Editorial: Mayor’s pessimism

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Saturday, February 8, 2014


CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama described his plea for international consuls to help him rebuild the earthquake-damaged Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) as being “practical” about it. But the statement also had pessimism written all over it.

The mayor announced his “new” game plan for the rebuilding of the CCMC after meeting with international consuls from the Consular Corps of Cebu Wednesday night at the Casino Español.

He called it “adoption program.” It can also be referred to as a Frankenstein monster’s scheme. Meaning that, pieces of the structure would be built or set up with financial or material help from the various countries the consuls are representing.

“One country can adopt the emergency room, then another the morgue. Another country can adopt the pediatric wing, the laboratory wing or the operating room or even the staircase,” the mayor explained. “China may even say that it will adopt the entire CCMC, or maybe just half of it.”

Rama hatched the scheme because, as he said, he wasn’t expecting support from the Cebu City Council, which is dominated by the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK). He wouldn’t even promise to shoulder the freight expenses if a country sends hospital equipment. Decision on that would still go through the city council.

He cited as an example the request to charge to the Pagcor funds the freight and shipping cost of life support equipment from the United States that is now at the Cebu International Port. The city council went over the request with a fine-tooth comb instead.

To be fair, BOPK councilors led by Margot Osmeña, chairperson of the committee on budget and finance, had promised to cooperate with Rama on the matter of rebuilding the city hospital. But in a highly politicized setup, it is difficult to differentiate honest pledges from mere talk.

The mayor is determined to see this particular project through until the end. But whether he succeeds in doing that without the city council’s help is another matter altogether.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 08, 2014.

Opinion

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