The Valenzuelano will always rise.
A month since the slippers factory fire that claimed 72 lives, Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian boosted city government employees’ morale, hailing their unwavering service in the aftermath of the tragedy.
“Mas malaki ang Valenzuelano kaysa kahit anong trahedya (The Valenzuela citizen is bigger than any tragedy),” Gatchalian said during a city government employees’ general assembly at the Valenzuela People’s Park Amphitheater on Tuesday, June 9. “The Valenzuelano will always rise up.”
“Natutunan ko na ang mga Valenzuelano, marunong tayong tumayo kung saan tayo nadapa. Mas malaki ang Valenzuelano kaysa sa kahit anong pangyayari, kaysa sa kahit anong trahedya o pagsubok na dumaan sa atin (I have learned that Valenzuela citizens rise right where they fall. The Valenzuela citizen is bigger than any event, any tragedy, any ordeal),” Gatchalian said.
Gatchalian also thanked the employees for their loyalty and called on them to continue serving the city’s constituents.
On May 13, a 3,000-square meter factory of Kentex Manufacturing Corporation in Brgy. Ugong was razed to the ground after sparks from the welding works on one of its roll-up gate set on fire nearby containers of chemicals.
The local chief executive known for his eloquence was inspiring as he was sarcastic, particularly hitting the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).
“Ang konsepto ng pagiging Valenzuelano, kahit pa pilit tayo ng Bureau of Fire Protection ilubog sa putik, lalaban at lalaban, tatayo at tatayo, ‘yan ang Valenzuelano (This is what it means to be a Valenzuela citizen: despite attempts by the Bureau of Fire Protection to bury us in the mud, we always fight, we always rise, that’s how we are Valenzuela citizens),” Gatchalian said.
The city government has been facing criticisms for issuing business permits ahead of the fire safety inspection certificate (FSIC), the Kentex Manufacturing Corporation having been found to possess a business permit but not an FSIC.
In its defense, the city government has maintained that the practice of issuing so-called provisional business permits is lawful.
Gatchalian has cited at least three laws that support it, foremost among them the Joint Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Memorandum Circular No. 01 Series of 2010, which allows local governments to issue provisional business permits and the fire department to inspect establishments for fire safety compliance afterwards.
But the BFP as well as President Aquino uphold the old policy of requiring establishments to have an FSIC before the local government grants it a business permit.
Gatchalian on June 11 revoked the business permits of all establishments in the city which do not have an FSIC, affecting at least 12,400 businesses.
The mayor said the measure was meant to follow the DILG’s current “No FSIC, No Business Permit” stance.