Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sorsogon City government takes issues one step at a time

By: Bennie A. Recebido

SORSOGON CITY July 18 (PIA) – The administration of the newly elected Sorsogon City Mayor Sally A. Lee faces issues that bring headache yet big challenge to the local chief executive.

City Administrator Atty. Cesar J. Balmaceda disclosed that the major pain from the time Mayor Sally Ante Lee’s administration took over is the City Government’s shortfall in finances.

“We still have the resources. However, from the P25-M per month Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of the city government, P18 million goes to the salaries of our permanent employees. At this point in time, we can’t even afford to pay for contractual workers and in like manner, our traffic enforcers,” the City Administrator explained.

Furthermore, the City Government pays for its regular electric consumption bill which normally values roughly at P1-M monthly.

The administrator also bared another fiscal constraint they are facing is the gasoline consumption of the 11 serviceable garbage trucks. “Sorsogon LGU is just lucky that the Provincial Government is providing us two more trucks to shore up our garbage collection in the meantime that we are in tight budget,” Atty. Balmaceda said adding that for a week’s gas spending, the City Government pays up to P118 thousand which gets to more or less half-a-million in a month’s time.

But, one step at a time, the new City Administration is getting to the bottom of every concern. On the issue of garbage collection, Atty. Balmaceda said for the time being, the city’s traffic enforcers, street cleaners and garbage collectors are doing their job on their own free will.

He likewise divulged that the previous administration ran off with P7-M worth of unpaid salaries for June 2013 of 2,000 contractual workers. “We are at present trying to find means to pay these employees,” he said.

City Administrator Balmaceda also said that the City Government for the past six years never had the chance to achieve the prestigious Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH). “So, bear with us, we are only 10 days old” he said.

The statistics mentioned were revealed during an initial dialogue with stakeholders to introduce a traffic scheme which takes action to various grievances of drivers, commuters and businesses along Sorsogon City’s main thoroughfares.

For more than a year now, tricycle operators and drivers, commuters and business owners have been complaining about the one-way traffic scheme which the past administration had implemented specifically along the main thoroughfare – Rizal and Magsaysay Streets – hence, the suggestion to bring back the old two-way traffic scheme.

The new two-way traffic system suggests best solution for the new administration to consider as an answer to linking problems which affected the city, beginning with the traffic flow; locations which cause traffic congestion; holding, waiting, and dispatch areas for North and South-bound tri-mobile, jeepneys, vans and buses; loading, unloading and parking areas; and proposed traffic lights along the city’s major intersections.

The City Government marks implementation of a new traffic scheme by August this year.

Earlier, Mayor Sally Lee emphasized the need to re-establish the two-way traffic system, particularly along Sorsogon City’s main access roads under one of her Team Sally slogans “BISAY NA TRAPIKO, GINHAWA KAN GABOS!” (Orderly Traffic, Relief of All). (BARecebido, PIA Sorsogon/VAL, PIO)

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