Consult Council on 93-1, Rama told-A A +A
Thursday, December 23, 2010
CEBU City Councilor Alvin Dizon suggested to Mayor Michael Rama to first have a dialogue with the City Council, the negotiating body and urban poor leaders occupying Province-owned lots before he talks to Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia.
Rama, however, does not see the need for it at this time.
Dizon, a member of the ad hoc committee that the mayor created to resolve the concerns of the occupants of the Province’s properties, said it will be wise and prudent for the mayor to consult the council or the negotiating team before talking to the governor.
The councilor suggested for Rama to discuss the matter with them and the urban poor leaders so he can be updated on what is happening on the ground.
Dizon chairs the council’s committee on housing.
Rama, who plans to talk to Garcia before the year ends, believes it is not necessary to consult the council at this point.
“It’s not necessary that I should be consulting kay nahibalo ta (because we know). I’m a lawyer, I know where I stand and I know the power of the mayor,” Rama said.
The mayor pointed out that as the local chief executive, it’s his prerogative to hold a one-on-one dialogue with the governor to finally address the concerns of the occupants of provincial lots in the city, adding that he already announced his intention ahead.
Dizon said he recognizes the authority and power of the mayor to enter into a negotiation, and he understands that Rama is empowered to protect the interest and welfare of the City’s constituents.
He said, though, that he is only giving the mayor suggestions, as member of the ad hoc committee representing the legislative department. Other members of the committee created by Rama are Councilors Nida Cabrera and Sisinio Andales and former city administrator Francisco Fernandez.
Other members of the committee are City Administrator Jose Marie Poblete, City Attorney Joseph Bernaldez, Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor head Danilo Gabiana, and consultant on housing matters, Margie Matthieu.
No stopping him
In an interview yesterday, Rama said no one can stop him from talking to the governor or to anybody, but he welcomes suggestions on other means of addressing the situation.
Rama also assured that the City Council will not be bypassed if the dialogue with the
The mayor refused to disclose, though, when he is going to talk to the governor to settle the concerns of the beneficiaries of Provincial Ordinance 93-1.
“Kung ang atong giestoryahan nindot kaayo, atong ipadangat sa konseho, at least nga karon, kahibawo na sila nga padulong ta didto (If the discussions are promising, we will bring it up to the council. At least for now they know what my plans are),” he said.
Rama even lamented that during the incumbency of his predecessor, Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south), he was not aware that a land swap was proposed to the Provincial Government.
He said he only learned about the proposed arrangement when it reached the City Council, where he questioned it. Deliberations in the council eventually caused negotiations to fail.
When Garcia refused to extend the deadline for the full payment of the lots in 2004, which they were allowed to own under Provincial Ordinance 93-1, the City intervened and offered to swap a prime property in the North Reclamation Area with the Province’s lots in 11 barangays in the city, but negotiations did not prosper.
Although Capitol has distributed deeds of sale and land titles to occupants who have paid for their lots in full, this failed to appease some of the occupants who continue to fear the possibility of being evicted from the Province-owned properties.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 24, 2010.