ORMOC CITY – Mayor Richard Gomez’s first Monday on the job (July 4) as mayor was one busy day. It started with a flag ceremony at 7:45 AM, where he gave LGU employees, both regular and newly hired, a short talk on his priorities and management. He also warned against those who wanted to sabotage his administration, because he will not tolerate it. He said that he was aware the LGU employees, especially regulars, are protected by Civil Service laws, but it did not give them license to abuse their positions. In the same flag ceremony, the mayor called the attention of City Health Officer Dr. Nelita Navales to “explain” why she left the City Health Office doors open, its lights all on, and the gate open on the evening of Friday, July 1, his first day in office. One of the mayor’s trusted men, when they received the report, had to get to the CHO early in the morning of Saturday, July 2, to put off the lights and air-conditioning and close the doors and gate. “Maayo gani kay way nanghilabot,” the mayor’s man said. In the full department heads meeting that followed, Dr. Navales apologized to Mayor Gomez, saying she thought there were Civil Security Unit (CSU) men who were going to do that. Mayor Gomez, on the other hand, said that sadly, that was the reason why his team was pushing for an early transition so that these things would not happen. Since there was no early transition, they could not put the proper people to fill in the vacancies left by the previous personnel. However, he added to the department heads that from that time on, he expects them to treat their offices as their homes. “Like your homes, you should make sure you leave it secure and safe,” he said in Bisaya. The mayor also said that he would be hosting breakfast every Monday for the department heads, for them to report to him the progress of the tasks he has assigned them. He added they would also be going around the city to do ocular inspection. That afternoon, he asked them to come with him for a walk-trough from the public market to the food park. He also told them to wear comfortable shoes, as it could be a long walk. He suggested that they had comfortable walking shoes or sandals on standby, because he might call on them anytime for more inspections. On the request of the department heads, they also settled that the flag-raising ceremony every Monday would start on 8:00 AM, unlike the 7:45 AM it was before. Engr. Raoul Cam, city planning officer, said only the LGU of Ormoc started flag-raising on 7:45 AM while other government offices do it at 8:00 AM as it was the start of office hours. The mayor stressed to the LGU department heads that he was very much willing to work with him, and hoped they also had the same mindset. He stressed he was not asking for their personal loyalty but to their jobs, and think about what it good for the city. Among the visible accomplishments of the LGU this week was clearing up some areas of the public market.
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