Mayor of Cotabato City appoints 4 deputy mayors

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/July 09) – Cotabato City Mayor Mohammad Ali Matabalao on Friday appointed four highly influential community leaders to serve as Deputy Mayors and assist him on matters that will ensure smooth and efficient service delivery. impartial to residents.

Shortly after his proclamation in early June as the city’s new mayor, Matabalao (United Bangsamoro Justice Party) said it would be a good idea to have deputy mayors who have good influence among the communities to help him. to make decisions for their respective sectors.

Cotabato City Mayor-elect Mohammad Bruce Matabalao (center). Photo from Matabalao’s Facebook page

The four deputy mayors represent Muslim communities, Christian settlers, indigenous peoples and the Filipino-Chinese community.

The first Mindanao City mayor to appoint deputy mayors representing ethnolinguistic groups was Rodrigo Duterte, who served as mayor of Davao City for 22 years before being elected to a six-year term as president in 2016.

Matabalao appointed Hadji Abdullah Andang, a popular school administrator who had previously served as a councilor and vice-mayor, to be his deputy mayor for Muslim communities.

Businessman Art Thomas Calingasan, 65, is the deputy mayor of the Christian settlers. The Calingasan clan are originally from southern Luzon but have settled here since he was a boy.

Matabalao also picked Lumad leader Jun Panalag as deputy mayor for indigenous peoples’ concerns and Ongpin Yu Ekey, whose family runs a popular hardware business and is considered among the city’s elders, as deputy mayor for the Filipino community. -Chinese.

Matabalao said he chose the four leaders because they share the same principles and advocacy.

He clarified that the deputy mayors will not duplicate the vice mayor as they are not part of the regular structure of city government.

The mayor said the deputy mayors will be consulted on major decisions that will affect their respective groups.

The four will also be part of a Council of Leaders, the list of which is still being finalized. The council will be made up of leaders from various religious groups, business, transportation, agriculture, education, fishing, the elderly, youth, people with disabilities, single parents and foreign workers. .

The mayor did not specify whether deputy mayors are considered volunteers or will receive salaries.

Andang said he took the job because it is a job and an obligation for every Cotabato resident to serve the city. (Rommel G. Rebollido/MindaNews)

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