Mayor needs a miracle-A A +A
Thursday, October 10, 2013
WHEN former congressman Tomas Osmeña was Cebu City mayor, the city council had canine obedience to him. It’s not the situation under Mayor Michael Rama. The city council, dominated by Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) councilors, instead tells the mayor what to do, like saying to him “don’t rush us” on budget matters.
Mayor Rama’s allies at the city council failed to convince the BOPK councilors to immediately deliberate on the P256.86-million second supplemental budget that Mayor Rama proposed.
Councilor Margot Osmeña, the better half of Tomas and chairperson of the committee on budget and finance, wanted more time to study the proposed budget even if it’s necessary and urgent.
Perhaps, the BOPK councilors, particularly Margot, suspect that the mayor and his team would use the funds for the coming barangay elections, which is believed to be a proxy war between Mayor Rama and Tomas.
Mayor Rama’s second supplemental budget includes the city’s assistance to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for the barangay polls and payables to suppliers that have been due since 2006.
I suppose that in 2006 Tomas was the city mayor. These obligations were therefore incurred by the city government under his term.
Of course, Councilor Margot is more concerned with how or where Mayor Rama would spend the money than consider paying the city’s obligations incurred during her husband’s incumbency.
I can’t recall any instance when a city councilor during Tomas’s time would tell him to wait until the councilors have studied the budget he was proposing. Mayor Rama could attest to that because he was once vice mayor.
Well, Mayor Rama has no one else to blame but himself for the failure of his Team Rama candidates for councilors to win more seats in the city council in the last elections.
Mayor Rama needs a miracle to win the hearts of the BOPK councilors. But I have the inkling the BOPK councilors would approve only the city’s payables. The passage of the rest of the items will have to wait until after the barangay polls.
But I don’t think Mayor Rama would use the funds to bankroll his candidates in the coming barangay elections. As a lawyer, Mayor Rama knows that public funds are for public purposes.
If not for the barangay polls on Oct. 28, I don’t suppose the good city councilors of BOPK would make it difficult for the executive department as far as approving its proposed second supplemental budget is concerned.
Filipinos are daring and stubborn. Even if the danger lurks at their doorstep, they won’t leave their homes. This was what happened Sunday evening when large waves hit the shores of Talisay City.
The residents along the shores even refused to leave on orders of the city officials when the unprecedented high waves brought about by typhoon Ramil hit Talisay City.
They only left when they saw the unusual surge of the waves that damaged several houses.
Thanks God no lives were lost that night.
Because of climate change, people living along the shores and creeks should already be relocated to higher grounds to prevent loss of lives and avoid any form of calamity.
The lives and properties of the settlers along Mahiga Creek in Cebu City are also in danger. A whole day torrent could wipe out the houses that clog the creek.
Efforts of the Cebu City Government to clear of settlers the Mahiga Creek to prevent loss of lives in case of flood failed because the settlers were just hardheaded.
When will these people ever learn their lessons?
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 10, 2013.