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Continuity, not change

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THE GREEK letter delta – upper-cased Δ – is often used to indicate “change”. In the case of Pampanga though, Delta defines “continuity.”

Continuity – as in the progression of good – and caring – governance established by Gov. Lilia G. Pineda, being bequeathed to her son, succeeding Gov. Dennis “Delta” Pineda.

Continuity – as in the uninterrupted fl ow of services to the Capampangan, as in the unstoppable stride to a higher, if not the highest, level of socio-economic development for the province.

Aye, so great the impact of the Nanay’s brand of governance that even one pretender to the governorship made the continuity of it as his sole campaign platform. To the sheer amusement of the electorate, believing that the son, and only the son, can succeed the mother, if not by right, then by competence.

No, Delta Pineda is not exactly sprouting out of the shadows of his illustrious mother.

No, Delta Pineda is not simply BIRGing off the brilliance of his mother’s accomplishments… yay, that is basking in reflected glory.

Delta very well can, and does, stand on his own.

Where nurturing motherhood has come to be the Nanay’s brand of governance, Delta’s is turning to be swift, decisive action – tried, tested, and validated in the worst possible cases of calamities and disasters.

Yolanda

In the immediate wake of Superhowler Yolanda, Delta personally led a 20-truck convoy to Leyte and Samar bringing much needed relief, as well as assistance in rescue and retrieval operations in the worst-hit areas.

That was not the only instant that Delta mobilized Pampanga’s resources beyond provincial boundaries to help the distressed. In many a flooding in Bataan, he and the PDRRMO make a constant presence.

At the onset of habagat or in times of typhoons, a recurring image in the collective minds of the Capampangan, particularly those in the flood-prone towns, is Delta leading rescue and relief teams, on trucks, boats, and even wading in the floodwaters.

Delta was in the thick of the action, eschewing caution by going to ground zero – in San Luis – at the time of the bird flu crisis that inflicted Pampanga’s poultry industry in August 2017. Working hand-in-hand with the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health and other agencies of the national government, the crisis was contained even before the prescribed period. And if only to prove that Pampanga poultry was safe, Delta led the first post-crisis feast on chicken and egg dishes.

Within an hour of the April 22 6.1 magnitude temblor, Delta already mobilized the necessary logistics, including five cranes from construction firms and dozens of high beam lights, as well as teams to embark on a rescue mission at the collapsed Chuzon Supermarket in Porac.

Any accolade, even a simple congratulatory remark for his effective disaster response efforts Delta always returns with: “Responsibilidad ko po ‘yun.”

Gawad Kalasag

There is no denying Delta though the rightful recognition coming with Pampanga awarded the 2018 Best Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management and Humanitarian Assistance Award given by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) at the 20th Gawad Kalasag National Awards.

“Pampanga has been chosen for its effective utilization of the local disaster risk reduction and management funds to address risk-based issues, thereby, ensuring that response actions in times of disasters are in place,” the citation read.

The NDRRMC said the accomplishments of the provincial government of Pampanga are “all notable contributions to the national efforts to build a safer, climate change adaptive and disaster resilient Philippines, worthy of emulation by the people and recognition from the Gawad Kalasag.”

Beyond disaster response, Delta has also made his mark in the agriculture sector with his open and constant dialogs, not to mention packages of assistance, to the farmers and fisherfolk.

As with his mother, Delta’s heart cries out to the marginalized sectors too – from the PWDs and OSYs, to the single parents and even the mangangalakal.

Labor champion

An unknown facet of Delta is his being a champion of labor. True to his characteristic quietness – that which some people misconstrue as being “dungo” -Delta saved some 16,000 workers from unemployment.

With the ban on the importation of treated cow leather imposed by the Department of Agriculture in the wake of the African swine fever, Superl Philippines was poised to stop the production of bags in its factories at the Angeles Industrial Park in Calibutbut, Bacolor.

Delta immediately appraised Speaker GMA and DA Secrtary Emmanuel Pinol of the grave crisis at hand. And, within a week, an exemption to the ban was granted Superl.

Responsibilidad ko po ‘yun. In his self-effacing ways, Delta would tell the grateful workers. Strong sense of accountability, none of entitlement. Aye, the apple does not fall far from the tree.

The son has risen. Continuity is ensured. The best governance for Pampanga endures.

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