the past is non-existent.  If you do not carry the title “President” then you are of no consequence to them. Exclusivity not inclusivity reigns.  Relevance to the community has been lost.

It would seem that Cesar Bartolome is eyeing on the presidential post and the campaign wheels are already in motion. PCC is much more than Rizal and the questions are: will he have the trust of the people? Was he on Bulseco’s side throughout the year?  Did he ever question the decisions of PCC management?  Did he stand up for what is right or did he remain in silent complicity?  Did he try and help resolve issues or did he simply go with the flow to be on their good side?

Whoever is next in line will have to regain the trust of the community and rebuild PCC. And that’s a big task!  Who is capable of doing that?

13 December 2020

Tags: News