ILOCOS SUR (UPDATED) – Josh Edward Cobangbang, the youngest mayor to be elected at 21, buckled down to work a day after he was sworn into office.
The mayor of Cabugao led the flag raising ceremony, distributed farm equipment, and met with heads of offices, including the town police chief and fire marshal. He also inspected the office he will be using as their current municipal building will be renovated.
"I gave instructions this morning during our first flag-raising ceremony what I wanted to do," he said.
Cobangbang wants all 33 barangays to have potable water system.
"According to some studies, by 2017 it’s going to be hard, there is also another study conducted where we can get sources of water. My dream is that all the households will have a potable source of water and that of the rice field too have easy access to water," he said.
He will coordinate with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to bring some of its courses to the town to give opportunity to their out-of-school youth.
He also plans to develop and promote their semi-white sand beach to encourage more tourists.
"Our beach here is really promising. It’s just a matter of better promotion and additional facilities for the accommodation of our tourists. By this, our coastal residents will also have additional income," he said.
The young mayor also hopes to start working for the town's cityhood.
"I really believe that we are close to becoming a city but I also want to ensure that prior to becoming a city, everyone’s lives will become easier and better. I see that happening through the continuous programs and support from the government especially to our farmers, our agricultural sectors and all the barangay organizations involved," he said.
However, he is aware that some are not yet fully convinced that a 21-year-old like him can lead a town with over 36,000 population. He is asking the support of his town mates to give him a chance to prove himself.
“From the beginning, I didn’t see my age as a hindrance [to] running," he said.
"It is in the Philippine Constitution that you can run for mayor at age 21. So given that, I am following the system and I know for sure I can do my job very well," he added.
Cobangbang scored a landslide victory over his rival Dr. Rudy Singson in the May 9 elections.