CEBU Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia has ordered an investigation on the complaints of some barangay captains that they were required to liquidate bags of cement the Capitol distributed throughout the province, even though they didn’t receive any.

“We will trace it. We have a monitoring team. Our policy was, regardless of political affiliation, we will provide cement to the local government units, which will, in turn, distribute these to the barangays,” the governor said.

“Now, if there are barangay captains who did not receive it, they should write a letter to the Provincial Government.”

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The investigation will also find out whether the guidelines on the road concreting projects were followed and why some barangays did not receive their cement allocations.

For every 360 bags of cement distributed to barangays, the Capitol required at least 100 meters of road, four meters wide and four inches thick, to be concreted.

Tuburan Municipal Councilor Sesinando Potencioso Jr. said several barangays in the town received the 360 bags of cement per barangay, but there were others that didn’t.

The issue came out after Barangay Captains Jemelito Concha and Leonardo Baldespiñosa of Barangays Tomugpa and Camanse, respectively, complained they were ordered by the governor’s office to liquidate 360 bags of cement each when they didn’t even receive a single bag.

Garcia has also ordered Concha and Baldespiñosa, together with Calangahan Barangay Captain Malaquias Bardoquillo, to liquidate the barangay road construction project funded by the Legislative Assistance Fund (LAF) of Vice Gov. Gregorio Sanchez Jr.

The three barangays received more than P900,000 each, with estimated accomplishments of more than four kilometers of roads, and reportedly have an unspent amount of almost P400,000.

Sanchez said the LAF-funded project was more cost-efficient compared to the opening of the 14-kilometer road by Capitol, also in Tuburan, at a reported cost of P10 million.

Garcia has tasked the provincial legal office to continue the investigation on how the vice governor’s road project was implemented and to come up with recommendations.

Wasted

“But I do not need to wait for me to decide that this does not follow the guidelines in the release of financial assistance. Second, because they did not follow guidelines, there are now huge questions on how the amount was actually spent. And third, obviously, the length (of the road) which was written in the resolution was not realized. So, somewhere along the way, the funds went to waste,” Governor Garcia said.

Councilor Potencioso said the project helped people who used to travel 28 kilometers to the municipal hall or the town market.

“Because there is already a shortcut road of four kilometers that cuts the distance to about 24 kilometers, the people of Tomugpa, Camanse and Calangahan can save time, money and effort if they have transactions with the Municipal Government,” Potencioso said.

Also yesterday, a Capitol consultant asked why the vice governor organized a media tour on the road project, now under investigation because of allegedly questionable liquidation reports.

Lawyer Rory Jon Sepulveda wondered aloud about Sanchez’s move, pointing out Sanchez previously said the barangay captains should answer the questions raised.

“I find it really interesting. Karon apil na siya patan-aw. (Sanchez has asked the media to inspect the road project),” Sepulveda said. The governor’s questions included the accuracy of the documents, like cash slips for premium gasoline.

“Nagmakumuritsing ang liquidation. (The liquidation report was questionable),” Sepulveda said.

Sun.Star Cebu repeatedly tried to call Sanchez but he was unavailable for comment. (EOB/With RSA)