Statement Regarding the Endorsement of Governor Alfredo Maranon, Jr. Dated December 14, 2018
I feel blessed to receive this wonderful gift on the occasion of my birthday from a man who is well-respected and widely-recognized for his work as a public servant for many years.
I thank Governor Alfredo Maranon, Jr. for publicly endorsing my candidacy as mayor of the City of Bacolod and declaring his trust and confidence in my capacity to lead and help effect changes in Bacolod.
In his speech before provincial government employees last night, he said many are asking him to run for mayor of Bacolod but he said “kapoy na tuhod ko” (My knees are already tired). Instead he said, someone is running whom he believes can clean up Bacolod, put system and order back and provide jobs and opportunities.
He challenged everyone by saying – “this is my last campaign. I will exhaust all means to campaign with the help of all the voters of Bacolod to clean up Bacolod – mentally, physically and morally”. He repeated the phrase “limpyuhan ta ang Bacolod (let’s clean Bacolod).
His endorsement is very special to me not only for political reasons but because he is one of my exemplars for his brand of leadership.
Let me share a few major points based on my observations in having worked with the governor for several years.
He is a symbol of inclusive leadership, one that listens and welcomes new ideas and solutions marked with innovation and out-of-the-box strategies.
He would go to other places and carefully observe their best practices, then he would improve, adjust or modify these concepts and replicate them for the province. He was always happy to share what he saw in other cities and countries and would proudly say – “we will do these in Negros Occidental” and would always add why he can do it better.
He would intently listen to ideas being presented to him especially when these ideas redound to the benefit of the Negrosanons in terms of making their life easier and giving them jobs and opportunities. I remember him always patiently listening as I run through the numbers when we created the job targets for the Negros First ICT Investments program and several other ICT related projects.
He is an unassuming leader who always wants to keep a low profile. He tells me always not to include his pictures in any publication that I did for information on communications technology (ICT). He would say “put the more important data for investors to see and not a picture of me.”
He is someone who would always give credit where credit is due. I remember him always saying every time he meets ICT investors that the one who really works hard for ICT jobs to come to Bacolod and Negros Occidental was me and he was just there to support the direction. He is someone who is not hungry for praises but always generous in praising others when they deserve it.
He firmly and fully understands the need to create skilled talent for ICT jobs and he would always check whether we have enough manpower to supply more ICT investments. He would always highlight and support the programs of the Negros Occidental Language and ICT Center (NOLITC). He would always ask me to help and promote NOLITC.
He is one person who pursues an idea that interest him with passion and I would remember from time to time that he would call me and share ICT related ideas and ask my opinion.
When we were developing the Negros first CyberCentre, he would patiently listen to updates about the feasibility study on the projects. It took as more than a year to finalize all the studies and present to the public. He wanted to ensure that before the project is undertaken which will cost take a big amount of loan, the revenue and job targets were already in place.
I have so much to share about this man who I consider as my second father. He gave me a chance to help him as governor of the province for that alone – I am very thankful. Now our fates are sealed – I am humbled and truly honored for him to raise my hands in that stage last night – but above all – I am in awe – how a leader can speak up and stand up for Bacolod. With courage and firmness.
I am truly praying to the Lord for people to follow his example. And be silent no more. We had enough of a leadership that has rendered itself obsolete and self-destructive. I do not anymore even consider it a leadership but purely a case of people in power managing the city but not inspiring innovation, not inspiring obedience and inclusion.
On that stage last night – are two people standing (me and the Governor) who have no business caring for Bacolod except as residents. I am now enjoying my private life, especially because I get the chance to help other cities and even countries. The governor will soon go back to private life by June 30, 2019 and I wish and pray for him to enjoy a long life in happy retirement – and yet we stood there last night – knowing our critics will (for lack of other decent strategies) attack us over the airwaves because money is their only power.
We stood there – because we both know there is more to this city than what we have now. People are wallowing in the dirt of status quo but are not happy. Their momentary bliss brought about by fleeting dance parades and unstable jobs (not even jobs – because they receive pittance) – that is the panacea given to them today for them to forget their problems – of joblessness, lack of services, lack of opportunities. Short term gratification that deprives them of their dignity and honor as human beings but mere political pawns. And many do not know – because in Bacolod, traditional politicians made life one big festival – devoid of carefully and meticulously, inclusively planned and designed programs with clear success indicators and legal compliance – that will outlive many of us existing today.
The governor has inspired me to focus on the poorest members of our community by ensuring equitable healthcare, livelihood, housing and education – focus on programs that will empower them and result to sustainable results and impact and not just palliative solutions. He has given me great insights on how to strategize on these four major aspects sharing models that the province has already implemented as proof of concept.
The governor and I stood in that stage last night – to create a legacy. I belong to the middle age generation and the governor to the older generation – we stood there thinking of the new generation.
I pray for God’s blessings.
Here is a news video of the endorsement https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1116967781806390&id=505284372974737