New Caloocan Mayor Oscar Malapitan will have more than the local chief executive’s shoes to fill when he assumes the post on Monday. He will also have to contend with his new office, which has been stripped bare of all furniture.
Speaking to guests at the reception after he took oath on Sunday, Malapitan revealed his first problem as he assumed the city’s leadership.
“I had wanted to tour the city hall’s different offices, but someone whispered to me that I can’t go to the Mayor’s Office yet,” he said.
“So I asked, why? The answer that came to me was, ‘When you go there, you won’t even see a single chair. No tables. The conference table—everything’s gone.’”
Malapitan went on to say that even the toilets were probably missing.
Despite this, Malapitan, after taking his oath before acting Senate President Jinggoy Estrada, vowed to hit the ground running on day one.
He said his top priorities included education, healthcare, good governance and traffic alleviation. Malapitan noted that while Caloocan ranked third nationwide in terms of population, seventh in revenue and eighth in spending, many of these issues remained problems.
Malapitan, who took over the post of now Caloocan 1st District Rep. Enrico Echiverri, said he directed his management committee “if there is still money left, to get a budget for the construction of emergency classrooms” to replace the ones ordered demolished by the previous mayor at the University of Caloocan City-Integrated School building.
For healthcare, Malapitan vowed well-maintained hospitals each for north and south Caloocan.—Nathaniel R. Melican