The political season in Bacolod City is really heating up with its officials now calling each other names.
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia calls Rep. Anthony Golez Jr. “Congressman Sampaw”, while Golez calls him “Mayor Sawsaw.”
Leonardia is believed to be referring to the asphalt overlay (sampaw) project of Golez on Lacson Street and the Circumferential Road, which he said are not needed since the roads are not damaged, while Golez is referring to the PhilHealth cards that bear the photo of the mayor.
Leonardia said they are only asking Golez to put the funds in the right projects and, as a citizen and taxpayer of Bacolod, he has the right to complain.
Golez is overlaying Lacson Street with asphalt, which it does not need, while the Circumferential Roads, which needs widening, and the “Abortion Road” in Sum-ag are being ignored, he said.
Leonardia said he was in the US when the PhilHealth cards were prepared and putting his photo on them was done without his consent.
He also pointed out that there are other local governments that have photos of their officials on their PhilHealth cards.
They are just minding their own business while implementing repairs on several streets in Bacolod, including its major markets, he said.
Leonardia also said that Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III has been asking about the status of projects in Bacolod that he had funded but are reportedly being claimed by Golez.
Both Leonardia and Golez belong to the Grupo Progresso of the Nationalist People's Coalition and are reportedly eyeing the congressional seat.
Golez, meanwhile, lamented that the city has not acted on his request for a port zone delineation for the Banago Port project.
Leonardia said the request was taken up by the City Development Council but the members did not agree, so he cannot force them. He said the CDC is composed, not only of barangay captains, but also of non-government organizations and the business sector.
Golez does not understand that there will be informal settlers who will be affected by the project, since he is not from Bacolod, Leonardia said.
Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson said the Sangguniang Panlungsod could not act on the request of Golez without an endorsement from the CDC.
He said it is unfair for Golez to say that they have not studied it for “several years”. The truth is that they only received the request for an endorsement from the Philippine Ports Authority last week, he added.
Councilor Al Victor Espino, chairman of the SP Committee on Finance and Appropriations, and a member of the CDC, said he believes in free enterprise and that two ports means more competition and better pricing for the riding public.
However, the SP needs to study the request of the PPA so they can present a clear and better picture to the public which they serve, Espino said.*CGS