CEBU City Vice Mayor Michael Rama on Thursday, August 18, 2021, turned over to Mayor Edgardo Labella, who is returning to work after a medical leave for more than a month.
Labella informed the City Council in a letter Wednesday, August 18, that he will resume his functions as city mayor August 19. City Administrator Floro Casas Jr., however, told SunStar Cebu that for Thursday, Labella will be working from home.
In a statement Thursday, Rama said he is happy that his “dear friend and partner” is back to lead Cebu City in its fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“Today, we turn over the steering wheel to our elected leader,” he said, adding that he was ready to brief Labella of what they have done while the mayor was absent.
“We will always support our administration, especially in dealing with the virus,” Rama said.
Labella went on medical leave beginning July 14, a day after he was again brought to the hospital. This time, he was confined for pneumonia.
"As I revert back to my elected role as vice mayor, we continue our duty, as mandated by the City Council with the imprimatur of our mayor, as convenor of the Vaccination Board and Task Force tasked to roll out our Covid-19 Vaccination Rollout Program," Rama added.
He called on Cebuanos to abide by the rules set under Executive Order 137, or the “Oplan Puyo” that was enforced earlier by Task Force 8/15-31.
“Oplan Puyo” enforces a mandatory stay at home order in the entire Cebu City, except for essential trips, to prevent the spread of the more contagious Delta variant of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.
Labella was discharged from the hospital on August 4, after more than 20 days of confinement, Casas earlier said.
The mayor first took a medical leave in January due to an ear infection.
On May 31, he took a three-day leave after he was hospitalized for “slight pneumonia.” On June 9, he took a three-week leave to fully recover from sepsis and on July 14, he took a three-day leave due to persistent cough. (LMY)