Ilocos residents cheer as Duterte vows for real change in gov’t

LAOAG CITY — As a different man from his usual tough-looking and straight-forward personality emerged on national television, some residents here looked and listened intently as President-elect Rodrigo Duterte delivered his inaugural speech.

Just before the clock ticks 12 noon, Fe Siazon, Human Resources and Management Officer of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte made sure she would not missed the historical oath-taking of the 16th President of the Republic of the Philippines and joined other employees at the adjacent Communication and Media Office with a cabled television.

“Nakita ko ‘yung kanyang sincerity at pakumbaba to serve his countrymen. So, kailangan tulungan natin siya. Bilang isang government employee, tama ‘yung sinabi niya na nag-uumpisa ang pagbabago sa mga sarili natin,” she said.

While praying for the new leader of the country, Siazon who traces her roots in Oroquieta City, Misamis Occidental before she settled permanently in Laoag City even helped translate to Ilokano the Bisaya words President Duterte uttered in between his speech and the Ilocano dominated crowd seems not to understand.

While listening to Duterte’s directive to promote transparency and avoid red tape in government, Capitol employees cheered at him saying they felt his sincerity to implement reform in government.

“He has the image of a trusted president. I pray for his success to lead our country,” said Arnelyn Viernes, a bank employee who delayed her lunch break so she could watch the president took his oath.

In his speech, the newly-sworn-in president gave specifics of his economic and political policies but among the first directives is to streamline the processes in all government transactions.

“I direct all department secretaries and the heads of agencies to reduce requirements and the processing time of all applications, from the submission to release,” he said.

He also ordered his Cabinet members to remove “redundant requirements” and avoid government red tape. PNA /