Thursday, July 5, 2007

Elected LGU officials take oath of office

Congressman Codilla congratulates Mayor Jun Medina after his oath taking at Isabel municipal court last June 30. Also in picture are Mrs. Maria Capahi-Codilla and Mrs. Medina.
Cong. Codilla administered the oathtaking of Mayor Eulogio "Yoly" Tupa of Palompon, Leyte.
Mayor Eric "Beboy" Codilla presents his 7-point agenda which will be his compass for his second term. He delivered his inaugural speech during the inaugural session of the Sangguniang Panlungsod.
Vice Mayor Macario "Boy" Lumangtad Jr. of Kananga Leyte.

By Gerardo C. Reyes Jr.
ELECTED local officials were sworn into office or their new term last June 30. There was a festive atmosphere in most of the towns in 4th District except in Isabel where newly elected Mayor Saturnino Medina Jr. opted for a simple oath-taking ceremony in the office of MCTC Judge Lida L. Nicol.

In Ormoc, Mayor Eric C. Codilla delivered his inaugural speech at the Placido Enecio session hall of the Sangguniang Panlungod (SP) building where he bared his seven-point agenda which will serve as his administration’s compass in its development goals. The agenda includes agriculture, education, health, housing, livelihood, employment and beautification. Mayor Eric also batted for reconciliation now that the elections are over. The day before, he hosted a despedida party for outgoing councilors Gregorio Yrastorza Jr. who challenged him in last month’s polls, Jose Serafica and Eduardo P. Tan. The mayor recognized the contribution to the 10th SP of Yrastorza and Serafica who both belong to the opposition. In his second term, Mayor Eric vowed to deliver more, do better and push further, with emphasis on self-reliance and non-dependence on national aid and the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA). According to him, Ormoc is dependent 75% on its P300 million annual IRA. With the creation of new cities which he personally lobbied against, he expects a reduction on the city’s IRA. But instead of crying over spilled milk, he promised to reduce Ormoc’s IRA dependency to 60% through income-generating measures like improved tax collection.


Kananga Mayor Elmer Codilla was sworn in early that afternoon before that of Mayor Eric to allow the latter witness his brother’s oath-taking. In his speech, Mayor Elmer said that Kananga already has a distinct advantage of being a 1st class municipality because of its high income. Unfortunately, the town was left behind because of government mismanagement.

Mayor Elmer said he could not wait to buckle down to work as he has many plans for Kananga. On health, he will put up health centers in all barangays stocked with medicines, provision of additional allowance to barangay health workers, construction of dog pound and rehabilitation of the community hospital.

In infrastructure, he will put up a new public market and terminal, improve the poblacion’s drainage system, re-channel rivers and improve the slaughterhouse. To improve peace and order he will hire more civil security personnel. He will also replicate Ormoc’s Rice Production Enhancement Program and build more bridges and farm-to-market roads to bring down the cost of agricultural products.


In Palompon, there were two sets of oath-taking with the four elected Sangguniang Bayan (SB) members from the opposition opting to hold their own ceremony at Brgy. San Isidro. Mayor Eulogio “Yoly” Tupa and Vice Mayor Lloyd Surigao took their oaths before Rep. Eufrocino M. Codilla Sr. at the jam-packed social center. Present were SB Members Gilbert Manongsong, Rodolfo Canson, Earl Bongbong, and Jesus Villardo III. Conspicuously missing were Jesus Sanchez, Manuel Bertulfo, Brigido Roble and Mesias Arevalo.

The ceremony in San Isidro was attended by barangay officials, campaign leaders and government employees who refuse to cooperate with the new administration. But unlike the official ceremony, there was no inaugural ball in San Isidro afterwards. The four “separatist” kagawads also caught up to the inaugural session.

Their action drew criticisms. Engr. Nilo Paloma, former manager of Palompon Water District described it as a gesture of disrespecting the will of the Palomponganons which provokes divisiveness.


In Tabango, re-elected Mayor Bernard Jonathan Remandaban and Vice Mayor Juan Velasco took their oaths before Municipal Circuit Trial Court Judge Althon Miralles at the town’s gym. They were joined by Kags. Rommel Arropo, Nancy Lang, Merlo Ocubillo, Celso Pastor, Miguelito Umpad, Albert Manriquez, Rolando Uy and Sherlita Damayo.

In his inaugural address, Mayor Remandaban recalled that there were 24 candidates who ran for different positions in their local government which was unusual considering the town has only 17,000 voters in 13 barangays. He thanked his constituents for giving him a fresh mandate. He enumerated his accomplishments in his second term that include the construction of the public market and slaughterhouse as well as the conduct of six medical missions including minor operations for goiter. He also succeeded in containing rampant illegal fishing.

Now on his final term, Mayor Remandaban would like to finish the public library, passengers’ lounge, the seaside sports complex and road improvements. For his eco-tourism program, he plans to replicate the success of Loboc River in Bohol to Tabango’s own Palaypay River.

For the 847, each of the 13 barangays did have a roasted pig in every table in this occasion. Among those witnessed the ceremony were San Isidro town Mayor Allan Ang, Villaba town Councilor Allan Chan, Tabango ABC Pres. Rolando Baronda and mayor’s balikbayan brother Joel Remandaban. If politician has a catchy campaign slogan during election, the elected officials in Tabango town did maintain a unique number combination, the 847 which pave them to straight victory of the Remandaban slate. This was learned during their oath taking ceremony, which administered by of, in the town’s gym last June 30. The 847 combination stands for “Straight lang gihapon” is the number usually the elected officials thanked for to their constituents during each of the speeches in this occasion. Although the elected officials there did not patronize the number for game like the “swertres lotto,”

Fr. Victorino Japson, who officiated the mass, reminded them that any kinds of betting is immoral as the priest reminded them also their duties as public servant as well to our environment. Officially sworn in mass were re-elected Mayor Bernard Jonathan Remandaban, last termer Vice Mayor Juan Velasco.

In his talk, Mayor Remandaban said he would continue his vision that Tabango would be the eco-tourist destination in Eastern Visayas as he initiated the “Wow Tabango” program during his first term. He believed this could create opportunities such as employment that would improve the living condition of the town folks there. He admitted also that he did lapses in his administration such as governing the employees in municipal hall as human is subject to a mistake which would be corrected for the good of the people as public servant.

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