Rama wants councilors to take executive functions
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Acting Mayor Michael Rama wants councilors with committee chairmanships to handle more executive functions while he is acting mayor.
He points out that councilors can help in managing the city affairs especially since they are the ones creating the legislations and policies being implemented.
“Being the legislative, I want help from them. Especially that they are demanded to perform their jobs by our constituents,” said Rama in a phone interview with CDN Digital.
Rama said that he would want the majority floor leader to help out such as Councilor Philip Zafra for peace and order, Councilor James Cuenco for transportation, among others.
Majority Floor Leader, Councilor Raymond Garcia, welcomed this pronouncement of the acting mayor as he said the council members were eager to help the executive department.
In fact, in the time of former Mayor Tomas Osmeña, many of the councilors were deputized with executive functions.
Even without such an official appointment or instructions many of the councilors have already taken on executive functions, the most prominent of which is Councilor Joel Garganera who serves as deputy chief implementor of the Emergency Operations Center.
Councilor James Cuenco is also leading the Jeepney Task Force, while Councilor Garcia is on top of the city’s budget, housing, and especially the 93-1 land swap deal.
“Well, that’s a very welcome development. The councilors karon (now) are very eager to help the executive department. Naa namay mga ginagmay, pero (There are little things, but) I think what Mayor Mike wants is more power, more influence, sort of being the deputy mayor ba. Mao siguro na iyang gipasabot (That is what he wants to say),” said Garcia.
The majority floor leader assures that these additional responsibilities will not hamper the council’s function as a legislative body, but will instead supplement their policy-making.
No loyalty checks
Meanwhile, Acting Mayor Rama said there would be no loyalty checks for City Hall employees since he had now the power to appoint and remove people in the office.
Rama assumed full-mayor authority recently after the indefinite leave of Mayor Edgardo Labella had reached over 30 working days. The acting mayor can now sign contracts on behalf of the city and handle human resource affairs.
In a phone interview with CDN Digital, Rama reiterates his stand that he will not be rocking any boat in the City Hall as he is only serving on behalf of on-leave Mayor Edgardo Labella.
However, it is also important for him that the appointments are working properly. This is why he has scheduled a meeting with all department heads on Monday, November 8, 2021.
“I don’t talk about politics, I talk about performance. Wala ko maghuna-huna nga ilisan ang (I am not thinking of replacing the) department heads, but definitely I have been given the information nga (that) there are 27 heads,” said Rama.
The acting mayor said he would want to review the performances of the department heads to make necessary changes in the coming weeks, but the priority would be to appoint new heads for the five departments whose heads resigned because of the elections.
These departments include the Cebu City Legal Office (CLO), Department for the Welfare of the Urban Poor (DWUP), Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC), and City Assessor’s Office.
He reiterates that in running the City Hall, he will prioritize service over the interest of his party, and warns those who will attempt to influence him that it will not work.
“Do not teach me in running City Hall,” he had said in a previous statement.
Still, Rama has declared that he will be keeping City Administrator Floro Casas, Jr., to help him manage the city’s affairs.
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