“I would not vote for the mayor. It’s not just because he didn’t invite me to dinner, but because on my way into town from the airport there were such enormous potholes.” Fidel Castro
By Alex P. Vidal
WILL he make it?
Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog is among the 26 finalists in the World Mayor 2014.
The winner will be announced on February 3, 2015, according to its London-based website.
The announcement will come after two major events in Iloilo City: the Dinagyang Festival on January 24-25, and the feast of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria (Our Lady of the Candles) in Jaro district on February 2.
“After the verification process of votes and testimonials, the World Mayor jury, made up of senior members of the City Mayors Foundation, will start its deliberations,” announced the worldmayor.com.
“The name of the winner and other results will be announced on Tuesday, 3 February 2015.”
Mabilog, one of the closest allies of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, is one of the six finalists from Asia.
He is the only one who made it from the Philippines.
Earlier, Mabilog was joined in the list by Mayors Edgardo Pamintuan of Angeles City, Ferdinand M. Amante of Butuan City, Rodrigo Duterte of Davao City, Juliet Marie Ferrer of La Carlota City, Benjamin Abalos of Mandaluyong City, and Eric Saratan of Talisay City, Negros Occidental.
Since the announcement last year that Mabilog was among the finalists, both the mayor’s critics and supporters claimed they submitted their comments about Mabilog to the organizers via online.
The Iloilo City Council passed a resolution on October 7, 2014 supporting Mabilog’s bid.
Resolution proponent Joshua Alim also exhorted his colleagues to vote for the city mayor online.
The website said: “The philanthropic City Mayors Foundation awards the World Mayor Prize every two years to a mayor who has made outstanding contributions to his/her community and has developed a vision for urban living and working that is relevant to towns and cities across the world.”
The Prize has been awarded since 2004.
The foundation “honors mayors with the vision, passion and skills to make their cities incredible places to live in, work in and visit.”
It added: “The World Mayor Project aims to show what outstanding mayors can achieve and raise their profiles nationally and internationally.”
Organizers of the World Mayor Project choose city leaders who excel in qualities like: leadership and vision, management abilities and integrity, social and economic awareness, ability to provide security and to protect the environment as well as the will and ability to foster good relations between communities from different cultural, racial and social backgrounds.
The winner receives the artistically acclaimed World Mayor trophy, while the runner-up is given the World Mayor Commendation.
Those who voted via online were asked to consider whether the candidate was likely to agree to the City Mayors Code of Ethics. Candidates wishing to be considered for the World Mayor Prize were asked to sign up to the Code.
Attachment of a “thoughtful supporting statement” was required for those who voted.
Here are the finalists: (North America) Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Calgary, Canada; Mayor Annise Parker, Houston, USA; Mayor Mick Cornett, Oklahoma City, USA; Mayor Kevin Johnson, Sacramento, USA;
(Latin America) Mayor Marcio Lacerda, Belo Horizonte, Brazil;
Mayor Álvaro Arzú, Guatemala City, Guatemala; Mayor Carlos Eduardo Correa, Monteria, Colombia; Mayor Carlos Ocariz, Sucre, Venezuela;
(Europe) Mayor Daniel Termont, Ghent, Belgium; Mayor Alain Juppé, Bordeaux, France; Mayor Albrecht Schröter, Jena, Germany; Mayor Yiannis Boutaris, Thessaloniki, Greece; Mayor Giusy Nicolini, Lampedusa, Italy; Mayor Nils Usakovs, Riga, Latvia; Mayor José Ramón García, Ribera de Arriba, Spain;
Mayor George Ferguson, Bristol, UK; Mayor Joe Anderson, Liverpool, UK;
(Asia) Mayor Tri Rismaharini (Risma), Surabaya, Indonesia; Mayor Yona Yahav, Haifa, Israel; Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, Iloilo City, Philippines; Mayor Hani Mohammad Aburas, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Mayor Park Won-soon, Seoul, South Korea; Mayor Aziz Kocaoglu, Izmir, Turkey;
(Australia) Mayor Clover Moore, Sydney, Australia; (Africa) Mayor Jacqueline Moustache, Victoria, Seychelles; Mayor Thabo Manyoni, Mangaung, South Africa.
Good luck, Mayor Mabilog.