CITY HALL, Cebu City (January 5, 2023) — Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin N. Garcia got sworn into office after the May 9, 2022 elections by gaining the highest number of votes ever won by a candidate for any position in the city.

His campaign promise was “Resulta ang Garantiya”, as reflected in his performance as a city councilor and member of the City Council.

This time, he is the legislative body’s steward, and he immediately set the general direction of the Cebu City Council to ensure RESULTA—results.

Vice Mayor Garcia. (PIO/File)

An acronym, RESULTA stands for:

RResponsiveness to the thrusts of the executive department;

E – refers to the pursuit of meaningful legislation to advance Education and provide for more scholarship opportunities;

S — means to prioritize legislation aimed towards Settlements or housing;

U — is the pursuit of Urban Development without sacrificing culture and the environment;

L — is to legislate support for Livelihood programs that align the capacities of our labor force with the job market;

T — means legislation that facilitate Traffic and Transportation management development; and,

A means Advancing the participation of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the legislative process.

Mayor Mike Rama (center) and Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin N. Garcia (left) at the Plaza Independencia statue of Andres Bonifacio during the hero’s 159th birth anniversary celebration last Nov. 30, 2022. (PIO/File)

Under “Responsiveness” to the direction and initiatives of the executive department, Vice Mayor Garcia and the City Council, especially City Councilors Joy Pesquera and Noel Wenceslao, passed Supplemental Budget No. 3 and the historic P50-billion annual budget for 2023.

The Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) also supported Mayor Mike Rama’s “Gubat sa Baha”, with Councilors Jerry Guardo, Joel Garganera, and Franklyn Ong getting tapped to assist. 

Mayor Mike Rama signing the executive order which directs the recovery and restoration of the City’s waterfront area. (PIO/File)

For his part, Vice Mayor Garcia accepted the mayor’s appointment as chairman of the Cebu City Waterfront Commission and head of the Coastal Management Task Force. His office also co-organized the quarterly cleanup of the city’s rivers and coastline last September and December 2022.

Both the Waterfront Development Commission and the Coastal Management Task Force were convened in September. With the assistance of Councilors Nestor Archival, Garganera, and Jaypee Labella, and the City Planning and Development Office, a Waterfront Development Conference is scheduled in February.

The vice mayor also created a Coastal Resource Management Unit under his office to help oversee the crafting of an ordinance establishing the city’s first Marine Protected Area.

Towards this end, the task force conducted barangay visits, attended two fisherfolk association meetings, completed a socio-economic and demographic survey of all 16 coastal barangays, mapped the core and buffer zones of the proposed marine protected area, and compiled the technical components needed to draft the ordinance.

Conceptual design by the City Planning and Development Office of the proposed Cebu City College building.

On “Education”, the vice mayor, together with Councilors Dondon Hontiveros, Philip Zafra, Joy Pesquera, Noel Wenceslao, James Cuenco, Mary Ann Delos Santos, Jessica Resch, Franklyn Ong, Junjun Osmeña, Rey Gealon, Francis Esparis, Jerry Guardo, Joel Garganera, and Pastor Alcover Jr., pursued the passage of the new City College Ordinance.  

Vice Mayor Garcia and his staff also simultaneously distributed school supplies to children in barangays Busay, Budlaan, and Kamputhaw last December 27.

On “Settlements”, the Vice Mayor, who is also chairman of the SP Committee on Housing, has laid the foundations for the hosting of a Housing Summit in the first quarter of this year.  

Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin N. Garcia (2nd from left) and Mayor Mike Rama (3rd from left) during the turnover last July 29, 2022 of two medium-rise buildings that Cebu Landmasters Inc. built in Barangay Lorega-San Miguel as socialized housing structures. (PIO/File)

On “Urban Development”, Vice Mayor Garcia, whom Mayor Rama appointed as chairman of the Cebu City Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission, organized the city’s first ever Heritage Summit last December 1.

The output is a draft of the City’s heritage charter, which will guide future legislation and visioning of what the City Government wants to do with areas like Colon Street, the oldest street in the country; the Parian district, and several others. 

On “Livelihood”, Vice Mayor Garcia and the City Council allocated resource for projects like the mega jobs fair spearheaded by like Councilor Jaypee Labella.

Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin N. Garcia and his better half Kate during the opening of the Cebu City Animal Summit last Dec. 13-14, 2022. (PIO/File)

On “Traffic and Transportation”, he and other SP members, particularly Councilor Joel Garganera, actively supported sustainable transportation infrastructure like electric buses. 

On “Advancing the participation of CSOs”, Vice Mayor Garcia organized the city’s 1st Animal Welfare Summit with the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries last Dec. 13. The event helped establish guideposts for the crafting and passing of an Animal Welfare Ordinance.

His office, with the Department of Interior and Local Government-Cebu City, also carried out a series of workshops for the chiefs of staff and other key personnel of the offices of individual SP members.

Formulation workshop for the City Government’s Executive-Legislative Agenda (ELA) and Capacity Development (CapDev) agenda. (PIO/File)

The intention was to help define the SP’s Legislative Agenda and ensure its alignment with the thrusts of the administration. The finished document is called the Executive-Legislative Agenda (ELA). 

Vice Mayor Garcia said he wanted the ELA to be operationalized, or that laws should be crafted to enable the executive department’s priorities, that is why he he commissioned the development of a monitoring tool that measures just how much of the ELA has been realized.

And there are many more initiatives in the pipeline.

As Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission (CHAC) chairman,Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin N. Garcia opens the two-day Heritage Summit held at Radisson Blu Hotel last Dec. 1-2, 2022 . (PIO/File)

“We’ve only been in office for six months and I am immensely proud of what we’ve accomplished so far,” Vice Mayor Garcia said over his Facebook page.

To make the SP legislative processes and procedures more accessible and transparent to the public, he is prioritizing the upgrading of the session hall’s technical equipment.

We’ve only been in office for six months and I am immensely proud of what we’ve accomplished so far.

Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin N. Garcia

He has also issued a directive to the Council Secretariat to begin the codification of all ordinances and resolutions and boost the capabilities of its current electronic library. 

Also in full swing is the plan to transfer City Hall to a new site at the South Road Properties and the transformation of the current Legislative Building into an archive and museum comparable in size and scope to that in Manila and abroad.

Proposed site of the new City Hall at the South Road Properties. Once the executive and legislative buildings are built there, the current Legislative Building will be converted into an archive and museum.

Likewise, before the year ended, the Council approved the measure updating the City’s Tax Ordinance, which was last revised in 2006 yet. Work is also underway to finally pass an updated Land Use Plan. Vice Mayor Garcia said both will be of great help to the City as it continues its journey towards economic recovery.

The City Council also approved last Dec. 29, 2022 the P50-billion annual budget that the executive department proposed.

“(The year) 2022 is one for the books. Thanks to the Cebuanos who put their trust and confidence in me and my party. Here’s hoping for a better and brighter Cebu City for all of us. Happy New Year!” he said.  (PIO/rhm)