Lawmaker dares mayor: Fast-track port development-A A +A
Thursday, July 5, 2012
REPRESENTATIVE Anthony Golez Jr. dared Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia to move fast in developing the Banago Port following the latter’s statement that he is serious about it.
Golez earlier said the mayor is delaying the port development, but Leonardia denied this.
"I have requested for his Port Zone Delineation (PZD) resolution or proclamation last year and apparently he just slept on it," Golez said Wednesday.
Last June 27, Golez and Philippine Ports Authority officials inaugurated the Banago Port Passenger Terminal and Port Management Office building and the port causeway that was facilitated by the lawmaker.
In a press conference after the event, Golez said he wanted to bring more projects to Bacolod such as the development of Banago Port but he cannot proceed with it because of what he perceived as stonewalling from the City Hall.
Golez said he intends to develop Banago into the city’s first public port but he cannot go full-swing on the project because the mayor has not yet issued the Port Zone Delineation for Banago Port, although Golez said he requested for it last year yet.
Such delineation is necessary to determine which part of the port and the foreshore area belongs to the National Government and which part is still covered by the lease of Negros Navigation Company.
"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 needs longer time to study it," Golez said.
Golez pointed out that the Provincial Development Council and Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. acted swiftly on his request because "they fully appreciated the value of having a good public port."
The lawmaker 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."
Leonardia, who is in his last term as city mayor, earlier said he would run for congressman of the city’s lone district, while Golez, being the incumbent, is expected to seek re-election, though he had not made a categorical statement to such effect.
"I do not care who gets the credit for this project," Golez said. "All I am interested in is that parties concerned should cooperate so this gets done immediately so that people can benefit from it."
Meanwhile, Councilor Caesar Distrito said Wednesday that the City Council has not received any request for a Port Zone Delineation coming from the office of Golez or from anybody.
"If it needs a resolution, it should be addressed to the SP (City Council)," he said in reaction to the lawmaker’s statement.
Distrito said that a project as big as the Banago Port development must first be endorsed by the City Development Council (CDC), since the matter involves legality in compliance to the law.
He pointed out that the request for the Port Zone Delineation should be addressed to the City Council and not the mayor because the executive and legislative branches have separate powers.
Leonardia earlier said he will follow the process on the issuance of a Port Zone Delineation and that it is premature for anyone to put the blame on anybody regarding the delay on the Banago Port development.
"As in any government project, it will have to follow certain steps and procedures that will even include CDC action," he said.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 05, 2012.