By: ALVIN GZ. ARPON
On her first over 60 days as Tacloban City’s chief executive, Mayor Cristina Gonzales Romualdez is already creating waves of hope, confidence and approval among her constituents on what she has been doing this early to preside over her role. And what is quite impressive is her visions for Tacloban and what to expect of her during her incumbency. She articulates her desire to focus sincere efforts to help her constituents especially the poor to rise from their present level of abject poverty towards economically stable lives.
Deep in her thoughts is how to uplift their economic conditions, especially those living in squatter areas along the shores of the city. Mayor Cristina (she is popularly called Kring-kring, but I like to address her this way) has already set up CLEP the (Comprehensive Livelihood and Entrepreneurship Program) with the less privileged as benefactors. She expressed pleasure and contentment at the progress in providing dwellings for the thousands of homeless families who were victims of the supertyphoon ‘Yolanda’, the world’s strongest typhoon to hit inland of which Tacloban was considered as its ground zero. About 15,000 families were affected but of the moment some 2,000 families have been moved to their new dwellings. The number of families relocated at the northern part of the city is expected to rise in the next few weeks.
Mayor Cristina is extra appreciative of the substantive response of the national government thru the National Housing Authority (NHA), the GMA Kapuso Foundation, a private establishment and an international group, Habitat for Humanity, who extended substantial help in these rehabilitation efforts. The pretty lady mayor has specifically mentioned the NHA who provided the most. By December 2O16 more families will be added to the 2,000 families now living in new homes. Mayor Cristina has displayed her sense of love to those young jobless yet, ladies by offering jobs in her saloon in the City. The Cristina Saloon offers services, not only for beauty upkeep but physical treatment as well in reflexology and massage in her saloon.
The city government has a total manpower of 900 regular employees and also has accommodated about 2,000 young but able professionals via job orders to augment workers at the City Hall. Very impressive are the several buildings where offices are located now stands within the City Hall site. Those buildings were constructed under the administration yet of her husband, former Mayor Alfred Romualdez. Road expansions in the city proper and in barangays, farm to market roads are regular projects ongoing and being undertaken.
Mayor Cristina has also recommended plans to improve water delivery system to the Leyte Metropolitan Water District to provide adequate water supply to all residential homes in the city, which is still wanting as of now. Noteworthy is it appears that there are no serious threats to crime in the city. She, however, will address the drug proliferation in the city especially when she learned that about 1,000 people who surrendered are involved in the drug menace. Mayor Cristina expressed her appreciation and thanks to President Rodrigo Duterte in his all-out campaign against illegal drugs in the country. Her vision for Tacloban is to have a city further developed to invite more investors and always to be safe, clean and beautiful.