Tag Archives: Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr.

For Whom the Bell Tolls: Defensor’s Hemingway Solution to MIWD vacuum

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
John Quincy Adams

By Alex P. Vidal

ILOILO Governor Arthur Defensor Sr.’s use of authority and influence to arrest the impending vacuum at the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) Board of Directors can be called as the Hemingway Solution.
Defensor has installed Dr. Teodoro Robles and Architect Ramon Victor Singson as new members of the MIWD board.
Robles, president of the Central Philippine University (CPU), will represent the academe sector, while Singson of the Rotary Club of La Paz, will represent the civic sector.
The appointment came in the heels of the resignations of Engr. Adrian Moncada and Bernadette Castellano.
The duo informed Defensor in a letter dated November 28, 2014 that they will serve the MIWD only until December 31, 2014.
Moncada represented the professional sector, while Castellano represented the women sector.
Their terms should have expired on December 31, 2016.
Robles, who will replace MIWD Chairman of the Board, Dr. Danilo Encarnacion, and Singson, who will replace Dr. Sergio Gonzalez, will officially join the water utility family on January 1, 2015 until December 31, 2020.
Encarnacion’s and Gonzalez’s terms will expire on December 31, 2014.
Defensor will fill up the posts vacated by Moncada and Castellano from the list of nominees to be submitted by Corporate Secretary Cyril Regalado.
It has always been the dilemma every leader faces at one time or another whether to use authority or influence in directing an organization.


As appointing official, Defensor’s authority gives him power to force change, to set goals for an organization or standards of performance, and demand that they be met.
Influence gives Defensor power in a different way.
Time magazine highlights the difference between authority and influence: “To have influence is to gain assent, not just obedience; to attract a following not just an entourage; to have imitators, not just subordinates.”
Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls is a classic that better demonstrates the difference between authority and influence.
It is a product of Hemingway’s interest and involvement in the Spanish Civil War.
The book focuses on man’s fate as he faces the difficult problems of living in the Industrial Era.
It closely scrutinizes the dramatic human issues of turning around a troubled organization like the MIWD, enabling leaders to understand better the differences between authority and influence, two of the most important tools of the leader.


As a leadership strategy, Defensor’s influence requires a willingness to guide–not command–employees.
It takes times and patience in the case of the MIWD.
It involves the nurturing of an organizational culture in which employees are the initiators of change because they see the need for it.
Influence empowers employees and in the process, empowers the organization.
“I will not be pressured. Arthur Defensor cannot be bought. I will appoint people whom we believe will serve to the welfare and development of the city and province of Iloilo,” the governor had vowed.
“Nobody can dictate me on what to do. Even the President, if I believe that he is wrong, I will not follow him.”

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Posted by on December 17, 2014 in POLITICS


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Capitol identifies checks scam artists

“Every rejection is incremental payment on your dues that in some way will be translated back into your work.” James Lee Burke

By Alex P. Vidal

By signifying interest to pay a partial amount of P5 million to the Panay Electric Company (PECO) out of the total P80 million arrears, Iloilo City Hall has restored the faith of other private utilities with pending collectibles from the city government.
The partial amount appropriated for payment of electric bills consumed since the time of former mayors Mansueto Malabor and now Iloilo City Rep. Jerry Trenas may be peanuts, but P5 million is P5 million in whatever dialect.
The biggest power consumption was recorded by the city public markets with bills reaching P30 million, including the P26 million in unpaid bills that mounted last year.
Although there was no available date mentioned for the next payment, at least city hall can now be given assurance that PECO will not disrupt its power lines this Yuletide season.
So many programs and activities in public plazas and other venues (gymnasiums, auditoriums, etc.) maintained by the city government have been lined up this Christmas.


One sure way to sabotage these programs and activities is to cut off the power lines in these areas due to non-payment of the gargantuan PECO bills.
The P5 million check is expected to protect all the Christmas-related programs and activities.
The move to pay PECO with the initial amount emanated from the City Council committee on appropriations chaired by Councilor Eduardo Penaredondo.
The windfall could be timely since Iloilo City is also scheduled to host segments of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in 2015.
By the end of 2014, city hall’s power bills are expected to increase now that the city government has installed several street lights and lampposts in the Diversion Road where some of the recently inaugurated state-of-the-art infra and road-widening projects are located.
Both city hall and PECO are studying some mechanisms on how to further reduce the bills without the need to slice a big chunk of the city budget intended for the employees’ benefits and the people’s basic needs.


We are glad that Roxas City Hall has released the business permit of Kapis Mansions owned by businessman Joaquin “Toto” Diaz Dumagpi, a Capiz-based friend of Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay Sr.
Mayor Alan Celino may have interfered and did not want anymore to further inflame the issue after the delay was linked to Dumagpi’s friendship with the vice president.
Dumagpi had fought tooth and nail since early this year to compel city hall to release his hotel’s business permit, insisting his papers were complete and properly documented.
In a press conference last month, Dumagpi scored the repeated refusal of the city licensing division to release the business permit, lamenting that the delay had cost Kapis Mansions millions of pesos of losses since the hotel was supposed to host the Department of Health (DOH) national convention.
Lawyer Leobeth Deslate-Delicana confirmed recently her client did not pay any penalty or surcharge to the city government.
There was no immediate explanation on the part of the city hall why it suddenly released Kapis Mansions’ business permit, which happened after the media extensively tackled the issue.


Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor is ready to lower the boom on Capitol checks scammers upon his return from a three-day trip in South Korea.
Fact finding committee chief, Atty. Suzette Mamon, has completed the investigation and Defensor was already informed about it.
The Iloilo provincial government had been defrauded with P170,345.21.
This was after Provincial Accounting Office found alterations in 17 disbursement vouchers and checks for the payment of medicines, drugs and medical apparatus.
The Provincial Treasurer’s Office issued P1,652,379.48 check to Diomar, more than the amount due which is only P1,482,034.27.
The transaction was made through Diomar Trading, a longtime supplier of the Capitol, it was learned.

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Posted by on October 23, 2014 in POLITICS


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Work and woman don’t mix

“It is the vice of a vulgar mind to be thrilled by bigness.” E. M. Forster


By Alex P. Vidal

The engineer who lost his job in a construction company tasked to repaint the Iloilo Capitol after admitting he ordered the vandalism on the building’s dome, will only have himself to blame.
Engr. Jose Maria Cesar Uychocde, representative of contractor V.N. Grande Builders and Supply that bagged the repainting job, reportedly wanted to impress a certain “Adele”, who works in a restaurant in front of the capitol, thus he ordered the painting of “Hello, Adele” graffiti on the capitol dome.
The imposing scribble has nothing to do with the contractor’s job order and can be seen and read by pedestrians and passersby downstairs especially in adjacent buildings.


The vandalism angered Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. who ordered the temporary stoppage of the firm’s P3.2-million contract unless somebody admitted the misdemeanor.
After several finger-pointing and dilly-dallying, Uychocde finally owned up the wrongdoing in front of Defensor last Thursday. He then resigned from the company. As of press time, the governor has ordered the resumption of the repainting works.
It was not immediately known if Uychocde, who is probably in his 60s, was married or not, but the moral of the story is: work and woman (we refuse to use the term “womanizing” because we don’t have any evidence that the engineer pursued Adele lecherously) don’t mix.


It is none of our business if Uychocde is enamored with Adele (whoever she is) or not, but the story clearly illustrated the risk and consequences a naughty laborer has to endure if he mixes his job with women.
If Uychocde manifested his interest on Adele privately, there would have been no vandalism; no temporary suspension of repainting job, no media ruckus, no scandal, no resignation and embarrassment.
There would have been no fuss if government property was not involved in his attempt to flatter Adele. The “Hello, Adele” has now become a “Goodbye, Adele!”

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Posted by on March 28, 2014 in Uncategorized


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