Contract of 2 mayor's consultants junked

IN a 9-8 vote, the Cebu City Council disapproved the renewal of contracts of service for two consultants of Mayor Tomas Osmeña during yesterday’s session.

Councilors Raymond Garcia and Jocelyn Pesquera objected to the passage of the two resolutions of Councilor Gabuya Jr., allowing Osmeña to sign the renewal of consultancy services of Elmer Mansanadez and Bonel Balingit from Jan. 1, 2018 to June 30, 2018.

Mansanadez serves as consultant on urban planning and housing matters while Balingit is for sports development. Both report to the Office of the Mayor. The two received P18,000 as monthly compensation from the City.

Garcia said he had to object to the resolutions because he wanted to know if these consultants are needed or not.

“I want to know if they are needed or it’s just political accommodation,” he said.

For Balingit, Garcia said that based on his accomplishment report, he was only able to visit two barangays in two months.

For her part, Pesquera said that since the hiring of consultants is a procurement of service, a purchase request for it should not be done before the 2018 budget becomes effective.

The purchase requests were made in 2017 but the budget they’re using is in the current year.

Because of the objections, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, who presides over the Council, proceeded with the voting.

Aside from Garcia and Pesquera, Councilors Joel Garganera, Jose Daluz III, Eduardo Rama Jr., Pastor Alcover Jr., Philip Zafra and Renato Osmeña Jr. voted against the ordinance.

Councilors Gabuya, Margarita Osmeña, Mary Ann delos Santos, Sisinio Andales, Alvin Arcilla, Dave Tumulak, Joy Augustus Young and Jerry Guardo voted for passage of the ordinance.

During yesterday’s regular session, five resolutions for the renewal of contracts of services for consultants were pending.

Of the five, only Young’s resolution for the renewal of service of Rico Tautho, a consultant under his office, was approved.

Although there were still objections from Garcia and Pesquera, both lawyers, Labella voted in favor of the passage of the resolution.

Labella said he signed the approval on the assumption that all consultancy contracts are approved.

Tumulak and Andales withdrew their resolutions. (RVC)
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