By Joey A. Gabieta
First Posted 17:17:00 07/10/2010
TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines—Leyte Governor Jericho Petilla is a shoo-in for chairman of the Regional Development Council in Eastern Visayas.
Newly-sworn Hilongos, Leyte Mayor Jose Emery Roble (2nd from left), answers questions from the media regarding his plans and programs during a press conference held recently at the Hilongos Mayor’s Office on the occasion of a “Thanksgiving Party” he tendered, which was attended by top provincial and municipal officials. Also in photo (l-r) are Leyte Gov. Carlos Jericho Petilla, Vice Mayor Panfilo Go and Board Member Carlo Loreto of the fifth district of Leyte. (JOSE RODRIGUEZ T. SEÑASE) LSDE
The governors of the region’s four other provinces have agreed to support Petilla’s bid to become the next RDC chairman in Eastern Visayas, Northern Samar Governor Paul Daza said Saturday.
Daza, the president of the regional chapter of the Governors League of the Philippines, said that their decision to support Petilla was reached during their meeting Wednesday night in Manila.
He said they decided to back Petilla as he was the most senior governor in the region and the one most familiar with regional issues.
Daza said that except for Samar Gov. Sharee Ann Tan, all the governors in the region were present during the meeting.
Present in the meeting were Governors Petilla, Daza, Gerry Boy Espina (Biliran), Conrado Nicart (Eastern Samar) and Damian Mercado (Southern Leyte).
Except for Petilla and Mercado, all the other governors in the region are first timers. Petilla won his third re-election bid while Mercado was elected for a second term.
Petilla, in an earlier interview, revealed his desire to become the next chair of RDC, a regional body that serves as a policy and recommending body for programs and projects in the region that require support, mostly funding, from the national government.
Aside from the governors, the RDC voting members are the city mayors, presidents of municipal mayors leagues; regional directors of major government agencies; and representatives from the private sector.
While it is the members of the RDC who elect their chairman, the final approving authority is the President. Daza said they did not believe that President Aquino would object to appointing Petilla as the region’s RDC chairman.
Petilla ran under the Lakas-Kampi-CMD but he supported the presidential bid of Aquino, who ran under the Liberal Party.