Cebu News

Rama won’t reveal those behind typhoon aid anomaly

Mary Ruth R. Malinao - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said he already has the names of those behind the anomalous inclusion of "dead persons" in the list of P5,000 Typhoon Odette aid beneficiaries, but stopped short of revealing their identities due to "confidentiality."

“I don't want to be giving names yet because that is something that is covered by confidentiality between employer and employees... We are serious in expanding the matter,” said Rama.

During City Hall’s flag raising ceremony Monday, the mayor said he already received the findings and the recommendation from the three-person fact-finding committee, but did not provide further details on the result of the investigation.

He, instead, directed the City Legal Office to “have the investigation down and have it seriously (conducted), expand it to the 80 barangays and I will wait.”

Rama gave the instruction specifically to the City Legal Officer and the Human Resource Development Officer.

To recall, the offices and officials subject of the investigation were given until June 17, 2022 to submit their written reports.

The investigating team headed by Resident ombudsman Homer Cabaral was instructed by the mayor to provide him the results before the month of June ends.

Rama earlier threatened to sue and fire City Hall employees proven to have played a part in the alleged anomaly that involves putting names of dead people or people overseas in the list of beneficiaries.

Portia Basmayor, head of the city’s Department of Social Welfare Services (DSWS), said they have received complaints from Poblacion Pardo Barangay Captain Archie Araw-araw about a beneficiary who was listed as recipient of the aid despite having died before the typhoon.

In a Facebook post on June 5, 2022, Araw-araw said some of the 2,444 beneficiaries were either co-living couples, people who are overseas, or were dead before the typhoon hit Cebu on December 16, 2021.

He said the barangay provided only 2,279 names of beneficiaries but the number became 2,444 in the final list.

As the city has announced, only qualified homeowners will receive the P5,000 assistance from the city government. — JMD (FREEMAN)


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