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Cebu News

Alcover begs off exec function, refuses to work with Baclayon

Iris Hazel Mascardo - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City Councilor Pastor "Jun" Alcover has refused to collaborate with City Agriculturist Joey Baclayon, saying he would have to beg off on his executive functions should the latter not be replaced.

This was emphasized by Alcover when asked about the possible efforts for the farmers in the mountain barangays during the rainy season amidst the looming La Niña phenomenon.

In an interview yesterday, June 14, 2024, Alcover reiterated that he was given an executive function over the committee that he handles in the city council, which is the Committee on Agriculture.

However, he expressed that up until now he is still waiting for the implementation of changes that he requested at the Cebu City Agriculture Department (CAD), specifically the request for the office's head, Joey Baclayon to resign or to be replaced.

He said his request was made even before the preventive suspension of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.

“I cannot work with him. Kung overseer ko, but naa lang gihapon siya, I cannot work with him,” said Alcover.

“Nagpa-abot ko ni mayor kung iyang ilisan o dili. Kung dili niya ilisan, iya na ng katungod apan kung iyang ilisan I will be very happy to work with the person nga iyang ipuli,” he added.

But should Baclayon stay, Alcover said he will not be performing his executive functions as overseer of CAD and chair of the agriculture committee.

For one, Alcover said that he cannot impose the job that needs to be done by the agriculture department since Baclayon has allegedly not been functioning accordingly. He added that he has been taking note of the farmers’ complaints against him.

With the changes of leadership inside the Cebu City Hall over the assumption of Acting Cebu City Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia, Alcover said he is hopeful that the acting mayor would listen to him this time around.

“Kay wala man ko paminawa ni Mayor Mike Rama, hopefully maminaw si Raymond (Alvin) Garcia sa akong hangyo kay para nga makatrabaho jud tag husto sa mga kabukiran labi na karon nga gasugod-sugod na ang pag uwan-uwan,” said Alcover.

Establishing the urgency to tackle the concerns of the farmers now that the rainy season has started, Alcover said it all boils down to the unimplemented comprehensive program plans for agriculture.

He said that should there be a new city agriculturist, they will discuss these matters alongside the farmers association.

“Until now, nangayo ko, nagfile ko’g resolution, og inventory ni Joey (Baclayon) sa mga drums sa mga gipanghatag niya didto nga hose, kay nahibong man ko nga sige ta’g palit og drum nga dili mana mahilis ang drum. Until karon wala pa siya nakahatag,” he said.

Alcover said they aim to also tackle other developments, not just on agriculture. This includes checking on barangay roads, which is a primary factor to transport produce going to the market.

As such, Alcover said he has already spoken to Garcia to officially lobby for his request.

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