Mayor Matt Erwin Florido, a public servant with a mind for progress and heart for the people

By Nimfa Estrellado Mayor Matt Erwin Florido during his 2023 State of the Municipality Address highlighting the achievements and milestones ...

By Nimfa Estrellado

Mayor Matt Erwin Florido, a public servant with a mind for progress and heart for the people
Mayor Matt Erwin Florido during his 2023 State of the Municipality Address highlighting the achievements and milestones of his administration in the past year. (Photo from General Luna, Quezon: Heart of Bondoc Peninsula)

GENERAL LUNA, Quezon - "Accountable governance is our commitment, transparency is our mandate, and innovation is our driving force in serving our beloved town."

In his recent 2023 State of the Municipality Address (SOMA), Mayor Matt Erwin Florido, a multi-award-winning public servant with a mind for progress and heart for the people, emphasized the importance of upholding these principles in order to effectively address the needs and aspirations of the residents of General Luna.

He is one of the public servants in Quezon Province who is dedicated to making a positive impact for his constituents. He continuously seeks ways to improve the quality of life for the residents and ensures that their voices are heard in decision-making processes.

The General Luna town mayor's passion and dedication not only earned him the trust and support of the residents but also recognition from various organizations and institutions not only in the whole of Quezon Province but also in the region. His commitment to serving the community has made him a respected figure across the country.

Because of this, he became one of the most awarded mayors in the Philippines, receiving accolades for his outstanding leadership and innovative initiatives. His relentless efforts in improving the town's infrastructure, healthcare services, and education system have significantly contributed to the overall development of General Luna.

"Outstanding Municipal Mayor of the Philippines in the Field of Social Services" is a national award that Mayor Matt received recently for his exceptional dedication to improving the lives of the people in General Luna, further motivating him to strive for excellence in his role as mayor and continue making a positive impact on the lives of his constituents. He was determined to uphold his reputation and make a difference in the community he served.

His vision includes creating job opportunities, improving infrastructure, and providing access to quality education and healthcare for all residents. With Mayor Florido at the helm, General Luna can look forward to a brighter future that fulfills the needs and aspirations of its residents.

Fulfilling General Lunahin's dream, the Heart Agenda

Mayor Florido, in his SOMA, recalls the time when he first took office in 2019, filled with a sense of responsibility and dedication to fulfill General Lunahin's dream. He understood the importance of addressing the pressing issues faced by the community, such as poverty and inadequate public services.

With unwavering determination, Mayor Florido embarked on a journey to implement effective policies and initiatives that would uplift the lives of his constituents and transform General Luna into a thriving and inclusive city.

Under Mayor Florido's leadership, as each day goes by, General Luna has been recognized as the best-performing municipality not just in Quezon Province but also in the entire region.

This and other achievements are a testament to the mayor's dedication and hard work in implementing innovative strategies and programs that have resulted in significant improvements in various aspects of the town's governance and quality of life for its residents.

The HEART Agenda that serves as a roadmap for the town's continued growth and prosperity under Mayor Florido stands for "Health, Education, Agriculture, Resilience, and Tourism." It is a comprehensive plan that aims to prioritize these key sectors in order to further improve the quality of life in the town.

It focusing on these areas, the town is able to ensure access to quality healthcare, promote education and skills development, support sustainable agriculture practices, build resilience against natural disasters, and boost tourism opportunities.

He said the free healthcare services provided under the plan have significantly improved the overall well-being of the residents, especially those who were previously unable to afford medical treatment, with the assistance of barangay health workers, MDRRMO, and barangay members who have been trained to provide basic healthcare services.

The 2018 malnutrition rate is high, with General Luna ranking eighth in the province of Quezon, but with the implementation of the plan in 2022, there has been a noticeable decrease in malnutrition cases, making the town number one in terms of addressing malnutrition.

Nutrition is essential so children can grow and develop properly, and by prioritizing nutrition, the local government is not only improving the health and well-being of its residents but also investing in the future of the town by ensuring that its children have a strong foundation for success.

This achievement demonstrates that Mayor Florido's administration places a high priority on education and that he has carried out numerous measures to raise the standard of education in the municipality in order to keep his promise to ensure that every home has a graduate.

One of these initiatives—the opening of three secondary schools in just two years—has raised the town's literacy rates and enhanced student achievement. These secondary schools give students additional chances to advance their studies and seek out more challenging levels of study. The construction of these schools demonstrates the administration of Mayor Florido's dedication to providing all children in the town with an accessible and inclusive education.

He also recently distributed P4 million in scholarships in two days through the Bayanihan Para sa Kinabukasan ng Kabataan Scholarship Program. The majority of the funds were distributed to college scholars, who each earned P4,000. Other recipients of the awards included master's scholars, who received P5,000 each, and doctoral scholars, who received P10,000 each.

The mayor said General Luna may be a fourth-class municipality, but it strives to prioritize education and provide opportunities for its residents to pursue higher learning.

With the goal of making education accessible and bringing opportunities to young people from all walks of life, Mayor Florido has been actively partnering with various organizations and institutions to expand its scholarship programs.

He believes that the youth are not only the future but architects of change and progress, and by investing in their education, General Luna aims to empower the youth to become leaders and catalysts for positive transformation in their community.

Most of the parents of the students who avail themselves of the education program are farmers, fishermen, or individuals from agricultural backgrounds. General Luna recognizes the importance of supporting these families and believes that education can provide opportunities for their children to break the cycle of poverty and create a better future for themselves and their communities.

On the other hand, his administration supports the agriculture sector by providing livelihood programs such as training and resources for sustainable farming and fishing practices. This not only helps the families financially but also contributes to the overall development and sustainability of the community.

The local government has also established market linkages and value chain systems to help farmers and fishermen access larger markets and obtain fair prices for their products.

Social welfare programs have also been implemented to provide support and assistance to vulnerable members of the community, such as the elderly, disabled, and orphaned children. These programs aim to improve their quality of life and ensure that no one is left behind in the development process.

The Balai Pag-ibig, Quezon Province's first local government unit-run home for the elderly, is one of these community-based initiatives. It was founded in order to create a safe and caring atmosphere for older people who may lack family or financial support.

A homeless woman from Lucena City who has no family is one of the residents, but General Luna has welcomed her with open arms. Because of the support and care given by Balai Pag-ibig, she now feels like she belongs and has access to necessities, improving her overall quality of life.

Tambay to Tagumpay, the LGU's Efforts to Support Persons with Disabilities (PWD) Sector, the SOLO Parents Program, TUPAD, and other social welfare programs that aim to provide assistance and support to vulnerable sectors of society through the Department of Social Welfare Development (DSWD) and other government agencies are also initiatives that contribute to the overall development and well-being of the community.

These initiatives offer various forms of support, such as financial aid, skills training, and job placement services, empowering these marginalized sectors to become self-sufficient and active contributors to society. Through these efforts, the local government unit demonstrates its commitment to inclusivity and social welfare, fostering a more inclusive and compassionate community for all its residents.

According to Mayor Florido, General Luna celebrates love in all its colors because inside the spectrum of diversity they find strength, unity, and the true meaning of equality, and the town accepts everyone regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. LGBTQ+ is one of the pillars of promoting tourism, as it showcases the town's commitment to inclusivity and celebrates love in all its forms.

Tourism development is an important aspect of the town's economy, as municipal index data shows a significant increase in revenue from tourism activities since the implementation of these initiatives. This increase in revenue has not only boosted the local economy but has also created job opportunities for residents, further enhancing the town's overall prosperity.

Roads and infrastructure have been improved to accommodate the influx of tourists, making it easier for visitors to navigate the town and explore its attractions. Local businesses have seen a boost in sales and job opportunities due to the increased tourism, contributing to the overall economic growth of the town.

The town has also received recognition as the "Top 4 Destination of the Year" by the provincial government of Quezon, further solidifying its status as a must-visit destination for travelers.

The annual reenactment of Jesus Christ's crucifixion is one of the key factors contributing to the overall thriving tourism industry.

This religious event attracts thousands of visitors from all over the country and even from abroad, creating a significant boost in tourism for the town. Additionally, the town's picturesque landscapes and historical sites offer visitors a unique and enriching experience, further enhancing its appeal as a tourist destination.

At the 2023 Niyogyugan Festival, General Luna championed the float competition, demonstrating their innovation and talent in building intricate and eye-catching floats. The festival, which is known for celebrating the coconut industry, also included activities such as street dancing and culinary competitions, highlighting the town's rich cultural legacy.

According to Mayor Florido, the infrastructure in General Luna is also constantly improving, with ongoing projects to improve transportation and accessibility for both people and tourists. These initiatives aim to make it easier and more pleasurable for tourists to discover the town's attractions and contribute to the town's increasing tourism economy.

Construction of the market, the new municipal building, and the police station is currently underway, further enhancing the town's infrastructure and providing convenient facilities for both locals and tourists. These developments aim to create a more vibrant and modern town center, attracting even more visitors to experience the charm of General Luna.

A drug store, a pharmacist, and a telecom store will also be added to the town's growing list of amenities, catering to the needs of both residents and tourists. These additions will ensure that essential services are readily available, making General Luna an even more convenient and appealing destination for visitors.

The mayor also stated that these new amenities demonstrate the town's commitment to providing top-notch services to its residents and visitors alike and that by continuously improving the town's infrastructure and amenities, General Luna will attract more opportunities for growth and development, ensuring a brighter future for its residents.

Mayor Florido expressed gratitude to the Sannguniang Bayan and the local community for their unwavering support and dedication to making General Luna a thriving and prosperous town, saying that behind countless successes is a large part of the help and support of the united Sangguniang Bayan and the dedicated efforts of the local community.

He ended his heartfelt SOMA by emphasizing the importance of continued collaboration and unity among the residents of General Luna, saying General Luna, Quezon, is their home; it's not just a place on the map; it's a promise of a better tomorrow for its people, and to hold onto that promise and nurture it, together they will create a legacy that future generations will cherish.

He is on his first term as mayor and is committed to serving the people of General Luna with integrity and dedication. Mayor Floredo's vision for the town includes implementing sustainable development initiatives, improving public services, and fostering a strong sense of community pride.


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