By Chito Chavez
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año has commended Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, Makati Mayor Abby Binay, and Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto for doing well immediately after assuming their respective terms.
Moreno was cited for “hitting the ground running and for showing strong political will” in enforcing law and order in Manila after only several days in office.
“Manila is the showcase of the Philippines. It is the first place foreigners see when they come to our country, so I’m pleased that in the first
weeks of his administration, Mayor Isko has already shown that the challenges of the city are not insurmountable and can be addressed with political will and commitment,” Año said.
Binay was cited for her reforms in governance at city hall, including her school feeding program in Makati’s public schools. Sotto was commended for his plans to the improve traffic system and fully implement the universal health care program in Pasig City.
“Our young leaders can count on our support to implement their good governance agenda. That is why the DILG is here. We are not only your supervisors, we are also your partners and mentors, your guidance counselors and your cheerleaders. Your success is our success as well,” Año noted.
Año took note of Moreno’s clean-up of Divisoria and other major streets, waste-management program, clearing of waterways, and anti-gambling program as some of the city government’s most important initiatives.
He said that the challenge to Moreno is to sustain these worthwhile programs in the next three years of his administration, particularly the clearing of informal settler families in esteros and other danger zones.
“The city government’s cooperation in the Manila Bay Rehabilitation Program is crucial because some of the most heavily polluted waterways are in the City of Manila so we look forward to working with him closely in order to return Manila Bay to its pristine beauty as directed by President Duterte,” Año added.
The DILG chief expressed hope the actions of “Mayor Isko” will entice other local chief executives (LCE) in the country to follow his lead and to similarly show decisive leadership in bringing about change in their communities because that is what the people expect.
He also reminded the newly elected young and dynamic local leaders that they are the face of change in the political landscape.
He urged the new local leaders to attend the 2019 Newly Elected Officials program for LGUs (NEO) which starts on Monday for provincial governors, with separate schedules for mayors and councilors. “We will help them craft their first 100 days agenda or refine their executive agenda and align these with national programs,” he said.
“All our Local Chief Executives nationwide can count on our support in improving your communities especially in peace and order, the war against illegal drugs, and in stamping out illegal activities in your respective jurisdictions,” he said.
He advised LCEs to call on the DILG field personnel in their respective areas for support.
“If you need assistance in governance, call on our Local Government Operations Officer assigned to your LGU. If you want to improve peace and order, call on your Chief of Police. If you want to improve emergency response or fire safety standards, call on your Fire Station Chief. The entire DILG family is there to assist your administration in serving the people,” he concluded.