Independent council welcome | Inquirer News

Independent council welcome

/ 09:02 AM June 14, 2011

Many are asking the Rama family for a reaction to the threats hurled by Rep. Tommy Osmeña and the Bando Osmeña–Pundok Kausawagan (BO-PK) at the administration of Mayor Mike Rama.

We welcome the vigilance of the City Council but we hope that council members will also be vigilant against the pronouncements of Congressman Tommy.
We are happy that the City Council can now assert its independence and stop being a rubber stamp for the mayor as when Osmeña was mayor. I think it’s the right of the council to assert its independence from the executive branch to serve the good of the people, but if it is for the purpose of politicking, then there’s no place for that in public service.


The council, according to Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young, is preparing for war. Against whom? Mayor Rama left the BO-PK because he felt no longer welcome in a camp where he’s been a loyal member since he entered politics. But Rama has not declared war against the BO-PK. He is just taking steps to protect himself from attacks of some party members. Funny but the BO-PK is preparing for war with no enemy but itself.

Rama made it clear that his leaving the BO-PK is good for him and the party and that his departure should not affect his relationship with the City Council. I think, for the good of all, Mayor Rama and members of the council should sit down and talk because after all they are all mature and reasonable government officials.


* * *

The Road Revolution last Sunday was indeed a welcome event for Cebuano especially for the health conscious. For the first time, pedestrians had the entire Osmeña Boulevard for themselves to enjoy walking, biking and running.

I think the proposal of environmentalist Tony Oposa to start with the closure of the boulevard every Sunday should be considered by the city government as a good move for public health. It is innovative and would save fuel and money. The proposal of Oposa addresses the future.

The only problem is that a major traffic route gets closed and I don’t know if the city can afford that.

* * *

Yesterday was the opening of classes in private educational institutions. Few problems were encountered unlike in public schools.

One problem is tuition increases in universities and colleges. Time and again I have written that students demonstrating against university and college administrations are barking up the wrong tree because the fee increase, like in the University of San Carlos, is basically a response to the demand for a pay raise by teachers and non-teaching staff. The law is very clear: Pay hikes can be sourced from tuition increases of which 70 percent shall be allocated to salary and benefits of school employees.


Whether we like it or not, the increase in tuition can’t be stopped for as long as schools have employees whose children who need to study and eat.

A tax break should be extended to teachers so they can retain a bigger take home pay and no longer need to ask for tuition increases.

Education isn’t cheap especially in our country. But we must realize a college education here is cheaper than in the United States.
The K+12 education reform program helps children earn relevant education. The additional three years is not really an addition since after graduation from senior high, students will be qualified to look for a job.

There will be a refocus on vocational and technical education. With the K+12 program, only about 20 percent of all students can go to college.

Nonetheless, I think the concerns of parents are valid. The lack of classrooms and teachers should be addressed by the government if they want the K+12 to really work.

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TAGS: City Council, Local officials
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