Hon. John G. Bongat

John Garcia Bongat, the eighth Local Chief Executive of the City of Naga, entered public service as a City Councilor in 2001. A topnotcher member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod for three consecutive terms, Mayor Bongat finished Law at the UP College of Law after taking up AB Political Science at the Ateneo de Manila University.

Prior to his becoming a Councilor and later on Mayor of Naga, Bongat practised his law profession with two reputable firms in Makati and was later appointed Corporate Secretary and Assistant Vice President of Megaworld Corporation. Believing that those who have less in life should have more in law, Mayor Bongat, as a young lawyer also served as National Director for Legal Aid of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, providing free legal assistance to fellow Filipinos in need.

During his nine years as City Councilor (2001 to 2010), Mayor Bongat authored a number of landmark ordinances that focused on peace and order, as well as trade and industry. Among which were the Bantay Kataid Ordinance (volunteer neighborhood watch), the i-Serve Program, and the Naga City Business Registry Databank ordinances. He also chaired the city government’s multi-awarded Project Monitoring Committee, the city council’s Peace and Order, and Appropriations committees, among others.

In May 2010, Mayor Bongat won overwhelmingly on a platform of leadership by example, further cementing his motto that “Leadership is action, not position.”

In the May 2013 elections, almost unopposed, Mayor Bongat was given a fresh mandate by his fellow Nagueños, and in 2016 he clinched his third and final term as Mayor, again with overwhelming votes.

In 2014, the Lee Kuan Yew Institute of Public Policy of the National University of Singapore recognized Naga’s ICT-driven project entitled “Using ICT for Civic Engagement towards Responsive Decision-Making” as the “Most Inspiring Innovation in E-Government and Participatory Innovations” in Asia. In same year, Naga was adjudged by the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) as the Best City in the country implementing effective e-governance in the 1st eGov Awards.

Mayor Bongat’s aggressive pro-investment platform has yielded positive results. In 2014, BLGF certified that Naga had developed a strong local revenue base (from real property and business taxes) because of its robust economy, controlling a 44% share in the total revenues of all 7 cities in the Bicol Region. This dominance continues to date.

Like his predecessor, the late DILG Secretary Jesse M. Robredo, whom he succeeded in 2010, Mayor Bongat continues to reap honor for the city, the latest of which, among many others, is Naga’s being adjudged for 2 consecutive years (2015 and 2016) as the country’s overall No. 1 Most Competitive Component City in the Philippines, from being No. 3 overall in 2014. This year, 2017, Naga has slipped to No. 2 spot overall most competitive city in the country, but nevertheless holds the distinction of being consistently in the top 3 spots for 4 years in a row in the competitiveness rankings, a feat unparalleled and unprecedented in the country.

This year, 2017, Naga has been conferred for the first time the Apolinario Mabini Award by the Philippine Foundation for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled, Inc. for exemplifying exceptional care, through accessible basic services, for its constituents with disabilities.

With his proactive leadership, Naga was shortlisted also in 2017 by The Manila Times as one of Philippines’ Model Cities for being one of the most livable urban centers across the country. In fact, Naga was adjudged best City in the country in terms of livelihood and employment promotion.

To cap it all, Mayor Bongat himself received in 2016 the prestigious CEO Excel Award given by the International Association of Business Communicators Philippines for his exemplary leadership in the field of public service.

In the second half of 2017, 3 of Naga’s programs have been shortlisted as among the country’s top 20 Galing Pook best practices out of 158 evaluated programs nationwide.

Mayor John Bongat, with his game-changing leadership, braced by a solid foundation of good governance, is expected to continue leading his beloved city to greater heights.

[Updated as of 03 November 2017]