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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, July 2, 2016
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Bing back at NGC,
names key officers

BY CHRYSEE SAMILLANO

Mayor Evelio Leonardia returned yesterday to the Bacolod City Government Center and named his key officers before getting down to work.

Aside from City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan and City Administrator John Orola, who were earlier named, Leonarda also introduced Rodel Parcon, Edward Joseph Cuansing, Joemarie Vargas, Supt. Armando Tobongbanua, Senior Supt. Celestino Guarra, Marivic Canada, Moises Dela Cruz, Federico Guanzon, Butch Soliguen, Sammy Montoyo, Ed Ravena, Edwina Javier, Vicente Petierre Sr., Benjie Torre, and Vanessa Encabo, after a mass attended by employees and their supporters who came in red shirts.

The Mayor, together with his partymates under Grupo Progreso, then visited every department and office at City Hall where they were welcomed by city employees who prepared food and decorated the hallways of NGC and their offices with red balloons.

Some offices had posters welcoming Leonardia back to City Hall.

Joining him were Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, Councilors Cano Tan, Caesar Distrito, Cindy Rojas, Renecito Novero, Bart Orola, Dindo Ramos, and Elmer Sy. Councilor Em Ang was on official travel abroad.

Meanwhile, Leonardia said presumptive Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel has accepted their invitation to be the guest speaker during their inauguration on July 6 at the Bacolod City Government Center, while Senator Manny Pacquiao will be the solemnizing officer.

Leonardia said Gasataya will be joining them while City Administrator John Orola will officially invite other councilors (belonging to MKK) so they will have one inauguration.

He said the three top officials of Bacolod have pledged to work together, which is very significant.

If the congressman, mayor and vice mayor are together, they will be able to accomplish many things for the city compared to the past, Leonardia said.

This is a testimony that it was not just during the campaign, but they are aware that the people wanted this line up because they saw the disadvantages when there is no cooperation between the mayor and congressman, he said.

“Together with the majority of the councilors, we feel we have a good chance of pursuing the agenda of Grupo Progreso,” he added.

Leonardia said he has also discussed with Gasataya the programs that he had started like the Bacolod Economic Highway; the flyover at Araneta Street, which the solon had signed when he was acting mayor; the P50 million budget approved by the Road Board, and other pending projects like the development of the Sum-ag River, which Gasataya will continue.

On the other hand, Leonardia said he was shocked to see the situation of the NGC when he returned. This is deliberate neglect since no budget was allocated for its maintenance, he said.

“This is not the NGC we envisioned to serve our employees and our people. This is supposed to inspire investors confidence. But if it is in a state like this, it will erode investors confidence,” he said.

Leonardia said the City Engineer's Office has started preparing the program of work even for its repainting. They also have donors for the paint.

He said he believes that the changing of the name from government center to People's House may have contributed to the defeat of their opponents.

A National Historical Commission official he met said there is no problem if they change the name, he added.

Leonardia said they have also started removing the shanties in the vicinity of the NGC.

They also hope to pursue all their plans for Bacolod with the help of the employees. Their plans will not materialize without government machinery which is the people in City Hall, he said.

Leonardia reminded the employees that the government center was constructed on December 28, 2006 and was completed in August 2008, for the purpose of making the working conditions of the employees better and to make them more effective and efficient.

He also reminded them that whatever were his policies and inclinations before, in so far as employees benefits are concerned, they should expect that they will be the same.

He and his fellow officials also said hope to see to it that they will be able to improve the delivery of basic services like traffic, health, sanitation, environment, among others.*CGS

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