Alcover demands Baclayon’s resignation anew

CEBU. Cebu City Councilor Pastor Alcover Jr.
CEBU. Cebu City Councilor Pastor Alcover Jr.SunStar File

AFTER his initial call failed to sway Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, Cebu City Councilor Pastor Alcover Jr. has once again demanded the resignation of Cebu City Agriculture Department (CAD) Joey Baclayon.

Alcover continues to allege that the CAD head failed to address the plight of farmers in the mountain barangays amid El Niño.

“Wala koy executive power, mao bitaw I strongly demand, demand nani akoa dili nani friendly advice, nga mawala nana si Joey Baclayon,” Alcover said in a phone interview on Monday, April 22, 2024.

(I lack the executive power to address the effects of extreme heat from El Niño on farmers. Therefore, I strongly demand the removal of Baclayon from office.)

Alcover claimed that Baclayon never visited the mountain barangays, resulting in inadequate preparations against the drought.

He said several farmers would inquire about the city’s assistance, but he could not respond, stressing that it’s Baclayon’s responsibility. He said the least he can do, as a councilor, is to urge Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama for rice allocation.

He added that rice allocation should be distributed equitably to all affected farmers.

“Nganong pilion man ang hatagan? Dapat mohatag jud ta og tag 25 kilos nga bugas para at least mo survive sila until May,” Alcover said.

(Why choose who to give to? We should provide each with 25 kilos of rice so they can at least survive until May.)

Sought for comments on Wednesday, April 24, Baclayon refused to directly comment on Alcover’s accusation.

Instead, he said he would continue working to resolve or alleviate the problems caused by El Niño, not just for farmers but for the entire Cebuano community.

“This is not the time for blame or accusations on whoever causes the problem, but to work together, unite and find solutions to the heat we are experiencing,” Baclayon said in Cebuano.

Alcover said he had been inviting Baclayon to visit the farmers in the mountain barangays, but the latter allegedly never heeded his invitation.

Alcover first accused Baclayon of lacking plans during his privilege speech on April 3. The councilor demanded Baclayon’s resignation. Rama, however, decided to keep Baclayon, citing his management prerogative.

According to Alcover, he did not lack in reminding Baclayon that the council had allocated a budget of P85 million for the farmers. However, Baclayon only spent P21 million.

He added the council also allocated funds for agricultural equipment in 2023 but were returned to the treasury unused. / AML


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