TWENTY-eight new vehicles amounting to more than P33.4 million were turned over by the Cebu City Government to the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) yesterday.
After the turn-over, Mayor Michael Rama challenged the city’s police force to do its job by serving and protecting the public.
He also hit at critics who are questioning the timing of the giving of vehicles, which was just a week before the May 9 polls.
In his speech during the flag-raising ceremony at City Hall yesterday, Rama said the procurement of the vehicles was made in 2015 yet, but it was just delivered now.
“Unsaon man na? Iuli nato? (What should I do? Return them?) Of course not. Our police deserve that. The police deserves the best. I did not ask that they will be delivered after the elections or before the elections. I just learned it came already. What do you want me to do? Hide it? Should I hide it? Of course not,” he said.
Out of the 28 vehicles, 17 were turned over yesterday morning, while the 11 arrived in the afternoon.
Of the 28, 10 of them are Toyota Fortuner, a midsized sports utility vehicles (SUV) while 18 are Mitsubishi Adventure, an Asian utility vehicle.
The vehicles that were turned over yesterday already include the 11 vehicles that Rama gave to the police when he had a command conference with the station commanders in April 28.
Each of the Toyota Fortuner cost P1.5 million, while each of the Mitsubishi Adventure cost P1.025 million.
Funding for the purchase of the patrol cars were taken from the P13.4-billion annual budget of the City Government last year.
The vehicles will be assigned to the 11 police stations.
Two Toyota Fortuner will be assigned to the Special Weapons and Tactics team, while six Mitsubishi Adventure will be assigned to the Mobile Patrol Group, among others.
The CCPO’s Homicide Section will also be given a vehicle as well as its Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Bureau, the Tourist Police Unit and the City Anti-illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force, among others.
CCPO Deputy Director for Administration Supt. Arteimio Ricabo thanked the City for the support it is giving to the policemen.
“Pasalig namo nga daghan na tang makitang police sa atong mga kadalanan. Ang police response pud di na ma-delay (We ensure police presence in the streets),” he said.
Ricabo assured they will fulfill their mandate and they will help keep the conduct of the May 9 elections orderly and safe.
Meanwhile, the Cebu City government also turned over 22 Certificate of Titles to twenty-two beneficiaries of the Land for the landless program yesterday.
The beneficiaries were from the sitios of Barangay Tinago and Barangay Duljo Fatima. They were in addition to the 1,200 beneficiaries that were given the certificate last Sunday.
The turning over of the Certificate of Titles were headed by Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama, with Vice Mayor Edgar Labella, Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor Chief Collin Rusell and Land Management Council Head Genesis Ponce.
There are a total of 1,200 beneficiaries.
Nine hundred of them were given the Certificate of Lot Allocation. They were from the areas that were re-blocked from the city, which included Barangay Lorega, Tejero, Pardo and Basak San Nicholas. Three hundred of them were Slot Improvement Relocation (SIR) beneficiaries.
The City Government, under the administration of Mayor Mike Rama, created the Land for the Landless Program to help provide lands to qualified families. This is under the Residential Free Patent based on Republic Act 10023, an act authorizing the issuance of free patents to residential lands.
These are public land that are not registered to anybody, and had been occupied by families for more than ten years.
Rusell said allocated lot given to the families are for residential purposes only. They are prohibited to engage in disposing the said properties.
“The program in general is to provide additional capital or property to a particular family nga para ra gyud sa ilang gamit (that is for their own use),” said Rusell.
Ponce said they are planning to provide lots for another 80 families by July. Monique R. Acha, CNU Comm Intern