I LIKE the on-going dynamics in Davao City executive and the legislative departments. On day one, Mayor Inday Sara Zimmerman-Duterte Carpio, or Inday Sara for short, totally overhauled City Hall in a manner I personally did not anticipate. It is as if she took over a bureaucracy from a political adversary. You know like Noynoy Aquino undertaking a thorough overhaul as in clearing and cleaning the government of Arroyo's hungry detergents.
Well, Mayor Inday Sara wants to be her own man, rather woman. I am with her on that. I am with her too in her choice of who will head the various departments as she along with her appointees will be accountable to her political constituents. But then, I too understand the concern of her father, the vice mayor, and other members of the city council.
This is a very sensitive matter to write about since I, personally, had put at stake personal liberties to fight for the political principles of the Dutertes - the mayor, vice mayor and the councilor, included. But this is not about me. This is for the more than 90 percent of the constituents in Davao City who gave that overwhelming mandate to Inday, Rody, and Polong, and the Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod.
With all due respect to Vice Mayor Rody and the members of the Sanggunian, I think that they should accord Mayor Inday Sara the courtesy of confirming her appointees, Leika Lopez included. She might fall short of the council's expectations, but Leika I think has enough gray matters between her head to learn the ropes as other administrators did in the past.
There are, however, fundamental concepts that the new appointees must accept. Leika for example should totally overhaul her perception that the office of city administrator is not political in nature. In fact, everything in that office is political since she assumes the responsibility of being the city manager.
Because she too is the alter-ego of the mayor, the city administrator deals not only with the chiefs of office, city planners, the politicians, but most of all to personally listen to the voice of the people for they are the ones who articulate the needs. Mayor Inday Sara does this on a very personal basis and Leika should do the same. The process is to listen to the constituents, bundle the inputs into plans, go to the sanggunian for funding, and then back to City Hall for implementation.
When VM Duterte relinquished the chair to test the mettle of Leika, it is to measure her appreciation of the office of the city administrator. While I have not seen nor heard her talk, I am certain that see can handle the magma of questions thrown at her. She can pass that. She can hurdle that. She has the qualification for the position.
Leika, moreover, must evolve from the confined life of a council secretary, come out of that cocoon to the new world which is a political arena where long queues of people of diverse problems seek help and just plain pieces of advice. Add to that the responsibility of meeting with domestic and foreign visitors and investors and then speaking in forums and other functions, no matter how petty these can get sometimes, and...having coffee and chat with media people.
Finally, let us not lose sight of the fact that the overwhelming support that the electorates gave Hugpong is a clear testament that they approved of the way the affairs of the city is being managed. The new department heads should see this as a mandate for them to maintain and sustain the programs of the past administration. For as long as they have this as a guidepost I do not think that they can go wrong.
Leika should not resent the vice mayor's grilling but rather look at the possible reasons why she is being grilled by the council. Hugpong just does not want to go wrong.
I do not see the reason why she would go on leave. On the other hand, I see the reason why Vice Mayor Rody has to go on leave... that is to deliver a message to the hundreds of people who queue in his office: that he is no longer the mayor and that the proper office they should go to should be the City Administrators Office. So Leika, take up the challenge and everything will be okay.