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November 10 - 16 (3)

City youth officials witness SP walkout

Monday, 10 November 2014 00:00

By Ralph John Mijares

 

ROXAS CITY—Councilor Julius Abela led a walkout from the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) Session Hall Nov. 11, an act witnessed by students who participated in the Boys and Girls’ Week recently here.


Walking out from the session with Abela were councilors Jose Agdalipe and Matthew James Viterbo after he asked his fellow SP members to leave before the committee reports.


Abela wanted to suspend the rules, which Vice Mayor Ronnie Dadivas allowed. The former then inserted a resolution signed by nine councilors declaring a loss on confidence on Dadivas because of technicalities on how the ad hoc committee probing the alleged selling of tricycle franchises was created.


Said councilors who signed were Erwin Sicad, Trina Ignacio, Cesar Yap, Matthew James Viterbo, Jennifer Poliran, Erlynne Lim, Jose Agdalipe, Julius Abela, and Virgilio Santos. Councilors Powell del Rosario and Corazon Tiangco did not sign.


In the resolution dated November 11, nine councilors also vowed not to attend any session as long as Dadivas is the presiding officer.


The vice mayor, they said, is “deliberately, intentionally, and maliciously disregarding the rules of procedure of the SP by arrogating into himself the dictatorial powers in deciding the actions of the Sangguniang Panlungsod.”


Dadivas wanted Abela to sit down and warned him that he will be sent out of the session hall because he was “out of order.”

 

The vice mayor called for a break. Abela asked the councilors to leave the premises of the session hall. Then, the session was adjourned.


Like in the November 4 session, Abela, Committee on Rules and Ordinances chair, did not sign the session's agenda. Since he did not sign, there is no agenda, he said.


According to SP Secretary Dino Beluso, Abela told him that he wanted to include the letters he and Celino addressed to the SP requesting the probing of Dadivas in the session.


Abela said in a letter dated October 24 that he wanted to know the legitimacy of the ad hoc committee created by Dadivas to investigate the alleged selling of tricycle franchise and its effects on the Sangguniang Panlungsod.


Celino in a letter dated October 27, also asked the SP to probe Dadivas but this is because of his vice mayor's allegations against him about the selling of tricycle franchises.


Also dragged in the tricycle franchise controversy were Gerald Artates, the one who allegedly sold tricycle franchise number 172 and reportedly claimed to be working for Celino; the mayor's son and San Jose barangay captain Jericho Celino; Tricycle Franchise and Regulatory Unit (TFRU) head Mariano Layno.


Dadivas said that he was unaffected with the said resolution because he was “elected by the voters.”


According to Dadivas, a consensus was made with the councilors present in the session last October 14 since there was no objection from them.


Abela was absent that time because he was the officer-in-charge of the city mayor's office, Dadivas said.


Dadivas said that the request of Mayor Angel Alan Celino and Abela to probe him have “no legal basis” and the SP has no jurisdiction to handle it. He suggested referring these to President Benigno Aquino III instead.


The committee hearings were done “in aid of legislation” since there could be changes needed in the ordinance that created the Tricycle Franchise and Regulatory Unit (TFRU), Dadivas said.


The SP, Dadivas said, he does not want a “rubberstamp Sangguniang Panlungsod.”


“I have always been vocal about issues in the city government,” Dadivas said.


Celino said Dadivas was “politicking”, but the vice mayor denied it.


Dadivas was reportedly running for mayor in the 2016 elections. He might clash with Celino, who has one term left.


He said that the timing was wrong since the walkout was seen by the students. “That is an act unbecoming of a Sangguniang Panlungsod member. There could have been other ways.”


“It was supposed to be their (the students) time,” Dadivas said.


The Boys and Girls Week of the Rotary Club of Roxas gives high school students the chance to be counterparts of government officials.


The students sat next to their older counterparts during the November 11 session.


At this writing, one student said it was “refreshing” to see what happened between Dadivas and Abela. Others refused to comment.

DENR Capiz, Army lead reforestation efforts

Monday, 10 November 2014 00:00

ROXAS CITY—More reforestation activities are being undertaken in Capiz to increase the forest cover here.


Information Officer Ma. Judy Bernas of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Capiz said that a two-day tree planting activity was recently conducted by their employees and the members of the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army.


Bernas said that some 2,000 seedlings of various species of forest trees were planted at Camp Macario Peralta in Jamindan, Capiz last November 8 and 9.


DENR Capiz head Valentin Talabero said that he recent activity with the Philippine Army is part of the rehabilitation effort of the various government and non-government agencies and groups of the forest devastated by Yolanda.


Aside from upland reforestation, Talabero said that they have also partnered with various civil society organizations and local government units in the mangrove rehabilitation project which is being implemented in the province in the aftermath of the typhoon last year.


Talabero said that the reforestation activity in the upland and lowland areas is being intensifi ed to save Mother Earth and to mitigate the impact of the experienced global climate change resulting in many problems such as fl ooding, intense and longer drought, landslide, sea level rise and the like.


He also urged the various sectors here to join hands especially in the implementation of the National Greening Program which has aimed to plant 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares nationwide in 2016.


The worldwide deforestation has been identifi ed as one of the causes of climate change and global warming, hence more efforts must be done in to further increase the forest cover, he said.


The NGP, Talabero said, is seen as a climate change mitigation strategy since it seeks to enhance the country’s forest stock to absorb carbon dioxide, which is largely blamed for global warming.


“We must do our share to protect and conserve our environment and our natural resources because we have only one Earth to live in and we want to prepare this for the next generation,” he said. (J.B. Guillermo)

Fil-Chinese group donates fire truck

Monday, 10 November 2014 00:00

ROXAS CITY—A new fire truck was turned over by Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII) Panay Island Board Member Dr. Henry O. Chusuey in a simple ceremony Nov. 11 in front of the Roxas City Metropolitan Cathedral here.


Roxas City Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (RC-FCCCII) President Leny Albert Apaitan received the key from Chusuey after the blessing rites that was also graced and witnessed by local officials, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) officials, fire volunteer groups, mediamen and businessmen, among others.


“The unit will be an additional blessing to our family,” said Federation of Roxas City Fire and Rescue Volunteers, Inc. (FEROCITY) fire chief Ronald So.

 

Organized in 2013 as the volunteer arm of the RC-FCCCII, FEROCITY has also owned a supertanker truck before the 4,000-liter donation.


Said fire trucks will complement the three units of BFP Roxas City headquarters and another fire truck stationed at Brgy. Loctugan fire sub-station.


Also, the Capiz Citizens Action Group (CACAG) Fire Volunteer Brigade based in McKinley Street here boasts of three firefighting trucks that include a 12,000-liter supertanker.


The Roxas City government also has a water tanker that can augment the operation of fire trucks during fire and similar other disasters. (Alex Lumaque)