Rama: No sacred cows in probe on aid ‘anomaly’

·3 min read

CEBU City Mayor Michael “Mike” Rama has vowed to look into alleged anomalies in the distribution of cash aid for victims of Typhoon Odette (Rai) in Cebu City.

Rama reiterated his warning to government employees that they will lose their jobs and be prosecuted once they are proven to be involved in these irregularities.

“That is also another thing that I have to be seriously looking into. Remember, I am not happy when I see an anomaly,” Rama told reporters Wednesday, June 8, 2022.

“Those who have to leave, leave. Those who should be terminated, terminate. Those who cannot be renewed, should not be renewed. I mean business,” he added.

Rama said no individual coming from prominent families can stop him from terminating City Hall employees.

“No bloodline can tell me, I will be telling whoever and no sacred cow (can stop me). That is my directive,” said Rama.

SunStar Cebu reported earlier that some of those included in the list of beneficiaries of the P5,000 financial assistance were dead people.

Last Tuesday, Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS)-Cebu City head Portia Basmayor said they were investigating the issue, which surfaced in Barangay Poblacion-Pardo.

Basmayor told SunStar Cebu on Wednesday that the legal team of the DSWS is already finalizing the results of the investigation that they have conducted.

According to Basmayor, their initial findings revealed that the names of the beneficiaries of the P5,000 cash aid came from the flash drive that was submitted by the barangay.

In a Facebook post on June 6, however, Barangay Poblacion Pardo chief Archie Araw-Araw said the USB did come from the barangay, but it was empty. When it came back, however, it already contained 2,444 names, which he questioned since he said the hard copy of the names the barangay transmitted to the DSWS contained only 2,279 names.

“Ang USB gkan sa Brgy. pro walay sulod paghatod pagkuha nanai 2,444 names pro ang TRANSMITTAL gikan sa BRGY. na hard copy nah received nila last December 2021 2,279 Names gi submit sa BRGY. wla nila ma ENCODE sa system or wala gi forward nila sa main office asa sila kuha anang 2,444 names sa odette,” he wrote. (Where did they get those 2,444 names for the Odette aid?)

Araw-Araw claimed in an earlier Facebook post that the DSWS did not follow and instead altered the list of cash aid beneficiaries made by the barangay.

Rama warned that charges await barangay officials, Mayor’s Information and Liaison Officers, or DSWS personnel if they are proven guilty of the anomalies.

The mayor previously issued a memorandum on May 16, indicating that all coterminous, casual and job order employees under the executive department of the Cebu City Government will be evaluated by the Office of the Mayor.

The evaluation will determine whether they should continue reporting to work after June 30, when their contracts will expire if not renewed.

Under the memo, the employees would be evaluated based on the following: “kawatan (thief), tapulan (lazy), hugawan (messy), intregero (intriguer), pala-away (quarrelsome), walay nahibaw-an (ignorant), dili mo bayad og utang (does not pay debts), and mo buko-buko (backstabber).”

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