Lasting tribute of Rama to Labella: Completion of 21 gun salute projects before June 30
CEBU CITY, Philippines — While finally getting a fresh mandate from the public in the recent elections, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama has not forgotten his running mate and partner in the 2019 elections, the late Mayor Edgardo Labella.
Rama said that he began his 21 gun salute projects upon Labella’s death in November 2021 as a lasting tribute to the elected mayor.
Labella passed away on Nov. 19, 2021. He had suffered from pneumonia and cancer for some time and he died of septic shock. Rama, being the vice mayor, took over as mayor of the city with Labella’s passing.
Of the 21 projects, Rama has nine promises left that he wishes to fulfill before the end of Labella’s term on June 30, 2022, which he is currently serving.
“We will finish it (his lasting tribute to Labella) because the term of Mayor Labella ends on June 30, and I have the 21 gun salute (projects) to complete,” said the mayor.
These nine projects that he has yet to complete include:
- Concluding the SRP loan
- Cure the JVA on the Carbon Market Redevelopment
- Materialize the 93-1 deal
- Street Lighting
- Free Public Wi-Fi
- Traffic Summit
- 2 Medium Rise Buildings (MRBs) for Socialized Housing
- Asphalt Storm, and
- Let There Be Light to more households
The South Road Properties (SRP) loan is nearly completely paid with the city budgeting around P1.2 billion to finally pay off the remainder of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) loan the city got in 1995 for the reclamation project.
In the most recent update, the Treasurer’s Office and the Accounting Office are preparing the necessary documents to finally complete the loan payment.
The budget of the city for the loan is enough to pay the interests until August 2022 and with Rama getting the fresh mandate, the city has enough time under his administration to complete the deal.
The curative measures on the Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) is already being reviewed by the City Council and should be returned for implementation to Rama soon.
The 93-1 Land Swap Deal with the province is now under appraisal negotiations of the lot prices, with the city government requesting a re-appraisal on Provincial government’s part as they did not agree on the first price presented.
Street lighting and free public WiFi has long been in the works with at least 20 barangays already installed connections in the village halls and the street lighting department of the Department of Public Service (DPS) working on restoring all lights destroyed by Typhoon Odette.
The two MRBs in Lorega will be turned over to the city government this month, and Rama has ordered the review on the beneficiaries of the socialized housing program.
Rama has also ordered the planning of a Traffic Summit after the success of the Solid Waste Management Summit (SWM) in April 2022. The mayor wants stakeholders to be present and share their insights on how to solve the traffic problems in the city.
Asphalt Storm and Let their Be Light has picked up a decent progress following Typhoon Odette as well.
Rama’s 21 gun salute projects, on the other hand, that were completed included the joint venture agreement (JVA) of the Inayawan rehab, contract completion of the Cebu City Medical Center, distribution of aid for the pandemic, Solid Waste Management summit and projects involving the pandemic response among others.
The mayor is determined to give the last two months of Labella’s term his best shot at achieving the promises the late mayor has given to Cebu City residents.
He said that this would be his lasting tribute to the deceased chief executive who had been known to be the Crisis Mayor of Cebu City and sacrificed his own health to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
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