BY PET MELLIZA/ THE BEEKEEPER
Where is Allan Zaldivar head of the PESO of Iloilo City? The word stands for “public employment service office”, a program initiated by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to connect employers to the labor force or, simply put, to match job seekers with their prospective employers.
Ironically, the man who used to hug the front pages for organizing successful “job fairs” is now himself jobless and is now suited to be part of the faceless crowd swarming the venues for job matching.
Whenever there were special events, including the Dinagyang and Paraw Regatta, the PESO of Iloilo City convenes job fairs where job hunters and employers meet. The former would fill in application forms to the latter who (or which) may be either agencies or direct employers.
The agencies supply labor to their principals whether domestic or overseas. The direct employers are well, as the word suggests, are enterprises that do not rely on agencies.
Almost always in job fairs organized by PESO-Iloilo City, reporters were wont to seek Allan Zaldivar for interviews and complete their reports with either audio or video clips of the man. The local media would often color their publicity when applicants are hired on the spot – as announced by the PESO man who is wont to credit the success of the activity to the Iloilo City government.
However, such procedure did not sit well with somebody called Jed Patrick Mabilog who, incidentally, insists to be the star of the show. And for the PESO man’s failure to comply with that unwritten rule, he gave the latter a severe dressing down. Billing only the impersonal “Iloilo City government” when it should be and foremost “Jed Patrick Mabilog” as others in his coterie of bootlickers do, now merits contempt in city hall.
In other words, the mayor’s nerve frayed because Zaldivar mentioned only the Iloilo City government and nobody else as prime mover of all job fairs.
Zaldivar committed two unforgiveable sins: he refused to be a bootlicker and, second, he upheld professionalism to such a degree that he found Mabilog’s tantrum too degrading and unprofessional.
The grapevine says that before Zaldivar resigned, the first person he so informed was the person who appointed him to PESO-Iloilo City, not Mabilog but the latter’s predecessor and now Rep. Jerry P. Trenas.
He’s not the sole Trenas boy who was forced to bow out of Mabilog’s sanctum sanctorum. The first was Mitch Antiquiera who threw up after a successful orchestrated negative publicity, as head of the traffic management and transportation regulatory office (TMTRO) of Iloilo City.
Antiquiera earned the ire of the oligarchs when his subordinates attempted to enforce no park zones in city proper roads that today still serve as private garage of the rich and mighty. His loyalty to his appointing power, also Trenas incidentally, is well known and the mounting but orchestrated clamors for his hide came at the right time when Mabilog just wanted to see his head roll.
Mabilog actually was not serious in de-clogging the roads when he handpicked Mitch’s successor. All city roads today continued to be snarled by daily gridlocks. Not even national roads that had been widened were decongested.
Go to Tabuk Suba, Jaro, the expanded roads are still snarled because both their sides have been appropriated into private parking spaces with the supposedly reorganized TMTRO looking at the other direction.
There could have been other victims of the de facto factional cleansing had it not been for Mabilog’s timely intervention. We are referring to his consultant Andrea Golez and political liaison officer Jeffrey Celiz who, the grapevine says, were on the verge of resigning as their tiff with the bigwigs of the Iloilo Anti-Smoking Task Force (I-CAST) heated up. I-CAST is led by Kgd. Joshua Alim, suspect in spreading rumors linking the two to former justice secretary Raul Gonzalez.
It started when a Mabilog fanatic knocked out with a single punch Andrea who now limps on a four-legged cane after suffering a mild stroke as result
Celiz came to the scene after Andrea and a driver of a Lapuz jeepney, in another incident, lodged a complaint with the “people’s complaint desk” that Celiz headed, against the I-CAST man for planting of evidence, a cigarette butt at the driver’s foot. Celiz declared the I-CAST man at fault but that only ignited a word war with Alim.
More on the Celiz – Alim imbroglio later.