Pagbag-o: The Journey to OneBacolod

Speech at the Opening Salvo of OneBacolod last April 1, 2019

By Atty. Jocelle Batapa Sigue, Mayoralty Candidate of Bacolod City

It is not a question of what Bacolod is today but what Bacolod could become in the future. For what Bacolod is today is not the work of one but of each one of us.   The future we all dream is not going to be the work of one,  but a concerted effort of ALL of us.

We cannot allow our City to be left behind.  It is now apparent that project and program results are demanded from various local government units, more especially from those highly urbanized,  when they implement specific and measurable activities and outputs using public funds.  But in our city, our leaders simply use public funds to hire thousands of temporary workers, as election time nears,  to serve as armies to ensure their stay in power.

In Good Governance, an elective public servant remains in a post through re-election when his performance is anchored on concrete indicators, such as:

Social services are delivered down to the last Barangay.

Roads, streetlights, drainage and basic insfractructure are properly maintained

Eased  the process of doing business with the City,  eliminating long queues and streamlined the process

Strengthened Sector Planning in the undertaking of public investments and projects, as well as,  the identification and prioritization of projects to be funded

Adoption of strategic goals and timelines for  job generation, solid waste management, peace and order, traffic management, tourism development and many more.

Every Bacolodnon should measure the performance of the incumbent on the basis of these indicators and more. Each Bacolodnon should get a sense of how the incumbent has performed based on these measures.  It is for the voting public to give the incumbent a score based on his performance along these parameters during the years of his incumbency.

It not for the incumbent to assess himself nor for the hordes of temporary workers paid by public funds to become campaigners.  Some of whom are now even crying silently because they are pushed into oppression to vote for all the candidates of my opponent even when they wanted to exercise their choice.

Sadly, many lament about  how traditional politics  crippled our city for a long time and to this day.  Politics anchored on slogans, patronage, hypes, personality,  may not be entirely bad.  However, we deprive ourselves of real and genuine leadership.  A leadership anchored on a vision.

When I joined politics for the first time in 2001, the question I asked were:   Am I competent? Am I capable of becoming a councilor? Can I deliver and fulfill my promises to author milestone legislations for women, for children, to create jobs, to impact the lives of people?

I spent my years in the City Council writing, crafting ordinances under my assigned committees:   Women and Gender as well as Information and Communications Technology.   Sadly, I have never chaired any other significant committee until my last year when I was allowed to handle the tourism and trade committees.

But I  never gave up  my dream of making a difference.   I created a difference anchored on programs for  women and gender and ICT. I established working relationships and networked  with many organizations.  Over the last decade and through these networks,   I represented Bacolod in national and international fora – lifting the banner of Bacolod to the world as an Eisenhower fellow of the Philippines,  in the Asian Society as a Ten Outstanding Young Leader,  as a  Philippine ICT Individual Contributor of the year,  as one of The Outstanding Women in Nation Service (TOWNS) and many other organizations and accolades received.

I was a neophyte in 2001, doubting my capacity and value in an elective post for the first time. But after  18 years,  I dare say,   I am ready.   I am competent. I am capable to be MAYOR of BACOLOD.

My time has come and tonight is NO longer about me. It is NOW  ABOUT what this City can become:

Let us talk about concrete goals. These are my targets:

  • 100,000 jobs across all existing and new industries
  • Ubra para sa Pamilya with opportunities opened to poor families
  • 100 to 250 bed capacity  City Hospital  with 24/7 Doctors in barangay Health Clinic
  • 100,000 Training Vouchers and setting up three TESDA training centers in Bacolod City
  • Light industrial economic zones at the relocation site and old airport area.
  • Up to 30% Housing settlement for the City Informal Settlers
  • Engineered sanitary landfill with full suite of recycling program
  • Rehabilitate the City Drainage System
  • Smart City Integrated Business Applications
  • Improved Traffic System
  • Open and Transparent and enhanced integrity and  dignity in public service
  • Enhanced Solid Waste Management and Production of Recycled Products from Waste
  • Improvement of Bacolod City Markets
  • Improved Business Displays and Spaces for Vendors and Micro-finance program
  • Implement a Health Benefit System for Marginal Income Earners such as  Drivers/ Fishefolks
  • Set up Barangays partners in all barangays and designate Peace and Order Generals
  • Sectoral and Workers identified through a Database for PWD/ Senior Citizen/ Retired policemen
  • Improvement in delivery of benefits to senior citizens, teachers and many more

So starting today, I will be your voice. This I intend to do if you allow me to serve you for three years as your Mayor. Bacolod City,  I am here for you.

Note: There are several variations from these written speech compared to the actual delivery in the interest of time. Please visit Jocelle Batapa Sigue For Mayor of Bacolod Movement of Facebook for the live footage

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