DOER VS. ABSENTEE
“WHAT can an absentee and incompetent city official do for the city?”
This was the question posed by Dagupan City Mayor Belen Fernandez during the grand rally at CSI Stadia on Thursday, attended by more than 7,000 supporters as she stressed that this year’s election is between a doer and someone who cannot cite any accomplishment and effort to help alleviate the lives of Dagupeños.
In a fiery speech that stirred up her audience into shouting “Isa pa” repeatedly in unison, Fernandez revealed that she had to wade in waters during the floods that happened last year “in order to save my constituents and extend the food and water that they needed” while Vice Mayor Brian Lim saw no urgency to return from his world trips to help Dagupeños during a calamity.
She said Lim hurled the biggest insult on the Dagupeños when after deserting them over extended periods, he had the temerity to blame her and the city government for the flooding and the suffering of the residents while absolving himself of any accountability.
“He did not do anything to help you during your times of need and when he finally arrived after a long, long while after abandoning his duty as a public official, he came back to blame us for the flood,” Fernandez said.
Fernandez chided the vice mayor and his elk for blaming her not only for the flood but also for the hot weather in Dagupan City and earthquake that recently hit the city.
She said Lim might as well blame the governments of Marikina, Quezon City, Bulacan, Pampanga and Baguio as well as in Saudi Arabia for the flooding in their areas caused by prolonged days of rain.
She pointed out that the vice mayor doesn’t seem to know that the liquefaction spawned by the July 16, 1990 earthquake sank Dagupan by about a meter, and that backfilled fishponds are owned by private individuals, not the city government.
Worse, she said the vice mayor has no understanding of the impact of climate change which makes him a dangerous and incompetent leader who won’t know how to mitigate the situation in the city.
Fernandez said that without any help from the vice mayor, the city government was managed efficiently, a fact that was acknowledged by the DILG by presenting the Seal of Good Local Governance to her administration three times.
The mayor said that from a fund deficit of P37 million left by the administration of the vice mayor’s father, she succeeded in turning the city’s economy and improving public services with a yearly surplus to boot, the biggest of which was registered last year at P127 million.
“What has the vice mayor done in all these? Nothing!” she intoned.
By applying good financial management practices, the unabated graft and corruption, red tape, “tongpats” and magic transactions that flourished under a Lim administration all stopped, she said.
“In contrast, my administration has made Dagupan not only the richest city in Region 1 with a healthy financial position of P2.360,000.000 based on the 2017 trial balance, but the newest member of the billionaire club of LGUs by having an annual budget of P1,10,000,000 starting this year,” she said.
Fernandez said she wants a third term of office to enable her to finish the construction of a new and efficient city hall and start the Waste to Worth project as her lasting legacy to the city.
She said building a new city hall is the only alternative left after the vice mayor’s father sold the MC Adore Hotel, originally the planned new venue for the city hall, for only P119 million that defrauded Dagupan close to P300 million. (Leonardo Micua)
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