‘Cancel road projects’By Edison A. Delos Angeles, Tweeny M. Malinao
Cebu Daily News
Cebu City Rep. Tomas Osmeña yesterday called on public works officials to “cancel” P300 million worth of road improvement projects in his south district.
“I will cancel all these projects and funding will go back to the national government. I will not realign,” he said, irked by Mayor Michael Rama’s criticism about lack of coordination with the mayor’s office.
“I will just give it (the money) back to the national government,” Osmeña said in a press conference yesterday in his Guadalupe residence.
Rama earlier deplored what he called the failure of the the Department of Public Works and Highways to coordinate with the city government on the implementation of road projects.
He later found out that the projects were identified by Osmeña.
The congressman said Rama was being an “obstructionist.”
At City Hall, Rama posed this question to participants of a “stakeholders consultation” on DPWH projects in the city: “Is there a need to change the present road?”
Rama said the roads Osmeña wanted improved are in “excellent” condition.
The mayor wanted the funds used instead for projects in the north district.
Congressman Osmeña retorted that Rama can’t dictate to him how to spend funds he mobilized from the national government for his district through his pork barrel or Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
The mayor, however, said he wanted road improvement done in the north district like the S. Osmeña Road and Kaohsiung Street in the Recla mation Area.
“Mike Rama has no business in telling me how to spend the money I got from the national government,” said Osmeña.
Mayor Rama, however, said the DPWH secured a Notice to Proceed (NTP) for these road projects on July 27 without him.
“That is why, I was curious and mad. Why didn’t they consult me? “Maanad na ang ilang style kay sila ma’y hari kaniadto (They are getting used to this style, because before they acted like kings),” Rama said.
The south district congressman rejected this claim.
“He (Rama) is just trying to be an obstructionist. He does not want any project to get through so he will just say that I have not done anything for the city as a congressman,” he said. Osmeña is confident that he and DPWH don’t have any liability to the winning contractors.