Among the northern Philippines’ new crop of leaders, Ilocos Sur Governor Jerry Singson could be described briefly as the most reliable, competent, and knowledgeable in local governance.
Pretty much honed in public service, he’s been in the business of serving the people passionately for about half a century now.
He served in various positions without interruption. His record of winning elections after elections, is an envy to many.
Starting out as a barangay captain, he rose to become Vice Mayor of his hometown Vigan City. From there, he got elected as Ilocos Sur Board Member, then Vice Governor. Finally now, he bagged the plum seat of Governor which is every vice governor’s dream.
Jerry who was my schoolmate in high school, succeeded his nephew Ryan Singson who, in turn, had earlier succeed his father Ilocos Sur’s pride and world-renowned Luis “Chavit” Singson .
Jerry is Chavit’s younger brother who handpicked him to run in last May’s elections to succeed Ryan who was elected Vice Governor.
Jerry’s supporters said that former Governor Chavit Singson made the right choice in Jerry.
He faced the 2022 gubernatorial election with impressive credentials. He is called as “Father of the Botika sa Barangay” and founded the JCS Medical Missions, a humanitarian project named after him and has served more than 200,000 indigents so far.
This health missions project which is provincewide has been phenomenal. My understanding is that it’s been going on sans public funds, maybe with only a minimal of such funds, if ever. How he does it is attributed to his remarkable organizational skills.
He invites medical doctors, surgeons, dentists, optometrists and other health care professionals many of whom hail from abroad. Their services and engagement in the medical missions are free. It’s their way of paying back to the community.
He had served as Supreme Commander (the highest post) of the Knights of Rizal. The K of R’s membership roll includes notables like former Chief Justices Reynato Puno and Hilario Davide, former Presidents Duterte, Ramos, and Estrada.
On the saddle as governor, he’s laid down a 10-point agenda that’s targeted to be achieved in the short and long terms.
Among them are agricultural efficiency and food production including the distribution of solar-powered irrigation systems throughout the province by next year.
To enhance tourism, he’s eyeing the upgrading of the Vigan airport to bring in domestic and international flights, with domestic air travels available by next year.
He’s pursuing relations with Canada, Israel and Italy in the fields of agriculture and tourism. He is also aiming for the province’s Industrialization.
With President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his brother Luis “Chavit” Singson ready to extend their helping hands, Jerry could pretty well be on his way to accomplish his agenda by the end of his term.
PBBM won by landslide in Ilocos Sur.
Jerry by now has already acquired a mobile clinic and modern medical equipment and machines for the provincial Gabriela Silang hospital as he is eyeing free hospitalization for all indigents.
Only six months in his term, Ilocos Sur has been adjudged as the country’s 7th Wealthiest province for 2022 by the Commission on Audit, received the 2022 Seal of Good Governance, and PDRRMC National Kalasag award, both from the Department of Interior and Local Government and the National Kabalikat award from TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority).
(Editor’s Note: The writer is based in Hercules City, California and is currently in the Philippines for the holidays and assignments.)