City of Cebu
His Honourable Presiding Officer, Vice Mayor Jun Davide, as always, if my recollection will serve me right, to do the invocation and always been around when invited, our good friend, Monsignor Boy Alesna, members of this August body, the 11th Sangguniang Panlungsod, Department Heads led by Bimbo Fernandez, the famous inter-parish among department head, all the department heads present, barangay captains, barangay officials, spouses of our members of this August Body, former councilor Maning Legaspi, Coping Fernandez, Joy Pesquera, former councilor now again a Barangay Captain Rudy Estella, Executive Assistants, our secretary Cynthis Kahulugan, PNP headed by Pat Comendador our city Chief of Police, media especially the coverage that has always been around that had brought the City Council every now and then sometime perceived as if session is being conducted 24 hours. Because as people will tune in, they see us in the morning, they see us in the sfternoon. Likewise see us in the morning. It would seem that we have been conducting session. But that has been possible because of the coverage of Bee TV 14. A big hand for the station that brought the coverage of the council and with emphasis not for any consideration, but for free. Friends, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.
For the first time since 1992, I’ve always been inside the council room waiting for the arrival of Mayor and when I was presiding as Vice Mayor welcoming the mayor, this time being the acting mayor, I had a chance and the feeling is un-describable.
First of all, I would like to acknowledge in behalf of Hon. Tomas Osmeña, all our government officials, honoured guests, family and friends of the City Council Members for having grace this momentous occasion of the Inaugural Session of the 11th Sangguniang Panlungsod of Cebu City. Traditionally on this very occasion, his honor, the Mayor, will be delivering a State of the City Address. However, he is not with us today due to his trip abroad, he has intimidated if he will come and if the time warrants, he will be doing it before this Council.
Today, I stand here before you, not as the Presiding Officer but as the Acting Mayor. Since the beginning of the new term of Honorable mayor and of the mandate of the 11th Sangguniang Panlungsod in July of 2007 or last year, a lot of remarkable things had happened to the city and most particularly the Sangguniang Panlungsod. The city government, as one organization, has been doing its duty to that delivery of basic services to its constituents. People are made to understand how the city government works to the point that the city officials have to portray into the proverbial story of the “ Old Man and the Ugly Mountain, which emphasizes as principle of governance that every little step towards a better way will definitely makes difference of our lives.
On the other hand, for almost two years, came back in December 2007 to this magnificent home, the Legislative Building with an exquisite and elegant Session Hall. The Session Hall will soon be inaugurated part of the whole building where the landscape will be completed and we wish that this will be graced by her Honorable, our President, Her excellency, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and we hope to have that done maybe perhaps July 15.
In February this year, the city government has required the administration of the Fort San Pedro which was for years under PTA since it was turned over to the national government in time before the local government code that empower local government unit to raise revenues the finance its governmental activities. This is the reason why we are hold enough to rightly claim operation and maintenance of our heritage and legacy from our forefathers.
Last week, Malacañang had announced that it was agreed to turn over the Campania Maritima to be developed by the City of Cebu as a grand museum. These two developments will pave the way for a holistic cultural, historical and tourism endeavour, that is God-willing, “The Heritage Village”, which later on will facilitatwe the so-called heritage will tours.
Last month, we received the partial fulfilment of the Codification Project. The University of Southern Philippines has turned over the Book One which is the Compendium of all ordinances from 1945 to March 2008. This afternoon we will witness the launching of the book. The final fulfilment of the entire Codification outout will be on July 15, 2008. That is six months since the work embarked in January this year. This reference materials will be much of help to our constituency and to all people.
With a relatively organized legislation process, the City Council can likewise deal with much needed measures that can respond to the requirements of these times. Perhaps, this Council can very much complement national measures on addressing emergency matters relating to the acts of nature that may claim lives.
The recent sea tragedy has indeed, not only saddened but also made us more conscious of how to be proactive in such situations. For the past few days, the city has taken the lead in dealing with the families of the victims. In fact, right in this building at the Vice Mayor’s Conference Room, there is a discussion and this is being attended by United Nation participants in the field of investigation. They are coming from Norway, Germany, and America and of course, with the counterpart in the national level, our NBI. They have taught us on how they can be of assistance in terms of our inconvenience and how to facilitate because there are many factors; there are many concerns that we have to be consulted with. And we will be needing everybody’s help.
In the days the Action Center has been operating, so much realizations have been made and so much system had been devised to facilitate the orderly operation of the center. I wish to thank at this time the agencies and the NGOs who stuck it out with us. I’d like also to congratulate at this point in time Hon. Edgardo Labella for having helped the city government secure a Galing Pook Award in the field of mediation at the barangay level. A big hand for Councilor Edgar Labella. And last night I’d like also to bring for the information of all who are here, our colleagues, I was there being privileged to turn over the so-called plaque at the same time trophy for him being chosen as an Outstanding Entrepreneur in the field of Environmental Preservation. I am referring to Hon. Nestor Archival, Sr.
All of the Councilors under my stewardship, together with the Acting Presiding Officer, I can always depend that we’ve been doing very very well. These things that we have today, the building, the landscape can never be possible if it has not been supported by this present set of Members of this Council, and likewise at the outset from the former Councilors who are here with us, and likewise I would like to acknowledge from the private sector who happens to be here and from the chamber, Mr. Go and whoever I may have missed acknowledging with no offense meant, I’d like to make you known from the bottom of my heart, we thank you for having find time to be with us.
Finally, let me invite all of you gathered here today, we pause for a few moment to say our prayers to the hundred of people lost in the tragedy caused by a typhoon “Frank” not only those involved in the sea mishaps as well as those most hit localities that the dead may rest in peace, those who survive may recover from the trauma and for those families left behind may receive the spiritual gift of understanding and acceptance.
No one willed disasters to happen. No one can stop the wrath of nature. May God with His loving mercy grant us the peace of mind and the strength to continue in our service to humanity.
Santo Nino have mercy on us and help us. Daghang salamat ug maayong buntag kaninyong tanan, Sugbu.
State of the City Address (2008)
Acting Mayor Michael L. Rama