Bzzzzz: Suzanne Ardosa, Dominic Diño, Collin Rosell: key people in Mayor Rama’s new term. Mike to have changes in departments, won’t call it reshuffle. Will push weed-out among casuals, review number and fitness.

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CLOSE-IN AIDES. The key assistants to Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama during his fresh term starting June 30 will not be new faces. They have been working with Rama for many years already.

[] Engr. Suzanne Omandam-Ardosa, city administrator, was Mayor Mike’s “overseer” at his office when he was vice mayor. In November 2021, when Rama ascended as full-pledged mayor upon the death of mayor Edgardo Labella, Ardosa replaced then city administrator Floro Casas Jr. Ardosa is a licensed civil engineer and holder of a master’s degree in public management from the University of the Philippines Cebu.

[] Atty. Dominic Diño, chief of staff, has been secretary to the mayor, since Rama’s ascent to the top post last year. He worked previously as assistant city administrator during Rama’s 2013-2016 term.

[] Atty. Collin Rosell, secretary to the mayor, had assisted the mayor, mostly on his executive orders, during the past months when the pandemic and typhoons struck the city. Rosell campaigned with Barug, in alliance with Marino party-list, as second nominee. So far, Marino got only one seat; thus, the probable stint of Rosell as secretary to Mayor Mike.

‘SQUARE PEGS.’ Mayor Rama will also push for the screening of casual and job order employees who are considered not re-employed unless their contracts are renewed on or before June 30. In a May 16, 2022 memorandum, they are required to submit an application letter and not report on July 1 unless their application is accepted.

In an interview Saturday, May 28, with dyRC radio’s Elias L. Baquero, Rama said the screening may result in reducing the number of casual workers at City Hall.

During his stint as acting mayor, Rama had been pressing for the exact number of casuals and where they were assigned. The published numbers, as of May 24: 4,000 job order employees and 3,000 casual workers. To the eight categories of undesirables in his May 16 memo (“Kawatan, tapulan ug uban pa”), Mayor Mike last week added those who don’t fit into their assigned work: “square pegs in round holes.”

‘HOUSEKEEPING,’ ‘NOT RESHUFFLE.’ He called the changes “mayor’s prerogative.” Rama’s election rival, former city councilor Margot Osmeña, whom he defeated by more than 30,000 votes, called it part of “housekeeping” that City Hall, she said, was badly in need of.

Rama said Rolando Ardosa will stay as chief of the Department of General Services. But, the mayor told dyRC’s Baquero there will definitely be changes of names among some of the city’s more than 40 departments. A reshuffle? He wouldn’t want to call it that but the changes are needed, Rama said, to make City Hall more responsive on basic services and good governance and have chiefs he can trust.

On political considerations, a day after his victory and a near-clean-sweep by Barug candidates, he won’t consider “political color” won’t affect his decisions, notably different from the “scorched-earth” policy of BOPK’s Tomas Osmeña when he returned to City Hall in his 2016 drubbing of Mike Rama.

CITOM, OSCA, JOY, GIMENEZ. Specific objects of the mayor’s “serious” review, Mayor Mike said, would be the Citom board and CTO or City Traffic Office. The two agencies have been mentioned in recent public forums on the city’s continuing problem of traffic congestion.

The Office for Senior Citizen Affairs Office or Osca is appointed by the mayor with a three-year term, generally not renewable. Rama mentioned as possible new chief one “Inting Esmena” who, the mayor said, is a senior citizen, a requirement of the law.

Atty. Josephus Gimenez, a former labor undersecretary, whom Rama announced last November 27 as his consultant, wouldn’t be, starting July 1, an ordinary consultant but a “working consultant.”

Councilor Joy Pesquera, finishing the term of Councilor Dondon Hontiveros when he moved up to vice mayor late last year, was among the elected councilors for the south. She’ll keep her post as chairperson of the city’s Tourism Commission. But the city’s tourism office will have a new chief, Rama said.

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