Mayor Labella’s MILO gets mixed reactions

CEBU City Mayor Edgardo Labella is forming the office of the Mayor’s Information and Liaison Officers (Milo) which will be in charge of the city’s 80 barangays.

However, the move has been met with mixed reactions from two barangay captains.

While Mambaling Barangay Captain Gines Abella has expressed his support, Inayawan Barangay Captain Kirk Bryan Repollo opposed its creation.

“If this is what the mayor sees as an effective way of handling the barangays, then we will comply with it,” said Abella.

He said he will also provide space for the Milo office in their barangay hall.

However. Repollo, who is allied with the opposition Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK), said the creation of Milo is illegal.

“It is contrary to law, hence, it is illegal,” Repollo said in a text message to SunStar Cebu.

Repollo also said he will not provide space for the Milo office in his barangay.

In a letter to the 80 barangay captains dated Feb. 20, 2020, Labella asked the village chiefs to provide at least a 20-square- meter space for the office of the Milo, may it be in the barangay hall or in any other barangay-owned building or space.

He said he will look for another area if a barangay captain cannot provide space for the Milo office.

Labella explained the Milo’s job is to know the concerns of the barangays and directly inform the mayor about them.

Unlike the previous administration’s Barangay Mayor’s Office (BMO), the Milo will only serve as the mediator between the mayor and the residents, said Labella.

Through the Milo, all the concerns of the residents in all of the 80 barangays will be heard, he added.

“This is a way not to overlook all the concerns of the barangays,” said Labella.

“The important thing is we can deliver the basic services to the public,” he added.

The Milo will be job order workers and will be under the City Government.

Labella clarified that Milo will be appointed to serve as liaison officers, and not to usurp the power of the elected officials.

He also emphasized that the Milo should not be an elected barangay official.

SunStar Cebu tried to get the comment of other barangay captains, but to no avail. (JJL)