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A Meeting of Minds at Marem’s

Newly-elected mayors as well as the three reelectionists had the chance of airing what was on their minds during the meeting with Congressman Cesar Sarmiento and Governor-elect Cely Wong at Marem’s Pension House.

Save for Bagamanoc’s Remegio Villaluna and San Andres’ Peter Cua who had traveled to Manila after the elections, the rest of the nine reelected and newly-elected chief executives expressed support for the two political leaders beginning June 30, aside from vowing to provide dedicated service to their constituents.

The number of women mayors remain at two (Flerida Alberto of Virac and Salvacion Isuela of Caramoran) while bachelor mayors increased to four (Mayor Obet Fernandez of Payo was joined by Gordon Olfindo of Viga, Johnny Rodulfo of Bato and Rodel Abichuela of Baras).

Of the 11 mayors, nine belong to the Liberal Party while the two others are from the Nationalist People’s Coalition, which joined LP in a coalition in Virac, and Lakas (in Bato). Bato constituents of Rodulfo should be glad that Cong CS has vowed that he would treat all towns equally in the apportioning of projects regardless of their mayors’ political affiliation.

Mayor-elect Isuela of Caramoran, who was benefited by the unified “warding” of Governor Joseph Cua and Cong CS prior to May 13, vowed to repay the trust given her and at the same time assured Wong that she would be working with the new governor.

Viga’s Olfindo said his first task would be to persuade everybody in his town to forget the politics of the 2013 elections and to focus on what needs to be done.

Pandan’s mayor-elect Joseph Wong had more to say, disclosing that a milk production project intended to provide milk for school children to address malnutrition in his town would be a pilot propject that could be replicated in the rest of Catanduanes. He asked fellow chief executives to exchange ideas on how they could best they could uplift life in the barangays.

DAP: Soft Projects

With regards to the outgoing administration of Mayor Restituto de Quiroz, who was barely seen in town in the last six months, Wong was more blunt. “The local administration in Pandan is a tragedy,” he said. “Walang nangyari from 2010 to 2013.”

Johnny Rodulfo, who became mayor of Bato on his third try, said his administration will venture into the development of value-added abaca production, converting raw fiber into saleable products.

Now on her third and last term, San Miguel’s Edna Bernal first apologized to Cong. Sarmiento for her being supportive of Wong in the last few years but assured she would work with him and Cely.

Atty. Abichuela hopes to make Baras into a center of fishery in Catanduanes through the establishment of a cold storage in town. Aside from hoping that other provincial roads in his town could be converted into national roads, he also wished the LGU could acquire a new ambulance to transport patients to Virac.

Gigmoto’s Edgar Tayam and Panganiban’s Obet Fernandez had more substantive things in mind, notable their request that the congressman and incoming governor consider all towns as equally deserving of assistance and projects regardless of population.

Tayam sought an increase in the allocation of funding for the LGUs’ Assistance to Indigents in Crisis Situation (AICS), especially those still not covered by PhilHealth. He also asked the solon for the completion of the road concreting to Sicmil as the number one hindrance to the development of Gigmoto.

On the other hand, Mayor Fernandez expressed confidence that Wong would address the deficiencies of the Cua administration along with continuing its good programs and projects.

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