Revamp ‘won’t solve’ Cebu City’s woes

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Saturday, January 4, 2014


THE revamp ordered by Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama will not solve the City’s problems, according to an opposition councilor.

“The movement of department heads/personnel is not a guarantee that the executive department can turn things around. I just hope that this will translate to better governance,” said Councilor Alvin Dizon, a member of Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK), in a text message.

One of the criticisms against Rama’s administration is the lack of money in the City’s coffers, which the mayor and his department heads deny.

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This was even blamed for the non-release of the P6.6-million financial assistance to each barangay last year.

‘Real’ reason

But the executive department said most of the barangays failed to liquidate their 2012 financial assistance.

Meanwhile, Barangay Tejero, one of the barangays that failed to liquidate, has staked its claim on the financial assistance for 2013, even though the account for the appropriation is closed.

In its last resolution for 2013, the barangay said it “is still in the process of liquidating the calendar year 2012 P5.5-million cash assistance given by the City Government.”

But the intent of the resolution was to ask for the release of the 2013 financial assistance.

“The financial assistance will be used for disaster preparation, flood-mitigation projects, purchase of lots, among others,” the resolution read.

Cebu City and Cebu Province faced two major disasters last year: the 7.2 magnitude earthquake on Oct. 15 and super typhoon Yolanda on Nov. 8.

Budget Officer Nelfa Briones had said the P6.6-million financial assistance for each barangay cannot be released in 2014 because it is not under a continuing appropriation.

Dad’s wish

The over half-a-billion appropriation is under maintenance and other operating expenses.

Tejero used the P5.5-million financial assistance for 2012 to buy lots, medical equipment and disaster equipment.

Dizon also said that for 2014, he hopes Rama will stop playing the blame game with the council.

“We should not be used as scapegoats for his shortcomings in the management of the City. We work within our mandate and the Cebuanos always hold us accountable,” Dizon also said.

Most members of the council and Rama have been at odds with each other since the latter left BOPK in 2011.

The two camps disagree on almost all things so it was a surprise to many when Rama approved the P5.89-billion budget for 2014 when he tried to veto previous budget appropriations.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 05, 2014.

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