Poilitics of appointments | Inquirer News

Poilitics of appointments

/ 06:42 AM June 30, 2013

There’s no real security of tenure in public office.  One can be appointed today and immediately replaced tomorrow. This is what happened to finance official  Ophelia Oliva who was appointed OIC  provincial treasurer of Cebu  last Wednesday only to be relaced on Friday by Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima.  She wasn’t able to  warm her seat at the Capitol.

I couldn’t believe it. While I understand that Oliva is at the mercy of the appointing power, what happened to her  was cruel especially considering that she had performed well in her previous post as Cebu city treasurer. She announced bold plans to increase tax collection in Cebu province.

Oliva is a professional worker and should be treated that way, not  like a political pawn. The current practice of  appointing government officials is too partisan, making it difficult  for officials who don’t belong to the administration  like Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama.  Mayor Rama had his own trouble trying to keep Oliva as the city  treasurer, which was not granted  by the Department of Finance.


The mayor was not even consulted about the appointment of the Cebu city police chief. The one appointed became permanent during  the election ban prohibiting  movements of government personnel.


As chief executive, Rama insisted that he be  given his choice of police chief.  PNP headquarters in Camp Crame heard his plea and  included his nominee in the list of five qualified candidates for the mayor to select.

Before Rama could exercise his option to choose from the five, PNP Regional Director Garbo  announced that  Senior Supt. Noli  Romana was a non-performer  in his latest   assignment in Negros Oriental.  Garbo said he was not satisifed with Romana’s work  and emphasized that two of Romana’s staff were relieved of duty because of their involvement in illegal gambling  and extortion.

Indeed, if Romana failed in his mission in Negros, why did the PNP include him in the short list?  If  Garbo’s accusation  is  true, Garbo could have delisted him and  talked with the mayor in private about the background or dismal performance of Romana.

Garbo did not. He chose  to talk like a politician and announce his  evaluation of Romana even before the mayor could make his choice. I suspect that Garbo  is a partisan PNP  officer though I  would like to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Our police should remain professional and not engage in partisan politics in order to be effective in their tour of duty.  I was informed that there is a plan for a Senate inquiry to look into similar situations like what happened to Rama and the  lack of consultation in the appointment of a police chief that failed to observe the law.

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I am happy with the statement of Mayor Rama on the prospect of the South Reclamation Property (SRP). He  was emphatic in a gathering of Cebu Daily News editors and columnists whom he invited for a briefing last Thursday.  He said the SRP is not owned by the mayor or  the city council but by the people who are paying for it through taxes.

The mayor is planning to do something with the SRP to benefit  the public despite a resolution of the City Council that bars the incumbent mayor from marketing or selling the property until 2013. At the time, the council was assuming  that Mayor Rama wuld not be  re-elected and Congressman Tommy Osmeñna would return as the mayor.

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The council apparently has changed its focus.  I heard that councilors  are now willing to listen to the mayor about his proposal for the SRP.  One thing good is that the mayor is contemplating on  setting up a master plan for the SRP so that prospective investors will be encouraged to look at the site.

TAGS: Appointments, Politics

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