Saturday, September 22, 2018

Editorial: That skate park plan

Editorial cartoon by Enrico P. Santisas

THAT Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña is obsessed with politics is proven again in his attempt to politicize an issue that is purely about sports. He suggested that the skate park, whose construction was conceived following the Asian Games gold medal win by Cebuana Margielyn Didal in skateboarding, be built on a lot whose sale by the previous administration he questioned.

Indeed, who among our present Cebu City leaders would have thought the way Osmeña is thinking? In a way, City Councilor Joel Garganera, who is with the opposition Barug Team Rama, hit the bullseye when he said: “If we put (the skate park) in a property that has been subjected to controversies, then I doubt that the intentions of the donation were pure.”

Part of the money to be used for the construction of the proposed skate park would come from the contribution by the mayor’s sister, Maria Victoria “Minnie” Osmeña, who has pledged $100,000 or about P5 million. The lot would be donated by the Cebu City Government, but Osmeña wants it to be within the area bought by Ayala Land Inc., SM Prime Holdings and Filinvest Land Inc.

Osmeña wants to rescind the sale, which was effected by the administration of former mayor Michael Rama. Meaning that the ownership issue is still hounding him. Putting the skate park inside those lots would therefore serve the mayor’s purpose, which is to further jeopardize the transaction entered into by his predecessor.

The Cebu City Council is now under the control of the mayor after the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) managed to have its allies win as chiefs of the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation and the Association of Barangay Councils in the city. The two BOPK allies are now ex-officio members of the city council.

In its regular session the other day, the Council passed the resolution filed by Councilor Eugenio Gabuya of BOPK authorizing the mayor to sign on behalf of the City Government the deed of donation and acceptance. That the resolution did not specify the lot where the skate park would be built is a good sign.

Let not politicking stray into a project born from noble intention.