LGUs in the Philippines

Who is Reynaldo Tamayo Jr., the new head of governors in the Philippines?

Dwight de Leon
Who is Reynaldo Tamayo Jr., the new head of governors in the Philippines?

South Cotabato website

South Cotabato Governor Reynaldo Tamayo, who has been elected president of the League of Provinces of the Philippines, also heads President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s political vehicle, Partido Federal ng Pilipinas

MANILA, Philippines – South Cotabato Governor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr., fresh from his successful reelection bid, is taking on a bigger role as president of the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP), a group that unites provincial governments in the country.

Tamayo was elected president during the LPP”s general assembly on Thursday, July 28, in Manila. He succeeded Marinduque Governor Presbitero Velasco Jr., who remains part of the league’s national executive board as its chairperson for the Mimaropa region.

Here are some fast facts about the South Cotabato governor.

Head of Marcos Jr.’s political party

Tamayo was elected in 2019 as president of Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP), a young political vehicle that Ferdinand Marcos Jr. rode for his 2022 presidential campaign.

He was also reelected to the same post during the PFP’s national convention in September 2021, a month before Marcos filed his candidacy, regional media reported.

It was during that convention that they endorsed Marcos’ candidacy for Philippine president.

Unseated a two-term governor

From 2010 to 2019, Tamayo was mayor of the South Cotabato municipality of Tupi, known as the “fruit and vegetable basket of the south.”

In 2018, he filed his candidacy to challenge then-incumbent governor and political veteran Daisy Avance-Fuentes for the 2019 election.

Tamayo delivered a massive upset when he defeated Fuentes, whose bid was backed by Hugpong ng Pagbabago and then-ruling party PDP-Laban, by a margin of around 26,000 votes. Fuentes had led the provincial hall for a total of 15 non-consecutive years, and served in Congress for 12 non-consecutive years, before losing in the 2019 midterm polls.

Mindanews reported that, in his 2019 inaugural speech, Tamayo vowed to put an end to alleged “rotten practices” in the province, specifically in the utilization of funds for infrastructure and disaster management.

In June, he vetoed a provincial board ordinance that lifted the ban on open-pit mining, amid protests from various sectors.

Father is a freshman lawmaker

Tamayo’s father is Reynaldo Sr., the first nominee of agriculture-oriented party-list group Angat, which secured one seat in the 19th Congress.

The older Tamayo was a former regional director of the Department of Public Works and Highways who was implicated in the multi-billion-peso road right-of-way scam in General Santos City. The senior Tamayo has denied accusations against him.

In a 2019 report by the Philippine News Agency (PNA), the younger Tamayo said the public works controversy that hounded his father motivated him to run for higher office.

“I wanted to clean the name of my family and prove that those accusations were not true. I think I was successful with that,” he said in that PNA report.

Below is the list of new officers of the LPP:

  • President: South Cotabato Governor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr.
  • Chairman: Quirino Governor Dakila Cua
  • Executive vice president: Tarlac Governor Susan Yap
  • Vice president for North Luzon: Bataan Governor Jose Enrique Garcia III
  • Vice president for South Luzon: Oriental Mindoro Governor Humerlito Dolor
  • Vice president for the Visayas: Aklan Governor Jose Enrique Miraflores
  • Vice president for Mindanao: Lanao del Norte Governor Imelda Dimaporo
  • Secretary-general: Camiguin Governor XJ Romualdo

– Rappler.com

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Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers local government units and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.