Seares: 'Too many' special bodies at Cebu City Hall. But youth office and youth council are required by SK Reform Law. Councilors don’t just read, they 'peruse.' Cris Saavedra continues job shopping.

·4 min read

TWO MORE COMING UP. A pending ordinance at the Cebu City Council seeks the creation of two more special bodies at City Hall: the Cebu City Youth Development Office and the Cebu City Youth Development Council or, in short, CCYDO and CCYDC. Those special bodies are required by the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act of 2015 (Republic Act 10742). Or, are they still special bodies if they are creation of national law?

A public hearing on the proposed ordinance last Wednesday, June 8 didn’t clarify the difference in functions. And one may not easily understand the ordinance. The councilors must assume the public can tell the difference between “office” and “council” and their respective alphabet symbols: CCYDO and CCYDC. Just as many people confused the disaster office (CDRRMO) with the disaster council, thus not knowing which to blame for the occasional slips during the pandemic and typhoon Odette and Agaton.

A resource person at the June 8 public hearing suggested that the word “local '' be inserted to a third development office, CCYDO, to avoid confusion. R.A. 1040 uses the word “local” in the name of the youth council and youth office but it must be replaceable with the name of the local government. Otherwise, redundance results if one says Cebu City Local Youth Development Office.

TOMAS PROMISED IN 2016. Confounding the public, with their long name or murky initials, may be less of a burden than adding cost to City Hall operations. CCYDO and CCYDC, for example, will entail an initial P2 million and P1M for each year thereafter.

Mayor Michael Rama recently complained of having too many special bodies with only a few of them serving the purpose of their creation. He may activate dormant special bodies, which are required by national law but not working, and kill off locally organized ones whose functions can be done by regular offices.

On June 30, 2016, when Tomas R. Osmeña assumed office after his absence from City Hall for two terms or six years since 2010, he announced that 90 offices might be shut down. It turned out that there were only 57 special bodies and 23 reportedly submitted their accomplishment reports. Those are 2016 data; the numbers may have gone up since. But how many special bodies had Tomas actually abolished?

Mayor Rama has promised to fulfill nine out of 21 promises in his first 50 days under his fresh term. They don’t include, not categorically, the abolition of unneeded special bodies.

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JOB-SHOPPING STILL ON. Crisologo Saavedra, who landed #3 among four candidates with 1,342 votes (compared to Mayor Mike Rama’s 225,328 votes, Margot Osmeña’s 190,836 and Dave Tumulak’s 132,510), is pressing on with his apparent job-shopping with president-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s administration.

In a June 8 letter to Atty. Vic Rodrigriuez, Marcos Jr.’s incoming chief of staff, he said he’d accept the position of undersecretary or asst. secretary in the Department of Transportation.

Earlier, Cris Saavedra, who calls himself an anti-corruption advocate, wrote on May 26 and May 28 to Marcos Jr. and on May 29 to Senator Imee Marcos. In those letters, he said he was applying for the office of the presidential assistant in the Visayas (Opav). He said he could be consultant at the Opav for one year, after which he could be Opav chief or head of PACC or Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission.

‘DYING WISH.’ Cris Saavedra said it was his “death wish” to occupy a position where he could devote his skill and experience for service to the people. In the alternative job he now seeks, he cited his work as a contractor for 45 years.

He probably meant “dying wish” or the last thing he wants before dying. A “death wish” is “a desire for someone’s death, especially an unconscious desire for one’s own death.” Whether he was apt in describing his desire, there’s no indication yet he’d get that wish. He didn’t say if his letters got any reply from the Marcoses or their staff.

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HOW COUNCILORS READ. Members of the Cebu City Council don’t just read, they peruse (pe’rooz). Or many of them say they do. That means, they “read in a careful and thorough way,” they “examine carefully or at length.”

Their constituents must be glad to know that. On the infamous joint venture agreement on the Carbon Market project, however. Most, if not all, the councilors didn’t read, let alone peruse the 70-pages-plus document.

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