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Vice Mayor Garcia assures Rama: Cebu City Council supports his plans

By: Niña Mae C. Oliverio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | March 19,2024 - 02:00 PM

Vice Mayor Garcia assures Rama of City Council’s support of his plans

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia said he was “surprised” after learning the words of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, saying that the City Council no longer supported the latter. 

Garcia, the council’s presiding officer, said that he clearly did not know Rama’s direction on why the mayor said such statement and that he did not think that the council members would not support the mayor. 

It can be recalled that Rama expressed disappointment over the behavior of some council members, saying that they no longer aligned with the values he supported during the 2022 election, leading him to suspect the influence of a “political player” behind their resistance.

Rama expressed this via Ing’na si Mayor teleradyo program on the Sugboanon Channel on March 14. 

READ: Cebu City council seeks halt to CBRT construction due to heritage concerns

Garcia surprised by Rama’s statement

Upon learning this, Garcia said that he was surprised with the mayor’s statement. 

Garcia recalled that recently, the City Council approved the Supplemental Budget 1 worth P900 million. 

This move alone reflected that the City Council supported Rama, Garcia added. 

“The only thing that we did not approve was the P100 billion budget, slashed to P25 billion which he vetoed and among (City Council) na override (we overrode it). Aside from that, everything nga iyang gipangayo sa Cebu City Council, amo mang nahatag (Aside from that, everything that he asked of the Cebu City Council, we gave to him),” Garcia said in a phone interview. 

Garcia said that he would not want that the City Council would not be supportive of the mayor’s agenda since they would only be going towards the same direction which would be for the progress of the city.

Moreover, Garcia said that another reason he could think of was the revision of the Real Property Tax (RPT) Code. 

READ: Real property tax: Proposed increase slammed by Archival

Real Property Tax amendment

The second reading and deliberation for the amendment of the RPT would be scheduled next week, according to Minority Floor leader, Nestor Archival Sr. 

“This is a very sensitive issue which para nako (for me) will affect gyud (really) the whole city…The council, they feel that this is a very sensitive issue, which really have to be talked of, and which really has to be weighed in,” Garcia said. 

He added that the City Council would have to “hear all of the observations and comments coming from the different sectors of the city” that was why it was taking some time for the Council to “decide on.” 

READ: ‘Singapore-like Cebu City’: P3.1B allocated for 80 brgys to achieve Rama’s vision

Council shares the same interest

Garcia said that that might be the aspect why the mayor thought that the council did not support him anymore. 

Despite this, Garcia said that he did not feel what Rama felt towards them in the council. 

“Although some council members may not have the same opinion as Mayor Mike, I feel it’s not something that would destroy our relationship as party members and more importantly as friends because kani tanan (this) is strictly professional in nature,” Garcia. 

“Walang personalan, trabaho lang (This is not personal, it’s just work),” Garcia added. 

ALSO READ: The transformative impact of infrastructure on Philippine industrial real estate

Moreover, Garcia said that everyone in the council shared the same interest which was for the development and progress of Cebu City. 

“But perhaps we have different ways and principles of going towards that direction but at the end of the day, ang kaayuhan ra man sa Cebu City atong gipangita (the good of Cebu City is what we are looking for),” the vice mayor added. 

Rama said last week, that despite his disappointment with his colleagues, he was determined not to harbor any grudges. 

Previously, Rama has also expressed that he felt “abandoned” by his political allies when Councilor Dondon Hontiveros was the only city hall official who joined him in attending the prayer rally at the South Road Properties last February 25. / with reports from Pia Piquero 


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TAGS: Cebu City Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia, city council, Mayor Michael Rama

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