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Late reminder

/ 06:44 AM December 01, 2013

I don’t know where Deputy Ombudsman Pelagio Apostol was  coming from when he asked the Cebu city government to stop its “piso piso” campaign which was launched in October to raise funds to build a new Cebu City Medical Center. He said the activity needed permission from the Dept. of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to proceed.

In the first place, why the delayed reaction? It’s been  more than three weeks since the campaign began and Apostol was never heard  saying  anything about a legal requirement. It’s funny because apparently the DSWD isn’t  saying anything or was  caught off-guard.

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Is Apostol saying now that  fund-raising campaigns by private entities personalities for the typhoon victims need  DSWD clearance because apparently many are not aware of this law. Besides,  the DSWD is very busy  repacking and distributing  relief goods sent to  devastated areas in Eastern Visayas and northern Cebu.

Why did Apostol single out City Hall’s  piso piso campaign?  Mayor Michael Rama  plans  to send Vice Mayor Edgar Labella, a former  Ombudsman Director,  to clarify  the matter with  Apostol. We hope this  will be clarified so that a  noble undertaking can continue.

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Grace Magalzo, chairperson of the Department of Political Science, told faculty that the University of San Carlos community will have its yearly Christmas Party on December 20, this time, minus dinner whose budget would be donated for victims of supertyphoon Yolanda.  There will still be a Mass  officiated by an SVD priest, probably  the president, Fr. Dionisio Miranda.

I’m happy to report  that truckloads of relief goods from  USC were  picked up and delivered. The  university community has been doing its share in collecting relief goods from  students and other sectors.

I’m satisfied with the response of the Carolinian community to the call for help from  our brothers and sisters who are calamity  victims.  Truly “a witness to the word” Carolinian spirit.

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The Department of Health recently announced that it has proposed  P500 million as financial aid  for the proposed construction of the new Cebu City Medical Center, help that is  awaiting President Aquino’s approval.

Mayor Rama welcomed the gesture  but was was cautious in reacting because the offer still requires the signature of the President who  isn’t a  partymate of the mayor.

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Recently the President has been showing partisanship  even in calamities. In his visit to  Cebu City after the Oct. 15  earthquake, Aquino didn’t drop by to see the mayor and  instead chose to be with Rama’s  political rival.

But I’m hoping that Aquino, who is the President of all Filipinos, would seriously consider helping  Cebuanos by approving the P500 million contribution.

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In a recent Cebu City Council meeting,  former mayor Tomas Osmeña  and his minions  asserted that Ordinance No. 2332 which bars the mayor from marketing and selling the South Road Properties (SRP) without council approval  should not be repealed.

Apparently for them, they are the only ones who know everything about the SRP and that  the Japanese International Coordinating Agency (JICA) frowns on  selling  SRP reclaimed land. But recently a  JICA consultant gave an  unsatisfactory rating after observing that after 18 years from its completion, only part of the SRP was developed, saying “the achievement of the project’s objectives is at an extremely limited level compared with the original plan.”

Clearly the JICA consultant’s observation  belied assertions made by Mayor Rama’s political opponents.  The  resource speakers in the  recent council public hearing weren’t being completely honest.

The council which is dominated by the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK), should be guided by the JICA’s recent findings and approve the repeal of the  ordinance.

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TAGS: Cebu, Cebu City Medical Center, South Road Properties (SRP)
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