MAYOR RICHARD GOMEZ
From gracing the silverscreen to commanding city hall,
Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez is finding his place in the
limelight and pulling the sleepy city out from economic slumber.
BY GODFREY T. DANCEL
PHOTOGRAPHY BY RENJIE TOLENTINO
There was a time, not too long ago, when the name Richard Icasiano Gomez was synonymous to good acting and excellence in sports. In the past five years, the name is now often mentioned in the same breath as good local governance.
Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez still exudes the aura of a celebrity and still has the heart of an athlete. But talking to him makes one realize that the erstwhile matinee idol and national athlete has fully transformed into a true public servant.
Gomez had his first taste of public service in 1998 when he was appointed by President Joseph Estrada as Presidential Adviser on Youth and Sports Development. “I saw that if you really wanted to help people, it would be best to have a government position because then you have all the resources at hand for your programs,” begins the passionate public servant. One of his first i nitiatives was launching the Mamamayan Ayaw sa Droga (MAD), which became an effective and successful anti-drugs program for the youth.
Acknowledging the greater potential to help more people, Gomez jumped right into the thick of the Congressional election in 2001 and ran un der the partylist system as a nominee of Mamamayan Ayaw sa Droga (MAD) Partylist. “We were number one. However, we were not allowed to take a seat because, at that time, it was contested that we did not belong to the marginalized sector. We said that when it comes to drugs, there is no such thing as marginalized, there’s no rich or poor. Everybody is affected by the problem of drugs. .....