Editorial: ‘Bigger and more modern’ CCMC-A A +A
Saturday, October 19, 2013
IT IS rather ironic that the vision of a bigger and more modern Cebu City hospital could only have been formed after a calamity, which is the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck Bohol and also badly affected Cebu province. The tremor exposed the need to realize that vision.
The problem is that the Cebu City Government may not be in the best situation politically to implement what Mayor Michael Rama has conceived.
The Cebu City Council, which has a say on how city’s money should be spent, is dominated by Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) councilors. The chairperson of the committee on budget and finance is Councilor Margot Osmeña, wife of former mayor Tomas Osmeña.
Osmeña lost to Rama in the May elections by the slimmest of margins and has been seen to be already preparing for another run for the post of mayor in 2016. His and his party’s responses to the mayor’s plans are therefore expected to be shaped by this long-term political goal.
It is good to imagine the BOPK councilors honestly embracing the mayor’s vision without considering that if it succeeds he and not their boss, Osmeña, will gain most of the pogi points. But their past acts show this won’t happen. The BOPK councilors have been scheming for years now.
Rama’s problem extends even to the national government where Osmeña has influence through Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas. It was not surprising that when Rama was asked about funding sources for the building of the new CCMC, he didn’t mention President Noynoy Aquino.
What this shows is that there are hurdles the mayor has to overcome to realize his vision for CCMC. And these hurdles are formidable.
Rama seems to believe, however, that this can be done through the help of the private sector and Vice President Jejomar Binay, who does not belong to the administration party. Still, in most major undertakings, success depends on the strong conviction of the vision’s implementers.
Besides, Rama seems to have the support of most of the city’s residents in this project. Indeed, the people’s support matters more than those of the BOPK councilors and their allies in the national government.
Considering its importance, the CCMC has to be rebuilt immediately. Everybody’s eyes are now on the mayor. Is he capable of marshalling the needed resources and overcome the hurdles to implement his vision?
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 19, 2013.