Chan to opposition dads: Approve AIP, release calamity aid

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LAPU-LAPU City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan is reiterating his request to the City Council’s opposition majority bloc to approve their Annual Investment Plan (AIP) for next year in order to release their P236 million calamity fund.

The calamity fund’s release aims to provide aid to the city’s residents who were recently affected by Typhoon Odette.

But Lapu-Lapu City Councilor Michael Dignos, representing the opposition, said it was the city mayor who was delaying the release of the calamity fund.

Chan told reporters on Monday, Dec. 27, 2021, that he is pleading with members of the opposition to stop politicking and help him in providing aid to his constituents who have been affected by Typhoon Odette which struck Cebu on Dec. 16.

“I am willing to kneel before you, asking for mercy in behalf of our constituents who are suffering and exhausted with their current situation,” Chan said in Cebuano.

Chan said he has issued orders to call for a special session on Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 28, to discuss the matter.

Eight opposition councilors namely Dignos, Flaviano Hiyas, Rudy Potot, Rex Mangubat, Junrey Gestopa, Gregorio Paquibot Jr., Rico Amores and Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) president and ex-officio member Eduardo Cuizon were named by Chan as those who allegedly delayed the approval of the AIP.

But Dignos, in a separate interview, said that contrary to what Chan was saying, they had already initiated the release of the calamity aid but through the barangays and not through the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO).

Dignos said they initiated the matter three days after the typhoon.

“He (Chan) does not need to do theatrics. We already approved the first set of financial aid through the barangays so that they can distribute the aid directly to their constituents,” Dignos said in Cebuano.

But Chan said the opposition bloc’s move to directly transfer the money to the barangays was illegal and is equivalent to malversation of public funds.

“Ang steps gyud, ang gi-revert nga amount imong ibutang sa general fund ug i-transfer nimo og dunay account nga existing. Which is ang CSWDO naa silay financial assistance adto nimo i-download ang kuwarta,” Chan explained.

Chan said in this way, the financial assistance is properly distributed to the affected residents through the CSWDO.

“Nganong ari man ta sa illegal ug dugay nga dia may legal ug dali?” Chan added. (Why go the illegal route when there’s a legal and quicker way?)

But Dignos denied that what they were doing was illegal.

“He (Chan) is misquoting the Accounting rules, kay kanus-a man na ma-illegal ang donation?” Dignos added.

Dignos also claimed Chan is deliberately delaying the release of the calamity aid after the latter vetoed their decision to distribute them through the barangays.

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