QUICK look at incumbents’ control over the local legislatures in the tri-cities and the component cities of Cebu Province:

[1] CEBU CITY – 12 over four, in a total of 16 elected councilors, supporting Partido Barug’s Mayor Michael Rama and Vice Mayor-elect Raymond Alvin Garcia, repeating dominance over rival BOPK in 2019.

[2] MANDAUE CITY – total sweep of 10 city councilors belonging to Mayor Jonas Cortes’ and Vice Mayor Glenn Bercede’s PDP-Laban, with zero minority from NPC. A reprise of the control the Cortes-Bercede administration has enjoyed since in 2019.

[3] LAPU-LAPU CITY – a total sweep of 12 city council seats under Team Libre-PDP Laban of Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan and Vice Mayor Celsi Sitoy. A reversal of fortune from the 2019 elections when Chan and Sitoy only had two PDP-Laban councilors against 10 Team Deretso-Lakas councilors of the Radazas.

[4] COMPONENT CITIES: Alayon-NP’s tandem of Samsam Gullas and Choy Fernandez Aznar won all the 10 seats in the City Council, led by topnotcher Digul Gullas.

Also in control of their respective City Councils in Cebu Province:

--- City of Naga Mayor-elect Val Chiong and Vice Mayor-elect Virgilio Chiong rule over party councilors led by number 1 councilor-elect Clint Chiong of NP.

--- Carcar City mayor-elect Patrick Barcenas and Vice-Mayor elect Efren Quijano, One Cebu party, as well as most of the councilors, scoring a major upset over the well-entrenched “Nice-puro” political family.

--- Ditto with City of Bogo’s Mayor-elect Carlo Jose Martinez and Vice Mayor-elect Mayel Martinez and their party PPP’s elected councilors.

--- Dominating the Toledo City Sanggunian are councilors of One Cebu led by the tandem of reelected Mayor Marjorie “Joie” Perales and Vice Mayor Jake Sigue.

[The non-elected ex-officio councilors from the barangay and youth sectors don’t affect dominance in the City Council, indicating wide edge of the winning party over its rival.]

FISCALIZERS OR OBSTRUCTIONISTS. After looking up who won as mayor and vice mayor of a city, the interested election observer usually wants to find out who landed in the City Council seats and which party controls the legislative body.

The mayor and vice mayor who win with an opposition-packed Sangguniang Panlungsod inevitably face rough sailing on major ordinances. A hostile legislature, driven by partisan interest, could derail administration plans.

The last three administrations in Cebu City (Rama as mayor in 2013, Tomas Osmena in 2016 and Edgardo Labella-Rama in 2019) clearly demonstrate how much time and energy could be wasted in political bickering over legislation. While total control by a party may produce mediocre or corrupt ordinances, it may also facilitate wasteful obstruction.

BARUG KEEPS SANGGUNIAN. Partido Barug holds the two top posts of Cebu City, with Mayor Michael Rama given a fresh three-year term starting June 30 and Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia as his vice mayor and City Council presiding officer.

It wasn’t a total sweep by the Barug Sanggunian slate but it controls with a comfortable edge: five over three in the north district and seven over one in city south. A solid advantage, compared to 2019 when only the disqualification of two BOPK winners and the defection of one shifted dominance.

BOPK will still have Councilor Jessica Resch of the apolitical-sham Sangguniang Kabataan but may lose the slot occupied by Councilor Franklyn Ong who failed in his vice mayor bid. Even with two more votes for BOPK though, it would still be 12 over six in Barug’s favor, not counting the Barug presiding officer who votes only in case of a tie.

OTHER CITIES IN CEBU TOO. Incoming administrations of two other cities in the tri-cities and five component cities of the Province won’t have each a combative or uncooperative legislature.

An adversarial Sanggunian won’t be an excuse for failure of a city chief executive to perform. There will be no opposition with the capability of stopping the majority in any of Cebu’s legislatures.

The public though must be wary of a City Council acting as total stooge of the chief executive, with not one or two councilors "fiscalizing" for public interest.