LAPU-LAPU City Rep. Paz Radaza is willing to spend district funds to pay rent to the City Government if that’s what it takes for her to keep her office in City Hall.
Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan, though, feels his predecessor is just making an excuse to stay in City Hall.
Radaza was mayor of Lapu-Lapu City for three consecutive terms. Before that, her husband, Arturo, reigned over the City also for three consecutive terms.
Together, the couple held sway at City Hall for 18 years, starting in 2001 and ending in July this year.
In a press conference she called on Monday, Aug. 19, 2019, the congresswoman said that while she was excited to start work as lone district congresswoman, her first day in office was marred after Chan ordered her staff out of their office.
“That was shocking and traumatic. Like any other public office, our district office was there to serve our people, to serve the Oponganons,” she told reporters.
Like other national government offices, such as the Land Transportation Office, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Local Civil Registrar, among others, that have put up offices at City Hall, Paz said her office’s purpose is to offer services to constituents.
“Maingon nato nga ‘one-stop shop.’ This is the thing gi-encourage sa DILG nga ang katawhan dili nato lisud-lisuron ang pagdeliver sa services. Dali na lang kaayo (City Hall has become a ‘one-stop shop.’ The DILG has been encouraging officials to make it easier for the public to transact with government offices),” Paz said.
She pointed out that the district office has been in City Hall since 2010 when her husband, Arturo, became the representative during the 15th Congress.
When he vacated the office after one term, their daughter Aileen succeeded him in 2013 and held office for the next six years.
Paz said she was worried that aside from her staff getting harassed, her constituents who wanted to avail themselves of services from her office had been prevented from entering City Hall.
Paz said the office that Chan shut down would remain her district office, although she bared plans to open satellite offices in Barangays Pusok and Basak.
Her office in City Hall caters to residents seeking medical assistance, those asking for endorsement for various government programs, such as government internships, Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa ating Displaced/Disadvantaged of the Department of Labor and Employment and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and educational assistance provided by the Commission on Higher Education.
Meanwhile, Chan said the City had no need for Paz’s district funds. He said they had other uses for the space.
“Wa mi magkinahanglan sa iyang abang. Nagkinahanglan mi og space. That (district office) belongs to my office. Nganong ipamugos pa man (What we need is space, not her rent. That space belongs to my office. Why does she want to force the issue?” Chan told reporters.
He said some City Hall departments and divisions are very congested, with personnel vying for whatever space is available.
The mayor also called on his critics to respect him, adding that they are all serving the same constituents. (From FVQ of Superbalita Cebu/JKV)