MEMBERS of the Mayor’s Information and Liaison Office (Milo) allegedly continue to take charge of the distribution of relief goods in some barangays, including Labangon, Tejero, Inayawan and Guadalupe, despite the warning of Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella.
Labella earlier said he would investigate Milo members who participated in the activity.
When the City Council approved the P500-million budget for relief assistance amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, it included in the motion that barangay officials should be in charge of distributing the goods.
Labangon Barangay Captain Victor Buendia said Milo members in his barangay asked residents to line up to receive the assistance instead of distributing it house to house.
They did the same thing when they distributed rice in Sitio Callejon in April, after which there was a surge of Covid-19 cases in the area, he said.
“They never do house to house. Mobalik na pud Covid ani (Covid-19 will return) in my barangay every after the Milo gets in,” said Buendia. “When Covid cases peak, the barangay chief has to find a way to contain the problem while the Milo members are nowhere to be seen,” he added in Cebuano.
In Guadalupe, Barangay Captain Michael Gacasan said the Milo started the distribution of rice and other relief goods without coordinating with him.
In Inayawan, Barangay Captain Kirk Bryan Repollo said he will use the barangay’s remaining funds for the activity.
He said they will have to adjust the purchase of food that is supposed to go with the rice that will be distributed.
“I received reports that the rice the City Hall had promised for the second wave was turned over to the Milo,” Repollo said in Cebuano.
Association of Barangay Councils and Kasambagan Barangay Captain Franklyn Ong, for his part, urged barangay captains to obtain proof of their allegations before issuing statements to the public.
Buendia, Gacasan, Repollo and Ong are affiliated with the opposition party, Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan.
Meanwhile, Labella said the distribution does not necessarily have to be undertaken by barangay captains, but it should be coursed through them.
He said the Supplemental Budget 3 ordinance does not specifically say that village chiefs shall be the ones to distribute as it only says barangay officials.
The mayor said the City Legal Office will conduct an investigation if found that non-barangay officials have been taking charge of distribution. (JJL)