The new team in City Hall, potentials and prospects
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B Jimenez (The Freeman) - July 2, 2019 - 12:00am

I am crossing my fingers that the new boys in the block are going to do more and better than their predecessors. And that they shall remain united and accessible to the “hoi polloi” and be open to constructive criticism. I also wish that Mayor Edgar Labella's “inclusive” governance not remain a monopoly of lawyers in City Hall. I pray that Labella will remain humble and accessible.

I have my full trust and confidence in Labella and Vice Mayor Mike Rama. I hope their partnership will survive all intrigues and attempts to draw a wedge between them. I hate to see the day that one of them may complain that the other wasn’t consulted on certain issues and appointments. Of course, it is the exclusive prerogative of the mayor to bring in people that he trusts and it’s only the mayor, as chief executive of the city, who decides on appointments and designations. But as members of the same party, perhaps it’s also a form of trust-building to consult other members of the team.

The new team in City Hall has tremendous potential for growth and development. I hope Labella earns the honor of being the mayor who cleaned the Queen City of the South and pushed the premier metropolis to new heights of progress and development. Cleaning the city means ridding it of garbage, pollution, illegal structures, too many mendicants and street urchins roaming the city half-naked and ill-clad, prostitutes, and illegal vendors. Cleaning the city means returning sidewalks to the pedestrians. It includes strict enforcing of traffic rules, disciplining drivers and commuters, and building comfort rooms every 100 meters.

Cleaning the city also means improved traffic management and police operations, and rounding up all those who shouldn’t be in the streets and spitting, urinating, and defecating in all nooks and crannies, to the great embarrassment of those who should be doing something to make Cebu City truly deserving to be called Queen City of the South.

The mayor should also focus on housing for the urban poor, providing clean water, providing health services, improving preventive medicine, and making barangay health centers truly centers of excellence in preventive and proactive healthcare.

Development and progress also call for more efficient tax collections, addressing petty corruption in revenue generation and more developmental and strategic budget allocation and wiser spending. Development calls for better infrastructures and improved business climate.

The mayor should widen the scope of his consultation beyond his lawyer-dominated team of advisers and inner circles and go talk to the business community, have dialogues with businessmen, including the medium and small-scale entrepreneurs. Also, the mayor may want to form a multi-city alliance among the mayors of Talisay, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, and the burgeoning and incoming cities of Cordova, Consolacion, and Compostela.

I hope this unsolicited advice will reach His Honor, the mayor, and the vice mayor, who needs to provide legislative support to Mayor Edgar's vision and dreams for the city. And I pray that their political alliance remain strong and impregnable.

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