Now, Poblete is Rama’s ‘flagship projects czar’
Former Cebu City Administrator Jose Marie Poblete will be the “flagship program czar” of Mayor Michael Rama in addition to his designation as acting City Engineer.
The mayor made the announcement in a forum with media executives at the social hall of the Cebu City Hall yesterday morning.
“These movements (of the department heads) are part of our focus for better governance,” Rama said.
Poblete, whose status was uncertain following his designation as both acting city engineer and information officer IV by the mayor, will work with concerned offices on drainage and traffic improvement and the Carbon market reconstruction, among others.
Dr. Lucelle Mercado, who replaced Eugene Elizalde as City Administrator in addition to her chairmanship of the City Anti-Indecency Board, “had been given instructions” on what to do and focus on, the mayor added.
TRUST AND CONFIDENCE
“I cannot specify the details because it is part of official prerogative. Suffice it to say that she knows what I want her to do,” Rama said.
Mercado is the wife of Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD) chairman Rene Mercado, a known Rama advisor.
In confirming his appointment as flagship program chief, Rama acknowledged Poblete’s background as both lawyer and engineer and said Poblete continues to enjoy “his full trust and confidence.”
“That’s why I told Poblete to work with all the concerned agencies and officials, including Dr. Mercado,” the mayor said, gesturing towards Engr. Poblete and Dr. Mercado, who were seated close to each other.
Poblete was appointed acting city engineer in place of Engr. Kenneth Carmelita Enriquez, who was designated as chief of the City Planning and Development Office.
But Poblete technically cannot replace Enriquez since she holds a tenured position as city engineer. Poblete’s status as information officer IV was also unclear even if the post was vacant since 1995 because there was no appropriation for it in the city’s budget this year.
Despite voicing their confusion over Poblete’s status, the City Council approved a resolution passed by Councilor Dave Tumulak appropriating more than P654,000 to cover Poblete’s salary and benefits for the year.
Poblete later said he was grateful to Rama for his appointment as flagship program czar.
“You know, in our appointment papers there’s a provision stating ‘other duties as may be required.’ So that’s our status now, we work according to (what the mayor wants and) the framework of development that the mayor has planned,” he said.
Even with her appointment as City Administrator, Mercado said she will still head the City Anti-Indecency Board (CAIB) and other smaller committees.
“In fact my post will help me coordinate with all the agencies under my office,” she said.
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