MONTHS within Mike Rama’s second term as Cebu City mayor in 2013, the road to our home in Sambag was so bad you had to hold on to your seat (I hated seat belts, still do) if you did not want your head to hit the car roof when one of the tires got swallowed by a pothole. Most of the city’s other streets were not in any better condition.

I called out the mayor then, asking if he’ll ever find the time to have the roads repaired. He did not take kindly to the criticism. He summoned his cousin and confidante, Rene Mercado, to ask if I was still a friend.

And when we met during a reunion of former members of the Cebu City Integrated Bar basketball team, he cold-shouldered me.

But in fairness to Mike, he had our road repaired as he did the others. I never knew if he did it grudgingly. Not that it mattered. What did (matter) was the smoother ride that I began to enjoy.

There must be a direct relationship between an election and bad roads. How else could you explain the fact that months after Tommy Osmeña got his revenge on Rama in May last year, the condition of many of the city’s streets continues to deteriorate?

Tommy is a busy person; a mayor always is but Tommy’s plate is fuller. Plotting ways to recover the huge chunk of the South Road Properties sold by Rama through a public bidding in 2015 must be time-consuming.

But isn’t that why he has deputy mayors so someone, who has his trust, can take care of the smaller aspects of governance while he focuses on the big picture? And what about the city engineer’s office? Aren’t they supposed to monitor the state of our roads? Is it not their mandate to maintain and repair them?

Is the problem money? Well, the last time I heard, the mayor got his budget proposal for 2017 passed in its entirety. True, the city council did try to delete/defund certain items in the mayor’s budget proposal but Osmeña thwarted the move by exercising his veto power. But even if he was unable to, it couldn’t have in any way affected the funding for roads and bridges because the council left it untouched.

We call on the mayor to order the city’s engineers to move their fast behinds, roll up their sleeves and start filling those potholes. We have suffered long enough from the dilapidated state of our roads. We deserve better.

We are taxpayers.


Is the honeymoon between the Duterte administration and the Left over? The peace talks that once looked promising have been back-burnered and both parties are saying they’re again on war footing.

It’s unfortunate but it seems to follow the course of past attempts to settle what is said to be the world’s oldest communist rebellion: the new president announces that he wants peace with the New People’s Army, they talk for a while and then resume hostilities.

Will we ever see the end to this madness?