INCOMING tourism secretary and incumbent president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) Cebu Chapter Liloan Mayor Christina Garcia-Frasco has endorsed Daanbantayan Mayor Sun Shimura as the next president of LMP Cebu.

Reelected in the May 9 elections, Shimura is the mayor of the Municipality of Daanbantayan and the incumbent treasurer of LMP Cebu.

Frasco, who is also LMP national vice president for the Visayas, will leave her post as mayor following her designation as secretary of the Department of Tourism (DOT) by President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. beginning July 1, 2022.

“Notwithstanding my impending departure from the LMP to take the DOT post, I am hopeful that we can continue with our united front for Cebu, which has helped all of us successfully weather the many storms we have faced in the past three years,” Frasco said.

She also pointed out the need for continuity of programs of the LMP Cebu, which, under her administration, became an effective advocacy arm with the National and Provincial Government for assistance to, and support for the local autonomy of local government units (LGUs).

As she committed when she became LMP Cebu’s first woman president in 2019, Frasco also took the league to the digital age with the launch of the first smart province mobile application in the Philippines called Cebu Forward, which connects all 44 municipalities of Cebu in terms of public access to government services, and promotion of tourist sites and local products.

Frasco said she has talked with her mother, reelected Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, who also expressed her endorsement and support for Shimura’s bid for LMP Cebu president.

“Coming into this next term, I am fully confident that Mayor Sun Shimura will be able to not only continue what we have started but also lead the LMP forward to the same strides of relevance, innovation, effectiveness, and importance that we have been able to give the organization in this term,” she said.

Shimura started his political career in Daanbantayan, Cebu as one of the youngest mayors in the Philippines in 2007 at the age of 24. After his first term as mayor, he was elected member of the Cebu Provincial Board, representing the fourth district from 2010 to 2019. Shimura was again elected Daanbantayan mayor in 2019.

Big shoes to fill

Shimura reacted to the endorsement Friday, June 24, by telling SunStar Cebu that he would take the challenge although he’d have very big shoes to fill as he noted that Frasco was very active in the programs of the LMP in the past three years despite the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

“So it’s a very big responsibility, but of course, being a good soldier, tagaan ta’g responsibilidad sa atong mga kadagkoan (given responsibilities by our leaders), ni Gov. Gwen and of course ni Christina, ato gyud buhaton (we will really fulfill them),” said Shimura, citing the good relationship they have among the mayors and in terms of programs and activities in partnership with regional agencies.

Last week, Consolacion mayor-elect Teresa “Nene” Alegado had expressed openness to being chosen LMP Cebu president, being one of the senior members and a former vice president of LMP-Cebu.

The League of Municipalities of the Philippines was created to ventilate, articulate, and crystallize issues affecting municipal government administrations and find solutions for them as mandated by Section 496 of Republic Act 7160, or the Local Government Code of 1991.

Among the league’s functions are to assist the National Government in the formulation and implementation of policies, programs and projects affecting municipalities; promote local autonomy at the municipal level; adopt measures for the promotion of the welfare of all municipalities and its officials and employees; and supplement the efforts of the National Government in creating opportunities for gainful employment within the municipalities. (MKG, PR)