Wednesday July 18, 2018

Briones: No free lunch

THE mayor is right.

Village officials have no right questioning the Cebu City Government for requiring some 1,600 tanods in the 80 barangays to submit weekly consolidated accomplishment reports to the City Office for Substance Abuse and Prevention (Cosap).

Tomas Osmeña pointed out that the City Government is under NO OBLIGATION to give cash allowances to tanods. They’re not entitled to the P4,000 monthly honorarium from the City, he stressed, so they must earn it.

Hence, the weekly consolidated accomplishment reports, particularly on their anti-drug operations in their area, that they must submit to Cosap.

Last month, the mayor issued a memorandum warning tanods that they wouldn’t get their allowances unless they complied.

Cosap head Garry Lao said he has since been meeting with barangays to orient them on the documents that should be attached to their reports.

Apparently, the City and Cosap have been doing everything to ensure that the barangays get with the program, so to speak, but the latter don’t seem to be getting the message.

What do they expect? They want to have their cake and then eat it, too.

According to SunStar’s Rona T. Fernandez, some village officials even complained that the weekly report is an additional job for the tanods.

I guess they’re too busy doing whatever it is that they do that they can’t even bother to sit down for an hour to make a report. It’s not like they conduct roving patrols, settle disputes or serve as first responders all day and all night long.

And what were some barangays thinking, submitting reports that were not only incomplete and vague but were also written “on mere scratch papers”? No wonder, Cosap returned these to be revised since, as Lao said, these will be used to verify situations in the community.

Last week, Lao recommended canceling the August allowances of tanods from Mambaling, Paril and Poblacion Pardo after the villages failed to submit their consolidated accomplishment reports.

Osmeña approved it.

Tanods from Bulacao, Capitol Site, Cogon, Pardo, Kamagayan, Lorega San Miguel, Lusaran, Pasil, Sambag I, San Jose, Sapangdaku, Sto. Niño and Zapatero also stand to “lose” their allowances because the villages failed to get their certification from Cosap, which is a requirement for the processing of their honorarium from the City, after they submitted incomplete reports.

Many barangay captains, including ABC president Philip Zafra and Apas village chief Ramil Ayuman cried foul.

However, on this issue, I stand with the mayor and the Cosap chief. After all, there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.