For Tanauan City Mayor Nelson “Sonny” P. Collantes, a successful leader can lead by example, and 100 days into his mayoral post, he has shown that he can walk the talk.
Since assuming office, Collantes has been at the forefront of public service—always present in the communities and making sure he is easily accessible to his constituents.
“A good leader must lead by example. We cannot ask employees to work hard if they can’t see it from their leaders,” he said in his speech for his first State of the City Address recently.
“God is my witness, I tried to be a model employee for all of them. I always tell them that they need to respect our ‘bosses,’ which is the public,” he added.
To make his constituents feel more welcome in the City Hall, he has turned the Office of the City Mayor into the “Tanggapan ng mga Mamamayan ng Lungsod ng Tanauan.”
“I knew I must gain the trust and confidence of the people. That’s the reason why I kept my promise – I opened the office of the City Mayor and I dubbed it as ‘Tanggapan ng mga Mamamayan ng Lungsod ng Tanauan’,” he said.
“They don’t need any ‘padrinos’ or to schedule a meeting, we make sure that we can talk to them,” he added.
Collantes emphasized the importance of helping those in need, regardless of how big or small their problems may look.
“We need to ensure that anyone who needs help will be assisted,” said Collantes.
A former lawmaker and a military reservist, the Mayor has proven that despite a political divide, a strong-willed public servant can unite people under a shared vision.
“Almost everyone knows that we are not from same political parties, but we have discussed unity to make sure that we can be there for our constituents,” Collantes said.
To unify the whole city of Tanauan, Collantes formed and revived 18 City Councils to harmonize their efforts and initiatives with the local government.
“I revived the 18 City Councils and I made sure that I attend each and every council as it is my responsibility as mayor,” said Collantes. “I preside on each council so that we can address the needs of our constituents.”
In the City Hall, Collantes has formed a Department Committee, composed of all department heads, who meet every Monday afternoon to report the weekly accomplishments of every office.
“We all send our reports and our plans to make sure there is no miscommunication and that the city will move towards progress… in unity, there is strength,” said Collantes.
Collantes has proven that as long as a leader has the political will, one can accomplish so much as how he did in his first three months in office.
In Tanauan City, thousands of students have been enjoying the City Hall’s scholarship program while public teachers were given financial assistance as they return to in-person classes.
Senior citizens can access free flu vaccines and are entitled to birthday cash gifts from the City Hall.
Residents can also access free medical and dental check-ups, eye consultations, circumcision as well as anti-rabies vaccine for their pets.
Collantes also initiated feeding programs in elementary public schools as well as training programs for farmers and health workers.
Stressing that the City Hall cannot provide good services for the people of Tanauan, Collantes has rationalized the revenues of the government and implemented actions to increase the City Hall’s tax revenue collections.
Collantes reported that there has been a 57.9-percent increase in trading post income since he assumed office.
His long-term goal, he said, is to make the city of Tanauan an investor-friendly city.
Among the many projects of his administration include the building of housing units for informal settlers and facilities to rehabilitate children in conflict with the law and to care for abandoned and neglected children and other vulnerable sectors of society.
Despite having a fresh term, Collantes has already awarded scholarships to thousands of students in Tanauan City.
One of the beneficiaries is the daughter of Joseph Robles, a 54-year-old driver in Tanauan.
His youngest daughter, Jenny, is a 16-year-old Grade 11 student at Tanauan National Institute and one of the city government’s scholars.
“Mayor Collantes has been a great help for my child as we don’t need to pay for school fees and aside from free tuition, the children have insurance,” Robles told the Daily Tribune. “We can now divert our finances to buy school supplies and other needs of the family.”
Collantes vowed to expand the city’s scholarship program to provide quality education for the youth, believing that this would be the key to a brighter future.
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