The 11th Sangguniang Panlungsod

Hon. GABRIEL H. BORDADO, Jr.

Hon. CECILIA B. VELUZ-DE ASIS

Commitment to public service knows no boundaries. That is one of the standards that top notch City councillor Cecilia B. Veluz-de Asis puts into practice to ensure that her actions will not be hampered or get derailed by things she regards as inconsequential. She said, “Like any other government worker, I am duty-bound even beyond the eight-hour working time limit” to respond expeditiously to calls of public service.

In brief recollection, the Councilor said it was her parents who taught her the basics of public service. She said a public servant has to be accommodating and sincere at all times regardless of how big or small an action is being demanded to be carried out. Nene, as she is fondly called, began to learn the value and nobility of public service since her grade school years when her father, Silverio, was the town mayor of Del Gallego and when her mother, Lucy, succeeded him after he finished his term and became provincial board member.

Popularly hailed as “Kasurog kan Familia (Family Defender)”, Nene was first elected to the city council in 1998 where she earned the moniker “champion for the welfare of women and children, and strong family relations.” She finished her 3-year term in 2007 and was again overwhelmingly re-elected in 2010 under the Liberal Party, garnering the highest number of votes among the candidates who ran for the position.

Among her landmark legislative measures are the ordinances penalizing domestic violence and providing protective measurers therefore, creating the Naga City Council for Women, declaring every March 8 to March 14 of the year as Women’s Week, as well as an ordinance directing hospitals in Naga City to identify a Pink Crisis Center for Rape Victims, and a resolution that calls upon all barangays in the city to create a separate committees on Family and Women.

The councillor during his first term also worked for the approval of an ordinance implementing Foster Care for Abused Children. It was during that time that she began to spearhead the Bantay Family, an organization that assists women and children in crisis and works for the prevention of domestic violence. She also initiated the construction of the Naga City Women’s Crisis Center. As chairperson of the Naga City Bantay Family, Councilor de Asis envisions a bright future for every Nagueño family because of the city government’s campaign for strong family bond which she believes is the key to reduce the number of cases of domestic violence.

Councilor de Asis is currently the chairperson of the Committees on Appropriations and on Family, Women and gender Development. She co-chairs the Committees on Culture and the Arts / Tourism, People Empowerment, Human Rights, and Children.

Being the top notch councilor, de Asis takes over the functions of the Vice-Mayor in the latter’s absence.

Hon. DAVID CASPER NATHAN A. SERGIO

HON. DAVID CASPER NATHAN A. SERGIO is now on his third and final term as a City Councilor. He chairs the City Council’s Committees on Land Use and Persons with Disabilities, and he is a member of several Sanggunian standing committees. He also chairs the city’s Consultative and Advisory Committee on Overseas Filipinos (CACOF), and the Naga City Cooperative Development Council (NCCDC); he acts as Executive Director of the city’s Blood Program. He sits a member of the city’s Health Board, Investment Board, Airshed Council and Soild Waste Management Council.

Outside of government, he is an active member of radio group Kabalikat Civicom, having been the founding president of Kabalikat Naga Central chapter (KB 645). He is currently the president of Bicol Federation of Philippine Eagles Clubs, Inc.; likewise, a regional co-convenor of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. He is also the vice-president of Nueva Caceres Heritage Movement, Inc. He sits as one of the directors of the HELP Learning Center, and of the Philippine Red Cross-Camarines Sur Chapter, where he chairs the Blood Services Committee.

Prior to becoming a City Councilor in 2007, he was Secretary to the Mayor for eight years and the Chief of the city’s Urban Poor Affairs Office for ten years – a total of 18 years of dedicated public service, which provided him both micro and macro perspectives that help him a lot presently in crafting policies in the Sangguniang Panlungsod. His legislations – the ordinances he authored and the resolutions he introduced – will speak for themselves.

In 1988, he was Youth City Mayor, and president of Ateneo De Naga Student Council. In 1989, he finished Liberal Arts and Commerce degree from Ateneo.

Councilor Nathan Sergio is a recipient of national and regional awards and recognitions, namely: the “Dangal ng Bayan” Award by the Civil Service Commission; the “Public Servant of the Year” Award by the Kilosbayan Foundation chaired by Ex-Senator Jovito Salonga; the “Apolinario Mabini” Award by the Philippine Foundation for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled, Inc.; and regional winner of “The Outstanding Councilor of the Philippines” jointly sponsored by the Philippine Jaycees and the Office of Senator Edgardo Angara.  Aside from these awards, Councilor Sergio has had involvement and active participation in several city programs which garnered Galing Pook Awards as best practices.

Among his advocacies are: the promotion of blood donation and of human organ donation; the advancement of the rights and welfare of Persons with Disabilities; and the promotion of local history and protection of cultural heritage.

Simply “Nathan” to his friends, he is fondly referred to invariably as the “small but terrible” or as the “little boy with a big heart”.

Hon. ESTEBAN GREG R. ABONAL III

Greg Abonal is the only other lay teacher cited in the 2000 Ramon Magsaysay Award profile of the late Naga City Mayor and Philippine Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Jesse M. Robredo. The profile written by Lorna Kalaw-Tirol reads:

“. . . Robredo remembers his English teacher Greg Abonal for having taught him not only English but, more important, the art of living. How clearly Robredo recalls Abonal’s constant reminders: “the process is more important than what you learn;” “grades, while important, are not your life;” “faith is important, as is honesty, and exams are not only to test what you’ve learned, but to test your character as well.”

No wonder, the late City Mayor always wanted Greg Abonal among his working team in the local government in his beloved city, “An Maogmang Lugar.” Unable to entice his teacher to join the City Council, the mayor appointed Greg Abonal to key committees: the Peace and Order Council and the Advisory Committee of the School Board beginning 2007. Members of these committees all agree that Greg Abonal’s participation and contribution to these committees were productive and exceptional.

Having been part of the School Board, Greg Abonal sees many more prospects for the city government to assist the Department of Education in improving education in Naga. He sees fine tuning of the current programs for education but is especially excited about a formation program for school administrators and teachers as foundation for any educational improvement.

Youngest brother to Councilor Esteban Abonal, Jr., Greg Abonal brings to the city both sterling qualifications and intentions in the fi eld of education.

He taught English at the Ateneo de Naga High School beginning in 1970. Among his earlier students were James Jacob, Ulan Sarmiento and Jesse Robredo. He was appointed Principal in 1978 but kept a teaching stint with now City Mayor John Bongat among his former students. After 14 years as principal, Greg Abonal left for further studies and returned to teach in the Ateneo College. He was again appointed Principal in 2001 and was tasked to transfer the High School to a new campus in Barangay Pacol and especially to convert the all-boys high school to coeducation, admitting girls beginning in 2003.

He completes his 26th year as high school Principal this year, the longest in the Ateneo de Naga by anyone, Jesuit priest or layman.

The latter part of the 80’s called for his direct involvement in the affairs of local and national education. Even only as high school principal, he was elected President of the Caceres Educational Conference (Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte) and then of the Bicol Association of Catholic Schools. He went on to be nationally elected to the Board of Directors of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP), concurrently serving as Regional Director and Regional Coordinator for Bicol, positions normally reserved for school heads and university presidents.

Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi did not hesitate to name him Superintendent of Catholic Schools for Caceres even though he was only a lay person. Again he went further to be designated Regional Coordinator of the Superintendents of Bicol in the national Superintendents’ Commission of the CEAP.

These achievements merited for him the Ateneo de Naga Golden Jubilee Outstanding Alumnus Award for Education in 1990. Shortly after that, he was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Ateneo de Naga University and served until February 2012, fulfilling the maximum of four terms (12 years).

Other than his formal studies, Greg Abonal gathered a wealth of knowledge through seminars and workshops and especially in the School Administrators’ Program spanning over five years, a course offered at Fordham University adapted for the Catholic school administrators of Asia and Oceania but eventually accommodated others from Europe and Africa. He also was the lone Filipino and one of three Asians in the 6th Oxford Conference on Literature Teaching Abroad. In the Ateneo de Naga, Greg Abonal is known for being strict, as a teacher and especially as principal.

He explains: “Strictness is not exclusive to Greg Abonal. All the principals before me were strict. All the principals after me will be strict. That is the culture of the Ateneo de Naga. In fact, that is the culture of all Jesuit schools, especially in the formative levels of basic education.

Character formation for young people requires a caring environment of defined structures and structured procedures that young people must be guided through to adhere to and eventually adopt as their own. Excellence begins with high standards.

High standards can be achieved only through discipline. Look, our young people here, our students, have been and will be happy about the school environment, climate, and culture. The Ateneo de Naga after all is the original an maogmang lugar.

Hon. MA. ELIZABETH Q. LAVADIA

When she was first elected as city councilor, her assumption to the office did not bring her jitters as she had been exposed to public service for almost 20 years when her husband Jun was Barangay Chairman and became an ex-oficio member of Sanggunian, until finally getting himself elected as a member of the city council. Babet, as she prefers to be called, has always been by the side of her husband and always work together in the name of public service.

With her experience and competence, many expected her to deliver with maximum results the various tasks that have been entrusted to her at the Sanggunian. During her initial term of service, one of her favorite committee chairpersonships was the committee on Family and Human Rights where she is chairperson. It seeks to protect the interest, as well as, uphold the integrity and well-being of every Nagueño and his  family. The energy and dedication she channels to her duties catapulted her to her second term as Sanggunian member, as she vows to serve with greater determination to repay the overwhelming votes given her by the Nagueños. This service to the welfare of Nagueño family Babete pledges to fulfill through her responsibility as chairperson of the Committee on Consumer Protection. She is also resolved to help uplift the productivity and learning capacity of the poor through her leadership of the Committee on Manpower and Livelihood. A world-class public market worthy of the Naga SMILES program of the city is also her vision for a dynamic shoppers’ facility, which she intends to achieve through her chairing of the Committee on Public Market Affairs. Babet likewise complements these duties and shares her zeal for service through her participation in the committees on Energy, Land Use, Infrastructure, and Tourism, as a member. As if these were not enough, she is also the appointment head of the Naga City Price Coordinating Council.

No doubt, the Nagueño family’s economic well-being is in good hands at the legislative branch of the Naga City Government with Babet.

Hon. JOAQUIN F. PEREZ JR.

Among the “rookies” in the 10th Sangguniang Panlungsod is City Councilor Joaquin F. Perez Jr., a medical doctor who hails from the kinfolk of good leaders and bright public servants in Naga City.
Son of Dr. Joaquin Perez Sr. and former Vice Mayor Virginia Felipe-Perez, “Chito” ran in May 2010 local elections for the position of city councilor and won.  He is the Chairman of the Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on Health.
Apart from issues concerning health, Chito, who is also a nephew of former Congressman and Comelec Commissioner Ramon H. Felipe Jr., involves himself in tourism development and other undertakings that will promote the city’s culture and arts of which the committees he both chairs in the Sangguniang Panlungsod.
He has been also linking up with private entities, government agencies and academic institutions in a bid to fortify the city’s program on trade industry and economic enterprises.
He worked as Relief Salesman at San Miguel Corporation in 1972 and Economist I at the Bureau of Agricultural Economics before earning his medical degree at the Bicol Christian College of Medicine in 1985.  He passed the licensure exams for physicians at the Philippine Regulation Commission in 1994.
He is happily married to Nemesia Sartorio with whom he has five children: Cynthia, Virginia, Joaquin III, Juan, and Jaime.

Hon. ELMER S. BALDEMORO

Hon. MILA S.D. RAQUID-ARROYO

Hon. JOSE A. TUASON

Retired veteran police officer “Seling” Tuason who is now on his second term as city councilor (1995-1998, 2007-2010) considers the youth as one of his topmost concerns who “needs to be given proper care and attention” especially those who are deprived of education.
Councilor Tuason upholds youth concerns by supporting policies that promote and encourage youth participation and involvement in local governance by enhancing their capabilities that will enable them to participate actively in building the “Maogmang Naga.”
As chairman of the SP Committee on Peace and Order, Tuason is also at the forefront of institutionalizing landmark ordinances that encourage people’s direct participation in crime prevention and control by keeping the neighborhood crime watch group active.  He also heads the SP Committees on City Properties and Infrastructure.
Currently, he is the vice-chairman of the SP Committees on Consumer Protection, Environment and Energy, Games and Amusement, Persons with Disabilities and Senior Citizens.
Councilor Tuason also represents the Sangguniang Panlungsod in the People’s Law Enforcement Board (PLEB).  He is the president of the Association of Retired Law Enforcers (ARLE) and the Building Opportunities for Youth Success (BOYS), Inc.
As police officer then, Tuason rose from being a Patrolman to higher positions in the PNP until he retired from the service as deputy regional commander.

Hon. RAY-AN CYDRICK G. RENTOY

City Councilor Ray-An Cydrick G. Rentoy is the youngest city official ever elected in the history of Naga City. Former SK Federation President (2008-2010) and at the same time an ex-officio member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, he was elected on the regular post as city councilor for two terms, in the 2010 and 2013 elections, respectively. His dynamic youth leadership earned him the “Gawad Kampeon sa Kabataang Pilipino” awarded by the National Youth Commission.
His work ethics and dedication to public service is unquestionable for he was able to balance work and studies. He graduated BS Business Administration major in Legal Management on October 2012 while at the same time performing his duty as a city councilor. He is presently taking up Bachelor of Laws at the University of Nueva Caceres.
As Chairman of the Committee on Laws and Ordinances, he is tasked to ensure that all laws and ordinances, prior to their enactment, are within the limits of the laws of the land. As chairman of said committee, he is also a member of the city government’s Personnel Selection Board which studies and recommends management practices that would maximize efficiency and effectiveness of the city’s organization and staffing. Councilor Rentoy is also the chairman of the Committee on Games and Amusement, which evaluates, regulates, and supervises the existence of various types of games/amusements in the city. He is also the current Co-Chairman of the Committee on Youth and Sports Development and the Committee on Children.
Councilor Rentoy’s long tenure in the Sangguniang Panlungsod enabled him to gain knowledge and experience needed in law-making. Consequently, he was able to craft milestone legislation which reflect the dynamics of the city’s politics and address the ever-changing needs of the citizenry. He authored Ordinance 2012-035, otherwise known as the Naga City Youth Code, the first of its kind in the entire country as acknowledged in a resolution dated January 10, 2013 issued by the National Youth Commission. This ordinance substantially provides policies and programs directly inclined towards the welfare, protection, and development of the city’s youth sector. Subsequently, he authored Ordinance 2012-062, also known as the Sports Ordinance of Naga, which provides for a comprehensive youth and sports development program of the city. He also authored the Ordinance Promoting Positive Discipline of Children (2013-026) which aims to end the practice of corporal punishment as a form of disciplining every child of the city.
As a member of different committees in the Sangguniang Panlungsod, he vigorously attends committee hearings and public consultations which leads to co-authorship in some legislation such as Ordinance 2010-063 – An Ordinance Institutionalizing the City’s Tertiary Scholarship Program, Providing Funds, and for Other Purposes, which protects and promotes the right of the city’s constituents to quality education at all levels by establishing an access mechanism to tertiary education for its poor but deserving students.
Other legislations which he has initiated are the following (pending ordinances):
  • AN ORDINANCE STRENGTHENING PEOPLE PARTICIPATION IN LOCAL GOVERNANCE BY INSTITUTING MECHANISM FOR PARTICIPATION OF INDIVIDUAL AND NON-ORGANIZED CITIZENS IN THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESSES IN THE CITY OF NAGA BY INSTITUTIONALIZING THE I-ENGAGE PROGRAM OF THE CITY AND PROVIDING FUNDS FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION THEREOF (To be known as the I-Engage Ordinance, this aims to uphold the city policy of people empowerment by encouraging different sectors of the society and various stakeholders of the local government to directly take part in the legislative processes, such as crafting,, amending, and reviewing ordinances.)
  • AN ORDINANCE PROHIBITING DISCRIMINATION IN THE CITY OF NAGA ON THE BASIS OF DISABILITY, AGE , CIVIL STATUS, HEALTH STATUS, SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND GENDER IDENTITY, ETHNICITY AND RELIGION, AND PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS THEREOF (To be known as the Anti-Discrimination Ordinance, this would address and eventually eradicate social discrimination and stigma among some members of the populace.)

With his accomplishments at a very young age, Councilor Rentoy is indeed the epitome of youth leadership which changes the face of public service and politics in  the city. Above all, he commits to serve the public with excellence and honor. A testament that there is Abilidad Sa Joven Na Edad!