Baguio mayor’s first order to employees: ‘Smile, relax’
BAGUIO CITY — Mayor Benjamin Magalong issued on his first working day a standing order for employees of the city government to smile and relax.
The usually formal flag-raising ceremony on Monday, which welcomed the new set of officers and their staff, was also added with a community singing as everyone held hands while the song “If we hold on together” was sang in unison.
“If we hold on together I know our dreams will never die. Dreams see us through to forever…,” the lyrics read.
Magalong, in his message, said “relax and keep on smiling. This is not a military camp, please relax every time you see me and smile.” He said employees and officials should also do the same when dealing with clients.
Magalong belied information that he will run the city government similar to how military camps are being run.
“That is fake news,” he said.
Magalong retired as the second highest officer of the Philippine National Police in 2016.
He was known for being strict and workaholic. His entry in the local government as chief executive is believed to be one that will become a “military rule”.
He said the city faces several challenges but with good foresight and everyone on boat to row and paddle in unison, the problems can be addressed.
“We are one family facing lots of challenges ahead of us which will be difficult to solve without collective effort,” Magalong said as he takes the lead over 1,900 regular, casuals, job order and co-terminus employees of the city government.
During his oath-taking on Sunday, which was attended by hundreds of city residents, Magalong also appealed for cooperation among city residents by doing small things that would not aggravate the problems of the city and to cooperate in the city’s endeavors.
Magalong is inheriting several problems that have remained unsolved for years. Among them are the growing traffic problem, waste disposal woes and environmental degradation issues.
He urged city employees to go on moving forward every day in working hard for Baguio’s welfare. He said that while the same work is done daily, the employees should endeavor to look for ways on how to improve oneself and the performance of one’s tasks.
“There is always a better way of doing things,” Magalong urged city workers.
He pointed out that “change begins from all of us”.
Just like Magalong, second-term Baguio representative Marquez Go reminded city government employees that they work for the city government for a better purpose, a career to make Baguio better and make things happen.
“Your officials, our mayor cannot do this alone, he needs you, he needs all of us,” Go said in a message during the flag-raising.
“We are all called to serve our city, what matter is the next thing that we will do, more than what we are doing,” the congressman said.
First-term vice mayor Faustino Olowan left three Cs in a message to city employees — communicate, cooperate, and coordinate and the city will be well.
In welcoming the new set of officials, especially with Magalong on his first try and his first day as mayor, Association of City Executives (ACEx) president and budget officer Leticia Clemente said that as employees holding plantilla positions, they are mandated by law to work side by side with whoever is sitting as mayor.
“We have the legal mandate to respect and obey leaders who mirror the people. We welcome change and we are ready to accept and enjoy the ride within the bounds of the law,” she added. **PNA