Rama on leave again, currently in Singapore

CEBU. Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama.
CEBU. Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama. Photo from Cebu City PIO

CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama has taken his first leave for 2024, five weeks since he returned to Cebu from his more than a month-long vacation in Melbourne, Australia, in 2023.

In an interview on Cebu City Hall’s media arm’s online program ‘Ingna’ng Mayor’ on Thursday, January 25, 2024, Rama, currently in Singapore, said he is on leave “but is still working.”

The mayor, however, did not specify his agenda in Singapore.

Rama said he is with Melquiades Feliciano, chairman of his appointed Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) board, Budget Officer Jerone Castillo, and City Planning and Development Office head Joseph Michael Espina.

Rama began his leave on Tuesday, January 23, and is expected to be back in Cebu on Saturday, January 27.

Speaking invitation

In the same interview, Rama disclosed that the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office of the Philippines invited him to speak at the 2024 Smart City Summit and Expo (SCSE): Digital and Green Transformation in Taipei and Kaohsiung, Taiwan in March.

The event is scheduled to take place on March 19 to 22 in Taipei and on March 21 to 23 in Kaohsiung.

Rama expressed optimism about the potential benefits of the summit for Cebu, saying that it is a comprehensive event with vast opportunities.

He said the summit’s focus will include discussions on water, environmental issues, global warming, and climate change.

He said he considers the event as both “substantial” and “cerebral” stimulating, as he added that Kaohsiung is recognized as Cebu City’s sister city.

When asked if the event could also bring about job opportunities for the city, Rama said the summit is “encompassing.”

He recalled that in 1992 and 1993, when he was still a councilor, Tomas Osmeña was the mayor, and Alvin Garcia was the vice mayor, the Cebu City Government was able to establish a direct hiring program in Taipei.

The event in March is organized by a group established in 2014; previous records indicate the success of the summit, with 130,000 individuals participating, 550 exhibitors from 45 countries, and 115 cities, including private sectors.

The event featured 70 forums and 513 networking sessions.

According to its official website, the SCSE is “Asia’s largest hybrid smart city tradeshow that features Internet of Things solutions.

Rama said he would be bringing a delegation composed of seven individuals, including Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) chairman Melquiades Feliciano, as part of the delegation representing the private sector.

In the last quarter of 2023, Rama went on a series of out-of-the-country trips, which concluded with a more-than-a-month vacation with his family in Melbourne, Australia.

On August 15, 2023, Rama left for Los Angeles, California, to receive a lifetime achievement award on August 20, 2023.

On September 10 to 13, 2023, Rama attended the 8th Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, a port city in the Far East region of Russia.

On October 7 to 15, 2023, Rama also flew to Australia to represent the League Cities of the Philippines, where he attended the 2023 Asia Pacific Cities Summit and Mayor’s Forum.

On October 31, 2023, Rama left again for Melbourne, Australia for a month-long vacation with his family. He arrived in Cebu four days earlier than his expected return on December 16, 2023.


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