Editorial: Misuse of party dominance

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Friday, July 18, 2014

HOW do councilors belonging to the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) councilors operate? Or specifically, how do they assert their dominance in the Cebu City Council?

The city council recently overrode Mayor Michael Rama’s veto of the ordinance granting P5,000 annual cash assistance to every qualified single parent in Cebu City. All the BOPK councilors, except for Eugenio Gabuya and Noel Wenceslao, voted for the override.

All four councilors aligned with Team Rama were against.


If it were not for Gabuya and Wenceslao not supporting the majority, one would get the feeling the BOPK has considered the “solo parents” ordinance so important it has considered it a party matter.

Still, with the 9-4-2 vote (two councilors were not in the session hall during the voting), most of the BOPK councilors attached prime importance to the ordinance.

So how do the BOPK councilors decide that a particular issue is important for the party? Do they meet before the session? Do they call or text each other? Or do they read the body language of their colleagues, especially Councilor Margot Osmeña, wife of their chief?

Anyway, there must be something to the measure that prompted the decision to override the mayor’s veto, an act that is not done often. Do the BOPK councilors want to score pogi points from single parents in the city and hope this will translate into votes in the 2016 elections?

This has to be asked because the ordinance, conceived by Councilor Gerardo Carillo, does have infirmities.

For one, it is a dole-out that does not have an impact on the lives of single parents.

Secondly, it is a burden to a “cash-strapped” Cebu City Government. Thirdly, it imposes stringent requirements.

The mayor’s veto should have prompted the BOPK councilors to come up with changes in the measure instead of ramming it through. They could have incorporated suggestions, like spending the money for training or livelihood grants, which has a bigger impact for solo parents.

Consider, therefore, the overriding of the mayor’s veto by BOPK councilors as misuse of the party’s dominance in the city council.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 19, 2014.


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