DILG Chief Jesse M. Robredo: Nominated for World Mayor 2010 Online Contest
Getting Up Close with Ex-Mayor Jesse M. Robredo
I came up close with then-Mayor Jesse M. Robredo, now DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) Chief of the present Aquino administration of the Philippines in 1988 during our high school recognition rites. He gave a speech regarding what career should be taken in college. From then on, I followed the ups & downs of Robredo's leadership in Naga City since I started my radio career while pursuing my collegiate courses.
Being a cub reporter, my beat was not on politics but on police news or community news that interest the listeners. Regarding politics, it's up to my senior news reporter to do the interviews and news dispatch on it. But during phone patch interviews, the secretary of Mayor Robredo will gladly relay my request that our program anchor told me to do. I also acted as production assistant when I had vacant time after attending my school's subjects. It was hectic but I started recognizing prominent personalities in the local scene, like Robredo.
Robredo's worthwhile programs include:
- commercial and residential zoning,
- eradicating prostitution dens inside the university belt,
- housing program for the urban poor,
- establishing the city-owned hospital
- combat traffic congestion in the city
- development of local tourism industry
- making Naga City, a first-class chartered city.
Aside from these, his administration became vigilant in combatting illegal activities on drugs and numbers game (jueteng) in the city. Since he acted as the local chief executive, he had all the decisions to approve or refuse illegal activities to thrive in the city. I witnessed how he opposed all those who want to do 'monkey businesses' during his administration.
In 1993, when the city, along with nearby towns was flooded due to the devastating typhoon with no electricity at all, Mayor Robredo spearheaded the rescue, clean-up drive and the relief operations. You can imagine the effects of the typhoon that left us adjusting for almost a month.
With the establishment of Metro Naga Development Council (MNDC), Mayor Robredo was able to share his ideals and plans not only in the city but also in towns that joined the council. With this move, more and more business estalishments are being built in the city for the last two decades.
Although, he belonged to the Filipino-Chinese community in the city, it didn't hamper his good performance amid the intrigues that were being mudslinged at him. Recognition from here and abroad decorated his home, if you'll have a chance to visit his residence here in the city.
His wife, Leni, a lawyer herself and a daughter of former city mayor is equally happy about his latest achievement, I'm sure.
We, Bicolanos here and the rest of the Filipinos around the world are slowly appreciating what he had done to the city. Being recognized around the world is the penultimate recognition one can give to the man who relentlessly promoted his advocacies against poverty, education and health.
Under his leadership, Naga City received awards for government transparency. The city has also been hailed as one of the best-managed cities in the country and even the greenest city (eco-tourism) in the Philippines.
He was credited for "dramatically improved stakeholdership and people participation in governance, in the process restoring Naga to its preeminent position as premier city of the Bicol Region. Today, Naga is considered a model local government in the country and a laboratory of local government innovation."
Mayor Robredo served the administrations of four presidents (starting from Cory Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada and Gloria Arroyo). So, with this kind of political experiences, it is but fulfilling to be nominated as one of the 24 candidates vying for the title as the World Mayor 2010.
Since the selection started in 2003, three Filipino mayors were nominated. Among them were ex-Makati mayor Jejomar Binay, now our Vice President; Oscar Rodriguez of San Fernando, Pampanga and Marideth Fernando of Marikina, Manila.
So what can I say, CONGRATULATIONS, Mayor!!!
Ex-Mayor now DILG Chief Jesse M. Robredo on Good Governance c/o disguizedcyclone
Naga City, the Heart of Bicol in the eyes of Mayor Jesse Robredo
Once you visit our region, you can easily locate Naga City, with all the big billboards welcoming you in the so-called the "Queen City of the South" due to its tourist attractions, ranging from the natural beauty spots and to the old Hispanic churches and schools that honed talents and skills of well-known Bicolanos, like Ex-Mayor, now DILG Chief Jesse M. Robredo.
Robredo's performance since 1988, when President Corazon Aquino was still coping for a good governance, he took the initial steps in transforming the once gloomy future, anomaly-infested city government into an award-winning example of good governance.
Mayor Robredo was the only city head I knew, then, that can walk, jog or run along the streets of the city without bodyguards. The visibility of the mayor greeting ordinary people at the city's thoroughfares made him an inspiration that local officials are reachable by ordinary people.
When he was re-elected, he was elected unoppose or let me say he won by default. He even brought to every barangay his advocacies by holding special session with barangay officials.
Kaantabay sa Kauswagan (Partners in Development) is successful in bringing to the urban poor the services that a government should deliver. With his encouragement, the Naga City Council enacted an Empowerment Ordinance that organized the People's Council that saw the participation of people's organization and NGOs (non-government organizations) in many deliberations during the city officials' weekly regular session.
By enlisting the support and active assistance of Naga's NGOs and citizens, he improved public services dramatically. He established day-care centers in each of Naga's twenty-seven districts and added five new high schools. He built a public hospital for low-income citizens. He set up a dependable twenty-four-hour emergency service. He constructed a network of farm-to-market roads and provided clean and reliable water systems in Naga's rural communities. He launched programs for youth, farmers, laborers, women, the elderly, and the handicapped -- drawing thousands into civic action in the process. No civic deed was too small, he told the people, including the simple act of reporting a broken street lamp. He sometimes swept the streets himself.
Fast Facts on Jesse M. Robredo
Secretary of the Interior and Local Government (Incumbent)
July 9, 2010
President: Benigno Aquino III
Preceded by Benigno Aquino III (as DILG Chief during Pres. Gloria Arroyo's term)
Mayor of Naga City (In office 1988–2010)
Born: May 27, 1958 (1958-05-27) (age 52)
Naga City, Bicol
Political party: Liberal Party (Philippines)
Spouse(s) Maria Leonor Gerona
1. De La Salle University
2. John F. Kennedy School of Government
3. University of the Philippines
Religion: Roman Catholic