‘One-term’ Surigao pol raffles off monthly pay

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SURIGAO CITY—Business must be good for this mortician. He now owns his business and, since turning to politics, can even afford to raffle off his monthly salary as a public official to his constituents.

At 59, Nilo Aldonza is running in May for a council seat in Surigao del Norte, the lone politician in his province—and probably anywhere else—who seems to be happy giving away his salary to the lucky raffle winner.

He opposes political dynasties and stays in his post for only one term. Since entering politics, he has made sure none of his family members would seek public office.

As a city councilor in 1997 Aldonza decided to raffle off his salary. Since then, his constituents excitedly look forward to his pay day hoping to become the lucky person.

One term only

A former embalmer, Aldonza entered politics because of what he said was his desire to serve.

“It’s the quality of service that matters,” said Aldonza, who has just finished one term as a provincial board member.

Now, Aldonza is seeking a fresh seat at the city council—but for one term only, as with his previous positions. He did not seek reelection in 2010 so he still considers himself a “one-termer” only.

“Most politicians want to stay longer in office purportedly to serve better; dynasties field more and more family members because they believe that the more (of them in office), the better for the people,” Aldonza said at one of his funeral parlors, where he is known to entertain constituents when not engaged in official functions.

Answer to dynasties

Aldonza believes “those who have stayed long in the same office are the ones who get easily corrupted.”

“Three years is long enough to get comfortable with government contractors and suppliers,” he said. “The temptation to do evil increases every day, so why stay longer?”

Fernando Almeda Sr., vice president of the civil society group Movement Against Dynasties for Mindanao, called Aldonza a “living example of public service” and said his one-term policy was “a condemnation of our dynasty-infested politics.”

Hog dispersal project

“All politicians should be like him—disinterested in power or fortune but with a big desire to serve,” Almeda said.

Aldonza said the reality was that politicians would make abundant promises “and end up doing nothing after three years. And then they will ask for more time. And then they will ask that you also vote for their relatives.”

He said if only politicians were service-oriented, high-impact projects could easily be achieved even in just one term. He cited as an example his hog dispersal project when he was a barangay councilor.

“It started in early 1990s and now the project’s still there, growing to several thousand head and the beneficiaries are still reaping profits until this day,” Aldonza boasted.

Mario Simorlan, a beneficiary of Aldonza’s project, said the project  “saved” his family during difficult times and helped send his children  to school. “I have known other beneficiaries who now have their own piggeries. It’s amazing how a small project can last through the years,” Simorlan said.

Aldonza said a politician should not just rely on patrons or on their internal revenue allotment funds. He said when he won as chairman of Luna village in 1995, he immediately scoured for funds outside the traditional sources.

He found help in grants from foreign governments and nongovernment organizations and from the prize money the barangay (village) won in national contests to fund his projects.

No ‘trapos,’ please

Luna, he said, is now a well-developed village with its own buildings and modern healthcare center.

“Public officials, especially in the barangays and municipalities, should be creative and innovative and not rely on trapos (traditional politicians) who are out to use them to enhance their chances in the next elections,” he said.

At the city council, Aldonza used his three years in office initiating various “low-capital, high-income” projects. One of these is a prepaid funeral plan scheme for the poor which, he said, has grown into a P500,000 cooperative.

The seed money for that project was only P5,000, he said.

He began as embalmer

Aldonza credits his life experience for the brand of politics he espouses.

Coming from a poor family, he said he worked as an embalmer for a relative’s funeral parlor to pay for college. Later, he worked as a clerk at a local cement company, rising to become the company accountant.

He left after 23 years to establish his own chain of funeral parlors in Surigao del Norte and Agusan provinces.

“I learned to divide my time (and) I learned to allocate my meager finances wisely,” he said, adding this had helped him in politics.

“Because voters see that I’m not out to remain in power till kingdom come, I’ve never lost an election, thank God,” he said.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • SMEjhong

    kudos to this man!… indeed a true example of public service.. sana mabasa ito ng mga BINAY, ENRILE at marami pa..

    • Fulpol

      and Bam Aquino….

      • SMEjhong

        mmm..dat choice is quite debatable.. hehehee

  • kolambogan

    Anong panama ng mga Enrile, Estrada, Binay, Cojuangco, Singson, Ortega, Revilla, Garcia, at mga garapal na kapit tukong politiko sa isang katulad ni Honorable Nilo Aldonza ng Surigao? Wala sa kalingkingkingan, si Mr. Aldonza ibinibigay ang sariling sahod sa kaniyang mga nasasakupan, bukod sa one termer lang by choice. Marahil kung siya ay magkakaroon ng pagkakataong makabahagi ng katulad ng PDAF ng Senado at Kongreso, lahat ay pupunta sa mga tao at hindi sa mga bogus na proyektong pinuntahan ng mga pondo nina Enrile, Estrada, Revilla at ng anak ni Velarde ng El Shaddai. Mga tinubuan na ng tahid sa gobyerno sa pagpapasasa sa kaban ng bayan. Dapat malipol ang mga katulad nila at hindi na payagang makapagsamantala pa sa mga mamamayan.

    • koolkid_inthehouse

      Nilo Aldonza for Senator/congressman.

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    That guy has a brain. New idea. Remember the name Nilo Aldonza.

  • ernievictory

    mabuhay ang Partido Embalsamador !!!

  • crisostomo_ibarra_the3rd

    Mabuhay ka Aldonza. Kung lahat ng politiko ay katulad mo, malaki ang matitipid ng pilipinas sa corruption na kaakbay ng mga trad pols. Your example will give more chance for more people to serve.

  • Hellomr

    Itong mga sugapa sa politica ay walang sinasabi kundi mga Tao ang nagdala sa kanila sa katunkulan…. Kaya sila walang ambisyon na mabago ang buhay ng mga mahihirap sa dahilan na kung umunlad ang buhay mahihirap ito ay hindi na boboto sa kanila, at magkaroon ng tamang kaisipan…Karamihan sa mga corrupt na politika ay umaasa sa mga nakatira sa mga esteros dahil sila ang madali nilang magoyo.

  • wawa2172

    Nilo Aldonza ng Surigao City, a simpling tao and live by example as a politician. He knows his limitation, his one term policy served him best of not being corrupted by the system. Galing mo sir, di gaya nang mga congressman at ibang LGU officials nyo diyan sa Surigao City na pati bundok ay pinayagang patagin dahil sa mining at kinalbo sa illegal mining. At masakit pa, ayaw umalis sa pwesto by hook or by crook. Sir Aldonza, pag patuloy mo ang maganda at mahusay na gawain mo, God Bless po.

  • Guest

    Question, where does he get money after giving his monthly salary as a raffle, with such meager income a councilor receives….Answer: kurakot

    • Jomex

      if you read the article again, he established his chain of funeral parlors long before he entered politics.

    • Loggnat

      He owns a chain of funeral parlors. Did you miss that part of the article or did you even read the article?… :))

    • southDUDE

      Basahin mo ng maigi ang balita tsong/tsang. Kulit mo naman.

    • Naring

      bobo mo naman magbasa

    • SMEjhong

      hoi magbasa ka!>. tang ina!…comment ng comment lang kasi..e kund may “LIKE” button lang dito..eh alam ko..yun lang eki-click mo..bobo!

    • Jose Guevarra

      konting basa naman… naka-bintang agad. malinaw naman ang istorya. saka di mo ba alam na mababa lang ang totoong sahod sa isang buwan ng mga councilor? mataas pa ang sweldo ng mga fast food chain managers. sa allowance at kurakot rumaraket ang karamihan. kaya nga uso ang lifestyle check sa gobyerno eh

      • Karabkatab

        Ang sweldo ng isang konsehal sa isang maliit na bayan sa aking pagkaka alam ay hindi bababa sa 30 mil.

      • Jose Guevarra

        is this thirty thousand? eh mababa nga yan kung tutuusin, sa dami ng responsibilidad na dapat isipin ng isang konsehal.

    • Hurtlocker1

      yan ang napala mo Guest. jejejejee…
      panay banat mo, ni hindi mo binasa ung artikel jejeje..

  • Sollie Sinson

    more politicians like him should run. this will give hope to the poor to change their lives.

  • matalino matalino

    Instead of raffle, he can buy 5 or more sacks of rice for 20 families (poorest of the poor among his constituents) every month or his salary can be used as an emergency fund for medical expenses ng mga pinakamahirap na constituents niya. (After all, Jesus said you must prioritize the neediest.)

    • SMEjhong

      one of of my relative, who happened to know know this man, said yung mga kasali sa raffle ay yung mahihirap na constituent lang daw..

  • GaryFil

    Naku tumakbo ka na ng Presidente, and you will have my vote!

  • Fulpol

    he was from Northern Mindanao..

    anyone from Northern Luzon???

  • regd

    That’s my man! The guy has my vote if he runs for president. Gusto ko rin matuto paano mag make-up ng bangkay. Wag lang sanag dumilat.

  • Guest

    Madali kayo maniwala sa mga politiko….maski may funeral parlor pa yan..he wont just give away money without anything in return..come on..dont be naive

    • $44479964

      Your brain needs a mortician.

  • Naring

    A man all politicians should emulate.

    Voters, please do not even think of voting those dynasty politicians.

  • anad0409

    totoo ba yan? propaganda na naman ito. kung totoo ito, magkano kaya ang binigay ni nilo aldonza bawat buwan sa mga demonyong NPA, maliban sa PTC, PTW, at kabaong? magpapakatoo ka, kapatid na aldonza.

  • Jose Guevarra

    may mga ganitong mga tao naman pala sa Pinas. bakit hindi ang katulad nito ang patakbuhin natin bilang Senador, on term lang. tapos, bilang Pangulo, na siguradong susunod din sa batas na one term lang pwedeng maging Pangulo ang isang tao sa Pinas.

  • jeproks2002

    ito ang totoong TEAM PATAY! Mabuhay!

  • KenKhoy

    dapat may pa raffle ka rin sa mga trapo na nasa poder na tumanda. at ang price ay kabaong….at libre na lahat ang services…..

  • Karlo Cases Arellano

    Nice man. I do hope that many more Aldonza win this election

  • brabads

    My salute and respect to Mr Aldonza….. Mabuhay ka…..

  • Jimbox88

    This is great!
    Kunin DNA nya then isaksak sa mga trapos!

    • Juan_Sipag08

      Sana tumalab sa mga trapos

    • teraytaray

      Good Idea po, kaso sa sobrang tagal na nga trapos sa posisyon nila sumobra na ang kapal ng balat kaya kahit anong laki ng karayom na isasaksak sa kanila babaluktot lang.

  • penoy2012

    Panalo ito.

  • virgoyap

    Nilo Aldonza: may his fame and virtues spread nationally.

  • carlorocci

    Mabuhay ka Ginoong Aldonza. Sana lahat ng mga politikos ay may pag-iisip na gaya mo, pero hindi naman syempre mangyayari iyon. Nawa’y maging ehemplo ka sa kanila.

    Mabuhay ka!

  • http://www.facebook.com/antonio.a.villareal Antonio A. Villareal

    inday lamang

    • Remrick Patagan

      may nabatian ako na dili karajaw accurate ini na article… uno kaha katinuod?

      • http://www.facebook.com/vincentbrix.biol.7 Clark Rex Biol

        Paki point out an di accurate please para kita mahibayo…

    • Ellee Bullo

      hahahaha jari kaw baja isab mano?…. hahahahha uno man ini ka tinuod ba?…. di ko man iton sija kilaya…

    • http://www.facebook.com/vincentbrix.biol.7 Clark Rex Biol

      ikaw sir opisyal man kaw sa DTI sauna, uno may imo nahimo sa mga katawhan palihug?

  • Christian Harvey

    i absolutely agree with Mr. Aldonza, those who have stayed long in the same office are the ones who get easily corrupted. He is the politician we all need. Whenever i hear politicians i always equate them with greed and corruption. Its good to know that there is a politician out there with such genuine heart who really wants to serve the masses.

  • jpastor

    Binay, Erap, Enrile, the 3-kingkoys should go and talk to this Idol in Surigao how he did it. Mr Aldonza is a great example of an admirable politician. Thank you for this news writer for letting the public know that an ideal politicican do exist.
    Aldonza for Secretary for Dept of Anti-Political Dynasty. Embalsamohin mo silang lahat gid!

  • Bowie Albert

    Of all the politicians IN the Philippines,Only Nilo Aldonza has the right to be addressed as HONORABLE!!!

  • rlo

    “All politicians should be like him—disinterested in power or fortune but with a big desire to serve,” Almeda. Even I can’t be like him. I remember a scene in the movie the Last Samurai where the emperor said to his minister “I did not see Omuras giving gold to the people on the street”.

  • Mang Teban

    Nilo Adonza is an inspiration. Other public servants must emulate him. One does not have to raffle his or her salary every month. It is probably enough for all government officials to serve one term only and we can have a truly democratic system in our country where there is a continuous turnover of people holding elective positions providing more Filipinos to hope to serve also in public office.

    Doing small projects that last for a long time and maybe forever is an outstanding feat for a man like Adonza whose heart is for other people to succeed in life. Mabuhay ka po, sir Nilo Adonza!

  • raptor_d_lonewolf

    ito ang pedeng tawaging “Honorable Councilor Nilo Aldonza”!!!!!!

  • johnlordphilip

    One-in-a-million in Philippine politics. We are proud of you Sir Nilo Aldonza! You are truly more honourable than most of our senators, congressmen, SC justices, governors, etc.

  • Hurtlocker1

    Ka Nilo Aldonza, bibihira ang taong katulad mo ho…

    and i am sure, kasama mo ang gabay ng Panginoong Diyos sa pamamalakad ng buhay mo…

    at pwde ho kau tumakbo pa ng higher office, parang comparison sa mga trapos ngaun..
    pwde tumakbo ka as governor or congressman, sa susunod na halalan..

    God bless po sa inyo, at sa inyong pamilya.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charles-Lynel-F-Joven/685946584 Charles Lynel F. Joven

    Viva Mr. Embalsamador from Surigao!! ….you beat Binay, Enrile, and the rest of the political elite !!!

  • Filipinoflash

    Could it be that Aldonza just want to avoid the three term limits that he has to run for other elective positions. Thats clever for Aldonza.

  • boyod

    you don’t have to be swayed with the antics of simorlan, who is an ac-dc (attack coolect- depend collect) second rated-hard trying media who only hardly earned Php200 a day cuz of his nonesense program. now that election time comes he wants to uplift the image of this person nilo aldonza who is but nothing in the surigao city, knows nothing but selling the “botsa” (dead meat-patay). ‘wag kayong maniwala sa propaganda ni aldonsa, he is but nothing as a dead horse.

  • boyod

    yung sa baba na nag comments o nag likes agad. wag kayong padalos-dalos hindi nyo kilala ang taong ito, “are you a surigaonon, if not, don’t be in a hurry, mapapahiya ka lang”

  • boyod

    pautot ito ni simorlan, magkano kaya ang ibinibigay ni nilo aldonza para kumita ang kanyang punirarya.bigyan mo nang libring kabaong si simorlan

  • Ibulgarmo Bayan

    Definitely, no one of the rich politicians would follow from what Mr. Aldonza did. Emagine, they spent millions so that they can win and then you only give later. Based on the records, elected senator who have only one million of asset will become double after one term. They enter politics because they want more money. That is in the Philippines.

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