|Cong. Czarina Umali.|
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Solon bypassed by her partymates in Cabanatuan’s HUC bid
CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija, August 13, 2011-Third district Representative Czarina Umali yesterday revealed that she was bypassed by her own partymates in the Unang Sigaw Partido ng Pagbabago party where Mayor Julius Cezar Vergara and the Sangguniang Panlunsod (SP), chaired by Vice Mayor Jolly Garcia failed to exercise proper courtesy by passing a resolution without even consulting her by the city government and the SP where they passed a twin resolution asking President Aquino to issue a proclamation declaring this city as a highly urbanized city (HUC).
“As their partymates and their representative in Congress, Mayor Vergara, Vice Mayor Garcia and the rest of the city councilors should consult me first on their plan for the HUC but they did not observe protocol and instead they completely ignored me,” Umali said, commenting on the HUC resolution which was passed unanimously by 11 pro-Vergara councilors and a resolution requesting her to sponsor a bill in the House of Representatives creating a lone congressional district for the city.
The passage of the twin resolutions came almost a year after the Umalis and Vergara parted ways over the HUC issue which the former vehemently opposed. Umali’s husband, Governor Aurelio Umali said that Cabanatuan is not yet ready and ill-prepared to become HUC, adding that its conversion would cripple the delivery of basic services of the provincial government in this city.
Vergara argued that the city’s HUC conversion is long overdue, saying its progress could not take off while under the provincial government.
Congresswoman Umali also disclosed that over a month since the resolution for lone congressional district was passed, the resolution and the accompanying documents, such as the certifications of the national statistics office and the city treasurer’s office regarding the population and income requirements for lone congressional districts have yet to be forwarded to her office.
“How could I act on it when the resolution and the documents were not forwarded by them?,” she asked, explaining that while the HUC resolution was passed on July 11, the minutes of the session were only approved on July 25 but this has yet to be transmitted to the Office of the President because Vergara’s signature in the resolution is still lacking. She said the mayor was still abroad and has not reported for work although he was supposed to come home last August 5.
“We should remember that the HUC resolution and that for a creation of the lone congressional district will still have to pass the scrutiny of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan for review and approval,” she said.
It is the second attempt to convert the city into HUC. In 1995, Vergara’s predecessor, then-mayor Manolette Liwag pushed for HUC conversion which was subsequently supported by then-President Fidel Ramos but failed due to the opposition made by the Josons. (Jason de Asis)
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