(Delivered during the Arena XI flag ceremony Monday, January 6, 2020)

Ladies and Gentlemen, Good Morning

Malipayong bag-ong tuig kaninyong tanan.

I hope you celebrated the holidays meaningfully with your families and loved ones. And for those of you who needed to work during the holidays, all Dabawenyos are appreciative of your passion and heart to serve. I wish the new year would bring peace, joy and prosperity to your respective families.

I also hope that in 2020, we will be more inspired to fulfill our tasks, we will be more committed to the excellent performance of our duties as public servants, and we will be more united as a group working to uplift the lives of the people and bring about genuine and sustainable growth and development across our region.

I believe that our gathering today in a ceremony for the symbol of our country is a perfect way to start the year. A perfect time for us to look back at the best practices that we put in place, implemented, and shared with each other to accomplish our plans — with renewed optimism that we will be able to sharpen these best practices even more, to accomplish greater things for the people of Region XI.

I would like to personally congratulate the tireless, committed, and dedicated men and women of your respective offices for your contribution to the growth of the Region and the City of Davao.

I would also like to encourage everyone to strengthen our cooperation and ensure that the collective aspirations for our region are secured and achieved. Nothing is insurmountable when we are working together with one common goal — driven by common energy, commitment, and dedication for public service.

The City Government of Davao, meanwhile, is relentless in its implementation of our plans and programs under the Byaheng Do30 Agenda.

Among other big-ticket plans and projects, we are aggressively pushing for the implementation of the interim phase of the High-Priority Bus System and to spur this, the City Government of Davao is releasing P250 million from its local funds this year. We hope to be able to fully implement the Davao City Transport Modernization Project with the support and cooperation of everyone.

On another matter, the City Government has formalized its Caravan of Government Services with a year long schedule for the second and third districts of the city. We encourage your offices to join us in anyway you may be able to participate. This is an opportunity for you to present your services to the Dabawenyos, answer their issues and help them access your projects.

Related to this, I humbly encourage all of you not to stay in the comfort of your airconditioned offices, and instead, we must set forth and find those who urgently need our help.

Our Davao brand of service should be the kind that we want to be served if we are part of the general public. Our brand of service should be friendly and accommodating, responsive, proactive, and fast and efficient.

Overall, in serving the public as in carrying out our civic duties, in accomplishing our goals, we must tool ourselves appropriately with appropriate planning, statistics and standard of exellence. We must veer away from phrases like “depende sa unsa man gusto ni Mayor” or “puwede ra na basta musugot si Mayor”, sa tinuod lang noh walay science sa gusto ni Mayor. We are bound by the laws of our land. We should conscientiously plan how to execute the mandate of our offices and take advantage of systems and technology to do so.

Let us be guided by Davao City’s slogan for 2019 to 2022 — Discipline, Integrity, and Competence.

And as I always say, we must show our love for our country and our fellow Filipinos by taking care of our city.

At all time, we must show, we must prove, that we are the best Dabawenyos that we can be.

Daghang Salamat. Maayong Buntag.

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