The Vision of Change

Outline of Speech of mayoralty candidate Jocelle Batapa-Sigue delivered during the Opening Salva of One Bacolod last April 1, 2019 at the Negros Occidental Multi-Purpose Center

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 a work of one but of everyone – And the future we all dream is not going to be the work of one- But of every one of us.

We cannot allow our City to be left behind. When other Cities already demand specific and measurable developments and outcomes from projects and programs using public funds- Our leaders simply extend public funds to hire thousands of temporary workers near election time to serve as armies to justify their stay in power.

But to stay in power, to be re-elected is anchored on concrete indicators –

  • Have social services been delivered down to the last Barangay.
  • Have roads, streetlights, Drainage, and basic Infrastructure been properly maintained.
  • Have we eased the process of doing business with the city, removing long queues and processes.
  • Have we given each every sector a voice of planning for public projects. How public funds should be spent.
  • Have we planned and strategize clear goals for job generation, solid waste management, peace and order, traffic management, tourism development and many more.
  • These questions are for each and every Bacolodnon to answer – Not the Incumbent – Not the hordes of temporary workers now being paid by public funds to become campaigners. Some of whom are now even crying silently because they are pushed into oppression to vote 15-0.

Traditional politics has crippled our City for a long time – Politics anchored on slogans, patronage, hypes, personality. While these are not entirely bad. 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 first question I asked was- Am I competent? And 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 council writing, crafting ordinances under my committee- women and gender to information and communications technology. Sadly, I have never chaired any other committee until my last year – When I handled tourism and trade.

But I am not giving up on my dream of making a difference. I used women and gender and CT to create a difference. I worked with as many organizations. With as many people over the last decade. I represented Bacolod in national and international avenues lifting the banner of Bacolod to the world as an Eisenhower fellow of the Philippines, Asia Society Ten Young Leaders, Philippine ICT Individual Contributor of the year, one of the Outstanding Women in Nation service and many other accolades.

You have heard this already – I was a neophyte in 2001 – trying to think if I can be valuable to this City- After 18 years- I dare say- I am ready. I am competent. I am capable. I am strong to be MAYOR of BACOLOD. My time has come. And tonight is NO longer about me. It is already ABOUT what this City can become.

Let me now outline my vision in 3 years:

  • Ubra para sa pamilya – 100k jobs by 2022
  • 100 Bed City Hospital/ 250 beds eventually complimented by 24/7 doctors or nurses in barangay health clinics
  • 100,000 Training Vouchers in 3 Tesda Centers across all industries.
  • 2 light industrial economic zones at the relocation site and at the old airport area.
  • 20-30% decrease in number of informal settlers by providing them housing settlement on site development
  • 80-100% solution on all drainage problems of Bacolod to avoid flood and health issues
  • Smart City integrated apps to make it easier for all Bacolodnons
  • Integrated Traffic, Security and Disaster Management System for Bacolod
  • Open systems for accountability and transparency to bring back dignity in public service
  • Integrated Solid Waste Management strategies to create new solutions
  • Improvement of markets. Vendors, Drivers, Farmers and Fisherfolks membership benefit cards
  • Barangays partnerships where all barangays are partners for solid waste management, health, livelihood and peace and order
  • Responsive programs for sectors – PWD/ Senior Citizen/ Retired police, creation of Data base

I will be your voice. I will stand for you. Please give me 3 years!

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