Despite Climaco's Appeal to Duterte LGU Pagadian Pushes Continued Regional
The Pulmones Administration still pushes for the continuing transfer of the Regional Offices and the development of the Regional Center Site in Barangay Balintawak, this City.
Pagadian City Mayor Romeo Pulmones issued the statement over Pakisayod sa Zamboanga del Sur weekly program after Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco of Zamboanga City appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte tobring back the Regional Center of Region 9 or Western Mindanao from Pagadian City to Zamboanga City.
Zamboanga City had long been designated as the Regional Center of Region IX until President Corazon Aquino signed Executive Order No. 429 last Oct. 12, 1990.
“We also sent our position letter addressed to President Duterte regarding the retention of the Regional Center based on EO 429 of President Corazon Aquino declaring Pagadian City as the Regional Center in Region IX,” Mayor Pulmones said.
LGU Fund Allocation
Since the administration of late Mayor Warlito Pulmones the City Government allocated funds for the acquisition of land of around twenty hectares in Barangay Balintawak which is now named as President Corazon Aquino Regional Government Center.
“An estimate of 100 million pesos invested in the development of the President Corazon Aquino Regional Center Site in Barangay Balintawak and every year there were additional funds allocated to fully develop the site,” Mayor Pulmones revealed.
He added that at present, LGU Pagadian provided fund from its Annual Budget amounting to ten to twelve million pesos particularly for road opening, pipings, street lights and water supply intended for the further development of the Regional Center Site.
The full development of the Regional Center Site is on top priority of the Pulmones Administration today.
Special Permits were given to Bao-Bao tricycles to transport passengers from the City Hall Complex to the Regional Center Site despite not having franchise just to cater the regional employees’ transportation to Barangay Balintawak. To attract those other offices in transferring, the City Government also gave assistance
to those offices who already have funds in constructing their own building in Barangay Balintawak. Mayor Pulmones said they help in doing their structural design and their building plan since there are instances that the Department of Public Works and Highways could no longer accommodate them. “LGU Pagadian would gladly assist those offices who are willing to put up their buildings in Pagadian especially on engineering works,” he added.
Recently, the construction of the reservoir at the site was already completed and the City Government plans to ink a Memorandum of Agreement with the Pagadian City Water District to develop the water system in Barangay Danlugan which will be supplying water to the Regional Center Site in case full transfer of all offices will take place.
Moreover, the construction of street lights will only take place after the widening and concreting of all the roads in the area to make sure that the posts could be placed in the exact areas.
ON ZAMBOANGA CITY'S APPEAL
“Yes they were once at the center of the region way before ARMM was created since the Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi were then part of the Region IX. But as we look at the current situation, Zamboanga City is no longer at the center of the Region,” Mayor Pulmones reacted.
He added that with Pagadian City, “We are very accessible going to Zamboanga del Norte, Sibugay, and other areas in the Region. Compared to Zamboanga, we are now at the center.”
On the other hand, Pagadian City Regional Transfer Management Office Chief Engr. Nelly Sisona also said that EO 429 was issued in 1990 and was questioned so many times, numerous legal battles until Pagadian City won with En Banc Resolution from the Supreme Court “upholding the transfer in pagadian.”
But In terms of legality, Pagadian is still the Regional Center. “But they were able to influence the previous administration who issued a Moratorium but it expired last March 31, 2011. So with that expiration of the Memorandum Circular EO 429 is activated again. Nothing could stop since there are no more Memorandum Circulars or any orders that would prevent to execute the EO 429,” Engr. Sisona added.(PCPB/LDA)