TACLOBAN CITY- “I Love Tacloban” fever kicked off Saturday as thousands of residents lined in the streets waving flaglets, shouting their hurrahs to greet the passing caravan of Mayor Alfred Romualdez and his running mates for the May 2013 mid-term elections.
Clad in red and blue streamers and with blaring audio announcing the Romualdez’s party and their platforms of governance, the “I Love Tacloban” vehicles embarked into a day-long motorcade starting from Brgy. San Jose towards city’s downtown districts.
The caravan made rounds in Tacloban, passing Marasbaras, V & G subdivision, Caibaan, Apitong, Abucay, Naga-naga, Diit enroute to northern barangays like Tagpuro, and Paglaum, ending at Balyuan grounds for a political rally and concert.
Joining Mayor Romualdez were about 850-motorcycle riders and a convoy of 150 vehicles, with supporters braving the heat of the sun distributing flyers.
Mayor Romualdez’s party include the unopposed Leyte First District Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, re-electionist councilors Cristina G. Romualdez, Edwin Chua, Edward Frederick Chua, Victor Emmanuel “Willie” Domingo and Jeric Dane “Tata” Granados, and aspiring councilors veteran broadcaster Alfredo “Fred” Padernos, Ildebrando “Brando” Bernadas, Robert Yap and Chrysanthemum “Bom” Malate.
“Masaya naman ako na maraming nagpunta and what seems very touching is that whatever events we have we never have ‘hakot’ and people just come. The best thing about it is that it was the largest group we’ve ever had, and apparently everybody enjoyed it. Doon ako nasiyahan,” said Mayor Romualdez in a press conference Saturday evening.
Mayor Romualdez said he is certain that “no bad thing” will ever happen to his re-election bid with the support that he received during the April 6 caravan.
He added that during his house-to-house campaign he always feels that he and his party are warmly welcomed by the constituents.
“Mainit naman ang pagtanggap sa amin ng mga tao during our house-to house survey. Minsan nalulungkot ako dahil ang iba nilalabasan pa ako ng upuan pero di naman ako puwedeng magtagal because I have to keep going,” Mayor Romualdez disclosed.
“For me, when it’s time for work, I really work hard. Now that it’s time for campaigning, I’m campaigning. That’s why I did not campaign earlier on. I only campaign during the campaign period (set by Comelec) when it started pero full blast naman ako,” he added.
Since its creation as the first highly-urbanized city in Region 8, Tacloban under Mayor Romualdez is credited for garnering a total of 18 National Awards, a record-breaking feat as it includes the prestigious DILG’s Gawad Pamana ng Lahi Award and the Seal of Good Housekeeping.
Other notable distinctions received by the city during the incumbency of Mayor Romualdez are Best Local Government Unit conferred by the Philippine National Police, Best Coop, Best Public Employment Service Office (PESO) and many more.
As the city’s top leader, Mayor Romualdez is also known for his pro-poor, pro- environment, pro-God and pro-family programs, even avoiding vices such as alcoholism, smoking and gambling on a personal level.
Mayor Romualdez also debunked the issues hurled against him, saying that as far as ordinary Taclobanons are concerned he has had brought a “great change” on them during his first six years in the administration.
“It is important that we have to focus on things and issues that would help the city and the plight of the people against poverty. Let’s stop wasting our time on nonsense issues just for the sake of talking. As for me, I’m not bothered by them. I’m just concentrating on the proposals in getting more investors to Tacloban and how to spread the sunshine to the entire city,” Mayor Romualdez explained.
“The bottom line here is kailangan maraming trabaho for the Taclobanons. With the PESO, we were able to give more than 2, 000 jobs already. Also, every year more than a thousand businesses applied for a business permit from Kanhuraw Business Center since 2008.”
“I see my re-election as a calling from God. If God calls me on this mission so I will maximize it. If it’s my time to serve, I will serve. Nakikita ko naman na epektibo ako at may pupuntahan tayo, bakit hinidi ako magsisilbi,” added Mayor Romualdez.
Now on his last term, Mayor Romualdez said he is focusing on creating more jobs for Taclobanons.
“That is why I’m pushing for more malls, more investors like call centers and even five star hotel coming in to Tacloban that will now give above- minimum- wage jobs and better opportunities for our people na hindi na kailangan pang pumunta sa abroad.”
“We have to empower our people. Kasi ako hindi ako naniniwala na umuunlad ang syudad na di kasama ang tao,” said the re-electionist Mayor Alfred Romualdez.