Celso, Kim argue over Zambo City’s branding: ‘Latin City’ vs ‘City of Flowers’ PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 03 September 2013 10:39

District 1 Congressman Celso Lobregat has expressed sadness over move of District 2 Councilor Juan Climaco “Kim” Elago to rebrand Zamboanga City from “Asia’s Latin City” to “Ciudad de Flores” (City of Flowers).

“It’s too sad, that Kim (Elago) is taking things too personal,” Lobregat said in a recent interview with RPN’s ‘Zamboanga, Tiempo Ya!’ radio program, apparently, referring to Elago’s move to change the city’s present branding, which was popularized by his past administration, “purposely, to get back at me, politically”.

In a separate radio interview however, Elago retorted to Lobregat’s accusation, saying, “it is he (Lobregat) who is taking things personal. He should accept the fact, that since he is no longer the mayor, prerogatives of changing the city’s branding are now left upon his successor”.

Elago clarified that even Zamboanga City will have a new moniker, Lobregat’s ‘Asia’s Latin City’ would not be totally trashed, “as people who wish to continue using it, will not be prevented from doing so, only, the official branding of the city for tourism purposes, shall be the newly-legislated one”.

Lobregat said that Elago was even the one who proposed a resolution sometime in 2004, that revised the city’s image from “City of Flowers” to “Asia’s Latin City”, “and it is so ironic, that he is now spearheading moves to revert Zamboanga’s present moniker to the old one, just because of our political fall-out then. So it is very clear, that Kim Elago is doing this out of political motivation”.

But Elago said, “I had no choice, except to introduce said motion, because I was the city council’s committee on ordinances and resolutions chairman then”.

The 1st district congressman defended the use of Asia’s Latin City, stressing that it helped bolster Zamboanga City’s tourism image not only domestically, but internationally.

At the same time, the former mayor justified that using “Ciudad de Flores” will no longer make sense this time, “considering, that a lot of cities in this country and abroad, are already using such moniker, and these cities really have flowers to be proud of, unlike Zamboanga, where we could hardly find one along the roads nowadays”.

On the other hand, Elago said once his Ciudad de Flores ordinance is approved, it will require all business establishments to display potted flowers outside of their respective stores, “otherwise, non-compliance will mean, that they will have a hard time renewing their yearly business permit”.

Elago’s proposed ordinance has been approved on first reading during the City Council’s last regular session, and conduct of public hearings for said edict are already underway. — Philip Abuy