Rama set to create Task Force Disiplina

CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama is expected to issue a “very serious” executive order imposing strict discipline on residents, which is in line with his ambition for the city to achieve the status of Singapore, a small progressive city-state in Southeast Asia and one of the world’s strongest economies.

The local chief executive told SunStar Cebu on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022 that he may issue the executive order (EO) on or before Oct. 1, institutionalizing the proposed Task Force Disiplina (TFD), which will be composed of the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, barangay officials and civilian volunteers.

The impending creation of TFD was first announced on Sunday by former Apas barangay captain and now Rama’s secretary for special projects Ramil Ayuman, who said the task force will be implementing existing laws and ordinances that involve health, sanitation, environment, traffic rules, and education among others.

Under the TFD, Ayuman said on his Facebook post that barangays are required to have a center that will be used to hold individuals caught violating any city ordinance.

“Mga violators mahimong ipa-ubos sa community service ug ipa-ubos sa orientation may kalabot sa ordinansa ug Singapore-like Cebu City concept,” said Ayuman, who is also a former assistant secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

(The violators could undergo community service, and they will undergo orientation about the ordinances and the Singapore-like Cebu City concept.)

This week Rama said he will conduct a series of consultations with stakeholders before issuing the final version of the EO.

“I do not want to bring it in a piecemeal. Definitely, it is a very serious executive order,” he said.

Rama said his secretary Collin Rosell and City Hall consultant Debold Sinas, the former PNP chief, will take charge of the implementation of the EO.

According to Rama, the gist of the order is to develop a bottom-up approach to imposing discipline that must start in the household.

“Singapore-like Cebu City starts at home,” said Rama, adding that “growing starts in the household.”

The “Singapore-like city” vision was first mentioned by Rama during his inaugural speech last June 30. Rama is on his third non-consecutive term after winning the mayoral race in the last May 10 general elections, beating his closest rival Margot Osmeña of the Bando-Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan and former councilor David Tumulak.

After heavy rains experienced last August, Rama made moves to ease the city’s problem with flooding by ordering the removal of settlers and structures within the three-meter easement of waterways.

The mayor then issued an EO creating Task Force Gubat sa Baha (War on Flood) led by former Environment secretary Roy Cimatu, an effort to make Cebu City more flood-resilient.

Rama also issued another EO ordering the recovery of the city’s waterfront, from Barangay Mabolo in the north to Barangay Inayawan in the south, by clearing it of all structures that impede the outflow of the waterway and illegal structures extending or constructed on non-buildable areas.