his unfinished dreams
The former town mayor of Madalag, Aklan speaks
of his dreams for his townspeople as revealed in
this interview. Although he has retired from
public service, he has succumbed to the appeal of
his constituents to fulfill all his wonderful
This article expresses the sentiments of
former mayor Archimedes Nabor Orbista.
Glenn: During your incumbency as
Mayor of Madalag, what were the beneficialities
that you had given to your constituents?
A. Orbista: For the first time, our
municipality was reached by land transportation
when the bridge across Timbaban river was
constructed. I coordinated with concerned
agencies in the construction of farm-to-market
roads as well as the improvement of existing ones;
initiated the opening of primary schools to
barangays that have no schools and the extension
of the only high school in our municipality in
Barangay Alaminos; initiated the restoration of
peace and order in remote barangays.
The construction of the Municipal Hall annex
building was realized during my incumbency. There
were also remarkable improvements in the
municipal plaza aside from the acquisition of the
municipality of a land site for the proposed dry
and wet public market situated in the poblacion.
Another acquisition of land site intended for the
extension of the municipal public building at
Brgy. Balactasan was made ready for future use.
I am proud to say that I facilitated the
annual appropriation of an amount from our IRA
for the purchase of medicines given free to the
constituents; this was coupled with the
construction of health centers in various
barangays and the opening of day care centers in
The inclusion of the municipality as recipient
of the Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of
Social Services of the DSWD was also pushed
through. I likewise coordinated with the NAPOCOR
personnel who conducted feasibility studies on
the on-going proposed Hydroelectric Power Project
at Barangay Ma. Cristina, Madalag, Aklan. The on-going
reforestation project in remote barangays started
during my term when I coordinated with the DENR
to make our municipality a beneficiary.
Glenn: Am I correct with the
impression that it was because of the issues
brought against you by then Municipal Councilor
Inosanto, now Mayor of Madalag, over Bombo Radyo
Kalibo that you were defeated in the 1998
A. Orbista: In a way, but then there were
other underlying factors.
Glenn: Can you still recall any
issue that was brought against you at that time
and can you please make a clarification before
A. Orbista: One of the issues brought against
me during that time was the purchase of computers
by the municipal government. You know, Inosanto
alleged over the radio that there was overpricing
in the purchase of said computers but this is not
true because the transactions were all done
accordingly as was required in all government
My only intention then was to help our
employees with the manual works they do without
the computer. I tried to raise the standard of
service for our constituents by acquiring such
In his (Inosanto) term, he also bought
computers but nobody made an issue out of it
although my partymates in the sanggunian led by
SB Member Eunice Nadua Llegue were also in doubt
with the purchase.
I didn't give much attention to those issues
then because I know that he was just using me to
further his political ambition.
Glenn: Last 1998 elections, you
lost against your opponent for only 33 votes and
it is considerably a slim margin. Was it because
of your miscalculations on your chances, or
because of other reasons?
A Orbista: Because of other reasons, one if
which was the sufficient resources and
overwhelming popularity of now deposed president
Estrada (from the opposition party) who
contributed to the election of the present
leadership. Another is that, allegedly there was
dagdag-bawas perpetrated by some members of the
Glenn: Did you decide to run
because of the slim margin of votes in the past
election? Or is there another reason?
A. Orbista: I decided to run due to the appeal
of the people from various sectors in our
municipality. The appeal for me to run again is
quite overwhelming that even my family consented,
so I finally decided to join. The same people
have urged me to run as they have seen in the
present leadership that development has been
hampered due to so much politicking in all
transactions and official undertakings.
Glenn: How would you assess the
performance of the incumbent Mayor?
A. Orbista: Unsatisfactory due to lack of
short and long term development programs for the
Glenn: This writer was informed of
the massive extraction of quarry materials along
Aklan river without necessary permits from the
local government unit concerned. This is
allegedly tolerated because of the "percentage"
that goes to the local executive referring to the
present mayor. How would you comment on this?
A. Orbista: I am not sure of the issue, but I
have heard of it.
Glenn: Based on your observations,
what are the problems of your municipality?
A. Orbista: Aside from the present leadership,
the problems are poverty and unemployment.
Glenn: What suitable improvement
can you make in the municipality being an
ordinary citizen? How about when you get elected?
A. Orbista: Madalag is a very promising town.
The beauty of nature is still there, having been
untouched by civilization; in this aspect our
municipality should be developed in such a way
that would not compromise the environment which
includes the unpolluted rivers and creeks and the
virgin forests that have yet to be explored.
Development should be done by having these
attributes promoted as a tourist destination in a
manner that would not, as I said, compromise the
Glenn: What are your chances of
winning in this coming election?
A. Orbista: I want to be optimistic; the
people are dismayed due to unfulfilled promises
during the campaign in the last election as well
as the dismal performance of the present
Glenn: Under what particular party
are you running?
A. Orbista: The administration party Lakas-NUCD-UMDP.
Glenn: Can you please lay down
your programs of government in case the people of
Madalag will give you another mandate to serve
A. Orbista: If I were to get another mandate
as local chief executive, I would recommend to
the sangguniang bayan a speedy legislation on
five major areas: Economic Growth, Health and
Sanitation, Barangay Self-Reliance, Quality
Education, and Sports Development.
To attain our vision of Madalag 2004, working
hand in hand with the officers and men of
different national agencies like the DOH, DA,
DSWD, DILG, DECS, DENR, the Philippine National
Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines is
Our main objective for Madalag by 2004 is to
achieve stability, security and prosperity for
our people -by continued construction of farm to
market roads to effect the delivery of basic
services; protection of our natural resources and
conservation of our forest, rivers and creeks;
provision of quality education by improving our
school buildings to be conducive to learning,
conducting outreach educational programs to far-flung
barangays by providing school buildings, and
facilitating for the DECS to provide teachers to
increase literacy rate; the transfer our public
market in accordance with our zoning ordinance;
and following-up the early implementation of the
on-going Hydro-electric Power project situated at
Brgy. Ma. Cristina, Madalag, Aklan in order to
serve the different provinces in the island of
Panay particularly Aklan being the recipient of
additional taxes derived from the said project.
Glenn: Madalag is far from Kalibo,
if you travel through the Western side of the
province. But you can make a short cut by
crossing the Aklan River. If you were elected
into office, would it be possible for you to
undertake the construction of a bridge in that
A. Orbista: During my tern, this short cut by
crossing the Aklan River from Brgy. Paningayan to
the Poblacion was already included in the
Regional Development Plan of Region V1 per our
resolution requesting for funding assistance in
the construction of said proposed bridge.
Glenn: How and when did you start
entering public service?
A. Orbista: As Chief of Police of our
municipality in the 60's.
Glenn: What is the reaction of
your family regarding your political comeback?
A. Orbista: At first they were hesitant,
especially my children, but due to the
persistency of our supporters they consented.
Glenn: How many children do you
A. Orbista: I have 5 children, they are Alona,
Brenda, Carmelo, Archimedes Jr. and Daisy.
Glenn: What values did you impart
to your children?
A. Orbista: To be humble, honest, respectful,
and just in dealing with other people.
Glenn: Tell us about your wife.
How does she help you in managing your family as
well as your political affairs?
A. Orbista: My wife, Daisy, is a simple
housewife. I take pride of what she has done in
rearing our children to become what they are now.
As regards my political affairs, my wife has
always been supportive though she only stays in
the background. She has never interfered with my
official functions when I was still Mayor; all
the she did and still does is entertain the
visitors who come into our house.
Glenn: Share with our readers your
life as a child, as a teen-ager and as an adult.
A. Orbista: I was born in a barrio where my
family led a simple life. My childhood and
teenage years were spent partly in Madalag and
partly in Libacao, in the same way as those of my
contemporaries in our town. As an adult, my
activities were already geared towards public
service. I was lured into it because my father
was then considered as one of the leaders of
Madalag and its neighboring town, Libacao.
My career in public service ranged from being
the Chief of Police, as an employee of the Land
Transportation Office, as Provincial Warden of
Aklan and eventually as mayor of Madalag. When I
lost in 1998, I applied for retirement after more
than 30 years in public service.
Now, most of the time I stay in the barrio to
tend to our farm where I am most comfortable.
Glenn: Finally, what is your
message to your constituents?
ealing and reconciliation must begin at our
level and this coming election will be our chance
to express our desire for change--a change that
would bring all of us a sense of prosperity that
we all desired for. Hence, let us choose our
leaders not only on what they say but also on
what they do, personally or publicly.
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