Bacolod consultancy ends, but ‘personal string stays’

Negros Occidental Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental Provincial Administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz said that while his stint as a consultant with the city government has ended, he will still be at the “beck and call” of Mayor  Alfredo “Albee” Benitez.

“I will be just at the beck and call of Mayor Albee Benitez,” Diaz said, whose pro bono consultancy services with the city government ended Dec 31, 2022.

Diaz further said that even without the consultancy they are ready to extend help anytime to Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez.

Aside from Diaz, the consultancy stint of Dr. Mary Ann Maestral, chief of the Teresita Lopez Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City, Negros Occidental; and Lucille Gelvolea, head of the Capitol Economic Enterprise Development Department, also ended on Dec. 31.

Diaz earlier said that Negros Occidental governor Eugenio Jose Lacson has approved their pro bono consultancy services to the Bacolod city government.

On her part, Gelvolea said that “it does not matter if the consultancy agreement will not be renewed.”

“We can still continue with Mayor Albee in our personal capacity,” she added.

Diaz also said that Maestral will not continue as a consultant of the Bacolod City government.

He further pointed out that his personal relationship with Mayor Benitez “remains strong.”

“Anything that he needs from me personally and from the provincial government, with the consent of Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson and Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer, we will extend to him,” Diaz stressed.

Earlier, Benitez tapped the services of Diaz as a consultant for Administrative Matters and Systems Review, Maestral for Health and Hospital Concerns, and Gelvolea for Special Projects and Economic Affairs.

The Sangguniang Panlungsod granted authority to Mayor Benitez to sign the consultancy agreement with the three capitol executives in October 2022.

“Our relationship is with the mayor and not with the Bacolod City government,” Diaz pointed out.