CDO mayoral bets present programs to XU Economics students

By Jhon Louie B Sabal

Candidates for Cagayan de Oro City’s top post presented their respective platforms and plans before the AB Economics and BS Business Economics students of Xavier University in the recently concluded 6th Coffeenomics Series held at the Museo de Oro grounds.

The event was held as part of the XU Economics Week Celebration with the theme “Principal-Agent Challenges in Economics: Reconciling Public Interest and Political Agenda in Cagayan de Oro City.”

“Xavier is supportive of such discussions and we hope that we can really enlighten our students to take their duty and right as citizens and exercise it in the best possible way,” XU president Fr Roberto Yap SJ said. He encouraged students to be “principled partisan,” to support a candidate who promotes social justice for the advancement of the common good.

Addressing local issues

The mayoral bets did not face off but were invited to talk about their platforms separately, each headlining one session of the Coffeenomics Series. They were asked about their proposals to address some of the major issues in the city.

On informal settlers

Former Mayor Vicente Emano couldn’t make it to the event because of a prior commitment, but he was represented by erstwhile City Councilor Ian Mark Nacaya. Nacaya touted the Piso-Piso Program for enabling the poor and homeless to have their own housing lots for only P1. The program, which their party plans to continue should Emano win, will facilitate the establishment of various resettlement sites across the city, Nacaya said.

On the contrary, incumbent Mayor Oscar Moreno of the Liberal Party criticized the Piso-Piso Program of Emano because he thinks it is designed to “control people.” Moreno emphasized the developments in localized housing being initiated by his administration for the past three years and said that he will distribute land titles to the beneficiaries of the Piso-Piso Program.

For Second District Representative Congressman Rufus Rodriguez, the problem of the growing informal settler in the city is linked closely with unemployment. He plans to address unemployment by setting up a one-stop shop to ease the process of acquiring business permits. As well, he said that his administration will implement “progressive taxation” to make sure that the wealthy get to have a bigger share in taxes. Rodriguez also bared plans for the city government to pay for 90% of the land for the informal sector, alongside providing funding for livelihood programs such as handicrafts and rug making.

On traffic woes

Rodriguez plans to form the Traffic Advisory Council to create a multi-sectoral solution to the problem of worsening traffic in the city. He is proposing to tap the barangay tanods and raise their monthly honorarium by P1,000. He urged the civil society groups’ support to help the Road and Traffic Administration (RTA) and barangay tanods.

The construction of new bridges and rural highways is on the agenda of Emano’s team should he be able to mount a successful comeback. Nacaya said these are the Pelaez Bridge, South Diversion Road, Kagay-an Bridge, Puntod-Kauswagan Bridge and 17 other rural bridges, and two fly-overs in the city.

Moreno sees “honest-to-goodness policy implementation” as solution and plans to continue the Hapsay Dalan campaign if re-elected as mayor.

On the environment

The incumbent mayor called the non-approval of the present city council of the budget for the rehabilitation of the Zayas landfill as a form of “political bondage,” but he is confident that the proposed closure of the dumpsite will finally be realized if candidates for the city council from his ticket will be elected.

However, Moreno took pride in having a stronger City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council under his administration. New equipment, such as including early warning devices have been installed in disaster-prone areas.

Rodriguez, too, said that he would empower the local DRRM council and declare CDO as a mining-free and log-ban zone to help mitigate disasters in the region.

On health issues

Moreno presented the development of the JR Borja Hospital under his term. He said that the City Hospital is already earning up to P120 million compared to P10 million before he was seated as mayor. He also plans to expand the Philhealth coverage in the city, emphasizing that under his term, 45 health centers have been accredited under the maternal health package. He is planning to add 6 more if re-elected.

Rodriguez intends to “nationalize” the City Hospital so that funding can be outsourced from the annual budget of the Department of Health. He also plans to double the capacity of the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) by improving its equipment and to establish hospitals in Tablon and Lumbia to cater to the needs of constituents from far-flung barangays.

Meanwhile, Nacaya said that in order for our hospitals to grow in number, the emphasis must be in attracting investors.

Students’ questions

Each of the candidates was asked questions by XU students and some faculty members.

One of them is on Moreno’s dismissal as mayor in line with the Ajinomoto tax adjustment fiasco earlier this year. He claimed that what happened was a misunderstanding of the initiative to make tax collection and income generation in the city comprehensive. He acknowledged the efforts of city treasurer Glenn Bañez, who was also included in the dismissal order. When asked to rate his performance as mayor, Moreno replied that the answer lies in the people. What he knows is that he did his best as mayor for three years.

Rodriguez was asked to comment on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, which he said is “already dead and waiting for whatever plans of the new president.” He clarified that there are provisions in the BBL that are unconstitutional and need to be revised and amended. Rodriguez said he will support any move for the resumption of peace talks with the National Democratic Front.

Emano’s health condition and whether he will be healthy enough to actively campaign and serve should he win confronted Nacaya who assured the students that the former mayor is in good shape to govern the city.

Nacaya also shared Emano’s plans to negotiate for Build-Operate-Transfer projects that will redevelop Carmen and Cogon markets and the City Abattoir. In addition, he said that they plan to revive the Divisoria Night Café.

Below is the summary.

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with photos from XU Department of Economics Facebook page

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  1. RFM says:

    What about the informal settlers along the creeks, canals, and along the Barangay side roads? these are specific concerns which are not mentioned by the three aspirants for CDO mayor.

  2. RFM says:

    The answers of Emano’s side as represented by Nacaya on traffic woes are nothing but only mentioned the existing bridges and flyovers. No vision or approach on how to resolve the problem.

  3. RFM says:

    Very disappointing to see their responses given on general terms. It is short of saying there are no concrete plans. so what are they after in getting the mayoral office? Their minds are too myopic. Resolving traffic woes requires creative and aggressive solutions such as specific roads to construct on which areas, putting up railings and fences along the sides of major thoroughfares just like in Metro Manila, putting up a functional traffic lights at certain junctions, inviting investors for a city train, a skyway, and many other possible solutions.


  5. RFM says:

    On environment, there are no mentioned of fixing the problem on stinking garbage, use of plastic bags to be replaced with paper bags, pollution control from smoke belching vehicles, removing the spaghetti wires of the communication companies which can be addressed by underground cabling which can be done on a phase by phase implementation in close coordination and joint venture with private companies such as CEPALCO, Cable Companies, PLDT-Philcom, Misortel, etc., how to address the eye sore structures along the highway on all advertisements which are also safety hazard considering that these are installed near the Electric high tension wires, no mentioned of how to minimize parking along the streets by putting up carkpark building on a strategic areas in the City such as Divisoria.

  6. RFM says:

    The main concern is to how make CDO a world class city. Plans like how to make CDO a tourist friendly City. There are a lot of ways to do this. an example would be putting up visible street names, traffic signs and directions (one way traffic, loading/unloading signs, etc) in all junctions. A visitor / tourist with a vehicle will be guided in going around the city.

  7. joel says:

    any plan to boost the ECONOMY of the city and attract investors??? seriously! are these politicians planning to let that work by itself??? jobs! businesses! quality jobs and business opportunities so people no longer have to emigrate out is needed!


    Somehow im dissapointed with their reponses with our MAJOR problems in our city. No concrete plan, puros pangako aha man lugar sila mukuha ug DAGKO kaau nga funds sa ilahang PROPOSAL/PLAN labaw na kang EMANO wala jud lain alternative or cheaper na plans? Kay puros man PROPOSED bridges/flyovers para maKURAKOT (kay diha man ka ilado!).


    A big no to new roads kay aside sa EXPENSIVE, the more you create roads, the more you create traffic woes! Much better if we invest MORE in EFFICIENT and EFFECTIVE transportation systems such as BRT or Monorail which is much cheaper than creating new roads! we must encourage our citizen to use these mode of transportation instead of using car to decrease the car traffic in our city!

    • RFM says:

      I beg to disagree with your comment. take for example, the opening of the new roads at Paseo del Rio, it provided relief to CDO. The new bridges provided ways to go around the city. If you ask any professional planner in traffic system, the answer is new roads. the roads are not necessarily ground level but skyway roads and flyovers.


        But if you think in a global scale, most of the 1st world countries are shifting to these mode of transportations (aside from what i’d mentioned above, just include mrt & subway) instead of building new roads because they find it really effective in solving their traffic problems. Mostly of European countries are starting to bring down their flyovers because its no longer effective. Did you know that there is a car ban in Paris, France if im not mistaken every sunday, they only use bikes and subway. There is no problem if we kagay.anons follow these kind of trends because it is also good for us.


        New road is not always the solution. If we and instill disipline by strictly implement traffic rules in our motorist and ALWAYS encourage and change the mindset of our citizen by using cheaper mode of transpo(well of course, it should be efficient & attractive than that of Manila’s MRT), then we can solve these perennial traffic problems.


    Why not make a multilevel relocation appartment type building instead of subdivision type of housing? You can save a lot of the city budget if you just invest in multilevel building because you only acquire a small-medium size of land comparing to subdivision type which requires a lot of money by acquiring a large size of land. The multilevel building should also be ecofriendly and self sustaining for a minimal maintanance to save a lot of our city budget! that pesopeso housing project of emano is the WORST project under in his admin! Remember the Isla de Oro guys??

    • RFM says:

      I agree with you in providing a shelter to the “informal setllers” that become eye sore in CDO. a high rise building or mid-rise building is an effective alternative to these people. if the government is creative enough in finding a place in the downtown area. the govt can find a place such as along the burgos st. beside the cagayan de oro river. all they have to do is buy the priivate titled lands from the owners at a reasonable price with the offer of giving them the priority for a place to live in the building. Just like what Singapore did. This will improve CDO and provide a decent shelter within the city proper.


        Yes! Most of the informal settlers are here to find an opportunity and uplift their lives. kung di jud sila kakita ug trabaho ug pasanin/pabigat ug gasalig nuon sa atung local govt. (Sorry for words but I can’t help it kay kasagara sa ilaha u know na bayaran sa mga kurakot or bobotante) then much better kung pahawaon sila dari! Pero atik ra!

  11. Emilio aguinaldo says:

    Kurakot na tiguwang na emano way ayo nahimo .sus maryosep 90 yrs old na kapin mudagan gyapon pagka mayor wana na oi hapit nana matigbak .how greedy he is in power.he should give chance to others like moreno and rodriguez who is more young, active and competent!

  12. Emilio aguinaldo says:

    Sad to hear that kagayanon dont think smartly to elect the more qualified candidate and they keep on complaining that they are poor. Emano is an old cow and dying so why vote him he wala syay nahimo sa syudad sa cdo puro kurakot ra jud.look cdo now after emanos downfall.what a very progressive city many investors coming in so means many kung feeling mahirap kapa rin ay sala na nimo nga waka mag apply og trabaho.
    Dimalason si emano tungod sa violet color tan awa daghan patay sa cdo.

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