ORMOC NEWS –– Speaking in fluent ‘bisaya’ before numerous residents of Barangay Punta in this city, mayoralty candidate Richard Gomez said that a lot more should be done for Ormoc to attract new investments.
Gomez said that Ormoc is way behind nearby cities and towns like Tacloban and Palompon in terms of pioneering ideas needed to get the attention of tourists, businesses, and economic investors.
‘Look at Palompon, it has been able to induce new business investments and significant infrastructure projects because of its local tourism development program that succeeded with the local government’s clear determination’, Gomez explained.
‘Our city has great economic and tourism potential that should be able to benefit ordinary people but we have substantially retreated in these development areas’, Gomez told the Visayan Business Post. ‘I think it has something to do with the way our current local leaders think and prioritize’, he added.
University of the Philippines political science professor and social analyst Ladylyn Mangada said that it is a welcome development that modern leaders like Richard Gomez are trying to understand the specific needs of the areas where they plan to serve.
‘In determining the nature and future of public services in a given area, it always matters that people choose public servants who possess foresight’, professor Mangada added.
Mangada explained that local government leaders in big and diverse places like Ormoc city should be able to take advantage of growth integration areas which can happen ‘only if those elected are not narrow-minded but able to adapt to new ideas’.
‘We are on the verge of full ASEAN economic integration, a new culture set and attitude towards empowering local development should give us the capacity to infuse growth through the local government unit’, Mangada added.
An internationally recognized expert in her field, Mangada who has been studying the behavior of local governments throughout her academic career noted that ‘old school leaders seem to find it difficult to understand the true issues besetting their localities and therefore fail to connect’.
Asked whether Gomez’ background as an actor can affect his brand of public service, Professor Mangada pointed out that ‘the more crucial question we need to ask is not Richard Gomez’ being an actor or being the significant other half of an incumbent congressman, but whether he has the necessary personal capacity, dedication, connections, openness, and ability to innovate and integrate’.
‘These are challenging times, Gomez will need the unmistakable qualities mentioned to make sure his proposed reforms succeed in Ormoc and that these reforms in fact translate to inclusive growth for the people’, the UP professor concluded.
Supporters of Richard Gomez’ Ormoc Development Team are confident that they will succeed in getting a 13-0 win in the forthcoming May elections.