Governor: Barangays should ask only for necessities

FINDING some funding requests unnecessary, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said the Capitol is set to implement guidelines for barangays in the component towns and cities.

“I have to send this signal very clearly. It’s not possible for the Provincial Government to shoulder everything, especially if it’s not a necessity,” she said in a mix of English and Cebuano on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019.

The governor made the pronouncement after she discovered that several barangays have been referring requests for uniforms, tents, monobloc chairs, air conditioners, basketball rims, printers, closed-circuit television units, medals and trophies, among others, to their respective district board members.

A staff member of the League of Barangays in the Philippines-Cebu Chapter, who requested anonymity, said most of the requests the office received were for the purchase of monobloc chairs, trophies and medals. The requested items were often pegged at a cost of P10,000.

These requests are unnecessary, said Garcia.

“Sometimes, I’d like to think that these are no longer necessities in the barangay,” she said.

More of luxuries

The governor could not believe that the barangays “won’t be able to continue the delivery” of their services without the equipment they have requested.

“I think these are more of luxuries,” Garcia said in a mix of English and Cebuano.

She said she used to tell village officials during her earlier term that Capitol would only come in and help in projects that the barangay’s internal revenue allotment (IRA) could no longer cover.

While Garcia has no problem helping village officials, she said requests for assistance from the Capitol should focus on programs that would address the communities’ basic necessities.

“My appeal is for all of us to help each other,” she said. “I do not wish to suspect, but this IRA may have been put into savings for it to later become bonuses. Who benefits from that? Only the barangay officials. But what about the people who have to pass through poor roads and suffer because of no water connection?” she said.

Deal with real problems

Garcia said a barangay should prioritize its problems first and shoulder the costs of things it can afford to buy.

“I’m not tightening the Capitol’s belt for bonuses. I am doing this because I felt that resources were being wastefully spent, was not directed to what was really necessary and was not focused on what could give greater benefit to the greater number of people,” Garcia said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

Initial plans for the guidelines include considerations such as the size and IRA of the barangay as well as its immediate needs.

Garcia said she will raise the matter in the coming League general assembly on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019 at the IEC Convention Center Cebu in Cebu City. (RTF)