The close to 1,000-strong Burgos Public Market vendors yesterday, endorsed the re-election of both Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia and his running mate, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran.
The vendors, who belong to four associations, also threw their solid support to the 12 Grupo Progreso candidates for councilor in a festive endorsement ceremony, complete with a live band performance.
The program’s venue transformed the Burgos Market into a red zone with the official color of the GP, the political aggrupation formed by Leonardia himself in 2007, dominating the scene.
In a three-page manifesto of support to the GP slate, signed by Benhur Anlap, Jr., president of the Katilingban nga Manugbaligya sa Merkado Burgos; Joe Martin Coniendo, president of the Burgos Brotherhood Vendors Association; Willy Lapore, president, Burgos Market Fish Vendors Association, and Lucelyn de la Paz, president, Burgos Ramos Vendors Association, the group credited Leonardia’s governance, citing that under his watch, Bacolod became the Most Competitive City in the entire Visayas, the Most Business-Friendly City in the Philippines, the Best Performing Local Government Unit City Category in Western Visayas on top of many other accolades and accomplishment including its being an awardee of the Seal of Local Governance.
The vendors also lauded Leonardia and his administration for successfully securing the P150-million funding support from the national government for the renovation of the three major public markets – Burgos, Central, and Libertad – with each given a P50 million allocation.
Leonardia showed them a video presentation of the detailed plans on market development and disclosed that the bidding for the three projects will already be done next week.
The mayor’s announcement drew cheers as he assured the vendors that the city government under him has no plans of privatizing the three markets.
“I cannot guarantee you what the plans of other candidates are… what I can only say is that, Vice Mayor El Cid and those who stayed true with Grupo Progreso, are people with principles. Vice Mayor El Cid cannot be bought,” Leonardia emphasized, further eliciting big laughs and loud cheers from the vendors, who donned red shirts.
Leonardia expressed his gratitude to the vendors’ commitment to support his slate, adding that, on a lighter note, he was elated upon entering the Burgos Public Market, especially upon hearing the sound of a live band welcoming guests.
“We, the presidents and officials of our respective associations here at the Burgos Public Market, wholeheartedly declare our continued support to the leadership of Mayor Bing Leonardia,” the vendors’ manifesto said.
It added that the establishment of the Sectoral Concerns Unit under the City Mayor’s Office plus the creation of the Market Coordinating and Monitoring Task Force, strengthened the market vendors associations that also provided them representation in the City Development Council.
“We also cannot overemphasize the concern and care accorded by Mayor Leonardia, Vice Mayor Familiaran and the GP to our groups. They have been there for us every step of the way, particularly in the midst of the pandemic and during the times when we were threatened by possible dislocation,” the manifesto continued.
From our point of view, we have proven many times, the steadfast resolve of Mayor Leonardia and the GP to always protect our livelihood, our health in the times of COVID and our tenure here at Burgos Public Market, they said.
“We, therefore, call on all Bacolodnons to also support the Leonardia administration. and the GP slate if we want to be assured of the city’s continued economic growth,” the vendors’ leaders added.*