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Candidates answer why they merit to have your vote...

A few days from now, on May 10, 2010 the crucial decision of picking the names beside the ovals each voter would be shading will be made.
The Baguio Midland Courier would like to help in this decision-making process by providing the electorate with information coming straight from the candidates to the top political posts in Baguio and Benguet.

We invited all the 29 candidates running for the Baguio mayoralty and
congressional posts as well as the aspirants for the Benguet gubernatorial and congressional posts to answer why they merit to have your vote. Eash response was limited to 200 words or less, which we publish here free of charge. The other candidates who declined our offer for undisclosed reasons are: Lizo Agpas, Rocky Thomas Balisong, Ruben Barcelo, Ronald Cosalan, Samuel Dangwa, Jack Dulnuan, Bedis Guznian, Ramon Labo Jr., Raul Molintas, and Felipe Ramos
 
BAGUIO MAYORAL CANDIDATES:
ERLINDA BUSACAY-LAZO
I enter this campaign as a candidate for mayor with a clean vision where I would like to see Baguio as it was during my younger days. I enter into politics with strong leadership experience, a desire to do right things, to lead by example, and to make decisions according to principles.

My desire to serve is pure and comes from my HEART change that we can truly believe in, to make a difference in the lives of people. As your mayor, I pledge to revive work ethics, promote new initiatives, fight intolerance, and welcome challenges to all my decisions to help  make a better and cleaner Baguio.

I promise to give quality service which the people deserve and to have transparency in all the things we do especially in terms of transacting business to combat corruption. I promise to do my best to create more jobs to reduce city government spending and to increase law enforcement to reduce crimes and other gang-related activities.
These are my priorities when seated as your mayor.
 
 
MAURICIO G. DOMOGAN

Due to multi-sectoral petitions especially from the barangays for me to comeback as janitor of the city, I, Mauricio G. Domogan, accepted the call to bring back Baguio’s glory days.

I surmise that the reason is: during the time I was your janitor, garbage was addressed; our city was a Hall of Famer in the Clean and Green Program in the entire country; our city’s finances, infrastructure program, environment, and basic services were properly managed. We are the only LGU that garnered the “Gawad Pamana ng Lahi,” the MOTHER OF ALL AWARDS, for two successive years that carries with it a P2 million reward.

If elected as mayor, I will spearhead, among others, solving our garbage problem, bring back Baguio’s cleanliness and beauty, rehabilitate watersheds, address water problem, strengthen education and sports development, empower our barangays, reinvigorate peace and order programs to curb criminality and youth violence, create jobs and livelihood programs, etc.

Our dream for a better Baguio will be attained with your utmost cooperation and support. I urge our people to vote for the tried, tested, experienced, and competent leaders for our beloved city.

 

 
MARQUEZ O. GO

Your voice matters. It matters on May 10. That is politics. It has to matter after May 10. This is leadership. This is the difference that Marquez “Mark” O. Go brings to the table, and it is this difference that will bring about expedient and sustainable solutions to the problems the city is beset with. As a candidate for mayor, he offers a 14-pronged vision to restore the Baguio he calls home.

Go begins with mutual benefits and convenient proposals for perennially pressing, perpetually unsolved issues, from squatting and market development to waste management.

Go aims, too, to address everyday concerns, such as safety and the rehabilitation of city service lines, greenery, and the restoration of the city’s recreational venues and tourist attractions.

Go outlines the sustainability of the local economy as well, by simplifying business processes—in the process eliminating red tape—and by crafting skills development and training as well as job placement programs to ensure a decent living for every resident.

Topping his agenda for change is ensuring performance and concrete action in the local government, which he will lead not only by developing the appropriate programs but by his own example as mayor of Baguio City.

Go wants to be part of the solution. He offers us his vision and his commitment. Your voice matters. Make sure you are heard on May 10 and on the days after. Mark Go is ready and willing to listen. But he still needs your vote. Make it count.

 

 
GUILLERMO HERNANDEZ

Engr. Guillermo “Willie” Hernandez is a genuine public servant – always willing to serve and not to be served. He is highly regarded as a consultant of various mechanical systems of structures in Baguio. He was a board member of the Baguio Water District and during his term, he improved the institution’s  operations. His vast involvement in office and planning work makes him a systematic person – the leader that a densely populated, urban place like Baguio needs to keep development back on the right track. Baguio may be economically developed as tourism and other related industries bring in revenue but we clearly see our environment and society neglected. Unlawful residents and garbage have been constant problems.

He is a leader in his field, presently as the national director and adviser of the Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers. His strong spirit to help others was recognized by former President Cory Aquino when he was awarded the Heroism Award during the 1990 earthquake.

Being the founder of the Green Patrol Movement proves his undisputable mission to revive the city’s endangered environment. Kababayan, ang pagboto ng sikat ay hindi solusyon sa pagbangon ng Baguio. Lalong hindi ang tagal sa serbisyo. Kung totoo yun, bakit ganito pa rin tayo?

Save Baguio. Save our vote.

 

 
JULIUS J. MANDAPAT

I am Baguio’s City Mayor for 2010-2013 because --
I have the political will for BAGUIO’s GREATNESS.
I have the needed responsibility to ensure what is best for the majority.

I am a 24/7 public servant.
I have the executive and technical competence.

I have the integrity to serve and lead.
I walk my steps in with enough courage to work out CHANGE.
Baguio’s inner peace has to be restored.
Baguio’s enchantment has to be revived.
Baguio’s progress has to win over any personal gains.

Today,
I see the garbage problem being solved through the Sablan engineered sanitary landfill, as inspired by Madison, Wisconsin successful landfill projects.
I trust the BPO industry to sustain Baguio’s economy through active employment.
I support BLIST programs to pave way for more investments.
I work, determined to decongest the market through organizing satellite markets for every barangay.
Baguio is in my heart!
That makes me win.
That makes every voter win better.

 
 
JULIUS J. MANDAPAT

“Why you merit to be elected as mayor of the City of Baguio?”

Because for eight years I have constantly exposed, prevented, or investigated corruption, like the P170 million BGH Flyover, CJH Casino, multi-million overpass dividers, etc.

Have the concern, goodwill, record, intelligence, ideas, guts, people-skills, and, most importantly, the incorruptibility to resurrect Baguio from 20 years of corruption, incompetence, and non-performance. I am PRO-poor, -rich, -business, -vendor, -tourist, -jeeps, -cars, -environment, -development, -women, -children, -common sense. And ANTI-CORRUPTION. Incumbents: vice-versa. Always advocated consultations, citizens getting solutions they want and need. Consult the people, not your pockets (what happens now) and you cannot go wrong. Am a writer-publisher, innovator who can invite the best ideas, minds, and people from here and abroad (and humble, too!) A vote for me, win or lose, will be a protest vote against corruption, incompetence, non-performance, and shameful officials, will show how many intelligent voters no longer tolerate idiocy and misgovernance. Crime proliferates because officials give bad example, won’t initiate anti-crime drive because they’ll be first to fall. Things have gotten so bad that nothing I do could make things worse, anything I do will be an improvement. And finally: I’ll be a shining example of how to stop corruption and change the city and even the country!
 
 
ELAINE DOMINGUEZ SEMBRANO

Baguio today faces serious problems crucial to our survival as a premier educational, tourism, and economic center in this part of the country.

Humbly, let me say that I have motherly qualities which we now need in governing our city. Ang sabi nga ng mga kapwa ko ina, “nasubukan na natin ang maraming tatay, ang isang lolo, ang isang anak. Ang nanay naman!”

A motherly mayor can effectively address poor garbage disposal undertaken at so much public expense, chaotic market, messy traffic, inequitable education for our children, deteriorating peace and order, bad business and unfriendly tourism, discriminatory social welfare services, environmental degradation, inadequate livelihood and job access, ill-maintained basic services, etc.

We know how a mother attends to her family, with much asikaso, alaga, atensyon at aksyon. As a mother would, I will do what is right and act on urgent matters right away. Kokontrahin natin at ibabasura ang mali. Ang tama, ating paiiralin.

Righteous, God-fearing governance, this is what an Elaine Dominguez Sembrano hopes to bring to City Hall. I am confident that we can rebuild Baguio from the strength of our character and from our renewed faith in each other and in God’s loving grace.

 

 
BAGUIO CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES:
EDGAR M. AVILA

I am a positive force for change.  More than just paying lip-service to the ideals of a good representation in Congress, I have demonstrated my capacity to be an effective and relevant advocate of such ideals. In my six-year stint in the Ninth and Tenth Congress, I have authored 84 Bills and Resolutions, passed four laws, and was among the Philippines’ Top Ten Congressmen.

Yet, even outside of any public office, I have kept watch and vigil for the interests of Baguio City.  I was the first to challenge Jadewell on its first day of operation, when nary a soul even knew what was happening.  I stood in the way of City Council Resolution No. 248 that sought to allow BCDA to establish a casino at Camp John Hay in 2003, and opposed the mayor’s plans to surrender our Athletic Bowl and certain functions of the City Assessor’s Office to private firms.

As your congressman, I shall work beyond the usual cement-and-beautification-oriented projects and I shall endeavor to establish a City College and a City Hospital, as my priority legislative agenda.

I hold an abiding faith in the Baguio voter’s intelligence. I offer myself as his intelligent choice.

 

 
REINALDO A. BAUTISTA JR.

As your mayor, I have been faced with difficult challenges. So many accusations have been thrown at the current administration, but I shall leave the Office of the City Mayor of Baguio knowing that I have served it honestly and with all my heart. Baguio deserves nothing less: I was born and raised here, this is my home. And like you, I want nothing less than the best for my home.

After serving Baguio as councilor, vice mayor and eventually as mayor, I have come to realize that we can hurdle the challenges that we face today by going to the root: the laws. And this is the reason why I am, for the last time, seeking your trust and allow me to be Baguio’s voice in Congress.

We have already turned our backs on traditional politics. There is no turning back now. We must continue moving forward. I am running independently for congressman for I believe that being the city’s representative is not a power issue, but a responsibility that requires loyalty and faith not to any political party or interest, but to the legislative process and above all, to the people of Baguio.

 

 
DWIGHT NICOLAS A. BELLO III
Here I am before you, a man who is not afraid to admit his past mistakes with the strong conviction to reform. I made a covenant with the Lord that if given the chance, I will give my dedicated service with transparency. All my vision and programs are conceptualized for the welfare of every Baguio citizen by being an instrument in the alleviation of poverty-related predicaments of every family in thiscity such as employment abroad, equal education opportunities, health care provider through my ITAG card program, continuous “Christianization” program by sponsoring mass baptism in barangays within this city, bringing the Congressional Office to the barangay level, providing “free kabaong” to the needy, and providing funding assistance to cooperatives  and other worthy and established organizations. Simple as they are, the bills I will author under my term shall cover these programs. In the face of man and God, I offer you my commitment and all I ask of you is to TRUST me that I can do all what I have envisioned for you and your PRAYERS that I will not succumb to corruption. Humbly I pray that YOU WILL LIKE IKE BELLO 4 CONGRESSMAN, “Ang Kumpadre ng Bayan.”
 
 
RABINDRANATH P. QUILALA

Today, a man from among you is offering himself as an alternative choice for the People of Baguio to represent their interest and primordial concerns in the Halls of Congress. Someone who has been equipped by his humble experience in the field of politics, business, broadcast, and ecclesiastical advancement, has accepted the challenge to take the post as national legislator.

Baguio City needs a Voice in Congress who is physically fit, mentally alert, emotionally prepared, and spiritually motivated. Together, we can make a big difference and create A BETter Baguio. If we agree to choose A BETter Alternative in leading the transformation of the city and with God’s grace, I believe that we will recover and move forward from where we are now. Let’s give Baguio City a chance… Para sa bagong simula! Vote Kabagis Abet Quilala panglima (5) sa gitna ng balota as Member, House of Representatives.

“If my people who are called by my name , will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways , then I will hear from heaven and  forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

 

 
BERNARDO M. VERGARA

My dear people of Baguio,
As you will remember, when I was first elected your congressman in 1992, I sought to put together a legislative program that would make Baguio the country’s premier tourist destination and at the same time preserve the environment so that our fair city would be a more peaceful and better place to live in.

Although then mayor Mauricio Domogan and I came from different political parties, we earnestly joined hands to introduce much needed infrastructure projects that put Baguio on the road to progress, truly a metropolis of the future, and for many years running, our city was adjudged the cleanest and greenest in the entire Philippines.

This also marked the beginning of a long and binding friendship between Domogan and myself.

Already, we have mapped out and planned a city free of garbage and other irritating problems, like deteriorating peace and order, overpopulation, complacency, and neglect.

As an engineer, I feel that legislative work is not just speeches and sponsoring bills, but more than anything, delivering basic services to your beloved constituents, visions of a true leader and public servant.
The welfare of Baguio is what beats foremost in my heart.

Thank you and God Bless.

 

 
LEANDRO B. YANGOT JR.

During my years in public service, I lived by the principle of democracy: Uphold the majority, protect the minority, and listen to the opposition. I have no intention of detracting from this when elected to Congress. At least once a month, I will hold public consultations and give my attentive ears to Baguio’s people as they instruct me on what to express on their behalf in Congress.

A  Representative must know the people’s issues. Among the congressional candidates, I am best acquainted with Baguio City’s basic sectors’ problems. I was punong barangay and president of the Association of Barangay Councils for two terms. In such capacities, I heard the cries of the poor, women, youth and students, senior citizens, workers, persons with disabilities, sari-sari store owners, local business, and the teachers.  I have a profound understanding of problems on land, housing, garbage management, health, water supply, and barangay infrastructure, among others.
A Representative must be courageous to do what is right, overriding fears. As councilor, I was called the Lone Ranger for championing unpopular positions even when alone.
A  Representative must have the people’s trust. In 2004, I got the highest votes for councilor in Baguio’s electoral history – clear proof of public confidence in me.

My willingness to listen to the people, my understanding of their issues, my courage, the public confidence in me—all these combined make me the People’s Representative.

 

 
BRAULIO D. YARANON

We aspire to be congressman to push measures for the common good. Among others:
· Restore the beautiful public and private flower gardens. Let a million flowers bloom to get tourists to enjoy visiting our garden city the whole year round.

· Institutionalize study now pay later educational program for the underprivileged, with interest free loans.· Expand Arts and Trades School into a Pamantasan Ng Lungsod.
· Build a facility where distressed women and children can seek refuge and aid in anonymity.
· Segregate portions of reservations for bona fide qualified occupants. Fast-track titles for those on disposable lands. Acquire lands for home lots for qualified non-informal settlers.
· Fund: Senior Citizens’ Activity Center, Comprehensive sustainable development & action plan, Drug rehabilitation clinic, Waste to energy garbage disposal plant, Rehabilitate Baguio City Market, Repair & build drainage & sanitation facilities
· Increase LGU revenue shares, trim the 44 percent budgetary allocation for foreign debt amortization, as fund source for salary increase of teachers, PNP, AFP, and other government personnel including barangay and city officials and workers, and essential public needs.
· Reforestation with fast growing hardwood (Acacia mangium, sample between City Hall and Justice Hall, 20 feet growth in four years). Re-greening with native sunflower to stop erosion and slides.

 

 

 
BENGUET GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE:
NESTOR B. FONGWAN

Benguet is an agricultural province. It must be competitive due to globalization and for this reason our farmers must be given all kinds of support in terms of technology, funding, and link to high-end markets. Thus, we are now in the midst of soil profiling our farming areas all over Benguet to determine soil fertility and soil-borne diseases.

We need to continue this program in our desire to prepare the competitiveness of our farmers in the wake of the impending implementation of GATT-WTO.

Continue our program on education by constructing more schools and hiring more teachers to split multi-grade sections. Support BeGH, our district hospitals, and health care units for efficient delivery of health services to our people. In environment, we vowed to strengthen and revitalize the 78 communal forests in Benguet. We are now preparing the management and development plan of these communal forests, aside from other environmental protection projects to help address climate change. We will also legalize and regulate the small-scale mining industry.

Continue pursuing our goal of elevating our province to first class status by improving revenue collections like negotiation for the unremitted share of the province in the national wealth tax. With sufficient funds, we can implement programs of development in all aspects and be able to deliver basic services in education, social service, health, agriculture, water, farm-to-market roads, and peace and order. It is our avowed goal to provide our constituents an administration that is accountable and responsive to their needs, thus our crusade: “Let the people feel the presence of government.”

 

 
RICARDO F. ANGLUBEN
First and for most, my love for Benguet has encouraged me to run for this position. I could live a peaceful and luxurious life, but I am really encouraged by how my father had been helping the people of Benguet when he was alive. He has been very generous to them by helping them acquire their own lands and survive life. As an ordinary citizen, I also helped people in my own ways.

Nevertheless, I strongly believe that I could be of more service to my people if I am in a position. As stated in my platform, I will be working on cooperatives and more programs to alleviate the life of our citizens in Benguet. I do believe that the old system of politics can be changed. I am a sincere, God fearing, and strong willed individual who, by God’s grace, promises to fight for change for the betterment of the    political and economic system in Benguet. I am convinced that “In hindsight, it’s easy to think that a person being in the right place at the right time was coincidence. But when a leader is following God, nothing is coincidental.” With my strong leadership potentials, I can be the hope for the people of Benguet. To God be the glory.
 
 
THOMAS L. CHAMOS

I am Thomas Chamos, a son of Benguet, a candidate for congressman in this province. I believe I merit to be elected in this post because I embody what it entails to be a Representative, which are as follows:
Mangisakit. The congressman must internalize the essence of Representation. It is in identifying with the different sectors of his district that he discovers the real needs of the Benguet community. That said, it is my plan, among others, to aid the farmers on their plight on the competition with imported vegetables, and to give due attention to the small-scale miners of the province.

Manag-aywan.  The congressman must have genuine compassion for the disadvantaged. He also ensures that he does not duplicate the LGU programs and projects and is in constant cooperation and coordination with the LGUs to cover a wider area of concerns.
Mapagtalkan. The representative makes well-informed decisions where to allocate the taxpayers’ money. He is honest and transparent.

I have been a legislator for nine years in the first class municipality of La Trinidad and I sincerely desire to serve further the people of Benguet through well-studied legislation for more sustainable outcomes.

 

 
MARIO W. GODIO

The foremost duty of a congressman is to represent the people of the district in the legislative department. And this is what I promise to do if I get elected. 

I believe that proper representation is through consultation and involvement of the local government units. My experience in the local government as barangay captain, councilor, planning and development coordinator, and three-term mayor taught me that the local government units are more aware of the needs of the communities. Thus, I will not personally handle my PDAF but rather devolve it to the management of the municipal and barangay government units.  My office will only serve as the monitoring and supervising body to the projects they implement. 

Efforts of the present and past Benguet government in improving the province have been going on for years so a three-year stay in Congress will not give sweeping progress. Instead I will work for long-term growth focusing on making quality education accessible to the people of Benguet. 

Support should also be given to the family by means of proper health care and sustainable livelihood through strengthened agricultural, industrial and other enterprises, with respect to the environment, to make sure the child graduates.

 

 
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