ALABEL, Sarangani (24 June 2016) – With only a week to go to finally have a president from Mindanao, Mayor Ronnel Rivera of General Santos City is now anticipating possible big ticket projects it could bring to the city within the next six years.
This is what he implied during the oath-taking ceremony of Senator-elect Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao at Sarangani Capitol Gym Wednesday (June 22). President-elect Rodrigo Roa Duterte, who just came from the two-day economic forum “Sulong Pilipinas” in Davao, graced the event.
Mayor Rivera said that this is the high time for General Santos City, Sarangani, and other places in Mindanao to grow, now that Duterte is the president of the country.
“This is an opportunity that we have to take. We finally got a president that is from Mindanao. He (Duterte) understands us well, our struggles and the needs that we have. This is our time, our time for our respective cities and provinces to change for the better,” Mayor Rivera said.
Rivera also revealed that the development of the city should be patterned after progressive cities such as Davao and Cebu.
“Actually, in terms of development, Davao has a gap from Gensan of around 20 years. We want to close that gap so that we can achieve a true and inclusive growth,” the mayor revealed.
Davao has been the turf of Duterte, where he has been its mayor for three decades before he was elected as the country’s president last May 2016.
Rivera revealed that Gensan is now preparing to streamline in the possible big projects that would come in to Mindanao within Duterte’s term.
Among what Mayor Rivera mentioned is the updating of the Gensan’s City Land Use Plan, completion of transport code, and further amendments in its investment code.
Just recently, incoming Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Manny Piñol visited Gensan and asked Rivera to organize the farmers in the city. This is for the upcoming irrigation projects for Gensan.
Duterte also echoed Mayor Rivera’s statements, indicating that this is the chance that Mindanao is seeking for so long.
“If you really want to help this country, then this is the right time na ako ngayon ang presidente,” said Duterte, encouraging the attendees of the event.
“I put at stake my life, my honor, and even the presidency itself…let’s give the Filipino a chance,” he continued, setting a challenge to the elected government officials.
The president-elect also presented his main priorities in his term, namely education, health, and livelihood.
Druglords, crime-busting and apprehension of corruption within different ranks and agencies of government are also highlighted by Duterte to be ubiquitous. And as a part of his straight-edged speaking regimen, Duterte said: “Kaya siguro sabi ng Diyos, ikaw na muna dyan ha. Killer ka man kaya. Patayin mo silang lahat (criminals). (Gensan CPIO/ Ian John Lagare)