Appointment of Engr. Eugene Elizalde as new city administrator ‘surprises’ many certification to get cash aid

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Friday, January 3, 2014

ON THE second day of 2014, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama announced a revamp at the City Hall.

Engr. Eugene Elizalde will replace Jose Marie Poblete as city administrator.

Elizalde was a consultant of the mayor until he was tasked to preside over the Police Coordinating and Advisory Council (PCAC), which the mayor chairs.

Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella will now preside over PCAC.

Rama said when he was vice mayor for nine years, then mayor Tomas Osmeña appointed him as chairman of PCAC.

Last month, Rama announced there would be a revamp, but he did not mention any names.

The appointment of Elizalde surprised many City Hall employees, who preferred not to be named, because they thought former councilor now Attorney V Jose Daluz III would get the position.

‘Mayor’s prerogative’

The revamp took effect yesterday, or until documentation for each person is in order.

“That’s management/mayor’s prerogative, based on what I have been injecting to them about 2014 and the challenge will be SOSS (show of super service). There is a need and I have the gut feel and technical analysis based on my 21 years in public service and my being an HRDO (Human Resource and Development Office) manager at the same time,” Rama said in his regular press conference.

The mayor, though, refused to give specifics on the cause of the revamp.

Poblete will now head the Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW), while outgoing City Engineer Kenneth Carmelita Enriquez will become the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) coordinator.

Legal ramification

She will be assisted by Maricon Encabo, who will return to CPDO after a year-long stint at the City Resource Management and Development Center (Cremdec), which will now be headed by Nenita Fernandez.

Engr. Rolando Ardosa and Engr. Dionisio Gualiza will swap departments, the former now head of the Department of Public Services and the latter head of the General Services Office.

There is a new city assessor in Atty. Ferdinand Cañete as Eustaquio Cesa will take the position of assistant city treasurer. Acting City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas will stay in the position.

But Cesa already has the rank of city treasurer, albeit, formerly designated as city assessor.

Asked if there will be legal ramification that Cesa will be under the supervision of someone with a lower rank, Rama said, “I talked to him (Cesa) already. He knows that will be best for him and for all.”

While Cuevas sits as city treasurer, her position is actually that of city accountant.

The council could not confirm her appointment as city accountant because members were hesitant with the confusion of her being city accountant on paper but actually doing the job of a city treasurer.

Cuevas could not be appointed city treasurer because the position is already occupied by Cesa.


Dr. Alice Utlang now heads the City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention, while also assisting the City Agriculture Department on matters attending to animals.

Rama said animals have been neglected under the agriculture department. Utlang was head of the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries before she was assigned at the Department of Agriculture 7.

Fidel Magno was transferred to the Cebu City Jail women’s detention to focus on livelihood. He was with Cremdec before the revamp.

Catherine Yso, who used to head Operation Second Chance, will still work with the youth in her new position at the Cebu City Task Force on Street Children at the Parian Drop-In Center.

Arlene Rentuza will return to the Internal Audit Services Office.

Lawyer Dominic Diño will remain head of the HRDO but will have two new assistants in lawyer Mary Ann Suson, who will handle administration, and Loida Antonio, who will handle organizational development.

Without departments

To prevent the Public Information Office and the protocol office from having overlapping functions, the two sections will have managing supervisors in Jojo Labella and lawyer Leslie Ann Reyes.

While lawyer Jerone Castillo will continue to head the City Legal Office, Rama said he will hire a private organization to monitor the activity of the department.

City Health Department will have a new head in Dr. Daisy Villa.

Outgoing department head Dr. Stella Ygoña will handle special programs like the City Hospital and Medicines Program, PhilHealth, water and health and sanitation.

Anyway, she’s on her way to retirement, said Rama.

Lawyer Evangeline Abatayo will stay on as Chief of the Office of the City Civil Registrar (OCCR) but with additional task to oversee the construction, renovation, health and sanitation of the OCCR and city health buildings.

Others not mentioned will stay in their positions, but for Engr. Alipio Bacalso (formerly CPDO coordinator) and William Artajo (head of community scout), Rama said the HRDO is still looking for departments where the two will fit.

Rama assured that the department heads will not be fired.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 03, 2014.

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