TWELVE of the 34 barangays that received the P5 million in cash aid from the Cebu City Government are being run by village chiefs who are allies of former mayor Tomas Osmeña.
This proved the claim of Mayor Edgardo Labella that he is not playing politics in the distribution of the financial assistance to the 80 villages.
In an earlier report, Labella said his directive was to give P5 million to all the barangays so they could purchase garbage trucks and improve their garbage collection.
The remaining 46 villages could only receive the cash aid if their current barangay captains can submit a liquidation of the assistance that had been received by their villages’ previous leaders.
Lawyer Jerone Castillo, Labella’s appointee in the City Treasurer’s Office, said the 34 barangays fulfilled the requirements, including the submission of the liquidation.
Some of the barangays that have received their checks were Mabolo, Sinsin, Apas and Busay, and the village chiefs of these areas are known allies of Osmeña. The CTO released the aid on Dec. 26-27, 2019.
The requirements that the barangay captains need to submit are an approved barangay resolution stating the project whose cost is to be defrayed by the P5 million in cash assistance and a letter request stating the project approved in the resolution.
The barangay captains must also submit two copies of the letter that states that they had demanded an explanation from their predecessors who failed to make a liquidation.
The new village chiefs were advised to file a complaint before the Ombudsman if their predecessors fail to respond to the demand letter, and to submit a copy of the complaint with the other requirements.
In his communication with the Commission on Audit (COA), Castillo said the state auditors advised the new barangay captains to execute an affidavit of undertaking—that they would return the unliquidated cash assistance of their predecessors after the COA’s disallowance ruling is deemed final.
“There is a disallowance case pending before the COA. It was not finalized yet since we challenged it,” Castillo said. “Now, the COA said if the disallowance would be finalized, the barangay must return the unliquidated cash assistance of the prior years.”
Castillo advised the sitting village chiefs to also liquidate the cash assistance they received.
The City, he said, has been strict in releasing public funds as it wants to avoid violating the COA rules. (JJL)