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Mayor Jess Robredo of Naga City is the best mayor that this country has. I am saying this not because Mayor Robredo is the mayor of my home city. I am saying this because it is the self-evident truth. The numerous prestigious awards and accolades that Mayor Robredo has received are the proofs of his excellent accomplishments as a local chief executive. Among his many laurels, Mayor Robredo is a recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for government service. This award is widely recognized as the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Prize. There are only a handful of Filipinos who have received this great honor. The award was not an accomplishment in itself. The award was just recognition of Mayor Robredo’s real accomplishments in government service.
The people of Naga City love Mayor Robredo. If the Nagueños could elect a king, they would elect Robredo as monarch for life. Robredo’s accomplishments as local chief executive are wide and far reaching. Robredo has transformed the many aspects of Naga City for the better. Before Mayor Robredo took the helm of leadership, Naga was a fifth-class city. Today, Naga is a first class city. Robredo’s leadership revitalized the slumbering economy of Naga. His administration restructured the decadent patronage political system of Naga. The hiring and promotion of employees became merit-based instead of patronage-based. Even the awarding of bids and contracts became merit-based. Robredo eliminated the culture of corruption that long-permeated the government structure of Naga.
Robredo’s administration initiated innovative economic, political and social reforms. The people empowerment ordinance, for instance, concretized the concept of true people power. The many sectors of society were encouraged to directly participate in governance. Sector representations are institutionalized. Marginal sectors such as youth, women, labor, agriculture, and urban poor were able to have formal voice and participation in local governance.
Naga City has evolved in many ways. Infrastructure, economy, and politics have all been transformed for the better because of Mayor Robredo’s visionary leadership. If only Robredo could be cloned (not literary of course), the Philippines would be a truly better place. I am saying these not because I am a Nagueño, I am saying all these because of the self-evident facts about Robredo’s remarkable leadership.