Cebu City bets promise new SRP, more benefits

Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - March 28, 2016 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Release of withheld benefits was among the campaign promises made by Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama to City Hall employees during a gathering at Plaza Sugbo following a Holy Mass to kick off Team Rama's campaign.

His opponent, former mayor Tomas Osmeña, on the other hand, has promised another South Reclamation Project for the city.

Both the Team Rama and the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan started their respective campaign with a Holy Mass. The Team Rama gathered at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral in the morning for the Mass.

BOPK candidates also held their Mass in the afternoon at the Our Lady of Guadalupe in Barangay Guadalupe.

Rama told the City Hall employees and his supporters that they are the real majority and not the members of the City Council who belong to the opposition.

"We are the majority, the people is the people and they are represented in God and May 9 will be the voice of God, 11-0 north and 11-0 south," Rama said.

"Ang inyong problema, ayaw kaguol, kay basig magsuka-suka unya mo sa inyong madawat, mga kauban dinhi sa panrabaho. Salamat sa inyong pag-utong. Salamat sa inyongpagpa-ubos," he added.

Rama was referring to the several benefits of the city employees that were not given due to lack of funds. Among these benefits was the productivity enhancement incentive.

"Because there's a lot of employees benefit being held on. I do not have to enumerate. Remember, part of the supplemental budget-1, there is a succeeding legislative by the president. I mean. All of these are still allowable by the time we will be coming in, in majority. Then there would be compensating," he said.

"Not necessarily bonus, but what they deserve that has been held because of I call it the so called tyranny of numbers," he added.

Asked if he would not be committing indirect vote buying, Rama said it is not because it belongs to the employees.

"Why will it be vote buying? That's theirs. That is theirs. That is legislated. I have been fighting for that and they should have that because that is legislated," Rama.

After the gathering, Rama led his entire slate in the handshaking with City Hall employees and the transacting public. Rama said the BOPK candidates are also welcome to do the same at the City Hall.

Meanwhile, the BOPK gathering in Guadalupe has affected the traffic in the area because of the number of supporters attending the Mass. After the Mass, a mini rally was held at the back of Guadalupe Barangay Hall.

Osmeña told his supporters of his plans for the city if he becomes mayor again. Among his plans is to expand the existing 300-hectare SRP within six years.

"Anyway, mo-announce ko sa akong bag-ong proyekto. Magpahimo gyod ko og SRP 2. Unsang SRP 2? Sa SRP, ang dagat nahimo og yuta. Atong ipa-extend ang yuta usa pa ka kilometer. Para duna tay additional nga SRP phase 2," he said.

Once the expanded area of SRP will be sold to private companies, Osmeña said he will increase the scholarship grant of the city government from P10,000 per semester to P50,000 to P100,000 per semester.

"Ang kadaghanan nga problema gyod kwarta, problema sa education, problemasayuta, problema sa lainlain nga issue, drainage, kinahanglan tanan kwarta. Unsa akong nahimo? Naghimo ko og dako nga negosyo saVisayas. Akong gitanom nga liso, SRP.  Ang presyo sa SRP karon moabot na og P100,000 kada metro kwadrado," he said.

Osmeña, however, said that all his plans will be realized only if all BOPK candidates will win in the coming elections.

Osmeña once again challenged Rama to a public debate on various issues.

"Akong gi-challenge si Mr. Rama, mag-debate ta. Mag-debate ta sa kining issues ug iyang nga tinunto didto. Aron makita ang tinuod kay matod pa ni Rama nga abogadosiya," he said.

Osmeña urged the Integrated Bar of the Philippines to expel Rama for allegedly causing shame to the organization.

"Sus, akong gihangyo ang IBP mauwaw kamo. Kinahanglan inyong itangtang si Rama because he is a disgrace to the IBP. Asa ka makakita og lawyer nga hadlok og debate. Ako dili man ako abogado," he added.

Launching rally

Team Rama will have its launching rally today at Plaza Independencia. Rama said he is hoping that Vice President Jejomar Binay could come.

Cebu City Transportation Office has advised motorists that road closures will be implemented starting from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. from Legaspi Ext. to M.J. Cuenco Avenue fronting Plaza Independencia.

"Public is advised to take alternative routes or be home from work early to beat the road closure or the ensuing traffic around that time of closure. Besides, vehicular traffic is anticipated to be manageable considering that most classes are closed already as well as the presence of other viable arterial roads in the area," said CCTO executive director Rey Gealon. (FREEMAN)


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