When the 106,617 voters of General Santos made me as the number 1 city councilor back in 2010, I was in awe. For a newcomer and an independent candidate and with no political kin, it was unexpected. What’s more surprising was the 93,525 voters who elected me as the new city mayor in 2013. God must have greater plans for me. All this time, I am greatly humbled for the trust and confidence of the people in General Santos City. That kind of trust that I can make a difference for the future of their children. Of your children.
I had no grandiose intentions. Back then, it all began with that strong desire to serve, to do something better, to inspire, to motivate. My only strength was my commitment to serve, my honor respect and inspiration from my parents who demonstrated public service and my fear to God.
Right from the start, I made myself clear that I want to be elected to create a partnership with leaders who have a sincere vision of progress and growth for the city. That intention, “nagpapili ako dili aron mangita’g kaaway, kondili aron mangita’g kauban nga adunay paglantaw sa syudad sa Heneral Santos.”
That strong motivation to change the reality that many young children cannot pursue schooling because of poverty. And what I intend was simply to do something that will lessen the burden of their parents and ensure that their children will finish at least primary school. That a program will ensure children do not attend classes hungry. Because these young children, whether we like it or not, will become adult and I wanted to do something that will ensure they will become good citizens in the future—with sound mind and body, capable to sustain positive change or even to lead our city for betterment.
Those were simple dreams. Dreams that fuel my commitment to CLEAN GENSAN. To Create a Livable Environment for all the constituents of General Santos City.
We used our C.L.E.A.N. Gensan initiative to draw up our 10-point agenda diin mao’y nagtutok sa mga sector na nahimo natong priority sa atong Comprehensive Development Plan and our Executive-Legislative Agenda.
And I promised, “Dili ta mo pakyason.”
So we worked on:
- Lighting our City and investing over 200M
- Improving our social services, so we won National Gawad Parangal for Social Services
- Improving our health facilities, hence we have the Dialysis Center, First Class Laboratory, High-End Mammogram, and Radiology Departments
- Strengthening our basic education hence our children in ECCDI can now read at least 5 words before they graduate and the workbooks for our grades 1-3 is nearly 1:1 as well as achieving 98% literacy rate and zero drop out
- Establishing LIKAY DROGA or Lingap sa Kabataang Ayaw sa Droga, AKLAT, or the Alay sa Kabataan Lahat ng Alaga at Talino, AMPING or the Auxiliaries and Medical Program for Individuals and Needy Generals
- Establishing synergy and strategic partnership with various government and non-government organization, private entities
- Developing plans that will ensure we are properly guided in all our interventions, namely: Shelter Plan, Revenue Plan, City Land Use Plan, Local Development Plan, City Development Plan—
All these and many others –
And for my last term, I would like to continue and give this city more. We shall continue what we have started.
We shall continue to implement the ten-point agenda, focusing on the 8 programs and projects which I believe would usher us forward to a Metro Gensan.
On Peace and Order, we need to invest more. Because when we talk about progress and development, it comes with the challenge of maintaining order; Law and order, on the other hand, is a steadfast barometer of investors’ confidence, economic gains, rising demands on infrastructure, and employment opportunities. We have to defend peace while we are at peace.
On housing program. We are talking of about 23,000 families that need a house. And I have already directed the formation of a TWG to implement the shelter plan, deal with landowners, and implement housing programs in 3 years time.
On Transportation. I directed the IC-Trans and the Transportation TWG to profile our three-wheeler transportation, arranged them into clusters, and give all tricycle drivers who are from Gensan new franchises. And I am giving them 1 and half year to finish this process. And I enjoin the assigned departments to make these your priorities in your PPA. Stop arguing about a transportation plan. Let us give a chance to the already legislated LTPRP and the Transportation Code.
On Barangay Good Governance – we have to strengthen the capacities and capabilities of the barangays being the foundation of our development. They must be first developed. And I am expecting legislative incentives for winners of the Barangay Seal of Good Governance.
On Education. I would like to intensify support on Reading and Math for our ECCDI and our Elementary school children in our Education Agenda. Let us continue to feed our children in the community kitchen; we let them learn in 1:1 workbook and we strengthen further our scholarship program under EDUKAR. I want a 10% increase in our present 1000 scholars every year.
On Social Services. I want to establish a satellite office for social services in the barangays. I want our social service programs to become more accessible and nearer to more people of Gensan. Let us bring health services, assistance like AMPING, CGFC and Malasakit will be nearer to our people.
On Health-- we will move health service deliverables to the barangays. We want to ensure that mechanisms to minimize teenage pregnancy and minimize victims of AIDS are established. We want to intensify campaigns and interventions on maternal health care and benefits and hunger mitigation for our undernourished children, especially in agricultural areas. We have already finished LEVEL 2 accreditation and I need all RHU to be PHILHEALTH Accredited
And lastly, I would like to strengthen our efforts, as we create administrative changes internally, that all of these will pay off and allow us to take home the Seal of Good Governance.
Ladies and gentlemen, I made a vow to our people. And I will continue to fulfill that vow as long as I am in public service.
In conclusion, I would like to borrow the statements of our former councilor Atty. Monching Milleza… Politics is not an ambition, it is an Obligation.
I am sure God allowed me to become a politician in 2010 up to the present for a reason. This position has never been my ambition in life. Never did it occur to me that I will be standing here in front of you talking and taking an oath as the City Mayor of General Santos City. But you trust me. I will not fail you. This is my Obligation.
Therefore, I commit to the challenge.
I accept the challenge.
And I shall deliver for the challenge.
Good afternoon and God bless us all!