Cebu City

Rama takes over as Cebu City mayor after Labella’s death

Lorraine Ecarma
Rama takes over as Cebu City mayor after Labella’s death

SUCCESSOR. Michael Rama is the new Cebu City mayor.

Rama's Facebook page

‘You have nothing to fear,’ new Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama assures city hall employees

Newly sworn-in Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama served his first day as the new chief executive of the city government on Monday, November 22.

Rama took his oath as mayor before Court of Appeals Justice Gabriel Ingles on Monday, November 20, a day after the death of elected mayor Edgardo Labella on November 19.

“I will not rock the boat,” Rama assured city hall employees. “But a one-month evaluation of your performance will continue.

“Employees who are passionate with their jobs and have contributed to the city halls’ efficiency from the time the administration of Labella-Rama came in, you have nothing to worry about. You have nothing to fear,” Rama said on Monday during the city hall’s flag raising ceremony.

Prior to his succession, Rama acted as mayor for weeks at a time during multiple leaves of absences filed by Labella due to his deteriorating health. It was Rama who employed mayoral duties during the most intense surge of cases of COVID-19 faced by the city in August this year, and remained as acting mayor for the most part during its containment.

Elected councilor Donaldo “Dondon” Hontiveros also succeeded as Cebu vice mayor and took his office on the same day as Rama.

The law provides that a vacancy in the office of the vice mayor shall be filled by the highest ranking officer of the city or municipal council. Hontiveros was elected as the first councilor of the city, having earned the highest vote in the 2019 local elections.

Before his latest stint as councilor, the retired basketball player had no experience in local politics. In interviews with local media, Hontiveros said he remains optimistic that he would be able to execute his functions as vice mayor despite being “not ready” for the role. –