INCUMBENT First Councilor Jhong Naguit on Thursday, March 28, disclosed that he is all set for the vice-mayoralty race here and continue the legacy of his brother, former mayor Lito Naguit, who is the town’s first and only three termer chief executive so far.
During an exclusive interview with Sun.Star Pampanga, Naguit said that he will deliver “higit na serbisyo” (greater service) through legislation of much needed laws and strong support for runningmate aspiring mayor incumbent Vice-Mayor Gloria “Ninang” Ronquillo if elected to the post.
Naguit, 42, is an architect by profession. He won by 12,000 votes over the nearest councilor with 8,000 votes in the past elections. If elected as vice mayor, he would also serve as presiding officer of the Sangguniang Bayan.
“Foremost, I want to continue the Naguit legacy of good governance and service set by my brother. Tomasians actually have been clamouring for that after his term. And that we vow to continue if given the opportunity to serve them as vice-mayor,” he said.
Naguit admitted that he was inspired by his brother’s love for Tomasians and dedication as a public servant, so his foray into politics.
“I am not a traditional politician and was not really inclined to enter the political arena. But assisting my brother in his projects during his term particularly on infrastructure projects since I am an architect, I witnessed how meticulous and dedicated he was with projects for people and serving Tomasians. That really inspired me,” he said.
Naguit pointed out that as a councilor, he witnessed what could be improved in the current administration’s agenda.
“Delivery of basic services in the current administration has been short and insufficient, like assistance for indigents. In fact, those in need have turned to us at the Sanggunian for assistance. So what we have been doing is we pitch in our shares so we can help indigents. Then there is lack of medicines like anti-rabies vaccines in rural health centers, plus we need to cascade directly to senior citizens their benefits for their convenience rather than gathering them in one place where they have to wait for hours and endure long speeches from officials. Laws on that have to be enacted and institutionalized for the welfare of Tomasians,” he furthered.
There is also a need to address the pestering problem in solid waste management, Naguit added.
“Our MRF [materials recovery facility] needs to be improved. It still is open and has no fence. People living near it are already complaining. There is this urgent need to also inform people here about proper solid waste management like segregation and the right way of disposing garbage,” he said.
Naguit shared that the administration, current and future, needs to open more scholarship slots for poor but deserving students.
“We need to focus on that, too. There are many young people here who want to study but don’t have resources. I myself have 20 college scholars now, with grants coming from the Philippine Councilors League (Pampanga Chapter). We believe that the local government can boost our programs in education,” he added.
Hopefully, Naguit said, once elected to the post, he could help legislate laws that would call for more infrastructure and investments to boost the town’s economy.
“We passed in 2018 our investment code where investors who will put in P10-million or more would get tax incentives. This would result to more employment and greater economic activity in our town,” he said.
“As to infrastructure, we were able to pass the resolution approving the NLEx exit in Pau under my chairmanship of the committee on infrastructure. But there are still more infrastructure needed in our seven barangays which we noted when we passed our CLUP [comprehensive land use plan] through the committee on environment where I am the vice-chairman,” Naguit said.
Naguit stressed that he is very ready to tackle the vice-mayoralty post and hit the ground running if Tomasians give him the chance.
“I would honestly say that I am very ready for the vice-mayoralty post. Years of experience, expertise in my field plus dedication have forged me as a public servant. And I assure Tomasians that in the name of the Naguit legacy, we will serve you well as you truly deserve,” he said.
Aside from Ronquillo, Naguit will run with aspiring councilors Mark Arceo, Angel David, Engelbert Euperio, Fidel Calma, Meriam Bonete Garcia, Josefina Pangilanan, Melanio Nuqui and Danilo Anicete. (JTD)