Al­bee Ben­itez bids farewell

Sun Star Bacolod - - ‘yuhom! - TEXT AND PHOTOS BY CARLA N. CAÑET

Out­go­ing Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal 3rd Dis­trict Rep. Al­fredo Abe­lardo “Al­bee” Ben­itez bade goodbye to the peo­ple whom he served for 9 years in a sim­ple rites held at Vic­to­rias City Coli­seum on June 27, 2019, which al­lowed a smooth tran­si­tion from his lead­er­ship to his younger brother Con­gress­man-elect Jose Fran­cisco “Kiko” Ben­itez, an Academe.

Al­bee Ben­itez de­liv­ered his State of the Dis­trict Ad­dress (SODA) be­fore he turned over the re­spon­si­bil­ity to his younger brother whom he con­sid­ered has the ca­pa­bil­ity to con­tinue what he has done for the dis­trict.

Al­bee said that his en­try to pol­i­tics was like a fish that went out of wa­ter be­cause he was a no­body and he has to get all the sup­port and en­dorse­ments and even re­jec­tions be­fore he was able to re­al­ize his dream to serve the peo­ple of the 3rd Dis­trict.

He ran and won and amaz­ingly fin­ished his full three terms in pub­lic of­fice.

HIS DE­VEL­OP­MENT WORKS

He fin­ished a to­tal of 247.7 kilo­me­ters of road con­struc­tion and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion since 2010 that in­clude the Ba­colod Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal Eco­nomic High­way (BANOCEH); 30.3 km farm to mar­ket roads/mill roads with P471.6 mil­lion bud­get; P1.2 bil­lion for bridges; P1.858 bil­lion in flood con­trol projects; ir­ri­ga­tion projects in­volv­ing 1,221 hectares; P200 mil­lion Mal­ogo river pro­ject; 77 Barangay Halls con­structed; P65.4 mil­lion spent for the im­prove­ments and con­struc­tions of health cen­ters; 88 cov­ered courts con­structed; 1,247 classrooms con­structed and re­paired since 2010 through the De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion and PAGCOR; dis­tri­bu­tion of so­lar-pow­ered wa­ter sys­tem, so­lar lights; Doe-house­hold elec­tri­fi­ca­tion pro­gram that ben­e­fited his con­stituents in Barangay Can­lu­song, E.B. Ma­ga­lona, Si­tio Si­bato, Brgy. Guim­balaon, Si­lay City, Brgy. Katil­ing­ban in Tal­isay City, the NOCHP health cards dis­trib­uted and availed by 77, 103 fam­i­lies where 123, 036 pa­tients were served; the NIKKI Cares Sur­gi­cal mis­sions where 854 pa­tients were served; his pro­gram from Cra­dle to Grave with P29.2 mil­lion with 6, 061 ben­e­fi­cia­ries served.

His de­vel­op­ment works in the na­tional level in sup­port for the pro­grams and ad­vo­cacy of the Habi­tat for Humanity and also as be­ing in the Com­mit­tee on Hous­ing; his projects and pro­grams to el­e­vate the ed­u­ca­tional qual­ity of pub­lic

schools; liveli­hood train­ing and as­sis­tance and many oth­ers.

He laid down all his de­vel­op­ment projects in an im­promptu speech where he knew about ev­ery­thing that he did for this con­stituents.

All he wanted was to serve sin­cerely and gen­uinely the peo­ple who gave him their trust and man­date for nine years.

He ended his speech say­ing that he was still a record holder in the his­tory of the 3rd dis­trict by gar­ner­ing the high­est num­ber of 177,000 plus votes when he stepped down as their representa­tive.

And he knows, his brother Con­gress­man-elect Kiko can equal or even do more for the dis­trict.

He ad­min­is­tered the oath of of­fice of his brother Con­gress­man-elect Kiko Ben­itez af­ter his SODA in­clud­ing that of re-elected Abang Lingkod Partylist Rep. Stephen Pad­u­ano.

On the other hand, Con­gress­man-elect Kiko Ben­itez teased his brother Al­bee that the 177,000 votes that he gar­nered for his 3rd and last term as Con­gress­man say­ing that, “I think my 173,000 with no proof and no en­emy is still a good record. Hope­fully, for the sub­se­quent term, we will reach the 177,000 votes.”

It is true that the last nine years of his brother’s lead­er­ship have seen many changes and de­vel­op­ments that have touched the lives of so many in the 3rd Dis­trict.

His Manong

Al­bee is a very hard act to fol­low and very big shoes to fill.

“I have ac­cepted the chal­lenge be­cause he has promised to work with us and he will never leave us. None­the­less, we stand firm in the foun­da­tion of the last nine years of the Asenso of the dis­trict he has brought to us. Pasala­matan ta man siya bi li­wat. This is on this firm foun­da­tion that I stand be­fore you today. There is still much work to be done. Pa­dayunon ta tanan ang iya nga gin ump­isa­han (We will con­tinue what he has done in­clud­ing his ini­tia­tives.) We will in­deed con­tinue with the Asenso trans­for­ma­tion with the dis­trict.”

“We will just con­tinue what he has done. We need to en­sure that our brothers and sis­ters get out of poverty and face the world with all the op­tions avail­able to them that our gov­ern­ment can pro­vide. What I have learned last year since I agreed to un­der­take this chal­lenge is that all of th­ese ac­com­plish­ments you have heard about this evening would not have been pos­si­ble with­out many of you that are here today. I am par­tic­u­larly grate­ful to the Barangay cap­tains, may­ors, vice may­ors, and coun­cilors both past and present, who are here who have taken to heart the phi­los­o­phy of pub­lic ser­vice of Asenso. That the de­vel­op­ment must be about and felt by spe­cific peo­ple and par­tic­u­lar places, the ori­en­ta­tion to fam­i­lies and house­holds implicit in the hous­ing ini­tia­tives of Manong point out to us, that gov­ern­ment must ef­fi­ciently pro­vide the ba­sic needs of its cit­i­zens and the house­holds as a unit be­comes a place for us to judge how far we have come,” he said.*

OUT­GO­ING Con­gress­man Al­bee Ben­itez ad­min­is­ters the oath of re-elected Abang Lingkod Party-list Rep. Joseph Stephen Pad­u­ano with wife Lalaine Pad­u­ano.

OUT­GO­ING Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal 3rd Dis­trict Rep. Al­fredo Abe­lardo Ben­itez ad­min­is­ters the oath of of­fice of his brother Con­gress­man-elect Jose Fran­cisco “Kiko” Ben­itez held at Vic­to­rias City Coli­seum on June 27. The in­com­ing solon is with his fam­ily Char­lotte Juo-ben­itez, wife and daugh­ters Chiara Beatriz, Nuria Inez and Ari­ana Ben­itez.

OUT­GO­ING Con­gress­man Al­bee Ben­itez de­liv­ers his State of the Dis­trict Ad­dress (SODA) in an im­promptu speech.

OUT­GO­ING Con­gress­man Al­bee Ben­itez poses with his brother Con­gress­man-elect Kiko Ben­itez and his fam­ily.

OUT­GO­ING Con­gress­man Al­bee Ben­itez says he holds the big­gest num­ber of votes in the his­tory of the 3rd Con­gres­sional Dis­trict.

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