Thursday, September 19, 2019

Espinoza: Water, traffic and garbage

Free Zone

THE Barangay Mayor’s Office (BMO) that Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña created should be automatically closed after his term. Mayor-elect Edgar Labella doesn’t even have to issue an order to abolish it because in the first place the BMO does not exist legally, according to former DILG 7 director Rene Burdeos.

The BMO was the subject of the vehement objection from the opposition councilors because it duplicated the work of the barangay officials. Osmeña established the BMO in the barangays where the chairman is not aligned with his party. Well, perhaps, to put things in order the new city mayor will issue the executive order for the abolition of the BMO.

Mayor-elect Labella plans to replace the BMO with a liaison officer in every barangay as a bridge for the different barangays to the Office of the City Mayor. Under Labella’s stewardship of City Hall, we will expect a different style in managing the City’s affairs. Labella, a lawyer, will assume office noon of June 30, 2019.

Labella would have his hands full when he assumes office with a myriad of problems facing the City. Among them, the lack of water supply during the hot summer days, the worsening traffic, and how to keep the city clean and tidy now that the landfill in Consolacion, where it dumps its garbage, was temporarily closed after the landslide.

The problem with garbage is largely due to the lack of discipline among the households. Most residents throw their garbage on the streets, unmindful of its harmful effect to humans. This is exacerbated by the lackadaisical enforcement of the environmental and sanitation laws. We have a city ordinance on the upkeep of household wastes, but the implementation is still so much to be desired because those tasked to enforce them were too politicized.

When interviewed about the BMO, Mayor-elect Labella said: “We will just have to follow what is in the law.” The reply was expected from a good lawyer, who was once the director of the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas. Well, with a lawyer on the helm, everyone now can expect an orderly administration of the city.

The supporters of Mayor Osmeña could not believe that their standard bearer would lose to Vice Mayor Labella. The police were blamed for Mayor Osmeña’s defeat to Vice Mayor Labella that many thought didn’t have the logistics to fight an incumbent mayor. The truth is Mayor Osmeña can blame himself for his loss and you know why.

The Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Sec. Michael Lloyd Dino, the man that Mayor Osmeña called “cockroach,” now has the last laugh. While Dino kept mum during the campaign period, his friends knew that Labella was his personal choice to run for mayor and the rest is now history. To Vice Mayor-elect Mike Rama, congratulations for your “ultimate sacrifice” in giving in to Labella and letting go your strong desire to retake the mayor’s seat after your defeat in the 2016 polls. Otherwise, the result would have been different.

On the other hand, unlike at Cebu City Hall, there is much hullabaloo on the return to Capitol of 3rd District Rep. Gwen Garcia, who won the gubernatorial race against Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale. Garcia warned, in a letter, outgoing Gov. and now vice-governor elect Hilario Davide Jr. of any midnight transactions to which Davide resented and felt insulted.

Davide said the letter was not necessary as he knows his job and Capitol already has not have a transition team. Governor-elect Garcia was only perhaps stressing her point publicly in the same manner that she wanted all the election returns canvassed first before she will be proclaimed a winner even after Vice Gov. Magpale already conceded defeat.

DILG Memorandum Circular 2019-39 mandates the creation of the transition team. It also provides that all Capitol department heads will be part of the team whose primary role is to conduct an inventory of properties and secure all official documents and records for the turnover on Friday, June 28.

Let’s wait and see how would our newly elected officials perform and should they fulfill their promises during the campaign period.


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