No holiday spirit in Pasig? Vico Sotto says constituents prefer food baskets over Christmas lights

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 03 2021 08:43 PM


MANILA - Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto on Friday refuted allegations that the local government fell short of making the Christmas spirit felt in the city, once known for its colorful decors and holiday lanterns on lamp posts during the Yuletide season. 

"Mayroon naman, hindi lang siguro siya nakakaikot, hindi lang ganoon karami," Sotto told ABS-CBN News, when asked about a social media post of former Pasig Mayor Bobby Eusebio questioning the lack of holiday decor in the city.

The local government prioritized the procurement and distribution of Christmas food packs for all households in Pasig, he said.

"Halimbawa, ang nabibigyan lang dati ng Pamaskong Handog, kung sino lang yung malapit sa nakaupo. Ngayon binibigyan natin lahat ng bahay dito. 'Yun 'yung hinahanap ng tao," he said.

(For example, before, only those close to the people in power receive the Pamaskong Handog. Now, we are able to give that 

"Ako, bilang mayor, kung ano 'yung gusto ng tao, 'yun 'yung binibigay natin using their funds," he said.

(As a mayor, I give what the people are asking for using their funds.)

The Pasig City local government spent P234.6 million to procure 375,000 Christmas food packs, Sotto said in an earlier tweet.

In a series of social media posts this week, Eusebio criticized the current local administration for allegedly not putting enough effort to make Christmas a special occasion in Pasig City.

"Parating na siya si Hesukristo ang ating manunubos. Pasig, Ano na ang nangyari? Walang parol? Walang kumukutitap sa kalsada? Hindi maramdaman ang diwa ng Pasko," the former mayor said.

(Jesus Christ, our Savior, is coming. What happened, Pasig? Why are there no Christmas lanterns? Why are there no sparkling lights along the road? The spirit of Christmas is not felt.)

"Saludo kami sa mga LGUs, Barangays, na patuloy sa paggunita ng Kapaskuhan sa kabila ng pandemic ay hindi ito naging hadlang upang ibahagi ang diwa ng Pasko sa kani-kanilang mga nasasakupan," he said.

(We salute local government units, barangays who continue to celebrate Christmas despite the challenges brought by the pandemic as they did not allow these difficulties to stop them from sharing the Christmas spirit to their constituents.)

Several sources told ABS-CBN News that the bidding for Pasig's Christmas decorations this year was allegedly delayed due to problems involving several city hall personnel.

When asked if there were inefficiencies in the bidding of Christmas decorations, Sotto said: "Wala naman (None)."

"It's a matter of prioritization lalo na sa panahon ng pandemiya. Parang hindi rin tama na sobrang magarbo," he said.

(It's a matter of prioritization especially during the time of the pandemic. It seems that it's also not appropriate to come up with something grand now.)

"May ilaw naman, hindi lang ganun ka bongga, but mayroon pa rin naman," he said.

(We have Christmas lights, not that extravagant, but at least we still have some.)

The 32-year-old Sotto ended the decades-long rule of the Eusebio dynasty in Pasig in 2019.

Eusebio, whose family had been in power since 1992, earlier claimed he would file a case against then-29-year-old Sotto for allegedly manipulating the results of the May 13, 2019 election. 

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