The Carbon Alliance
case against the Joint
(JVA) between the Cebu
City government and the
to develop the city’s Carbon Market has apparently spooked majority
of the Council members
and Megawide officials.
Ten majority councilors hurriedly passed a
memorandum of agreement with Megawide supposedly to
“cure” infirmities of the earlier approved JVA. To recall,
the same 10 councilors hastily approved the JVA on January 6, 2021, despite their admission of failure to thoroughly read the whole document.
“We attended the Council session to
voice our position on proposed amendments to the Market Code,” said Carbon
Alliance leader Anne Marie Sipalay-Ariosa. However, the introduction of the MOA
by Vice Mayor Mike Rama surprised her and fellow alliance leaders.
The Carbon Alliance welcomed the
majority decision. “However, we stand firm that the JVA should be scrapped,” a
press statement said. The Council minority voted to rescind the JVA.
The amendments practically acknowledged
most concerns the Carbon Alliance raised about the JVA. It sought to “cure”
what the councilors think are wrong with the JVA. In a sense, this opens the
possibility of a more inclusive and open dialog on the development of the
Carbon market, said Anne Marie.
But Carbon Alliance lawyers pointed out
shortcomings in the Council proposed changes like the lack of a genuine
bidding. Cebu’s media icon Atty. Cheking Seares, in a column, zeroed on Cebu
City Hall’s ownership of the whole lot covered by the JVA. The proposed changes
also needed the approval of Megawide officials.
The way I looked at it however, the
wide support the Carbon Alliance got for its anti-JVA case alarmed the Council
majority with a month to the filing of their candidacies as well as Megawide.
Thousands of Carbon vendors joined an emotional candle-lighting ceremony a day
after their lawyer Rex JMA Fernandez was ambushed and killed in a city suburb.
The alliance, moreover, appealed to the rest of Cebu City residents as the
Carbon Market is their source of cheap goods.
During a media lunch, Megawide
officials talked about discrediting members of the Carbon Alliance. This was
followed by pro-administration trolls denouncing Leftists and the BOPK being
behind the Carbon Alliance. A pathetic PR maneuver, I believe.
(Emmanuel Mongaya, co-founder and
director for strategic communications of PRWorks Inc., is a member of the
Political Officers League of the Philippines or POLPhil. DM him @anol_cebu)