A forgotten campaign election promise PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 13 March 2018 11:42


To appease thousands of Zamboangueño government workers who were affected by their sudden transfer to an unknown place of work, our political leaders promised them, including their relatives, that they would move heaven and hell to transfer back the regional center to this city from Pagadian City.

So many bad commentaries were hurled against the Executive Order signed by then President Cory Aquino that displaced the workers who were in quandary whether to abide the presidential directive and continue their government service. Working and living in Pagadian City would be difficult, especially if one is a lowly employee. There would be nothing left of their monthly salary because living there would mean double expenses. They have to spend for their board and lodging and the little amount that remains from their monthly salaries, would not suffice to sustain the daily needs of their families and their children’s education here in the city.

Many were forced to stop working even if in a few years time they would be retiring from government service. Others applied for new jobs with private companies. Few were lucky to be accepted by City Hall and continued their government service uninterrupted.

President Cory’s executive order was implemented during President Fidel Ramos’ term and remained continuously effective during the terms of Joseph “Erap” Estrada, Gloria Arroyo, Pnoy Aquino and up to now in President Duterte’s tenure.

Then City Mayor Caling Lobregat could have taken advantage in asking a very close friend, President Erap Estrada, to rescind the executive order and transfer back to our city the government regional center. But President Erap’s term was prematurely ended and nothing happened as promised by our loving mayor. Then during President Arroyo’s term, no move was likewise initiated for the transfer. During President Pnoy’s term, it could have been a perfect opportunity for City Mayor Beng Salazar, who made it a campaign promise, to ask the President who was her party mate, to effect the transfer but she neither requested nor move for it.

This time it’s President Duterte term, a Mindanaoan, and we seem to be stuck in a quicksand. I am very sure that Mayor Beng Salazar wouldn’t have the guts to make this appeal because she campaigned against him. Who will ask him to transfer the government regional center back to our city? I am very sure that the leaders in Pagadian City are not very likeable and compatible with President Duterte. Our local leaders should take advantage of the situation and act now before it’s too late. I will not anymore belabor to discuss the countless benefits and advantages we will have if it is transferred here. But foremost, such move will solve and end the sacrifices and sufferings of many Zamboangueños who have no choice but to continue their government service.

This was a political campaign promise that has been forgotten and should be fulfilled.