By LOUI MALIZA,
THE incoming provincial vice governor of Misamis Oriental is adopting a radical approach in serving the constituents. For incumbent provincial board member Prexy Elipe of Misamis Oriental, the new approach is an assurance that the government’s basic services are delivered to the doorsteps of the constituents.
No doubt, being the running mate of incumbent provincial governor “Bambi” Emano, the challenge is demanding. What has Elipe got under his sleeves?
Elected as provincial vice governor, Elipe is determined to continue the barangay empowerment programs of Bambi Emano. Elipe believes in the principle that government officials, especially the elected public officials, “must be connected with the people at all times.”
It is only by being connected that a public official becomes effective and efficient in serving the constituents.
For Elipe, barangay empowerment is working closer to the people, particularly in the province’s rural areas. “I would encourage members of the provincial board to be, at all times, conscious of the condition of the people in the villages,” Elipe said.
Being with the people in the villages would also mean that the members of the provincial board, including himself, would not be visible at the provincial capitol at all times.
Elipe bewailed the apprehension that once in the villages the provincial board would be disconnected with the office of the vice governor. “No, I would not be dissociated with anyone. In fact, I would be more visible, to the townspeople of Misamis Oriental,” Elipe said.
The strategy is that he would inform the municipal disaster personnel of his presence in the municipal town who would then relay his schedule to the local town folks who would want to confer their problems.
“The municipal disaster personnel would inform the town residents and village officials that I would be willing to meet them as scheduled,” Elipe said.
In advance, Elipe is laying the groundwork of his responsibilities as the vice governor.
For Elipe laying the groundwork to be closer to the people is one of the missions of his leadership.
He said that he would also encourage the members of the provincial board to join him in his regular sorties in the villages.
“As public officials, there is no substitute to being closer to the people who entrusted their aspirations to us,” Elipe said.
Prior to his appointment as a member of the provincial board, Elipe managed the province’s foremost sports center: Misamis Oriental Integrated Sports Center (Moist) located in downtown Cagayan de Oro City.
Perhaps, his sterling performance as former city councilor of Cagayan de Oro City, convinced Governor Bambi Emano to hire Elipe to head the Moist.
As sports manager, Elipe has introduced a number of changes that revived the Moist as the compelling destination of sports enthusiasts in Cagayan De Oro City today. As Moist manager, Elipe also improved the sports center’s monthly and annual revenues compared to past administration.
Convinced of his managerial skills and capability, Bambi Emano entrusted to Elipe the management of the Misamis Oriental Care System (Misorcares), the province’s primary health care program. To date, the Misorcares has already served more than 1.3 million “Misamisons.”
Undoubtedly, at the young age of 24 when elected as city councilor of Cagayan de Oro in 1995, Elipe is no longer a pushover legislator. As the youngest city councilor, Elipe is a certified public accountant (CPA).
Elipe proceeded to study law at the University of the Philippines (UP), but his dream to become a lawyer was preoccupied with his desire to serve Cagayanons.
An elected city councilor in 1995, Elipe served six consecutive terms and has authored various relevant ordinances. One of the city ordinances, City Ordinance 13007-2015 provided incentives to teachers, city police personnel, and barangay health workers.
Elipe also authored the City Ordinance providing financial aid and free houses and lots to disaster calamities in Cagayan de Oro City.
As an advocate of environment protection, the young legislator Elipe authored the “Eco bag” ordinance, which require business establishment in Cagayan de Oro to use the “eco bags” instead of plastics as wrapping papers.
Elipe also authored an ordinance that prohibits the use of “Styrofoam.” Styrofoam is identified as one of the contributing elements that induce “greenhouse” effects and “climate change.”
(Loui Maliza is a staff member at the capitol’s press office.)