State of the City Address 2009


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Republic of the Philippines
City of Cebu

STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS BY ACTING MAYOR HONORABLE MICHAEL L. RAMA (2009)

Presiding Officer, Hon. Hilario Davide III, our Acting Vice-Mayor. As Pax Pacana said this morning, he has been referred to as our chaplain… should there be a legislative intervention in that connection to officially declare perhaps in the next session, Msgr. Boy Alesna. A big hand, please.

Deputy speaker, our indefatigable defender of the city government and this Council, so with the Office of the Executive, Congressman Raul del Mar. Likewise, we have with us another lady representative, Her Honor, Congresswoman Lisa Masa. Of course, our distinguished members of the Eleventh Sangguniang Panlungsod, can we request all of them to stand, for them to be given our wholehearted round of applause… for these are the gentlemen and ladies who have been working so hard, notwithstanding, no matter what, and whatever situation stood for, the City Government. We have our department heads… can we ask all our department and assistant department heads to stand again, men and women, with their command, with their instructions, what made Cebu City today and even yesterday and also tomorrow. Our members of the diplomatic corps whoa re here with us, especially Honorary Consul Enrique Benedicto, the Department of Education, notwithstanding her birthday today attended this inaugural session, that we should always cherish, Dr. Lorna Rances, that’s why she is wearing red… Former Councilors Coping Fernandez, Jocelyn Pesquera, Maning Legaspi. And may I ask all the barangay captains to please stand for we have to give them our wholehearted round of applause. And our consultant, Former Congressman and you know, 2010 where he will be, His honorable Joy Augustus Young. Our Field Marshal from the Fire Department, Col. Ismael Codilla who will always take care and will be there as much as possible before things become complicated… and that, he had assured the Council. Am I correct Ismael Codilla? Our DILG, Dr. Patricio Gabuya. The Philippine National Police represented by Col. Castronuevo. My relatives, my brother Gingging and my son Miguel; Women’s International, can we give them our round of applause; Can we ask our consultants to stand please so that we will also acknowledge them… city government consultants who are around please stand.

Media, a round of applause for the media. And the Senior Citizens represented by their president, Brgy. Captain Felix Abella and my also very important guest, Mr. Limliu from Chong Hua Hospital. I’m trying to look at the gallery if I have missed… commissioners from the different commissions; other distinguished guests, our secretary, multi-talented pianist, civil engineer, a lawyer, a newly-appointed Secretary of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, Jose Marie Poblete. Friends, ladies and gentlemen, good morning. Maayong buntag.

Traditionally, on this occasion, the Honorable Tomas Osmeña delivers his “State of the City’s Address” as the local chief executive. He reports to the people and to the members of this august body which by law possesses the “power of the purse” of the City.

However, the Mayor is on leave for fifteen (15) days. Hon. Davide and I are back again as actors; Actors because once again, we will be performing our job in an acting capacity as Vice-Mayor respectively, pray for us...

Thus, since I do not wish to take the place of the Mayor in delivering the “State of the City’s Address” and despite the quandary on what role I take on this occasion, I will speak then as a plain and simple public servant, combining once as a councilor, perhaps Vice-Mayor and at the time when I had performed as Acting Mayor.

Today begins the final year of the term of the 11th Sangguniang Panlungsod.

The major achievements that the past and present Sanggunian Members have made include among others, the full renovation of the expanded legislative building where you are this morning, this portion where our Session hall is located is a part of the expanded floor. Likewise, the landscaping of the Plaza Sugbo and the implementation of the e-legis.

Likewise, the Sangguniang Panlungsod has adhered to its established vision of a highly professionalized legislative institution and to its mission – and that is, to formulate measures consistent with time, cognizant of the established executive-legislative agenda and geared towards efficient and effective governance. The VISION-Mission statement is likewise formulated into objectives and house rules that create a culture of professional public servants.

Another significant highlight of the City Council is the formulation of its policy direction. AHEAD is an acronym for programs and projects that focus on the Executive Agenda Support, Hi-Tech Facilities, Enactment of Laws, Advancement of Legislative Staff, Development and Capability building program for councilors and barangay.

With a City Council like ours, no local government unit would fail in terms of directions for the delivery of public service. Legislative measures are more definite. Also, by virtue of the BOPK principles, legislators are given executive functions by our very good Mayor who is not insecure to institute this system so unique --- that I cannot find anywhere in the Philippines as I relate as the President of the Vice-Mayors League of the Philippines. As the Vice-Mayor League President of the Philippines, with fellow Vice-Mayors in the entire country had been told about this principle that we have been practicing here in Cebu City. This is principally the reason why this Council has been recognized…and the plaque is over there, as the No. 1 City Council among the 1, 631 councils in the Philippines. Can we give our Council a round of applause for having been adjudged as the only one and the first awardee as the No. 1 City Council in the Philippines? And thanks to the former councilors and continuously also being followed by the current set of members of this council.

Since July 2007, the 11th Sangguniang Panlungsod, aside from so many resolutions passed, has enacted at least sixteen (16) ordinances as of March 21, 2008, and this is not including the past several ordinances that this Council had passed on its first term and second term.

Among the most important measures undertaken by the City Council is its support measure on the FILINVEST and Cebu City Government’s P25 billion Joint Venture Agreement.

Next year, our term of office will end. There are those members who re third termers, and I’d like to request them to stand as I call their names. Hon. Gerardo Carillo, Hon. Arsenio “Pax” Pacana from the South District; and from the North District, Hon. Christopher Alix, Hon. Sylan “Jack Jakosalem”, Hon. Nestor Archival, Sr.

I would like to commend them in their contribution for the realization of the VISION and MISSION of the Sangguniang Panlungsod. I pray and I ask you all to pray, that although they will temporarily retire from elective office, perhaps or maybe… However, let’s encourage them not even to retire but for them to continue, to consider service as a vocation and make it a lifetime commitment.

We pray also, however, that those who are yet to be reelected, that they will continue to show their interest and dedication for the City. And coming back, if we all work and be united, supported by all, including our Barangay officials, by all, including our Congressman … it will just be a matter of time. It’s a term that they will be back in this Council.

On my part as the Vice-Mayor, I have the privilege of performing functions which are executive in nature, such as being the Chairman of various commissions and regulatory boards. It is my privilege likewise to be given the trust by the City Mayor to get involved in decongesting BBRC, now called City Jail. Likewise, in handling the annual Sinulog Mardigras and the yearly activities that intend to give more spirit to Christmas. Indeed, it is very challenging to be working as part of the legislative department. It is fulfilling as every experience is a continuing learning process.

Perhaps it was a lucky coincidence that even when I was still a councilor, I already had the opportunities to assume as Acting Mayor. By summing up all those time, maybe all in all, I have tried being a Mayor in an acting capacity almost a year or so. And yet, despite that I have to confess to you that I continued to be in a learning experience like all of us should be. Rest assured, however, being a public servant all my life, I will continue to learn and meet the challenges of public service.

One year is still a long way. As public servants, elected or appointed we must continue our service to the public above our personal interests.

At this juncture, allow me to congratulate my colleagues in this honorable body for a job well done, so far. A round of applause to all the Members of this 11th Sangguniang Panlungsod. While I was the Acting Mayor from November of last year until May of this year, your cooperation is beyond question and I consider it superb. A round of applause, please.

We, as a City, were able to sail the seas of public service even in the absence of the captain of the ship.

In behalf of this August Body, I would like to express my profound gratitude. First, to our Honorable Mayor Tommy Osmeña for giving up his trust and confidence in making what we are supposed to be doing as part of this organic body, the City Government. And likewise, I’d like to congratulate and express my thanks as well to all who have graced this occasion. The wives, who are here … This event, as we agreed, reminisce us to to the Commonwealth time. This event I consider it a neo classical, that it is elegance but without pomposity. And I wish to invite you to witness all the activities today from our exhibits to the presentation this afternoon.

Lastly, for our beloved Cebu City, let us give our best. Let us give ourselves unselfishly especially our public officials who are here, our Barangay Captains and other official.

I have been sharing it with the Council, if we can empower in the real sense of the word, our Barangay Captains, our Barangay officials, I so believe we can make this City, our City, as we have always been proud, indeed continuously, a City second to none. For in the end, what counts is what we have done for our City and not for what the City and the City officials have given to the people.

Once again, I would like to invite you to join me in this advocacy, also as a reminder. “Let’s continue to tul-id the hiwi; limpyo the hugaw; wagtangon ang baho; nindoton ang bati ug hapsayon ang gubot.” I repeat, I’ve always been reminding my fellow councilors and the rest who have been working with us, that we should aspire to “tul-id the hiwi, limpyo the hugaw, wagtangon the baho, nindoton the bati and hapsayon ang gubot”.

Essentially, all of these if we will be able to do it, we will ensure improvement in the City of Cebu.

Daghang Salamat kaninyong tanan, maayong buntag. Mabuhi ang Sugbu, Mabuhi ang Dakbayan sa Sugbo. Thanks to Sr. Sto. Nino, thank GOD.

Good morning, thank you once again.

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State of the City Address (2009)
Acting Mayor Michael L. Rama
(2009)

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