CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama denied that someone dictated to him in his plan to extend financial aid to the town of Daanbantayan, Cebu.
The mayor expressed willingness to help Daanbantayan after the Municipal Council passed a resolution requesting the City for P500,000 assistance.
This as the town will again stage their annual Haladaya Festival on Aug. 30.
The council’s request was proposed following the refusal of Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia to give financial aid to the town.
Garcia was upset when the town failed to join Capitol’s Pasigarbo sa Sugbu Festival early this month.
The governor believed that Rama was dictated by someone in making decisions, particularly in giving financial aid to Daanbantayan.
Garcia didn’t name names but Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south) reportedly advised Loot to send a formal request to City Hall for the assistance.
Rama said it’s unfair to him when the governor insinuated he was dictated by someone, since he considers the gesture of giving financial aid as payback.
This is because Daanbantayan had been joining the Sinulog Festival the past several years until the town experienced financial constraints.
The mayor felt insulted when Garcia said the City has more pressing issues to deal with, and giving assistance should be “logically, maturely and responsibly decided.”
“Naa man na sa Biblia nga the real charity is when it hurts… You share because you care, because that’s the way you want to serve,” Rama said.
But Garcia sees a different view of the City’s gesture in giving financial assistance to Daanbantayan and described it as an indication of buying fights.
The City’s involvement in the verbal tussle between the governor and Daanbantayan Mayor Maria Luisa Loot may jeopardize the reopening of negotiations on the 93-1 lots.
Cebu City residents occupy the lots that the Province owns.
Garcia earlier disclosed that they can open other avenues and they can negotiate with other parties who may be in the position to help in solving the issue on a land swap deal.
Rama, however, is optimistic that the renegotiation with the province will push through, as the City continues to do its preparations.
The mayor has already created an ad hoc committee composed of City Administrator Jose Marie Poblete, City Attorney Joseph Bernaldez, Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor head Danilo Gabiana, and consultant on housing matters, Margie Matthieu.
The City Council designated Councilors Nida Cabrera, Alvin Dizon, Sisinio Andales and former city administrator Francisco “Bimbo” Fernandez to sit as members in the ad hoc committee that will represent the City in the negotiating table.
“The most important thing nga dili gyud na mawa sa akong thrust kay mao na ang akong commitment (to 93-1 residents) that I wrote a pledge,” Rama said.