Cebu City reps’ bills still pending nearly 2 years after polls

Cebu City map.
Cebu City map.

MORE than 10 measures involving Cebu City have been filed by its two district representatives in the House of Representatives; however, as of February 2024, almost two years after they assumed office, none have been approved.

North District Rep. Rachel “Cutie” del Mar and South District Rep. Eduardo Rama Jr. have authored 12 and five bills, respectively, but all are still pending in different committees.

Del Mar and Rama both won in the May 2022 elections and are now serving their first term.

Del Mar’s bills

Since del Mar assumed office in June 2022, she has already filed 12 bills concerning Cebu City, the website of the House of Representatives shows.

The majority of the bills were related to infrastructure and public transportation, including the following:

○ Construction of a Light Rail Transport (LRT) system or Metro Rail Transport (MRT) system or monorail transport over, as well as a subway transport system under the three most congested road sections in the north district of Cebu City filed on June 30, 2022. The bill had been referred to the committee on transportation since July 26;

○ Renaming the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority to Lapu-Lapu-Cebu International Airport Authority and Mactan-Cebu International Airport to Lapu-Lapu-Cebu International Airport filed on June 30. This has been pending with the transportation committee since July 7;

○ The establishment and construction by the Cebu Port Authority (CPA) of an additional international container terminal filed on June 30. This has been pending with the transportation committee since July 26;

○ Construction of a circumferential road from the north district of the city to the south also filed on June 30. This has been pending with the public works and highways committee since July 26, and

○ Converting the road sections of Talamban-Lusaran-Adlaon-Taptap, Pit-os-Guba-Sirao, and Agsungot-Guba roads to a national road also filed on June 30. This has been pending with the public works and highways committee since July 26

Other bills filed by del Mar concerning Cebu that have yet to be approved include:

○ Creating the Mega Cebu Development Authority which was filed on June 30 and has been pending with the committee on government enterprises and privatization since July 26;

○ Declaring Dec. 4 of each year as one non-working holiday in Cebu City and Cebu Province and a two-day working holiday in the rest of the country in honor of the late Sen. Serging Osmeña Sr. The bill was filed on June 30 and has been pending with the committee on local government since July 27;

○ Converting the Cebu Technological University (CTU) into a university system to be known as the Cebu Technological University System filed on Aug. 8, 2022, and was approved by the lower house on Feb. 15, 2023. It has been pending with the Senate since Feb. 20;

○ Increasing the number of the board of directors of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority filed on March 29, 2023. This was approved by the lower house on May 23, 2023, and has been in the Senate since May 24, 2023.

According to the House of Representatives website, Del Mar also submitted bills addressing not only issues in Cebu City but also national concerns.

Rama

This is Rama’s first term serving in Congress, having previously served as Cebu City councilor.

Since he assumed his seat as second district representative in 2022, he has filed far five bills concerning Cebu City.

According to the House of Representative’s website, Rama proposed the following measures:

○ Creating the Metropolitan Cebu Development Authority (MCDA) which was filed on July 1, 2022, and has been pending with the government enterprises and privatization since July 27, 2022;

○ Creating the Kidney Institute of Cebu filed on July 29, 2022, and has been pending with the committee on health since Aug. 8, 2022;

○ Converting the CTU into the CTU system filed on Aug. 8, 2022. This was approved by the House on Feb. 15, 2023, and has been in the Senate since Feb. 20, 2023; and

○ Converting F. Vestil Road located into a national road filed on Dec. 13, 2023, and has been pending with the committee on public works and highways since Jan. 22, 2024.

Like del Mar, Rama has filed measures addressing not only Cebu City but also national and other local government units’ concerns.

SunStar Cebu tried to reach Rama and Del Mar on Sunday, March 17, to inquire about the reasons for the delay in passing their bills and the total number of bills they filed involving their respective districts; however, the messages remained unanswered as of press time.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama recently announced that he wanted Congressman Rama, who is his nephew, to still run for Congress in the 2025 midterm elections.

In earlier SunStar Cebu reports, del Mar was initially listed as one of Mayor Rama’s prospective candidates for his lineup in next year’s election. However, she was eventually dropped from the list following her alleged involvement in collecting signatures for the People’s Initiative, aimed at amending the 1987 Constitution.

The city’s local chief executive is currently pushing for City Councilor Donaldo “Dondon” Hontiveros, who is from the south district, to run as the north district representative. / JJL

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