JVR: I’ve done a lot for Talisay-A A +A
Friday, October 11, 2013
WHEN he assumed office last July 1, Talisay City Mayor Johnny de los Reyes felt he had inherited a dilapidated house.
“Nidawat ko og balay nga walay hagdanan, walay tubig, walay butang (I took over a house that did not have stairs, water supply, nothing),” said de los Reyes, the owner of Canker Sore Drops.
After several attempts to be elected to different posts in previous elections, de los Reyes was elected mayor last May, defeating veteran politician and former first district representative Eduardo Gullas.
Now on his 100th day in office, the 62-year-old inventor-turned-city mayor said he was able to implement many programs in a short time, despite criticisms from different sectors in the city.
After overcoming the challenges of his three months in office, de los Reyes plans to implement his most ambitious plan yet: turning Talisay into the tourism center of southern Cebu.
But before that, he said, he wants to focus on poverty alleviation and bring basic services back to the people.
One of the programs he implemented during his first 100 days in office was the Adopt Talisaynon program, which requires business establishments in the city to prioritize indigent residents of the city when hiring workers.
He also facilitated the hiring of poor Talisaynons by different companies across Cebu.
In a speech he delivered at the City Hall Thursday night, de los Reyes enumerated the programs and projects that he implemented in his first 100 days in office.
Among other programs, he said that he has provided skills trainings and job opportunities within City Hall, such as allowing masseuses and barbers to provide their services for a fee there.
He also started the free burial program for indigents where everything is free, from the coffin to the hearse.
But De los Reyes jokingly pleaded constituents not to abuse the City’s free burial services.
“Ayaw lang sad mo og sige’g kamatay ha?” he said in his speech.
He also instituted a weekly “Barangayan,” where the City brings services to the 22 barangays, including approval of licenses and permits, free health and veterinary services, among others.
The mayor recently inaugurated the City’s Indigent Pharmacy, which offers free medicines to residents who can prove that they live below the poverty line.
For those who can afford, the pharmacy sells the medicines at lower prices.
He also implemented infrastructure projects such as the asphalting of barangay roads and the construction of drainage facilities in flood-prone areas.
De los Reyes even challenged the rain to pour to test the drainage system.
He also approved the purchase of police cars and ambulances to improve law enforcement and medical services.
The mayor also ordered the repair of non-serviceable vehicles, including a speedboat donated by Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources so the Fisheries Sea and Ecological Care, the City’s Bantay Dagat team, can use it.
De los Reyes thanked his older brother, Joel, for instituting reforms in the city motorpool.
“When I started, the motorpool did not have a single equipment, not even a screwdriver. Now whatever we need is there,” he said.
He also revived policies such as the plastic ban.
Establishments in the city caught violating the plastic ban will be penalized.
Even after office hours, de los Reyes said he continues to help poor constituents. But he clarified that the money he shells out are proceeds of his canker sore drops business.
De los Reyes advised indigents to pray for him, that he will continue to have the strength to help them.
After his first 100 days, de los Reyes said he will focus on new infrastructure projects that will boost the city’s tourism.
Amid the criticisms during the first 100 days of his administration, de los Reyes said he is glad that his allies in the City Council and the department heads supported him. (Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 11, 2013.