Celso, Beng spearhead mass for retention of regional center PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 24 January 2011 14:11

Mayor Celso Lobregat and Cong. Beng Climaco Saturday spearheaded regional officials and employees in attending a mass with the intention of seeking Divine intervention for the retention of the regional center in Zamboanga, as Malacanang is in the process of evaluating the issue pursuant to a memorandum circular directing a moratorium on the transfer.
Officiated by Zamboanga Archbishop Romulo Valles, the mass held at the Fort Pilar Shrine, was both a petition and thanksgiving. A petition for the enlightenment of the government officials spearheading the move to retain the center in Zamboanga and for those officials who will be making the decision on whether to retain or to transfer the regional center.
The mass was also a thanksgiving for Memorandum Circular 11 that paved the way for a moratorium on the transfer and the opportunity for 30-day study and evaluation on the issue.
Regional officials and employees and their families including members and representatives from multi-sectoral groups attended the Eucharistic Celebration. Councilors Rey Candido and Luis Biel III and other city officials also participated in the religious activity.

Mayor Lobregat is hopeful that the national government will reconsider the law on regional transfer given the moratorium that will allow Malacanang to listen to the clamor of those affected by the transfer.

He stressed that the employees and officials of the different regional offices had been suffering brought about by the separation with their families and dislocation. The same transfer order had affected the delivery of services to the people.

“We are here appealing to God and the Blessed Mother for Divine intervention for enlightenment for those conducting the evaluation for the ideal location of the regional center. We wish what is best for Zamboanga City and Region 9,” Climaco said, who sponsored the mass said.

She emphasized that the Memorandum Circular “gave us the opportunity to take us stock of present situation and allow government offices to evaluate themselves”.

First, she said, the evaluation should be in the form of trying to see efficiency of government service; second, economy to the government and third, social and human costs.

The memorandum circular likewise settles and removes fears of other national government agencies which have not been complying with the transfer order, Cong. Climaco said.

“Allow us also to thank President Aquino (for the memorandum circular), who really wants us to study the issue to level opportunities for Zamboanga City and Pagadian,” the lady solon added.

Arch. Valles in his homily stressed that the arguments put forward by Mayor Lobregat and Cong. Climaco and all those affected are valid and worthwhile and that “there is reason enough to pray for
this to enlighten those who will be making the decisions”.

“We place this issue to the Lord. There is soundness, reason and the context of the previous decision was not done in a level playing field, so we want a revisit and review of the decision,” the Archbishop said even as he admitted that the matter is a political and a government issue.

He added: “For the move we have prayed for, for Cong. Beng and Mayor Lobrgat, we need to hold, touch and reach out to the hands of the Lord so we can ask him to guide us, bless what we do, not for ourselves but for the people in Zamboanga and the region”. — Sheila Covarrubias