Delayed vetoCebu Daily News
“I must congratulate Mayor Michael Rama for being the first mayor to veto an approved ordinance,” the congressman chortled in a press conference.
He’s not alone in his amusement. The City Council, most of whom are his partymates, managed to pass the ordinance underneath Rama’s nose and secure his signature, albeit in only one page.
That one page, the last page of the ordinance, was the caveat used by the mayor and his allies in saying that the mayor’s signature was in fact a “partial veto” that was expanded into a full objection sent by the mayor last Aug. 7.
To an average person, signing a document simply means that its contents have the seal of approval of the official who signed it.
In the current political climate, it’s clear why Rama and his allies are engaged in hair-splitting over one signature in an ordinance that may prohibit Mayor Rama from trying to sell lots of the the South Road Properties (SRP) to prospective investors.
The ordinance is in line with Osmeña’s desire to allow SRP property values to grow in pace with the completion of SM Seaside City and Filinvest projects which he expects will cause land values of Cebu City’s 290-hectare centerpiece property to shot up.
For Rama, the ordinance may mean cutting his major source of revenues for big-ticket projects before the 2013 election.
These projects would not only resolve Cebu City’s major problems like drainage and hospital care but also cement his image with voters, who to his detriment had only known Osmeña’s forceful, devil-may-care style of governance for years.
Will this SRP ordinance apply as well to Osmeña, who plans to return to City Hall in 2013?
The ordinance which reiterated the City Council’s role in regulating the sale of SRP lots was not just intended to keep Rama on a leash. It was designed to cripple his role as the city’s leading salesman and leave him an errand boy of a council beholden to Osmeña.
Expect the council to marshall its numbers to override the veto.
But this early, the Council and Osmeña already did a number on him.
We only hope the SRP ordinance would benefit not only the powers-that-be but city taxpayers who continue to pay P276 million a year for the Japanese loan that allowed Cebu City to reclaim land to build the SRP.