By Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – Lucille Gelvolea, the Provincial Investment Officer of Negros Occidental, is the new administrator of this city.
This was announced by Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez in a press briefing at the Mayor’s Office in Bacolod City Government Center (BCGC) yesterday.
Benitez said the new city administrator will tentatively assume office on December 1. But it might be delayed by a week or so as Gelvolea must first retire from the Provincial Capitol here as head of the Economic Enterprise Development Department (EEDD).
Gelvolea will replace the vacated post of former City Administrator Atty. Pacifico Maghari III who resigned on November 1 due to family-related concerns.
Prior to Gelvolea’s designation, Atty. Love Dignadice, assistant city administrator, was appointed by Benitez as officer-in-charge of the said office.
Benitez said that Gelvolea had met with the councilors last night and with the department heads yesterday afternoon.
“We were functioning at the Incident Management Team (IMT) in the province during the pandemic. And there were a lot of working relationships that we had established at that time. For that, I see her fit to come in for us,” the mayor added.
Benitez said that he has only one piece of advice to the incoming city administrator, and that is to ensure that her actions should have his blessing.
“What I’m looking for is not an alter ego of the mayor. What I want is somebody who can implement and execute sang akon gina sugo,” he added.
Benitez said that he is more of a hands-on mayor. Thus, he noted that he is in charge of all the affairs of the city after being elected to office.
Benitez said that Gelvolea has no baggage coming to the city, so there’s no treatment of a sacred cow.
“Ang gina tindugan ta diri, no color coding kita. I have never exercised judgment based on political affiliation or political alignment. It’s really based on the facts,” he added.
In October 2022, Gelvolea entered a pro-bono contract with the city government as a consultant for economic affairs. However, Benitez said that the contract was not renewed.
Despite this, he said that Gelvolea has been helping out even if she has no position or compensation.
“I remember working well with her. So I asked her to join on a consultancy basis. And now, there’s a position vacant that needs to be filled up,” the local chief executive said, adding that Gelvolea is an advantage to the city government.
In a media interview yesterday, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson congratulated Gelvolea for her appointment in this city, adding that her appointment here speaks to the quality of employees that the provincial government has.
“I wish her well. It’s not gonna be easy, but if you have your heart and soul in your job with proper cooperation of everyone, things will be well for the city,” he added.
Lacson said that Gelvolea’s new assignment entails a lot of work, considering that Bacolod is a highly urbanized city. “There’s a lot of work to be done. It’s a good thing that she was chosen because the mayor is confident that she could help him in his programs and strategies,” he added.
Lacson said that it’s a new challenge for her since all eyes are always on Bacolod. (With a report from Dolly Yasa)