A young neophyte shows the way for oldtimers
posted 29-Oct-2019  ·  
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Of vital importance for a first-timer in local governance, particularly those who ran for municipal mayor, is a guide published by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on what they should do for their first 100 days in office. It says in the introduction:

“Congratulations! Your pursuit of election to public office has paid off but it’s now time for a reality check. You may have won your way through promises, confrontation, and rhetoric but would these be of use to you in managing the LGU organization? The moment you take on the role of the local chief executive, you will realize that winning is not all that matters. You would have to meet the expectations of the people who voted for you instead of your opponents. You would have to positively disappoint your rivals by performing well and doing the locality good. And to do these, it will dawn on you that you might need a different set of skills and understanding. You may need to review the ideas and convictions you hold on to since you entered the campaign. You may also want to ask yourself – have I thought about the things I will do in my first 100 days in office? What can I hope to accomplish in this limited time?”

Apparently, this initial lesson was lost on majority of the 11 town executives in Catanduanes, as only Mayor Jose Paolo Teves of Baras rendered his report on the First 100 Days by October 8, 2019.

Addressing the Sangguniang Bayan headed by Vice Mayor Rico Tating as well as barangay officials and sectoral representatives, the island’s youngest mayor showed up his older and more experienced counterparts by expounding on what he has done so far.

Among these were discovering a new tourist attraction in Abihao, extending garbage collection from the poblacion to the entire villages, extending assistance to students, senior citizens and PWDs, availability of free ambulance services, funding and implementation of infrastructure projects costing a total of over P16 million, and support for agri-fisheries and other basic services.

Of course, Mayor Teves has an advantage the other 10 chief executives does not have: a partylist congressman for a father, to whom he can always count on for much-needed hard and soft projects.

This early, the young executive disclosed, TGP Rep. Jose Teves Jr. has assured funding for the construction of the Agban National High School covered court (P5 million), rehabilitation of the multi-purpose building at Agban Central Elementary School (P2 million), P1 million for medical assistance, P2 million for Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation or AICS, P25 million for a diversion road connecting two barangays, P15 million for the construction of a covered court at Eastern Poblacion to be built on a reclaimed area, P5 million for a seawall and P25 million for the concreting of Macutal-Benticayan road.

“This is just the beginning, but I believe that we already made big steps towards the achievement of our dreams for Baras,” Mayor Teves concluded, as he sought understanding for whatever deficiencies and faults he has due to his young age and inexperience.

Big steps indeed, which is what the DILG expected from the rest of the 10 town mayors in the island.

For sure, the public may be a little bit forgiving for the other first timers in Virac, Caramoran, Pandan, Panganiban and Gigmoto, but having difficulty in taking charge of local governance is certainly no excuse for not rendering the 100-day report.

Rather, the greenhorn mayors, however successful they may have been in their private careers, should have laid out to their constituents, friend or foe alike, the current state of the municipality and what they intend to do about it.

Refusing to render the report will stoke the public’s fear that they made a mistake in electing their leader. This would in turn erode public confidence in the new chief executive’s perceived capability to fulfill his promoses and ultimately damage his or her chances of reelection.

Young as he is, the Baras town mayor has proven the wisdom that there is no harm in trying, because in doing so he has shown himself deserving of his people’s confidence as their leader.

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