Incoming SouthCot governor vows reforms

Tupi Mayor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. wins South Cotabato gubernatorial race. Photo courtesy of Mayor Tamayo’s Facebook page

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/28 June) – Incoming South Cotabato Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. vowed on Friday to initiate various reforms in the provincial government to “destroy its rotten system of governance.”

In his inaugural speech at South Cotabato Gymnasium and Cultural Center here, Tamayo said he will make sure that there will be major changes in the local government’s operations and service delivery under his leadership.

“We will change the system (of governance) according to the mandate of the people,” he said amid cheers and applause from the crowd.

Tamayo, who won over incumbent Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes in the May 13 elections, did not elaborate further on his planned reforms during his speech but noted in a subsequent press conference that he intends to dismantle the alleged “rotten practices” in the management of the province’s funds.

He cited the supposed approval of infrastructure projects without detailed design and programs of work.

There were also questions regarding the utilization of some local government funds, especially some unliquidated appropriation under the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, he said.

Fuentes was not immediately available for comment but she had repeatedly declared that her administration has been transparent with its financial transactions.

Tamayo, the outgoing mayor of Tupi town and president of the South Cotabato mayors’ league, formally took his oath around 9:30 a.m. as the province’s sixth elected provincial governor before Judge Lorenzo Balo of the Regional Trial Court Branch 44.

He was joined by the lone winner from his provincial board slate, the outgoing vice mayor of Tupi town Noel Escobillo.

The oath-taking ceremony was graced by top officials of his party, Partido Federal ng Pilipinas, led by its executive vice president Freddie Aguilar and secretary-general, retired Major Gen. Thompson Lantion.

Also present were reelected Vice Gov. Vicente de Jesus and the nine winning board members from Gov. Fuentes’ PDP Laban and Nationalist People’s Coalition slate, who already took their oaths of office a week ago along with reelected second district Rep. Ferdinand Hernandez.

In his speech, Tamayo said he will also push for a more inclusive governance and a development agenda that will benefit all sectors and communities within the province’s 10 towns and lone city.

He said no communities will be left behind under his administration in all aspects of development and in terms of the delivery of basic services like health and education.

In terms of infrastructure, he said the local government will invest on projects that are “really needed by the communities” and at the same time complement with the incoming developments and investments.

He said he will promote equality and eradicate discrimination, which has affected the tribal or indigenous peoples and other marginalized sectors in the province for many years.

“We will dismantle the tribal divide. We will move and prosper as one and be all known as South Cotabatenos,” he said. (MindaNews)