Carvajal: Least he can do

·3 min read

It must be recalled that as vice mayor he insisted that the joint venture agreement (JVA) with Megawide needed further scrutiny. He admitted to the JVA’s need to be cured of the defects Carbon vendors brought to the City’s attention. And indeed, he did draw up his own curative measures.

Now, however, that he has a fresh mandate as mayor-elect, Michael Rama has turned incoherent and declared he is going ahead with the implementation of the JVA without listening any more to the vendors’ reactions to his curative measures. Which is a problem as he actually has two sets of curative measures: one approved earlier by the City Council and a second one that he is waiting for the Council to approve.

Mayor Rama forgets that the basic defect of the JVA, that which most urgently needs curing, is it was drafted, signed, and now implemented without consulting the stakeholders, the market vendors, that stand to be most negatively impacted by the JVA. Now he is using his executive power to implement it without the heart to relieve vendors of the anxiety over some provisions that could endanger the security of their livelihood.

He waxed even more incoherent when he said that he is implementing the JVA because he must work for the welfare of the majority of his constituents. What majority is he talking about? In this instant case, Megawide which he is favoring is definitely not the majority.

For the record, Mayor Rama’s majority constituents in this case are the distraught vendors. These are having sleepless anxiety-filled nights with his declaration that he will not talk to them anymore and will go ahead posthaste with the privatization-cum-modernization of the Carbon market.

This is an incoherent and heartless exercise of executive power. It would seem like Mayor Rama is implementing the JVA simply because he is unquestionably now the City’s top executive. Smart politician as he is, he was quite guarded in his pre-election pronouncements about the JVA. Now, however, he is like: “Akoy Mayor, akoy magbuot.” Familiar?

If he is punishing the vendors for not voting for him, then he is not only incoherent and heartless but also vindictive. He is the mayor also of those who did not vote for him. These have the right to be heard. He has the responsibility to listen.

Rescinding the contract might depend on the court. But listening to the vendors depends completely on Mayor Rama’s good will. He does not need a court decision to listen to the vendors and grant them the one thing they want most, assurance in writing that those in the master list of vendors (that a joint committee would draw up) will be guaranteed a place in a privatized Carbon market.

This is not too much to ask of the City if Mayor Rama is fairly and equally solicitous of the welfare of vendors as he is of Megawide’s. In any case, the least he can do as father of the City is listen to Carbon vendors.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting