Editorial: Not a good time for council

IT NOW looks like the tumultuous election of officers of the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) in Cebu City weeks ago was just a warm up to what should turn out to be a politically charged final months of the terms of office of incumbent city officials. The other day, the Cebu City Council produced a tumultuous session as contentious as that in the ABC polls.

The opposition Barug Team Rama attempted to block efforts by the administration Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) to assert its newly acquired majority in the legislative by reintroducing two measures that it failed to pass when it (Barug) was still in control. Like in the ABC elections, allies of Barug Team Rama walked away from the inevitable.

The two measures that were tackled during the session were important and have long-term ramifications for the city: the P18 billion joint venture agreement to develop Kawit Island in the South Road Properties (SRP) and the approval of the special use application for the Central Materials Facility and Sanitary Landfill in Barangay Binaliw.

The city is in need of a sanitary landfill after the court ordered the old landfill in Inayawan closed, prompting the city government to dump the trash collected by the barangays to facilities outside of its jurisdiction. But there is obviously a need to conduct a deeper study on the proposal considering that Binaliw is a mountain barangay.

As for the resolution authorizing Mayor Tomas Osmeña to enter and sign an amended joint venture agreement with Universal Hotels and Resorts Inc., the need to ensure that the Cebu City Government won’t be disadvantaged in a deal that could outlive many of the city councilors is obvious. Slow but sure should therefore be the way to do it.

The two measures, however, have apparently been overtaken by a politicking that has intensified as the May 2019 elections near. In the Kawit Island development for example, the discussion on whether the project is beneficial to the city is being eclipsed by worries one group or person would earn monetary windfall that could be used to fund the electoral campaign.

In a way, now is not really the ideal time to tackle measures like these.

Source: Local News

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