Blame game at Cebu City Hall

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Thursday, January 9, 2014


WE'VE seen how blame is tossed from each political bloc to the rival camp at City Hall.

Mayor Michael Rama's beef has been about the alleged stinginess of BOPK-dominated City Council, slashing hefty amounts from Team Rama-proposed appropriations.

For the 2014 budget, the council lopped off half the amount, from P10.5 billion to P5.9 billion. It had similarly carved out previous money requests of the mayor, more glaringly in the run-up to the last elections.

Politicking, which Mayor Rama has harped on, can't be dismissed. It's obvious that Rama's archenemy has been tugging strings of his "puppets."

Yet the BOPK wing's excuse that City Hall is running on empty gas still has to be refuted, not just denied. Are the mayor's money proposals supported with income the treasury can collect? They're based, BOPK charges, on "inchoate" revenue, funds that are still up in air as the real properties from which they'll come are still to be sold.

There's not even a move yet to sell the idle real estate, from SRP lots to the land beside a plush hotel to the city property in Kamagayan.

And the mayor hasn't taken specific steps because he doesn't think the Council will approve
it anyway.

Pipe dream

So is funding for the slashed budget plans pipe dream because it won't translate into expendable cash?

The council says the city has no money because of slow or inefficient collection. The mayor says BOPK ambition to wrest back control of the mayor's office in 2016 (which Rama has held on his second term now) is to blame, not his management.

So who's right?

[paseares@sunstar.com.ph]

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 09, 2014.

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