President Noynoy Aquino’s appointment of former Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo as secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) is another welcome development in the rapidly changing governmental landscape that promises genuine and positive change in the country. Naming Robredo to head the powerful interior and local government portfolio that has control and supervision over local government units and the Philippine National Police (PNP) aside from other vital government bureaus is a right choice and a wise move on the part of P-Noy given Robredo’s excellent track record and accomplishments as an outstanding local chief executive for the past 18 years.
Secretary Robredo, who is known for his character and integrity, innovative and effective governance, and advancement of pro-people agenda during his long stint as mayor of Naga City will surely provide provincial, city and municipal governments all over the country the right direction plus valuable inputs on how to best serve their constituents and become the real engines of growth in their respective territories by using the fiscal and political autonomy given them by the Local Government Code of 1991. With Secretary Robredo’s extensive experience and knowledge in government service particularly in running a local government unit, it is expected that his leadership will inspire the country’s local officials to excel in governance. This aspect of his job will be easier compared to the difficult challenge that he faces in exercising control and supervision over the PNP, which up to now is perceived by the public to be not totally efficient in crime prevention and running after criminals.
For one, President Aquino’s marching order to the new DILG secretary to stop jueteng is the first difficult test that the latter must pass to show the people that he truly deserves to head the interior and local government post. Although Robredo did not tolerate the illegal numbers game when he was Naga mayor, jueteng operated in the city just the same because top police officials allowed it. His frustration then was he lacked total control of the police force that was why jueteng was able to operate in the city. Now that he possesses the power of control over the PNP, there is no more reason for him to stamp out jueteng pronto, otherwise, he stands to lose his credibility as DILG secretary.
The days ahead will surely be tough and demanding for DILG Secretary Robredo. So much is expected from him not only by the Aquino administration but by the people who supported and cheered his appointment, especially the countless Naguenos who love him and are proud of him.
We, in the Bikol Reporter, believe that Secretary Robredo is ready and capable to face the challenges ahead of him at the DILG. We also hope and pray that he will succeed in his new endeavors.
Congratulations Sec. Jesse Robredo! Good luck Sir! We are proud of you!