Councilor questions financial aid for vice mayors' league, award night

A MEMBER of the Cebu City Council’s opposition bloc raised questions over the City Government’s appropriation of public funds.

During the council’s regular session on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, minority leader Nestor Archival criticized the P2 million financial assistance for the Vice Mayors’ League of the Philippines (VMLP) and the P1.7 million for the Cebu City Taxpayer’s Award Night.

According to Archival, the amounts are too much, considering there are “a lot of things” the City Government should focus its attention on like hunger and helping poor constituents.

Vice Mayor Raymond Garcia, the presiding officer, explained that the City has always provided financial assistance to the VMLP, saying it is similar to the financial assistance the City provides to nongovernmental organizations, the Philippine Councilors’ League and the Association of Barangay Councils.

Garcia said the league will use the money for projects that will also benefit the City Government.

“For me, it is good to give but P2 million is too much. Right now, we have a lot of things to do in the City Government. Daghan kaayo mga tao gigutom (There are so many hungry people),” Archival said.

Councilor Noel Wenceslao, author of the resolution appropriating funds for the Cebu City Taxpayer’s Award Night, said this event is necessary to recognize top taxpayers who contribute to the economy of the city.

Wenceslao pointed out that the event was held in previous administrations.

“Those who will be given the award are top taxpayers and they have been contributing multi-million pesos of taxes in the city, so they should be given a recognition and award for that,” he said.

However, Archival said it still doesn’t justify allocating such a big amount.

“I would agree with that because they are helping the City but putting a budget which is so big, I do not think it is fair to the constituents,” Archival said.

As stated in the project proposal of the event, P450,000 is allocated for the venue and food; P800,000 for production, sounds and lights; P420,000 for the plaques; and P100,000 for miscellaneous.

“I am not objecting Councilor Noel (Wenceslao) but I am just expressing my thoughts because this is something that we as councilors need to look into,” Archival added.

The two proposed resolutions were approved and adopted by the City Council. (IRT)