AROUND 100 workers in Barangay Ermita, Cebu City have not received their salaries for almost two months now because no one can sign their payroll.

Despite the designation of a caretaker, the village remains in limbo after Ermita Barangay Captain Felicisimo Rupinta and seven councilors were preventively suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas for six months.

“Ang problema kay wa pay sweldo pag January. Ang pinaka-problema ang sweldo igka Feb. 15. Wa may mopirma (They haven't been paid since January. The biggest problem is on the 15th. There's no one to sign the payroll),” Barangay Secretary Erwin Peñafort told Acting Mayor Edgardo Labella, who visited the barangay hall yesterday.

Aside from the payroll, Peñafort said no one can also sign the applications for business permits and the issuance of checks. For the barangay clearances, he said he is the one signing it.

Peñafort said City Market Administrator Atty. Winifredo Orcullo Jr., the caretaker of Ermita designated by Mayor Tomas Osmeña, has yet to visit the barangay hall.

But Labella said Orcullo can't also sign any documents since he is not the barangay's designated officer-in-charge (OIC).

This prompted him to write Department of Interior and Local Government 7 Director Rene Burdeos yesterday.

“The continuous absence of any definite OIC would be detrimental to the delivery of basic public services and the maintenance of peace and order in the barangay,” he said.

“In view thereof, I am humbly requesting your office to fast track the appointment of an OIC in Ermita until the suspended officials can resume their public functions... I believe that your office is in the proper position to

address the matter with utmost expediency,” he added.

Rupinta and the barangay councilors were suspended after they allegedly failed to cooperate with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency 7 during a raid last Nov. 6.