TWO Dumanjug mayors showed up yesterday during the Department of Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) awarding of the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) at the Capitol: Acting Mayor Efren Guntrano Gica, who was officially invited, and suspended Mayor Nelson Garcia.
But when the venue was moved to the Norkis Park in Mandaue City after organizers found out that DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, the guest speaker, would be late, Garcia was a no-show.
Organizers had decided that the awarding would take place after the “Leadership Training on Irreversible Reform Beyond 2016.”
(The training was for members of the Local Poverty Reduction Action Team, Bottom-Up Budgeting and members of the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program in Cebu.)
When Roxas, a Liberal Party (LP) leader and prospective presidential candidate, finally arrived with his staff, he was driving the van.
“Hindi chaleco, hindi partido, hindi ang politica ang tinitingnan, basta maayos ang pamamalakad, binibigyan ng award (We don’t look at party lines, but as long as the local government unit or LGU is well run then it gets an award),” Roxas told the crowd, when he handed the award to Gica, an LP member.
DILG 7 Assistant Director Elias Fernandez confirmed that Garcia was not invited. “…ang ato lang gi-recognize si Acting Mayor Gica (we only recognize Gica),” he said.
However, Gica admitted that Garcia would have accepted the award had the latter not been suspended.
Of the eight local mayors who received SGLG awards, three are LP members.
They are Argao Mayor Edcel Galleos, Dalaguete Mayor Ronald Allan Cesante and San Remigio Mayor Mariano Martinez.
The non-LP mayors are Garcia of Dumanjug, Ian Escario of Bantayan, Ricardo Ramirez of Medellin, Ronald Guaren of Oslob and Narciso Creus of Malabuyoc. They belong to One Cebu Party.
The mayors each received a large replica of a check for P3 million that will be used to fund projects in their localities.
Rep. Luigi Quisumbing (Cebu, 6th district) reportedly help get funding for the SGLG so Roxas let him hand the awards to the mayors.
When asked why most awardees are non-LP members, Roxas said in Tagalog, “Whoever practices good local governance gets the award.”
Gov. Hilario Davide III, an LP member, said it was the DILG that selected the best performing LGUs.
The mayor of Bantayan, Medellin, San Remigio—areas that were hard-hit by typhoon Yolanda in 2013—will use the amount to build more classrooms and evacuation center in elevated areas.
Other mayors will expand their water system and build more roads.
The Provincial Government was also an SGLG awardee, with Davide and Vice Gov Agnes Magpale receiving a check replica for P7 million.
Davide said they will use the money buy medical equipment for district hospitals.