Cebu News

Ombudsman asked to probe ‘irregular’ cash distribution

Odessa O. Leyson - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu City Council is asking the Ombudsman to investigate why distribution of cash assistance to senior citizens in some barangays did not take place at barangay halls.

“Nalawgaw ang distribusyon niining gamay apan makahulugang kantidad nga salapi tungod sa mando sa hepe ehekutibo ning syudad sa Sugbo. Sakit kaayo kining nahitabo karon kay kalit lang nga gibalhin ngadto sa laing dapit, ug laing tawo, gawas sa kadtong gitahasan sa ordinansa sa syudad, ang nagdumala niining maong distribusyon sa matag senior citizen,” said Councilor Pastor Alcover in a privilege speech yesterday.

Alcover said he personally saw last Sunday how reportedly difficult it was for senior citizens in Barangay Guba to claim their share in an open space outside the Community Hospital.

The senior citizens were also allegedly required to get a priority number from the Barangay Mayor’s Office.

“Mao kini ang giingon nga ‘No Priority Number, No Entry’ tungod kay kadtong identified nga dili ilang tawo, dili gyud hatagan o langay-langayon paghatag sa priority number,” he said.

He said the venue of distribution in Barangay Agsungot was also moved.

In an 8-4 vote, the council approved a motion by Councilor Jocelyn Pesquera to have the matter investigated by the Ombudsman and for the anti-graft office to file cases against those who will be found violating the rules.

Pesquera said she herself received reports that in Barangay Quiot, the distribution was done at the house of former barangay captain Jun Ramos who is an ally of Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK).

“In Barangay Quiot, the distribution was done in a private house... the house of former barangay captain Jun Ramos. I believe it's improper to have it in the house of a private individual as there are barangay, government facilities that are very much available at that time it's just that they want to use it for politics,” she said.

Councilor Joel Garganera also said that senior citizens of Barangay Tinago had to claim their aid in Barangay Tejero.

Councilor Sisinio Andales, one of those who opposed the move, said nothing prohibits the distribution in other areas.

Ex-officio member Phillip Zafra also said the distribution must be coordinated with the barangay officials specifically the barangay captain because the barangay officials are the ones accountable for it.

The distribution last Sunday was the seventh tranche with each senior citizen in the city receiving P1,000.

There are 67,300 senior citizens registered in the city. They have 10 days to claim the aid otherwise it will be forfeited. (FREEMAN)

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