Mayoral bet to harness barangay power

PARAÑAQUE’S ‘DAVID’ Baclaran Barangay Captain Julius Anthony Zaide of Parañaque talks to The Manila Times on Friday, April 22, 2022, about his plans for the city should he win the mayoral race. Zaide is up against four other candidates, including Rep. Eric Olivarez who is eyeing to succeed his brother Edwin. The outgoing mayor, in turn, is running for a seat at the House of Representatives. PHOTO BY J. GERARD SEGUIA

JULIUS Anthony “Jun” Zaide believes that if the 16 barangay (villages) of Parañaque City link up and work together, they could be a force that would be more effective in responding to community issues like the coronavirus pandemic.

Zaide, chairman of Barangay Baclaran in Paranaque's first district, plans to harness “barangay power” if he is elected mayor on May 9.

Speaking during The Manila Times roundtable Friday at the Barangay Baclaran hall, Zaide said he would “make Parañaque even better” by strengthening cooperation between village officials.

He stressed that there must be an equal distribution of opportunities, basic necessities and beneficiary services in order to trigger hope and determination among Parañaque constituents who were affected by the pandemic.

“Ang tao hindi makikinig kapag hindi ka nagsusumikap. Pakitaan mo ng aksyon at determinasyon, susunod 'yan. Sa Baclaran ay nagawa namin. Kaya naming gawin din 'yan sa Parañaque (The people will not listen if you do not work hard. Show them action and determination. In Baclaran we did it. We can do the same in Parañaque),” he said.

Zaide plans to replicate his program as barangay chairman, the “Talakayan sa kalye” or dialog in the streets, in other villages, which institutionalizes regular consultations between village officials and their constituents.

He said his advocacy has always been to bring the government closer to the people and develop synergy.

Zaide said he was inspired by the dynamic leadership of the mayors of Pasig, Makati, San Juan and Manila, and wanted to adopt their style of leadership in Parañaque.

He said he was confident that as mayor, he could improve Parañaque's current standing as the country's fifth-richest local government unit (LGU).

He said among the programs he wanted to adopt were the employment of persons with disabilities (PWDs) and senior citizens in Manila, the scholarship grants received by Makati City's students, and the free health care in San Juan City.

Zaide, who is running under Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) banner, is up against the brother of the incumbent mayor Edwin Olivarez, Rep. Eric Olivarez, who was the principal of Zaide's alma mater, Olivarez College.

He said it was difficult running against Olivarez, the bet of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban and the scion of Parañaque's dominant political family, but added that entrenched politicians tend to grow complacent and less responsive to the people's problems.

He said it was time Parañaque had a new, youthful leadership.

Joining Zaide and Olivarez in the mayoral derby are Gerardo “Jherie” Mores of the Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan, and independents John Andrew “Drew” Uy and Aguilar Rolando.

Zaide was in the car rental business before he tried his hand in politics. He ran for councilor in Parañaque's first district in 2016, finishing ninth.

In 2018 he successfully ran as Baclaran chairman.

District 1 is made up of Barangay Baclaran, Tambo, Don Galo, Santo Niño, La Huerta, San Dionisio, Vitalez and San Isidro. District 2 has Barangay BF, San Antonio, Marcelo Green, Sun Valley, Don Bosco, Moonwalk, Merville and San Martin de Porres.

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