MEMBERS of the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) Management Committee have resigned en masse.
In a letter to then Acting Mayor Michael Rama dated Nov. 5, 2021, Francisco Malilong Jr., Nonilon Caisip, Domiciano Geraldizo, Lester Razo, Chiquito Obeso and Carlos Co said they were tendering their resignation “effective November 30, 2021 or upon your acceptance, whichever comes first.”
“We decided to resign because with the closure of the sports center, there was nothing more to manage. We have become irrelevant,” Malilong told SunStar Cebu Thursday, November 25.
All the six had been appointed by then mayor Edgardo Labella and sworn in on October 14, 2019. They were his colleagues in the Walk and Talk Friendship Club, Malilong said.
Their resignation letter was sent weeks before Labella’s death from septic shock secondary to pneumonia last November 19.
However, Malilong decided to make their resignation public on Wednesday after Rama, who succeeded Labella as mayor on November 20, publicly called on coterminous officials and employees to stop reporting to work until a monthlong evaluation of all Cebu City Government employees had been completed.
“We resigned quietly because we did not want our action to be misinterpreted and turned into a circus. But after Mayor Rama publicly exhorted coterminous officials and employees to stop reporting to work, we decided to make our resignation public if only to show compliance,” Malilong said.
Malilong said the sports center had been closed twice for extended periods.
“The first time, Mayor Edgar called to inform us about the decision. The second time, we learned about it only in the papers,” Malilong said.
The center was first closed for 13 months when Labella issued Executive Order 64 placing the city under enhanced community quarantine on March 28, 2020 to curb the transmission of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The center was subsequently used to house police personnel helping to enforce the community quarantine in the city.
The CCSC’s track oval was reopened on May 3, 2021 only for the center to be closed to the public again in early August when the center’s covered court area was turned into an isolation center for Covid-19 patients following a surge in Covid-19 cases amid the entry of the Delta variant to the country.
The CCSC was inaugurated as an isolation center last Aug. 8, with CCSC manager Jundel Bontuyan saying then that the oval would still be open to joggers until the first patient was brought in.
Malilong said they did not know when Mayor Rama would reopen the center to the public until last Saturday at Labella’s wake, during which Malilong said it seemed Rama was unaware of the management committee’s resignation.
The Cebu City Sports Center is set to reopen on Dec. 16, 2021, according to Mayor Rama.
And with the reopening, the mega isolation center will also be closed.
Covid-19 transmission in Cebu has been largely reduced. Cebu City has had only 64 active Covid-19 cases in the past 10 days.
On Wednesday, City Administrator Floro Casas Jr. resigned his post following Labella’s passing.
Casas was the highest-ranking official in City Hall whose employment was coterminous with that of Labella, the appointing authority who had placed him in his post.
Earlier, another Labella appointee, Rey Gealon, who was City Attorney, also resigned after filing a certificate of candidacy last month to run for councilor in the south district in the May 2022 polls.
For Labella’s appointees to coterminous positions, Rama said their retention in the City Government would be based on the current appointing authority’s trust and confidence in them. (CTL, PAC)