Peña slams Binay Jr.’s P40-M spending for non-Makati folk
FROM 2010 to 2015, the Makati City government spent P40 million for nonresidents who were allowed to receive treatment in the local public hospital under the “sister city” agreements forged by the Binays with nearly 700 local government units across the country.
This was disclosed on Tuesday by Mayor Romulo “Kid” Peña, six days before voters decide whether to keep him in office or reinstall a Binay at City Hall.
In a statement, Peña said records of the government-run Ospital ng Makati showed that from June 2010 until March 2015, then Mayor Junjun Binay spent P40 million for the medical treatment and medicines of sister city residents who are allowed to be admitted to the hospital.
“The money they spent for people from other localities could have been used to give quality healthcare to Makati residents, especially the poor who have no money to pay for hospital services and medicines,” Peña said.
With this discovery, he said, his first acts should he win the May 9 elections would be to ensure “optimum healthcare” services to the city’s residents under a “Makati First” policy.
He recalled that his earliest move upon becoming acting mayor in July last year, following the suspension of Junjun Binay by the Office of the Ombudsman, was to suspend the sister city agreements signed mostly under the mayoralty of Junjun’s father, now Vice President and Palace contender Jejomar Binay.
“It will not only serve the interest of truth and accountability but will also strengthen its ties with its partner local government organizations based on the common pursuit of good governance and not patronage politics,” Peña explained.
According to City Hall, Makati has agreements with a total of 670 sister cities, the highest number among highly urbanized cities in Metro Manila. Quezon City has only 19, Manila has 40, while Davao has 10.
Peña said the millions of pesos allocated for the sister cities should have been used instead “to improve the benefits enjoyed by the people of Makati.”
He continued to lobby for the improvement of local health services but had received no support from councilors allied with the dismissed mayor, he added.
Challenging Peña in Monday’s balloting is Junjun’s sister, Makati Rep. Abigail Binay.
Sought for comment, the Binay camp spokesperson Joey Salgado stressed that during Junjun’s mayoralty both Makati residents and those from sister cities were given quality healthcare.
“Proper medical services were provided to everyone. No one complained on the state of the OsMak, unlike today,” Salgado said, noting that the hospital now lacks medicines and proper maintenance. “Mr. Peña responds to these concerns with mere excuses. He should be man enough to admit his incompetence.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.