Mongaya: Merry Christmas

NEWS of M & M together, complete with pictures circulating on Facebook, got some people talking about possible political realignments in Cebu City.

Margot and Mary Ann running for the top posts come 2016? We cannot discount such a possibility. I still think it will be Tom-Mike rematch, though. At the moment, I sense only a welcome thaw in the personal relationships of political adversaries within the City Council.

Yes, we expect more political skirmishes come 2015. Still we hope this won’t lead to gridlocks to the detriment of Cebuanos. Approval of the P13.4-billion budget–something much bigger than that of Makati City–should give us a sense that Cebu City can move faster.

We should. While political pundits and operators only see 2016, we should input Asean integration that is happening much earlier. We can’t afford political gridlocks at a time when we should be catching up with our Asean neighbors.

But then, the Rama administration must achieve what it has failed to achieve so far, which is to hit its target revenue collection.

For a long time now, the Rama administration has been blaming the BOPK-dominated council for not giving them the budget they needed to carry out their projects.

We now know that the administration failed in implementing infrastructure projects that were included in budgets the past few years. Mayor Rama likewise had to use funds earmarked for building CCMC to deliver on the budgeted financial aid for senior citizens.

Come to think of it, such a juggling act would not have been obvious had the seniors agreed to donate funds for the CCMC construction. It’s not about getting the big budgets. It is about raising the revenues to fund the budget being asked.

Now, when I personally overshoot my budget and begin juggling money, I tell myself to double time in raising the needed funds. And I avoid blaming others for obstacles that I failed to hurdle.

***

Manila Mayor Erap Estrada has made his preference public. He would prefer Sen. Grace Poe if pitted against Vice President Jojo Binay. Still, there is no conflict because the opposition kingmaker is pushing for a Binay-Poe tandem.

Meanwhile, Liberal Party operators are also working hard for Poe as runningmate of Secretary Mar Roxas. They believe the tandem will boost Roxas at a time that Binay is on a free fall.

Will Poe choose to play second fiddle to either Roxas or Binay? Some observers are saying Poe does not have the needed war chest to wage a bruising presidential campaign. What do you think, guys? Roxas-Poe? Or Binay-Poe?
***
Many may have forgotten what it was like to be a child. But our hearts surely melt when we see children’s faces light up. We felt it when two of Doray’s clients decided to give children something uplifting this Yuletide season.

AirAsia treated 30 street children in Cebu and Davao to free familiarization tours last Dec. 12. Ten kids from the Batang Opon and Street Children Foundation centers in Cebu found themselves on a plane to spend a few hours touring Davao City. Another 10 from the Tambayan center in Davao City were brought to Cebu. And another 10 from Cebu’s SOS children’s center went around Cagayan de Oro.

Six days later in Naga City, Cebu, Mayor Val Chiong’s daughter Kristine and the Basa Dours group indulged 30 grade 3 Naga public school pupils with a story-telling session during the inauguration of the Naga City Public Library and Computer Laboratory sponsored by the SPC Power Corp.

Mayor Chiong and Dennis Villareal, the CEO and president of SPC, cut the ceremonial ribbon. Korean Electric Corp. president Choi Chang Yong came and promised to donate more children’s books.

I consider it a blessing watching delighted faces of kids during the Christmas season.

***

One problem with Facebook during birthdays is the inadequacy of thanking everybody in one or two posts. I think newer FB algorithms are making it more difficult to reach more of your friends. Thus, one will just have to wade through the weak Internet connection and thank everybody one by one.

Anyway, we’ve done answering each greeting during the text message heydays just a few years back. (Why do greetings via text message sound so old school?)

Columnists enjoy an advantage, though. We have this chance to say thanks to all once. While at it, I want to greet all an advance Merry Christmas.

(Follow @anol_cebu in Twitter)
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