Rama ‘accepts’ P5.8B budget

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Friday, December 27, 2013

WHILE he doesn’t agree with the slashing of his proposed budget of over P10.5 billion for next year, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said he doesn’t intend to veto the P5.89-billion budget approved by the City Council.

The mayor, who has yet to receive a copy of the budget ordinance, said he doesn’t see a need to veto it unlike in the last two years.

Rama said the City will make do with what was granted and before the year ends, he will meet with all department heads so they can discuss which programs and projects to prioritize in 2014.

“There are a lot of things that need (to be) done, from my first term in 2010 to my fresh term in 2013, with the same essence of SOSS, which means ‘show of super service’,” he said during his regular press conference yesterday.

No terminations

He also warned department heads of a possible reshuffling next month.

“There is a possibility of some movements... just movements, not necessarily termination,” he said.

Rama did not mention names nor did he reveal how many will be affected.

He said he is just glad that 2013, with two disasters--the Oct. 15 earthquake and
super typhoon Yolanda last November—striking the province this year.

Still, Rama said he considers Cebu City lucky.
Even if the council did not approve the over P5 billion in potential revenues for the sale of the South Road Properties (SRP), Rama said he will continue to market the

At least two major investors have signified interest in the 26-hectare area where the San Pedro Calungsod templete stands.

A Japanese company is also interested in leasing part of the SRP so it can put up a retirement facility.

Labella’s initiative

Meanwhile, Vice Mayor Edgar Labella has his own initiatives for next year.

In an interview with Sun.Star Cebu, Labella said he was alarmed by unreported cases of dengue this year.

The vice mayor made this observation while going around the barangays.

This prompted Labella, as presiding officer of the council, to write a letter to Councilor Lea Japson, chairperson of the committee on health.

“In the past years with you and me in the council, the Sanggunian has been most vigilant about dengue cases in the city, always conscious of which barangays are most affected, and whether the numbers from the last year have increased or decreased. I am inclined to think that because of the many calamities that plagued our beloved country this year, we might have somewhat overlooked the need to continue the study which we have established in the past,” Labella’s letter to Japson read.

He asked Japson to render a report on the dengue situation in Cebu City, which would include comparative data from previous years and victim profile.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 27, 2013.

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