Baragay captain blames politics for ‘chaos’ during aid distribution
Caecent No-ot Magsumbol, Alicia Ivy L. Chua (The Freeman) - May 23, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Guadalupe Barangay Captain Michael Gacasan has called on the administration of Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella to set aside politics amid the health crisis.

“Ako ning panawagan. Mohangyo ta nga serbisyo unta, dili maghuna-huna sa umaabot nga eleksyon. Aron hapsay ang serbisyo nga atong mapadangat sa katawhan,” Gacasan told The FREEMAN in an interview.

The barangay chief made the appeal following the “chaos” in the distribution of the senior citizen’s financial assistance early yesterday.

Gacasan, who ran for city councilor under the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan of then mayor Tomas Osmena but lost in the last elections, said it was unfair to him and to the rest of the barangay officials to be blamed for “all the chaos in the barangay.”

He said the barangay officials were not even involved or tapped to assist in distributing the cash aid.

“Sa laktod pagkastulti, kami’y ilang bombahan maski wa mi nila paapila. Kun gipaapil pa mi ana, gibahin ang trabaho, nahuman na unta na. Kun wa lang gyud untay politik, hapsay ra unta ning pagpanghatag,” he said.

The mayor’s information and liaison officer was in-charge of the distribution, he said.

“Kami mga barangay officials diri sa Guadalupe, wa mi paapila nila anang pagpanghatag sa mga senior citizen’s assistance,” he said.

In fact, Gacasan said he was at the hospital attending to his mother who was due for operation when he was informed about the incident. He immediately went to the barangay hall.

“Ganinang buntag (yesterday morning), didto mis akong mama, supposed to be para mag-apong kay operahanan karon.Unya gitawgan ko kay samok na kuno kaayo diri sa barangay.Niuli ko dri, gibyaan nako akong mama, tinuod gyud tuod,” he said.

He said the aid was not distributed house-to-house because the addresses of the beneficiaries were reportedly not specified.

“Guadalupe raman gibutang. So akong gihimo, akong gipa-undang ang distribution then nag-meeting mi,” he said.

The mayor’s spokesperson, lawyer Rey Gealon, echoed Gacasan’s statement, saying the problem stemmed from the incomplete addresses of the beneficiaries.

Lawyer June Maratas, Department of General Services (DGS) chief, said the records of 700 senior citizens did not specify their sitios or puroks.

Barangay Guadalupe has 5,300 registered senior citizens.

Gacasan instructed the seniors to return home for lunch, while the barangay requested for a bus from the city government to transport the seniors back-and-forth after receiving their aid.

The city government deployed 30 more personnel to help in the distribution, which resumed in the afternoon.

Those who failed to get their aid are advised to send a message to the Cebu City Information Office through its Facebook page, or call 411-0100 local 2102.

Around 82,000 registered senior citizens benefit from the city government’s cash aid program. Each senior gets P1,000 per month.

On the other hand, the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) said 80 percent of the qualified senior citizens have received their cash aid.

The city government started the distribution on May 16. The distribution is good for the months of March, April and May.  KQD (FREEMAN)

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