A clearer picture
A few days before he is scheduled to give his 100-day assessment of his second term in office, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama has invited editors and opinion makers to a “no holds barred” discussion of what his administration had achieved.
For starters, we hope the mayor remains true to his promise of engaging the local media in a frank exchange. We won’t be surprised if he regales his guests today with his favorite acronyms and axioms, part of his personal style of governance.
So far, we’ve been told that a) Rama does have a growth plan for the South Road Properties (SRP) and it involves selling some lots to generate cash for his massive infrastructure programs and b) he wants a traffic and transport system in place in time for the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit events in 2015 and the International Eucharistic Congress in 2016.
How he intends to achieve this will be seen in the next few months.
At least he has a vice mayor and four councilors as leverage in the City Council that is still dominated by his erstwhile allies in the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK).
Thanks to the BO-PK majority, we see the Rama administration working double time finding ways to generate revenue to justify the allocation of generous allowances for the city’s senior citizens, the police as well as judges, prosecutors and clerks of court assigned in Cebu City.
We can hardly expect the BO-PK to be generous to the Rama administration, which is under pressure to produces big-ticket investors with actual projects that would reap revenues and dividends for the city.
Without the help of the Cebu Investments Promotions Center (CIPC), Mayor Rama announced that some Japanese investors have expressed interested in setting up a retirement facility in the SRP.
But negotiations will take time. While some members of the council welcome this development, they’re not impressed.
What matters to ordinary Cebuanos is that basic services – garbage collection, roads, peace and order, affordable hospital and medical care, street lighting, water supply, public shools and housing – make the city a liveable place.
The Rama administration still has 30 months to go.
We hope the mayor can present a bigger, more detailed picture of what he intends to do for the city in that time. He may even win more adherents and supporters if he does.