Outgoing Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia has formally stepped down last June 2 as president of the National League of Cities in the Philippines.
In a special assembly held at Marriott Hotel in Manila, the league composed of 145 members gave Leonardia a rousing farewell.
Addressing the attendees, Leonardia said: “Working with you has made me a better public servant and a better man.”
Leonardia was elected by his peers as LCP National President during the League’s 68th GA on July 19, 2019.
“It has been a term like no other. The pandemic dominated our lives, changed the complexity of things and introduced new challenges no one before us faced,” Leonardia said as he mentioned the trials brought about by COVID-19 to the LCP.
The global crisis, however, brought out the best from the members as they “responded, rose to the occasion and fought back” to the many challenges for the past three years.
“It was a situation that called for the best of us. It made us more innovative and creative and squeezed the best out of us,” the mayor continued as he highlighted the efforts of chief executives whose cities were de-escalated to Alert Level 1.
The League was also at the forefront of the multi-lateral agreement that assured the supply of AstraZeneca vaccines, he added.
Leonardia admitted that while being the LCP National President came with glitz and glamour, it was also a “total learning experience” where he learned valuable lessons during his tenure.
“You made me a better public servant and a better man,” Leonardia reiterated.
He added: “It was an honor and privilege, indeed, to have been given the opportunity to serve my fellow mayors of this League. Knowing who you are is exceedingly flattering but absolutely challenging. But the bottomline is this rare distinction of sharing the last three years with worthy, dedicated and proven public servants like you who were there when people need you,” Leonardia said.
“I owe this to each and every one of you. Being your National President is a lifetime honor and distinction that I will always cherish. I will always remember this for the rest of my life,” he continued.
He was eventually named by President Rodrigo Duterte to represent about 2,000 local government units as their representative to the Legislators-Executive Development Advisory Council.
The LEDAC is the highest advisory council to the President on development and economic matters, among others.