Yes to Mabalacat City-A A +A
At Close Range
Sunday, July 22, 2012
IT IS NOW official. The erstwhile town of Mabalacat shall henceforth be known as Mabalacat City.
Despite the low turnout, inclement weather and perceived opposition, the “Yes” votes outnumbered the “No” votes to formally create the new city in the province of Pampanga.
The fuss and brouhaha over the birth of the land of balacat trees should be waning by now and the serious task of setting things up for the new city must start immediately.
First off, the good Mayor Boking Morales should review the roster of personnel to beef up or rationalize the new set up which will meet new requirements now that a new form of government is in place.
With the help of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and in consultation with San Fernando, likewise a component city, Mabalacat should pattern its internal set-up to the former to achieve smooth transition from a town into a city. Other operational activities and parameters can be enacted or adopted to conform to guidelines on operating a city. Which brings to mind the question: now that Mabalacat is a city, could the mayor and other officials change their nomenclature and status into city mayor, city administrator, city accountant, etc.? If the present mayor still wins in 2013, what would be his official designation? Would it still be municipal mayor or city mayor? Valid questions these are and legal opinions should now be sought to clear the issues.
The Human Resources and Management Office (HRMO) needs overhauling with its head to be sternly advised to recruit people who are more qualified and are eligible. Presently, it may be observed that she (?) gets people (mostly relatives) who are not deserving of the positions they are recruited to fill and repeatedly hoodwinks her superiors (specifically the mayor) into signing hastily prepared appointment papers. Paging the CSC which should look into the actuations of this lady (?) office head.
The DILG can provide lectures or seminars to the officials of Mabalacat City on appropriate provisions of the Local Government Code bearing on cities and give guidelines thereto.
There are a lot of things that need to be changed, modified and replaced in the new city. This time, Mayor Boking must bring his government much closer to the people and encourage more participation in governance.
With this new set up and setting, the new city officials should not commit the same errors in the old town. They should now check the finances, spend the finances frugally, implement projects faithfully and meet obligations promptly.
Given the dismal or below expected turnout, Mayor Boking and his team can compensate for this by performing well above the people's expectations and by delivering more basic services assiduously. This way, the pyrrhic victory in the plebiscite can be offset with commendable performance.
On the matter of conduct of the plebiscite, so many people should be lauded for their efforts: on the Comelec side, Atty. Emmanuel Ignacio and his staff, Frank David, the election officer and his staff, the BEI and watchers, the DepEd group headed by the district supervisors, teachers and other faculty members and on the LGU side headed by Mayor Morales and his team composed of Roger Tanglao, Jun Magbalot, Jun Sibal and others, including the Municipal Treasurer's officers and staff who had to report on a Saturday to receive ballot boxes and Comelec paraphernalia.
Incumbent councilor Elizabeth Ramos Pineda, the better half of Emil Pineda, is the official candidate for vice mayor in the forthcoming 2013 elections and rightfully so as her sights are set on providing more benefits not only for the women's and senior citizens' sectors but also to the entire populace of Mabalacat City.
While she is perceived to be elitist, she claims she is pro masa as can be with her programs attuned to the needs of the disadvantaged and underprivileged. Regal-looking and every inch a respectable woman legislator, she intends to complement her mayor's undertakings by presiding over a dynamic Sangguniang Panlungsod in 2013.
Married into a very prominent Pineda family, Liza pledges to keep a keen eye on the usage of public funds so that these can be tapped for programs beneficial to the entire city and its citizens. A vote for Liza Pineda is a vote for good governance.
Over at Angeles City, it is still the EdPam-Vicky tandem to beat in the 2013 elections, seasoned or novice adversaries notwithstanding. EdPam, as I have written before, has worked wonders for the city and his encompassing achievements, with emphasis on the health and welfare of his constituents, solidly back up his qualifications for another mandate. Ditto with Vicky Vega Cabigting who devotes her time wholly to her city mates and legislates for their behalf.
The good people of Angeles City could do themselves a favor if they give EdPam, Vicky and their slate another mandate.
The same holds true for incumbent Governor Lilia "Nanay Baby" Pineda who has accomplished a lot for the province.
Her actions prove louder than words as her sincere intentions for the entire province become more pronounced in her daily sojourns in areas hitherto untouched. Governor Baby is excellent governance and progress personified and therefore she deserves a second take at the governorship.
Any bets against, anyone?
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on July 23, 2012.