grievancecommitteeControversy, controversy go away…

How we wish controversies, like the rain, go away from FILAMCCO (Filipino American Community Council).

In the past few weeks, FILAMCCO headed by President Imelda Martin Hum has enjoyed relative peace as the controversies that plagued the organization for several months faded away, and the feuding leaders seemed to have smoked the peace pipe and are now in cordial relationship.

But a new controversy has reared its ugly head and threatened again to disturb the peace in the Filipino community. This new dispute arose from an appointment recently made by President Hum.

A well respected leader has opposed the appointment. We don’t know if the opposition to the appointment has merit or legal basis, but indications are that the controversy is threatening to turn into a full-blown dispute.

It is feared that the dispute may divide the community again as the one opposing the appointment has a solid group behind her. The appointee, on the other hand, has loyal friends among the incumbent FILAMCCO officers.

To prevent the controversy from deteriorating further, we suggest that Hum and the other key FILAMCCOleaders act fast to resolve it.

Controversies of this kind result in animosities that trouble the mind and sour relationships. Up to now, not a few of those involved in past FILAMCCO feuds cannot see eye to eye with each other and are still having nightmares about the exchange of nasty emails.

Sometimes, though, controversies cannot be avoided because of individual differences and opposing points of view. This makes it important for organizations like FILAMCCO to set up a system that addresses controversies.

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At the National Press Club of the Philippines, we installed a system to hear and resolve grievances. We created a grievance committee that looked into complaints against press club officers and members and quarrels among officers. The initial task of the committee was to try to amicably resolve disputes.

Several cases were resolved after the parties involved exchanged apologies.

We believe FILAMCCO needs a grievance committee especially at this time when it seems prone to controversies. Such committee would spare the board members the trouble of directly involving themselves in disputes. It would also enable the board to devote its time to projects that benefit the community.

The grievance panel should be composed of respected community members who are noted for their professionalism, competence and impartiality. The chairman of the committee should be at least a lawyer.

The committee’s rulings may be deemed final and executory.

With the grievance committee, FILAMCCO would be able to act fast on controversies. Speedy action is necessary because this would enable it to nip the feud in the bud. In this way, it would avert hostilities that disturb the peace of the community.