Mayor apologizes for iPads

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Thursday, April 10, 2014


CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama yesterday apologized to the public for two things: for the distribution of iPad Air to 30 city officials and for the ongoing road projects that cause traffic jams during peak hours.

Rama reacted to criticisms on the giving of iPads to some City Hall officials. He warned the recipients of the tablets to use the device only for work.

“If I can see anyone utilizing it for Candy Crush, I will crush (them). And that should be received figuratively,” he said.

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He said City Hall will confiscate the tablet of those who will allow other people, even family members, use the device.

Monitoring

He said use of the iPads will be monitored by the Cebu City Management Information and Computer Services (Mics).

The mayor said his apology should not be considered as an admission that City Hall made a mistake in distributing iPads to some officials.

He said he will not stop City Hall’s subscriptions with Smart Communications but he asked City Administrator Lucelle Mercado and Mics to determine that the City Government’s payment to the mobile service company is fair and reasonable.

The City Government got the iPads through a postpaid plan from Smart. The City pays P2,000 for each unit, which comes with unlimited data service or Internet connection for two years.

Road work

Mercado said the iPad is free and the monthly fee—which will reach P1.44 million for all 30 tablets in two years—serves as payment for data service.

Rama also apologized for the inconvenience caused by the road projects. He urged the public to be patient.

He said the dry season is the most opportune time to implement road projects. He added that the road projects would make traveling around the city more comfortable.

He said the roads need to be improved as Cebu will host some meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in 2015 and the International Eucharistic Congress in 2016.

The road improvement projects are being implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Rama said he has no problems about saying sorry. “I am a person whose apology is in abundance. If you argue, it doesn't bring you anywhere,” he said during his regular news conference yesterday.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 11, 2014.

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