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Tomas "Tommy" de la Rama Osmeña (Tagalog: [toˈmɐs ɔsˈmɛɲa]; born July 26, 1948) is a Filipino politician serving as the Mayor of Cebu City since 2016. He previously served as Mayor of Cebu City thrice: first from 1987 to 1995, and again from 2001 to 2010 and lastly from 2016 to 2019. He also served as Congressman for the second district of Cebu City from 2010 to 2013. He is the grandson of the former Philippine President Sergio Osmeña.

Tomas Osmeña
Tommy Osmena.jpg
Mayor of Cebu City
In office
June 30, 2016 – June 30, 2019
Vice MayorEdgardo Labella
Preceded byMike Rama
Succeeded byEdgardo Labella
In office
June 30, 2001 – June 30, 2010
Vice MayorMike Rama
Preceded byAlvin Garcia
Succeeded byMike Rama
In office
June 30, 1987 – June 30, 1995
Preceded byJose V. Cuenco
Succeeded byAlvin Garcia
Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Cebu City's 2nd District
In office
June 30, 2010 – June 30, 2013
Preceded byAntonio Cuenco
Succeeded byRodrigo A. Abellanosa
Personal details
Tomas de la Rama Osmeña

(1948-07-26) July 26, 1948 (age 70)
Manila, Philippines
Political partyBando Osmeña - Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK; local party)
Liberal Party (2010-2018)
Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino[1] (2018-present)
Spouse(s)Margarita Lim Vargas
Alma materXavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan
Sacred Heart School - Ateneo de Cebu


Early lifeEdit

Tomas is the son of the late Senator Sergio Osmeña, Jr. and Lourdes de la Rama-Osmeña of Negros Occidental, the grandson of former Philippine President Sergio Osmeña Sr. and the younger sibling of Senator Sergio Osmeña III. Married to Margarita "Margot" Lim Vargas; they have a son by the name of Miguel.

He spent his high school years in Sacred Heart School for Boys and took a Bachelor of Science in Agro-Economics from Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan, Cagayan de Oro City.

Business careerEdit

In 1972, he worked as an Assistant Secretary in a Los Angeles-based company, SEROS, Inc. He also became an agricultural analyst for Foreign Credit Insurance Association, the exclusive operating arm of the Export-Import Bank of United States wherein he was engaged in the political and economic play of the export credit accounts of a number of major US banks and exporters across 12 western states.

For years, he also served as the Vice-President of the Apex Realty and Developers in California. He was selected Vice-President of the "Club Filipino" in Los Angeles, California.


When he came back to Cebu in 1987, he vied for the mayorship and won election without the backing of a party or endorsement by a national office.

In his first term, he became chairman of the Metro Cebu Development Project (MCDP). He acquired over P100,000 worth of foreign assisted projects for Metro Cebu.

In 1990, he was elected as the National Executive Vice-President of the League of City Mayors of the Philippines. On that same year, he was chosen as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Mayors in the Philippines.

In the 1992 elections, he again won together with his Vice-mayoralty candidate and fifteen of his sixteen party mates for the council seats. He was also elected President of the mayors League the Philippines and served until 1995. He also accepted the position of being the Chairman of the Regional Development Council for Central Visayas.

Among his other projects is the South Road Properties- The greatest vision of a cebuano for CEBU. He also won several Galing Pook Awards.[2]

Vigilante killingsEdit

The unsolved killings in the Philippines, including the spate of vigilante-style executions in Cebu City, have alarmed officials of the Commission on Human Rights.

The CHR said the unsolved summary executions in the country might affect the membership of the Philippines in the United Nations Human Rights Council.

After he expressed his excitement on the increasing crime rate of Cebu City, he told the local media that he's willing to give rewards to persons who can kill criminals.

The series of vigilante–style killings started on December 22, 2004 and the victims are mainly those people who have criminal records.[3]

The vigilantes are usually masked, ride a motorcycle in tandem, and use a gun to kill their targets[4]

Since that day, at least 421 people have been killed vigilante style, mostly by men on motorcycles, armed with .45 pistols and with their faces covered.[5]

Cebu City Police Office's Chief Melvin Gayotin reported a reduction in crime by 50 basis points.

But Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama said the City Government shoulders P50 million in wages for casual employees detailed with CCPO and donated equipment yet the police failed to solve the summary killings.

South Reclamation ProjectEdit

He had called then Talisay City Mayor Eduardo Gullas a landgrabber for staking a claim over 1.44 hectares of the South Reclamation Project (SRP).

Talisay City Attorney Aurora Econg earlier vowed that they will question any special patents or title that will be issued to Cebu City.

SRP Manager Nigel Paul Villarete, in an interview, dismissed Econg's claims that Talisay City is not claiming ownership, only jurisdiction.

Osmeña insisted that they are indeed after the ownership of the 1.44 hectare portion of the SRP.

The Cebu City Government is expected to pay 28,800,309,482 million yen or P1.528 Billion, a portion of the interest, to the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), conduit for the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). As of December 31, 2012, the Cebu City Government already paid P 5,623,665,651.00 out of the general fund of the city. In effect, the Cebu City constituents were deprived of projects because of the debt payments for the South Reclamation Project (SRP). Taking into account the sales generated from said project, the City Government has a net DEFICIT on the operation of the SRP in the amount of P 2,727,720,692.00.

Osmeña said that Cebu City has to forego the plan buying heavy equipment to develop roads in upland barangays, as it has to use the general funds for loan payments.

Unless Cebu City acquires special patents or titles for the SRP this year–and, after doing so, markets the reclaimed area to investors — it will continue tapping its general funds until 2025 to pay for the loan.

Cebu City needs to raise funds in foreign currency by leasing the properties to investors. That way, if there are drastic changes in the foreign exchange rate, it will have enough to pay the loan.

Cebu City officials blamed difficulties in getting titles and delays in marketing the 295 hectare SRP on the Talisay City Government, which is disputing Cebu City's application for the titling of the said reclaimed land.[6]

The Cebu City Government entered into a joint venture with Filinvest in 2009. The Cebu City Government will receive 10% of the gross income from the joint venture net of the 7% marketing fees. People are wondering who will receive 7% marketing fees. There has been talks that those who negotiated the joint venture will receive 2% as finders fee.

Talisay cityhoodEdit

The Cebu City Government, under the administration of Osmeña, filed a case against Talisay City on August 2004 for alleged irregularities in its becoming a chartered city, set the scenario for disputes on the South Reclamation Project (SRP). Osmeña & Wawa investigated demographics and land area which were used as basis for Talisay's cityhood.

The municipality first applied for cityhood in 1998 and was granted a charter in 2002. Talisay City counsel Aurora Econg testified possessing supporting documents showing that Talisay's cityhood is legal and official.

But with his move to keep the SRP, such documents were contested in the court.

Jurisdiction issues have since besieged the SRP when Talisay City claimed a 53.44-hectare portion of the project, claiming that it has encroached on the reclaimed land.

Talisay City, however, made the claim after the SRP was completed and ready for sale to investors.

Talisay City wants the portion back, but Cebu City will not budge and Osmeña has severed sister-city ties with Talisay City if only to keep the entire SRP intact.

Cebu City's plan to file a suit against Talisay on its alleged "sham cityhood" came as surveyors discovered that a municipal boundary monument — MBM 30 — said to belong to Talisay City, was right inside the SRP.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, which conducted the survey, said MBM 30 is located before km. 10 of the SRP just after the second bridge as one approaches Cebu City from Talisay.[7]

But on May 10, 2006, the Philippine Court of Appeals has dismissed Osmeña's petition to nullify the cityhood of Talisay. The court pointed out that the "belated action" raises questions as to its motive.

The 17-page decision penned by Associate Justice Apolinario D. Bruselas Jr. of the court's 18th Division, declared that Republic Act 8979, the law creating Talisay City, "does not suffer from any constitutional or statutory infirmities".[8]


In March 2002, Osmeña collapsed due to hypertension, which caused surgery and 2 months rest. He was later treated for an aneurysm at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.[9] On May, 2007, he underwent a minor operation due to swollen thigh because of punctures for an angiogram.[10][11]


External linksEdit