Bacolod is economically independent as a highly-urbanized city. But still, the City of Smiles is an integral part of Negros Occidental and should synergize its vision with the rest of the local governments of the province.
It cannot stand alone, even as the center of commerce and a hub for all types of trade and commerce for the entire province. Bacolod City needs to complement its plans to harmonize with the province for prosperity and progress.
In this hard time under the health crisis, the capital city is in need of strong and competent officials to lead the people of Bacolod.
This is the reason why some groups in Bacolod City asked someone, who has the potential and has displayed his sincerity, to lead them for a better city, and that is Alfredo “Albee” Benitez.
He started his commitment to the people of Bacolod and Negros with the formation of the Emergency Operations Center in April last year.
Benitez used his personal resources in the procurement of logistical needs to establish the first Molecular Laboratory in Teresita Lopez Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City, that is fully-owned by a local government unit.
Hospital administrators attested that the former solon offered his personal plane to transport personnel from the Department of Health as well as face masks and testing kits so the laboratory can operate as soon as possible since it was difficult for Negros and Bacolod to bring the swab samples to Iloilo DOH and wait for a couple of days for the results while more people got infected.
In the first few days of the vaccination rollout in March, one batch of vaccines against the coronavirus disease 2019 from the national government arrived at the Bacolod-Silay Airport on board the private plane of Benitez.
Negros Occidental Provincial IATF Incident Management head, Zeaphard Caelian, said 14,400 vials of Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccine arrived at the Bacolod-Silay Airport on April 12, and a portion of these was for the people of Bacolod City.
Benitez said that his biggest concern right now is the breakdown of the city’s healthcare system because there had been no time out since the pandemic started. He also said that hunger and malnutrition have risen to all-time-high levels. These need to be addressed seriously by all local governments.
Benitez added that he has always advocated for “less politics and more governance” because “governance with political convenience is doomed to fail. That should never mix. Governance should always stand out and not be guided by a political motive.
“As of today, I am busy bumping on different sectors in Bacolod City. I’m getting a hang of this new way of greeting people, by ‘fist-bump’. Nalipay gid ko sa pag ‘fist-bump’ sa pila ka mga jeepney drivers kag pumuluyo sa merkado sang Barangay Granada sa akon paglibot kaupod kay Kapitan Talimodao.
“To dream of leading the people is not because of the glamor of the position, not the prestige or authority that comes with it. It’s probably because of what people see and mentioned that maybe, it’s about time for something different.” – NWI