No SOCA in Naga City’s 12th Charter Day celebration
NAGA CITY, Cebu — Instead of a report of the city’s achievement by the local chief executive, an audio-visual presentation of the programs of the city government of Naga was played during the celebration of its 12th Charter Day anniversary on Thursday, September 5, 2019, at the Enan Chiong Activity Center.
Naga City Mayor Valdemar Chiong, who is now serving a 90-day suspension imposed by the Sandiganbayan, said a State of the City Address (SOCA) was no longer necessary since “the people of Naga already know what we have done in the city.”
The suspended mayor, who is also celebrating his 60th birthday today, instead addressed the attendees of the program who were composed of officials and employees of the city and its 28 barangays during his pre-program speech.
Chiong explained to the audience in his pre program speech the nature of his suspension and assured them that the delivery of public services will not be hampered by the “challenge” in his administration.
Chiong’s suspension stemmed from an alleged irregular issuance of a conditional business permit in favor of a petroleum company despite the absence of a fire safety inspection certificate from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).
Although the suspension order was only served by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Cebu Province last September 2, Vice Mayor Kristine Vanessa Chiong has taken the position of acting mayor since August 15, since Mayor Chiong had filed a leave of absence when the news of his suspension broke through the media last August 14.
The elder Chiong said he did not want to lead the city “with a question mark hanging over his head” if he continues his duties despite knowing about the looming suspension.
The celebration of the city’s charter anniversary started with a Holy Mass at 7:30 a.m. The acting mayor, however, failed to make it to the celebration.
Aside from the programs of the city, the AVP also showed the response operations to the massive landslide that hit Barangay Tinaan on September 20, 2018, which claimed over 70 lives.
Chiong, meanwhile, encouraged other officials to serve “with their hearts and not with their minds” in order to effectively address the city’s concerns.
“We have succeeded in getting a unity in the entire city of Naga. We have the support of the 28 barangay captains, councilors and I think we do have the support of our NGOs and purok leaders. Let us take this opportunity to give more to Naga. Let Naga Shine more,” Chiong said. /bmjo
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