MABALACAT CITY – Mayoral candidates in the cities of Angeles and San Fernando highlighted their plans and platforms on pressing issues surrounding their localities in “The Forum: Central Luzon” (TFCL).
TFCL is a voters’ education forum targeting candidates for the 2022 National and Local Elections, serving as a platform to share how they intend to approach and formulate plans and programs in addressing various issues and concerns affecting the region.
The fourth episode of the forum guested City of San Fernando’s mayoralty bets including the city’s incumbent Vice Mayor Jaime “Jimmy” Lazatin, and former city mayor Oscar “Oca” Rodriguez.
Featured in the fifth installment of the program is one of Angeles City’s mayoral candidates, current City Councilor Amos Rivera.
During the program, the candidates described their kind of leadership, if elected, to serve their respective cities for the next three years.
Lazatin assured that Fernandinos will see a leadership of good governance by means of pushing programs to improve the quality of the lives of the people.
“The public service of my family started in the 1920s and I will not destroy the name of the Lazatins. For 18 years, I have been serving in the city, and from my heart… You could expect that I will do everything I can for the development of everyone,” he said.
Rodriguez pressed that the City of San Fernando became famous for transparent, good, and effective leadership during his nine years as mayor, where he had given the private sector the chance to participate in governance.
“I served as a congressman for 17 years, and 9 years as Mayor. I worked in the judiciary, legislative, and executive. My experiences as city mayor already gave numerous awards and dignity to the city, and the improved lives of the many citizens are testaments if I am qualified or not,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Rivera committed to make Angeles City as the best city in the country with its potential to become one, given the geographic location, infrastructures, road networks, and its people.
“If given the chance to become the leader of this city, I want to be remembered as someone who did something to make the city a better place. I want to be remembered as the best city mayor in the history of our city,” he shared.
In addition, part of the program are the general questions where candidates are given one minute to share their insights about the issues affecting their respective cities, or their plans and programs during their administration, if elected.
On top three priorities
Among these are the mayoral candidate’s top three priorities in their governance, ranked based on importance.
Lazatin said he will be putting education to focus as this is the only way of improving the lives of the people; second is livelihood as many workers have been displaced due to the pandemic, and third is security as there is a need to strengthen peace and order in the City of San Fernando.
Rodriguez emphasized his main concern will also be education; the micro, small, and medium enterprises given that about 500,000 out of 1 million of them have closed; and employment opportunities because many have lost their jobs.
Rivera underscored he will be prioritizing healthcare by improving Angeles City’s health programs and facilities; next is economic recovery by creating jobs for the people; and last is education by providing scholarship programs to 5,000 deserving students.
On the most important trait of a city mayor
The three mayoral bets also shared the most important trait they possess to be qualified as a city mayor, which they think the other mayoral candidates do not have.
Lazatin answered that his strength is in his governance, and he did not have any record of corruption or unfair treatment in almost two decades of serving the people.
Rodriguez highlighted that he is serious in governance, and service; that he is incorruptible, competent, and qualified; and that he knows where to focus his attention if he will be serving the city again.
Rivera detailed that he has the ability to listen, and that he plans to implement an inclusive form of government by creating sectoral boards to include the different sectors in governance.
On the promotion of the cities’ tourism, culture and arts
Apart from these, the mayoralty candidates also tackled their plans on how to showcase the culture of their respective localities which in turn may promote tourism and livelihood for the locals.
Lazatin plans on showcasing the City of San Fernando as a food haven, and strengthening its livelihood centers, and backyard industries.
Rodriguez stated he would further promote the San Fernando Train Station by putting there the names of all those who participated in the historic Death March to attract more international tourists by way of connecting them into their past.
Rivera underscored his administration will come up with an arts and culture hub and village to showcase the different artworks of the Angeleños; and revive the city’s Sisig Festival.
Also part of the episodes are the “fast questions” or questions with one-liner answers where two topics were raised for the candidates to answer: the Presidential bet they think they can approach and ask for support easily, if elected; and how would they spend their first week in office, if elected.
The mayoral bets also answered “agree”, “disagree”, or “undecided” in pressing topics such as the abolishment of candidate substitution in election law, federalism, and full cooperation with the International Criminal Court wherein the three candidates uniformly agreed.
Other issues raised are the reopening of Bataan nuclear power plant, same sex marriage, legalizing abortion for pregnant rape victims, abolishment of the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management, adopting divorce in the Family Code, and amendment of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
TFCL is a joint program of the academe, government, and media organizations in the region including the Mabalacat City College as the lead organizer, Philippine Information Agency Region 3, Pampanga Press Club, Metro Angeles City Journalists Association, CLTV36, and GNN TV44.
The program airs its episodes live on the Facebook pages of the said organizers, and televises through its television partners every Wednesdays and Fridays at 7:00 PM.