The real work begins for elected officials

By noon tomorrow, June 30, 2022, all the newly elected provincial and municipal officials of Catanduanes will have assumed their respective posts.

For the great majority of local chief executives who either won reelection or got back their former posts, there would not be much to learn as their previous experience would certainly come in handy.

But there are some who are now in positions of power different from what they held in the past.

There is Eulogio Rodriguez, the former mayor of Bato who now will have to represent the lone district of Catanduanes in the national legislature.

While most viewers graded him low in the two candidates’ fora held prior to the May 9 polls, he will surely have a group of lawyers and consultants to back him up as he begins to participate in the deliberations in the Lower House and seek funding for development projects for his constituents.

In the same boat is former San Andres Mayor Peter Cua, who now presides over the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.

He will have a lesser problem steering the provincial board as it considers the Capitol budget and pertinent measures referred to it by his brother, Governor Joseph Cua.

Majority of the PBMs are political allies, including two of the three newcomers who will have to really focus on the upcoming series of capacity-building trainings to be conducted by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Under the 2022 Program for Newly-Elected Officials, the DILG seeks to assist all the victors of the recent elections – whether newly-minted, re-elected for a successive term, or re-elected after a term interval – in developing their leadership and management skills.

Thus, beginning this July, all our honorable officials will be oriented on the basics of local governance and then introduce them to local government operations, with the end goal of creating a road map for their respective local government unit’s development.

We can only hope that our public servants, despite their being elected largely on buying votes, will truly care to absorb the knowledge to be imparted to them by the NEO program.

Some will listen halfheartedly or snore their way through the courses, bringing nothing back to their towns.

It would be in their best interest to use the NEO knowledge in providing leadership and delivering services to their constituents in the next three years.

With the Supreme Court ruling on the Mandanas-Garcia case resulting in larger funding for LGUs, there is relatively adequate resources for chief executives and their partner Sanggunians to use in addressing issues and concerns of their constituents.

With the cash they received for their votes long gone, the voters will expect the elected officials to deliver on at least some of their promises, especially in handing out assistance whenever it is needed.

Constituents can usually determine by the end of a year whether their elected leader truly deserved their vote.

If by the end of 12 months, they feel that there is no discernible improvement in the local governance, then the ineffective leaders will spend the next 24 months digging their own political graves.

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