Fund Christmas budget, Rama tells council

Posted on October 30, 2012

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WHILE the Cebu City Council didn’t approve his request for P75 million for infrastructure master plans, Mayor Michael Rama said he hopes they won’t turn down his other request to brighten the city for the holidays.

The mayor proposed spending P2.45 million for traditional Christmas activities in the city like the annual Pasko sa V. Rama, a community street decor contest that lights up the avenue with nativity scenes and Christmas lanterns.

“The council should set aside politics. Elections are still next year,” he said.

Rama said Pasko sa V. Rama contest has been an important part of the city’s Christmas celebration for the last 17 years.

The Pasko sa Sugbu program starts with the lighting of the giant Christmas tree sponsored by M. Lhuillier at Fuente Osmena.

For his bigger projects, Rama said he will look to funding agencies and the national government for master plans on the South Road Properties (SRP), traffic, coastal management, drainage and lood control and urban revitalization.

He said the government of Yokohama in Japan committed to help him with his coastal management master plan and asked the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for a drainage maintenance master plan.

Instead of P75 million, the council approved only P2.5 million or about half a million for each master plan.
The mayor said the amount was “a joke”.

“What will you initiate from a joke?,” Rama said.
Rama said there was no need to do a pre-feasibility study since there are already available data that would justify the need to draft five master plans.

The Christmas budget includes P994,000 for the Pasko sa Sugbu program, P738,000 for the Pasko sa Sugbu decoration contest and P713,000 for the Pasko sa V. Rama.

These requests to be charged to the city’s share of Pagcor funds are pending with the budget committee chaired by Councilor Margot Osmeña.

“If there’s no money, the council should look for money. But if politics is the reason, then they are too obsessed,” said Rama. Doris C. Bongcac

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