Controversial cemeteryBy Ricky Poca
Cebu Daily News
I think Mayor Michael Rama and the Cebu City Council should listen to the objections of residents of barangay Kalunasan to the proposed construction of a cemetery in the area. What is interesting is that the proposed cemetery is to be erected in the location of the Osmeña Shrine because the lot was donated by Mayor Tommy Osmeña just before his term ended in May 2010. Many residents are afraid their water source would get contaminated by human remains in a burial ground. They also worried that a cemetery in the area would depress real estate prices there. Another concern expressed by senior citizens was the prospect of losing the trees, which would be cut down when construction begins.
Rep. Tommy Osmeña disputed the claims of those who opposed the cemetery proposal with much research. But it is best for the City Council to hear, listen and do what is best in the situation considering that the proposed donation for a cemetery was the idea of the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) chief Tommy Osmeña. Let’s wait for Mayor Rama’s stand on the issue.
Some are concerned because the proposed donation for a multifaith cemetery was already approved by the City Council when Rama was the vice mayor and presiding officer. Take note that the presiding officer does not have to cast his vote, especially when there is a clear majority voting in favor of the matter. In this case, I reckon that when Rama was presiding , the majority of the council already cast their votes in favor of the donation. Well, things have changed and today Rama is no longer with the BO-PK or under Osmeña’s leadership.
I think Rama will make an independent decision on the Kalunasan situation. The latest is that Congressman Osmeña is thinking of allowing a columbary or bone chamber to be built there instead of a cemetery. In the end, what the people want will have to be recognized by the city government.
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First-time Congressman Luigi Quisumbing said he would file a bill for the declaration of the lone district of Mandaue City contrary to the position taken by his camp in the One Cebu party. Does it mean that Quisumbing is giving more weight to the group of Mayor Jonas Cortes than that of One Cebu headed by Gov. Gwen Garcia? I think Quisumbing is giving more weight to the wishes of his constituents from Mandaue City than the party. It is a difficult political balancing act for Quisumbing but I guess he came up with the option most politically favorable for him. It won’t be easy to fight Mayor Cortes on this issue but it is easy to appease the One Cebu may be the thinking of Quisumbing. Besides, there are no strong political leaders in Mandaue City except for Quisumbing and Cortes.
Now comes the move of the Mandaue City treasurer to collect business taxes from the operation of the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) would eventually tax the province of Cebu, which runs it.
I hope that the issue can be resolved peacefully between the two parties instead of driving a wedge that would destroy their relations.
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Residents living within the three-meter easement of the Mahiga Creek should realize that the demolitions ordered by Mayor Rama is for their own good. Now that the is rainy season has started, Rama’s action protects them from the risk of flooding.
Residents who insist on staying near or above the creek should not be encouraged by anyone because ultimately this arrangement endangers the lives of residents, especially children. The clearing of the Mahiga Creek would also help the water level in flooded streets subside because one of the causes of flooding in the city is the lack of exits for rainwater to drain when creeks and rivers are already occupied by men.
I think illegal settlers have to give up because it is for the interest and welfare of everybody in the city, no matter how they justify their stay by the river.
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