By EDWIN IYO
GINGOOG City — Mayor Erick Cañosa assumed as the city’s leader and reported for work yesterday with a plan to examine the spendings of his predecessor’s administration.
Cañosa said city hall would do an audit and scrutinize the programs and projects undertaken during the six-year administration of ex-mayor Marie Guingona.
Ms. Guingona and her mother Ruthie, former vice mayor, stepped down at 12:01 Sunday. The younger Guingona said she would focus on her personal life and take a long vacation abroad.
Cañosa said he is facing new challenges even as he assured Gingoog residents of major changes in the way city hall is being run.
For starters, he said, there would be equal treatment of people in the city.
At city hall’s Penthouse earlier, Cañosa said there was a need to audit the previous administration because of numerous reports on alleged anomalies.
“Kinahanglan gyud ma-audit ug mapa-imbestigar arun atong masayran kung tinood ba ang maong reports ug nadapat ba sa sakto ang mga programa ug proyekto sa atong siudad ubos sa kanhi administrasyon Guingona,” Cañosa said.
He said there were allegations that infrastracture projects undertaken by the local government were sub-standard, that heavy equipment purchases were anomalous, and that there were questionable fund disbursements, including cash advances, that have yet to be liquidated.
John Ladaga, Guingona’s spokesman, called the allegations “not true.”
Meanwhile, Cañosa said the “old system” of management would be changed, and that city hall would be a consultative system in its governance.
Cañosa said everyone is welcome in the mayor’s office that would be transferred from the second level of city hall to the ground floor. He said he wants the public to have free access to his office.
He criticized his predecessor and alleged that she did not give people easy access to the mayor’s office.
Cañosa’s other plans:
• a review of the local revenue code and rationalization of tax collections;
• a meeting with motorela and trisikad drivers aimed at reducing fares by at least P2;
• provision of public transport fuel subsidy;
• improve public safety measures, increase police visibility as a crime deterrent, and formulate a comprehensive security plan;
• give the agriculture sector a boost and provide a budget of about P80 million to P100 million to aid farmers;
• build a community hospital with the help of Misamis Oriental 1st District Rep. Christian Unabia; and
• look into the controversial operation of a wharf in Barangay Punong.
Cañosa called for unity. “This time, there will no more be a ‘Team CU’ (Cañosa-Unabia) and no more other team.”
He said the only “team” would work for to make Gingoog a better city. (with reports from Shiela Butlig)