Proposed moratorium ‘failed’ again: Dizon resigns as council’s housing czar

May B. Miasco/NSA (The Freeman) - February 10, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu City Councilor Alvin Dizon resigned as the head of the council’s housing committee after his proposed measure that seeks to impose a one-year moratorium on city-ordered demolitions, for the second time, failed to be enacted.

Just like the first time it was introduced, Dizon’s proposal yesterday only nearly got most of the votes it needed to override the veto of Vice Mayor Edgardo, who served as the acting mayor of the city when he issued the veto.

Dizon said his resignation serves as his “statement of protest,” considering that his proposal failed to get the approval.

“I will stand on my ground and I finally decided to abdicate my post,” he said.

Back in November 2015, Mayor Michael Rama did not approve the proposed ordinance of Dizon, saying it contravenes existing national laws and policies. When it was re-filed during Labella’s stint as acting city mayor, it was again vetoed for the same reason.

“Para kanako, ang kasamtangang administration ni Rama ug Labella napakyas paghatag og adequate relocation sites sa mga demolition victims,” said Dizon.

He also expressed dismay over the legislative body’s failure to override both vetoes even though they had initially approved of the proposed ordinance even before any decision was issued by Rama and Labella.

During the regular session yesterday, Councilor Nestor Archival Sr. gave a privilege speech reiterating Dizon’s previous statement as to the purpose of drafting such ordinance. Archival then urged the other city legislators to support Dizon’s proposal.

“Now is our time and privilege to override the misinterpretation of the executive department because the city government failed to protect the interests of the underprivileged and homeless,” said Archival.

A nominal voting took place wherein the councilors were left to decide whether they were in favor or against overriding Labella’s veto and were also given an opportunity to explain their decision.

Seeking for at least 12 votes, which corresponds to 2/3 of the 18-seat council body, Dizon, to his dismay, got only 10 favorable votes from his colleagues.

The 10 votes were from councilors Archival, Mary Ann delos Santos, Alvin Arcilla, Roberto Cabarrubias, Margarita Osmeña, Sisinio Andales, Ma. Nida Cabrera, Lea Japson, Eugenio Gabuya Jr., and Nendell Hanz Abella, the co-sponsor of the proposed measure. The 11th count was from Dizon.

Councilor James Anthony Cuenco was the only one who voted against overriding the veto while councilors David Tumulak, Richard Osmeña, Gerardo Carillo, and Noel Wenceslao abstained from voting. Councilor Philip Zafra was out during the voting.

With the result, Dizon expressed to step down from his post in the committee, “feeling no longer effective in carrying out his duty on protecting the urban poor sector.”

Tumulak and de los Santos asked Dizon to reconsider his decision and continue his responsibilities as the council’s housing czar, but the councilor had made up his mind.

“Even if I am not the chairman of the housing committee, it will not stop me to continue my advocacies on strengthening the city’s housing programs,” Dizon, nevertheless, assured.

In the next session, the council will have to appoint someone who will assume Dizon’s post. — (FREEMAN)

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