JVR’s first 100 days as mayor-A A +A
Monday, October 14, 2013
I DON'T know why, when Talisay City Mayor Johnny V. “JVR” de los Reyes delivered a speech on his first 100 days in office last Oct. 10, former mayor and now City Councilor Socrates Fernandez attended it, unlike most of the Alayon councilors who steered clear of it. Speeches like the one JVR delivered are “bragging moments.”
And when incumbents brag, they necessarily paint their predecessors bad to make themselves look good. Brod Soc must have realized that belatedly because he silently walked out of City Hall in the middle of the speech wherein JVR claimed that he inherited a dilapidated house. Brod Soc managed that “dilapidated” house for three terms.
Fernandez was actually trying to be consistent. He has been trying to be reconciliatory to his successor, an act that had a price. One, it tended to alienate him from his partymates and to Alayon chief Eduardo Gullas, who lost to JVR in the May polls. Two, it means he has to occasionally swallow his pride, like when JVR chided his rule.
That’s probably the reason why, instead of answering JVR’s tirade, he chose to keep silent. It was good that lawyer Pat Acabodillo of Nacionalista Party (NP) and Alayon, probably on the prodding of Gullas, publicly disputed JVR’s claims. But Brod Soc should have defended himself.
Then again, even if Brod Soc did the defending on his own, he might yet fall short.
Because the first 100 days of a newly assumed official will only look good if the way the administration he succeeded was run was bad. That JVR is looking good only means Brod Soc didn’t do well.
To be fair, JVR generally did well in terms of effort in his first 100 days in office.
But many of the programs that he mentioned in his speech were minor (surely, allowing barbers and masseuse to practice their profession inside City Hall is not earthshaking). But these could endear him to certain sectors or to voters.
I like his boast about the drainage system that he claimed to have constructed in flood-prone areas. He challenged the rain to pour to test the integrity of what he built. That signifies confidence. But here’s one warning to the mayor: Be careful what you wish for.
A bigger achievement, if we may call that, is the speed with which Talisay was able to purchase police cars and ambulances, especially considering government bureaucracy.
But that invited controversy when he painted his name on the purchased vehicles like “epal” politicians do.
The test for a good administrator, though, is in the big things, not in the small ones. What JVR didn’t mention in his speech was the disorderly manner with which he dealt with the most important concerns raised during the campaign period: the Talisay public market.
I won’t belabor this point. Suffice it to say that instead of using the return of the vendors from the new public market in Lagtang to the old public market in Tabunok to exhibit his managerial skills and sagacity, he instead exposed his bumbling tendencies. He lost the chance of making the old public market in Tabunok a presentable one.
And this is only for starters. Because major challenges are on the horizon for the Talisay mayor.
For example, it is not only the drainage problem that he will have to contend with.
The coastal villages of his city are vulnerable not only to the threats of waterspouts but also to, as shown lately, sudden wave surges.
How JVR will prepare the city for possible calamities will again test managerial skills and sagacity.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 15, 2013.