Celso, Beng urge brgy officials to stay united PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 20 December 2011 12:02

Mayor Celso Lobregat and Deputy House Speaker Rep. Beng Climaco-Salazar of District 1 were one in urging all officials of the city’s 98 barangays to stay united and rally behind the city officials in keeping Zamboanga peaceful and progressive.

“Let’s thank Mayor Lobregat and the councilors for initiating this annual Christmas party for barangay officials, and I would like to take this opportunity to call on all of you, particularly those coming from District 1 to stay united and prayerful that we have been spared from the onslaught of Tropical Storm Sendong,” Climaco said in her Christmas message to the barangay officials.

She also said her office has enough funds from Senators Chiz Escudero and Antonio Trillanes III for emergency referrals from the barangays. She added barangay officials from her district have agreed to contribute something for typhoon victims in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, the hardest-hit by “Sendong.”

“My office also accepts donations from anybody for the typhoon victims. Donations can also be brought to the Ateneo de Zamboanga University. Please, let us do our share to help the typhoon victims in other parts of Mindanao,” Climaco appealed, stressing that hardest-hit areas like CDO and Iligan have no water supply, thus their priority need is water.

For his part, Lobregat informed the barangay officials that the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, which he chairs, in a meeting earlier in City Hall had approved a resolution, allocating the cash assistance of P1million each for CDO and Iligan.

“It will have to go to the City Council for approval and I have already talked to Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde and the majority councilors. They all agreed to the proposal and it is good as approved,” the mayor said.

According to him, what happened in CDO, Iligan and other parts of Visayas and Mindanao where more than 500 people died and 300 others missing following “TS Sendong” was an eye-opener for the city as most of the barangays are on the coastlines and low-lying areas.

“That is why I have order barangay chairmen in these barangays to clear all waterways of obstructions. Coastal barangays like Rio Hondo and Mariki, where most houses are on stilts, should not have other structures in addition to the existing ones which had already been subjected to tagging operations,” Lobregat explained.
“That is why I need you cooperation. If we have to evoke all powers of government, we will not hesitate to apply the full force of the law to clear all waterways and river banks of residential houses. Work must start in the first week of January 2012,” the chief executive warned.

Meanwhile, barangay officials had their hands full of gifts and other giveaways, courtesy of Lobregat and Climaco. Home appliances were raffled off to lucky winners, and everyone went home with cheers on their faces. — Vic Larato