ACCEPT CHANGE: Mayor Joe urges City Hall workers to support new admin

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

Amid the ruckus in the looming change at the Iloilo City Hall, outgoing Mayor Jose Espinosa III called on officials and workers to support the incoming administration of his brother-in-law, Iloilo City mayor-elect and lone district Rep. Jerry Treñas.

During the regular flag ceremony on Monday, Espinosa encouraged the city hall employees to support the Treñas administration.

“May mga changes and you will expect changes man sa bag-o nga administration, kay teh nagbahin bahin kita, ang iban nagkinasadya, ang iban nagkasubo pero the thing is, updan naton kon sin-o gid man ang ara dira sa administration kay ang aton ginaserbisiyohan ya ara ang aton mga pumuluyo, kag they are expecting service from you,” he said.

Treñas defeated Espinosa in the May 13, 2019 midterm elections and will assume his new post on June 30.

Espinosa emphasized that change is something that is constant hence everyone, especially his supporters, should accept it.

“Again, there is change and you should always accept change. May iban basi indi kasaho change but that is the only thing that is constant in our universe. Kami nga mga pulitiko, we come and go, sa ginhambal ko na kon updan ka, then you continue but if not, you step aside,” he said.

Treñas earlier warned several department heads and other employees at the City Hall who are allies of Espinosa to resign otherwise he will sue them for alleged electioneering.

But Espinosa insists that he never ordered City Hall employees to support him during the elections.

“Kita gapati nga kada isa sa amon di ang term namon gaexpire in three years, so ang ginahambal naton natabuan nag-expire aton term so kinahanglan there should be continuity in the service nga ginahatag sang aton gobyerno that is why there is the Civil Service. Tani waay na filing of cases kay tapos na ang election. Diri sa siyudad, wala gid ko nagpamilit sa ila, ginhatag ko ya ang pagpili sa ila ya kabubut-on.

The outgoing mayor also appealed for unity so that everyone can move forward after the elections.

“Sa akon tapos na ang election, we should be united na, biskan may bangig-bangig, may sakit buot, kinanglan move forward kita,” he said.

To ensure smooth transition, Treñas issued a memorandum on May 18 organizing his own transition team which would review, audit, and conduct inventory of all undertakings including but not limited to programs, projects, activities, financial utilization, human resource, and directives of the outgoing administration.

The transition team is also tasked to recommend an action plan that shall set priorities, focus energy and resources, strengthen operations, ensure that the Iloilo City government would be working towards new common goals and objectives of attaining an inclusive, holistic, and sustainable development.

Incoming Chief of Staff Jonas Bellosillo and incoming City Administrator Melchor Tan head the team, alongside the other trusted allies of Treñas who will return to the City Hall on June 30.

Espinosa also organized a transition team through Executive Order No. 22-A.

Based on the EO, the transition team will include all department heads of the city hall, Atty. Ferdinand Panes of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Ramon Cua Locsin, president of the Iloilo Federation of Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Panay.

With roughly more than one month left before he leaves his office, Espinosa assured that he will continue to work.

He also assured an orderly transfer of power.

“Kita service as usual and we will be creating administrative order para magpave away sa bag-o nga administration in order to ensure that there will be an orderly transfer of authorities,” he said.