By NITZ ARANCON
MAYOR Oscar Moreno and Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano yesterday gave each other the cold shoulder when their paths crossed for the first time since the May elections during the Cagayan de Oro launch of the Duterte administration’s Public Utility Vehicles Modernization Program.
They sat one seat apart from each other and literally avoided rubbing elbows even when they joined Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade in inspecting a newly acquired mini-bus on display outside a mall in uptown Cagayan de Oro.
Moreno acknowledged only Secretary Tugade in his speech. When it was his turn to speak, Emano also did not acknowledge Moreno.
Like bickering children who snub each other for days because of a disagreement on the rules of patintero, the two politicians avoided eye contact, and didn’t say a word to each other until the program ended.
The activity was in connection with the visit of Tugade in time for the launch of the public vehicles modernization program that involved 39 public transport cooperatives in Region 10, Region 9 and Caraga.
Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board chairman Martin Delgra, who accompanied Tagude, said the launch is part of moves to phase out old public jeepneys and replace these with mini-buses with environment-friendly Euro 4, 5, and 6 engines.
The government aimes to rid the streets of 15-year-old jeepneys and older by June 2020.
Tugade also came over to grace the inauguration of a new wharf in Opol town, Misamis Oriental, and the new passengers’ terminal in Barangay Macabalan, this city.
Tugade said the Macabalan passengers’ terminal is the biggest so far in the country with a capacity of some three thousand people.
He said he has also directed the Civil Aviation Authority to start working for the planned expansion of the Laguindingan airport in Misamis Oriental.