Mayor Garin: Good Politics, Great Governance

Mayor Garin. The title that the general public cherished most from the Garin Family members who are in public service. With over 50 years in combined government service, it is not a surprise that they are still most-loved, most-supported, and most-respected.

Guimbal is the homeland of the Garins - a family, whose love for public service runs in the blood. Patriarch Oscar Garin Sr. is currently serving as Municipal Mayor; Richard Garin, formerly Iloilo 1st District Representative; his wife Janette Garin, now serving the post and was formerly the Secretary of the Department of Health; Christine ‘Tingting’ Garin, presently the Vice Governor of the Province of Iloilo; and Sharon Garin of the Partylist AAMBIS OWA, protecting the nation’s marginalized farmers.

When one comes upon the words “Mayor Garin”, it is very likely to be associated with projects and progresses in Southern Iloilo. Their remarkable leadership, partnered with a tender heart for the masses, spawned numerous projects that hailed them recognition and public trust.

Throughout the terms of the Garins, it is undeniable that Guimbal garnered distinctions in terms of leadership and governance. The municipality was hailed as National Winner in 2013, Hall of Fame Awardee for Most Business-Friendly Municipality in the Country; National Winner from 2009 to 2011, Hall of Fame Awardee on the implementation of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Programs; Apolinario Mabini Awardee in 2015 as the Country’s Best Local Government Unit on the implementation of programs for persons with disability; and the Country’s Most Child-Friendly Municipality from 2011 to 2012. In terms of development, the municipality also produced twelve elementary and four secondary educational institutions. 

One remarkable innovation of the Garins is the Southern Iloilo Health Zone (SIHZ). The Southern Iloilo Health Zone (SIHZ) is the fruit of the best efforts of First District Representative Janette L. Garin and former Congressman Richard S. Garin. SIHZ is an online platform created to document the first congressional district’s local efforts in battling COVID-19. Moreover, it also highlights successes, as well as challenges, faced by the different sectors of the community.

The Southern Iloilo Health Zone documents the challenges encountered by the first congressional district. It includes COVID stories, frontliner stories, as well as the initiatives and updates from the first congressional district as a whole and its constituent municipalities.

As for other recent developments, Mayor Richard Garin posted in his Facebook account about one of the best projects they did in Igbaras, the Songsongon, and Ligtus Bridge. The construction of this bridge was inspired by the people and by the Songsongon Tragedy. Mayor Garin also shared that their forefathers stayed in Barangay Igtalongon during World War 2.

The Songsongon and Ligtus Bridge, although already used, will be scheduled for inauguration. No specific date has been announced yet.  

Zach Golez

A lifestyle blogger based in Iloilo City

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