Bacolod mayor hesitant on reelection, cites bureaucratic frustrations

Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez (Glazyl Y. Masculino Photo)

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD CITY – Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez appears unlikely to seek reelection in Bacolod City’s 2025 local elections, showing frustration with government bureaucracy.

In a press conference Monday, when asked directly about his reelection plans, Benitez remained noncommittal, responding with a terse “I don’t know.”

He expressed frustration with the sluggishness of government processes compared to the private sector.

“The bureaucracy of government is not the same as in the private sector, which moves more quickly,” Benitez said.

Referencing his early mayoral initiative to clear tangled wires in the downtown area, he noted the persistence of the issue.

“We cleaned up one span at the plaza, and it’s still the same.”

Benitez described efforts to implement underground cabling, a project stalled by bureaucratic challenges, despite an initial fast track and agreement with telecommunications companies and utility providers.

“Everything was in place, then a new law last year changed the PPP (Public Private Partnership) process. It’s frustrating; even our legal department is confused by the new requirements,” he explained.

Despite completed designs and agreements for underground utilities, progress has stalled.

“The design is finished, agreements with the telcos are done, and Ceneco is on board for an underground conduit. There should be no wires above ground because they should all be underground,” Benitez added.

Confronted with the question of whether government bureaucracy is at fault, Mayor Benitez affirmed without hesitation, “Yes, very much.”