Cartoon by Roni Santiago

The Philippine American Cultural Center of Michigan (PACCM), the “City Hall” of the Filipino community, is in need of a new president.

The two-year term of Rebecca “Becky” Tungol, incumbent PACCM president, will end this year, and she cannot run for reelection because the by-laws prohibit it.

Becky herself is leading the search for a leader who will succeed her. She is joined in the search by other PACCM officers, including PACCM Executive Director Tony Kho and Dr. Ernestina Mac, who is a member of the PACCM’s board of directors.

Tony Kho has aired the call for a new PACCM president to leaders who are “presidentiables” but so far there is no taker. Among the leaders whom Kho asked to run for president in the forthcoming PACCM election are Doctor Mac and Bert Reginaldo.

It was learned that Doctor Mac, who used to lead PACCM, declined the offer to run for president because she is the incumbent president of the Filamcco Foundation, and she wants to devote her time and efforts (not to mention her resources) to the foundation’s mission of helping the less fortunate, particularly those in the Philippines.

Another reason is that she is working full-time as pediatrician at Beaumont Health System.

Bert Reginaldo also turned down the offer because he has so much in his plate as key officer of other community organizations.

What about Tony Kho succeeding Becky Tungol at the helm of PACCM?

Tony believes he is more useful as executive director than as president. As executive director, he is tasked to do not only managing the day-to-day affairs of the center but also myriad of other things such as scheduling events and coordinating the affairs of other community groups. His office also serves as the communication center of the community, firing email-blast every now and then to inform the community of important events.

READ:  Journalism is a hazardous profession

As executive director, he is in the frontline in the implementation of  PACCM’s flagship programs such as the Paaralang Pilipino, Consulate on Wheels, Valentine’s Day Party and Health and Wellness Fair. With all these activities, the task requires full time.

And because it is a full-time job, it excludes other leaders, who are fully occupied with their own work or livelihood. Even though they may want to serve the community, they simply cannot quit their job to serve as PACCM president, a position without salary. The work is purely volunteer service.

If no one comes forward to make himself/herself available for the prestigious position, Tungol continues to hold the reins until her successor is elected and sworn in.

We believe, though, that there are civic-minded “presidentiables” out there who love the Filipino community and will come out soon to answer the call of service.