VM Bunnol ready to lead VMLP-Ifugao Chapter
VM Bunnol ready to lead VMLP-Ifugao Chapter
LAGAWE, IFUGAO– Once again, LamutVice Mayor VictomarBunnol earned recognition from his colleagues at the Vice Mayors League of the Philippines (VMLP)-Ifugao Chapter. They elected him as president at a recent meeting in Banaue.
Converging at the plush Banaue Hotel and Youth Hostel, the province’s vice mayors expressed their full trust and confidence on Vice Mayor Bunnol’s capability to lead the chapter in the next three years.
“What we want to achieve is a chapter well-attuned to the challenges of the times, most especially related to the programs of the national government,” a vice mayor from the first district said, referring to the reformist agenda of President Duterte.
Before he became president of the VMLP-Ifugao Chapter, Bunnol was also the vice mayor in Lamut, a farming town with the second biggest number of voters (16,892 in 2019) in Ifugao. He presided at the sessions of the Sangguniang Bayan (municipal council) from 2013 to 2016.
Bunnol has a lengthy career in serving the people with distinction.
“I am grateful and humbled by the support given to me during the elections,” Bunnol said during the meeting.
Other provincial chapters of the VMLP in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) were also in the process of formation during the month of August. One of these was the VMLP-Ifugao Chapter, which actively took part in the VMLP’s undertakings in the recent past.
Today, the vice mayor has profound influence at the Sangguniang Bayan as well as in the grassroots level.
This early, there are signs that strong ties and exchanges between the VMLP-Ifugao Chapter and the VMLP-Benguet Chapter are likely to prosper in a not-so-distant future. In other words, the cordial relationship between the two chapters would grow steadily. The VMLP-Benguet Chapter is headed by Vice Mayor Arthur Baldo Jr.
For his part, Baguio City Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan asserted that the need to create an environment that is ideal and conducive for increased cooperation between the two chapters is important.
“It is essential that the Vice Mayors League of the Philippines doesn’t fall behind when it comes to attaining our objective in promoting the people’s welfare in the CAR,” Vice Mayor Olowan told the ZigZag Weekly.
Another major concern of Mr. Olowan is the possibility of conducting regular dialogues and consultations within the VMLP CAR landscape.
“Of course, chapters of the Vice Mayors League of the Philippines in Benguet and Ifugao as well as those in Abra, Apayao and Mountain Province are no strangers to challenges. The forthcoming regional assembly will be another occasion to meet head-on the challenges of the times and raise our level of collective effort to establish better communication lines and systems in the region,” he stressed.
Vice Mayor Olowan, also a lawyer and board director of the VMLP-BenguetChapter, is a proponent for sustainable growth in the CAR.
VMLP-Benguet Chapter officers are partial to the idea. For one, TublayVice Mayor Atty. Juan Esnara would know, as Vice Mayor Olowan is credited for bringing alliances to an extraordinary level in order to attain noteworthy goals. Esnara is the secretary of the VMLP-Benguet Chapter.
Vice Mayor Olowan wants “a relevant Regional Assembly to meet the ever-demanding challenges faced by public servants like us” and that means electing transformational leaders,” Esnara said.
Alongside with Ifugao Rep. Solomon Chungalao, Governor Jerry Dalipog and Vice Governor Glenn Prudenciano, Ifugao’s vice mayors are working triple time to help the province make a turnaround of its economy as Ifugao continues to face the problems on mounting poverty and unemployment in the province’s 176 villages.
It is saddening because many other officials are doing little or nothing at all to make a dent on the campaign against poverty and hunger while they loudly professed their loyalty with President Duterte and his ruling PDP-Laban party.
Mondays to Sundays are saddest to many because they are poor, hungry and sick. Many would not believe there is no such thing as wide disparity between the rich and the poor. People think the municipal government and the provincial government can do more to lessen their difficulties. Small wonder, concerned Ifugao folks are pushing officials to work even harder to significantly uplift the lives of the people in impoverished communities.
In order to respond meaningfully to societal concerns at the city and municipality levels, vice mayors must be ready to understand their new-found role in strengthening the agenda of the national government. In Ifugao and elsewhere in the CAR, vice mayors are responsible for prioritizing local measures thus, should touch base and engage actively with all stakeholders in barangays, non-governmental organizations, indigenous communities and the general public.
The VMLP-Ifugao Chapter can address these issues, for instance, by undertaking better projects tailored to the poor and increasing access for the have-nots to basic social services, particularly in remote villages. Much is at stake for Ifugao is one of the poorest provinces in the Philippines.
Deeply rooted beliefs on the traditional role of a vice mayor play a key role in limiting the potential of the VMLP. The belief that the vice mayor is just second in command in the hierarchy of power still lingers on. A vice mayor has a unique character and God has a purpose for him or her and he or she need to simply discover it. For now, there is no need to compare oneself with the mayor and concentrate at the tasks at hand. Things continue to change at a fast, fast, fast rate and there is time to move on the ladder.
These are quite good times. A number of newly-elected vice mayors here and other parts of the region emerged victorious in the last elections due to their exemplary records in the Sangguniang Bayan or SangguniangPanlungsod (city council).
And rather bickering with the mayor who is affiliated with another political party, the vice mayor should find time to study the National Economic and Development Authority’s (NEDA) long-term vision aimed at tripling Filipinos’ real per capita incomes by eliminating hunger and poverty on or before 2040.
In particular, the vice mayors should constantly interact with barangay council and SangguniangKabataan (youth council) officials so that it would be easier to know the conditions of ordinary folks down to the sitio level.
Indeed, the future looks bright for the VMLP-Ifugao Chapter with Vice Mayor Bunnol at the helm of the officers roll. Many expect the VMLP-Ifugao Chapter to champion the cause of the underprivileged by pursuing projects that people shall learn to love and year for long because of its enormous benefits.
The VMLP-Ifugao Chapter is also composed of Vice Mayors Michelle Baguilat of Kiangan, Clarence Bahingawan of Asipulo, Lucas Bugatti of Hungduan, Rudy Chilagan Jr. of Mayoyao, Tony Chilagan of Aguinaldo, Agapito Dominguez Jr. of Alfonso Lista, Fernando Gapuz of Tinoc, Alberto Habiling of Hingyon, Reynold Kimayong of Lagawe, and Donald Mongolnon of Banaue.
They are game-changers of the VMLP-Ifugao Chapter can rely upon hereon.
They are the catalysts and pillars for change. This time around, they are expected to be an integral part of the overall effort to register a tangible record of accomplishments not just for the VMLP but, more so, for the citizenry. As it should, and must, if vice mayors were to keep up with and fulfill their mandate.
The meeting is also part of the chapter’s preparations for the Regional Assembly scheduled from October 13 to 15.
Concerned parties were reminded of the Regional Assembly election amid preparations for the National Assembly election.
Under Section 2 of the Election Policy and Guidelines of the VMLP constitution and by-laws the “National Election shall be held within 120 days after the Regional Assembly election period or as specified by the National Office.”
As VMLP members in the CAR move forward, the Regional Assembly participants are poised for further growth. It defines the very reason why past officers have made a lot of progress and what incoming officers have to do to change people’s lives for the better by bringing the government closer to them. **By Anthony A. Araos