A FORMER barangay official and ally of former Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña accused incumbent Cebu City Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia of ordering the cutting off of the fuel allocation of some barangays.
In his Facebook post, former Tejero barangay councilor Garry Lao showed photos of a May 12, 2021 memo by Garcia ordering lawyer June Maratas of the City’s Department of General Services (DGS) to cancel the gas allowance for some vehicles owned by Barangays Tejero and Tinago.
Garcia, in an interview, said only the gas allowance of vehicles that are not indicated as essential vehicles were cut off.
Incumbent Tejero Barangay Captain Hermogenes Galang, in a separate interview, said a pick-up and L-300 vehicle were among the vehicles whose fuel allocation was cut off.
Galang said these vehicles were used by the contact tracers and patients positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
These vehicles were also used during the time when contact tracers did not have their own vehicles to transport them to and from the barangays, he said.
Galang said during the time the two vehicles were used to respond to Covid-19 related concerns, they were given fuel allocation by the City Government.
Each vehicle of all the 80 barangays has an allocation of at least 200 liters per month.
Galang said that during the time of Osmeña, these vehicles were given fuel allocations by the City and were only excluded at the start of the current administration. The current administration is led by Mayor Edgardo Labella.
Galang, however, said his barangay is capable of financing the fuel of these vehicles.
“It’s fine because these are small vehicles. I’m only afraid if they cut the gasoline allocation for those big vehicles like garbage trucks,” said Galang in Cebuano.
Garcia told the village chiefs they can always write to the City, through the Barangay Affairs Office, and indicate in the letter how the vehicles were used so they will be given a fuel allocation.
Garcia assured the barangays the City will not stop giving a fuel allocation for vehicles used as ambulance, garbage truck and fire truck.
He said it is the policy of the City to prioritize giving gasoline allocation to essential vehicles.
“As long as the City was informed that the vehicles are used for essential purposes, their gasoline allocation will not be cut off. That is the policy,” said Garcia.
SunStar Cebu tried to reach Maratas to get the total number of vehicles whose fuel allocation had been discontinued but did not get a response as of writing. (JKV, JJL)