Thursday, July 9, 2009

SOM : The <3%

The e-mail with attachments sent to me last Tuesday, July 7, 2009, by Engr. Omar C. Costibolo, co-convener of the Save OMECO Movement or SOM, talked about a concept called “The Three Percent”. I found out later from the net that there is also an online organization called ThreePercenter.Org who claimed to be working to promote the ideals of liberty, the exercise of freedom and promotion of constitutional government restrained by law in the States. The group also stated that, “We embrace the American Resistance Movement (ARM) philosophy and as such use the ARM logo as a means to identify our message and our cause.” Do not get me wrong. I do not support armed struggle or violence as means in pursuit of socio-political reform. I am a Church lay worker and I am for a gun-less society. I also hate the idea of organizing militias, even those state-sponsored like the CAFGU and other paramilitary units. And I hate math as well.

Costibolo explained further that, “Although the idea is invoked by the an anti-gun control movement in the US, this could also apply to any political activism or other movements for meaningful change in society.” Again, forget about the philosophy, ideals, objectives and means of ARM or any of the militant groups in Uncle Sam’s territory or elsewhere. Let us focus more on the socio-political issues and realities in Occidental Mindoro especially our latest struggle to save the Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative or OMECO. And here’s Kuya Omar again for you: “We may be less that 3% of OMECO member-consumers but we have made some meaningful changes.”

Parallel to the supplemental readings supplied by the Premiere Photo proprietor, the Save OMECO Movement or SOM surely would not amount to 3% compared to its total number of member-consumer reaching 45,000+. Indeed, we maybe supported by perhaps 10% of the member-consumers. In addition to the movement there is perhaps another 20% who favored our cause but did little or nothing to support it. Another 1/3 of the members sided with the former GM (General Manager), his cohorts and their political patron,- and the final third took no side, blew with the wind and passively accepted everything. But we succeeded.

In a Narrative Report by SOM on its OMECO involvement subtitled “The SOM : A Moral Force to Reckon With”, it is written : “The SOM is a loose organization composed of member-consumers, OMECO employees and the Apostolic Vicariate of San Jose, specifically its social action arm, the Social Services Commission (SSC). It is somewhat a network of organizations from different sectors with the whole of Occidental Mindoro as its area of concern. The SOM is still a non-formal group but the members conduct regular meeting and it had been lately the forerunner of various campaigns with the objective of saving our cooperative.” We have initially won the battle but not yet the war. But this victory would be our take-off point for the formal organizing and the establishment of organizational structures of the SOM. With this, the SOM will become part and parcel of a nationwide umbrella of power stakeholders. This would also paved the way towards strengthening a responsive and viable electric consumer movement not only in Occidental Mindoro, but the country as a whole.

Indeed, our SOM involvement have reminded us that history,- through better or worse, cure or curse, is made by determined and courageous minorities. And the SOM is one such minority and so too are the group who are against us. What remains, then, is the test of will and skill to determine WHO shall shape the future of our beloved province: them or us?

If only 3% of the total population of our province willing to sacrifice their lives and limbs for social transformation, willing to do thankless grind of social activism, willing even to occasionally lose battles but not the war. With these people around, the less than 3% is truly a moral force to reckon with, even without guns…

(Photo grabbed from taken by Kaveh Golestan)


  1. 3% is just a very little amount to think,but we could not tell that,that very little percentage can be so effective in anything they want to do maybe because of the cooperation that they have compared to some other bigger group in our community.

  2. well,well, buti pa sa kinaroroonan ko ngayon, kahit naka-aircon maghapon ang bayad lang sa kuryente ay 250 baht for a month, roughly 300 pesos lang. :)

    Napalitan nga ang GM, pero may nabago ba sa sistema?meron bang hustisya para sa mga consumers?
    Anyway, the battle has just began. Count me in.


  3. At pakibati kami sa inyong programa ha. abot hanggang dito ang powers ng dzvt. :)