Vico Sotto to go after erring CENRO officials in Pasig City
MANILA, Philippines — Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto on Tuesday said he will go after erring officials of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) following the closure of a meat processing plant for untreated sewage.
Sotto called the attention of CENRO during his State of the City Address (SOCA), saying that the meat processing plant’s supervisor disclosed that they were still issued permits despite previous warnings from the city’s environment office.
The meat processing plant was ordered closed Tuesday morning for allegedly operating without a sewage treatment plant (STP).
The Pasig City mayor said not only does the waste from the plant cause pollution; it could also block the city’s drainage system that could result in flooding and affect residents.
“Warning, warning, warning ng ilang taon. Anong nangyari sa warning? Sa dulo nabigyan ng permit. Hindi naman naayos ang planta, hindi naman inayos yang STP pero nabigyan ng permit,” Sotto said.
(Warning, warning, warning for some years. What happened to the warnings? In the end, the plant was still given a permit. The meat processing plant was not fixed, the STP was not addressed but it was still given permit.)
“Magisip-isip na po kayo. Binigyan ko na kayo ng 100 days para maglinis-linis ng ranggo ninyo. Kung hindi pa kayo magpapakatino, hahabulin ko kayo. At hindi ko lang kayo hahabulin, ipapakulong ko kayo. Tama na,” the mayor added.
(Start thinking. I have given you 100 days to cleanse your ranks. If you will not work properly, I will go after you. I will not just go after you, I will get you jailed. Enough.)
Sotto said he already asked the city administrator to look into the case, particularly on the city environment office’s personnel who were in charge of the inspections in the area.
Out of fear
However, Sotto explained that there may be other reasons that the government personnel failed to order the closure of erring business establishments in the city earlier – which includes the fear that businessmen may go after them.
“Kaya naman ako sumama sa kanila sa team natin kaninang umaga ay para bigyan din ng lakas ng loob ang kawani ng pamahalaan na gustong gawin ang tama,” the mayor told reporters after his SOCA.
(That is why I joined in the inspection this morning to give courage to our government workers who want to do what is right.)
“Kasi may mga iba, natatakot kasi, ‘Ay naku, mayaman ‘yan eh, baka balikan ako n’yan kung ipasara ko negosyo n’yan. Baka mayari ang pamilya ko.’ These are the realities of governance na ‘yung mga employado natin, medyo kinakabahan,” he added.
(Some are afraid, ‘These businessmen are rich, they might go after me if I have their business closed. My family might be affected.’ These are the realities of governance where our employees, somehow they get nervous.)
But if the erring government workers were proven to have failed to do their mandate due to corruption, Sotto said he will go after them.
“Kailangan ma-discern natin, bakit ganun ang ginawa niya, yung inspektion nya—dahil ba takot siya o dahil ba kurap siya? If kurap siya, hindi tayo titigil, hahabulin natin lahat ng kurap. At alam kong marami pa diyan, iisa-isahin natin nyan. We cannot tolerate that,” Sotto said.
(We have to discern, why did their inspections end up like that? Is it because of their fear or due to corruption? If the worker is corrupt, we will not stop. We will go after those who are corrupt. I know there are still a lot out there, we will go after them one by one. We cannot tolerate that.)
Sotto delivered his SOCA at the Plaza Bonifacio in his 100th day in office.
Sotto also discussed in his SOCA the progress the city government had accomplished in various sectors such as health, education, and public service, among others.
Among those present during the event were his mother, actress Coney Reyes, and Congressman Roman Romulo.
Sotto is the youngest mayor among the incumbent local chief executives in Metro Manila. /kga
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