IT NEVER fails. Something good always happens when people think and act outside the box. Something especially good can, therefore, be reasonably expected from recent outside-the-political-box moves of Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia and Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella.
Governor Garcia’s outsourcing of the staff requirements of government hospitals is something no run-of-the-mill politician would think of even if it is the right-on solution to the traditional inefficiency of government agency staff. It is to her credit that she is prioritizing the outsourcing of hospital staff because it is here that efficiency is most critical.
Bone-deep hence self-serving politician-officials usually staff government agencies with political appointees who are hired not for their personal and technical qualifications but for their value as payment of the appointing official’s political debt to loyal ward leaders and big financial backers.
These are costly hires not only because of low productivity but also because there’s a surplus of them who are hired not for the people’s need of their service but for the politician’s need to pay political debts. Worse still, they are “fire-proof” (cannot be fired?) because of the political clout of their recommending sponsors.
Over at City Hall, Mayor Edgardo Labella started with 10,000 saplings his project of growing 3-million-trees to attain the vision of a green Cebu City. Projects in the service of a long-term vision are generally not the type deeply and purely political animals prioritize as the former are of no help to them come re-election time.
Like for this particular project, Mayor Labella will not be using political appointees but volunteers from City Hall and outside third parties. Best of all, this is infinitely more productive than crying, protesting and litigating over a few trees that have to be cut for their potential to harm or kill people.
Also part of this vision is the mayor’s clean up of Cebu City’s rivers, a big component of which is to properly relocate families now living within the waterways’ easement zones.
After the lethargic term of office of the former governor and after the self-serving term of the former mayor, it is encouraging to have two local executives who govern with a vision and have the courage to work their vision outside the box of traditional political mental categories.
Governor Garcia and Mayor Labella have to be commended for these great moves, hopefully the first of many more from them. I also hope they exchange notes, Governor Garcia striving for a green province and Mayor Labella outsourcing Cebu City’s Medical Center’s staff. That said, I nevertheless end this piece hoping I won’t be eating my words anytime soon.