HON. MICHAEL V. FARIÑAS
Upon finishing his studies, Michael went on to manage the family business, Fariñas Trans, shuttling to and from Laoag City to Manila to have a hands-on feel of the operations of one of the premiere bus transportation company north of the country. This endeared him to all the employees of the company as he was seen as a manager who really cared not only about the company's growth but more importantly on looking out for the concerns of his employees. He fine-tuned the daily operations of the company and instituted changes and improvements in the two terminals set up. In 1997, his efforts bore fruit as the company was awarded by the Department of Health as the Healthiest Bus Transportation Station in the entire country.
Before he was elected Mayor of Laoag City in the May 2004 elections, Vice Mayor Fariñas was Barangay Chairman of Barangay 16, San Jacinto, and for the same number of years held the position of President of the Association of the Barangay Councils and as such represented the eighty (80) barangays of the city in the Sangguniang Panlungsod. As Barangay Chairman of Barangay 16, his greatest achievements include the establishment of an effective revenue collection scheme that has increased the revenues of the barangay, which, prior to his first term as Chairman, was in a doldrums, considering the fact that his barangay's jurisdiction includes the Central Business District of the city. This same scheme he is now seriously being implemented in the city that has also resulted in better revenues for the city, solving various financial constraints that beset the city prior to his term, like the loans acquired for the construction of the Laoag City Commercial Complex, the construction of the Integrated Drainage system and the construction of the Laoag City Central Terminal. The city is 5 years advanced in the schedule of payment as against the schedule set by the financial institutions that granted the loans. Barely two years into his first two years as city mayor, he was able to raise the city's income from Php242 Million in 2004 to a whooping Php272 Million in 2005! His business acumen, honed by his management experience at Fariñas Trans coupled with his many years as a Barangay Chairman and ABC President, served him well in sharpening his fiscal management skills which he applied to improve the city's tax collection system.
Likewise, he has gradually concreted 100% of all the roads/streets in his barangay and, he is also doing this in the entire city believing that properly constructed and maintained roads/streets can lead to a better economic condition. Almost 100% of the streets in the Urban Area of the city are concreted. He has illumined the nooks and corners of his barangay by providing sodium light in every corner. This project has contributed to the low crime rate at Barangay 16, and this project, he also implemented in the city. That is why illumination, plus police support and visibility, has contributed to Laoag City's low crime rate and a very high crime solution efficiency.
In only two years of his first term as City Mayor, Hon. Michael V. Fariñas, through his effective leadership and the proper implementation of his plans and projects based on his executive agenda and by continuing the legacy of the Fariñases, Mayor Mike has himself achieved various accolades. Two of the greatest awards that manifest the kind of personality and leadership that Mayor Fariñas possesses are the APOLINARIO MABINI AWARD 2005 as OUTSTANDING LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNIT, an award given to him and his administration to recognize the program focused on helping the masses particularly persons with disability (PWD) and, even only in his first term - as one of the six finalists for the 2006 MOST OUTSTANDING CITY MAYOR OF THE PHILIPPINES.