‘A DIFFERENT KIND OF AWARD’: Mayor warns underachieving offices of ‘public callout’

(Arnold Almacen/file photo)

By Joseph B.A. Marzan

Fresh from the city’s double wins for its bike lanes, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas used the city government’s Monday flag ceremony to warn offices to win more awards to save themselves from embarrassment in the public square.

The mayor emphasized “a sense of urgency” and “unity of purpose” despite the city government’s limited resources, citing the recent achievements of the city government and its officials.

He also threw potshots about not being able to do tasks on time but did not provide any name or any indication as to which officials he referred to.

“There is a big effect if there is a sense of pride from the Ilonggos for our city because it gives them more impetus to do better. For us in the city government, we need to have unity of purpose and sense of urgency so that we can do everything to be done for our city,” he said in the flag ceremony.

“Sometimes we are just being lax, not doing what we are supposed to do after 2 to 3 months. There must always be a sense of urgency, there must always be unity of purpose. We only have one direction, and if we don’t have these, [without] accelerated implementation, nothing will happen to our city,” he added.

Treñas emphasized that without a sense of urgency and unity of purpose, the city wouldn’t be able to accomplish its projects on time and even ahead of time.

“Why would we be able to renovate our plazas and markets and [build] other projects, but because of our sense of urgency? [We have] very limited resources, but we can do so much,” he stated.

He gave the other departments, whose projects do not have laurels as of yet, an ultimatum to garner awards for themselves, or risk outlining all of their 2023 plans and projects one by one in the first flag ceremony of the new year.

“I am very happy for our departments’ awards which you got, that means that in your departments you are doing something. To those departments that don’t have awards, maybe you are also doing something. I’m not sure, but maybe we’ll know later because this year doesn’t end until [December 31],” he taunted.

“In January, all department heads without awards will stand here in front [at the flag ceremony] and will be made to announce, one-by-one, what their plans will be for the coming year,” he added.

During his regular press conference on the same day, Treñas explained that those offices will just be sharing their accomplishments for 2022 and plans for 2023, one by one, with the rest of the city government.

“They will not be made to explain but just tell everyone about their plans [for 2023]. We want them to be proud of what they have done and what they plan to do,” the mayor said.

“The work in the government is not just to put out fires, but also to plant and water the plants. Sometimes, there are no fires, so what do you do? That’s when you plant and let it grow,” he expounded.

Among the achievements mentioned by the mayor were its last week wins for its bike lanes from the 29th Galing Pook Awards last November 22 and the Wheels for Work X Bike Lane Awards last Sunday, November 27, as well as Councilor Ely Estante’s election as Regional Vice President for External Affairs of the Philippine Councilors League-Region 6 last week and the city’s Seal of Good Local Governance last September.