Senate, Academe Honor Country’s 4 Most Outstanding Local Leaders

The Senate and leading academic institutions honored recently the first winners of the newly launched Local Government Leadership Award during ceremonies that coincided with the celebration of the Senate’s 86th anniversary.

Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr., acknowledged as the father of the Local Government Code, said the award honors and recognizes local leaders and the exemplary role they have played in local governance within the last 11 years of decentralization.

The winners of the first LGL Award were Bulacan Gov. Josefina de la Cruz, most outstanding governor; Mayors Tomas Osmeña of Cebu City and Franklin Quijano of Iligan City, most outstanding city mayors; and Concepcion (Iloilo) Mayor Raul Banias, most outstanding municipal mayor.

De la Cruz finished management engineering, cum laude, and psychology, magna cum laude, both at the Ateneo de Manila. During her term as Bulacan governor, she won the Konrad Adenauer Local Government Award (1999), Most Outstanding Local Government Unit in Population Development (1999), Gawad Galing Pook Award for Reinventing Public Service (2000) and Lingkod ng Bayan (2000).

Osmeña, younger brother of Sen. Sergio Osmeña III, is also a recipient of several national awards for tourism, street children programs, computerization, countryside development and anti-drug programs.

Quijano, the son of a mechanic and a public school teacher, was a consistent honor student during his school days. He finished Economics, cum laude at the University of San Carlos in Cebu City. As Iligan City mayor, he transformed the city with his numerous projects, including the integrated bus terminal, road widening, overpass and drainage improvement and urban poor housing. Under his term, marginalized sectors were organized and federated, and livelihood and agriculture were given added attention.

Banias is on his second term as mayor of Concepcion, Iloilo. After finishing his studies in medicine, he volunteered in a medical outreach program in Concepcion and that started his career as a public servant. He won as No. 1 councilor of the town in 1992 in his very first stint in politics although he ran as independent. He won unopposed as vice mayor in 1995.

The winners were given P100,000 each. Senate President Franklin Drilon sweetened the award by announcing that they, along with their fellow finalists in the search would have added benefits via the Priority Area Development Fund of senators.

As directed by Drilon, each of the four governor finalists would get P2 million worth of projects; each of the five city mayor finalists, P1 million in projects; and each of the 10 municipal mayor finalists, P500,000.

Dela Cruz’s fellow finalists were Governors Isagani Amatong of Zamboanga del Norte, Bartolome Marasigan of Oriental Mindoro, and Leonardo Roman of Bataan.

The fellow finalists of Quijano and Osmeña were Mayors Santiago Barcelona of Escalante City, Albert Raymund Garcia of Balanga City, and Randolph Ting of Tuguegarao City. — Efren Danao

Source: PhilStar Global