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Rama appoints supporter as first female city administrator

February 04,2014 - 09:21 AM

Lucelle Mercado

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama yesterday named his “good friend” and political supporter Lucelle Mercado as his new city administrator.

Mercado, also the head of the City Anti-Indecency Board (CAIB) is the city’s first female administrator.

She will replace Engr. Eugene Elizalde whom Rama appointed as city administrator last Jan. 3.

“Eugene did some soul searching after he was appointed.  He decided not to pursue the position of city administrator but he will continue to be with us,” Rama said during a press conference.

The old and the new administrator sat on either  side of the mayor when he announced the changes.

Mercado’s husband Rene is also a mayor’s appointee as chairman of the board of the Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD).

 

QUALIFIED

Lucelle Mercado, a businesswoman before she accepted the CAIB post,  was the one who recommended and secured the  mayor’s closure of the Las Vegas KTV Bar before Christmas after undercover agents reported  that female dancers would strip before customers, despite previous warnings by the CAIB to stop performing “lewd” shows.

Lucelle, in an  interview, said  that her appointment came as a surprise.

She said she’s ready  to do her best as city administrator, a co-terminus post with the mayor.

“If you do not look at it (the position)  as power there’s no problem,” she said.

Rama said he could see that Mercado was qualified for the post because of her good performance in the special committees that she heads.

“I don’t have to elaborate (on Mercado’s appointment).  It’s all about trust and confidence which is always a very important matter,” he said.

Rama said he already  gave  Mercado pointers on what  to focus on.

The mayor said Elizalde  he will continue to be part of the MCWD board, the Personnel Selection Board (PSB), the Praise committee and his administration’s systems improvement team among others.

He said Elizalde , who used to head the Police Coordinating and Advisory Committee, would help  implement his flagship programs which include the rehabilitation of Warwicks Barracks in coordination with Mercado and Acting City Engr. Jose Marie Poblete.  The three will also work together to make the SRP “pretty, the coastal (areas) beautiful and the downtown area revitalized.”

Vice Mayor Edgar Labella will continue to head  the PCAC.

The mayor said he did not  want to  strip Labella of the PCAC’s leadership to restore Elizalde’s role.

 

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TAGS: CAIB, Cebu City, city administrator, Lucelle Mercado

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