Pulso puts Cabugao Mayor on the hot seat
(L-R: Ben Pacris, panelist, Margaret Crus, show host, Mayor Ediboy Cobangbang, guest and Eddie Lontoc, panelist and executive show producer )
Newcomer politicain and Cabugao Mayor Edgardo "Ediboy" S. Cobangbang, Jr, was the launching guest of Pulso ti Ilocandia, a public affair show of Around Ilocandia Channel 14, held at Bigaa Restaurant, Vigan Plaza Hotel last June 18.
Current public issues and concerns on the municipality of Cabugao were asked from the Mayor by the program show hosts and panelist most interesting of which was the Commission on Audit (COA) findings. Cobangbang straightforwardly told that they have filed a case against some of the municipal employees/officials found out to have a hand on the irregularities on the use of public funds and properties. The Mayor and many locals hope that the said move will prosper to positive results in order for the public to put their trust back to government offices like the COA. Cobangbang also highlighted the empowerment of Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) to correct and check the "unacceptable" conduct of municipal employees especially the elected officials.
Mayor Cobangbang candidly admitted that the present administration prioritizes the farmers and senior citizens, two of the most neglected sectors of the Philippine society. He called them as "first class citizens" of Cabugao. Various agricultural projects and programs such as trainings, seminars, technical and financial support were extended to the farmers to improve and make them adopt new techniques on farming that may result to better yield production and higher income. Cobangbang hopes to improve their purchasing power and living. He informed that the Local Government Unit (LGU) has " Tulong para Mannalon ti Tabako" program with the assistance of Philip Morris and Fortune Tobacco. He also announced the re-opening of the "Dayo" - a livestock auction market in Cabugao assisted by the provincial government of Ilocos Sur. He hopes that this administration will be able to device a system to ensure the sustainability of the implemented projects.
The young local chief executive shared an experience about "turning down" the voluntary donations of the balikbayans for the development of the town and instead encouraged them to implement their own projects in the municipality as he proposed some projects such as the lying-in clinic, street lights and children's park in partnership with the LGU. He insisted that he will only accept donations as items with the assurance that whatever organization it comes from will be mentioned and acknowledged.
Cobangbang affirmed that the Executive Legislative Agenda (ELA) for 2010-2013 was a result of bonding and sharing of all involved sectors of the locality during its 3-day formulation last September 6-8, 2010 held at Ilocos Norte Convention Center.
In response to oil price hike, he said that through the initiatives of Vice Mayor Danilo Gazmen and the SBMs, the LGU has appropriated funds as counterpart for the Pantawid Pasada program, which recently was distributed to the tricycle operators as gasoline subsidy to at least lessen their burden. He then took the opportunity to ask favor from operators to be more responsible by following road rules. He cited proper parking rules, because he believed that their attitude reflect the town to tourists or visitors. Likewise, he said that they also strengthened and enforced strictly the parameters imposed by the DSWD for the Conditional Cash Transfer to safeguard the program from advantages.
"I am pro-life..." Cobangbang said to the controversial RH Bill issue and that he believes that there are natural ways or methods to control the explosion of population. " It's just a matter of educating the people; the church should do some massive information program to inform the people how the natural method is conducted. The government should push through (the Bill)... and find new approach to get it across with the people..." he ended.
As "ama ti ili," Cobangbang is known to always remind municipal employees, "Awan ti paser-serbi kadagiti ordinary citizenry, datayo ti agserbi..." because he considers himself and all the officials and employees as public servants. He also exercises his policy that "governing is prioritizing."
As a family man, Cobangbang instilled traditional values to his children but when asked how he is as a husband, the smart Mayor answered with a smile to "better ask her wife Jerlie."
Mayor Cobangbang or Ediboy as he much preferred, is a true-blood Cabuganean. He is the eldest and only son of Edgardo Cobangbang, Sr. and Herminia Salamanca-Cobangbang. He is happily married to former Jerlie Seguban with whom he has four children: Endrei Justin, Josh Edward, Jan Maxine and Edgardo Ninos. He graduated with a BS Biology degree from the Far Eastern University. Before entering politics, he was a businessman and was actively involved in civic and church organizations.