Tom says Mike circling wagons for 2013 bid | Inquirer News

Tom says Mike circling wagons for 2013 bid

By: - Day Desk Editor / @dbongcac
/ 10:51 AM October 27, 2011

In centralizing all commissions and committees under his office, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama wants to build his own political machinery for his reelection bid in 2013.

Rep. Tomas Osmeña of Cebu City’s south district  made the claim as he accused the mayor of “laying siege” on the commissions and committees that used to be chaired by councilors.


During yesterday’s off-site City Council session in the hinterland barangay of Guba, Osmeña cited as an example the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA).

He said the office was  taken from Councilor Rodrigo Abellanosa and placed directly under the mayor’s office.


Councilor Nida Cabrera told Cebu Daily News that she was also told that Rama wanted the Cebu City Environmental Sanitation Enforcement Team (CESET) placed directly under his office.

The CESET falls under Cabrera, the council’s environment committee chairperson.

“I am only waiting for them to actually take supervision of the CESET from me,” Cabrera told CDN.

Rep. Osmeña said “centralization” of City Hall operations is contrary to the administration Bando Osmena-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) policy of giving executive functions to councilors.

“Everything is now being centralized because Rama does not trust anybody.  He is only bitter and embarrassed because he thought that the councilors will go along with him when he left BO-PK,” he said.

Since the councilors opted to stay with BO-PK, Osmeña said Rama “is now trying to build up his own (group) and he says that this is not about politics.”

City Administrator Jose Marie Poblete defended Rama, saying the mayor hasn’t made any pronouncement to this effect.


During yesterday’s session, the council tabled two resolutions filed by the mayor’s office.

One resolution asked for the hiring of 40 job order workers to conduct re-validation of socialized housing records for the Department of the Welfare of the Urban Poor (DWUP).

The second resolution authorized Rama to enter into contract with Metro Waste-Gela Construction JV for a waste water treatment facility at the Inayawan Sanitary landfill estimated to cost P10.58 million.

The council instead approved 45 resolutions, among them the P1.2 million appropriation for the city’s Sinulog preparation and resolutions for the release of financial assistance to some barangays.

Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young clarified that the council’s inaction on the two resolutions was not in retaliation to Rama’s move to centralize the commissions and committees under his office.

“It’s okay if the mayor will think of it as retaliation.  The council only reacted.  When we do something, it should be objective,” the vice mayor said.

Cabrera said the council wanted to reduce the appropriation for a waste water treatment facility due to the impending closure of the Inayawan landfill site.

Councilor Eduardo Rama Jr., the mayor’s nephew, questioned the council’s decision to table the two resolutions.

Councilor Rodrigo Abellanosa, the proponent of the resolution, said he wanted to know if the city won’t exceed its personnel service ceiling with the hiring of 40 job order workers.

Councilor Margot Osmeña said re-validation of DWUP records can be done by existing barangay registration personnel.

Young said the council did doubts the reason behind the hiring of 40 job order workers after they secured an accomplishment report of Rama’s speech writer and consultant Leonardo Chiu.

Chiu, the mayor’s consultant and speech writer, mistakenly submitted to the council a journal of his activities.

“The report of Nards Chiu has created doubt… that the workers may be used for Rama’s re-election.  We don’t trust them anymore,” said Young.

Rep. Osmeña said Chiu’s report was proof that Rama was trying to use DWUP to build his own “political machinery.”

His wife, Councilor Osmeña earlier questioned the mayor’s decision to transfer the 2012 appropriation for the Cebu City Commission for the Welfare and Protection of Children (CCWPC) under the mayor’s special project and program account.

She said the commission which she heads no longer has a budget.

A P5.2 million appropriation for CCWPC is being proposed next year.

The councilor said a transfer of appropriation would only lead to “bureaucracy”.

“If you look at it closely, you will see a pattern.  It’s a siege mentality… You are asking for deterioration because you are asking to centralize everything,” said Rep. Osmeña.

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