A MAN WITH ABSOLUTE COMMITMENT TOWARDS PUBLIC SERVICE
JOSE “LITO” DE GUZMAN PERALTA, JR. (1965-2020)
Provincial Board Member/
Liga ng Barangay President, Pangasinan Chapter (2019-2020)
Liga ng Barangay, Balungao Chapter (2013-2020)
Punong Barangay of Pugaro (2013-2020)
Municipal Mayor (2001-2010)
Municipal Vice Mayor(1998-2001)
Punong Barangay of Poblacion (1995-1998)
Municipal Councilor (1993-1995)
What should be the best parameters to measure an individual before he or she may be called a LEADER? Perhaps, it can be measured through what she or he had contributed in the community. Here, in the Municipality of Balungao, Pangasinan rarely can find an individual who has shown solid commitment and temerity towards public service. His name is Jose “Lito” de Guzman Peralta, Jr., who’s humble beginning of his political career was belittled. In 1993, because of the untimely demised of his father, the late Mayor Jose C. Peralta, he was appointed as a member of the Sangguniang Bayan. In 1997, inspite of well-funded with equally able and capable leaders of the opposing group, he was elected as Punong Barangay of Poblacion. He, likewise, attempted to wrestle the Liga ng mga Barangay Presidency to no avail because of what it seems tremendous outside pressures and dictates.
The political career of Sir Lito even became known in the entire province of Pangasinan when he served as Vice Mayor of Balungao from 1998-2001. As the the Presiding Officer, the review powers of the Sanggunian were exercised, and as a result thereof, effective and efficient local governance imbued with transparency was attained. Notable legislations he had initiated were the updating of the 1994 Revenue Code of Balungao, and various resolutions jumpstarting implementation of mass-based and grassroots level programs and projects.
Because of his mass-based style of leadership, he had served Balungao as the Municipal Mayor for Three (3) consecutive terms, from 2001-2010. His Nine (9) years fruitful service as Municipal Mayor had opened up greater opportunities for Balungao. Higher Level government agencies started to recognized the many potentials of Balungao. The very first ASEA Goat Integrated Management project was launched in Balungao, thus, became our officially registered and famous ONE TOWN, ONE PRODUCT (OTOP). However, recognizing the need to advertise and ensure the market ability of the Municipality’s booming goat industry. Sir Lito had spearheaded the launching of GOAT FESTIVAL in 2004, featuring Street Dancing, Chevon cooking contest, cum eat all you Can, Best Buck and Best Doe contest.
What should become his living legacy in the Municipality is the construction and completion of the Municipal Town Hall of Balungao. It was then very challenging because some of his peers were questioning the financial capability of the Municipality to undertake such a major construction project, plus the fact, that implementation of programs and projects from higher level agencies were near to unrealizable. However, because of his persistence, hard-work, effective fiscal management and go and go attitude, he successfully made a sure network of financial assistance from the National government and political allies. Clearly, not only the construction of the new Municipal Town Hall of Balungao was completed, other infrastructure projects were also implemented in the municipality, such as concrete paving of major road lines in the barangays, thus, improving the road networks inter-connecting various farm to market roads. Other areas of government services were equally delivered during the terms of Mayor Lito. His brotherly support for the department heads and employees-regulars and casuals, working under his leadership was indeed felt as a great motivation. One would fairly say that the Nine (9) years full term of Mayor Lito has prepared a clear pathway were Balungao may take-off towards progress and prosperity.
Mayor Lito, in spite of being a soft-spoken individual has proven himself a great motivator. His own political tag line “GET INVOLVED IN SERVING BALUNGAO” remains a novel callings for every Balungenian. Indeed, wherever, whoever and whenever we are, we should spare some of our precious time and in the most simple ways possible we can, let us all involved ourselves in serving our Dear Town Balungao. This powerful motivation he had hurled back to all of us will surely be remembered.