Councilor’s scholarship committee seat opposed-A A +A
Thursday, August 9, 2012
CEBU City councilors allied with Mayor Michael Rama believe Councilor Rodrigo Abellanosa’s seat in the City Government’s scholarship committee is tantamount to conflict of interest.
The City Council approved an ordinance creating the City scholarship committee and giving Abellanosa a seat in the body, being the chairman of the City Council committee on social services.
Councilor Edgardo Labella said Abellanosa may be violating Republic Act (RA) 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, which states that “conflict of interest arises when a public official or employee is a member of a board, an officer, or a substantial stockholder of a private corporation or owner of a business, and the interest of such corporation or business may be opposed to or affected by the faithful performance of official duty.”
Abellanosa is owner of the Asian College of Technology (ACT), which is one of the school-beneficiaries of the scholarship program of the City Government.
The scholarship committee will manage and monitor the City’s scholarship program.
During the council’s regular session last Wednesday, another ally of the mayor, Councilor Jose Daluz III, objected to having Abellanosa in the committee.
The ordinance was filed by Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young, Abellanosa, and Councilors Margarita Osmeña, Alvin Dizon and Ronald Cuenco.
Under the measure, the scholarship committee is composed of the mayor, head of the council’s committee on education, head of the council’s committee on social services, city treasurer, city administrator, Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
“I am objecting to it because we know who the chairman (of the social services committee) is and the bulk of the scholars are with his school. There is a great risk that he will influence the policy of the scholarship program because he is a member of the committee,” Daluz said.
But Abellanosa said his chairmanship in the social services committee is temporary and he is serving his last term as city councilor.
Osmeña also said Abellanosa is not the only member of the scholarship committee.
“The mayor, vice mayor are there,” she said, adding that the others who compose the committee should be given enough credit for not allowing someone to influence their decision.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 10, 2012.