CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Officials from the Capitol's executive and legislative departments gathered in flag ceremony Monday where Governor Lilia Pineda bared plans for the province.
Leading the rites were Pineda, and Vice Governor Joseller Guiao, together with the Provincial Board.
After the flag raising ceremony, Pineda bared more of her plans for the province, starting with the renovation and improvement of offices at the Capitol.
"The Capitol building is no nice outside. Arnedo Park is very nice as well. But inside, your [referring to Capitol employees] offices have to be improved in terms of facilities and repairs," Pineda said, adding these must be done to fast track work and the subsequent delivery of much needed basic services.
She told Sun.Star Pampanga in a succeeding interview: "I observed that ceilings are leaking, even if it's not raining. I also saw that their facilities and equipment are not high tech, like they lack computers and laptops for example. What I would want is fast processing of papers and documents and speedy delivery of services."
"Sa akin, pag kulang ka ng mga ganitong kagamitan sa opisina mo at makita mo na mainit, masikip at habang nagtatrabaho ka ay may nakikita kang tumutulo sa kisame mo, talagang nakapagtatagal ng mga ginagawa nila," said Pineda.
She said that before going out to the barangays or elsewhere, improvements would have to start inside the Capitol to fast track processing of essential documents.
Not happy with state of hospitals
Pineda said that she "was not happy" after inspecting some district hospitals like the facility in Macabebe. Health is top priority for the lady governor who prefers to be called "Nanay".
"Hindi maganda at talagang hindi maganda. Marami ang dapat palitan at ayusin sa mga gamit ng ospital. Madali naman ito dahil meron tayong pondo. Pinag-aaralan na naming iyon kasabay ng pag-aayos ng mga opisina sa Kapitolyo," she narrated.
At the precise time of the interview, hundreds lined up outside of her temporary office at the Executive House seeking medical and other forms of assistance.
The crowd, being entertained on the spot by her staff, was triple the number last Thursday and Friday. Some of those reached by Sun.Star Pampanga said it was "a relief to have entered the Capitol again" after being allegedly slammed in the past.
Release of Christmas bonuses
Pineda said that on her first day of work, she immediately consulted Capitol's director of finance regarding the unreleased Christmas bonuses of some 2,100 Provincial Government employees. Reportedly, the bonus of P20,000 plus "interest" each would be released in two weeks time.
"We are still on the stage of consultation and are asking concerned officials on how we can release this bonus in the right and legal way. The decision has to be shared by me and the Provincial Board (PB) together with the finance and budget departments," she quipped.
Guiao, for his part, corroborated Pineda's statements and said that the PB, if necessary, will re-file the ordinance that will lead to the immediate release of the bonuses: "Gov. Pineda has given us and her staff instructions for the release of these bonuses. We will appropriate or re-appropriate if need be to ensure na malinis ang pagbibigay ng bonuses. Ibibigay iyung P20,000 and were are studying kung kaya pang magbigay ng additional dahil we know naipangutang na itong bonus na ito ng mga empleyado."
Quarry collection breakthroughs
Pineda expressed her joy with the record-breaking quarry collections on the first two days of her administration, where P1.38 million was collected on Thursday and P1.425 million collected on Friday.
Guiao, speaking for Pineda, revealed that the collections were the highest for any year during the month of July, surpassing, twice in volume, the average of P600,000 monthly collections of Panlilio's Biyaya a Luluguran at Sisikapan, now changed by the Pineda administration to Kapampangan a Lulugud at Matapat.
Just call me "Nanay"
In his remarks during the ceremonies, Pineda asked the Capitol's employees to leave their personal problems at home and not bring them to work.
However she said that she can be approached anytime by the employees regarding their personal problems.
"Just see me and just call me Nanay. Although I am your governor, I am with you in serving Kapampangans. I could not do these without you," Pineda said. (Jovi T. De Leon)