Tumulakâs remark on virus âurgencyâ pisses off Rama
It took the City Council five hours before approving P15 million of the P28.2 million unexpended budget of the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund sought to be reprogrammed for the procurement of the needed equipment to arrest possible spread of the COVID-19.
Jean Marvette Demecillo/File
Tumulak’s remark on virus ‘urgency’ pisses off Rama
Mary Ruth R. Malinao (The Freeman) - February 14, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Tension arose during the Cebu City Council session yesterday when Vice Mayor Michael Rama and Councilor David Tumulak could not seem to agree on the issue of “urgency” in approving the budget meant for fighting coronavirus disease 2019.

It took the City Council five hours before approving P15 million of the P28.2 million unexpended budget of the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund sought to be reprogrammed for the procurement of the needed equipment to arrest possible spread of the COVID-19.

The tension occured when Rama called for a recess in the middle of Tumulak explaining that the matter needed urgency. Rama then approached Tumulak and told the councilor his position on the statement.

"It pissed me off because murag iyang gipasabot na kami wa mi urgency, siya ra. He was trying to say na the clock is ticking. Iya ra diay clock ang ticking?" said Rama.

Rama said that as the City Council, they see the importance of addressing COVID-19.

"We are not a Sangguniang Panlungsod na kanang approving without thinking," he said.

Meanwhile, Tumulak admitted that he got offended by Rama's reaction.

"I'm just only explaining... just to inform my colleagues in the City Council. I don't know what happened to him. He raised his voice. He went to my chair. What should I do? I had to protect myself," said Tumulak.

"That is his right also as the presiding officer and that is my right also pagbadlong niya not to raise his voice," he added.

After the session, Rama apologized to Tumulak, which the latter accepted.

"I hope this will not happen again. Just an advice to the presiding officer, do what is best as the presiding officer," said Tumulak.

Some members of the City Council, who witnessed the heated argument, also stated their views regarding the incident.

"For me that was not a big deal. Just two people having different opinions in achieving a common goal," Councilor Eduardo Rama Jr. told THE FREEMAN.

Councilor Donaldo Hontiveros said that one factor that caused the incident to happen was the time.

"Both naay good points. Apil sad to ang kadugay sa oras. Nainit lang jud gamay, which is natural in any relationship," said Hontiveros.

He added that it only showed transparency.

Mayor Edgardo Labella, for his part, reminded the City Council to "stay calm, advance their arguments with logic, with utmost objectivity, and with good language."

Labella was also the presiding officer of the City Council in the previous years during his term as the vice mayor.

"That's precisely the reason why we have rules on parliamentary procedure. To maintain decorum, to maintain calmness, and to maintain probity in the conduct of our duties," said Labella.

He said what happened was "a democracy in action."

In connection to the approved P15 million budget to be utilized by the City Health Department (CHD) and City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), Labella said that he demands a "full liquidation down to the last centavo."

"Ni-promise man ang City Council na kung makuwangan we will just ask for Supplemental Budget. Okay ra sad ko," said Labella.

"They (CHD and CDRRMO) are primarily responsible. Ato gyud nang tan-awon giunsa paggasto," he added. JMD (FREEMAN)

DAVID TUMULAK
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