TACLOBAN CITY, Sept. 13 (PNA) – Region VIII officials have hailed the recent appointment of Samar 1st District Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento as the new Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) secretary a milestone for Eastern Visayas.
An Waray Party-list Rep. Neil Benedict Montejo said that only in the Aquino administration that personalities from Eastern Visayas are given key positions in the official family of the President.
Other Waray-speaking Cabinet members of President Benigno Aquino III are Department of Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo and Department of Health Secretary Janette Garin.
Aside from them, family roots of Department of Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez and Department of Energy Officer-in Charge Zenaida Monsada are also from Eastern Visayas.
“It’s a great challenge and an honor for us that the President trust people from our region,” Congressman Montejo said.
Former An Waray Party-list Rep. and now Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Board of Director Bem Noel said that Sarmiento is more than capable for the job as DILG chief.
Noel cited that before becoming a member of Congress, Sarmiento was a local chief executive, thus he knows the plight and situation and the needs of local government units, just like the late DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo.
Tacloban City Vice Mayor Jerry Yaokasin said that it was the trust and confidence of the President on Sarmiento that make him land in one of the most powerful Cabinet positions.
“He is very qualified, more than qualified if you will look at his experience. Hopefully he will do a good job in the remaining months of the Aquino administration,” said Yaokasin.
Sarmiento, in an interview right after his appointment, thanked the President’s trust and confidence with him, but stressed that more work should be done as DILG chief.
Before accepting the position, Sarmiento said that he contemplated about it, considering on how he can serve better the country and the people. (PNA)
SCS/SQM/ROEL T. AMAZONA