PROBABLY because President BS Aquino’s national administration has been an example of bad governance, more local government executives have become shining examples of good governance these past years.
One of the praiseworthy LGU heads is the young, energetic and highly lauded and widely admired Mayor Jaime R. Fresnedi of Muntinlupa City.
Muntinlupa on March 1 celebrated its 21st Anniversary as a highly-urbanized city, after being for years only a minor town of Metro Manila, known mainly for being the location of the National Billibid Prison. But while Muntinlupa, the “Gateway to the CALABARZON region,” has been a first-class and a progressing city since 1995, in the words of Mayor Fresnedi’s public information people, the city by 2013 had become an administrative and financial disaster, drowning in debt and groaning in disorganization and chaos, as a result of six years of financial mismanagement and wrong decisions by the city government under Mayor Aldrin San Pedro.
Muntinlupa was governed by Mayor San Pedro from July 1, 2007 to July 1, 2013, when Mr. Fresnedi won back the mayorship from San Pedro. Before that Mayor Fresnedi had been Muntinlupa mayor from July 1, 1998 to July 1, 2007. In the 2007 election, it was Jaime Fresnedi’s wife, Loretta, who ran for mayor to continue their family’s good governance of the city. Aldrin San Pedro defeated her. In the 2010 election, Jaime Fresnedi opposed the re-election bid of Mayor San Pedro but he lost. It was only three years later, in 2013, that the Fresnedis got back the Muntinlupa mayoralty post.
In the formal program held at the Muntinlupa Sport Complex to celebrate the 21st Cityhood Anniversary of Muntinlupa last Tuesday, bigwigs of the Liberal Party were in attendance. Of course they were led by presidential standard bearer Mar Roxas. Also present were LP candidate for vice-president Leni Robredo, and several LP senatorial bets. They heard and saw Mayor Jaime R. Fresnedi deliver the State of the City Address.
He cited his regime’s many accomplishments in Muntinlupa’s governance and socio-economic development these last three years and recounted how he surmounted the difficulties of rescuing the city from its ruined state.
Mayor Fresnedi discussed how his administration did the nearly impossible–saving Muntinlupa from near bankruptcy because of the crippling debts incurred by the previous administration which had made many “unnecessary loans.” The Fresnedi administration in just three years managed to pay more than half of the city’s deficit amounting to more than P2 billion.
In addition, the Fresnedi government has introduced a comprehensive scholarship program catering to more than 30,000 scholars, subsidized the medical bills of qualified needy residents, and established a “zero percent interest loan” for budding entrepreneurs and business owners. Mayor Fresnedi has also lowered crime incidence in Muntinlupa and entered into beneficial local and international sister city relations.
His programs to modernize local hospitals and other innovations have been acclaimed by different organizations. Muntinlupa City under Mayor Fresnedia has received many awards. Among these are ISO 9001:2008 certificate on Quality Management System, Kampyeon ng Wika from the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino, Seal of Good Local Governance from DILG, Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance from the Regional Council for the Welfare of Children – DSWD and DILG, Runner-up in the International Best Practice Competition for the Muntinlupa Business-One Stop Shop – Single Window Transaction.
Mayor Fresnedi humbly thanked the members of the City Council without whose cooperation, passage of ordinances and encouragement his programs of growth and excellence for Muntinlupa would not have been possible.
Congressman Rodolfo G. Biazon, who represents Muntinlupa in the House, speaks highly of Mayor Fresnedi and his good governance.