MAYOR Kristine Vanessa Chiong of the City of Naga, Cebu said that the City Government will remain business-friendly, assuring investors that they would not have a hard time doing business in the city.

Kristine said that the City will continue to streamline its services, including the issuance of business permits.

Kristine issued the statement following the decision of the Office of the Ombudsman indicting her father, former mayor Valdemar Chiong, for graft for the alleged issuance of a conditional business permit to a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) refilling plant despite the absence of a fire safety issuance certificate (FSIC).

“Klaro akong mandato. We must streamline. Dili nato lisud-lisuron ang atong mga negosyante. We must make sure that we are business-friendly and that businesses are secured. Nga dili sila makuyawan kung naay mo file og kaso nila,” Kristine said.

The mayor, however, hit the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and other line agencies whom she said are hampering business in the city because of its failure to issue permits on time.

In a press conference yesterday, Valdemar said that he will file a motion to reverse the ruling against him.

Like his daughter, Valdemar also said that he was disappointed with the BFP for its failure to decide to issue an FSIC to Petronas Energy Philippines, which resulted in the filing of charges against the former mayor.

Valdemar pointed out that the graft charge filed against him was not because he stole money from the people but because of the conflict between two rival businesses.

BFP 7 Director Samuel Tadeo, in a separate interview, urged local government units (LGUs) like Naga to observe the Fire Code before issuing a business permit.

Tadeo said that LGUs won’t get into any trouble with issuing business permit if they are strict in terms of the compliance withfire safety measures. (JKV)