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“Public Service is a Commitment”. These were the words of outgoing Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mel Senen S. Sarmiento when he visited Zamboanga City on June 7, 2015 for his Exit Call with the members of the DILG Region IX family.

Upon arrival at the Edwin Andrews Airbase (EAAB) at Brgy. Sta. Maria, Secretary Sarmiento and party were welcomed by the Regional Directors of the DILG Region IX and Regional Management Coordinating Committee (RMCC) IX family – DILG IX Regional Director Paisal O. Abutazil, Philippine National Police (PNP) PRO IX OIC-Regional Director PCSUPT. Billy B. Beltran, Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) IX Regional Director FSSUPT. Ireneo P. Palicpic, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) IX Regional Director JSSUPT. Arnulfo P. Obias, Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC) Regional Training Director PSUPT. Rolando B. Cuya, National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) IX Regional Director Atty. Pablito M. Abad, Jr., DILG IX Provincial/City Directors and City Local Government Operations Officers (CLGOOs), among others.

Members of the Interior Sector were afforded with the opportunity to interface with Secretary Sarmiento who personally expressed gratitude to the uniformed men and women for the support extended to him during 9-month his stint as DILG Secretary.

In his message, Secretary Sarmiento commended the efforts of the PNP, BFP, BJMP and PPSC of the Zamboanga Peninsula particularly for their continuing efforts to fight the war against all forms of criminality and in ensuring the safety and protection of the community.

“As DILG Secretary, I could not have done what we have done without the support of all the key players,” SILG Sarmiento said. He further emphasized that the accomplishments of the members of the uniformed sector are attributable to the fact that the members of the community are strongly engaged in the various activities of the authorities which primary objective is to safeguard and ensure public safety and order.

Thereafter, the members of the LG Sector headed by DILG IX Regional Director Abutazil and Regional Director Abad of NAPOLCOM IX were invited to interface with the SILG whereby the latter narrated his personal experiences when he was Local Chief Executive of Calbayog City. Secretary Sarmiento, in his capacity as DILG Chief, adapted strategies and measures to further improve basic services delivery by the local government units anchored on the principles of transparency and accountability, stating among others that, public service entails dedication and commitment.

“Public Service is a Commitment. You must have the Heart and Passion for it,” SILG Sarmiento said. He further pointed out that being in government do not only mean providing services, it means providing the people the best services available.

“Masaya ako na ako’y naging kabahagi ng isang Departmento na pinagkakatiwalaan ng ating mga kababayan – Pinagkakatiwallan dahil ang mga bumubuo nito ay mga kawani ng gobyerno na mahusay at tapat sa kanilang trabaho at sinumpaang tungkulin,” Secretary Sarmiento said.

Furthermore, the DILG Chief presented his administration’s accomplishments and his future plans and aspirations for the entire DILG. Secretary Sarmiento assumed the post as DILG Chief in April 2015 vice Secretary Mar Roxas who resigned from the post following his running for a national post in the recently concluded May 9, 2016 National and Local Elections.