This series is intended to provide our local candidates a platform to communicate their message to the electorate. I invite our readers to interact with us in a healthy discussion of the issues raised in each of my installments. Please visit our Facebook page @SunstarCDO. Again, this is not an endorsement, just a ground for us to know our candidates a little better as they lay down their platforms for the 2019 midterm elections.
I was exposed to the administration of Mayor Oscar Moreno two years ago when I joined his team of consultants in ironing out the organizational structure in the city hall. My first stint was at the city hospital with Dr. Ramon Nery, the hospital chief, and then later on I partnered with Dr. Dixon Yasay, the former director of XU GLI, in cascading the strategic performance management system (SPMS) in the different departments of the LGU. It was a short and a very limited engagement but I was able to see the dynamics inside his local bureaucracy as well as his leadership style.
In my previous columns, I had been very critical of the way certain issues are addressed in the city. It comes with my job really. And so I was not expecting that my interview with him would be pleasantly welcomed. Yet despite my hard take on certain things which involves his leadership, not only was I warmly accommodated in, he actually dropped everything he did to engage me in an uninterrupted two-hour discussion, and on a manic Monday at that; a heightened sense of propriety that could only come from a true gentleman.
“There is still so much to be done Churchill,” said the mayor when asked why is he running for office again. He said his administration has already done a lot especially in health and education, as evident in the national awards and recognition they have been harvesting lately, yet there are still things he would like to get materialized in the city.
Despite the legislative gridlock during his first term as he did not have enough allies in the city council he still was able to deliver his 8-point agenda. And now with majority of the lawmakers as his “ka-abag” he propelled a development that made our city the 5th most competitive city in the country this year.
He was able to build 500 classrooms and new campuses for 20 schools in the city. He also toiled to elevate the quality of education in our public schools at the same time facilitated the mushrooming of child development centers and technical vocational centers.
He says City Central School still lacks 200 classrooms, and other schools may also need yet another 300 totaling to 500 needed classrooms in the next three years, a vision he would like to get materialized with the help of congressmen in the two districts.
In health, the dramatic transformation of JR Borja Hospital which now caters 200 beds and is serving thousands on a daily basis indicates that health governance has greatly improved since.
He plans to upgrade the health services by adding personnel, infrastructure, supply of medicines and medical equipment. If given yet another term, he plans to build 2 more hospitals; one in Lumbia and another in Tablon, both will be managed by JR Borja Hospital.
In peace and order, his good working relationship with the PNP has established a strong collaboration which made our city into one of the most livable cities in Mindanao. He says, “Laws here are upheld and laws are also enforced.”
If there was one clear message he was telling me, it’s that in politics you need to collaborate with other leaders to implement huge projects and that it would be a great help for him if his allies bidding for congress will both get elected as well.
Of course, I did not miss my chance to ask him about the crucial issues that beset our city today with no holds barred, but let me reserve that on a separate editorial.