City Council overrides Rama’s partial veto on scholarship measureBy Doris C. Bongcac
Cebu Daily News
The City Council yesterday voted to override the partial veto of Mayor Michael Rama on the City College Scholarship Ordinance.
Voting 13 with two abstentions, the mayor’s partial veto is dead in the the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) dominated Cebu City Council.
Outnumbered, Rama’s allies in the city council -councilors Edgar Labella and Jose Daluz III – opted to abstain from the votation. Another Rama ally, councilor Edu Rama Jr., was absent.
“They (BO-PK allies) are always saying that whatever it is that I want, they will always be on the opposite side,” said Rama when sought for comment on the veto override.
Still, Rama maintained his position that conflict of interest may arise if councilor Rodrigo Abellanosa, owner of the Asian College of Technology (ACT), is made to sit as a member of the city college scholarship committee in his capacity as head of the council’s social services committee.
Abellanosa told the council in yesterday’s session that in order to pacify the mayor, he will not be sitting on the scholarship committee. Instead he will designate councilor Leah Japson, the vice chair of the social services committee, to sit on the committee on his behalf.
But Rama said, designating another person to the scholarship committee still defeats the conflict of interest he was saying in his veto.
“Ug mo sulod si Japson nga kauban nila. Naa ra gihapon na siya (If Japson will sit on the committee on his behalf, Abellanosa will still be there),” said Rama.
Program beneficiaries will get P10,000 tuition fee assistance and P500 allowance per semester from the City Hall.
An additional allowance of P1,000 per month will be extended to scholars coming form the city’s mountain barangays to help defray the cost of their transportation.
The scholarship program will be implemented under the supervision of the scholarship committee that will be chaired by the city mayor with the council’s education committee chair as vice chairperson.
Committee members will include the city treasurer, city schools division superintendent, city administrator, CHED 7 director, TESDA 7 director and the council’s social services chairperson.
Abellanosa denied insinuations that he is using his influence as councilor to get majority of the city scholars. He said ACT only has 4,000 city scholars.
Councilors Labella and Daluz said they will no longer oppose the inclusion of the social services chairman into the scholarship committee with Abellanosa’s assurance that he will instead make Japson sit on the committee on his behalf.
The City Hall has about 7,000 scholars.