Millennial mayor in Pangasinan shows leadership prowess in time of crisis

By April 6, 2020 No Comments

MANILA, Philippines — If you think that 30-year-old Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto is the only millennial local chief executive showing the prowess of a seasoned leader during a crisis, think again.

In Alaminos City in Pangasinan, 23-year-old Mayor Arth Bryan Celeste brandishes his youth like a sword in leading his city against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic to aid his constituents adversely affected by the monthlong Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.

Among the measures implemented by Celeste include the provision of relief goods to the city’s around 25,000 residents.

A graduate of BS Entrepreneurship at the De La Salle University, the young mayor was first elected as barangay captain of Barangay Magsaysay in 2018 and was eventually elected as the Liga ng mga Barangay city federation president.

Celeste later became president of the Liga ng mga Barangay provincial federation before becoming mayor in 2019. He is the son of former city mayor Arthur Celeste.

Easily, he joined the roster of young political turks who are making a mark in Philippine politics.

In the fight against COVID-19, Celeste also employed innovative ways to convince his constituents to stay home.

“Lahat po ay mabibigyan. Hindi na po kayo kailangang lumabas sa inyong mga tahanan para kunin ito dahil kami na po mismo ang maghahatid sa inyong mga kabahayan,” he earlier said in a public letter to residents of the city.

(Everyone will be given relief goods. You won’t have to go outside of your residences to get the relief goods because we will be the ones to deliver it to your houses.)

To help their own farmers whose livelihoods were held back by the crisis, the local government also brought their vegetables and fruits, which were later given to city residents.

“Marami pong vegetable growers ang naapektuhan ng COVID-19 quarantine. Hindi po nila maibenta ang kanilang mga produkto, kaya bilang tugon, binili po ng ating lokal na pamahalaan para hindi po ito masira at ito’y mapakinabangan,” read the caption from a Facebook post of the LGU.

(Many vegetable growers were affected by the COVID-19 quarantine. They can’t sell their products, so as a response, the local government decided to buy the vegetables and fruits so that these will not go to waste.)

Aside from this move, the LGU has also been conducting misting and disinfection activities in certain establishments and checkpoints. Concerned local units are also open 24 hours, including the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the police, and the City Health Office, according to the mayor.

In an interview with the Inquirer in May after winning the elections, the mayor was asked what made him get involved in politics at his young age, to which he answered: “I think it’s because of my desire to help the people. I mean, it’s not hard to see that our system here in the Philippines is really backward. So rather than being a keyboard warrior and just bash in social media, why not get involved in politics where you can have a voice and make a change?”


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TAGS: Alaminos City, Arth Bryan Celeste, Coronavirus, coronavirus disease, COVID-19, enhanced community quarantine, Pangasinan
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