‘Tsinelas’ walk for Jesse Robredo today
NAGA CITY—Expect residents of this premier city of Camarines Sur to walk the streets today in the shoes—or rather the flip-flops—of their hero, the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo who died in a plane crash off Masbate province four years ago.
Flip-flops or rubber slippers were the favorite footwear of Naga’s longtime mayor who used to visit the city’s villages to get firsthand information on the problems of his constituents, said Allen Reondanga, chief of this city’s events, protocol and public information office.
Robredo’s tsinelas (slippers) leadership touched the lives of ordinary folk who will commemorate his fourth death anniversary today with an essay writing and poster-making contests as well as other activities focused on his legacy, said Alec Francis Altea Santos, chief of this city’s arts, culture and tourism office.
Vice President Leni Robredo, the former mayor’s widow, was also expected to attend a Mass and a program at Eternal Gardens here, Reondanga said.
In Masbate, at least 10 rafts representing the 30 villages of Masbate City will set sail this morning to bring local officials and other participants to the site at Masbate Pass off the shoreline of Masbate City to offer flowers at the crash site, according to Mayor Rowena Tuason.
In 2014, the 3-kilometer Nursery Boulevard, which cuts through four villages overlooking Masbate Pass, was renamed Jesse Robredo Boulevard during the commemoration of the official’s second death anniversary.
President Duterte earlier declared Aug. 18 a special nonworking holiday in Naga City to allow residents to observe Robredo’s fourth death anniversary.
Proclamation No. 37, signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Aug. 9, acknowledged Robredo as a “champion of good governance” and as “instrumental in the implementation of far-reaching reforms in local governance.”
The proclamation said Robredo’s “many virtues as public servant have permanently earned him [the] gratitude of the city he led, and the Republic he served.”
Robredo served as mayor of Naga City for 19 years, from 1988 to 1998 and from 2001 to 2010. His stint earned him numerous citations for good governance practices, including the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service in 2000.
Robredo was then President Benigno Aquino III’s interior secretary when his plane plunged into the sea off Masbate in 2012. He had attended an event in Cebu City and was on his way home to Naga City.
Camarines Sur Rep. Gabriel Bordado Jr., who served as councilor and vice mayor under Robredo’s administration, said the late mayor laid the groundwork for people’s participation in governance in Naga during his first term, from 1988 to 1992.
Bordado said Robredo crafted a good governance model that served as template for all of the city’s programs that were driven by people’s participation.
Robredo, he said, envisioned “a city for the people,” where growth with equity was the top concern.
He thus established and encouraged partnerships with various sectors to ensure that Naga’s limited resources were augmented and enhanced by private groups, including nongovernment and people’s organizations, according to Bordado.
“He didn’t even have to be buried at Libingan ng mga Bayani to secure this legacy,” Bordado said. With a report from Shiena M. Barrameda, Inquirer Southern Luzon