CAGAYAN de Oro City Mayor Rolando ‘Klarex’ Uy welcomed the proposal by administration allies in the 20th City Council to transfer the entire City Hall to a better location, saying this will be beneficial to the public.
“I’m happy that this proposal (to transfer City Hall) had reached the City Council as presented by administration allies Councilors (Edgar Cabanlas and Ian Mark Nacaya)…I’m very much in favor of transferring City Hall to a better location so it can become a one-stop shop (where all its services are located in one place),” Mayor Uy said in Visayan.
Mayor Uy confirmed his support during a radio program last Friday, following the Jan. 9 afternoon session of the 20th City Council when Councilor Cabanlas justified the transfer move.
Cabanlas said various City Hall departments offering essential services like the City Health Office (CHO) and City Fire Station are located in separate areas.
In contrast, local governments like El Salvador City in Misamis Oriental and Tagum City in Davao del Norte have all their departments located in one City Hall building, Cabanlas said.
Mayor Uy agreed with Cabanlas’ observation about the inconvenience posed by the current City Hall location to the public, particularly to the city’s business owners and taxpayers.
“During the ongoing business registration and renewal of business permits, our business owners and taxpayers can hardly find adequate parking space and they spend a lot of time finding parking space some distance away from City Hall. In my first six months of service, I’ve received a lot of complaints from visitors and investors about how they waste time finding parking space,” Mayor Uy said in Visayan.
Uy said the new chief of the City Housing Urban and Development Department, Atty. Joeffrey Namalata, sustained some damage to his vehicle after he rammed into some wood while trying to find a parking space.
“City Hall’s location is somewhat ideal since it’s situated in the middle of the city but it was good during the Spanish era and (our needs are bigger now),” Mayor Uy said in Visayan.
While the City Hall transfer proposal gained some support from the City Council, Councilor John Michael Seno proposed that the old City Hall buildings not be sold but used ‘for other purposes’ as may be deemed fit by the mayor.
Councilor George Goking said City Hall can tap into other resources to fund the transfer while Councilor Jay Roa Pascual said the location site should have adequate commercial space.
“With a large workforce, City Hall can attract a lot of businesses and some banks will compete to be relocated near City Hall,” Pascual said.
For his part, Councilor James Judith II proposed that City Hall uses as a reference the Palo Leyte model, where the local government leased some of its spaces to national government agencies.
“So the public won’t have to waste time (processing their transactions),” Judith said. (Stephen Capillas of City Information Office)