Integrity, competent leadership and unblemished record of 15 years in public service
These are the main assets of Valenzuela City Congressman Win Gatchalian as he cements his position in the winning circle of 2016 senatorial candidates with his clear platform on education and good governance.
In a news report, the 15-year government servant from Valenzuela City has been included in “the 13 senatorial bets have statistical chances of winning,” based on a Pulse Asia survey released two weeks before the May 9 National Elections.
Gatchalian ranked 7-13 with an 86-percent awareness rating and 32.3-percent rating of actual persons voting for him out of 1,800 survey respondents.
In a recent interview, Gatchalian credited his favorable survey results to his transparency, brand of leadership with integrity, and corruption-free record in his 15 years of experience as mayor and first district congressman in Valenzuela City.
Gatchalian said: “Kahit minsan ay hindi pa po tayo napatunayang nagnakaw o gumamit ng ating posisyon sa gobyerno upang manlamang sa ating nasasakupan. Asset po natin ang pagkakaroon ng mahusay at walang bahid na record dahil sa ngayon po ang botante ay pumipili ng mga kandidato na kanilang mapagkakatiwalaan at hindi sila bibiguin.”
“Kaya naman naniniwala ako na ang malinis nating record at mga nagawa sa Valenzuela City, kasama ng ating mga residente, ang dahilan kung bakit patuloy akong sinusuportahan ng ating mga kababayan,” he added
Gatchalian’s sentiments echoed findings of a separate survey conducted by Pulse Asia last January, in which fighting corruption in the government ranked as the third top concern of Filipino voters in choosing new leaders.
Coming from a business background, Gatchalian never accumulated wealth and has not been proven once to be involved in any corruption issues since he entered public service in 2001.
In his 2014 Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALN), it showed that Gatchalian’s 2014 net worth was only around P94.17 million. This is even 33 percent lower than his P140.7 million net worth in 2001 when he first entered politics as congressman in 2001.
Instead of accumulating wealth for himself, he focused on how to accumulate more funds for the city government in order to put forward more programs and projects, particularly on education, to benefit local residents.
In 2004, during Gatchalian’s first year as mayor, the local revenue of Valenzuela City was only at P864 million. With the local income increasing every year under his leadership, Gatchalian was able to boost the income of the city to P2.1 billion in 2012, more than double compared to that of 2004.
It was made possible because of certain reforms he introduced to fight corruption, automate public transactions, get rid of illegal fixers, ease the procurement of business permits, and, ultimately, make industries more vibrant.
The increase of public funds enabled Gatchalian to oversee the completion of key mega-infrastructure projects, such as New Valenzuela City Hall, City Jail, Justice Hall, Main Police Station, Justice Hall, and Central Warehouse and Motorpool.
With education as Gatchalian’s main advocacy, more than 2,000 classrooms were also built and improved from 2004 to 2012 that optimize the classroom ratio in public elementary (1:42) and high schools (1:44).
To uphold transparency, the legislator also formed the Ethics Board in Valenzuela City on 2005 which provided an avenue for local residents in Valenzuela City to air their complaints toward anomalies or inefficiencies of local government employees.
From 2005 until the last year as mayor in 2012, Gatchalian was able to handle 136 administrative cases, in which 43 were dismissed from service, 56 suspended, and 29 were reprimanded.
The former mayor of Valenzuela City also published all the contact details and hotlines of all local departments on the website of Valenzuela City to accommodate inquiries, requests, and feedbacks from its locals.
He personally opened the ‘Mayor WIN Action Desk” where he personally receives feedback in the city government through online and offline means.
Because of these reforms and developments, Valenzuela City received various awards and recognitions, including the “Best Highly Governed Highly-Urbanized City” by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and “Most Business-Friendly Local Government Unit Award” by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) in 2012.
Gatchalian also received personal awards for his exemplary leadership, including the “Champion of Health Governance” award in 2013, “Best Practices Among Local Chief” award in 2013, and “Best Mayor in CAMANAVA” award in 2008. (Tim Alcantara)