Cebu News

Council asks for probe into Tomas’ “new policy”

Jean Marvette A. Demecillo - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - After receiving several complaints from barangay captains, the Cebu City Council is asking the Department of Interior and Local Government-7 to investigate the “new policy” that Mayor Tomas Osmeña implemented.

In its October 25-regular session, the council also asked the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Visayas to look into the matter.

The council earlier received a board resolution from the Association of Barangay Councils alleging that some offices at the City Hall tasked to process the city’s social services program do not honor signatures from duly-elected officials.

“Among the above-mentioned matters involved the supposed refusal of the offices tasked to process claims for Cebu City’s social services, particularly, the city hospitalization Assistance and Medicines Program, Burial Assistance Program and Senior Citizen’s Financial Assistance, all under the Office of the Mayor,” read the board resolution.

According to the ABC Board, one of the requirements to avail the social services of the city is a barangay clearance or certifications.

Another requirement is a letter endorsement issued by the respective barangay captains of the barangays where the resident or the claimant of the services resides.

“It has been reported that the offices tasked of the foregoing claims refuse to accept the claims of duly-qualified Cebu City residents despite the barangay clearances and endorsements issued by other individuals,” the resolution reads.

The ABC Board has requested the Office of the Mayor and the City Treasurer’s Office for clarification or written explanation on the matter.

Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia, who heads the council’s committee on laws, asked the different offices concerned on the giving of financial assistance under CHAMP, burial assistance, and for senior citizens on the guidelines or procedures in the release of the aid.

Councilor James Anthony Cuenco then asked for the criteria in choosing the beneficiaries who can avail the assistance of the city government.

The matter was already brought up by Phillip Zafra, president of the Associations of Barangay Councils.

Zafra, an ex-officio member of the City Council, said the city has started not honoring barangay clearances and endorsements of Team Rama-allied barangay captains since July.

He said some private individuals who are supporters of Osmeña were given the authority that is supposedly that of duly-elected officials.

Osmeña, however, said that he is just continuing what was started by the administration of former mayor Michael Rama.

Zafra denied that the policy was started by Rama, adding that all barangay captains who are not allied with their party were honored and acknowledged by the previous administration. (FREEMAN)


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