ANOTHER feather in the cap of Mayor Oscar Samson Rodriguez of the City of San Fernando was added. On weekend, he was elected as the 9th President of the League of Cities of the Philippines. The multi-awarded Local Chief Executive truly deserves such.

The organization of cities has the purpose of ventilating, articulating and crystallizing issues affecting City Government administration and finding solutions to such.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

For component cities, they may form chapters on the provincial level. The National League on the other hand is composed of presidents of the league of highly urbanized cities and presidents of the provincial chapters of the league of component cities.

Pursuant to local government law, the league shall assist the national government in the formulation and implementation of policies, programs, and projects affecting cities. It also promotes local autonomy at the city level and adopts measures for the promotion of the welfare of all cities, its officials and employees. Mayor Oca's being a member of the present administration's Liberal Party, is an advantage for his slate at the league, making himself a conduit for growth and development from the National Government to the cities all over the country.

The league encourages people's participation in local government administration for the promotion of concerted actions for the attainment of country-wide development goals. The low-keyed mayor is adept to this as exemplified by his Multi-Sectoral Governance Council for his city, tapping various sectors for good governance. It shall supplement the efforts of the National Government in creating opportunities for gainful employment.

It shall give priority to programs for the development of cities and serves as a forum for ideas with the assistance of the National Government while providing private sector avenues for cooperation promoting the welfare of the cities. What is a good thing about Mayor Oca is the fact that he is not just good at talking but also to listening to different sectors of society thus involving people's participation in the delivery of basic services for the people.

The league is composed of one hundred twenty one cities all over the country. Mayor Oca has bested big names in politics such as the city mayors in Metro Manila and other major key cities in the Philippines.

Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan of Angeles City, a highly urbanized city in the province, was elated that a fellow Kapampangan mayor bagged the league's presidency. While he is busy attending to the problems of Angeles City of the past administration's debts, he himself was elected as the league's Press Relations Officer.

Despite his election to the position, Mayor Oca remains low-profile. Since his first term, he has proven that he can transform the City Government into a livable and conducive community. Various infrastructure projects he initiated for San Fernando never stopped.

The works for the San Fernando River, dreamt of being Venice style someday never ceases. Many road widening projects along major thoroughfares had their completion and many road networks are undergoing improvement.

The greening of the city is another major program of Mayor Oca worthy of lauding. It's a manifestation that despite the rapid urbanization of San Fernando, the environment is still considered.

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Finally at last, the Bamboo Development Council of Pampanga has been reconvened. Unworthy to look back, but this should have been done three years ago.

Among the abundant plant resources that we have in the province is bamboo. Bamboo is a grass and not a tree. It has a thousand and one uses from housing materials to utensils to ornaments. Bamboos have excellent uses. They are hard and durable as wood.

The iconic Bahay Kubo is made of bamboo. Although seems to be crude, the bamboo has been used for many fixtures, furniture and home decors.

One characteristic of bamboo is its being semi-waterproof, making it a good material for rafts or banca floaters (katig). It is used as poles for rip-raps. When re-engineered, bamboo can be made into fine handicraft materials.

On the reconvening of the council, it's high time that we discover, propagate and develop the uses of bamboo. With the support of local governments especially the province, bamboo will have its pride as a useful material that is truly Filipino.