Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo has hired as consultant on governance and other matters, former Bais City mayor Hector Villanueva who will draw a one peso a year consultancy fee.

Degamo said Villanueva had hinted at working with him for that fee as both of them believe they can work together for the common good and there is much he can learn from Villanueva, who has served for several terms as mayor of Bais. Villanueva had run for congressman in the second district of the province in the May 2013 elections, but lost to Rep. George Arnaiz.

Villanueva is expected to start as consultant to the governor this month.

As to the political implications of Villanueva being with the administration’s Liberal Party, Degamo said his philosophies is to set aside politics and find common grounds for local leaders in serving their constituents.

He refused to comment on the possibility of forging an agreement with Villanueva in the 2016 polls.

Degamo, meanwhile, said only three of the 25 mayors in Negros Oriental have yet to show their support and cooperation to his administration.

The other mayors, while not in the same political party as his, have warmly received him as he continues to implement projects and programs in the province.

Degamo said he hopes the three mayors, whose name he did not disclose, will understand that setting aside politics and aiming for unity among local leaders will benefit the entire province and its people.*AFP