WITH another P12.5 million in savings, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña will have another program for the youth—free sportswear for the summer.
Osmeña will distribute uniforms for sports tournaments of the children in the barangays before the elections, or even before the summer vacation starts because “I won’t be mayor anymore next summer.”
Since the City saved P12.5 million in pre-termination fees that it would have paid to the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) for paying off two loans before the due date, the mayor said he will realign the funds for the children instead.
He made the announcement yesterday, a week after he announced the P100-million scholarship fund for all public high school graduates who will enroll in college.
The City has already allocated funds for the holding of sports tournaments in the barangays, he said, but the youth keep soliciting for uniforms.
Even before his critics could react, Osmeña said he is not doing it to bribe the youth, some of whom will be qualified to vote in the May 10 elections.
“It’s important to them, they don’t want to be in plain t-shirts so we’ll give them uniforms...Okay, others will say its bribery, okay. I would say it’s performance. It really depends which side you’re on... It’s really summer vacation, they want to have fun, so let them have fun,” he said.
In his news conference yesterday, the mayor said the sportswear will help the youth, especially those from the villages whose barangay captains are not allied with him.
In Barangay Cogon Pardo, for example, he said that the Sangguniang Kabataan cannot access their funds amounting to P500,000 for their sports programs “because the
SK chair is identified with me.”
Osmeña said the City will give sportswear to as many children as possible, but he will leave it to Councilors Raul Alcoseba and Sylvan Jakosalem to decide on the mechanics of the distribution of the shirts.