SO as not to duplicate the service, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña will not extend the City Government’s burial assistance to those who were already helped by businessman Jonathan Guardo and insurance companies.

This is not because Guardo is his opponent in the south district congressional race, Osmeña said, but because he believes it will be a waste of funds.

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In his news conference yesterday, the mayor also stood pat on his decision not to give buses to the barangays whose leaders claim that the City did not extend any assistance to them.

This includes Barangays Buot Taup and Lahug.

In Barangay Cogon, some residents reportedly tried to claim burial assistance from the City following the death of their relatives.

All requirements were complied with and they reportedly submitted the documents to City Hall.

But when the social worker saw that one of the documents indicated that the coffin was donated by Guardo, the financial aid was reportedly not released.

“I don’t know anything about that, that’s not my policy. But you know, if somebody is already giving them assistance, why should the City give also? Isn’t it imprudent?

What are we trying to prove here? If somebody already donated, why do we have to be redundant?” Osmeña said.

Aside from the P8,000 intended for the coffin, the City also gives P10,000 in cash assistance for the family of each resident who dies.

“I’ve never heard of this case but if they did that, then maybe it’s the right thing to do not because it’s Guardo who gave the coffin. If somebody is covered by an insurance or burial plan, why should we pay for their burial? Isn’t it also our job to avoid waste of funds?” said Osmeña.

Bus

In the news conference, he also said that he’s not using or controlling the use of government funds to bully Buot Taup Barangay Captain Rechie Sibla.

But he reiterated that Buot Taup will not get the bus that other barangays were given, which was paid for using public funds.

“Yeah, I will not give him the bus because he keeps saying that I did not give his barangay anything. Why is he talking like that? He practically asked for it because he says we didn’t help him. We spent P7 million for their schools,” Osmeña said.

Besides, he added, barangay captains allied with the opposition have a tendency to use the buses for their campaign.

Sibla drew the ire of the mayor again after the latter’s supporter complained to him that the barangay captain threatened following the removal of basketball boards that were donated by Guardo.

Sibla, an ally of Guardo, allegedly threatened Cheryl Lapinid after she heeded the barangay councilor’s order to remove the boards.

The village chief denied the allegation. (LCR)