MANILA, Philippines – Former Manila mayor Alfredo Lim made official his bid for the post he held for 12 years, filing on Tuesday, October 13, his certificate of candidacy for the mayoralty race in the 2016 polls.
The ruling Liberal Party is fielding Lim with running mate Manila 1st District Representative Benjamin Asilo.
Lim had lost to former president now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada in 2013 by over 30,000 votes.
Estrada is running for re-election as chief executive of the Philippine capital in 2016, but also says he will run for president if both the bets he is willing to support are disqualified.
In a statement Monday, October 12, Lim stressed that real estate taxes “stayed at a minimum level” when he was mayor, “but were increased by some 300% after he left City Hall.”
He considered his 2016 run a “comeback” that is “in response to public clamor” for “restoration of free basic services in the city.” He cited free medical services, such as consultation, confinement, laboratory exams and surgical procedures in the 6 hospitals run by the city government during his leadership.
Lim said he had provided during his time as mayor more buildings for public schools and established the City College of Manila, now Universidad de Manila, for poor but deserving students.
The former mayor also cited present “gargantuan hike in taxes” in Manila, an issue that recently drew flak to Estrada.
Estrada, however, on Tuesday announced that a tax amnesty on penalties incurred by delinquent real estate taxpayers is now available. The ordinance was signed on October 5.
Aside from Estrada and Lim, Manila 5th District Representative Amado Bagatsing is also running for mayor of Manila.
Bagatsing blamed Lim for the debts that the city incurred and the notoriety it gained as the “worst city in terms of cleanliness.”
Bagatsing said it was also Lim who allowed the construction of Torre de Manila, now a controversial condominium tagged by heritage conservationists as a “national photobomber” for blocking the landscape behind the historical monument of national hero Jose Rizal.
Manila is beset with perennial problems of vehicular congestion and flooding in major roads, vulnerable employment, and crime in densely poor areas. – Rappler.com