IN THE middle of his Independence Day speech, Cagayan de Oro City mayor Oscar Moreno did not hold back, taking a swing at a city councilor for holding off the approval of additional lands for the city's resettlement program.
Moreno said he was disappointed when a councilor moved to defer the approval of the appropriation of the 45,312 sq.m. of land worth P11.3 million in barangay San Simon, and another piece of land in barangay San Simon with an area of 36,123 sq.m. worth P9 million.
Moreno did not mention the name of the councilor, but in the June 3 session, Councilor Reuben Daba moved to defer the proposal, pointing out that the city has already bought 150 hectares of land so far.
He said he wants to know if houses are already built in these properties.
"If I am not mistaken, ang atong land banking sa Cagayan de Oro moabot na sa 150 hectares. So ang atong backlog ani sa atong housing. So, as of the moment, 50,000 nga walay balay," Daba said.
(Our land banking in Cagayan de Oro would reach to 150 hectares. So our backlogs here are our housing projects. As of the moment, there are about 50,000 who are homeless)
"So, ang ako lang unta, I am not against of land banking kay para man na sa katawhan sa dakbayan pero ang akong pangutana, Mr. Chair, pila naman kabuok balay ang nahimo sa atong dakbayan nga ma augment sa atong 50,000 nga walay balay?" Daba said.
(In my case, I am not against land banking because that is for the people of the city, but my question, Mr. Chair, how many housing units already build by the city to augment the 50,000 homeless?)
Councilor Edna Dahino seconded Daba's proposal.
The second proposal was also deferred by Councilor Romeo Calizo, citing the same reasons, and was seconded again by Dahino.
Moreno, during his speech last June 12, said he had hoped that the proposal would be approved especially since it was the last day of the 18th City Council's session.
"Maghulat nasad ta sa (we would wait for the) 19th council, more than a month ta magpaabot (to wait). In the meantime, the project is stalled. Kapuliki kitag pangita sa (we are busy looking for) partners and yet...purbida (goodness). I was just disappointed nga klaro kaayo ang mandato magtinabangay (it was clear that our mandate is to help each other) and then here it was, babagan (being blocked)," Moreno said.
Moreno said the councilors could have asked him if they have questions and doubts.
He said on his third and last term, he hopes that there will be more communication between the legislative and executive departments.
"The most difficult part that could happen is mabiktima ang atong mga programa (our program would be 'victimized'), the people need nothing less than our best, than our desire to cooperate, our commitment to help," he said.
"I am accountable for any deficiency of the city but please don't make me fail, please help me," he added.
In his term report over the weekend, Moreno yet again discussed the effect of the delayed appropriation. He explained that it is better to purchase land early than to buy it later where prices could increase.
Moreno clarified that he is not "allergic to criticisms."
"Dili ako (I am not) against nga naay mag (that there would) question, question the sponsor, ask, and if there are issues, address them," he added.
Moreno earlier said one of his priority programs in his last term as mayor is address the housing backlog by investing more on the resettlement program.