State of Travel Report PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 10 February 2018 11:45

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

I bumped into Dr. Junie  Climaco, son the great Cesar C. Climaco, whose ambition for a congressional seat has not diminished. He handed me a “white paper” that bore the title “Corruption, Elimination, Liquidation, Suppression, Obliteration” (CELSO) that suggested a 10-point agenda that Mr. Celso L. Lobregat should undertake while being in Congress but acting at times like the city’s alcalde.

1. Declare March anti-corruption month.

2. Request all government employees to submit proposals and information on how to eliminate corruption.

3. Ask all employees if there is corruption in their department or agency.

4. Submit all replies anonymously to the Mayor or President Duterte.

5. All response will be read and compiled by religious leaders, academics, business Chamber of Commerce and student representatives.

6. Submit credible recommendations to the Mayor, city council, and President Duterte.

7. Essay contest in all colleges on what is corruption and how to stop it. Winner gets P5,000 and entries sent to TV Channel 13.

8. Photo contest on waste of public funds. Winner gets P2,000 and entries sent to TC Channel 13.

9. Ask city council for resolution to stop corruption.

10. Additional suggestions needed.

If a copy of Dr. Climaco’s “white paper” reaches Mr. Lobregat, I doubt whether he’d heed CELSO, however serious the administration’s campaign against corruption is. In fact, a nationwide crackdown on corruption, economic crimes like smuggling and hoarding has been launched to smash crime rings.

For her part, Dr. Climaco’s first cousin, the honorable mayor of Zamboanga has been doing her share of straightening up her administration with the recent termination of two alleged fixers at the city assessor’s office. She has directed her chief legal counsel to file estafa charges against resigned city health officer for the fiasco at the Puericulture Center. Two other department heads have been directed to answer why they should not be prosecuted for acts inimical to the city government. These people are seen as vermin that chew the foundation of government.

Clearly, there are loopholes in our obvious defective administrative legislation and the slackened efforts in handling criminal offenses. The time has come to deal with the so-called untouchables in the city government.

Another “white paper” that was handed to me by Dr. Climaco pertains to the onerous travel expenses of some city councilors from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017. This document has been attested to by the administrative officer of the city council, the assistant city secretary and the city secretary.

For the record, Vice Mayor Cesar Ituralde had only one travel that incurred an expense of P29,698.32. Hon. Tungkuh Hanapi also had one travel at the cost of P13,383. Hon. Rodolfo Bayot had zero travel maybe because walking barefooted in Manila is too severe.

Who are the topnotch “tourists” among the city councilors with 20 or so travels? Hon. Myra Paz V. Abubakar with 24 with a total expense of P465,402.30, followed by Hon. Cesar Jimenez with 22 amounting to P353,084.96; Hon. Al-Jihan Edding with 21 with a total expense of P420,099.78; Hon. Rommel Agan with 21 costing P333,809.48; and Hon. Elbert Atilano, Sr. with 20 costing P338,520.26.

If you ask me, the amount they spent on travels and for the purpose of these is not huge. But what the Jonases did they travel to Manila or elsewhere for? Did they file a summary report of their travels. Done on official business, what were accomplished by their trips?

Like the mayor and Mr. Lobregat, they should make a State of Travel Report to the taxpayers.