ALTHOUGH his inauguration tomorrow is open to the public, Cebu City Mayor-elect Tomas Osmeña does not want government employees to attend his oath-taking rites.
In a news conference last Friday, the mayor-elect said he wants City Hall employees to stay at work as his inauguration will start at 4 p.m., unless they catch up after office hours.
“They (City Hall employees) can’t leave their offices. I don’t even want you to be there. You stay at work,” he said.
He, however, will issue direct exemptions to some of his close staff members.
In a previous report, his wife, acting mayor Margarita, said that the event will be open to the public.
The mayor-elect made the invitation official through a Facebook post dated June 25, telling the public that they can come and witness BOPK’s oath-taking rites.
“As usual for BOPK, this will not be a fancy event. No fireworks, no hakot (hauling), no dress code or mandatory wearing of blue and yellow. Anyone and everyone who wants to join us is welcome to (except government employees, unless they catch up after office hours),” the post read.
Apart from Vice President-elect Leni Robredo, who will administer Osmeña’s oath along with those of the other winning candidates of the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kausawagan (BOPK), there are no reported VIP guests who will be gracing the event.
“There’s no protocol and marching marines. No guest list, consuls, ambassadors, chamber of commerce, commissioners, police official...nothing. If they show up, fine,” he said.
He added that he will allocate some of the City’s buses to a few barangays who have expressed interests in attending the event.
The mayor-elect said the ceremony “will be the cheapest inauguration in the history of the City of Cebu.”
“In my oath-taking, there’s just meat rolls, some fried chicken and juice. I’m paying for it so don’t complain,” he said.
“(Outgoing mayor) Mike Rama wants to spend P20 million on his inauguration...I already spent P20,” he jokingly added.
He, however, will not disclose his expenses for the ceremony.
Unlike the usual inauguration, which takes an hour or two, he said the event tomorrow will only last for 30 minutes.
Osmeña explained the program’s flow, with the Iglesia ni Cristo, Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Muslim invocations only taking five minutes each.
He added that his inauguration address will only take three minutes and even if Robredo will have a speech as well, it will
not take much time.
“All I want to do is thank the people who helped me. Thank the people who took Rama’s money and voted for me. So it’s very anticlimactic, okay?” he said.
Eleven elected Cebu City officials under Team Rama will have their oath taking ceremony on June 30 at the Rama Compound in Barangay Basak, San Nicolas.
Councilor Jose Daluz III said it will be a simple ceremony led by suspended and outgoing Mayor Michael Rama with the presence of all their party members even those who lost in the last election.
The celebration will start with a mass in the morning of June 30 followed by the oath-taking proper of the elected officials.
Daluz, who serves as the group’s campaign manager during the last election, said a barangay captain will administer the oath of the winning city officials.
However, Daluz said they have yet to decide who among the village chiefs will administer the oath since they will still have to discuss it on Monday.
Ten councilors of Team Rama, including Vice Mayor-elect Edgardo Labella, will simultaneously take their oath during the celebration.
These councilors include Councilors Daluz, Dave Tumulak, Nendell Hanz Abella, James Cuenco, Joel Garganera, Raymond Garcia, Jerry Guardo, Jocelyn Pesquera, Edu Rama and Pastor Alcover.
Tumulak has already took his oath before Regional Trial Court Branch 10 Judge Soliver Peras ahead of the group’s schedule.
He took his oath last June 16.
Tumulak said he decided to go ahead with the ceremony since he had a trip abroad.
“Nibiyahi man gud ko and wala pa man mi kasabot ato sa schedule sa group, mao nga nag-una lang sa ko kay basin ang schedule wala pa ko mauli sa siyudad (I traveled and we didn’t have an agreement then yet, so I went ahead thinking I might not be back in the city when it would be scheduled already),” he added.
He also chose Peras to administer his oath taking since the former is his upper class in the Philippine Army Reservist.
But now that he is back in the city, Tumulak said he will still attend the Team Rama’s oath-taking.
Daluz said they have decided to hold it at the Rama Compound, where the house of the suspended mayor is since he serves as leader of their group.
“It’s a message that we are Team Rama,” he added.
Also, Barangay Basak San Nicolas, where Rama Compound is located gave the group the biggest lead during the latest poll last month.