THIRTY-SIX village chiefs in Bacolod City expressed their grievance on Friday against the current leadership of the City Government for granting financial assistance to only 25 village leaders, ranging from P140,000 to P320,000.
This apparently caught fire among the village leaders in the wake of the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.
Twenty-four out of the 36 barangays came to a press conference held at Jay-J's Restaurant in Barangay Mandalagan Friday, April 27.
Village leaders Bernabe Sibug of Barangay 7, Charlie Chavez of Barangay 22 and Alfredo Talimodao Jr. of Barangay Granada expressed their concerns on behalf of the 36 others.
They said they felt insulted why only 25 barangays in the city will benefit from the said financial assistance which they believed is the administration's party's way to lure votes for their allied barangay leaders who sought re-election.
Bacolod City is composed of 61 barangays, said Sibug, “why is it that only the 25 barangays will benefit from the said financial assistance?”
There were so many barangays which did not even receive their Annual Investment Plan (AIP) since 2016, their Real Property Tax (RPT) share and garbage fee, he said, adding, why the financial assistance will be released ahead?
The 25 villages which will benefit from the said financial assistance include Barangay 41 with P140,000; Barangay 39, P170,000; Barangay 35, P200,000; Barangay 32, P140,000; Barangay 30, P170,000; Barangay 28, P170,000; Barangay 26, P170,000; Barangay 25, P140,000; Barangay 23, P140,000;
Barangay 17, P170, 000; Barangay 13, P170,000; Barangay 9, P140,000; Barangay 8, P170,000; Barangay 5, P140,000; Barangay 3, P170,000; Vista Alegre, P200,000; Taculing, P320,000; Sum-ag, P320,000; Singcang-Airport, P320,000; Punta Taytay, P200,000; Pahanocoy, P200,000; Mandalagan,P320,000; Felisa, P200,000; Cabug, P200,000 and Alijis, P320,000.
Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia has submitted to the Sangguniang Panlungsod the Memoranda of Agreement for the 25 barangays which was also ratified by the council stating that "your kind consideration will be much appreciated on this urgent request."
The council passed Resolution No. 411, series of 2018, which ratified the request for financial assistance with Acting Vice Mayor Ricardo Tan as the presiding officer.
This financial assistance can be used for the barangay cleaning, sanitation, and de-clogging of canals, drainage, and streets.
But the 36 barangays captains stressed their barangays also need to clean up, engage in sanitation and de-clogging of canals, drainage, and streets.
Moreover, in their manifesto, the said barangay captains also pointed out the alleged selective release of the Garbage Share to certain barangays. By virtue of a city ordinance, barangays are entitled to 50 percent garbage fees collected in their respective jurisdiction. Such release was also politicized.
The extension of financial aid and other services such as burial and medical assistance from the city has bypassed certain Punong Barangays in granting referrals and certifications, the manifesto said.
Those who are not allies were deprived of such authority to refer and endorse, it said.
The hiring of thousands of job order casuals beginning March 2018 also benefited the favored 25 barangays, it said.
The issues made clear that the city officials have drawn the line of political partisanship which is not allowed in the context of the Barangay elections, it added.
For his part, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran said the City Council only approved the request of the mayor.
“The barangay officials should submit the needs of their barangays so they will be given an assistance,” he said.
“If they don’t have a request so how the city can assist them?” Familiaran asked.
“Maybe only those 25 barangays have submitted its request and will be given an assistance,” the vice mayor added. (With reports from Merlinda A. Pedrosa)