By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
THIS is political reality.
The group of Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas cornered 24 of the 28 standing committees of the Sangguniang Panlungsod.
The Treñas bloc is composed of Vice Mayor Jeffrey Ganzon, Lady Julie Grace Baronda, Jay Treñas, Ely Estante Jr., Councilors Jojo Javellana, Rommel Duron, Allan Zaldivar and Rudolf Ganzon Irene Ong, and Leila Luntao.
The minority is composed of Councilors Mandrie Malabor, Candice Magdalane Tupas, Lyndon Acap, and Eduardo Peñaredondo.
Although a newbie, Duron will act as the new SP Majority Floor Leader and will also head the Committees on Transportation, Energy, and Public Utilities and two other committees.
Councilor Jay Treñas will head the Committee on Appropriations while Zaldivar, another newbie, will head the Committee on Health, Sanitation, and Hospital Services.
Javellana will take charge of the Committee on Police, Fire, Penology, Public Safety, Order and Security and Rudolph Ganzon will be the chairman of Committee on Tourism, Cultural and Historical Affairs. Both are political greenhorns.
Incumbent Councilors, Peñaredondo, Tupas, Malabor and Acap who were identified with former Mayor Jose Espinosa III, were not given any committee chairmanships as of now.
According to Duron, the chairmanships were the consensus of their group, considering that they are from the majority bloc.
“Naturally the majority floor leader should come from our group. Ginsaligan ta nila kita, being the only lawyer in the group, duha bi kami ni Councilor Ed, natural ginhatag sa aton. Other committees will be decided next session,” he said in an interview after the inaugural session.
But he said that he is open to giving the minority bloc the chance to head the working committees.
“Gina-try man namon tanan may committee chairmanship, there are 28 standing committees. I will suggest hatagan man committee chairmanships ang apat, because they are also part of the city council. Everybody must work,” he said.
Even without committee chairmanships, Peñaredondo said he will still support the Treñas administration.
“Whatever it is, I am very glad to hear that on one hand because I will be retiring after finishing this term. That’s good for me. Somehow, I will extend all that I can as a side of good will, I will cooperate with the administration of Mayor Treñas for the good of the city of Iloilo,” he said.
As a former majority leader, he said that will also help Duron.
On the other hand, Tupas admitted that she would prefer to head her old committees like the Committee on Health and Tourism.
“Well, of course my preference would be my old committees, because I have pending work on that, Committee on Health, being a doctor and it’s my advocacy and Committee on Tourism because I have done a lot of ordinances based on tourism during my time,” she said.
An emotional Tupas added that the choices on the committee chairmanships could have been based on the portfolio.
“I just hope that the choices on the committee chairmanships could be according to your portfolio, expertise but it’s okay without committee chairmanship I am a medical doctor, I am a diplomat of the board of radiology and I am working for the better trainings and higher specialties so I think that just speaks for itself,” she said.
Nevertheless, she assured that he will continue to advance her advocacies and work with the SP.
“I will continue to work on them. I am hoping that this city council will not be based on political parties. Tapos na ang pulitika, it’s time na mag-ugyon and its time to see kung ano ang mayo sa siyudad because I myself biskan different political party ako, if it’s good for the city I would always be for that biskan pa magnegar ako sa party,” Tupas said.