NO to Corruption, Change is Coming - Col. ALLEN S OCDEN

>> Sunday, April 28, 2019

Congressional candidate to the lone district of Mountain Province Col ALLEN SUMEG-ANG OCDEN, 52  wants to institute change in  Mountain Province with his battle campaign ‘No to Corruption’.
Former Provincial Director Police Supt Col Allen Ocden of the Philippine National Police- Mountain Province goes for clean governance which means the eradication of the notorious and  unpopular  ‘60-40’  scheme in  infrastructure project implementation.
The “60-40” scheme is perceived to have been led by corrupt politicians who had long entrenched themselves in their political career some of whom had been charged for violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practises Act or RA 3019 before the Office of the Ombudsman and the Sandigan Bayan.
Retired Col Allen Ocden who had long been in investigation and police operations work and known to implement the law says “corruption breeds poverty”. And Mountain Province as one of the 20 poorest provinces of the country, Ocden credits this reputation of the Province to corruption.
Where there is corruption, services shall be denied to the people. Ocden believes where there is no corruption, funds shall flow in owing to the trust and confidence that investors  rely on the government.
“I want to see Mountain Province as an investors hub. Mountain Province with its  rich natural and human resources has the potential for this”, he said. “But the environment should be free of corruption to add to peace and order”, he added.
With investment coming in due to a transparent and peaceful community, infrastructure and livelihood opportunities shall flourish.
Ocden says, “Corruption is the enemy of development and transparency opens the door to trust by allowing everyone to participate in the dialogue for progress. If seated, I will eliminate the disgraceful 60-40 sharing in the implementation of infrastructure projects.
The 40% cost refers to the  ‘SOP’ or ‘commission’ that must be handed to whoever politician is seated for their personal use. Whatever is left for the project cost after taxes are paid must then be stretched by the contractors who are implementing the project thus sacrificing the quality of the project thereby making it substandard.
Ocden said a P100 million road project for example shall be automatically deducted the amount of 40% of the total cost and the 60% going to the winning contractor-bidder. The 40%  includes a 10%  “SOP” handed over by the winning contractor-bidder to a corrupt politician perceived to have facilitated the release of the funds. The 40% includes  the legal 10% “contractor’s profit”.  EVATaxes are included in the 40% deduction.
This leaves only  60% of the total project cost left for implementation. And where an implementing officer may ask for some “SOP” is another deduction from what remains that the  contractor shall implement.
This leaves the construction of substandard projects and the perpetuation of corruption and poverty, Ocden said.
A congressman reportedly has a ‘share’ in the project cost. But he does not even have a hand in the identification and budgeting of an infrastructure project, he  added.
An interview with sub-contractor Roy Matinek from Mountain Province who had been  sub-contracting  infra projects  in Mountain Province for quite some time said, 35% is taken off from  the total project cost  to include the 10% cut given to the contractor to hand over  to the “one above” referring to a top politician. Of the 35%, a 10% contractor’s profit is taken by the winning contractor- bidder.
With the remaining 65%, some amount may be given to an implementing officer. Matinek who has been sub-contracting for some 10 years said, with the remaining 65% of the total project cost, it is  important that the laborers are fully paid, he said. This apart from what he gets from his efforts and the project completed.
And to ensure that  projects are done properly and funds spent well, Ocden encourages  the public to monitor the implementation of projects and file charges against corrupt contractors and public officers.
 “I will create a template of good governance to attract investment for as long as there is investment, jobs shall be created opportunities come in.”
I want to make a difference for Mountain Province, the congressional candidate said.
People from Mountain Province do farming as a major source of livelihood with others in the private sector doing business and few in government service. A number of the population work force have gone as migrant workers to other countries.
I want a corruption-free Mountain Province, he said.
“I need your partnership” Ocden appealed to the people  of Mountain Province, asking for a one term only and if he wins for a  maximum of two terms.
Another of his platform in government is health by enhancing our government hospitals through the allocation of funds as a short term solution and as a long term solution to push for the passing of a house bill resolution transferring the Bontoc provincial hospital to the Department of Health (DOH) to become a regional level hospital.
Ocden believes that with no corruption in government, funds shall be spent to whom  thse are due including health facilities and services. As it is, even an EEG machine is lacking at the Luis Hora Memorial Regional Hospital.
Ocden traces his humble beginnings having been raised in Bontoc where he finished elementary school at St Vincent’s School and secondary learning at the same Catholic school in 1983. His father Alipio Longay Ocden is from Besao, and mother  Noela  Marie Kiat-ong Sumeg-ang of Bontoc. He is married to Dr Maria Laya from Manila and daughter of former Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Jaime Laya. Dr Maria Laya-Ocden is a very supportive spouse to Col Ocden’s aspirations for Mountain Province.   
He finished Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy at St Louis University in 1997 and eventually graduated Bachelor of Science in Public Safety at the Philippine National Police Academy  (PNPA) in  1993. He followed this up by taking up Masters in Public Administration at the Philippine Christian University in Manila in 2009.
A policemen throughout his career, young Lieutenant Ocden was assigned as Junior and Company Commander of the 1st Battalion of the PNP Special Action Force  (SAF) Command and was assigned to places in Mindanao and Visayas region.
He was the first to be meritoriously promoted to Police Senior Inspector in their class in just more than year.  He was given to handle the 2nd Battalion of the PNP SAF as Acting Battalion Commander before he was assigned as Operations Officer of the Regional Intelligence and investigation Division of the National Capital Regional Police office.                    He was assigned as Intelligence Officer in the National Intelligence and Investigation Division of the Narcotics Group now the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency(PDEA) in Manila. He also served as chief of Southern Metro Manila Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG); and Intelligence Officer of the Task Force Anti-Smuggling of the Dept of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
He served as Chief Intelligence Officer of the Task Force Anti-Smuggling of the DILG and Chief Intelligence Officer of the Southern Police District of the National Capital Region PNP.
He was Chief of the District Special Operations Unit of the Eastern Police District National Capital Region office and Chief of  the Anti-Organized Crime Division of the criminal investigation division of camp Crame, Quezon City.
He served as Chief of  the Regional Maritime Unit of Region 3 and Chief of Police of Makati city, Taguig City and Navotas City PNP.
With his exemplary performance in police force, he  garnered  awards Including  Medalya Ng Kasanayan 26 Times, Medal ng Papuri, Medalya Ng Kadakilaan 22 times, Medalya Ng Kagitingan,  Medalya ng Palaban sa Manligalig sa Mindanao, Medalya ng Paglaban sa Manligalig Sa  Visayas,  Medalya ng Sugatang  Manligalig  sa Luzon, and Medalya ng Sugatang Magiting.
Col Ocden bats for No to vote buying saying that selling one’s vote is degrading to one’s soul and being.
In his letter to the people of Mountain Province, Ocden says “it is important to go to the polls and vote for a worthy candidate. We need a leader who not only understands our situation but who will also embrace our concerns when time comes to vote on legislation dealing with the issues we all face.”
“I ask for your partnership”, Ocden appealed to the people of Mountain Province.
“I am fighting for change and I am fighting for us all. The stakes are high for me because I am not running for money or fame. I am running because I believe that we need  a new breed of politician.Someone who will champion the cause of the poor and the neglected”, congressional candidate Col Allen Ocden said.


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