Understanding Choices-Lesson Learned

Mayor Rama, Drained but composed
The forum facilitated the understanding of the term “first 100 days,” traced its origin, and discovered its meaning and implications to new leaders, to the civil society, and to the voting public. The term “first 100 days” has been used in the political parlance as an arbitrary benchmark to gauge how a high-ranking public official will fair in his term of office by his first hundred days.

During this Understanding Choices Forum, Rhoderick John Abellanosa of the Department of Political Science of the University of San Carlos provided inputs on the origin, meaning, and significance of the “first 100 days” in governance for the newly elected leader down to the voters.

The term came about in 1933 during the Great Depression when US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt launched the “New Deal” reforms wherein 15 major bills were passed in 100 days in support of his economic program. Since then, Public leaders of the Philippines has adapted the tradition and  present their 100 days agenda during their State Address.

Abellanosa stressed that the 100 days practice should be analyzed beyond the number. “Although it may serve as an indicative platform and programmatic structure of the entire term, it is not a conclusive yardstick of success considering the enduring realities or problems in Philippine politics,” he said.

The forum also featured the 100 days agenda lined up by Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama for his constituents in the context of his three-year road map for governance and development. The Understanding Choices Forum:  “The 1st 100 days in Governance…Results Matter,” is considered to be Rama’s first multisectoral-consultative forum since he took oath of office as the 28th mayor of Cebu.

His three-year governance and development plan is anchored on his vision of making Cebu City a sustainable community through three approaches: Barangayan, Bayanihan and Boluntarismo. For his first 100 days in office, he promised to implement asphalt projects to improve roads and drainage systems, improve the Cebu City Medical Center as his primary project on health, improve street lighting, address city’s peace and order and traffic concerns, and improve center islands, among others.

Panel of distinguished reactors—eminent journalist Juan Mercado representing the mediaFritzie Mabel Cosmo of the Aboitiz Leaders of Excellence representing the youth sector, and Fernando Fajardo representing the academe—provided their thoughts and reactions on Rama’s presentation.

Mayor Mike Rama presenting his talk..teamwork, unity and cooperation-Together we can make a difference!
Mercado challenged Mayor Rama not to clone old ways of the past administrations but to be different and set right priorities, immediately addressing problems in basic human needs such as chronic hunger of children, increasing maternal and infant death rates, treeless and potholed streets of Cebu, and flood-prone city where all rivers are biologically dead. He urged City Hall to be an “enabler” by tapping the private sector.

Fajardo echoed Mercado’ statement, saying that the new mayor should go beyond running the City Hall as chief executive but should run and manage the resources of the whole city, including the people, the City’s land and natural resources, technology, institutions, and entrepreneurs.
“The mayor is the captain of the boat. The boat is not yet sinking but it has many holes,” Fajardo said.

Cosmo voiced out that the youth can be counted for support of Rama’s call for voluntarism and stressed that the youth at present are now like soldiers waiting to be drafted for duty to serve the city and country. “Mayor Rama’s 100 days agenda should not be just empty promises but should be executed,” she said.

Up close with the mayor - we were seated near him and kept moving to our spot :)
Other reactions, comments, and questions in the forum were thrown by leaders and members from the business sector, non-government organizations, academe, youth groups, religious groups, media and including myself during the open forum.

Such an event is a first for me and it was the first time to meet the newly elected mayor himeself and surprisingly he was quite approachable, my friend Lordie Grace Garcia (YMA-3 Alumni and also an ALEx member) can somewhat attest to that since we were seated just around 6 inches from the mayor. Till the next  Understanding Choices Forum!
Understanding Choices-Lesson Learned Understanding Choices-Lesson Learned Reviewed by Vernon Joseph Go on Tuesday, August 17, 2010 Rating: 5

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