SAN SIMON, Pampanga – She once steered this once-sleepy town into becoming an industrial and manufacturing haven. Now, she wants to restore the brand of governance and sustainable economic policies that brought substantial growth to this town.
During the time of come-backing three-term mayor Leonora Wong, local and foreign investors sprouted along the stretch of Quezon Road, where vast and undeveloped farmlands formerly exist.
These manufacturing and industrial companies provided thousands of job opportunities for its constituency coupled with hundreds of millions worth of additional local government revenues that largely benefited its residents by way of socio-economic programs among others.
Wong credited the investors’ trust to the local government’s institution of “ease of doing business” wherein processing of business licensing, construction and building permits were made automated and streamlined.
Wong, the official standard bearer of local Kambilan Party in this town, has served as local chief executive from 2010 to 2019 before being elected in her current post as vice mayor.
Back then, despite being a neophyte in the political arena then, Wong likewise led the municipality to several awards and recognitions from different government agencies and private organizations.
“I am coming back to restore what was lost, and sustain and further develop the programs that were enjoyed and become beneficial to Simonians in the past nine years, and hopefully realize many more dreams on health, youth development, agriculture, education and other sector,” Wong said.
She said that the reason why she is seeking another term is ensure that majority of San Simon constituents start to enjoy fully the fruits of our labor and successes during the recent past.
“When I get the chance to serve once more, the challenge that is for us to be able to institute sustainable development and progress. And this can only be done successfully if we continue to make San Simon the most conducive and business friendly municipality not only in Pampanga but also in the entire country,” she explained.
Meanwhile, Wong directly addressed concerns about her physical health condition which has been a subject of criticisms from her rivals during a one-one one interview by this reporter.
“I may be a person with disability but the shortcomings of my physical health which incidentally happened even during my 9 year term as Mayor, I complement this with head strong guts and will to serve. I was an acting mayor for six months and I was able to deliver what was needed by my constituents,” she said.
She added her delegating of tasks that requires physical efforts and leg works allowed her to have more time in crafting programs and projects that proved more than beneficial to her beloved Simonians.
“If given another chance to lead the municipality once more, Wong said her priority is to sustain the progress she helped started focusing once again on her brainchild program dubbed FEAST (Fast, Effective, Accountable, Sustainable, and Transparent) which centered on transitioning the manual system to electronic and automated system of governance.
“Our automated system which was developed by our Simonian homegrown I.T. personnel garnered recognitions and became a subject of several benchmarking activities of LGUs from as far as Mindanao, and was even showcased during the 6th Annual World Cities Summit Mayors Forum held in New York City,” Wong said.
Aside from FEAST’s recognition, the local government was also a hall of famer awardee for Seal of Good Local Governance, constant recipient of Most Competitive LGU based on the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index, and Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance.
“During my incumbency, San Simon has long been a partner of Department of Interior and Local Government and Department of Information and Communications Technology. We were always chosen as pilot beneficiaries of their several programs which, until today, is being enjoyed by Simonians,” she said.
During a visit in 2018 of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in San Simon, Arroyo commended Wong’s efficient implementation of business and investment-related programs for locators in San Simon.