Rep. Noel expresses disappointment on removal of billboards, signage, tanod out-post bearing his name
TACLOBAN CITY—An Waray party-list Rep. Florencio “Bem” Noel expressed disappointment over the city government’s act of removing billboards, signage and tanod outposts bearing his name and initials.
“I am saddened by the action of the city government. They did not follow the usual process of finding out if these tarpaulins [billboards] and tanod out-posts are obstructing passageways. Why are they [city government] subjective?” Rep. Noel said.
Police records showed that before night-time on Thursday, several billboards put up by barangay officials expressing gratitude to Rep. Noel’s projects were wantonly removed by members of the city’s volunteer traffic enforcers and some hired workers.
Despite resistance, the barangay officials also reported to the police the removal of tanod out-posts from their areas.
“I do not understand why the administration [of Mayor Alfred Romualdez] has been preventing a Taclobanon from helping fellow Taclobanons,” Rep. Noel said.
“I think they have made their treatment that is bad enough for Tacloban and we will make everything right,” the solon added.
Meanwhile, city information officer Bernardita Valenzuela said the pulling out of billboards and other signages all over the city was “long overdue.”
Valenzuela said there is a memorandum from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) banning names or initials and images or pictures of government officials in billboards and signage of government programs, projects and properties.
“That’s long overdue kay natalapas ha (violative of the) DILG directive. It’s good it was done. Basta mga projects nga may ngaran hin pulitiko (Any projects bearing the names of politicians)…ngatanan (all) will be removed,” Valenzuela said in an interview aired over DyVL.
For his part, Vice Mayor Arvin Antoni said he does not question the DILG order used as a policy of the city government but rather asked why it is “selective” and “directed at Rep. Noel’s billboards.”
“This is the height of his [the mayor’s] insecurity and desperation. In my capacity as vice mayor, I urged all barangay officials to implement the DILG memorandum circular in their respective areas,” said during a press briefing last Friday.
“Tanggala it billboards hin bisan hin-o nga opisyal to (remove all billboards of all officials) include Mayor Romualdez and Councilor Cristina G. Romualdez!” Antoni said.
The vice mayor stressed if the city government is serious in implementing the DILG circular, then the city mayor should start removing his pictures on the licenses and permits issued to businessmen.
“He should also remove their names on huge tarpaulins. He should lead by example,” Antoni said, referring to Mayor Romualdez.(REYAN L. ARINTO)
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