Peña orders probe on Makati’s hundreds of ‘sisters’
Acting Makati Mayor Romulo “Kid” Peña has suspended hundreds of “sister city agreements” of Makati City to see if funds for the program could be used instead to benefit city residents.
In a statement released Monday, Peña said he ordered the suspension of the 670 agreements “pending a comprehensive audit of the said pacts.”
“I am confident that our partner LGUs will understand. I believe that by doing this, the city will not only serve the interest of truth and accountability, it will also strengthen its ties with its partner local government organizations based on the common pursuit of good governance and not patronage politics,” he said.
Peña pointed out the case of the Makati Friendship Suites, a controversial hotel where the city’s official guests can stay during visits. It has been the subject of a Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee investigation.
“The controversy generated by the Makati Friendship Suites merits a serious review of the said program,” he said.
He said funds for the sister city program could be used to improve the services and benefits to Makati’s residents.
“It is laudable that Makati has forged partnerships with many other cities. However, the city must not neglect its basic relationship with the people,” he said.
“The people of Makati deserve better. They deserve better social service programs from the local government,” he added.
Records show that Makati has the most number of sister cities in the country with 670 compared to Quezon City with 19 and Manila with 40.
Peña became acting mayor after the Ombudsman suspended Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay amid an investigation over the allegedly overpriced Makati City Science High School.
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