Monday, 17 January 2011 14:56
Mayor Celso Lobregat and Congresswoman Beng Climaco on Friday met with the regional directors and other representatives calling them to submit their respective position papers on the regional center issue in response to the letter of the Presidential Management Staff (PMS).
PMS chief of staff Atty. Herminio Bagro’s letter to Lobregat dated January 4, 2011, states a moratorium on the transfer of the regional offices of all department and agencies from Zamboanga City to Pagadian City pending the study on the matter and consultations with relevant stakeholders to be jointly conducted by the PMS, Department of Interior and Local Government, Civil Service Commission, National Economic and Development Authority and the Department of Budget and Management.
The letter continues “to aid us in our study, may we request you to answer the following questions 1) Where should the regional government center be located, 2) what are your main consideration for choosing the location? Please elaborate on each economic and social factors, accessibility, adequacy of facilities and quality of service.”
Lobregat said the moratorium is a first step in the fight for the retention of the regional offices here.
He stressed the directors in the past are very supportive of Zamboanga City but decided to transfer because of threats and pressure.
The chief executive also emphasized the transfer of the regional offices is also politically motivated.
“Make your position and be transparent and have no fear of political repercussions because the memo said that stakeholders will be consulted and decision will come after the study has been made,” Lobregat pointed out.
Climaco who is the deputy speaker of the House, said President Noynoy Aquino should already get the side of the directors and to come up with the study “So we will not be bickering about the site.”
She said ARMM legislatures like Congressman Tupay Loong and Rep. Nuraina Sahidulla of Sulu, Rep. Baisandra Sema of Maguindanao and Congressman Hataman Saliman of Basilan support the retention of the regional offices in this city.
“I also talked with Basilan Gov. Jum and Isabela City Mayor Cherry Akbar and received a letter from Provincial Gov. Hadji Sadikul Sahali expressing the appeal of their provinces for the regional center to be in this city due to its proximity and service,” Climaco said.
Under Memorandum Circular No. 11 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa from the Office of the President, it clearly directs for a moratorium on the regional transfer pursuant to E.O. 429 series of 1990.
The memo said although the objective of the transfer was to guarantee the effective delivery of field services however, the Pagadian Regional Center Management and Coordinating Office has reported that out of 121 regional offices based in Zamboanga City only 32 have fully transferred, 12 have partially transferred while six have established satellite offices in Pagadian.
The employees of the regional offices are experiencing high economic and social cost in maintaining two residences when they transferred to that city, the memo further noticed.
Section 1 of the memo states all the regional offices are enjoined to suspend the transfer of their offices pending the study on the matter and considerations with relevant stakeholders to be jointly conducted by the PMS,DILG, CSC,NEDA, and DBM.
Lobregat called on all regional directors to submit their respective position papers on or before January 20, 2011.
By Nonong Santiago
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