Rama ‘proves’ his critics wrong-A A +A
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
SOME P61 million worth of infrastructure projects were inaugurated by Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama yesterday, which he said disputes his critics’ claim that he does not have any projects for barangays.
But Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district) asked: “Where did he get the money? Anyone can spend P61 million but I’m the one who identified those projects. Did he source the money for that?”
The projects inaugurated yesterday morning include a two-lane road with bridge that connects Singson in Barangay Guadalupe and Oprra in Barangay Kalunasan, construction of a senior citizen center in Bulacao, construction of the Pond F jetty and the senior citizens building at the South Road Properties (SRP) and other drainage and road-concreting projects in seven barangays.
“And they say that I didn’t accomplish anything? This only shows that all their attacks are unfounded,” Rama told reporters after the inauguration of the bridge.
For Osmeña, however, Rama cannot claim credit for the projects because he identified and sourced the funds for most of them.
“He has become a snatcher. He wants to be the one to identify the projects to be funded by money that (former) Congressman (Raul) del Mar and I sourced… Mike Rama is changing the subject. The subject is his inability to secure money. His ability is to spend money that’s already there. He has no ability to source funds,” Osmeña said.
He reiterated that this is the reason the P400 million intended for a flyover in Barangay Lahug and the widening of three national roads in the city were diverted to road projects in Cebu’s first district.
He said Rama objected to projects that he identified and whose funding he secured from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
The congressman said the mayor cannot accuse him of technical malversation because the realignment of funds was approved by DPWH Secretary Ronald Singson.
Also yesterday morning, Osmeña distributed 241 sacks of rice to residents of Barangay Calamba who lost their houses in a fire in 2009.
The former mayor said he was just keeping a promise he made after the fire incident, which he was not able to deliver that time because of certain audit rules.
This time, the purchase was charged to his Priority Development Assistance Fund (Pdaf).
He said he’s not afraid that his critics will question the timing of the distribution of the assistance, with only eight months to go before the election.
“I gave it to them this time because it was just approved now under my Pdaf after over a year of delay. I have to set my priority. Do I help those in difficult circumstances or worry about public perception? Never mind the public perception, I have to help these people,” he said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 26, 2012.