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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Mayor Beng bares vision: “A world-class Zamboanga”
By Dominic I. Sanchez

ZAMBOANGA CITY, January 13 (PIA) – In her State of the City Address (SOCA) yesterday (January 12), Mayor Maria Isabelle G. Climaco-Salazar finally shared a feasible and promising vision for the city: “A world-class Zamboanga.”
“As we expand Zamboanga City, we not only look at a 3-year plan, but prepare the city for the next 30 and 50 years. We ask ourselves, where do we envision Zamboanga City to go?” said the mayor.

Among the many priority programs which were endorsed by the Regional Development Council include a world class seaport to be located at the Zamboanga Ecozone and Freeport Authority, and the long-awaited transfer of the Zamboanga International Airport, to which the mayor received much applause.

“The transfer of the airport is number one in the list, which means that the project will start within the timeframe,” Mayor Climaco-Salazar said. The said airport will be located in barangay Mercedes-Talabaan, and is projected to be completed within six years.

According to the lady chief executive, the city is due to be “redesigned” and “extended” towards Mercedes, Talabaan, Zambowood, Culianan and Boalan. Stakeholders that include representatives from both local and national government agencies, non-government organizations and civil society groups opined that these developments may well solve the congestion problem in the city, and pave new opportunities for business and economic growth outside the city proper’s 7-kilometer radius.

“We entered into a contract with Palafox and associates who will work in the updating of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, the Comprehensive Development Plan, and the Zoning Ordinance. Let us take the opportunity of the expertise of Architect Jun Palafox to bring into reality our vision of a world-class Zamboanga!” said Mayor Climaco-Salazar.

In her report, she pointed out radical developments in the city, in spite of falling victim to the infamous 2013 Zamboanga siege. “We have built back better,” she emphasized, saying that Zamboanga looks to be more promising and more resilient than ever.

The mayor outlined the increase in local revenues, the presence of new businesses like CityMall and KCC, the creation of thousands of new jobs, and the influx of tourists, among others.

“The sleeping giant of Mindanao has awakened,” she stressed, saying that Zamboanga City now is more than ready to be at par, or even best other cities in the country and all over the world.
The mayor also emphasized everyone’s vigilance to maintain peace and security in the region, saying that every resident has a stake in ensuring peace and order.

“Threats still remain, and we need to strengthen our defenses. Denying a safe haven for terrorists is a shared responsibility,” she said.

Mayor Climaco-Salazar said that without the support of the different sectors, the achievements would not have been possible. “We want everyone to contribute to this dream that we all aspire for.”

 “Antes pensaba kita dehao kita na maga otro lugar na manada aspeto, pero ahora, ya dale kanatun el oppotunidad para keda igual o mas bueno pa kanila, tiempo ya para dale mira cay mas bueno, mas grande el potential, mas unido, mas mafuerza y mas valiente el Ciudad de Zamboanga!” (Before, we thought that we were left far behind other cities in many aspects, but now, we have been given the opportunity to be like them, or even better. It is time to show the world that it is better, there is more potential, more unity, more strength and more courage here in the city of Zamboanga!)