Bacolod Rep. Anthony Rolanto Golez yesterday dared Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia to be serious about the development of the Banago Port, saying “it is a public interest; not mine nor of Leonardia, make your move fast.”
“I have requested for his Port Zone Delineation resolution or proclamation last year, and apparently, he just slept on it," Golez said in a press release issued the DAILY STAR.
Golez said that Leonardia is skirting the issue by making dodging statements. “If he is truly and sincerely serious to help develop the Banago port, which is a government-managed port, he should have acted when I requested last year; but look what he did, he wants to sleep on it, and now he says again, he need longer time to study it.”
He said the Provincial Development Council and the provincial governor acted swiftly on his request last year because they fully appreciated the value of having a good public port.
Councilor Caesar Distrito yesterday said that in so far as the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Bacolod is concerned, there is no request for a port zone delineation coming from the Office of Golez or anybody. If it is a resolution, it should be addressed to the SP, he said.
Distrito said a project as big as this one must first have an endorsement from the City Development Council since the matter involves legality in compliance to the law.
It should be addressed to the SP and not to the Mayor because the executive and legislative branches have separate powers, he said.
As chairman of the SP Committee on Laws, Ordinances and Good Government, that has jurisdiction over port zone delineation, Distrito said he has not received any request or even a resolution from the CDC regarding the matter.
Golez also chided Leonardia on his actuation that "shows his bad politics; the politics of blocking or delaying any project that is not his initiative because it might bolster the political value of his opponent.”
“I do not care who gets the credit for this project; all I am interested is that parties concerned should cooperate so this gets done immediately, so people can benefit from it,” Golez said.
Leonardia said “it is precisely because we are serious that we have to observe procedures and consider the technical, legal and social aspects of the proposal. For one, this involves informal settlers that need to be consulted and relocated”.
“You cannot drive away people like flies and mosquitoes. And obviously, Golez is not aware of this,” he added.
Leonardia said this matter needs the participation of the CDC and should even be consulted with the SP.
There are many steps involved and that is the problem with him (Golez) since he does not know the workings of this local government, aside from the fact that he does not know the culture of dealing with informal settlers because he is not from Bacolod, he said.
Leonardia said “I suggest that he look at the project with general welfare taken into consideration and not just his personal business and financial interest on it.”
Golez and officials of the Philippine Ports Authority inaugurated the improvement and development of the Banago Port Passenger Terminal and Port Management Office building, and the port causeway, last week.
PPA appropriated P18 million for the repair of the passenger terminal and P35 million for the causeway, or a total of P53 million.*CGS