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Garcia’s first month as Cebu City acting mayor: Overwhelming but fulfilling

By: Niña Mae C. Oliverio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | June 11,2024 - 10:36 AM

Garcia acting mayor

Acting Cebu City Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia. CDN Digital photo by Niña Mae Oliverio

CEBU CITY, Philippines — There is still a lot of work to be done but serving as the acting mayor is fulfilling.

Thirty days after he received his appointment from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to serve as Cebu City’s acting mayor for six months, this was how Raymond Garcia reflected on his first month as the chief of the city.

“It is both overwhelming in terms of the work that has to be done, kay daghan gyud kaayo’g problema ang City Hall, which we have to solve and resolve. If you’ve been with me for the past thirty days, you will see that I have been making strides and I have been trying to move things very fast,” Garcia said.

Recalling the progress he has made for the last thirty days, Garcia said that the job is “also very fulfilling” because as the mayor of Cebu City, he has so much influence that can “make a difference in the lives of individuals.”

Garcia said he is looking forward to the following months on what he can do, hoping the things he would do would bear “fruit” and the people would see the development he had made as the acting mayor. 

On Monday, June 10, Garcia announced some changes in assistant department head positions: Christine Joymarie Perias is reinstated as assistant head of the Human Resource and Development Office (previously in the City Health Department), and Emma Villarete is transferred from HRDO to the City Budget Office.

He also reinstated lawyer Butch Librando as the head of the Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor replacing Mark Lester Ceballos, brother-in-law of suspended city administrator Collin Rosell. 

Garcia also reinstated Dr. Alice Utlang as head of the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries, replacing Dr. Jessica Maribojoc. 

When he officially served as the acting mayor last month, one of the first few changes that Garcia made was appointing a new city administrator, city assessor, and chief of staff. 

Garcia then also ordered the immediate release of the unpaid salaries to four City Hall employees who filed complaints leading to Mayor Michael Rama’s preventive suspension.

Moreover, he also wanted to make sure that the flag-raising ceremony every Monday will not last for over 30 minutes so that the employees can start their operations right away. 

READ: Cebu City acting mayor Garcia lays out ‘first order of business’

Acting Mayor Garcia gets support of some Cebu City Councilors

On May 20, he issued a memorandum directing the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), specifically its Goods and Services, and the Infrastructure and Consulting Services, to immediately suspend all new purchases that are related to the Palarong Pambansa 2024 event, after learning that there were unnecessary items being purchased for the event. 

On May 27, he signed the remaining excavation permits of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) that have been pending at City Hall since March 2023. 

Another crucial decision that Garcia has made in less than a month was the slashing of the budget for the Palarong Pambansa 2024 from P405 million to P262 million. The primary reason for slashing the budget was “prioritizing” and making sure that they only spend government funds on what’s needed. /clorenciana

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TAGS: Alvin Garcia, Cebu City, cebu news

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