CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama wants the construction of the Cebu City College fast-tracked.
This, so that the City Government scholars will be enrolled there.
In a phone interview yesterday, Rama said he wants to avoid having the bulk of the City scholars enrolled in just one educational institution. like the Asian College of Technology International Education Foundation Inc. (ACTIEF), previously Asian College of Technology (ACT).
“We cannot just be seeing and I cannot also, in conscience, look at the whole set up (of the scholarship program) and it is very clear how many are in ACT, how many were distributed to the others. Kung unsa ra kabuok ang mosuyop, mobuhat na lang ta ug atoang school (If only one gets the most, then let’s build our own school),” he said.
As of last semester there are some 3,000 scholars with ACTIEF. At least 1,000 of them graduated last March.
The City’s scholars are estimated to reach 15,000, said Councilor Alvin Dizon, chairperson of the council’s committee on education and vice chairperson of the scholarship committee.
The other scholars are already divided among the 21 schools accredited under the scholarship program.
Rama, who is currently in Manila, asked Carillo to handle the the implementation of the city college and check why it is not yet in place until now.
The City Council passed an ordinance establishing the city college in 2012 yet.
It was authored by then Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young, former councilor now Rep. Rodrigo Abellanosa (Cebu City, south district) and former councilor Ronald Cuenco together with Councilors Margarita Osmeña and Dizon.
Under the ordinance, an initial appropriation of P5 million was to be set aside for the school’s operations.
The college will then absorb the Bachelor of Science in Nursing offered by the Cebu City Medical Center-College of Nursing in consortium with the Cebu Institute of Technology.
It will also offer courses that are recognized by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
Last year, Carillo proposed an P80-million budget for the construction of the city college but such appropriation was among the items not included by the legislative body when it approved the P13.4-billion annual budget for 2015.
The mayor had wanted the city college established in the mountain barangay of Bonbon. It is not known yet if he has changed his plans following the issues surrounding ACTIEF
On why he chose Carillo to oversee the project, Rama had said the councilor was very active in the implementation of the alternative learning system in the city.
In a related development, Rama said the City Legal Office is handling the case filed against him by ACTIEF, which seeks to compel the City to pay some P136.92 million in tuition.
The school had also asked for a temporary restraining order and writ of preliminary injunction so that the ACTIEF remain in the City’s scholarship program.
Rama said he will not stop ACTIEF from filing suits against him.
“I have not been against any of their moves because we are guided by democratic process in the same manner that we also have to protect the money of the taxpayers. We don’t want to get into trouble later. We have to remember that the case against Bebot (Rep. Abellanosa) is criminal,” he said.
Abellanosa was a councilor when the council authorized then mayor Tomas Osmeña in 2010 and Mayor Rama in 2011 to enter into an agreement with ACT for the local government’s scholarship program.
Abellanosa signed the MOA in 2010 as trustee and president of ACT. In 2011, he signed the MOA on behalf of ACTIEF.
The anti-graft office found Abellanosa guilty for grave misconduct for conflict of interest and ordered the congressman dismissed from public service.