Mayor Francis Garcia could not hide his delight after city government employees greeted him on his 42nd birthday on October 5.
Selected city employees joined Mayor Francis and his family in a Mass that was held at the St. Joseph’s Cathedral on the morning of October 5. Then, they gathered at Emiliana Hall for a brief celebration with Mayor Francis.
City department heads led the birthday celebration. The entire Sangguniang Panlungsod, headed by Vice Mayor Vianca Lita V. Gozon, were also present.
Some members of the Garcia family came and greeted Mayor Francis through their inspirational messages. Gov. Albert Raymond “Abet” Garcia and Rep. Jose Enrique “Joet” Garcia III recalled that they often watched Japanese anime shows with Mayor Francis during their childhood.
The two elder Garcias also shared that Mayor Francis is the most academically gifted among them. Mayor Francis received the University of the Philippines (UP) Oblation Scholarship in 1989, but preferred to study in the United States.
Mrs. Vicky Garcia, Garcia family matriarch, urged Mayor Francis to continue his father’s legacy in public service.
The mayor’s wife, Mrs. Raquel Garcia expressed the same wishes for Mayor Francis. She also joined the city department heads in a special dance number.
A Man of Public Service
Rep. Joet said that Mayor Francis was very reluctant to enter politics.
However, Mayor Francis has been serving the city government prior to his formal election. He has served as a special consultant to his father and his brothers in 2004.
Also, he was a member of Balanga’s Multi-Sectoral Governance Coalition (MSGC). He pioneered the construction of the Barangay Learning Hub (BLH) in his years as MSGC member.
He was also the director of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) from 2010 to 2015. SBMA has always been a point of interest among Bataeños, since Hermosa, Dinalupihan, and Morong are receiving revenues from it.
Finally, he was convinced to run for the 2016 elections. He ran unopposed, like the other four Garcias in the whole province.
Upon his assumption of office, Mayor Francis vowed to sustain the reforms his brother has initiated. However, he emphasized that he wants all of Balanga to actively participate in the governance process.
In less than 100 days in office, Mayor Francis has erected two more BLHs in Cupang Proper and Cataning. He also opened a school version of it, called School Learning Hub, at the City of Balanga National High School (COBNHS). By Arli Joshua Atienza