Demand letter sent to barangays-A A +A
Friday, October 4, 2013
BOARD of election tellers (BETs) will not get additional honorarium if a barangay fails to give the amount requested by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for the barangay elections on Oct. 28.
Provincial Election Officer Ferdinand Gujilde said the BETs are the main beneficiaries of the amount the Comelec is asking from each barangay.
Under Comelec Resolution 9739, barangays are required to give P10,000, but not more than 10 percent of their general fund.
The amount, which will serve as augmentation fund, will be spent for additional honoraria, transportation allowance and seminars for the BETs.
The Comelec resolution said funds Congress allotted for the upcoming polls are insufficient to defray necessary expenses.
Covered by the law
Comelec Resolution 9783, which was promulgated on Sept. 26, emphasized that a memorandum of agreement with the DILG is not mandatory or necessary and postponement of the Sangguniang Kabataan election will not affect the contribution of each barangay.
It also stated that the amount should be given not later than Oct. 18 and failure to give the amount will be tantamount to an election offense and the barangay will face charges.
Gujilde said election officers are disseminating demand letters to barangays that have yet to give the amount.
“This is without prejudice to proper administrative action like disqualification to hold public office and other crimes for which the local government official or person concerned may be liable for,” a part of the demand letter read.
Gujilde pointed out that Comelec’s request is covered by Section 50, Article 6 of the Omnibus Election Code.
Penalties include imprisonment from one to six years, disqualification (from the election) and perpetual disqualification from holding public office.
Gujilde said the funds given by the barangays will solely be for the BETs otherwise they risk being charged with technical malversation.
Gov. Hilario Davide III said he will check if a donation from the Province to Comelec is allowed.
“The Comelec should not ask barangays to pay for their lack of budget,” Davide said in Cebuano.
Gujilde said they welcome donations from the Province, municipalities and cities, but he said these local government units are not required to give for the barangay elections.
In Mandaue City, only six barangays have not given the amount.
Ernie Manatad, chief of Barangay Subangdaku and president of the Association of Barangay Captains, said 21 barangays have given P10,000 each to the Comelec office Mandaue.
Manatad said the total amount the Comelec will get from barangays is still not enough to cover the transportation allowance of the teachers.
“We assured the Comelec we can extend other forms of assistance like providing vehicles to transport the teachers,” he said in a press conference yesterday.
Some 1,551 teachers will serve in Mandaue in the barangay election. Each of them is entitled to a transportation allowance of P500.
But with barangays giving only P10,000 each, the teachers will only get P174.
Manatad said the barangays that are still processing their contribution are Centro, Jagobiao, Maguikay, Opao, Tabok and Umapad.
He said the barangays are expected to hand in their contribution in two to three days.
Manatad said most of the barangays passed an ordinance for a supplemental budget to be able to contribute.
Subangdaku was the first barangay to give P10,000 to Comelec.
Manatad said his barangay, which has an annual budget of P13 million, did not have to pass a supplemental budget because they had excess funds.
Manatad said each barangay in Mandaue will provide at least two vehicles to transport the teachers.
Meanwhile, Manatad said Mandaue’s five biggest barangays will be closely monitored once the election campaign period starts.
These are Subangdaku, Maguikay, Labogon, Paknaan and Banilad.
But Manatad said the Mandaue City Police Office has not identified any hot-spot barangays.
“The police and the Comelec already made a security plan,” he said.
In a related development, the Cebu City Legal Office wants to look at the legal implication of ABC president Michael Ralota’s plan to use the P6.6-million financial assistance to barangays as donation to the Comelec.
Earlier, Rama announced the inclusion of P16 million in the proposed second supplemental budget as the barangays’ share for the barangay elections.
Comelec 7 Director Temie Lambino said both moves are allowed.
He said the City is allowed to shoulder the payment of barangays if they cannot
Although they have yet to come up with a legal opinion on Ralota’s move, City Legal Officer Jerone Castillo expressed his reservations.
He said the City’s budget ordinance states that financial assistance to barangays should only be used for barangay projects.
As of yesterday, the executive department has yet to submit the second supplemental budget. (RVC)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 04, 2013.