Valenzuela City District 1 Representative and mayor-elect Weslie “Wes” Gatchalian on Saturday, May 21, said that he is prepared to take the city’s top local government post following his win in the recent elections.
The House deputy speaker is the third Gatchalian to serve as the city mayor. His brother, incumbent Mayor Rex Gatchalian, will end his third term on June 30.
“Ang predecessor ko po, ang incumbent mayor namin, ay talaga pong maraming nagawa, maraming pong na-achieve sa kanyang higit na tatlong terminong career no sa paglilingkod sa aming bayan. But for me it’s a challenge no, and I’ve been preparing for this (My predecessor, our incumbent mayor, has done and achieved a lot in his more than three terms of career in serving our city. But for me it’s a challenge, and I’ve been preparing for this),” Gatchalian said during an interview with DZRH on Saturday.
He added that he considers his experience as a congressman a learning curve that will help him in leading the city.
Gatchalian also said that he will maintain an open communication with his constituents and that he will bring “key people” in the mayor’s office — including new city administrator, chief of staff, and secretary of the mayor.
“Ang rason ko naman dito hindi naman dahil incompetent or ‘yung taong presently nakaupo ay may problema, kundi ho itong mga position na ito, na crucial and sensitive position, is adapted based on the personality of the mayor no (My reason for this does not mean that the person currently in position is incompetent or has a problem, but these positions, which are crucial and sensitive positions, are adapted based on the personality of the mayor),” the congressman said.
“But on the department level ay pareho pa din. Nakita ko very competent, magagaling po ‘yung mga tao namin sa city hall. I don’t see any problem. Ang important po ay continuity (But it will be the same on the department level. I saw that our people at the city hall are very competent. I don’t see any problem. Continuity is what’s important),” he added.
Gatchalian explained that he wants to avoid having problems on the efficiency of service during the transition of new officials. He also wants the people to get the same services they receive during the present administration.
The incoming mayor also cited some of his major programs for housing. He said they are eyeing two areas in the city as relocation sites for around 1,100 residents, to add more leisure areas to boost tourism and livelihood, and to improve transportation.