USC Hosts Fourth Klarohay Ta! Local Candidates Forum
Mega Cebu, University of San Carlos (USC) and Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc., along with other private and public sectors, hosted its third Klarohay Ta! Local Candidates Forum held last April 10, 2019 in the Theodore Buttenbruch Hall at the Downtown Campus.
As the forum focused on the issues in Lapu-Lapu City and the Municipality of Consolacion, the mayoral candidates present in the forum were Teresa “Nene” Pepito Alegado of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP – Laban) and Engr. Lando Patalinjug of United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). The vice-mayoral candidates present were Dr. Joannes Pepito Alegado of the PDP-Laban party, Titing Tumulak of the UNA party and Engr. Edgar Chiuteña of the Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS) party. Ahong Chan and Celsi Sitoy of PDP – Laban were expected to appear but they were absent in the forum. Both of the Alegados are uncontested candidates, therefore they would automatically become mayor and vice-mayor of Consolacion if each get one vote.
The Lapu-Lapu candidates were the first to introduce themselves. Engr. Chiuteña used the time to explain his background as a licensed engineer and introduce his party, saying that they require their candidates to have an NBI and court clearance as well as not having their names listed in the narcos list. Engr. Patalinjug, said that short water supply is one of the main problems of the city, with some barangays having no water at all. He encouraged the youth of Lapu-Lapu to involve themselves in the local election as they are the future of the city. Upon arriving late, Tumulak apologized and gave a short introduction.
Followed next was the introduction of the candidates from Consolacion. Nene Alegado, the incumbent vice-mayor for Consacalion, thanked the organizers for running an event that advocates for clean elections. She said that she was hesitant to serve as a public servant before eventually agreeing to run for mayor after some consultations and “spiritual contemplations”. She also used the opportunity to promote her agenda, including her focus on bringing down the amount of poverty and improving the lives of the people in the municipality as mayor. She also cited the satisfactions of her constituents as the reason why she and her son, Dr. Alegado are uncontested candidates during the election. Dr. Alegado discussed his background as a licensed doctor and explained that he wants to keep his family’s legacy to public service alive and make a sustainable, smart city.
On the problem of the water supply in Lapu-Lapu, Engr. Patalinjug said that there needs to be a desalination plant for non-potable water for everyone in Lapu-Lapu City. When asked whether Consolacion has their own problem of water supply, Nene Alegado, said that they are the supplier of Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) and whatever water gets delivered to Lapu-Lapu is from the municipality. She then went on to say that they need to faclicate more pumps as the population in Consolacion increases.
The topic of the extrajudicial killings (EJK) and the murder case of Christine Silawan was then brought up. Engr. Chiuteña responded that the suspects were drug users when asked about the background of the suspects. Engr. Patalinjug said a lot of EJK cases in Lapu-Lapu are not even related to drugs. He suspected that the huge influx of tourists might have something to do with drugs being sold so easily at a fast pace. Nene Alegado said the police is active in investigating and taking action of the narcotics situation in Consolacion. Dr. Alegado commented about the arrest of Joy Encila, the so-called “Consolacion Drug Queen,” saying that they have an intensified anti-drug campaign and facilitated rehabilitation services to surrenders, which led to no local cases of extrajudicial killings as a result. Tumulak said the EJK situation is rampant in Lapu-Lapu and noticed the significant Muslim population in those drug-prone barangays.
On online and offshore gambling in Lapu-Lapu, Engr. Patalinjug said the issue is on a national level, not just in Lapu-Lapu. Nene Alegado said gambling is not permissible in Consolacion and such activities are monitored.
On whether the Lapu-Lapu candidates would continue some of the policies made by incumbent mayor Paz Radaza, Tumulak was not satisfied and would like to change the administration. Chiuteña emphasized transparency as it would lessen the corruption in the city while Patalinjug said there is a lot of money wasted in improving Lapu-Lapu’s image when such money could be allocated in providing medicine in hospitals.
The Alegados then discussed the tourism masterplan to boost Consaclion’s image as a tourism spot, which is to create a leisure place for all of its residents, including a park that was demanded by the public of the municipality.
When asked if they support same-sex marriage as well as whether the issues of the LGBTQ+ constituents are part of their agenda, all of the candidates present stated they were not in favor of same-sex marriage, with Alegado citing “culture and religion” as her reasons for not supporting same-sex marriage. However, they also respected the LGBTQ+ constituents, with Engr. Chiuteña planning to create programs that would help everyone, including the LGBTQ+ people. Nene Alegado also acknowledged a huge number of LGBTQ+ people joining politics and how they proved to be helpful in Consolacion.
On solving the issue of cybersex crime in Cebu. Chiuteña took example of Davao’s “purok” monitoring system in solving the problem. Patalinjug suggested a lifestyle check to monitor their wealth income that would also detect unexplained wealth with the aid of barangay tanods. Alejandos said that cybersex abuses are not reported in the municipality whileTumulak said there are not a lot of cybersex cases reported in Lapu-Lapu as far as he knew.
On waste management, Engr. Chiuteña suggested privatization of collection of waste. Engr. Patalinjug said bad waste management is a big issue in Lapu-Lapu due to its big population and he suggested that there should be more roads in barangays so the waste can be collected properly by the government. Tumulak said that there should be a stricter implementation in collecting garbage. Dr. Alegado shared theirplan to improve the waste collection in Consolacion.
On the discussion of working with candidates of other parties once elected to office, Chiuteña said that if he is elected as vice mayor, he would serve as a watchdog to the Office of the President.
When questioned on the topic of traffic in Cebu, Engr. Chiuteña supported President Rodrigo Duterte’s “build build build” plan in fixing the traffic congestion. He also suggested that there needs to be proper training of its traffic enforcers. Engr. Patalinjug suggested skyways and barangay diversion roads and Nena Alejado suggested mass transport system as a solution, including sea transportation facilities.
In their closing remarks, Tumulak wanted every barangay of Lapu-Lapu to have a session together to solve the problems of the city as well as their respective barangays. Dr. Alejado assured the audiencd that the constituents of Consaclion that they are in good hands with him as vice mayor and his mother as mayor. Nena Alejado said that the active participation of Mega Cebu inspired her to work harder not just for Consolacion but as well as Cebu. Engr. Patalinjug shared how he served his life to public service for 32 years and if he was elected as mayor, he would improve and upgrade the city. Engr. Chiuteña wanted to remind everyone that he is not an politician and asked help from the people to support his party’s cause.
Following the session, the Klarohay Ta! Forum series is going to be on hiatus due to Holy Week. The series will resume with another forum on April 22, 2019 where the local candidates from Danao City, Municipality of Liloan and Compostela are expected to appear in the forum.