Local businessman Nomie Lagan seeks to challenge the electoral landscape of Brooke’s Point by running independently, bringing his anti-mining stance and pro-agriculture plans.
Despite going up against political veterans in the May elections, Lagan wants to bring his business expertise to the table by providing employment opportunities to the town and strengthening the local agricultural sector.
In an interview with Palawan News’ The Profile, Lagan revealed his thoughts on key issues of the town, particularly on mining issues. He stated that he would rather that the town would focus on farming and protecting the natural environment for future generations.
“Lalo pang tumitindi ang aking paninindigan. Magsasaka ako, hindi lamang sa salita, ginagawa ko ito. ‘Yong pagiging anti-mining ko, dahil sa paniniwala ko na ang Brooke’s Point ay hindi angkop na lugar para minahin. Kung titingnan natin ang kanyang kalupaan, ang mga kabundukan at ang kanyang dalampasigan, napakaliit na lugar na ito. Masasabi ko rin na ako ay galing sa oil and gas [industry], hindi talaga lahat ng lugar ay puwedeng minahin,” he said.
Though he was born and raised in the town, he found success as an engineer both locally and abroad. In Brooke’s Point, he owns several farming properties that he says gave employment opportunities to locals. Despite the demands of his job, however, he was also active in causes he cared about, particularly mining in Brooke’s Point.
“Kahit nasa abroad ako noon, sumasama ako sa mga kampanya para pigilin ang pagmimina sa Palawan, lalo’t higit na dito sa bayan ng Brooke’s Point,” he said.
“Ngayon pa lang ay nag-aalala ka na kung may mga dagat at mga ilog na liliguan pa ang mga bata kapag hinayaan nating magpatuloy ito [paninira sa kalikasan]. Ang ating vision [ay] magpatuloy at umunlad ang agrikultura, ‘pagkat napatunayan ng bayang ito na ang mga tao ay malaki ang kapakinabangan sa agrikultura,” he added.
He previously ran alongside suspended town mayor Mary Jean Feliciano in 2019 as vice mayor, but lost to acting mayor Georjalyn Quiachon. Quiachon is one of Lagan’s primary contenders for the mayoral position, along with incumbent Provincial Board Member Cesareo Benedito, Jr. Lagan said he is not fazed by the competition, and is driven by his desire to serve the people.
“Maraming pagkakataon na pinakita ko sa bayang ito na porke’t hindi ako pulitiko, naging instrument ako doon sa mga bagay na nakakatulong dito at dito sa ating mga mamamayan. So kung nag-aalangan ako na beterano sila, pero hindi ako nagdadalawang-isip na manindigan dahil alam ko na naihanda ko ang aking sarili na patuloy na mag-contribute sa mamamayan,” he explained.
On Mayor Feliciano’s suspension
Lagan commented as well that he believes Mayor Feliciano should not have been suspended because of her anti-mining stance. When asked what he would do if he were placed in the same position as Feliciano due to his anti-mining views, he stated that he will ensure that he will defend his stance.
“Sa kasong ito na ginawa kay Mayor Jean, hindi dapat ito nangyari. Ginampanan lamang niya ang kanyang tungkulin. At sa kabila ng lahat, alam naman ng lahat na kulang pa rin ang mga dokumento na kinakailangan para [magmina],” he stated.
Feliciano is currently running for vice mayor along with Board Member Benedito in the May elections.
Programs and projects
Though Lagan did not give specific programs and projects he wishes to pursue if he is elected, he prmised that he will pursue good governance and will put the peoples’ interests first. For the latter, he put emphasis on pubic participation and nature conservation. He also plans to lift up marginalized sectors by providing employment opportunities.