Bichara, Rosal meet for smooth transition

By Rhaydz B. Barcia


Ten days before he steps down from his post, outgoing Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara met on Tuesday, June 21 with his political rival, incoming Governor Noel Rosal at the Governor’s Guest House to pave the way for the smooth transition of the leadership of the provincial government.


Bichara called the transition meeting with Rosal “to ensure an effective turnover of responsibility, ensure smooth transition and continuity in good local governance.”


Last month, Bichara issued Executive Order No. 12 creating the Albay provincial local governance transition team composed of the employees of the provincial government of Albay (PGA) and the Department of Interior and Local Government provincial office to prepare for the smooth transition.


“To prepare for an effective turnover of responsibility, ensure smooth transition and continuity in local governance, the PGA transition team conducted their initial meeting this morning, headed by provincial administrator Engr. Vida Prollamante together with DILG provincial director, Arnel Renato Madrideo,” Bichara said.


In the meeting, Bichara handed over a document of the PGA transition team to Rosal.


Bichara served for five decades as a public servant in Albay from mayor, lawmaker and governor. Bichara was defeated by Rosal during the May 9 election.


Rosal won a big margin of votes in the history of Albay gubernatorial race where he got 469,334 votes against Bichara’s 238,416 votes based on the official Comelec count.


The two were former friends and formidable political allies before they broke out due to contrasting opinions on quarry issues and political differences.


Rosal and Bichara's political differences became even more intense after the former's younger brother, Rolly, filed corruption charges before the Ombudsman against Bichara for the questionable purchase of a 14-hectare land in Guinobatan, Albay amounting to P35 million.


Historically, the Bichara and Rosal alliance and friendship lasted for 30 years before they broke up.


The Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) led by Anastacia R. Llaneta named Albay as top one among the six provinces with highest nominal locally sourced revenues.


“Albay received two awards today, a true testament of good governance. Albay under Bichara’s reign is top 1 among the six provinces in the Bicol region, based on the “2021 BLGF Highest Nominal Locally Sourced Revenues with P446,955,685.45 against the P301,408,596.00 target,” a post on Bichara’s Facebook page reads.