Village officials urged to stay away from partisan politics

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Friday, March 21, 2014


IN SPITE of the apparent rift between the administration and the majority members of the City Council, Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno has appealed to the barangay officials to stay away from partisan politics as he vowed he will work with them regardless of their political leaning.

“Sa atong mga kabarangayan, ayaw na lang mo apil-apil sa politika. Trabaho lang ta,” Moreno told village officials, most of them coming from the city’s hinterland communities, and businessmen during the agribusiness forum held in a hotel here Thursday.

Moreno assured them: “Ayaw kabalaka, serbisyohan ko kamo the best way possible. Buhatan ko kamo’g mga eskwelahan, health centers, regardless of your political loyalties. Trabaho kita kutob sa atong mahimo.”

He said that the city council’s majority bloc want him paralyzed so he cannot work effectively as the city’s chief executive.

“Gusto man sa city council nga dili makalihok si Oca. Gusto man sa city council nga ineffective, nga walay mahimo si Oca. They are wrong. They are underestimating the strength of the people,” he told the crowd at the forum.

He said: “Cagayan de Oro is not Oca, and Oca is not Cagayan de Oro. Cagayan de Oro is composed of all the people that live in the 80 barangays.”

Moreno added this is not the first time that he worked against all odds as a local government unit executive.

“I had been used to this. When I was governor of Misamis Oriental, I was all alone and I had operated on reenacted budget for several years. But notwithstanding, we had succeeded,” he said.

New direction

In light of the recent abolition of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), Moreno said this has changed the way funds and services are being delivered to the people.

The direction of the national government spending, Moreno said, is direct to the communities, either with the participation of the legislators in the absence of the lump sum, unlike in the past where funds are allocated and the lawmakers can pinpoint where it should be given.

“Today, the national budget, from the start, contains the details where the funds will be allocated,” he said.

The beauty of this new system, he furthered, is that the national government is obligated to download the funds directly to the communities, not necessarily to the local government.

But if it is poured through the local government units, the council has no control over it since the funds belong to the national government.

Moreno said that despite of the series of calamities that country has gone through in the last couple of years, it did not adversely affect the Philippines’ economic performance.

“Our economy is doing good. The Philippines is experiencing unprecedented growth and unprecedented credibility,” he said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 21, 2014.

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