Acting Makati Mayor Romulo Peña Jr. issuing a ‘self-serving’ press statement attributing the city’s January to August collection figures to his barely two-month-old stay in office is the height of “credit-grabbing” and “epal tactics,” according to the camp of Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr.
“Epal” comes from the shortened, inverted “mapapel” or attention-seeker.
“Having been in his post for barely two months at the time the total income of the city was tallied, it was presumptuous, if not downright brazen, of Peña to attribute the 90 percent attainment of this year’s target total income of the city to his administration,” Joey Salgado, the mayor’s spokesman, said in a statement on Monday.
This supposed collection “achievement,” Salgado added, is ”a clear example of credit-grabbing, something that the acting mayor and his people have been doing for the past weeks. If you listen to them talk to the people of Makati, they now claim authorship of such programs as the yellow card and benefits for senior citizens, which [both]began under the leadership of Vice President [Jejomar] Binay and continued by Mayor Junjun Binay.”
The latest report from the city treasurer’s office shows that Makati as of August 20 has achieved 90 percent of its target revenue collection for the entire year, or P11,053,533,515 out of P12,284,535,000.
From January to June of this year, before Mayor Binay’s suspension, total revenue collection already reached P9.5 billion, or 86.2 percent of total income as of August 20 this year.
“Official financial records will show that Makati has consistently increased its annual revenue collection for the past two decades. It cannot be denied that the business-stimulating policies put in place by the[now-] Vice President during his term that were continued and enhanced by [Junjun] Binay built and sustained a high level of investor confidence in the country’s financial center,” Salgado said.
Makati, he pointed out, has consistently exceeded its target revenue collections and has never incurred a deficit in over two decades under the Binay administration.
Salgado decried Peña’s “flagrant misuse of government funds” by spending millions of the city’s funds on print advertisements that “do not serve the public interest at all” and are, instead, aimed for self-promotion.”
“The recent print advertisements of Peña are obviously self-serving and merely intended to promote his own image. They do not serve any public information purpose and do not befit Makati’s standing as a financial center,” he said.
According to Salgado, the print advertisements are clearly a case of using government funds for personal use, which, he added, is not allowed by the Commission on Audit.
“It is ironic that Peña does not seem to have scruples about incurring such needless and unlawful expense,” he said.