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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, July 5, 2016
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IN BACOLOD
3 senators arriving for
inauguration rites
BY CHRYSEE SAMILLANO

Outgoing Senate president Franklin Drilon confirmed yesterday that he is joining presumptive Senate president Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III and Senator Manny Pacquiao at the inaugural ceremonies of the new set of city officials at the Bacolod City Government Center tomorrow, Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said yesterday.

Drilon will swear in Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya during the inauguration that starts at 5 p.m., while Pacquiao will swear in Leonardia, and Pimentel - Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran.

This is the first time in a long while that the top three officials of Bacolod City are being sworn in together, coming as they do from the same political party, the Grupo Progreso.

Leonardia said they will have a unique inauguration where the outgoing and incoming senate presidents will be present with Pacquiao as a special added attraction. “We will have an all star cast,” he said.

“It is an honor for us to have three big names in politics having agreed to come,” he said, adding that it will be a "3 on 3" inauguration on Wednesday.

Given the tight schedules of these senators, the fact that they will take time to swear in the top three Bacolod officials, speaks a lot about the local officials, Leonardia added.

The 12 members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod namely, Councilors Cano Tan, Caesar Distrito, Cindy Rojas, Renecito Novero, Em Ang, Elmer Sy, Ana Marie Palermo, Wilson Gamboa, Jr.   Dindo Ramos, Bart Orola, Claudio Puentevella and Sonya Verdeflor, will take their oath before Regional Trial Court Executive Judge Anita Chua.

Pimentel is the president of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino- Lakas ng Bayan, the party of President Rodrigo Duterte. The Nationalist People's Coalition, of which Leonardia is a member, has recently coalesced with PDP-Laban.

Pacquiao is an "adopted son of Bacolod," and Leonardia's seatmate in the last congress, where Leonardia served as a freshman legislator. 

Leonardia had carried the champion's belt and the Philippine flag in most of Pacquiao's fights. He is also godfather to two of Pacquiao's children, namely, Queenie and Israel. 

Meanwhile, Leonardia said the NGC has been spruced up for the inauguration ceremonies on Wednesday.

About 85 members of Negros Kabarkada Painters' Association  began painting the facade and the lobby of the NGC Sunday, with free paint from Davies, he said.

These all are for free; the labor and materials would have cost the city government about P500,000, he said. 

On the other hand, Leonardia asked the city employees, during the flag ceremony yesterday, to help his administration to achive all the plans and programs they have presented during the campaign that they hope will be realized.

He also told them that they will try to review and improve the process of all basic services so they could provide them the soonest possible time.

Leonardia also reminded the employees that it is the policy of his administration to serve the people with the “right courtesy.” After all it is the people who are paying the salaries of government employees.

He believes that in order to realize the goals of his administration, the employees make up are the government machinery that can ensure that the programs of the city will be implemented. So he asked the Human Resource Services to undergo strategic training programs to enhance the capabilities and improve the skills of the employees, which should be given priority, he said.

Leonardia said it is his dream to see the employees of the city will become models of government service.

He also introduced to the employees his executive assistants during the flag ceremony yesterday.*CGS

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