By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
ILOILO City Mayor Jose Espinosa III reorganized a task force handling various infrastructure projects by ousting an opposition councilor as co-chairman.
The reorganization took effect after Espinosa issued on October 30, 2018 an executive order streamlining Task Force Infra and removing Councilor Ely Estante Jr. as co-chair.
The mayor said that the reorganization is a matter of policy that is needed to avoid political differences.
“It’s a matter of policy na kailangan kay sa iban siya na grupo and he might have a different perspective and agenda nga hindi man mag-jive sa aton agenda,” said Espinosa.
Estante is eyeing one of the seats in the City Council under the National Unity Party (NUP) of Rep. Jerry Treñas, who is challenging Espinosa in the mayoral race.
Espinosa will be running under Nacionalista Party (NP).
Estante said he has no qualms with his removal as he already expected the change.
“Gina-expect ta ina, considering nga dira na ko sa pihak naglinya. It is a political accommodation and at the same time an executive prerogative ni mayor nga magbutang sang ila saligan,” Estante said.
According to Espinosa, the streamlining of the organization has no bearing on Estante’s performance as the co-chairman of the task force.
“Wala man problema sa performance ni Estante but I want to see to it nga may direct line sa executive department ang co-chairman. May grupo man ta mabulos but we will discuss pa,” added Espinosa.
Task Force Infra was created through an EO issued by Mayor Espinosa designating himself as the chairman and Estante as co-chair being the chairman of the City Council’s committee on public works.
The task force is responsible for coordinating the implementation of infrastructure projects in the city by other agencies, particularly Department of Public Works and Highways.
Meanwhile, Espinosa assured that no infrastructure projects in the city will be implemented unless an order is given by the City Government to avoid problems on drainage and traffic.
“Indi lang anay magkutkot kung indi matagaan sang order halin diri kag naka-coordinate sa traffic and rerouting. We will see to it nga if ever ma-start ang mga projects, it should be properly coordinated kag may mga schedules,” he noted.