Cebu mayor: South Road Properties ready to earn-A A +A
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
CEBU CITY – It has been nine years since Cebu City began paying its loan for the South Road Properties (SRP) and Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said it is about time the City’s constituents reaped the benefits of the project.
“Ato kining tanan ang SRP (The SRP belongs to all of us),” Rama said in his third State of the City Address (Soca). City Hall still has to pay some P4 billion for the loan it took out for the SRP.
While the mayor did not mention names, he was obviously referring to his predecessor, Representative Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district), when he said that one person keeps claiming to be the owner and manager of the SRP.
“Mahimo na man kini nga mokita kay daghan man ang magpatigayon nga interesado nga mopalit sa mga luna dinhi. Ang atong Konseho milingla sa atong katawhan, ubos sa mando sa usa lamang ka tawo (The SRP can already earn because many are interested in the property. But the Council betrayed the people on orders of one person),” said Rama.
There were two other issues he used to skewer the previous administration. These are the purchase of second-hand equipment for the price of brand new equipment and the threat to close the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC).
“As long as Mike Rama is still the mayor, you will not be closed or sold,” Rama said in Bisaya, referring to the CCMC. He said the government hospital served over 140,000 patients in 2011.
Rama also asked his allies in the Council to review the draft memorandum of agreement (MOA) that will allow Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) to manage the Guba Emergency Hospital, which is under CCMC.
Rama told Councilors Eduardo Rama Jr., Jose Daluz III and Edgardo Labella to review the MOA because he does not want such an arrangement for Guba.
The MOA was the brainchild of Representative Rachel Marguerite del Mar (Cebu City, north district). Rama did not mention her name or that of her father during the Soca, but admitted he names them during pulong-pulong sessions.
On another issue that hits the del Mars, Rama mentioned at least thrice that flyovers are not the solution to the traffic problems of the city. The solutions, in his view, are road-widening and a master plan.
He also mentioned the skywalks in Cebu City, joking that in case of floods, people can head for the flyovers and skywalks.
Rama has been reiterating the need for a drainage master plan, which he again mentioned Monday while talking about the annual budget.
Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young earlier predicted that Rama’s Soca will be about the slashing of the 2012 budget as well as criticizing Osmeña.
True enough, Rama said that the City Government needs a P10.2-billion budget for this year and can raise enough resources to cover it.
For the first quarter of this year, the City collected almost P2.5 billion.
Despite the approved budget of about P5 billion, Rama still thanked the Cebu City Council, through Vice Mayor Young, for the measure.
He asked his audience at the Plaza Sugbu to clap for the Council.
But in the same speech, Rama criticized the council for not studying the ordinance banning corporal punishment of children.
“May pagkulang ang konseho sa pagtuon pag-ayo sa maong balaodnon...Akong laraw nga i-veto maong balaodnon ug patun-an ko kini pag-ayo ni Attys. Labella ug Daluz ug mga consultants (The Council failed to study that ordinance thoroughly... I feel the need to veto the ordinance and for Attys. Labella and Daluz and other consultants can scrutinize the provisions),” said Rama.
The mayor got the loudest applause when he mentioned the increase in the financial assistance for senior citizens, while also announcing that he wants City Administrator Jose Marie Poblete to look into the possibility of giving seniors eyeglasses.
The senior citizens will receive a total of P7,000 this year, with the possibility of getting P1,000 every month by 2014, if he remains in office. The financial assistance started with just P2,000—P1,000 as birthday gift and another P1,000 as Christmas gift from the City, during the term of Osmeña.
Rama also thanked Governor Gwendolyn Garcia multiple times for her help in the beautification of the sidewalk from Capitol building to Fuente Osmeña, the problem involving Cebu City constituents living on Capitol lots covered under Provincial Ordinance 93-1, and the joint management of Fuente Osmeña.
Rama said the solution to 93-1, through Garcia, will help him win reelection.
Rama also announced to the public yesterday the City’s initial triumph in the case against the heirs of Fr. Vicente Rallos before the Court of Appeals and the retention of City Treasurer Ofelia Oliva through a temporary restraining order issued by the Regional Trial Court.
As to future projects, Rama announced his intention to study the possibility of having cable cars as the means of transportation from the mountain barangays to the urban center, as well as a bridge that will link Cebu City and the Municipality of Cordova.
Rama also wants to implement the circumferential road from Barangay Pit-os in Cebu City to the Municipality of Consolacion.
Rama said the length of his speech is a clear indication that his administration accomplished a lot despite the continued criticisms of his political enemies.
He contemplated on the idea of giving his critics a copy of his speech but in an interview with reporters afterwards, Rama said he is not compelled to give the Council nor Osmeña a copy of his speech because they can never see anything good in what he does.
For the second Soca in a row, Rama concluded his speech with a plea that now is not the time for politics.
“There is a place and time for everything. Politics and its derivatives will surely come. But for now, let it be set aside first,” said Rama.
Watch the replay of Mayor Rama’s Soca here:
Below is the transcript of his Soca:
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 03, 2012.