AFTER the mayor chided health and barangay officials on the rise of dengue cases in Cebu City this year, Jonathan Guardo struck at his political opponent for “passing the buck.”

Guardo also said the mayor should exercise prudence in spending the city’s funds, and should display the same enthusiasm he demonstrated in increasing the allowances of judges.

“I hope he will also put the same amount of energy in improving the other basic services of the City by also increasing its funding, such as the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC), the fight against dengue, buying more fire trucks,” he said.

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“Those four deaths the other day could have been prevented. I feel that we should allocate funds where it’s most needed,” he added. He referred to the fire in Capitol Site last Thursday dawn where four persons died.

It took some time before the fire department learned of the incident, which gutted a 15-door apartment and six nearby structures.

“I feel that we should allocate funds where these are most needed. The level of prioritization is suspect. They keep on bragging that we’re flush with cash, but look around. Garbage is all over, streets are dim and dirty. It doesn’t seem sound to me,” Guardo said.

Guardo called on the mayor to allocate bigger funds for dengue and to buy more fire trucks.

Informed of Guardo’s words, the mayor said the businessman is ignorant of what he has been doing to address the problems of the City.

Guardo and Osmeña are set to clash on May 10, 2010 for the south district congressional seat.

“I don’t know why I have to be blamed for Guardo’s ignorance. There is no request for funds for CCMC or dengue that I rejected. All roads that need repairs are private, where the owner is not willing to sell or donate,” Osmeña said in a text message sent to Sun.Star Cebu.

The mayor last Friday announced that as his way of strengthening the judiciary, he will increase the monthly allowances of judges and justices in the city.

From only P5,000 a month, they will get as allowance the equivalent of their monthly basic salaries, or at least P30,000.

Yesterday, the mayor said that the next allocation for the allowances of judges also includes funding for the CCMC and the fire department.

“In the same budget for the budgets for judges, there’s P14 million for CCMC and P22 million for fire trucks and tankers. Poor Guardo, he does nothing but think of me?” he added.

Guardo suggested that instead of blaming others, the mayor should take the fall.

“Mayor Osmeña has really mastered the art of buck-passing. As the incidence of dengue reached alarming levels, he castigated hapless health and barangay officials for their failure to control it. When CCMC’s services deteriorated, he also attacked the management and staff,” Guardo said.