No problem releasing P5M aid to barangays

THE Cebu City Legal Office (CLO) assures that there will be no legal impediments in the planned release of a total of P400 million as financial aid to the city’s 80 barangays.

City Attorney Rey Gealon made the assurance following a letter from the Liga ng mga Barangay (LNB) Cebu City Chapter on Oct. 18, 2019 asking CLO for a copy of a draft Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between Mayor Edgardo Labella and San Jose barangay captain Joventino Ardaba for the release of the said barangay’s share of the aid.

The letter, signed by Fritz Sabella, LNB administrative officer III, also sought CLO’s clarification on how to avail of the funds.

The financial assistance, which was announced last February, amounts to P5 million per barangay.

But before the barangays could get the P5 million, they needed to submit a request or “wish list” on how they would spend the financial aid, Association of Barangay Councils president Franklyn Ong said in an earlier interview.

The barangay, requesting for the release of the funds, also needed to enter into a MOA with the City.

In the case of Barangay San Jose, the aid will be used to fund the purchase of a garbage truck and two service vehicles.

“After a careful review and examination of the provisions of the said (Barangay San Jose) MOA vis-a-vis the Annual Budget of the City of Cebu for Calendar Year 2019, this Office finds the same to be in order and compliant with the basic legal requirements of a written contract. Its provisions are in accordance with law, rules and regulations, and are not contrary to morals, good customs, public order and public policy,” said Gealon in his response to LNB’s letter.

Gealon, however, advised that Labella would have to secure the City Council’s authorization to sign the MOA, while the barangay captain will have to be authorized by the Barangay Council.

Gealon said Labella ordered the CLO to facilitate the release of the financial assistance to all 80 barangays “regardless of the political affiliations of the respective barangay’s leadership.”

The aid is generally intended for the purchase of garbage trucks and other vehicles that may be used for the regular operations of the barangay.

The barangays may also choose to let the City implement the project instead of giving the money directly to them. JJL