Mayor asked to help release SK cash aid
Alicia Ivy L. Chua (The Freeman) - June 21, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The Cebu City Council is urging Mayor Edgardo Labella to intervene on behalf of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officials and call on the concerned offices and individuals to expedite the release of their allowances and the financial assistance to the SK Councils in the city.

Councilor Jessica Resch, in a privilege speech during the council session last June 17, said that on December 2019, the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation- Cebu City Chapter through a resolution, has requested Labella to urge the City Treasurer’s Office to release the P80 million financial assistance to all the 80 SK councils in the city.

Resch said that the financial assistance was included and approved in the 2019 Annual Budget of the previous administration but the amount has yet to be released.

The assistance would have been used to fund the projects of the 80 SK councils.

Resch said that she had sent a letter to Labella last March 30 requesting for the SK officials to be included in the distribution of Personal Protective Equipment, but still, to no avail.

She added that she has also sponsored a resolution asking for vitamins for the barangay frontliners but until now there was none given.

“Grabe ang dedikasyon sa trabaho ani atong SK officials- sila ang mosuong sa mga lugar na way gusto moadto. Sila ang ipaon sa atong mga katiguwangang opisyales– but they are the most unappreciated, invisible heroes that have been pushed to the sidelines, even considered useless,” said Resch.

Resch said that SK officials have been active in assisting the Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT) in helping out in managing the suspected COVID-19 cases and tracing their contacts and also in preparation and distribution of the barangay-funded relief packs.

Under the 2019 Annual Budget, P17.3 million was allocated for the SK to cover for their monthly expenses. The same amount was allocated in the 2020 Annual Budget, under the aid to city barangays.

After the approval of the 2019 annual budget, the SK’s were still able to receive their allowances but only until May 2019. The allowances for June 2019 to June 2020 were no longer released.

“Mayor, this is the most opportune time for the allowances of our SK officials to be released, to remind them that the city government has recognized all their efforts, especially their untiring service during this pandemic,” said Resch.

Resch said that the problem on the non-release/inaction on allowances is not only happening to the SK but also to the barangay tanods and barangay health workers who also have not been receiving their allowances since June 2019.

“Naa naman ang kwarta, in fact naka-obligate na, nganong dili man i-release?” said Resch.

She added the allowances would have been a big help to the SK officials, especially that most of the families of the SK officials are not beneficiaries of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

There are 799 SK officials in Cebu City.  GAN (FREEMAN)

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