A Tale of Two SOCAs: Mabalacat and CSF Set the Pace for Pampanga’s Progress

A Tale of Two SOCAs: Mabalacat and CSF Set the Pace for Pampanga’s Progress

This year, Pampanga's two thriving cities, Mabalacat and San Fernando, have set the stage for transformative leadership through the delivery of their respective State of the City Addresses (SOCAs). Both cities, guided by their dynamic and forward-thinking local chief executives, have demonstrated remarkable vision and commitment to their cities' development and people's welfare.

In San Fernando, Mayor Vilma Caluag, the city's first woman Executive, recently delivered her inaugural SOCA at the Laus Convention Center. The event was a grand spectacle, reflecting the vibrant spirit and cultural richness of San Fernando. It was a lengthy affair, but the message was potent and timely - the call for inclusivity. With her rallying cry, "Nung Fernandino Ka, Kayabe Ka," she sent a strong message of unity and collective responsibility. This theme resonates with the current global narrative, emphasizing the need to ensure that no one is left behind in the journey towards progress and development.

Meanwhile, Mabalacat's SOCA, led by Mayor Crisostomo Garbo, was a study in simplicity, focusing on substance. His address was delivered in a modest executive session of the 4th Sangguniang Panlungsod presided by Vice Mayor Gerald Guttrie Aquino. The simplicity of the event did not detract from the richness of the content, however. Mayor Garbo cleverly linked the city's 12 pillars of government with the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), underlining the city's commitment to sustainable development and global best practices.

While the two SOCAs varied in presentation style, the underlying themes of inclusivity and sustainable development were shared. Both mayors demonstrated their commitment to their constituents and stakeholders, showcasing their respective visions for their cities' progress in alignment with the global development goals.

The contrast between the two SOCAs reflects the diversity of approaches to leadership and governance. Mayor Caluag's grand, inclusive approach reflects San Fernando's vibrant spirit, while Mayor Garbo's modest but meaty address underscores Mabalacat's commitment to substance and sustainability.

In both cases, the cities of Mabalacat and San Fernando are blessed to have leaders who are not only capable but also responsive to the needs and aspirations of their constituents. These two mayors have set a high bar for local governance in Pampanga, demonstrating that whether through grand gestures or simple, substantive plans, progress is achievable.

As we move forward into the year, it will be interesting to see how these visions unfold and materialize into tangible benefits for the constituents of Mabalacat and San Fernando. One thing is for sure; these two cities are on a promising path toward a sustainable and inclusive future, thanks to the leadership of their respective mayors.


Kuya J Pelayo IV is a Kapampangan broadcast journalist. For comments and suggestions, e-mail at 4th.pelayo@gmail.com


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