DUBAI // The newly elected president of a Filipino governing council has vowed to unite all community groups and says his leadership will be anchored on transparency and accountability.
Alan Bacason, 47, received 10 out of 12 votes in last night's vote. The Dubai resident will head the 12-member governing council of Filcom Dubai-NE, which serves as an umbrella for 99 Filipino community groups and supports the programmes and activities of the Philippines consulate in Dubai. The governing council was itself elected last Friday.
"We in the governing council will be transparent and there will certainly be accountability," said Mr Bacason, the governing council's representative from the Filipino Human Resources Practitioners' Association, or Fil-HR, which has more than 120 members.
"We hope to unite all Filipino organisations. There are so many approaches and the members have to listen, agree and make the right decisions."
He added: "But we don't have anything to promise right now. We just want to make sure that we're aligned with our constitution and by-laws."
In yesterday's election, the governing council met to choose officers and committee chairmen after a 40-minute briefing on the constitution. Last week's creation of the governing council follows the ratification of a constitution in May. It defines the structure, rights and purposes of Filcom Dubai-NE and the duties, rights and privileges of the council.
Mr Bacason, who works in a Dubai Government office and has lived in the emirate for seven years, said the council will convene shortly to draft plans and programmes for the Filipino community in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. One of the aims of Filcom Dubai-NE is to foster unity among Filipinos in those six emirates, and promote the advancement of the community groups.
A new social centre was highlighted last week as a priority for the newly elected members.
Commenting on the mandate he received, Mr Bacason said: "It's very significant and shows the trust and confidence that the community has placed on the Fil-HR."
He replaces the FilCom chairwoman, Analiza Magno Concepcion, who was the president of the Filipino Offroad Auto Club. The group, which ranked seventh with 32 votes in last week's elections, is currently represented by its director Moises Dacuycuy Jr.
The other elected officers were Matilyn Bagunu of the St. Mary's Filipino Community Choir, vice president; Cherry Pye Torres of the Filipino Computer Club, secretary; Letty Samuel of the Filipino Dubai Teachers Association, treasurer; and Mr Dacuycuy, internal auditor.
Offering advice to the new president, Mr Dacuycuy said: "When he makes decisions, he should be firm and it should be fast. We can't please many Filipinos. Decisions will be questioned and many will oppose them. He should show flexibility as a decision-maker."
Ms Bagunu will chair the public relations and communications committee, while the vice chairman of this committee will be Mr Dacuycuy. Mrs Torres will be the membership committee head and Ms Samuel will serve as the chairwoman of the finance committee.
Another council member, Isagani dela Rosa of the Filipino Club-RAK is the chairman of the ways and means committee, while Leny Alzaga of the United Filipinos Foundation will head the events committee.
In previous years, the community groups only elected the chairman and a vice chairman who were given a free hand to nominate the heads of the committees, according to Ms Bagunu.
The new constitution states that a member organisation will be held accountable for the conduct of its representatives. A full report of any anomaly committed by a member will be sent to all members of the council of representatives.