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Comebacking Mayor Celso Lobregat starts spewing dragon-like fire, his latest statement shows, “This is a shameless and scandalous budget.”

Thus, breathed Lobregat from his nostrils during a press conference at his residence, in reaction to the 2019 city budget Mayor Beng Climaco hatched and approved last Friday by councilors belonging to the yellow-turned-pink team.

Lobregat noted the present administration’s budget for next year is concentrated on purchases, with allocations of very small percentage of infrastructure like road widening, school buildings and others.

Of the total P4.1 billion Executive Budget for next year, a little more than a billion pesos of it will go to purchase alone of new garbage and dump trucks, other motor vehicles, watercrafts, fire trucks, commercial buses and drones.

Lobregat stressed, allocating P1 billion of the city's budget for the purchase of vehicles is very irrational especially that the city does not need most of those vehicles/items.

“Based on my experience as… former Mayor of the city, we usually place more than 50% of the Capital Outlay normally… for roads, bridges, drainage systems, slope protection, much more than the purchase of equipment. But for this administration, it is the reverse,” Lobregat pointed out.

Justifying his observations, Lobregat emphasized, the executive budget for 2016, 2017 and 2018, the city government is still waiting for the delivery of three (3) other garbage trucks worth P5 million each, in the 2018 and 2017 budgets which were not yet purchased, plus six (6) more trucks. In the 2018 budget still worth P5 million each, another five (5) more units of garbage trucks in the supplemental budget worth P25 million are left untouched.

Lobregat said, the list these fourteen (14) units of garbage trucks in the budget of the past three years was left unpurchased, does not end there.

He continued, from the existing 25 garbage trucks under the control of the city government plus 14 units not yet purchased, there are yet 51 more garbage trucks and 44 more dumptrucks to be purchased. There will then be 134 trucks to collect the garbage of the city. It’s a lot of waste of people’s money. That huge amount can help more indigent Zamboangeños in the form of social services rather than for going to purchases of vehicles.

He noticed that when he visited Barangay Tumaga last Saturday, he saw their brand new garbage truck that only cost P1.250 million. "Compare this to that of the city government which costs P5 million per unit. It is a one is to four ratio," Lobregat said.

Habla pa.

“On this vehicle purchases alone, we can see that this is a re-election budget, not a people-oriented budget. Bien sobra-sobra el presyo, terrible. That is why I asked the members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod who are not contented about this, as well as the people of Zamboanga to rise up and complain."

Mayor Celso, you hit nail right on its head, “this is a re-election budget, not a people-oriented budget."

Alam na. Pami patu y para suyu. Cara-cara ya. Sobra de greso cara. De simberguenzada ba?

You tell me.

X x x x

Councilors beware. So upon reading this item SS immediately called son Coun Jaime Boday on the matter of how he voted on the matter.

DAR Regional Director Julita Ragandang, bared they are preparing to file charges against persons involved in the alleged illegal conversion of an irrigable land for the use of a tin can factory in Barangay Talisayan, stressing that “The land is… is irrigable… and is non negotiable for conversion”. The charge being cooked is criminal in nature for either illegal or premature conversion.

And Atty. Resty Oasis, DAR Legal Services Director warned that officials who may be involved in issuing a business permit to the owner of the tin can factory could be a party to the case.

And who they are is obvious. The list starts from Mayor Beng Climaco, councilors who voted to approve a no objection resolution, down to department and division heads.

So, how Boday stood on the issue made me SS even prouder of him.

Jaime Boday stamped “NO”.

That in spite of insistence from a lawyer councilor from the administration bloc, Meng Agan, who argued Boday cannot vote “No” allegedly for the reason he did not object on it on the committee level.

Boday stood his ground for his own reason that there are times during committee meetings, when a member leaves the hall for personal needs, such as visiting the comfort room to attend to lone-waiting constituents in need of help and cannot be made to sit idly and wait some, one fails to listen to the entire proceedings.

Rightly, too, that if one signs the final committee report it does not mean approval, it simply indicates he was part of the deliberations. And upon later presentation of the same for approval during plenary sessions, one gets to notice defects it the recommendation, thus a negative vote.

Bravo, Jaime Boday. Allow nobody, even a lawyer to bully you.  Full speed ahead.    (By Jimmy Cabato)

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