Soon-Ruiz: P4M vehicle not a priority

Soon-Ruiz:  P4M vehicle not a priority

FOUR Mandaue City councilors abstained from voting on a proposed ordinance that would allow the City Government to buy a new vehicle worth more than P4 million for the Mandaue Investment Promotions Tourism Action Center (Miptac).

The councilors pointed out that Mandaue City had more pressing needs.

During the council’s regular session on Monday, March 11, 2024, Nerissa Soon-Ruiz, Andreo Icalina, Joel Seno and Cesar Cabahug Jr., abstained from voting on a draft ordinance that aims to authorize Mayor Jonas Cortes to purchase a 29-seater coaster in the amount of P4.020 million for Miptac’s events.

In an interview, Soon-Ruiz pointed out that the City already has sufficient vehicles that can be used by the Miptac for its events.

Soon-Ruiz suggested that instead of buying a new vehicle for Miptac, the City can schedule some of its vehicles from the other departments for use.

Saying the City Government does not have extra funds, Soon-Ruiz recommended that the City could, instead, allocate funds for the purchase of medicines, especially for senior citizens, school materials for students, and other essential items.

“There are so many other things rather than a vehicle. For me, it’s not a priority at the moment,” said Soon-Ruiz.

Proposed ordinance’s author

In a text message sent to SunStar Cebu on Monday, March 11, Councilor Maline Zafra, head of the committee on budget and finance who drafted the ordinance, defended the proposed purchase.

“Every aspect of the City has been allocated a budget. It doesn’t mean that because a budget was given to tourism, the budget for health was taken away. It is not mutually exclusive,” said Zafra.

She said the vehicles of the other City departments already have scheduled activities and cannot be relied upon by the Miptac.

Zafra also said Miptac has its mandates and it would be unfortunate if it depended on other departments for transportation.

“With the organization of our very own Mandaue City Cultural Dance Troupe, we need a vehicle to ferry our dedicated and passionate dancers comfortably to our official city activities, as well as in our participation in province-wide activities. People will probably also see the great improvement in our performances in the previous competitions and presentations, and the least we can do is to support and ensure their safe transportation,” said Zafra.

Zafra who also heads the committee on tourism said providing a vehicle for Miptac is a priority, particularly because tourism and investment promotion activities in Mandaue are now in full swing after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Garnering 10 yes votes, the draft ordinance is now enroute to its third and final reading scheduled for the next council session on Monday, March 18. / HIC


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