Fewer private groups qualify for City Hall aid

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Monday, August 25, 2014


THE number of non-government organizations (NGOs) accredited by the Cebu City Government is now down to 60, from 100 organizations in recent years.

“We now have stricter rules in the accreditation of NGOs because of the Janet Napoles pork barrel fund scam. We want to see to it that those we accredit are genuine and legitimate NGOs,” said Councilor Sisinio Andales.

Andales heads the Cebu City Private Sector Organization Evaluation and Monitoring Board.

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Unlike in the past, Andales said, the City now requires all NGOs to submit a certificate of good standing from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) if they want to be accredited and receive funds from the City Government.

Stricter rules in giving aid to NGOs are one of the effects of the controversy that began in mid-2013, when the government’s audit commission said that billions of congressional funds had gone to ghost NGOs organized by Janet Napoles.

The controversy has also led to the campaign for a people’s initiative, launched in Cebu last Saturday, to abolish all forms of the “pork barrel” from the national budget.

In Cebu City, Andales said that only a few NGOs were accredited because the others failed to submit a certificate of good standing.

What’s required?

To get such a certificate from the SEC, organizations have to submit financial reports for the preceding year, minutes of their general assembly, names of the directors and committees, approved development plans and an approved budget, among others.

Aside from the SEC certificate, Andales said, NGOs have also been asked to submit to the City a statement of accounts, articles of incorporation, liquidation of all previous cash assistance from the City and accomplishment reports, among many others.

The City accredits NGOs every three years.

Accredited NGOs join the Cebu City Development Council (CCDCC), which endorses to the City Council some programs and projects.

They also become eligible to get financial assistance from the City, Andales said.

P10 million

For this year, the councilor said that the City has set aside P10 million for financial assistance to NGOs, out of its P5.89-billion budget.

Andales said each NGO can get up to P500,000. With the City’s limited finances, the cash aid is given on a first-come, first-served basis.

Based on the board’s records, the accredited NGOs include Feed the Children, Children’s Legal Bureau Inc., Excellent People’s Multi-purpose Cooperative, Cebu 1 Zonta Club Foundation Inc., Cebu Newspaper Workers Foundation Inc., Cebu News Workers Multi-purpose Cooperative, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Crusade Against Violence-Visayas and Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation.

Accredited

The list also includes Curta Corp., Philippine Teen Challenge Inc., Fellowship for Organizing Endeavors, Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc., Cebu Uniting for Sustainable Water Foundation Inc., Cebu City Ylac School, Cebu Caritas Inc., C-Cimpel, Boy Scouts of the Philippines-Cebu Council, and Basak San Nicolas Multi-purpose Cooperative.

Also included are the Provincial Superior of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Philippines Inc., Southern Partners and Fair Trade Center Inc., Legal Alternatives for Women Center Inc., Mag-uumad Foundation, Bidlisiw Foundation Inc., Gimik sa Cebu Talents Inc., Golden Center Cebu Inc., Kaabag sa Kalamboan Inc., GCH Foundation Inc., and Lord of Pardo Cruzaders Corp.

Other accredited organziations are Punta Princesa Manggahan Homeowners’ Association Inc, Albert Schweitzer Familienwerk Foundation Philippines Inc., Little Bamboo Foundation Inc., National Auxillary Chaplaincy Philippines, Central Visayas Association for Volunteer Efforts, Kaabag sa Sugbo Inc., Association for Children’s Community Reachout and Development Inc., and Henry Francesca Valera Gaisano Foundation Inc.

There are still other NGOs, Andales said, whose accreditation is being processed.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 25, 2014.

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