At noon tomorrow, the newly elected and reelected government officials in the May 9, 2022 general elections will begin their term of office. A six-year term for the President and Vice President, and the senators who are in the magic 12 for the Senate seats; the representatives of the Lower House and the local officials shall “enjoy” their three years in office.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama has announced the purging of about 500 casual and job order employees and workers at City Hall. I presumed that most of the 500 workers whose employment at City Hall will not be renewed were those the city mayor earlier tagged as “kawatan (thief), tapulan (indolent), hugawan (untidy), intregero (intriguer), pala-away (quarrelsome), walay nahibaw-an (inexperienced or unknowing), dili mo bayad og utang (does not pay debts), and mobuko-buko (backstabber).” Or, these employees were appointees of the late mayor Edgardo Labella.
If we count the first two terms of Mayor Rama as city mayor, this time would be his third to be the sitting mayor. But since his supposed third term was disrupted when then mayor Tomas Osmeña beat him in the May 2016 polls, Mayor Rama is actually starting a fresh mandate in office, and he is eligible to run for another two consecutive terms or six years—if he wins in the midterm elections in May 2025, he can run again in the general elections in May 2028.
On the other hand, incoming President Bongbong Marcos (BBM) has started announcing the members of his Cabinet that will work for him during his six years in Malacañang, some of whom were former secretaries. His election to the presidency last month was like a homecoming to the Malacañang palace where he practically grew up during the years that his father and namesake was the president and ruled this nation with an iron fist in an extended term of his governance after Martial Law was proclaimed in September 1972. That’s history, so they say.
Bad news for former senator Juan Ponce Enrile that he could not attend the inauguration of BBM as the 17th president of our republic as he is in a hospital bed, sick with what he called a dry cough, but actually he has been diagnosed positive for the coronavirus disease or Covid-19. BBM has appointed Enrile as the presidential legal adviser.
This year’s general elections, even under the Covid-19 pandemic, can be considered a success because there were few reports of cheating, harassment of the voters (only vote buying?), or brownouts during the transmission and counting of the votes. VP Leni Robredo who lost to BBM did not file a protest; neither did the other candidates for president and vice president.
So what’s in store for the incoming president and vice president as well as the local officials? With the soaring prices of fuel that affects everything that we buy from food and other necessities, I doubt if these new leaders could work based on their playbook. Instead, their hands would be full with everyone’s complaints and clamor to lower the prices of commodities.
This early, President-elect BBM already denied the demand of the transport sector to temporarily remove the excise tax on fuel so that the fuel prices will go down. The government’s support for the transport sector is not enough. The “free ride” for commuters in public transport that the LTFRB provided has run out of funds.
Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes will give the tricycle drivers P5,000 as the government’s assistance. But for me, it would have been better that instead of money, the tricycle drivers would be provided with fuel coupons to prevent them from gambling.
June 28, 2022
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