CAGAYAN DE ORO City Mayor Vicente Y. Emano’s failure to present his programs of government at the second session of the City Council session Tuesday has gotten the attention of a councilor from the minority block.
Not that this resulted from a bureaucratic gaffe of any sort: Emano, throughout his previous three terms as mayor, had not delivered any such report.
Councilor Roger G. Abaday said he had expected the reelected mayor to present his programs for the remainder of the year, the inaugural session having only tackled the allocation of committees.
Abaday cited the provisions of the Local Government Code, which require local chief executives to present their “programs and policies” to the City Council “during the opening of the regular session every calendar year.”
“As representatives of the people, the City Council should be appraised of the policy directions of the city. This is not a mere request, this is required by law,” Abaday said.
Even if not required by law, it was still imperative for Emano to inform the City Council of his programs “so that these are harmonized with the legislative priorities,” he said.
Throughout his nine-year stint as mayor, from1998 to 2007, Emano had repeatedly expressed his aversion for rendering a State of the City Address or Soca. He’d rather inform the public of his administration’s programs through his radio shows, he said, believing he was directly communicating to his constituents that way.
Nothing is likely to change now that he’s back in his old post.
In between ramblings on politics, Emano continues to dish reports on his administration’s accomplishments through the media. He currently maintains an hourly weekend radio programs, and he gets radio and TV interviews in primetime slots almost every day.
In one of those interviews last week, Emano vowed to strive to follow the footsteps of President Benigno C. Aquino III, whom the mayor described a ”role model.” For starters, Emano promised to control his smoking habits in public.
But Abaday said Emano should go beyond “controlling bad habits to become a role model.”
“How about being transparent in governance?” the councilor quipped, saying that during Emano’s nine-year rule, “City Hall operated in darkness.”
“The mayor even issued a memorandum prohibiting the release of documents without his personal approval,” he pointed out. The controversial memorandum was put into effect in the later years of Emano’s nine year in office, and had been widely seen as a response to the corruption scandals hitting the administration.
Abaday attempted to put forward a resolution calling Emano to outline his programs for 2010 but was overwhelmed by the administration-allied majority. (Nicole J. Managbanag)