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Vicente Rama: Model of Proper Housekeeping

Don Vicente Rama served as the mayor of Cebu City for one year and eight months. He sent his letter of resignation to President Manuel Quezon on July 2, 1940 which was replied on July 11, 1940. He was able to relinquish the office on August 2, 1940 as he had to wait for the appointment of lawyer and newspapermen Jose Delgado as his successor.

In his final report and farewell note for the city, he said:

“When I assumed office in 1938, the actual cash savings of the city being held by the treasurer amounted to no more than P238,646.16. Whereas, by the end of June 1940 the total cash of the city in the treasury was P484,982.94- or a difference of P191,336.78.

“Before a government can win the trust of the people under its care, it has first to reflect the sentiments and aspirations of the people. And this can only be attained if the Fourth Estate, or the conglomerate that goes under the name of the Press, enjoys sufficient freedom and power to publicize and interpret the actions of that same government.

“For this reason, I have encouraged and accustomed myself to meet and dialogue with the reporters of the different newssheets. I believed that the Press ought to enjoy both freedom and ease in delivering to every household its reports concerning the activities and developments undertaken by the government. In this way the people are enabled to pass judgments and form opinions regarding topics of any importance.

“It is possible that I have been too ruthless, too merciless and unkind in publishing, without resorting to runarounds and cover-ups, all the happenings and deeds of the city government. But on the other hand, I could never deny that the people who pay for my salary and the salary of my fellow workers in government have every right to be kept up to date concerning the things being done.

“That is what Mayors should do, account to its constituents of the funds and resources of the city. It is frustrating that Cebu City is hounded with allegations and perceptions of corruption, fiscal mismanagement, and abuse of powers of men and women identified with the City Mayor.

“It is in challenging time such as pandemic that people are extra sensitive to the affairs of the government. Thus, the city officials must be extra careful in its actions and in the discharge of its duties.

“The City needs proper housekeeping and to the extent of house cleaning. It must get rid of the undesirables, corrupt and plain stupid officials.

“This is not the first time that Cebu City was faced with pandemic, during the end of the war and restoration of the government, the city was plagued with cholera and other sanitary compromised diseases. A hero came to the city, he was not wearing a cape, but a white robe, he was appointed by Don Sergio Suico Osmena Sr., the President at that time as Cebu City Mayor. His name, Dr. Nicolas G. Escario. Seeing the coffers of the city in dearth, he came to its rescue, he spent P10,000 to pay the salaries of the health workers. He turned a part of Carbon into an isolation facility to house those who were infected with the diseases.

“Cebu City was blessed that it had two, medical doctors as mayors, Dr. Leandro Tojong and Dr. Nicolas G. Escario. The City now needs officials who truly love the city and its people.”