Nobody better than a transformational leader

BAGUIO CITY – – The first appearance at an all-important Vice Mayors League of the Philippines (VMLP)-Ilocos Region and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) chapters election of officers meeting of Baguio City Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan shall possibly rewrite the history of the country in search of transformational leaders.
The VMLP-Region 1 and CAR chapters chose August 16 for its members to converge in La Trinidad, Benguet to chart the future of the organization. Venue is Inglay’s Restaurant at Barangay Betag.
The Ilocos Region and the CAR are integral parts of northern Luzon. Four provinces comprise Ilocos Region and another five compose the CAR. Apart from the city vice mayors of Baguio and Tabuk (in Kalinga) in the upland region of the Cordillera, city and municipal vice mayors of Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Kalinga, La Union, Mountain Province and Pangasinan are expected to attend the meeting.
North Luzon, composed of 19 provinces with over 12 million Filipinos or 16 percent of the country’s total population, is largely dependent on agriculture.
Despite the fact that Ilocos Region and the CAR are rich in resources, many are poor and unemployment persists. For those who are employed, income inequality is a stark reality. This has become a drawcard for vice mayors and all others to take concrete actions on those in the agriculture sector who are registering low productivity after years of over-importation of rice and vegetables.
In previous pronouncements, Vice Mayor Olowan cited the accomplishments of the VMLP intended for the well-being of the people. He also urged its members to continue supporting the programs of President Duterte.
He reiterated that call recently, saying the Duterte administration’s campaign against criminality, illegal drugs and corruption is essential.
“I cannot see how a local official who honestly believes in the pursuit of good governance as a means of promoting the common good would then do nothing in response to the clarion call to actively support the Duterte administration’s thrust for genuine changes and reforms,” he told the ZigZag Weekly.
“I am obligated to use my knowledge and understanding to influence and convince my colleagues at the Vice Mayors League of the Philippines to take a proactive role in advancing the advocacies of the President,” he added.
The vice mayor is the presiding officer of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (city council) and the Sangguniang Bayan (municipal council). The vice mayor is viewed as a key player in helping councilors navigate the legislative mill.
Olowan further explained that back then in the last May midterm elections- the summer time months of February, March and April to be more precise, sunflowers- thousands and thousands of them, it seemed, signaled to him that he was on the right path. The blooming flowers, in radiant yellow hues, reflected a gleaming pot of gold. Olowan, 54, whose great popularity as leader of indigenous peoples, urban poor dwellers, the youth and elderly secured his election in the said polls, under the ruling PDP-Laban party.
If he had it his way, Vice Mayor Olowan would want the rural areas in these two regions be prioritized in the overall development plan and program of President Duterte.
Over the years, the name of Olowan, who excelled as councilor and punong barangay (village chieftain), has become synonymous with the task of dealing head-on with issues on poverty, economy and jobs, education and health.
As a well-meaning public servant himself for many years, Olowan meaningfully articulates these overriding issues experienced by most Filipinos, all the while maintaining the attachment necessary to find solutions to longstanding problems besetting the society within the context of contemporary history.
Not surprisingly, the call to have transformational leaders working in these parts of the country is timely and urgent as important issues that need to be addressed such as infrastructure gap, blatant corruption and environmental degradation are up in the air for closer scrutiny. There remains enormous potential for attaining development in these regions with transformational leaders like Vice Mayor Olowan at the helm. He and like-minded officials in the country’s 17 regions, 81 provinces, 235 districts, 144 cities, 1,490 and 42,036 barangays would form the core of the country’s future leaders. The Philippines really need them.
As a consequence, the response of a large organization as this one is to rally behind a leader with a vision of unlocking the members’ potentials for growth. Decisions are reached by vice mayors as they formulate their roles in the development of the country. Decisions that really matter. They shall make impacted decisions from time to time, starting on August 16.
Young Filipinos see a future in the ascension of transformational leaders. The Philippines really need them.
A 1987 political science graduate of then Baguio Colleges Foundation (now the University of the Cordilleras), Olowan finished law at the same institution and passed the bar exams in 1995.
He is the legal counsel of Itogon Indigenous People Organization, MOFAMCO, Blessed Association of Retired Persons (BARP), Baguio-Benguet Federation of Small-Scale Miners and NAMAWU-ICEM for Luzon.
“Indeed, the future has never looked brighter for the Vice Mayors League of the Philippines and I am certain that the promise of good governance is close to fulfillment through the convergence of the efforts of national and local officials and the people.” Olowan pointed out.
A low-key but hardworking vice mayor in Abra was overheard recently asking Vice Mayor Olowan to throw his hat in the VMLP-Region 1 and CAR political arena: Run for the highest position! So, how about it Vice Mayor Tino on August 16? It is a relevant question. A yes is a good first step.** By Anthony A. Araos

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