By TEODORO SABUGA-A JR.
Team OKKA .
First of two parts
THE first term (2013-2015) of Cagayan de Oro’s Local Chief Executive (LCE), Mayor Oscar Moreno, proved that it is difficult for two people from opposing political camps to occupy the highest leadership positions in the city — out of 16 city council members and the vice mayor, only five belong to the party of the LCE. Because of this disagreement, the LCE could not establish the city council’s approval of vital ordinances, such as the Executive-Legislative Agenda and budgets for 2014 and 2015. This political impasse has adversely affected the implementation of programs and has caused tension between old and new appointees in various offices.
In those years, we saw that there was an inability of the local government to function well for the best interest of the city. We saw a deadlock on legislative concerns because of the opposing political parties of the mayor and vice mayor.
Vice Mayor Raineir Joaquin “Kikang” Uy successfully ended that deadlock. He pushed for reforms in good governance that exemplifies teamwork, effectiveness and efficiency. He utilized his “power of the purse” in policy legislation and worked for a harmonious relationship between the executive and legislative bodies of government. Now, we are seeing Vice Mayor Kikang and the 18th City Council producing pieces of legislation for the best interest of Kagayanons.
The first term (2016-2018) of Vice Mayor Raineir Joaquin “Kikang” V. Uy marked a milestone of policy development and legislations. Now on its 105th Regular Session, the 18th City Council, through the leadership of Vice Mayor Kikang, approved a number of ordinances and resolutions that were implemented this year. Most remarkable are the passage of the Children’s Welfare Code, Parental Responsibility Code, and Youth Code, among others.
It is also during these years that the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) has been institutionalized and turned into a department. It is now the CDRRMD. Vice Mayor Kikang Uy values programs and mechanisms that allow constituents to adapt to climate change and reduce casualties in the onset of disasters. Cagayan de Oro is gearing towards a becaming a climate-resilient city, and aims for zero casualty when disaster strikes. Disaster Risk Reduction and Management is close to the heart of our vice mayor since he was incident commander of Caress in the past.
Another notable achievement of the 18th City Council is the approval of the creation of the City Housing and Urban Development Department. In 2015, the Shelter and Housing Development Multisectoral Housing Task Force (SHDMTF) facilitated the conduct of the first Housing Summit in the city. Through the leadership of Vice Mayor Kikang, the City Council firmly stood to address the increasing number of informal settlers through the creation of its City Housing and Urban Development Department (Chudd) with City Ordinance No. 13715-2016. They enabled the Chudd to acquire land for housing and resettlement, giving priority to those who were victims of calamities in the past, especially Tropical Storm Sendong.
This is the first time that the City Council is supportive in incorporating structures that are vital in the development of Cagayan de Oro. Previous administrations were not able to do this. It is only Vice Mayor Kikang who is able to lead the city’s legislators in the approval of ordinances and resolutions that are crucial in institutionalizing key offices that address relevant issues in the city.
Vice Mayor Kikang, along with his staff in the City Vice Mayor’s Office, continually campaign for Solid Waste Management through consultations in various barangays such as Puerto, Lapasan and Macabalan, to name a few. The thrust of the program is to enable people from different barangays of the city to know more about the law passed by the City Council regarding segregation at source so that solid waste management can be implemented for a cleaner environment, one that is resilient to climate change.
President Duterte’s Executive Order No. 26, or imposing a nationwide smoking ban and the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003, is strengthened further in Cagayan de Oro through the City Mayor’s Executive Order No. 102-2018, creating the Smoke-Free Task Force of Cagayan de Oro City. The city councilors have been very vocal in their support for the strict implementation of these laws. The first phase involves the advocacy and promotion of a smoke-free city government. City Hall is now a “No Smoking Zone.” Its second phase will involve public establishments, and will take place in 2019.
Equally integral are the banning of plastics in Cagayan de Oro. Starting January 2019, Kagayanons are to bring their own eco bags/bayong or any reusable bags in groceries, convenience stores, and other large- or small- businesses in the city. Cagayan de Oro advocates “No to Plastics” beginning in the last quarter of 2018.
Vice Mayor Uy emphasizes the inter-connectedness of issues relating to solid waste management, disaster risk reduction management, and pollution. More importantly, he seeks for solutions in addressing these problems that are crucial in the development of our highly urbanized city.
As mentioned, one of the pieces of legislation implemented is the Children’s Code and Youth Code. The youth is one of the sectors that Vice Mayor Uy focuses on because aside from his young and energetic personality, he envisions a bright future for his children and his children’s children. He firmly believes that the legacy he passes to these generations will ripple once the young understand his causes.
The Vice Mayor’s Office has been consistent in supporting local athletes and sports enthusiasts by providing fiber glass basketball rings, conducting basketball clinics, and giving various sports equipment to help the sector develop their zeal for sports. Many barangays received fiber glass basketball rings. (to be continued next Monday)
(Teodoro Sabuga-a Jr. is the city administrator and concurrent overseer of the city social welfare and development office.)