BACOLOD City Mayor Evelio R. Leonardia paid courtesy visit to members of the City Council during their inaugural session Wednesday.

Leonardia felt the honor and privileged to be back to the Sangguniang Panlungsod hall, the place where he used to belong when he was councilor and vice mayor of the city.

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"I am happy to be back at the Sangguniang Panlungsod because I always look forward to be back here. I had my time to be at the SP and its always invigorating to have this privilege. My only regret is that I was not able to experience legislating in this beautiful Session Hall," Leonardia addressed the new set of City Council members.

He told them that he had a bitter political battle in the last May 2010 elections and luckily, none of those who made his political life bitter, is not around.

"I'm more encouraged with the new developments. I feel that it's going to be a positive 3 years for all of us. This is a good start because what matters most is always the first step taken in the right direction," he said.

He added: "We all have our roles to play we're we are supposed to serve our people and make their lives better in the city. It's time again to pause and look around and what we have. I'm sure you can see that the city has grown by leaps and bounds. Five to six years, we saw the dramatic changes in the city."

Leonardia said that if he will use the vehicle as an analogy to the growth of the city, "We are like Mercedez or BMW. But we should use our vehicle to bring us to our destination, taking the right path and not traverse a rough road. We are blessed with employment opportunities because of the call centers and the supermalls that operate in the city. Bacolod has in fact in the Billionaire's mark because of our budget of P1.2 billion. That is a testament of the growth of Bacolod and this validates that the city is growing quite fast."

He added that the awards and reputation bestowed upon the city has made many people think Bacolod with high regard. Sen. Franklin Drilon, Ilocos Governor Chavit Singson, Saranggani Rep. Manny Pacquiao were in chorus to say that Bacolod looks very progressive, he said.

But, Leonardia warned the members of council to be careful of other people who are not happy when there is harmony among the city officials.

"There are forces which will destroy us and I hope that we are all conscious that outside of our peripherals, there are those who will spoil the harmony that we have. I would like to see the city officials work in harmony and I offer my hand in harmony with everybody. I hope that we can have solution in every problem and let's sit down, dialogue for us to reach a solution," he said.

Leonardia plans to create an Executive and Legislative agenda and both branches of the City Government will come up with an agreement as to what direction they shall take.

He also reminded everyone, that three years is not forever. "I even considered my last three years as the last three minutes in a basketball. I now realized how short three years is and we should do the best we can while we can because this opportunity will not last forever. So, let's do our job as fast and efficient as we can."

He also asked his fellow public officials not to forget the Lord Almight for His guidance.

"Without the Almighty, we can do nothing. Even Cong. Pacquiao, the great boxer of all time depends on the Lord. I believe that unless the builds the house, we will labor in vain. So let us not labor in vain. Let's make Bacolod surge ahead and let's go to the promise land together," he said. (Carla N. Canet)