Sangil: Mayor Pogi’s one month in office

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MANILA Mayor Francisco Domagoso aka Isko Moreno is making waves and the headlines. Wherever he goes, television cameras of major networks follow. So his moves, the sound bytes and all, are recorded. And other Metro Manila mayors like Francis Zamora of San Juan and Vico Sotto of Pasig took the cue from Moreno. Now TV cameras and reporters are now in tow.

Last week, the local mayors were invited to the palace and President Duterte gave them a pep talk and at the same time the Department of Interior and Local Government ordered them to clear the streets of obstruction. None-compliance may result to administrative charges or even suspension from office.

Pity the mayors from the provinces who even without the presidential order have already started instituting reforms. No TV reporters to record their activities.

Angeles City Mayor Pogi Lazatin on his first day in office hit the ground running. Not only did he want to clear the streets but he wanted to rid city hall of corrupt and incompetent employees. He reports to work early in the morning and he and his staff are the last to leave office. His administrator, Atty. Willie Rivera, has rolled sleeves and his eye bags are getting prominent with problems to sort out. Lazatin’s lawyer, daughter Kercee as chief of staff, has her share of workloads. Secretary to the mayor Raffy L. Angeles helped Lazatin in meeting visitors.

When the constituency sees anything wrong in a town or a city, cursing is always directed towards those in charge of governance, and in many cases the mayor gets most of the flak. It’s only fair to say that Mayor Lazatin, just like all newly elected mayors, inherited certain problems that need to be addressed. Vendors, hawkers, traffic jams, unfinished road construction, drug problem are some that need immediate attention.

Angeles residents are taking notice of Mayor Lazatin’s effort to really make the city a liveable place to live in. I sincerely believe he wants to carve his own public service niche that his late father built in his time. He is trying to fill the big shoes of his dad who served the city as congressman and mayor for more than two decades. I may be raising a higher bar. The late Mayor Tarzan was one of a kind.

If in the first three years at city hall and under his watch the city will achieve remarkable growth in terms of number of business establishments and increase the expenditure budget to more than P2 billion this year, then next steps may come easy. I am pretty sure it will be a better fiscal management under Mayor Pogi’s watch. It will reflect his person. He is very methodical. But much is still desired. Say for example, if the money from the coffers is enough for a second level hospital, upgrade of the City College of Angeles and resumption of a new city hall building.

I for one I am not in favor to continue the sports complex being built in Barangay Pampang. My personal stand? It’s a waste of good money, er, borrowed money. That huge amount of borrowed money can be put to better use. Besides, once it’s built, I am pretty sure it will sooner or later become a white elephant. Look what had become of the Bren Z. Guiao Sports Complex. Excepting the convention hall, the rest of the stadium was of no use. Priorities should be carefully evaluated etc, etc. I know it’s being done now.

To many people, the traffic situation must be given priority. What I’ve heard is a traffic study is ongoing. Aside from clearing the streets of vendors, primarily the main and secondary roads, construction of a bypass road coming from the Infinity area near Marquee Mall to the EPZA area to Pulung Cacutud and flyovers can ease several choke points.

Mayor Pogi is only one month in office and he passed it with flying colors, and the constituency is wishing him more success.


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