Labella scolds brgy. officials

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Saturday, August 9, 2014


THE delivery of basic services in two barangays of Cebu City has been stalled because of a conflict among local officials.

Upon learning about the matter, Acting Mayor Edgardo Labella reprimanded Sambag I and Bulacao barangay officials.

In Sambag I, more than 100 employees of the barangay did not get their wages for more than two months because majority of the barangay council did not concur with Barangay Captain Lemar Alcover's appointment of Conie Abella as new barangay treasurer starting May 1.

Because of the row, no one signed vouchers covering payments for the barangay's obligations.

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Last month, employees wrote the City Government and sought the help of Mayor Michael Rama and Labella.

Dialogue

In their letter, the employees said the conflict between Alcover and the members of the barangay council were threshed in a June 9 dialogue with Visayas Ombudsman Pelagio Apostol.

“However, in the ensuing days, majority of the barangay council still refused to act or even attend sessions called specifically for the resolution of the conflict,” they said. “This has put in great peril the payment of our salaries until July.”

The employees said they had to obtain loans with high interest rates to defray expenses.

Sambag I was also unable to pay its electricity bills and buy fuel for its garbage trucks.

In Bulacao, Labella said the delivery of basic services were affected by issues concerning the barangay’s 2014 annual budget.

Labella said the annual budget was passed by the barangay council even if there was no quorum.

Admonished

In a news conference yesterday, Labella said he met the officials of the two barangays and the City Legal Office on separate occasions. “I admonished them. I told them to put their acts together,” he added.

Labella told the barangay officials that it will only take one constituent to file a case against them for neglect and dereliction of duty over the non-payment of bills and wages.

He said the barangay officials may be charged for violating the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of Public Officials, the Revised Penal Code and the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Labella said the officials of Bulacao finally agreed to ratify the budget.

In Sambag I, Labella said, the council told Alcover that they will support another appointee for barangay treasurer as long as it is not Abella.

Labella said he will meet with Sambag I barangay officials next week to check if they have finally resolved their conflict.

Labella then reminded all barangay officials of the city to set aside political positioning and just serve the city's constituents.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 09, 2014.

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