Robredo, the mayor who transformed Naga

Posted at Aug 20 2012 01:50 PM | Updated as of Aug 20 2012 09:50 PM

Before he became a Cabinet official, Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo was a multi-awarded mayor who became well-known for transforming Naga into a premier city in Bicol.

He was the first Filipino mayor to receive the Ramon Magsaysay Award for government service in 2000.

In his acceptance speech, Robredo spoke about a non-traditional government system which he espoused.

"We had many obstacles and pains when we started to experimented with a government system that veered away from the traditional. During that period, we've been threatened by ways that inflicted the social political and moral fabric of the community - rampant illegal gambling, indecent entertainment, crime, occassional abuse by the powers that be, poor tax collection, rising unemployment and sheer indifference," he said.

"Important political benefactors whose interests ran contrary to our reform agenda disowned us.

Businessmen who were my friends were affected by the city's honest-to-goodness  tax collection campaign questioned our intentions and loyalties. We however stood our ground, strengthened our resolve and entrusted our faith to the people. We brought our office beyond the walls of City Hall and promised to make a Naga a better place to live in." Dateline Philippines, August 20, 2012