MANILA – Western Samar Representative and Liberal Party (LP) Secretary General Mel Senen S. Sarmiento officially takes over Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) as its new secretary on Friday through a simple turnover ceremony held at the main office in Quezon City.
Outgoing Secretary Mar Roxas handed over the post to Sarmiento with a positive and confident outlook, noting that the Western Samar solon possesses integrity, competence, and experience.
“His competence is well-established, his integrity (with) nearly 20 years of public service, ni minsan hindi nadapuan ng kahit anong mantsa, o anomalya (his name was never stained nor linked to any anomaly),” said Roxas.
Roxas, who is the standard bearer in the 2016 presidential polls, perceived a striking similarity between late DILG secretary Jessie Robredo and Sarmiento, highlighting that “he has received every award, every accolade” that Robredo received.
He also recognized the DILG family and assured Sarmiento that he will be working with a dedicated, persevering, and self-sacrificing government staff.
“They have always stepped up, always delivered, and have always given all that they can for the welfare of our people,” Roxas commended.
One remarkable moment during the ceremony was Roxas handing over a framed set of slippers to Sarmiento to serve as a “constant reminder” that there are still a lot of people to serve and reach out to.
Sarmiento started his public service as vice mayor of Calbayog City from 1992-1995. In 2001, Sarmiento won as mayor of Calbayog City and has served its people for three terms before winning as congressman of the first district of Samar in 2010. With two decades worth of experience, he has earned recognition and respect deserving of being the newly-installed DILG secretary.
DILG is responsible for supervising local governments, ensuring public safety, and promoting peace and order. Under this department are Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, and other attached agencies.