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Beng reveals her top priorities


Also makes clear she will manage the city according to her own conviction

Mayor-Elect Ma. Isabelle “Beng” Climaco-Salazar has revealed her priorities when she assumes her new post on June 30, 2013.

The incumbent District 1 congresswoman said  that among her top priorities will be the worsening power situation and peace and order problems.

Climaco-Salazar, also the incumbent House Deputy Speaker for Mindanao and local stalwart of President Aquino’s Liberal Party, said she would use her Malacañang connection to push the Department of Energy (DoE) to find reliable solution to the worsening power situation hitting this city.

The city of Zamboanga experienced 8 to 9 hours daily rotational brownouts months before May 13’s election and  enjoyed 24-hour electricity from May 11 or two days before the polls, until Thursday, May 16.

Its peace and order situation has also been deteriorating, where crime incidence such as killings and gunshootings in the city proper and different barangays continue unabated.

According to Climaco-Salazar, she will sit down together with top police as well as military officials in finding a lasting solution to this city’s peace and order problem.

The Mayor-Elect is not also discounting the possibility of her seeking advice from her husband, retired Army general Trifonio Salazar, current head of the National Intelligence Coordination Agency, on matters of solving problems on criminality.

Climaco-Salazar won the mayoralty race by huge margin over her former party mate, second district Rep. Erico Basilio Fabian, garnering 172,439 votes against her closest rival’s 29,200 votes.

Reacting to an election issue that she will merely serve as puppet of Mayor Celso Lobregat, she made it clear that having been given an overwhelming mandate to serve the people, she will manage the city according to her own conviction.

Beng, as she is fondly called, will replace her political ally, Mayor Lobregat, who is completing his third term and has been elected first district representative.
The Mayor-Elect, meantime, explained that she will implement several changes as she sits as the new chief executive.

“Definitely there would be changes. Every administration whether the term of President Benigno Aquino III, there have been changes. because we came from one party,” Salazar said.

“Then it is incumbent upon the local chief executive to have a freehand as to the selection of the people who will work for this administration particularly within the level of appointive officials. The permanent officials already have security of tenure mine is when we come in, we get orientation to get the picture of the city how do we function properly and how we can reach our aims.”

Aside from these, she will also call for a general department head briefing so these department heads will brief her of the function of the office and each agency is expected to submit a report.

The incoming mayor also outlined her plans for the city such as health and education. She said she wants to make sure that health services is available especially to the indigents.

According to Salazar, “I really want to make sure if health services for the indigents are available, how much can be given, what can be given, and how fast it can be given. We do not want to add burden to our people with a very lengthy procedure.”

She also said that the Barangay Intelligence Network (BIN) and the Barangay Emergency Network Group must also be strengthened to respond in case of emergency.

“If you do not strengthen the barangays then if there is any incidents we just expect police to come there is one policeman to 2,000 or 500 ratio per person they cannot instantly respond not that they are not capable but it is just physically impossible for them to be there at an instant it’s good if there are trained barangay personnel as the command incident center a system in the barangay they can be the first responder.”

On the issue of the city’s huge time deposit with the bank, Salazar said, “What the Climaco administration will do this time is to implement all of the existing savings of government so that people will be able to fully benefit from the service of government. We go now to the next level of ensuring that services are properly in place.

If Lobregat administration was able to put in all of this savings the Climaco administration is there to fully implement these savings whatever savings there are in the bank that should be properly appropriated for the benefit of people because they would like good education, good health services, potable water, electricity, housing disaster prevention, disaster mitigation, and security.”

On the issue of Sangguniang Panlungsod, Salazar said that she will not meddle especially when it comes to the City Council’s however, she will ask for their support to pass needed measures for the city such as budget.

“I know my role as a legislator going to the local chief executive, we have a very capable Vice Mayor, we are outstanding Sangguniang Panlungsod, and presiding officer. That is his territory, that is the authority of the Sangguniang Panlungsod presiding officer, I will not meddle but I will need the help of the Sangguniang to pass the needed measures so that we will be able to approve budget for the people. We have to coordinate hinde entra mete.”

The new mayor also stressed the role of the representatives which is to make sure that the interest of the people of Zamboanga City is heard in the national government, to pass laws of national and local significance and they are to act as liaison of national government concerns to the local government.

“I appeal that the two representatives will do their own share in contributing to our districts just as I was able with the two terms the people have given me more than P2 Billion of projects and all the other programs I hope with the Sangguniang we can work together.”

Salazar also thanked the residents for her victory during the May 13, 2013 national and local election.

She said “With heart filled with gratitude to God and most especially to the people that really followed the will of God by electing me with a tremendous mandate this means a tremendous responsibility. With this great responsibility on my shoulders I ask the people to join me in realizing and fulfilling our dreams for our children.”

The new mayor further said she is particular with children because the biggest bulk of citizens in this city comprises of children.

“In all of the period of the campaign ever since when I started my public service to the people I’ve seen that the biggest bulk of the citizens of Zamboanga comprises the children. When we visited the different barangays napakaraming mga bata waving cheering for me. Each cheer of a child Beng Climaco for me is an appeal that Beng Climaco should make sure with the help of God, people, local government unit, our elected officials, we give them a place so they will have the proper atmosphere for a better and a brighter future,” she said.

By HG with a report from R.G. A A. Go

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