Bzzzzz: It's official: The first Cebu-Mactan bridge is now Serging Osmeña Bridge, named after the son, not Don Sergio. Raul del Mar bill lapsed into law... Cordova mayor's office stripped of all furniture, which ex-mayor Sitoy-Cho says are hers.

CEBU. (From left) Sergio “Serging” Osmeña Jr., the late Cebu City north congressman Raul del Mar, former Cordova mayor Teche Sitoy-Cho and Cordova Mayor Cesar “Didoy” Suan. (SunStar File/Contributed)
CEBU. (From left) Sergio “Serging” Osmeña Jr., the late Cebu City north congressman Raul del Mar, former Cordova mayor Teche Sitoy-Cho and Cordova Mayor Cesar “Didoy” Suan. (SunStar File/Contributed)

BY OPERATION OF LAW. The bill naming the first Cebu-Mactan bridge Serging Veloso Osmeña Bridge, after the late former Cebu City mayor and senator, lapsed into law, as Republic Act # 11828, last June 2.

The president is required to act on a bill in 30 days or it becomes a law by inaction. It takes effect 15 days after publication in the Official Gazette or a newspaper of general circulation.

Filed on December 14, 2020 in the House of Representatives by the late Cebu City north congressman Raul V. del Mar as principal author, the bill was approved on third reading last January 20, 2021. Last May 2, 2022, it was transmitted to the president after Senate approval. Bzzzzz learned Monday, July 4, about the official passage of the measure by operation of law.

The bridge traversing the Mactan Channel -- located at A.C. Cortes Ave. in Barangay Looc, Mandaue City up to the Mandaue-Mactan Road in Barangay Pajo, Lapu-Lapu City -- was variously named as Mactan-Cebu Bridge, First Bridge, Old Bridge, then Serging Osmeña Bridge. Last April 12, 2013, the Mactan-Cebu Bridge Management Board (MCBMB) recommended that the first bridge be officially named Serging Osmeña Bridge.

Earlier, some confusion arose because news reports said the new name was Sergio Osmeña Sr., Serging's father and Cebu's Grand Old Man. MCBMB's choice was Serging Osmeña but it was merely recommendatory as only the president by executive order or Congress by law could officially name a national bridge.

Of the two other Cebu-Mactan bridges, only Marcelo B. Fernan Bridge is officially named, by act of Congress. The third bridge, linking Cordova town in Mactan to Cebu City, is named CCLEX or Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway by its management board but the name may be replaced by the president or Congress.

[Related story, February 9, 2022: Explainer: First Mactan-Cebu bridge still has no official name.]


'MISSING' FURNITURE IN CORDOVA. They were her personal property, some of which dating back to years when she was still vice mayor. That's the public explanation of former Cordova, Cebu mayor Teche Sitoy-Cho whom Mayor Cesar "Didoy" Suan defeated in the last election.

Suan reported Saturday, July 2, that he found when he went to the mayor's office Thursday, June 30, it to be bare except for a table. Besides, he learned that "hundreds of chairs" the town hall lends for wakes and barangay activities were missing. He ordered an inventory.

2019 INCIDENT IN CEBU CITY. People inevitably recall the news reports of June 28, 2019 when then outgoing mayor Tomas Osmeña "stripped" his office of fixtures, "literally taking the entire office with him when his term ended." Images of the empty office, with not a single object visible, and the cannibalized comfort room shocked the city and many parts of the country.

The Cordova case, which Mayor Suan is complaining about, is not half as stupefying as the Cebu City Hall shocker. Which, by the way, has not produced a follow-up story until now: Was Tomas Osmeña right? Did he take only what belonged to him? Was any piece of City Hall property missing and returned? With all the uproar, was it over nothing?

TRANSITION RULES. Mayor Suan praised the "smooth transition." If there was, how come he's now complaining of lost or missing furniture?

LGTTs or Local Governance Transition Teams were ordered organized by DILG for an "effective turnover of responsibilities." The teams were supposed to be formed already by last April 7. And they were to care of the job of inventory and turnover -- not just of records but also of assets "for the seamless continuance of ongoing programs for the people."

Then mayor Sitoy-Cho, as local chief executive, was to be the chairperson. The members are the LGU department heads, the municipal local government operations officer, the Sanggunian secretary and a representative from a civil society organization.

The matter of Sitoy-Cho's furniture and those hundreds of activity chairs should've been settled by then. Now Mayor Suan talks of having an inventory.

Given the 2019 incident in Cebu City, Cordova's LGTT should've been more diligent about its task.


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