Cebu mayor withdraws aid to 2 quake-hit areas

INSTEAD of going to quake-battered Ormoc City, Leyte and San Francisco, Surigao del Norte, the P12.3 million worth of cash assistance the Cebu City Government was suppose to extend will be donated to families of the fallen soldiers, who fought in Marawi City.

Mayor Tomas Osmeña said he found the lack of effort on the beneficiary local government units’ end “disappointing.”

“I’m canceling because they’re not interested, they’re not doing anything. I’m taking this as an insult. We’re trying to be nice to them. We’ve always helped Ormoc since the flooding several years ago, but apparently we’re not appreciated,” he said.

Last August, the City Council approved two resolutions filed by Councilors Jerry Guardo and Margarita Osmeña that moved to give cash aid to the affected areas that will be charged to the Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Fund.

The first resolution, authored by Guardo, moved to give P2 million to San Francisco after a magnitude 6.7 earthquake hit Surigao last Feb. 10.

A post-disaster needs analysis (PDNA) conducted by Nagiel Bañacia, head of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, showed that the town was the most affected area in the province.

Councilor Osmeña’s resolution, on the other hand, moved to give P10.3 million to Ormoc for the procurement and installation of 13 generator sets enclosed in a concrete structure, nine rolls of royal chords and two mobile generator sets.

In a PDNA submitted by Department of Public Services Chief Engr. Roberto Cabarrubias and Consultant on Special Concerns Alvin Dizon, the two officials said Ormoc is in need of generator sets to run the water pumps that were damaged by the magnitude 6.5 earthquake last July 6.

It has been three months since the measures were approved, but the beneficiaries reportedly have yet to do their part.

Mayor Osmeña said Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez was supposed to pick up the check a few months ago, but the travel was postponed.

Because of this, it was agreed that the Ormoc City Council would pass a resolution for their mayor to enter into and sign a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Osmeña, but their legislators allegedly did not work on it.

The mayor lamented that several attempts to communicate with Ormoc were made by Dizon, but the latter got no response.

“I did not cancel it because I’m angry. But here’s somebody who’s organizing a fundraising in January. Let’s just give it to the families na lang of the fallen soldiers,” he said.

Sought for comment, Ormoc City Acting Mayor Rolando Villasencio admitted their shortcomings, but assured that their resolution authorizing the mayor to enter into and sign a MOA with Cebu City will be approved next week.

He asked Mayor Osmeña to reconsider.
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