Rama eyes debt-free city
CEBU CITY, Philippines - This Queen City of the Philippines will soon be free from its financial obligation in the loan incurred for the creation of the South Road Properties.
This as Cebu City Mayor Michael L Rama reported the current state of the city last Saturday afternoon July 4, 2015 at the Plaza Independencia, underscored that the city will pay in full its remaining outstanding balance of P3 billion debt from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) for the SRP reclamation project.
He personally chose July 4 as the day to deliver his SOCA because it is the original day of the declaration of Philippine Independence. The United States of America formally recognized the independence of the Republic of the Philippines on July 4, 1946 which is also known as the Philippine Republic Day and Filipino-American Friendship Day. He enthuses that July 4 is now a symbolism for declaring freedom of the Cebuanos from bondage of paying P500 million annually for debt servicing for the SRP loan.
The People's Mayor thanked his 2 predecessors then Mayors Alvin Garcia and Tomas Osmeña for their contribution in developing the SRP. He also thanked some members of the present craft of Cebu City Council members such as Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella and Councilors Gerardo Carillo, Mary Ann delos Santos, Dave Tumulak, Hanz Abella, Roberto Cabarrubias, James Cuenco, Richard Osmeña and Philip Zafra for authorizing him to sell some parts of the reclamation project.
Last week, the city got its biggest collection of at least Php16.7 billion in one day as additional funds for the city's coffers. This after the Ayala Land/Cebu Holdings in consortium with the SM Prime Holdings, and also the Filinvest Land Incorporated expressed to poured their new investments in at least two prime lots of SRP after winning in a public bidding.
Emphasizing heritage and cultural preservation, Mayor Rama arrived in the historical Plaza Independencia riding a tartanilla or horse-drawn carriage together with lawyer-son Mikel. They went to the nearby Fort San Pedro to prepare in delivering his report to the Cebuanos.
Meanwhile, the mayor took 2 hours in delivering his fifth State of the City Address (Soca) highlighting the accomplishments and targets of the People’s administration using an audio-visual presentation. He was applauded several times for the duration of his speech including his grand entrance and exit.
The Mayor reiterated that all his actions and plans are geared towards his vision for the city to become a sustainable community that will allow its constituents help manage the resources of a growing city, guarantees healthier well-being, provides economic productivity, with active, dynamic and performing people and with a city hall at your doorstep.
He urged everyone to join him in his policy direction of a People-Privately Driven Governance (PPDG) guided by his matra, "Tul-iron ang hiwi, Nindoton ang Bati, Limpiyohon ang Hugaw, Wagtangon ang Baho, ug Han-ayon ang Gubot (Straighten what is Crooked, Beautify what is Ugly, Clean what is Dirty, Put Fragrance on what is Obnoxious, and Make an Order on what is Chaotic)."
The city's chief executive pointed out various accomplishments in line with his platforms such as Social Services, Environment, Education, Development, Business, Infrastructure, Governance, Public Affairs, People and Place.
The mayor also reported that financial assistance for the Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and Senior Citizens, including the honoraria of the village officials will be distributed in the coming days. He said that a one-month bonus of the Cebu City Hall employees will be released next month. He also bared his plan for the increment of the financial assistance for burial, medicine and hospitalization next year.
Meanwhile, under People's Mayor's leadership, this Queen City of the Philippines has received numerous recognition and awards. These included the ASEAN City of Culture, World's top 8 BPO destination, Asia's Retirement Hub, 2015 Good Financial Housekeeping by DILG, People Manager of the Year by People Management Association of the Philippines, Nomination for Lee Kuan Yew World Cities Prize for 2016, E-Governance and E-Readiness Awards by DOST, Best Public Employment Service Office by DOLE, Child-Friendly City by DILG, Ranked 6 for the Local Civil Authority in the Big City Category and number 1 of the top 10 performers in the region by Philippine Statistics Authority, Most Liveable City in the Philippines by Pinaka television program of GMA News TV, and Most Liveable Place in Asia by Real Estate giant Lamudi.
Furthermore, thousands of Cebuanos and guests alike witnessed the Mayor's SOCA which is his second SOCA for his second term, he is seeking third term in 2016. These included the thousands of Cebu City Government officials and employees, officials and workers from the city's 80 villages, head and representatives of various government and non-government offices, agencies, organizations and sectors, the Rama Family including celebrity couple Anabelle Rama and Eddie Guttierez with son Richard, special guest Catbalogan City Mayor Stephany Uy-Tan, members of the Media and the general public, among others. (Cebu City Public Information Office PIO/Greggy Jiggs P. Senados)