Zamboanga City Mayor Celso Lobregat minced no words Monday in saying that there is hope for Zamboanga City under President Benigno Simeon Aquino III’s administration even as he expects to see more good projects done in this city within the Chief Executive’s term.
Lobregat issued the statement shortly before Mr. Aquino delivered his State of the Nation Address (SONA) before the joint session of Congress Monday afternoon that ushered his administration to its second year.
By saying there is hope, Lobregat was referring to the controversial transfer of regional offices from Zamboanga City to Pagadian City, the capital of Zamboanga del Sur province, which can be traced back to the administration of the President’s mother, the late President Corazon Aquino.
“We are fortunate that within P-Noy’s first year in office, one thing that he has done for us was the issuance of moratorium on the regional transfer, which prevented the remaining regional offices from moving out,” Lobregat said.
“Zamboanga City can now hope, because during the previous administration it was hopeless in the sense that at that point in time most of the regional offices had already transferred to Pagadian. It was some sort of a done deal. At least, during the first year of President Aquino there is hope,” Lobregat said with the moratorium.
Lobregat, however, declined to rate P-Noy’s first year in office, stressing that he, too, as local chief executive has gone through first, second and now on his third term and normally the first year in office is merely setting of the direction and establishing the foundation.
In the case of the present administration, which started barely a year ago, Lobregat said Aquino was operating on a budget that was prepared and approved by his predecessor, then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
He believed that President Aquino’s first year in office was setting the foundation of his administration, truly reflective of his campaign commitment “Kung Walang Corrupt, Walang Mahirap.”