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‘Singapore-like’ Cebu City measures among 37 new ordinances passed by 16th City Council

By: Wenilyn Sabalo - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | July 06,2023 - 07:00 AM

‘Singapore-like’ Cebu City measures among 37 new ordinances passed by 16th Sangguniang Panlungsod

The 16th Cebu City Council was in full attendance during its reorganizational session on Wednesday, July 5, 2023.| Wenilyn Sabalo

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The 16th Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) or 16th Cebu City Council closes its first year with the passage of ordinances and resolutions that support the city government’s goal of a “Singapore-like” Cebu City.

Aside from enacting the P50 billion annual budget for 2023, the city’s legislative body passed 3,649 resolutions, considered 147 committee reports, and deliberated on 131 ordinances in 41 regular sessions, 36 executive sessions, and five special sessions, from July 2022 to July 2023.

READ: Rama’s P51.4B annual budget and his quest for a Singapore-like Cebu City

Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia presented the city council’s report card in front of Mayor Michael Rama, city hall employees, former and current government officials, and businessmen, during a reorganizational session held on Wednesday afternoon, July 5, 2023.

The council was in full attendance. This was also their second organizational session for their three-year term.

READ: Cebu City Council OKs P51.4B 2023 annual budget

Mayor Michael Rama

Cebu City Mayor Michael attended the reorganizational session on Wednesday, July 5, 2023.| Wenilyn Sabalo

READ: Special task force to solve Cebu City’s flooding problem created

Garcia said of the 131 proposed ordinances drafted and submitted, the 16th City Council approved 37 that showed responsiveness to the needs of the public and initiatives of the Executive Department.

The vice mayor said the council was able to craft and pass laws that respond to the policy direction which he dubbed “R.E.S.U.L.T.A.” This stands for Responsiveness, Education, Settlement, Urban development, Traffic and transportation management, and Advancement of the plight of the marginalized sectors.

Aside from the passage of the P50 billion annual budget of the city, the city council was able to deliberate one supplement budget for 2023 and the third supplemental budget for 2022.

READ: Mayor Rama set to tackle CCMC issue during second SOCA

Included in the 37 approved ordinances are the following:

  • CO 139 and 140 authored by Councilor Jocelyn Pesquera on the amendments to the Omnibus Tax Ordinance which allowed for resources to flow where it was needed.
  • CO 2681 authored by Councilor Mary Ann de los Santos, which institutionalized the Behavioral Unit at the Cebu City Medical Center.
  • CO 2664 authored by Councilor JunJun Osmeña, which expands the membership of the GASA Board
  • CO 2683 authored by Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia, which curtail the sale, rental, transfer, distribution, manufacture, and production of counterfeit goods, articles, or services to protect the business sector
  • CO 2691 authored by Councilor Mary Ann de los Santos, which established a student assistance program for all public schools offering elementary, junior and senior high school in the city.
  • CO 2692 authored by Councilor Rey Gealon, which provides for the framework for students rights and welfare within the City of Cebu

READ: Ordinance establishing CCMC behavioral health unit passed

Garcia said the council was also in deliberation on the proposed ordinance, which if approved, would be called the Mayor Edgardo C. Labella Ordinance and would create the Cebu City College Charter.

The measure has been filed and has now been referred to the council’s Committee on Laws, Ordinances, and Styling.

Garcia said that planning was also underway for the holding of the first Cebu City Housing Summit as the council intended to bring into one venue all stakeholders to discuss adequate and affordable housing for urban communities.

As a former councilor, Garcia, who now heads the city council, said he strove to implement fairness between the majority and minority councilors.

He said during the first year of his term, all councilors got the same benefits. The councilors were issued brand new vehicles, and consultants, given fuel allocation, communication allowance, including furniture, fixtures, and IT equipment.

“If I do attain a higher position, things do change politically then di ko ganahan nga ang (I don’t want the) minority councilors will be treated that way,” he said.

“So, I told myself, I have to do something about it. Mao na nga (That is why) when I stepped in as the vice mayor, the first thing that I told myself and I implemented right away is fairness within all the councilors of the City of Cebu. Whether you belong to the opposing party or the administration party, or whatever political color you belong to, dapat (then you should rightfully get) as councilor, you get the same benefits as everybody else,” he added.

Meanwhile, in attendance during the session were South District Congressman Edu Rama Jr., who was also a former city councilor; former Cebu City Mayor Alvin Garcia, the vice mayor’s father; businessmen Edmun Liu, Allan Alfon, Kenneth Cobonpue, Felix Taguiam, and Rodrigo Go; DILG Cebu City chief Nelia Aquino; and representatives from the Cebu City Police Office.


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TAGS: Cebu City Council, Cebu City Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia, session

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