Sunday, May 25, 2014

How the Pro-Kidnapping Groups Curtail Right to Decent Work in Sulu

Jolo, Sulu, the Land of Many Missed out Opportunities.

Missed out opportunities in Sulu looks like to have been orchestrated by the rich, powerful, and the famous in Sulu.

Let me explain why, and allow me to begin with the ARMM PSPB.

The hopefuls.
The ARMM Personnel Selection and Promotion Board (PSPB) was in Sulu last April 28-30, 2014. The PSPB was mandated to assess, screen and rank aspirants to government positions or promotion in the ARMM. It must ensure an equitable and fair process of selection and promotion of employees in ARMM. You will seek for them no longer, they had come to your door!

In the 24-year long history of ARMM, nothing of that sort happened where the applicants were sought to their own place, where they would pass through three gruelling phases of mental and personality tests:

Phase I: Registration and preliminary assessment:

The transparent list of vacancies.
Phase II: Computerized examination:

Applicants going through the computerized exam.
Phase III: Panel interview:

The members of the Interview Panel ask the applicants.

The happy CabSec Khal Mambuay-Campong with one of the job seekers in Sulu.
“Gone are the days that all are secret. Gone are the days that the job vacancies are not being publicized. Today, everything is transparent. We don’t give room for influence-peddling and other anomalies in the hiring and promotion of employees,” ARMM Cabinet Secretary and PSPB Chair Khal Mambuay-Campong.

What is ARMM?

ARMM stands for Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, one of the 17 regions in the Republic of the Philippines and the only one with "Autonomous" government, wherein it has its own Executive and Legislative branches of government, just like its national counterpart.

Article X Section 15 of the 1987 Constitution assures two autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and in the Cordilleras. But only the Muslim Mindanao said yes in the subsequent referendum.

PSPB missed out Sulu twice or thrice

While frequent updates about the conduct of the selection process in the ARMM website was posted last February and March, the schedule for Sulu had always been tentatively re-scheduled time and again. Reason: frequent incidence of kidnappings in Sulu in those months.

You might wonder: were the kidnapping scenarios played out to prevent the PSPB from coming to town on the scheduled dates? Were there plan to keep the old system of "palakasan" system to prevail in Sulu, where the recommendations of the powers-that-be were a sure bet to land a decent job?

It is still fun to remember now that when the #BassaKao tried to organize the people of Jolo to become indignant against the spate of kidnappings, the group was mercilessly attacked from all sides. They said the call for the mass action and protest was self-serving and childish.

The Anti-Kidnapping was successful

But the Anti-Kidnapping rally in March 14, 2014 was successful in many ways, for instance:

1) It encouraged the Regional Police Director Noel delos Reyes to send down additional policemen to contain the security risk;

2) It strengthen the PSPB's resolved to come down to Jolo after the pandemonium.

There were other advantages of the Anti-Kidnapping rally, but the #BassaKao was not too happy about the subsequent military operations in the hinterland. But what choice do we have?

We were calling out for milder options, for instance, the Ulamah's participation in the negotiation process. The Ulama, we believe, should lead the re-education of the kidnappers to please stop the activities of kidnapping. The kidnappers would surely listen to the enlightened words of the Holy Men.

But the surprising thing was that, the Ulama (not all), blatantly lead an Anti-Anti-Kidnapping rally by influencing people not to attend the Anti-Kidnapping rally because the #BassaKao, they claimed, would bomb themselves thrice during the event. They substantiated that claim by saying that the #BassaKao was trying to weaken the leadership of the Governor in the province. Further, they said, the BassaKao would put the blame on the local government unit when the bombing incident happened.

Surprising turn of events

A mass action in Plaza Marina in May 4 in support of the BBL.
When the March 14 Rally was about to be squeezed out like an empty toothpaste bottle -- all expected speakers had withdrawn because someone rung them up and scolded them not to attend -- an unexpected help from the Jolo town Mayor came as a nice surprise. The Mayor gave us the official Mayor's Permit for the rally.

But somebody called the Mayor up and reportedly quarreled with him about that. The mystery caller accordingly ordered the Mayor to take the permit back. When the Mayor did not agree with it, the mystery caller yelled at the Mayor and told the Mayor: "Kabus" and other unprintable words that made the Mayor's angry.

So the Mayor held his stand. He said the freedom of his people, the people of Jolo, should not be curtailed by their leaders. The people has the constitutional right for peaceful assembly.

And to give his stand more flesh and blood, the Mayor lent the BassaKao his workforce and a firetruck to clean up the venue, the Plaza Marina a day before the rally. The Mayor also ensured that the Barangay Police Action Team (BPAT), the Jolo Internal Defence Force (JIDF), and the Jolo Municipal Police Station (JMPS) would come to protect the rallyists. He also provided other things whenever the BassaKao found out something lacking from their preparation.

What was the Pro-Kidnapping counterpunch?

They turned off all forms of communications: TV, Cable TV, Radio, Cellular Phone signals. The electric lights was even dead the whole day that day! My friends said, those were just coincidences. What delightful coincidences, indeed.

Fortunately, the Jolo Municipal sound system with its own generator was put to good use that day.

Let's get back to the PSPB then

I was about to relate with you my own experience in failing the selection process, but let me talk about that another day. The post is already long, di ba?

Let me just share with you na lang this 50 possible questions that would have been asked in the Panel Interview. Study it, and wish you luck on your successful journey.

The following Common Interview Questions are shifted by Glassdoor Blog from thousands of interview reviews.

50 Most Common Interview Questions

  1. What are your strengths?
  2. What are your weaknesses?
  3. Why are you interested in working for [insert company name here]?
  4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
  5. Why do you want to leave your current company?
  6. Why was there a gap in your employment between [insert date] and [insert date]?
  7. What can you offer us that someone else can not?
  8. What are three things your former manager would like you to improve on?
  9. Are you willing to relocate?
  10. Are you willing to travel?
  11. Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
  12. Tell me about a time you made a mistake.
  13. What is your dream job?
  14. How did you hear about this position?
  15. What would you look to accomplish in the first 30 days/60 days/90 days on the job?
  16. Discuss your resume.
  17. Discuss your educational background.
  18. Describe yourself.
  19. Tell me how you handled a difficult situation.
  20. Why should we hire you?
  21. Why are you looking for a new job?
  22. Would you work holidays/weekends?
  23. How would you deal with an angry or irate customer?
  24. What are your salary requirements? (Hint: if you’re not sure what’s a fair salary range and compensation package, research the job title and/or company on Glassdoor.)
  25. Give a time when you went above and beyond the requirements for a project.
  26. Who are our competitors?
  27. What was your biggest failure?
  28. What motivates you?
  29. What’s your availability?
  30. Who’s your mentor?
  31. Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss.
  32. How do you handle pressure?
  33. What is the name of our CEO?
  34. What are your career goals?
  35. What gets you up in the morning?
  36. What would your direct reports say about you?
  37. What were your bosses’ strengths/weaknesses?
  38. If I called your boss right now and asked him what is an area that you could improve on, what would he say?
  39. Are you a leader or a follower?
  40. What was the last book you’ve read for fun?
  41. What are your co-worker pet peeves?
  42. What are your hobbies?
  43. What is your favorite website?
  44. What makes you uncomfortable?
  45. What are some of your leadership experiences?
  46. How would you fire someone?
  47. What do you like the most and least about working in this industry?
  48. Would you work 40+ hours a week?
  49. What questions haven’t I asked you?
  50. What questions do you have for me?

I hope you found this useful. Be blessed po. Assalamu Alaykum wtwb!

The political giants in Sulu could have been afraid of reform, because many people not to their liking would have been appointed to the government under this present transparent selection process.

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